Philanthropy group Impact100 Metro Detroit granted $135,000 to Zaman International, an Inkster-based nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing marginalized women and children. Zaman International’s culinary program, which received the grant in May, teaches women and children to prepare nutritious meals. “At Zaman, we believe that the key to breaking the cycle of poverty is education,” says Daniela Abel, who heads the program. “We’re educating women so they can turn around and get quality jobs in the food service industry.” She says they chose this training specifically because of the abundance of food service opportunities available in Detroit at the moment. But the training is not just useful in the professional arena. Abel says the program aims just as much at helping these women, many of them single mothers, prepare healthy meals for their children.
Abel says the program also inspires a sense of confidence in marginalized women — people who tend to lack that confidence. “There is a stigma on women, especially if they are using food stamps, abused, or suffering from chronic health conditions, that they are in some way less than. That in some way, they should be doing better.” But holding a certificate of achievement from the culinary program, she says, gives a sense of empowerment and purpose and puts new goals into motion.
Zaman’s goal is to make the program self-sustainable — to earn enough revenue selling the foods they make to employ the program’s graduates and to support the program itself indefinitely. The grant from Impact100 will expedite the process, Abel says. “We will be able to purchase things like an industrial dishwashing machine and a 75-qt. stand mixer — things that will help us increase volume of product, which equals more revenue which, equals stability in our program!”
For more information, visit zamaninternational.org.
Try Your Hand at Cooking With These 3 Recipes from Zaman International’s Culinary Program
Roasted Vegetables with Pasta
This recipe helps novices learn the importance of seasoning and to experiment with different spice and herb blends. Serves 4-6.
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 zucchini, julienned
1 red onion, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp. of your personal spice or herb blend and Parmesan
1 lb. pasta of choice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees while bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Keep simmering while your vegetables are being prepared.
In a large bowl, combine the sliced peppers, zucchini, and onions and drizzle with EVOO. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and your herb blend over the vegetables. Toss well with your hands. On a baking sheet lined with tinfoil, evenly distribute the vegetables. Roast for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Salt the boiling water and add pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente, and drain. In a large mixing bowl, add vegetables and pasta together. Add 2 Tbsp.- ½ cup EVOO to pasta and more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with an herb blend of choice and Parmesan. Serve while hot.
Classic Stir Fry
This Asian-inspired dish is best cooked in a wok, so the heat is evenly distributed and the vegetables don’t become mushy. Serves 2.
2 Tbsp. peanut or sunflower oil
1 chicken breast, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp. chili paste (optional)
½ broccoli head, chopped
1 cup bok choy, chopped
1 carrot, julienned
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup rice
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-size pot, add rice, water, a pinch of salt, and 1 tsp. of oil. Simmer
on medium-low heat until water is fully absorbed. Take the pot off the heat, cover,
and let steam.
In a wok or large sauté pan, heat the oil on medium-high. Carefully place chicken in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and stir often until the chicken is cooked through. Lower heat and make a well in the center of the pan. Add a bit more oil if the pan is dry, and add the garlic and ginger. Mix in chili paste if preferred. Stir for a few seconds or until garlic turns pale yellow. Add the broccoli, bok choy, and carrots and toss well. Pour in the soy sauce and let vegetables cook until vibrant in color.
Spoon the rice into a bowl, top with the stir fry, and serve while hot.
Web Exclusive: Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is great way to learn how salt brings out the flavor of everything — including sweets! Also, consider using a mixture of white, dark, and milk chocolate.
7 oz. dark chocolate chips
7 oz. milk chocolate chips
12 ½ oz. all-purpose white flour
8 oz. softened unsalted butter
8 oz. light brown sugar
7 oz. white sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour into a bowl. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Combine butter, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, then increase to medium and beat until light and fluffy (about five minutes). With the mixer running, crack in the egg and continue beating until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add the flour and chocolate mixture. Mix to form a dough.
Divide into ball-shaped portions using a 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop. Arrange at least 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie mound with a generous amount of kosher salt. Bake until puffed and golden around the edges (about 12-15 minutes).
Cool on a baking sheet until set (about five minutes) and then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy.