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UNCP COOKS HEALTHY: University’s HEALTH Committee produces a cookbook

May 20, 2014

When UNC Pembroke’s HEALTH Committee decided to produce a cookbook it was a given that the recipes would be healthy. Who knew healthy could be so diverse and taste so good?

UNCP HEALTHY Cookbook“UNCP Cooks Healthy: Recipes from Faculty and Staff of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke” is now available at the cost of $15 through members of the HEALTH Committee.

The cookbook serves up 80 time-tested and family-approved recipes from appetizers to desserts and everything in between. The Artichoke-Rosemary Tart with Polenta is a great foundation for a vegetarian meal, and the Buffalo Chicken Casserole recipe offers a tasty alternative to its less-healthy counterpart.  The book contains a variety of ethnic foods and an entire section of healthy Native American dishes.

Every recipe comes with the familiar nutrition label and includes a healthy eating factoid: “Did you know that cabbage has the highest amounts of the most powerful antioxidants found among vegetables. These compounds also lower LDL, the bad cholesterol and protect against disease.”

And who knew that cooking up a cookbook could be so much fun? The HEALTH Committee ate very well as they were putting the book together.  “We couldn’t just edit the cookbook.  Lucky for us, we had to taste it as well!”  Health Committee chair Kristen Anderson remarked.  

Annette Straub of the Office of Enrollment Management was book editor, and Dr. Tulla Lightfoot of the Art Department, provided the illustrations. The cover design was contributed by Vivienne Leaven, an art student.

“Favorite recipes are very personal and rooted in family tradition,” said Anderson, whose day job is director of advancement services for the Office of Advancement. “UNCP has so many great cooks.  We are fortunate our UNCP faculty and staff shared their talents with us.”

Proving that good cooks may be found everywhere, recipes came from all corners of campus. From the Library, June Power contributed a recipe for Butternut Squash and Oyster Stew. From the American Indian Studies/History departments, Dr. Rose Stremlau offered Manoomin (the Ojibwe word for wild rice) and Stuffed Pumpkin.

From the Athletic Training Program, Beverly Justice served up Carrot, Green Apple and Mint Salad. From the Chancellor’s office, Lisa Canada says Mint Chickpea Salad with Couscous is easy, tasty and healthy. From the Division of Information Technology, Liz Cummings contributed a foolproof recipe for Sweet Potato Fries.

And from the Chancellor’s Residence, Sarah Carter, wife of Chancellor Kyle Carter, contributed several recipes including Cheddar Cheese Nut Bread and a Chimichurri Sauce that she says freezes well in an ice cube tray.

“The wonderful thing about this cookbook is that it tells the story of our campus through the recipes submitted,” Carter said. “If you look at the categories and the cross section of faculty and staff who submitted recipes, you get a wonderful representation of UNC Pembroke.

“It is also the product of two years of hard work, thoughtful conversations and a lot of editing and proofreading, calling on the many talents of our committee members and others across campus,” she continued. “The HEALTH Committee is a great team and we share a strong commitment to improving the health and wellness of our campus. I feel honored to be a part of this committee and this particular project. The love of cooking food for those we love is a universal joy.”  

Many communities of cooks from churches to ladies clubs have put their stamp on culinary history. Sharing ideas and recipes is a fundamental part of community life. “UNCP Cooks Healthy” is one way this university community is striving to connect with you.

The HEALTH Committee is a worksite wellness program, striving to support the health and wellness of the UNCP community. It has launched several healthy programs including the HawkWalk campus walking trail, yoga classes, health and stress management seminars, and fitness classes and challenges.

For more information about “UNCP Cooks Healthy,” please contact Kristen Anderson at (910) 775-4379 or email To purchase a copy, please contact Keats Ellis at the UNCP Bookstore at (910) 521-6693 or email