Café 91 Teaches Low Cost, Healthy Meals

Chef Hanna demonstrates how to prepare the meal

November 22, 2019 - 10:54 AM

Students enjoy low cost mealAs Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week comes to a close, the new, student-run restaurant Café 91 was enlisted to teach how to shop and prepare healthy, low cost meals. Fifty students got to learn and eat a full meal (appetizer, main course and dessert) that only cost $3.50 in ingredients.



Professor Cammayo and students

Nutrition professor Christina Cammayo began with a presentation on general guidelines for healthy eating and cost-conscious shopping.

Student chefs at Cafe 91


The students that run Café 91 were in the kitchen preparing the meals while Culinary professor and chef Richard Hanna (who oversees Café 91) and Cammayo were teaching  in the dining room.





Students chefs serve the meal they made

The student chefs then served their meals to the student guests.

 Professor Cammayo speaking

Cammayo began her presentation by sharing alarming statistics of food insecurity. More than 10% of the world’s population is food insecure. Amongst Mt. SAC students, that number is over four times as much.





Chef Hanna whips up a dish


Hanna broke down the general strategies of cooking a low cost meal, and how flexible and quick it can be. When he made the parfait dessert, he suggested students make their own granola and showed them how.


Adding salt

Hanna likes to flavor his dishes with salt and other spices, but Cammayo warned students of the dangers of too much salt in a diet.

Lab Tech Alex Carrillo

Faculty consider the lab techs Alex Carrillo (foreground) and Marianne Lima (standing in background wearing black) the unsung heroes of Café 91’s success. Alex oversees the students in the kitchen, while Marianne handles the front of house operation.

Professor Cammayo speaksProfessor Cammayo stressed to students, they should use produce that is in season. “It will taste better because it’s fresh and will be cheaper.”

 Chef Hanna“Any of these recipes can be made with whatever you like,” said Chef Hanna. “If you don’t like carrots, then use something else, like celery. Substitute tuna for chicken. I don’t like to follow recipes. I like to use what’s fresh, what I have on hand.”

Student guests enjoy the meal

Nevertheless, students were given handouts of the recipes made at the demonstration.  Find those listed below.  

The Cafe 91 crew

There is a sense of satisfaction in a job well done. The students, staff and faculty of Café 91. 

Roasted Edamame & Garbanzo Beans

Roasted Edamame & Garbanzo BeansINGREDIENTS

  • 12-ounce package frozen shelled edamame, thawed (10 pkgs)
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, strained
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (1 Qt.)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Few cracks of freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan (2#)
  • Zest of 1 medium-sized lemon (about 1 tablespoon)



Spread mixture on baking sheet and roast in over at 350 degrees until browned. 

Curry Chicken Salad

  • Soy-Free
  • Diabetic Appropriate
  • Healthy Immunity
  • Heart Healthy

Curry Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS - 1 serving

  • 2 ounces ( ½ can) canned chicken in water, drained (5 #’s)
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat plain Greek yogurt (1 qt.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 raisins, chopped (12 oz. box)
  • 2 almonds or cashews, chopped (1#)
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 box 100%-whole-wheat crackers (4 boxes)
  • Fresh cilantro (4 bunches)
Curry Chicken SaladINSTRUCTIONS
Combine chicken, yogurt, oil, raisins, almonds (or cashews), carrot, curry powder, cumin (if using), salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Lightly toast bread, if desired. Spread the chicken mixture on the bread. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.


Omega-3 Granola (as Parfait)



  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped course
  • 3 cups rolled oats (steel cut or old fashioned kind – NOT quick cooking or instant)
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • Plain Greek yogurt and fruit for serving
Student enjoys the parfait INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Toast almonds and walnuts in a skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the oats and oil, cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and stir in honey, flaxseeds, and salt.
  5. Spread on baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes
  7. Add raisins and let granola cool for 30 minutes.
  8. Break up granola into small clusters, and serve with yogurt and fruit.
 Serves 12: ½ cup servings


For more information on hunger and homelessness, please contact our Basic Needs Resource Program.

Visit here for reservations or more information on Café 91.