Cook Smart, Eat Smart – Cooking School

— Written By and last updated by Patricia Burch

Having trouble sticking to that diet you planned to do in 2019? Want to learn more about cooking healthy? The N.C. Cooperative Extension in Sampson County has the perfect program for you! Cook Smart, Eat Smart is a cooking school designed to help you learn how to cook quick meals within your food budget. You’ll learn how to prepare simple, healthy and delicious food for you and your family. Cook Smart, Eat Smart keeps it simple – simple healthy preparation techniques, simple ingredients, and simple equipment.

Each session contains several basic cooking techniques and other topics related to eating and preparing meals at home. Cook Smart, Eat Smart also provides tips for stretching your food dollars while still eating healthy.

In this series you’ll learn techniques like roasting, marinades, stir-frying, grilling, crock pot, one-pot meals, baking, steaming, sautéing, and much more! You’ll also learn tips on shopping smart, unit pricing, label reading, building your pantry, portion control, and others to help make shopping and cooking a breeze. Each session includes hands-on cooking techniques and you’ll also receive a cookbook to practice recipes at home.

The series will be held consecutively on Thursdays beginning February 21 through March 14, 2019, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. To register please call 910-592-7161 or email us at Class cost is $10 for the entire series thanks to sponsorship from United Way of Sampson County. Class size is limited so reserve your spot today! Check out an awesome recipe from the cookbook below:

15-Minute Soup

1 (16-ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained
1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
(16-ounce) cans chopped or diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small onion, chopped
½ teaspoon garlic salt or regular salt
1 (10-ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach
½ cup macaroni (elbow or any other shape – preferably whole grain)


  1. In a 2-quart pot, combine all ingredients except spinach and macaroni.
  2. Heat until the liquid comes to a boil.
  3. Stir in and break up spinach; bring to a boil again.
  4. Stir in macaroni and simmer until pasta is tender, about 6-8 minutes.


  • This recipe is a great way to use up assorted leftover pasta. Any shape or size pasta can be used.
  • The recipe is best when eaten within one day of preparation.
    Any variety of canned beans, such as kidney, black-eyed peas, or black beans could be used.

Nutrition Information (Makes 4 servings)
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Protein: 7g
Carbohydrates: 23g
Fiber: 6g
Sodium: 840 mg