Hands-on Lessons

Whether you are a teen, young adult, single or partnered parent, empty-nester or senior — we often experience changes in lifestyle that prompt us to re-evaluate our approach to food. Like so many people, you may really want to eat more healthfully but, you can’t find the time and making big changes feels simply overwhelming.

As a healthful foods & cooking coach, I offer my clients hands-on lessons on how to prepare more healthful foods at home. You’ll gain skills, confidence, change old habits and improve your nutrition — one dish at a time. 

Tracy coaches you to improve cooking skills & nutrition.

Tracy coaches you to improve cooking skills & nutrition. A variety of whole grains and beans are in the foreground. (All photos on this page by Brad Dahlgaard.)

I teach private lessons for individuals and groups of up to four persons, including kids, in your own home. I also teach group classes through co-ops and community education. And soon I will offer small cooking classes at GIA Kitchen, the professional commercial kitchen I rent.

I also offer ‘coaching services’, which are longer-term arrangements for clients who would like on-going support in making changes to their food & nutrition.  Unfortunately, taking one cooking class is not going to do it for most people.

My instruction is highly personalized. Before any class or coaching session, we’ll talk about your personal health & nutrition goals, and assess what skills and information you may need to achieve those goals. Perhaps you want to establish better eating habits (ie, more vegetables and whole grains). Maybe you suspect food sensitivities to processed sugars, gluten, wheat or cow’s milk, or have been advised to reduce sodium and fats.


Then we talk about your cooking goals. Most clients would like to become more efficient or creative in planning and cooking meals, especially vegetarian meals. Others would like to improve (or acquire) basic shopping, prep and cooking skills.  Some of you want a friendly guide to what’s available at the Farmers’ Market and ethnic grocery stores. Other clients may want mainly specific coaching on gluten-free or vegan cooking.

During a typical cooking lesson, you’ll learn:

  • how to make 4-5 easy, inexpensive dishes
  • tips on knife skills, cooking skills, equipment, shopping.
  • tips on how to batch-cook, and stretch/ recombine ingredients and dishes.
Caroline learns to snap off stems from fresh green beans for Salad Nicoise

Caroline learns to snap off green bean stems for Salad Nicoise. (Photo: Brad Dahlgaard)

Private lesson fees range from $170-190 for 3+ hours (roughly $45/person) and include all ingredients, recipes and lots of food for participants to take home. 

I’ve instructed families with young kids, groups of girlfriends, a men’s group, a grandfather & father pair and even bridal shower guests.

I‘ve also created a new Dorm Cooking 101 lesson for Young Adults!  Launch them right, with practical skills they’ll use for a lifetime.


Please contact me at onedishatatime@me.com if you would like to schedule a Cooking Lesson or consultation.


One thought on “Hands-on Lessons

  1. Hannah Palbicki

    Dear Tracy:
    Hello, my name is Hannah Palbicki and I am a program coordinator with Dakota Communities the Larpenteur location.

    We provide services to disabled adults and at the start of the new year we will be changing our menu system. This new menu system is all homemade meals.

    Therefore I need to give my staff training, education on how to make these meals and understand reciepes. However I don’t have a lot of food education myself and am looking to seek help.

    I got your information from a co-worker and I thought I would try to see if you are willing to come out the house sometime and give us some knowledges and tips to starting this new menu system. This is a non-profit organization so if you are able to provide your services it would have to be through volunteering.

    Please e-mail me or call if you are interested.
    Phone number: 651-XXXX


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