NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

May 14, 2014

A helping of honesty

West Newbury woman teaches that healthy doesn't have to be hard

Cooking healthy meals at home doesn’t have to be a daunting process, something that a West Newbury woman is demonstrating with her new business.

“I definitely feel like people want to move toward healthy cooking, but they don’t know how,” said Jane Ciccone, co-founder and head cooking instructor of Onesto Foods. “I hope to show people that eating healthy and eating honest is delicious.”

For the past few years, Ciccone has been the cooking team leader at Play Makers Family Enrichment Center in Rowley, where she helps children create healthy dishes. With many of the kids’ parents interested in what they could do to continue the lessons at home, the idea for Onesto Foods was born.

“I’d be getting so many questions,” Ciccone said. “I just felt there was a need in the community.”

Ciccone and her husband, Jesse, launched the company this past January. They chose the name “Onesto,” which means honest in Italian, to reflect an emphasis on “real” food.

“We’re both Italian, and we kept going back to the word ‘honest,’” Ciccone said. “It was just easy for us to come up with that.”

Ciccone taught her first class to a group of mothers from Play Makers, and the business has taken off from there. She has given both private and group lessons to busy parents, couples and others looking to learn to eat healthier at home. Her packages include options such as children’s snacks, comfort foods, soups, desserts and romantic dinners, as well as a farmers market meal, which is made with ingredients that participants help select from the Newburyport Farmers’ Market.

One of her most popular themes is “What Every Cook Should Know,” which teaches basic skills such as hard-boiling eggs and making simple sauces, dressings and marinades.

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