Nutrition is N.I.C.E.!

In the beginning of October we kicked off a nutrition education program called N.I.C.E., the Nutrition Initiative & Cooking Education program.  N.I.C.E. classes are held twice a week at various partner agency host sites throughout Orange County.

Participating partner agencies attend our one hour class which features a fresh fruit or vegetable.  During the class, agencies learn how to prepare the fruit or vegetable in a recipe. At the end of each class, agencies are given a nutritional handout and a copy of the recipe they made that day.

Our partner agencies are encouraged to give these handouts to their clients and to also prepare the recipes in their community kitchens. Huge thanks goes out to the Orlando Sentinel for generously funding this program.  Second Harvest is excited to nurture a healthier community with them! The University of Florida’s – IFAS Extension also partners with us to teach the classes.

Cucumbers are the vegetable we are highlighting through the month of October!  Below is the tasty recipe we have been demonstrating, along with some agency comments.  Try it at home.  We promise you won’t be disappointed!

“It’s good that we can try it before handing it out.”

 “Very good. I could make this at home.”

This recipe can be adjusted to fit personal preference.  “If it’s not hot, it’s not right.”  Adding cayenne pepper was not optional for Sandra from the ReachBack Foundation.

Cucumber & Chick Pea Salad


1 (14 ounce) cans chickpeas ( rinsed and drained)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons oregano ( fresh or 1 tsp. dried)

fresh ground pepper

4 cups cucumbers ( peeled and diced)

3/4 cup red bell peppers ( chopped)

1/2 cup feta cheese ( crumbled)

1/4 cup red onions ( slivered)

4 tablespoons black olives ( chopped)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)


  1. Whisk, vinegar, oil, oregano and pepper in a large bowl until combined.
  2. Add cucumber, drained & rinsed chick peas, bell pepper, feta cheese, onion and olives, toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow veggies to meld.


Cucumber & Chick Pea Salad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.