What’s Cooking: Pickles

pickle classOur August classes take place while the garden is at its peak and we use that bounty to make pickles! Many of the herbs in the garden are going to seed at that point in the year, so we harvest seeds from dill and coriander to make pickling spice. That pickling spice went into pickled chard that all our cooking class students brought home. This spice mix and brine is a great use for any vegetables you have an overabundance of.

Upcoming classes have some great themes including veggies burgers, apples, whole grains, and orange foods for Halloween. Sign up is for individual class so you can pick the ones that fit in your child’s schedule.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Between Two Buns – Monday, September 30th, 2019, 4-6pm

Apples! – Thursday, October 24th, 2019, 4-6pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Whole Grain Goodness – Wednesday, September 25th, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

Beta Carotene Monster – Wednesday, October 9th, 2019, 4-5pm

Beta Carotene Monster – Monday, October 28th, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

Pickling spice

Adapted from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan

  • 1 tablespoon crushed bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed

Put all spices in a small bag or jar and shake to combine. 

Pickled Chard Stems

Adapted from Love and Lemons

Ingredients

  • about 1 cup chard stems (halved lengthwise if thick)
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Add vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to your jar. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add in the pickling spice. 

Chop your chard stems so they fit in your jar. 

Place the chopped stems and sliced shallot in a jar, cover them with the brine and refrigerate overnight before eating them.

What’s Cooking: Pesto Pasta Salad

What's cooking

Pesto is summer turned into a perfect sauce. In our July cooking classes we picked herbs and greens to make an easy pasta dish you can enjoy hot or cold at a picnic. This easy vegan recipe is packed with vegetables and whole grains to please and nourish.

Our September classes return to the after-school times, but we will still be harvesting from the learning garden for each class! We hope your child can join us to learn about delicious whole grains or make veggie burgers.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Between Two Buns – Monday, September 30th, 2019, 4-6pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Whole Grain Goodness – Tuesday, September 17th, 2019, 4-5pm

Whole Grain Goodness – Wednesday, September 25th, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

Pesto Pasta Salad with Kale

  • 1 lb whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and ripped into small pieces

Pesto Ingredients

  • 3 cups washed herbs and greens, such as basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, kale, or spinach
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup shelled sunflower seeds or nuts such as pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, or almonds
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (the yellow from the outside of the lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the pesto: Puree all ingredients in a food processor.

Put pasta in boiling, salted water. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until not quite done. Toss pasta and kale with pesto and serve!

Read the rest of the August Sprout here!

What’s Cooking: Lemon Salad Dressing

_DSF1752We’re deep into salad season. There is nothing better than picking fresh vegetables right from the garden, making a quick vinaigrette and tossing together a salad. We’ve made dressing with kids as young as 2, who got great joy from picking the oregano, squeezing the lemons, measuring out the other ingredients, and giving everything a good shake in a jar (which you can do instead of the whisking suggested below).

Salad dressing is so easily adapted based on your tastes and the dish you’re making, so we hope you’ll give making it a try at home. There is still time for your child to join us in the garden this summer for more harvesting, cooking, and eating.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Pickle Party – Wednesday, August 7th, 2019, 2:30-4:30pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Garden Scavenger Hunt – Thursday, August 1st, 2019, 2:30-3:30

Garden Scavenger Hunt – Tuesday, August 13th, 2019, 2:30-3:30

Lemon Oregano Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • A few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil. While whisking, slowly add in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Read the rest of the July Sprout here!

What’s Cooking: Basil Lemonade

_DSF1887The theme for May’s cooking class was hydration: absolutely vital, but also an easy way to over-consume sugar. We talked about why it is bad to ingest too much sugar, and then in the younger classes made smoothies, and in the older classes we made smoothies, basil-mint lemonade, and a DIY sports drink.

This lemonade is much lower in sugar than the normal offering, incredibly refreshing, and easy to adapt with garden herbs. Hopefully your child can join us for a class in July, where we’ll spend more time in the garden learning about herbs!

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Herbal Mania – Thursday, July 18th, 2019, 2:30-4:30pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Pesto Power – Tuesday, July 9th, 2019, 2:30-3:30

Pesto Power – Monday, July 15th, 2019, 2:30-3:30

Basil-Mint Lemonade

Adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Ingredients:

  • approximately ½ cup of fresh basil leaves (regular basil, lemon basil, or thai basil)
  • a dozen mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • juice from 2-3 lemons (½ cup lemon juice)
  • 4 cups of water

Directions:

Using a muddler or a spoon, muddle the basil & mint leaves with the sugar until the leaves are crushed at the bottom of a pitcher. Add the lemon juice and water. Stir well to combine. Chill and serve. 

Read the rest of the June Sprout here!

What’s Cooking: Carrot Pancakes

carrot class no nameIt seems like all kids are excited about pancakes. What makes these special is they are made with whole wheat flour and a serious dose of vegetables: grated carrots! Kids love getting to use the graters in our cooking classes, and we make sure everyone stays safe by using these cut-resistant work gloves. Try the recipe below and let us know what you and your kids think!

Our June classes will have us finally in the garden! We’ll pick lettuce and make salad dressings.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Salad Daze – Monday, June 10th, 2019, 4-6pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Not-So-Hidden Valley – Thursday, June 6th, 2019, 4-5pm

Not-So-Hidden Valley – Wednesday, June 12th, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

Carrot Pancakes

Adapted from cookieandkate.com

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup soy milk (dairy or nut milk also work great)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: egg, brown sugar, soy milk, and vanilla.

Stir the carrots into the wet ingredients, and then dump them into the dry.

Stir until the batter is just incorporated and not any longer! Overmixing batter makes for tough pancakes. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Pour ¼ cup of the batter at a time on to the skillet. Wait until you see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake, and then check for doneness by peeking under the edge of the pancake. Flip the pancakes, and cook for about 5 minutes longer.

Serve with maple syrup, yogurt, or your favorite pancake topping.

Photo by Norm Eggert.

Read the rest of the May Sprout!

 

What’s Cooking: Cauliflower Tacos

cauliflowerWe always strive to make fun recipes in cooking classes, but the success of these surprised even us. Kids loved making their own taco seasoning, and then using it to spice this super-flavorful taco filling. Use this taco seasoning recipe as a baseline, and then adjust to your own tastes.

This cauliflower can also be used in burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, sandwiches, pizza, and whatever else you think it would be good on!

May classes are filling up so sign up now, and check out the full summer schedule:

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Rethink Your Drink – Thursday, May 2nd, 2019, 4-6pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Scrumptious Smoothies – Monday, May 6th, 2019, 4-5pm

Scrumptious Smoothies – Wednesday, May 8th, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

The full schedule is here.

Taco Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Taco seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon chili powder

To make taco seasoning: mix all spices in a bowl or jar.

To make cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the cauliflower into ½ inch florets. On a large baking sheet toss the cauliflower in oil, taco seasoning, and salt. Split the cauliflower between 2 baking sheets. Roast for 15 minutes, then toss, and roast for 10 minutes more until browning at the edges.

Read the rest of the April Sprout!

What’s Cooking: Chocolate Beet Muffins

whats cookingDid you know there are 56 grams of sugar in a 20 ounce Gatorade? You would have to eat 4 bananas to get that same amount of sugar from fruit (if that’s even possible!). And when you eat those bananas instead, you are actually full from all the fiber, you get a host of additional vitamins and minerals, and time for your body to absorb them as you digest.

For our February cooking classes we talked about sugar and how easy it so over-consume when you are having processed sweets and drinks. The recommended daily maximum for men is 38 grams (9 teaspoons) and for women is 25 grams (6 teaspoons). Both are less than that single Gatorade. Using fruits and vegetables to satisfy our sweet tooth can be just as delicious (or even more so) than desserts using processed sugar.

These chocolate beet muffins were very popular in our February classes. If your child didn’t get to join us in class, they can try making them at home with the recipe below.  Our April classes are all about breakfast:

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Breakfast Bonanza – Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019, 4-6pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Pancake Party – Wednesday, April 24th, 2019, 4-5pm

Pancake Party – Thursday, April 25th, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

Chocolate Beet Muffins

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup beet puree
  • ¼  cup maple syrup, agave, or honey (pick ONE of these to use)
  • ⅓  cup brown sugar
  • ¼  teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½  teaspoon baking soda (1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon, or ½ teaspoon measured 3 times)
  • ¼  cup vegetable oil
  • ¼  cup soy milk
  • ½  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ⅓ cups wheat flour (1 cup + ⅓ cup)
  • ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips + more for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a mini muffin tray with paper liners.

Whisk ground flax and water in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes. Measure the rest of the ingredients while you wait.

Add beet puree, oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk for 45 seconds.

Stir in the soy milk and whisk once more.

Add cocoa powder and flour and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. The batter should be quite thick. 

Lastly, stir in chocolate chips. Then divide batter evenly between muffin tins (they should be filled just to the top).

Bake for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, remove from tins and let cool on a cooling rack. Will keep covered for several days. Freeze for longer-term storage.

Read the rest of the March Sprout!

Photo by Norm Eggert.

What’s Cooking: Crispy Chickpeas

cooking classesOur first classes of the year were all about easy and satiating snacks. We made these crunchy chickpeas, which can be easily customized with your favorite spice blend. Let us know what flavor you make!

Our March classes are finally tackling a much requested topic: TACOS! Our Broccoli Head Chefs will be making every part of the taco: tortillas, filling, and salsa. Celery Sous Chefs will be starting with the basics and just making filling and salsa.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

$40/child

Taco Time – Tuesday, March 12th, 2019, 4-6pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

$20/child

Taco Time – Monday, March 25th, 2019, 4-5pm

Taco Time – Thursday, March 28th, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

Crispy Chickpeas

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons spices or finely chopped herbs, such as chili powder, curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, etc (see options below)

Ranch Spice:

  • ½ teaspoon dill
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • A few grinds of black pepper

Taco Spice:

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
  2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Open the cans of chickpeas and pour the chickpeas into a strainer in the sink. Rinse thoroughly under running water.
  3. Dry the chickpeas. Pat the chickpeas very dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels. They should look matte and feel dry to the touch; if you have time, leave them to air-dry for a few minutes. Remove any chickpea skins that come off while drying, but otherwise don’t worry about them.
  4. Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and your chosen spices. Spread the chickpeas out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the chickpeas for 20 to 30 minutes. A few chickpeas may pop – that’s normal. The chickpeas are done when golden and slightly darkened, dry and crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle. For extra crispy chickpeas: turn the oven off when they are done but leave the chickpeas in the oven as it cools.

 

What’s Cooking: Mini Taco Cups

cooking class

Our last classes of the year focused on easy, healthful recipes chock-full of protein that can be made for a party. These taco cups were a huge hit and could just as easily be made for a weeknight dinner. Yes, you could use ground meat of some kind, but they are definitely worth trying with beans! With all of the topping options, meat isn’t even missed.

If this looks like a recipe your child would like, check out the taco classes we’ll be running in March along with the rest of the 2019 cooking class schedule here.

January Classes:

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Super Soup – Wednesday, January 30th, 2019, 4-6pm

Soup is a nutritious, warming, one-pot meal! We’ll learn to build layers of flavor to make delicious, vegetarian soups with simple pantry ingredients and vegetables.

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

***Please note these classes are the same topic but take place at different times and on different days of the week***

Snack Attack – Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

Snack Attack – Monday, January 28th, 2019, 4-5pm (only 3 spots left!)

When you are hungry in between meals it is easy to reach for a bag of chips or a cookie…but wait! If we think ahead we can make healthy snacks that can hold us over until the next meal.

Taco Cups

Makes 24 mini muffin tacos

Filling:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (frozen is fine, but thaw before you start)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Assembly and toppings:

  • Whole wheat tortillas (5 if using 12”)
  • 1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese
  • Optional toppings: salsa, sour cream or Greek yogurt, avocado or guacamole, diced jalapenos, shredded lettuce or cabbage, tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the black beans until they form a chunky paste. Add in the corn, cumin, oregano, paprika, chili powder (if using) and salt. Stir to combine.

Cut the tortillas into 9 pieces by cutting it evenly into thirds in one direction, and then in thirds again (if you are using regular muffin tins just do fourths). Spray or oil the muffin tin and press the tortilla pieces to fit. Put a spoonful of the filling into each tortilla piece, and then top with a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake taco cups for 10 minutes, or until the tortilla edges are crispy and the cheese is melted.

Serve with your choice of toppings and enjoy!

What’s Cooking: Beta Carotene

carrotsOur October cooking classes were bittersweet because they were the last ones we spent in the garden. Even though most of the garden was put to bed, we still harvested kale, carrots, beets, dill, sage, cilantro, and parsley. In our apple cooking classes we used local apples for an apple tasting and then the Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds) made baked apple oatmeal and apple slices topped with their choice of toppings including sun butter, coconut flakes, dried fruit, and mini chocolate chips. The Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds) made the same baked oatmeal, plus a raw apple crisp and a kale salad with apples and beets.

Our Halloween classes featured beta carotene. Both ages learned about the health benefits of this vibrant pigment that can be found in carrots, pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe (and other plants too!). It helps our eyes be able to see (but doesn’t improve vision), helps with growth and development, and supports a healthy immune system. The Celery Sous Chef classes made two festive dips: a pumpkin white bean dip and a black bean dip. The Broccoli Head Chef class made both of those dips plus a roasted butternut squash, apple and leek soup, and a grated carrot salad.

This carrot salad does take a bit of work grating, but it was a big hit! The kids wear a pair of these gloves while grating as extra protection against cuts.

Our cooking classes are almost done for the year, but a few are still open! The 2019 schedule will be posted in December.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Magic Eggs – Tuesday, November 27th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

It’s a Party! – Monday, December 10th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Shredded Carrot Salad

Recipe adapted from My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Leibovitz

  • 2 pounds carrots
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped herbs such as parsley or chives

Using the large holes of a box grater (or using a food processor), grate the carrots.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, salt, mustard, sugar, and lemon juice. Toss the grated carrots in the dressing with the chopped herbs.