lettuce love

Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 in agriculture, healthy food, nutrition, Recipes | 2 comments

photo (4)Look how pretty this lettuce is! It’s bright purple, and primed for its time to shine.

It’s so easy to overlook the importance of lettuce in our lives.

This is a photo of red leaf lettuce, which is packed with vitamins A and K, along with calcium, iron, beta carotene and lutein.

Bring out the lettuce, especially this time of year when it’s growing in abundance and make fun salads, stir fry’s, soups, sandwich toppings, summer roll fillings, or even grill it (romaine is best for this).

So give a little love to your lettuce this summer, and enjoy the summer bounty!

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summer camp fun – week 5!

Posted by on Aug 9, 2013 in agriculture, cooking with kids, families, Food & Farm program, gardens, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, lunch time, news and happenings, Recipes, summer camp | 0 comments

pcyZLPP30iv7yT_G0jO75yyqEHjifw6_TJkyJwAej_kWe kicked off our third and final session of the summer with eleven new campers this week! Despite the threat of rain on several occasions, our team of Butter Beans purple + yellow managed to stay dry, eat well, and learn a ton of exciting new things!

After a short introduction, our campers traveled to the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden for an afternoon of hands on activities. It was great to be at a garden designed for kids, and the campers felt right at home among the plants. We spent some time bonding in the playground before heading back to wrap up our first afternoon.

photo11On Tuesday our campers had their first full day in the kitchen! After planting our own seeds, everyone was hungry for a Lasagna Cupcake lunch! Served with homemade garlic bread and salad, it was like being in Little Italy! To celebrate the perfect August day, we spent the afternoon outdoors enjoying the sunshine.

Wednesday brought gloomy skies, and rather than risk being stuck in the rain we decided to hang back at camp and do some more cooking! We traveled to the Union Square Farmers Market in the morning, and returned to camp to make a wholesome lunch of Tomato Soup and Panzanella Salad. We used our leftover garlic bread from the day before, which added great flavor and helped us clean out the fridge. After lunch, we ventured to Brooklyn for a visit at NuNu Chocolates. We learned about how chocolate was actually used as currency in the olden days, and we each got to dip our own graham crackers in the melted goodness. Yum!

IMG_7139We love to make ice cream at camp, and on Thursday we visited Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. to learn about non-dairy ice cream from the pros. We made healthy sundaes with banana, strawberry, and mango ‘ice cream’, which was a great way to fuel up for our next adventure to East New York Farms. They are experts at bee keeping, and at the farm we got to taste honey straight from the hive, try on some bee suits, and learn about the art of keeping bees in the city. The honey was fresh and sweet, and everyone walked away with a little more appreciation for our black and white stripped friends.

3qNfPt0rJP3RKzc50poFB_F7PeNYaweSJOvp49tJcHgFriday brought another edition of Top Chef! This week, our campers worked together to make a Taco Fiesta, including homemade guacamole, salsa, and tortillas! These definitely weren’t your average tacos. Following lunch, Ingrid was back for another afternoon of yoga. It was a nice way to relax on such a dreary day, and a great way to welcome the weekend. We finished off the afternoon with a special dessert and movie.

It’s hard to believe that next week will be the last week of the summer! After months of anticipation and planning, it seems like the end came much too quickly. I couldn’t ask for a better group of campers to help close out the summer, and I am looking forward to a final week packed with food, farming, and fun!

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Quick summer oatmeal

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in healthy food, nutrition, Recipes | 2 comments

8483070607_a74ecc1521Making hot oatmeal on an August morning may not be on the top of your list. The warmth is just not as welcomed as a cold winter day!

But the fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein, iron and other minerals present in oatmeal is just too good to miss out on.

Here’s a solution – cold oatmeal!

All you need to do is soak the oats overnight in your favorite milk, add a touch of vanilla and cinnamon, and cover.

Then in the morning you are presented with a delightful, cooling, nutritious breakfast.

Get creative and add in whatever fruit, nuts, seeds you may have, and enjoy!

Serves 2 Prep time: 2 minutes Total time: Overnight

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • A few dashes of cinnamon

Directions: 

1. Prep: Take out two bowls, split the ingredients in two.

2. Soak: Cover, and soak overnight.

3. Eat: In the morning rise and shine to a cool bowl of oatmeal, add in whatever toppings you like.

Photo courtesy of desegura89

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quick summer ratatouille

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in healthy food, lunch time, Recipes | 0 comments

photo (8)

Summer means fresh eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini amongst many other delights.

What to do with all of this abundance?

Ratatouille with some melted cheese on top? Thank you very much!

Serves 2 Prep time: 4 minutes Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 big red onion, cubed
  • 2 small zucchini, cubed
  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 1 big tomato, cubed
  • 2 tsp oregano (add in some fresh thyme, rosemary, marjoram if you have)
  • Sea salt
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional, but delicious – like eggplant parmesan)

Directions:

1. Prep: Cube all veggies, chop your onion. Add olive oil to your pan, and turn heat to medium.

2. Simmer: Add in, and stir veggies in the following order:

1) Red onion – let cook until slightly caramelized

2) Zucchini – cook for 4 minutes

3) Eggplant – cook for 4 minutes

4) Tomato – cook together with all veggies

5) Oregano (other herbs) + sea salt

6) Cover, and let cook until all veggies are soft, stirring occasionally (you may need to add in a touch of water if the pan gets too dry)

3. Assemble: Shred mozzarella cheese on top (optional), cover and let cook another 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Plate, and top with red pepper flakes.

Summertime yum!

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summer camp fun – week 4!

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in cooking classes, cooking with kids, families, Food & Farm program, gardens, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, lunch time, news and happenings, nutrition, Recipes, summer camp, wellness | 0 comments

It’s hard to believe that the second session of camp is already coming to an end!

Although it seems like the summer just started, we are about to say goodbye to our second session of campers. We’ve had a full house these past two weeks, filled with nutritious and delicious meals, dirt under our fingernails fun, and special guest visitors!

972303_554881394570800_400131587_nMonday, our fearless group travelled to Randall’s Island for a day at the Urban Farm and Children’s Garden. It was a beautiful day to be outside, explore the gardens, make some tzatziki with fresh vegetables, and hold the chickens!

On Tuesday, the campers got back to basics in the morning with homemade cornbread muffins and fresh butter. The homemade butter was especially delicious, and came in handy later in the week. In the afternoon, everyone traveled to Central Park to try their hand at fishing! Although no one caught anything, it was nice afternoon to be in park and explore nature.

73113_555694267822846_1862476614_nWednesday was a jam packed [pun intended!] day at camp. We took a trip to the farmers market in the morning to buy ingredients for our jam lesson in the afternoon, as well as fresh produce for our gazpacho and grilled cheese lunch. The infamous Beth from Beth’s Farmhouse Kitchen came by in the afternoon to lead our campers in a jam making lesson. We made fresh blueberry and nectarine/plum/peach jam; I hope the campers shared their jars with everyone at home!

971561_556150907777182_1316877857_n (1)Thursday we were back in the kitchen making a Middle Eastern themed lunch of baked falafels and tabbouleh. We also continued our exploration of composting with our very own worms! They are working their magic in our homemade compost buckets and we should have beautiful soil in no time. Looking at a figure full of leftovers, we also decided to repurpose some of our extra cornbread into Leftover Cornbread Bread Pudding. It’s always fun to try and use leftover or ingredients in new ways, and the sweet cornbread dessert was a hit!

6xQ9Ug0jqfjdHp9-E8uAV8iYhs7D56tdyDCtIepCDvwFor our last day of camp, we hit the farmers market for another edition of Top Chef Friday. As you can imagine, homemade pizzas were a big hit and it was awesome to make the whole thing – dough, sauce, and toppings – from scratch! With full bellies, we capped off our second session with yoga and a special graduation ceremony for all our budding young chefs!

I am sad to see another incredible group of campers go, but I am looking forward to what the next, and last, session of the summer has in store. If these next two weeks are anything like the last four, I can confidently say that I have had one of the best summers to date. Whether in the kitchen, at the farm, or just hanging out at camp it’s been a pleasure to share these last two weeks with all our amazing campers, and I don’t want to the summer to end!

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