What’s Cooking: Creamy Spinach Dip

pickle classThis month’s cooking classes featured easy and fun party foods! This spinach dip is packed with vegetables and spices for a flavorful appetizer. Kids love squeezing out the spinach, measuring all the spices, and stirring it all together.

Creamy Spinach Dip


  • 1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
  • 2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dill
  • 2 teaspoons dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with sliced vegetables for dipping.

Read the rest of the December Sprout here!

What’s Cooking: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Honey Mustard

carrotsOur October classes featured the spooky, scary Beta Carotene Monster. We learned about the health benefits of beta carotene, the 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.

We made these easy sweet potato fries which are not in fact fried, but healthfully roasted. Sweet potatoes can be difficult for beginning-cutters to cut, so we cut them into thin planks for the kids and they practiced making the long cuts for them to be fry-shaped. While the potatoes roasted, we made an easy honey mustard dip that we sampled with carrots harvested right from the garden.

There are just three classes left this year – we hope your child can join us!

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425F.

Cut the sweet potato into wedges ½” thick and 4” long. 

Toss sweet potato wedges on a baking sheet with olive oil and salt. The sweet potatoes should be shiny all over with the olive oil. 

Roast for 45 minutes, flipping the sweet potatoes halfway through cooking, until the sweet potatoes are completely soft (easily pierced with a fork) and dark brown in many spots. 

Enjoy fries with honey mustard or your dip of choice!

Honey Mustard Dip

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Whisk all ingredients to combine. 

Read the rest of the November Sprout here.

What’s Cooking: Quinoa Salad

whats cooking oct

For September’s cooking classes we learned all about whole grains! Whole grains are grains that are less processed than refined grains, leaving the bran and germ intact (refined grains are just the endosperm of the seed). This makes have a higher fiber content which means they take longer to digest and therefore make you feel full longer, and more vitamins and minerals than their refined counterparts.

For the cooking class we made a summery version of this quinoa salad with peaches, cherry tomatoes, and corn. Now that we’re well into fall we adapted it with apples and roasted squash.

There are just a few more cooking classes for the year left! Click the class titles below to see the full class descriptions and sign your child up.

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

Quinoa Salad with Apple and Squash

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



  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 5 kale leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 large apple, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cups roasted squash or sweet potato
  • A large handful basil, torn into pieces


  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. In a jar combine olive oil, vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Shake to combine.
  2. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, kale, roasted squash/sweet potato, and basil. Add the dressing and toss to combine. 
  3. Enjoy!

Read the rest of the October Sprout here!

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


  • 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.

Read the rest of the September Sprout.

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


  • 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


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.