Fantastic hummus – we’re famous for it + you can be too!

Posted by on Oct 20, 2010 in Recipes | 5 comments

Making hummus is great to do with kids. It is fast and easy to make and so deliciously rewarding. Chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon and olive oil in a food processor and you’re ready to rock. Getting the proportions right and the consistency perfect, might take a little finessing. Our chef Nick has got it down, and I’m happy to share the inside scoop with you.

This is how it’s done:

2 15oz cans chickpeas(garbanzo beans)

1/2 cup of tahini  (sesame seed paste)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons cumin

2 Tablespoons salt

water to thin

Blend all ingredients until smooth, and voila! Serve with hot pita, dip your carrots, add to your rice and enjoy!

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Do you know how to score a tomato, and do you know why you’d want to?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2010 in featured articles | 1 comment

You slice an X on the end opposite of where the vine grew out of the tomato. Then you put your scored tomatoes in boiling water for several minutes (it doesn’t take long), to loosen the skin. Then out of the boiling water and into an ice bath they go, to stop the cooking process and to cool them down enough to handle with your fingers. The skin, comes right off!

That’s the first step in making any great tomato sauce. In Butter Beans’ after school cooking classes, we chopped the peeled tomatoes, added them to a pan with extra virgin olive oil, chopped garlic and a touch of salt. Everyone learned the trick of putting the garlic under the flat blade of a knife, and then pressing down with good umph, to loosen the garlic’s skin to prepare to chop. What I found surprising, is that this garlic trick is usually done with a big chef’s knife. In after school, we are confined to plastic cutlery – the kind you get at take out restaurants – but the trick still worked!

The little practices and techniques that add up to a feeling of competence in the kitchen make cooking fun and fantastic. Pizza, raw chocolate pudding, poached pears, sweet potato ravioli.. with enough of us involved, we really can grow a generation of cooks – healthy, happy, thoughtful cooks.

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Sesame kale salad

Posted by on Oct 4, 2010 in featured articles, Recipes | 1 comment

Whenever kale makes its way onto our menu, eyebrows are raised. When we first served it, we walked around the cafeterias offering up a leaf sample (and they are cut small so we are talking about a tiny leaf trial) to anyone who would accept. Grudgingly they were received, followed by requests for proper servings. By the end of lunch, the kale was gone. There are few who debate about how delicious our sesame kale salad is. At long last, here is the recipe:

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

3/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup dark sesame oil

2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard

a pinch of salt (or to taste)

First make your dressing. Then wash your kale and cut out the stems. Stack the leaves and chop the kale into thin strips. Toss with your dressing and enjoy! This is a good recipe to make lots of – great for tonight’s dinner, and tomorrow’s lunch.

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