Cindy Gershen, Farm to Taste

New food column helps you change what’s on your plate

Cindy Gershen, Farm to TasteCONCORD, CA (Mar. 17, 2023) — Editor’s note: In her new column for the Pioneer, chef Cindy Gershen will help change your palate and give you another chance at good health.

I’m on a mission to break people of the sugar and processed food habit in the kitchen and the fast food habit in our culture.

I am an entrepreneur, the chef and owner for 40 years of Sunrise Bistro and Catering in Walnut Creek (it’s now owned by my son Joe). At Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, I taught culinary and nutrition sustainable business practices for a dozen years. I have many ideas about making your kitchen a simple and healthy place, concepts that went into a book in 2014, “The Fat Chance Cookbook, More Than 100 Recipes Ready in Under 30 Minutes to Help You Lose the Sugar and the Weight.”

I am developing web-based and live cooking classes to help the many people who want to make healthy changes and don’t know where to start. When people learn to cook healthier meals without processed foods, they find their palates changing within a couple of weeks. Their longing for sugar starts to go away.

The idea is to reduce the incidence of diabetes and metabolic syndrome in our culture. I will teach you how to protect your liver, feed your gut and clear your mind – right from your own kitchen.

Back to school

It’s time to go back to school. This is the class everyone missed in childhood. Go on this journey with us. I am going to take everything I taught in the classroom and share it with the community.

If you are reading this article, you are becoming a student. Everyone is welcome in this healthy class. Here’s your assignment: Read the article every month and try the recipe.

By doing so, you are helping to develop the cookbook “Another Chance,” coming out next spring. Let us know how you’re doing at

Eggplant Lasagna

Makes 3-4 servings per eggplant

1 large eggplant
8 oz. prepared marinara sauce
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

For filling:
4 oz. defrosted chopped spinach
8 oz. ricotta cheese
2 oz. shredded Jack cheese
2 oz. shredded Parmesan
1 T fresh minced garlic or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
One tsp. pepper

Cut eggplant in ½-inch slices. Place slices in a bowl with salt water and soak for 5 minutes. Put slices in frying pan with 2 inches of salted water; pan-fry until fork tender.

For each serving, weigh out 5 ounces of eggplant slices and 4 ounces of the ricotta filling. Take the 5-ounce portion of slices and stack with ricotta filling in between each slice. Spread 2 ounces of marinara sauce on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

Send questions and comments to

Cindy Gershen
Cindy Gershen

Cindy Gershen is an educator, nutritionist, chef, and co-author of “Fat Chance Cookbook.”