Cornelius author’s cookbook provides recipes for ‘healthy-tasty fun’
Monday, Dec. 02, 2013

Cornelius author’s cookbook provides recipes for ‘healthy-tasty fun’

Jill Dahan prepares to cook on “Charlotte Today.”

Jill Dahan wants to inspire people to “be more mindful and in control of what they eat, cook more at home, and feel better.”

To help accomplish that mission, she wrote, designed and published a cookbook, titled “Starting Fresh! Recipes for Life.”

Dahan said the recipes in her cookbook “are designed to help people to nourish themselves and their families.”

Recently in a local grocery store, Dahan said, “I was doing a tasting and offered a woman a sample. She asked me, ‘Is this dreadful, like healthy-nasty?’ After she ate my food, she agreed that it was healthy-tasty fun.

“Healthy food is not a sentence,” she said. “You can serve my food to people who don’t even like healthy food, and they like it. My recipes are simple enough to be cooked by people who have never cooked.”

She’ll give a live TV demonstration 11 a.m.-noon Dec. 9 on WCNC’s (channel 6) “Charlotte Today.” She’ll give another 2-4 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Country Book Shop in Southern Pines.

Dahan said she “always cooked with my mom and grandmother. … When I moved to England, I expanded my repertoire. I met people from different cultures from all over the world.

“I had one profession for years, but after my three sons were born, someone said I should teach cooking classes,” she said. “I had never even been to a cooking class. But I started offering cooking classes in the village.

“When we moved to the USA, I continued offering cooking classes. I’ve found it a great way to meet people, give back and inspire people,” Dahan said.

“I do many of my classes for charity: at Ada Jenkins, for the Heart Association, cancer societies, schools. The proceeds from my cookbook all go to Boston Children’s Hospital.”

Dahan focused on even healthier cooking “when my oldest son got acne. … The doctor offered him really strong drugs with side effects. We decided to first try treatment with food. Within two weeks, his acne cleared up.

“So many things you can alter in your life by just changing your diet and paying attention. Changing my son’s diet helped with his whole self.

“My middle son became ill, and the treatments were horrible. Then I really delved into the power of food. His body needed to work harder to nourish him back to health.

“But good food is not just for the people who’ve had illness,” Dahan said. “It’s for all of us.”

“Starting Fresh!” is sold on her website; at Earth Fare in Huntersville, where she also teaches cooking classes; at Papaya Papers and the Brow Lounge in Cornelius; and at the Village Store in Davidson.

You can also hire Dahan, who lives in The Peninsula neighborhood in Cornelius, to teach cooking privately or for group classes.

For information, for recipes to try and to buy Jill Dahan’s book, go to

Lisa Daidone is a freelance writer for Lake Norman News. Have a story idea for Lisa? Email her at

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more