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.

 

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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.

What’s Cooking: Whole Grains

What's Cooking - October.PNGIn our September cooking class we learned about whole grains! First we started with what a grain is (the seed from many different plants in the grass family) and examined the seeds from the winter rye we grow as cover crop on the farm. Then we talked about the difference between a whole grain and a refined grain. A grain is made up for 3 parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ. The majority of the nutrients and fiber are in the bran and germ, which are removed when a grain is refined (like when making white rice or white flour). The benefit to refining is the grain product can last longer, but it is not nearly as nutritious. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends the majority of the grains we eat be whole grains.

Our recipe for the class was a salad with farro, a kind of wheat that is often consumed as the whole seed (like rice), as opposed to ground in to a flour. It cooks up in about 20 minutes, and freezes well. Since we still had summer produce to work with we made the salad with tomatoes and peaches, but this is easily adaptable with other vegetables. Root vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, asparagust, and just about any other vegetables you can think of would be great.

Coming up we have classes featuring orange foods for Halloween, eggs, pizza, and party food for the holiday season! All classes are open enrollment, and proceeds support our hunger relief efforts.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

The Beta Carotene Monster – Tuesday, October 30th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

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

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

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

The Beta Carotene Monster – Tuesday, October 23rd, 4-5pm

Personalize Your Pizza – Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, 4-5pm

Delightful Dips – Monday, December 3rd, 2018, 4-5pm

 

Summer Farro Salad

Adapted from https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/summer-farro-salad/

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 5 kale leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 large peaches, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved) or chopped tomato
  • 1 cup corn (raw or frozen)
  • A large handful basil, torn into pieces

For the dressing:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a jar combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Shake to combine.
  2. In a large bowl combine the farro, greens, peaches, tomatoes, corn, and basil. Add the dressing and toss to combine.

What’s Cooking: Fresh from the Garden

cooking class in the garden - names removed.pngSummer has been so much fun in the garden! We start each class learning about vegetables and then harvesting what we are going to cook with. In August we made pico de gallo in our salsa class, ginger pickled beets in our pickles class, and these green pancakes in our garden scavenger hunt class.  Pancakes are almost universally loved, and this savory green pancake packs in vegetables and is as easy as putting everything in a blender. We used soy milk in the class to make them dairy free, and you could certainly use different flours as well. Flipping pancakes is the most difficult part of this recipe, so we practiced! Each kid got a piece of paper with a circle on it, a cardboard coaster, and a spatula. They practiced flipping the coasters over in the circle before they did the real thing.

The garden still has plenty to harvest through September. At the end of this month we’ll focus on whole grains, then have our apple classes, and end October with our classes featuring orange foods while we learn about beta carotene! All classes are open enrollment, and proceeds support our hunger relief efforts.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Apples Apples Apples! – Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

The Beta Carotene Monster – Tuesday, October 30th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Apples Apples Apples! – Tuesday, October 9th, 2018, 4-5pm

The Beta Carotene Monster – Tuesday, October 23rd, 4-5pm

The full schedule is available on our website and Facebook events page.

Green Pancakes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 2 cups (475 ml) whole milk or soy milk
  • 2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 10 fresh chives, snipped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Leaves from 10 parsley sprigs
  • 5 large or 10 small Swiss chard leaves, center ribs removed, roughly chopped or ripped
  • Neutral oil for the pan

To serve: Plain, thick yogurt mixed with a little lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, to taste

If you’d like to keep your finished pancakes warm while you cook them: Heat oven to 250 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.

Make the batter: Put everything except the Swiss chard and oil in a blender or food processor and whirl until the batter is smooth. Scrape down sides. Add chard leaves and pulse machine until they’re chopped to your desired consistency.

Cook the pancakes: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in a a bit of oil. Spoon in about 3 tablespoons batter in per pancake. Cook until browned underneath then flip, cooking on the other side until browned again. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and then, if you’d like to keep them warm, to the foil-lined tray in the oven.

Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with lemony yogurt or another sauce of your choice.

Do ahead: Unused batter keeps in fridge for 3 days. Finished pancakes keep in fridge for a couple days, and will freeze much longer. Separate pancakes with pieces of waxed or parchment paper so they don’t stick together.

 

What’s Cooking: Out in the Garden

what's cooking augustSummer gardens are overflowing with herbs right now. Even if you don’t have a huge garden space, a few herbs in pots are such a bounty in the kitchen. Soft herbs like cilantro, basil, and dill go to seed easily, and need to be reseeded throughout the summer to have a constant supply. Heartier herbs like oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary can last the winter (either outside or in pots). Herbs are a great way to add flavor and nutrition to foods, but contain very few calories.

We used herbs in many kids cooking classes last month, including Rethink Your Drink (about sugar in beverages), Pesto Power (defining and making pesto), and Herbal Mania (learning about herbs and making herb-focused recipes). This basil lemonade is lower-sugar than your standard offering, but high in flavor and was a huge hit with kids.

This month’s classes all focus on the bounty of the summer garden.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Pepper Pack (2-4 year olds)

  • Tuesday, August 14th and Tuesday, August 28th, 10-11am

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)
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • grated zest and juice from 2-3 lemons (½ cup lemon juice)
  • 4 cups of water
  • ice (crushed & cubes)

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 zest, juice and water. Stir well to combine. Serve over ice (strain if you please).

What’s Cooking: Eat Green!

whats cookingOur June theme was green foods. June is high time for greens in the garden. We have two kinds of kale (curly and Red Russian), rainbow chard, collards, lettuce, and spinach, plus baby beets and radishes which you can eat the greens of! This class started (as the rest of our summer classes will) harvesting from the garden to cook with. Many of the kids expressed that was their favorite part of the class, and we’re so excited to harvest the tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, green beans, beets, carrots and herbs for classes as the summer goes on.

As a bit different way to eat our greens we had them in falafel! Falafel is a chickpea fritter that is usually fried, but we baked ours in the oven. The kids especially loved using the microplane to zest the lemon and forming the falafel balls. Once cooked you can eat them straight (like a chicken nugget, but so much healthier!), on a salad, or in a sandwich.

Green Falafel

Adapted from:

https://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/green-falafel-bowl-recipe.html

Green falafel:

  • 1 pound / 16 ounces spinach or kale, washed, trimmed, cooked, and finely chopped (frozen and defrosted is fine)
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup / 20g grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Combine the eggs, garlic, chickpeas, breadcrumbs, cheese, baking powder, and salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until combined. Transfer to a large bowl, add the lemon zest and chopped spinach, and stir until uniform.

With your hands, form the mixture into small, 1 1/2-inch balls. You should end up with 20-30-ish balls. Place on a baking sheet, smush them down a bit, and put in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until very golden, flipping once along the way.

What’s Cooking: The Nutrient Games

whats cooking.PNGThe theme for last month’s cooking class for 9-12 year olds was The Nutrient Games! We played a board game made by Leanne Matthews, who was an intern last fall. Leanne’s game focuses on different ailments you may encounter in life, like breaking a bone on the playground, having dry skin, or getting hungry halfway through the morning. A certain nutrient is suggested to help with the ailment, and you also collect different foods as you progress around the board. So to heal after a broken bone find foods with calcium, to help your dry skin you look for foods with beta carotene, and to stay full all morning you find foods with fiber. Pairing the ailments with the nutrients that helps cure them advances you around the board towards a healthy future!

For the cooking portion of the class we cooked with superfoods and made a chickpea salad, chia pudding, and fresh rolls. The chia pudding is always a favorite: all it takes to put together is stirring, and you get to watch the magic as the chia seeds absorb the liquid to make a pudding texture. Chia is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium which make for a super-powered, plant-based pudding.

Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Adapted from:

https://minimalistbaker.com/overnight-chocolate-chia-seed-pudding/

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups milk (almond, soy, or dairy milk)
  • ⅓ cup (63 g) chia seeds
  • ¼ cup (24 g) cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • optional: ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • optional: ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except maple syrup to a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Add maple syrup and whisk again until combined.
  2. Let rest covered in the fridge overnight or at least 3-5 hours (or until it’s achieved a pudding-like consistency).
  3. Leftovers keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days, though best when fresh.

 

What’s Cooking: Delicious Quesadillas

whats cookingBoth of our April cooking classes focused on whole grains! Whole grains are grains that are processed with all three parts of the seed included: the bran, endosperm, and germ. The bran is the seed coat and contains antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber. The endosperm is what would feed the growing plant until it can produce its own food, and contains carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of vitamins and minerals. The germ is the embryo that would grow into a new plant and contains B vitamins, protein, minerals, and healthy fats. When a grain is refined, the bran and germ are removed and with them the majority of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Refined grains are less healthy, and don’t keep you feeling full for as long.

The USDA and Harvard Medical School recommend at least 50% of your grain intake be from whole grains, like breads, pasta, and pizza made with whole wheat flour, brown rice, barley, farro, quinoa, and steel cut or rolled oats (not instant). This can be an easy switch by choosing corn or whole wheat tortillas instead of flour, white rice instead of brown, and rolled oats instead of instant.

The Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds) made vegan Sweet Potato Quesadillas and the black bean quesadillas below. Both were huge hits, and easily adapted to the ingredients you have on hand like other kinds of beans, cooked vegetables, and various kinds of cheese (or no cheese!).

Black Bean Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese, such as mozzarella, cheddar, or a blend
  • 5 6-inch whole wheat flour tortillas
  1. Start the food processor and drop the garlic clove in the top. Process until you can’t hear it bouncing around anymore.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add in the black beans, lime juice, cumin, paprika, and salt. Process until a thick paste forms. Add a tablespoon of water if it is not blending. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times to get everything mixed in. (if you don’t have a food processor, minced the garlic, and then combine the rest of the filling ingredients and mash into a paste with a potato masher or fork.)
  3. Make your quesadillas by spreading the bean spread on half of the quesadilla, topping the spread with cheese, and folding it over to form a half moon.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil in a large skillet or on a griddle over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add 2 folded tortillas and cook, swirling and moving tortillas around, until golden brown and puffy on first side, about 2 minutes. Using a flexible metal spatula, flip quesadillas, season with salt, and continue cooking until golden brown and puffy on second side, about 2 minutes longer.
  5. Transfer quesadillas to a paper towel to drain and repeat step 3 to cook remaining quesadillas. Serve immediately.
  6. Quesadillas can also be cooked in the oven by placing them on a baking sheet and putting them in a 400F oven for 10 minutes and flipping them halfway through.

Read more from The Sprout!

Secret Ingredient Desserts

What's cookingOur March cooking classes had an air of mystery about them – we made secret ingredient desserts! We started off by comparing the sugar content of different foods. The kids made pairs of desserts and drinks with fruits that had the same sugar content. Here are a few examples:

56 grams of sugar: 32 ounces of Gatorade or 4 bananas

12 grams of sugar: 1 packet of Gushers or 1 cup of cherries

43 grams of sugar: 1 pack of Skittles or 4 ½ oranges

21 grams of sugar: 1 chocolate chip Clif bar or 3 ½ kiwis

What fills you up faster? 32 ounces of Gatorade or 4 bananas? Definitely the bananas! In all these cases you would be much fuller after eating the fruit, plus you would stay fuller for longer because of the fiber, and you would also benefit from the vitamins and minerals they contain. The drinks and desserts will give you quick energy, but that’s about it.

So have you guessed the secret ingredient in our desserts? They all included fruits and vegetables! Though just because the desserts had fruits and vegetables in them doesn’t mean they are “healthy,” because there was still sugar in them. But having some of the sugar content come from fruits and vegetables means that they are healthier than versions without fruit and vegetables. We made black bean brownies, chocolate beet cupcakes and banana ice cream.

This ice cream recipe has no added sugar in it, and is a wonderful, creamy texture which comes just from frozen bananas. It would be easy to customize by adding cocoa powder or nut butter.

Unbelievable Banana Ice Cream

Adapted from Baking with Less Sugar by Joanne Chang

6 ripe bananas, peeled, chopped, and frozen

120 g/ ½ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ tsp kosher salt

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Place bananas in the blender or food processor. Pour in the cream and vanilla and blend on high speed until smooth. Add the salt and cinnamon and blend again. Enjoy ice cream immediately or store in the freezer to enjoy later. If stored in the freezer, let thaw for 10 minutes before eating.