Jodi Balis is a Registered Dietitian and has been a cooking instructor for 10 years. She has been featured twice on “Good Morning America” and made several appearances on local T.V. and radio shows, demonstrating meal planning and healthy eating on a budget. Jodi is currently Director of Nutrition Education Programs at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington DC, where she oversees cooking and nutrition programs that teach low-income adults and children how to eat healthy with limited resources. In addition to her job at the Food Bank, Jodi has led value tours at Whole Foods Market in Silver Spring, and is currently a guest cooking teacher at
the Whole Foods Market in Georgetown. Previously a Nutrition Educator with the Food
Stamp Nutrition Education Program in Maryland, Jodi trained elementary school teachers to
incorporate nutrition into their lessons, and directly taught
elementary school aged youth about cooking, gardening, and healthy
eating. Before moving to the DC metro area, she was Nutrition Education
Manager at a food bank in St. Louis, Missouri, and a cooking instructor at Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Fontbonne University, St. Louis Community College, and other places in the St. Louis metro area. Jodi also regularly appeared on a cooking segment for Health Matters, a local St. Louis television show.
I love to cook, and I love to eat.
So when my husband and I moved from the Midwest to the East Coast, facing higher costs of living, and temporarily becoming a single income family for 2 years, I made the conscious decision that despite our limited resources, I was not going to deny myself or my husband food that was GOOD.
My main strategy was to reduce the amount of prepared foods that I purchased at the store, and to cook recipes that combine basic ingredients in creative ways. While building my own repertoire of recipes and identifying useful kitchen staples took time in the beginning, I found that the more I practiced, tasks that were once time consuming became easier.
Now, I can make muffins while deeply engrossed in conversation with others, prepare pizza dough in the morning before work, assemble and cook quesadillas for dinner in 11 minutes flat (yes, I timed it), and quickly transform 5 ingredients in my fridge into a nourishing and satisfying meal.
The recipes and meals that have become my repertoire are the foundation of my cooking, a base
from which I can explore new ways of cooking, and an "old faithful" that I can turn to for quick fix meals when life gets busy.