Knowledge Base > Char Nolan - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Char Nolan - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Char Nolan in her virtual office as she welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to ask anything – from cooking techniques to cou… Read More.



What are some of the dishes you prepare for the community groups where you volunteer? Do participants help cook, or do you bring them ready to serve?

— Peggy Byrd


In February I received a grant from, uh, the Eston Foundation to implement a four week, uh, cooking class for, um, men and women who had, um, comorbidities. And, uh, Jane and Anne would Skype in with us and, you know, sort of be, you know, a cheerleader. And, uh, one day when I was teaching how to do the dry, uh, uh, no saute, the no oil saute, uh, this lovely, lovely woman, young, young woman, and we'll say, we'll say that her name was, uh, Queenie. And, um, she did such a good job that afterwards I went up to her and I said, you know, Queenie, in the summertime we cook at the farm and I would love for you to come and be our apprentice. So what we cook at the farm is what we pick in the field. So I know that next week, um, uh, Queenie is going to teach everyone how to do a no oil saute. And then we're going to have cabbage and kale that we're going to serve on, um, a slab of whole wheat bread, uh, that's going to have, um, hammus on it, and then the saute vegetables with a little bit of this date sauce. And then they're going to get, um, a if you're familiar with the Engine two cookbook, uh, a big popular item, uh, in one of my communities is, um, uh, mighty Muffins. So we'll have mighty muffins, and then we, I make an iced tea without sugar and without stevia. And, uh, when it's hot and you get a big glass of ice, people just enjoy drinking something. And then they're like, I can't believe that tomorrow I have a class. And, um, we are doing, um, I don't know if any of you saw it, but on the uh, Rouxbe page, there was a recipe for a tahini sauce with zucchini. And the tahini sauce was very easy, it was brags and, um, a couple of tablespoons of tahini and a couple of spices. I forget what they were. So we're gonna have that. And then they're going to do an m y o a make your own of a Dr. Sue stacker, which is, um, polenta, walnut sauce, tomato, and a sweet potato. And it has a drizzle of, uh, balsamic glaze. Um, and I I wanted to share with you, not to go off topic, but when I work in the communities where I work, I do all of my shopping at Walmart or at Aldi so that I don't appear as somebody that's making healthy eating difficult because I had to go to name a grocery store. So it makes life really easy. And in our, in one of my communities, there's a grocery store called a grocery store outlet. And, uh, I take them on a tour, uh, every semester so that we can review, uh, about what's good, what's, what's healthy shop the perimeter of the store. Um, I use a lot of grains and a lot of beans, and I'm finishing up a class right now that was called Shopping on a Shoestring. So we did, um, we made potato salad, but without mayonnaise. We used hummus as the mayo. Um, we made, uh, a cousin of the Rouxbe Tunaless salad, but instead of using the creme cashew, we used hummus. And I always like to tell everybody that hummus is the new mayo. And, um, it's just wonderful to see light, light bulbs go on. And one last thing about this, Peggy, um, uh, one of the places where I teach with the Charlie Cart, uh, and everybody should Google Charlie Cart because if there's a Charlie cart near you, uh, anybody who's listening to this broadcast today should be working on a Charlie cart because it's so much fun. Anyway, um, one of the facilities that I work at the first, it's called the Health Library. The first floor is the library. The second floor is a primary care clinic run by the Philadelphia Department of Health. And the third floor is a primary care clinic from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. And I've been at this facility for six years, and my joy comes from someone coming to my class saying, my doctor told me I should come here because you don't cook with salt and I have hypertension, or My doctor told me to come here because you don't cook with sugar and I have diabetes. So, um, try to make it relatable. Try to make it trendy in the best of ways because I want people to feel important about what it is that they're making. And you know, my other joy comes from, uh, somebody who'll send me pictures about what they made for dinner or, um, we have to meet people where they are, but it doesn't mean that we can't teach them how to eat beautiful salads, uh, and how we can't show somebody five things to do with a lemon that you never thought you would do before. So, um, those kinds of things. You got me on a soapbox there, Peggy, you got me on a soapbox. So, um, I'm sorry if I've taken up too much time. Uh, Patrick, uh, put in the Tahini dressing and he put in the Charlie cart and, uh, I called my Charlie cart the Charlene cart. Um, I've been working directly with the Charlie Cart for six years. Uh, they are out of Berkeley, California. And let me just share with you that the executive director, a wonderful woman named Carolyn Federman, she worked for Alice Water at Chez Panis and she invented, along with Alice the edible schoolyard. And so from that experience came the Charlie cart. And I have to tell you, the Charlie cart is like, it would be Rouxbe Nirvana because it has all clad pots. It's got a Vitamix, it has an induction stove top, it has a little oven, it has a sink, it has knives for every occasion. Um, I mean, it's just a wonderful thing. So if you are the facilitator or the chef for that class, you just kind of show up with your food because everything is where it is and what you need. And I'm just so, uh, I feel so fortunate and blessed, uh, to be a Charlie Cart, um, instructor. So I hope that, you know, some of you will ask me what am I gonna do when I finish Rouxbe? Um, things don't fall from the sky. If you, if, if there's a, usually Charlie carts are at libraries, um, check your local library. There are 478 Charlie carts throughout the country. So, uh, if you do some quick math, there might be 10 in a state. So City of Philadelphia, I'm fortunate it has three of them. So Patrick, thanks for that plug for the Charlie cart cuz you know, I love the Charlie cart.


Char Nolan

Char Nolan

Chef Instructor