Recipe for Health

January 1, 1998

Judith Zwolak

The nutritional value may vary, but all of the recipes in the new cookbook compiled by Tulane medical students are ultimately good for the health of New Orleans residents. The health benefits come not so much from the nutritional content of the recipes in Gastronomical Offerings, the Tulane Medical School Class of 2000-plus Cookbook, but from the proceeds of its sales.

All money raised supports the Tulane Life Support Society, a group of students that provides free classes in basic life-support techniques and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to community organizations such as daycare centers. Katharina Truelove, a second-year medical student, began compiling the cookbook last year as part of her community-service requirement for the Foundations in Medicine course, which mandates 20 hours of volunteer work from first-year medical students.

"It all started in the spring of last year when a couple of us students were talking over lunch about some of our recipes and decided we should swap them," Truelove says. "We then had the idea to develop a cookbook and use the proceeds to support the volunteer work of students."

The cookbook, which sells for $7 at the hospital gift shop and in the uptown and downtown campus bookstores ($5 for medical students), contains 138 recipes from medical school faculty members and students. A group of about 30 students helped gather and type recipes.

"There are lots of easy recipes," Truelove says. "One stipulation was that the recipes from students had to be something they cooked while in medical school." Some dishes, however, could put Martha Stewart to shame. "We have gourmet-type recipes from some of the professors that have actually won awards," Truelove says.

Ethnic dishes also populate the cookbook, she adds. A native of Hawaii, Truelove contributed such recipes as "Kalua Pork," a marinated meat dish, and "Haupia," Hawaiian coconut pudding. Sales of Gastronomical Offerings will help the Tulane Life Support Society buy supplies for its classes and CPR books for the community members it trains. Truelove says the students hope to raise $1,000 through the project.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000