If It’s Hard To Be Healthy, You’ll Love This Easy Meal

I recently dined on quite the spread: Homemade corn tortilla chips with southwestern black-eyed pea and corn salad. Oh, and apple crisp for dessert.

People with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and the staff who help them, whipped up this healthy and very tasty meal. They prepared these foods during the Arc of Monroe’s first-ever Cooking Matters class with Foodlink and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

The six-week program taught them how to cook healthy meals, safely handle food, read nutrition labels and shop for healthy items. Educators from Foodlink and Finger Lakes Eat Smart New York taught the classes.

The recipes were designed to be simple, healthy and safe to make for those with disabilities. But what I loved about the recipes was that anyone could easily do them!

How to Make Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Never again will I buy a bag of tortilla chips from the grocery store. I can make a healthier and lower-salt version with this recipe:

Print Recipe
Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut each corn tortilla into six triangles
  3. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray
  4. Place tortilla slices on baking sheet. Lightly spray the chips with non-stick cooking spray to prevent burning
  5. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes
Recipe Notes

For a healthier twist, try whole wheat tortillas instead of corn tortillas. Serve with salsa, hummus, bean dip or chilli

Other recipes to try:

Southwestern Black-eyed Pea and Corn Salad

Apple Crisp

One More Easy Cooking Tip

Janet Williams of Penfield helps people with disabilities at the Arc shop for food, prepare meals and do other things to live independently.

Janet Williams of the Arc of Monroe

After completing the Cooking Matters program, Williams said she’s better prepared to help clients live healthier.

“I think it’s harder for this population to be healthy,” Williams said. “Unhealthy foods are easier to access; they’re addicting and seen as more ‘cool’ among their peers.”

Williams learned, for example, that it’s OK to buy canned vegetables and beans, even if there’s added salt in the foods. Just rinse the foods to get rid of the salt before using them.

Having canned beans and corn in your pantry can make it easy to make simple foods, such as a healthy salsa.

“I’m really excited about what we learned,” she added. “It’s seriously good stuff.”

The Cooking Matters class.

The program was made possible by an Excellus BCBS grant, which supported the classes and provided participants with coupons to shop at the Curbside Market truck, Foodlink’s farm stand on wheels. The truck was parked outside every class so participants and other Arc staff members could shop for healthy foods.

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