kale & almond love

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in healthy food, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, Recipes | 0 comments

IMG_0235Mixing kale with roasted almonds, how could you go wrong?

According to nuts.com, “almonds are one of the world’s most nutritious and versatile nuts, renowned for their many health benefits and culinary uses.”

Almonds are indeed nutritious touting such nutrients as biotin, promoting healthy hair and nail growth, vitamin E, essential for the maintenance of healthy skin, and manganese, helping to strengthen your bones.

As you create our salad recipe, take a peak at this almond infographic below to keep you inspired, then enjoy your nutrient dense meal!

Shredded kale salad with crushed almonds and cheese

Prep Time: 7 minutes Total Time: 17 minutes Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch lacinato/dinosaur kale, rinsed, leaves removed from stems
  • 2-3 handfuls of roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 4 inch wide piece of sharp cheddar/manchego/ricotta salata (shredded), diced
  • 1 lemon, pitted, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

1. Prep: After prepping your kale, pat it dry or run it through a salad spinner. Layer each leaf, one on top of the other, then roll the leaves tight. With a chefs knife, chop kale into very fine and thin slices – the finer you slice the more delicate the experience.

2. Assemble: In a large salad bowl, add your kale, chopped almonds and diced cheese. Pour your lemon and olive oil over the salad, then mix well, massaging with your hands. Taste as you go, adding more lemon or olive oil as desired. Make sure that all of the kale has been massaged, then let sit for 5 minutes to marinate.

3. Serve: Place your beautiful kale salad into bowls, topping them with two whole roasted almonds for garnish.

Almonds_Yeah_v04Check out some of our other recipes featuring these popular nuts:

Written by Flora Mckay, Director of Community & Nutrition

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kale food scientists

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in agriculture, gardens, healthy food, lunch time, nutrition, raising children, school food | 0 comments

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I had the recent pleasure of hosting a kale tasting with 2, 3, and 4 year olds at a wonderful daycare that we provide lunch service to.

I purposefully chose a specific day of the week based on the meal that we were serving, with the goal of encouraging the students to expand their ever-growing palates. Kale was being served, so I chose that day!

Starting with a group of 2 year olds, I sat down with them at their lunch table and walked them through the journey of how kale grows from the ground up. We then learned about the different vitamins present in kale and how they benefit our bodies. While much of what I was saying didn’t seem to resonate with them, I knew that once we started tasting they would get much more excited!

The tasting consisted of sample cups filled with kale chips, sautéed kale (that was on the lunch menu), and raw kale. I brought in some dinosaur kale for them to try, and we pondered why it was called that! One student even said that it looked like cabbage!

The 2s all liked the chips better, but overall weren’t super enthused about kale.

Working with the 3s and 4s was a very different experience. They all knew what kale was, and even boasted their gardening expertise amongst their group, especially when it came to kale. They shared stories of how their parents put kale in their smoothies, and how they love working in the garden.

How inspiring!

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 9.45.34 AMAfter sharing with them the journey of kale from seed to plate, and why it’s good for our bodies, we went on to taste the kale as “food scientists.” Their eyes lit up – “scientists?!” yay!

We first tasted the chips, which students exclaimed was “crinkly,” “crispy,” and my all time favorite “bumpity.” One student even said that it tasted like seaweed.

After tasting the sautéed kale, some said it was “juicy” and “watery.” Then we tasted the raw kale, which not many students liked and reflected on it with words like “bumpy” and “sour.”

Not one of the students didn’t try the kale, since they were all trying it as a team, and even more so as “food scientists” – tasting the kale was a no-brainer for this group.

After telling them that I thought they were brave, they all smiled (with kale in their teeth) and thanked me for coming in to visit. I left them with a fun kale coloring page for them to get creative with.

It was an inspiring way to spend the afternoon, and look forward to hosting more tastings in the future!

Written by Flora McKay, Director of Community & Nutrition

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cooking class reflections: banana pudding & poached pears

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in after school, cooking classes, cooking with kids, healthy food, nutrition, Recipes | 0 comments

This post was written by our Food Education Intern, Luca Vigorelli on his account of observing one of our cooking classes for 3, 4 and 5 year olds:

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Today was a fun day in cooking class. We had a class of 7 students and we made banana pudding and poached pears!

The students were all excited to try this fun recipe, as our star teacher began to tell them what we were making, each face lit up with excitement as they threw their hands up in joy, exclaiming “banana pudding yay!” The funny thing is, most of the kids had never tried banana pudding, which I realized by asking, “so has anyone tried banana pudding before?” Most of them responding, “no, I don’t think so.” I think the two words separately, banana and pudding, were enough to grab the little ones’ attention!

Our focus in this class was on the fruit – banana – as we talked about its benefits to our bodies and how it gives us an important mineral, potassium. It’s always sweet to hear what each child has to say about the fruit or vegetable, but in this particular class, one girl darted her hand up. She continued to tell us, that bananas give us “lots of energy” and that she “quite likes to eat bananas at home.”

Our budding chefs were all still sitting and patiently listening to their teacher as she explained the next steps. I went back over to help out a few students who asked for some help with mashing their pudding. Now finished with the banana pudding, the students were ready for the next part, the poached pears!

1215446928_56b0abfcb1_zThe students chopped the pears into halves, adding them to the boiling water along with spices. They did not seem too excited, with kind of a “its just a pear” look on their faces. But what happened after was a different story. When the pears were done, each received a half on their plate. It was a bit steamy and hot, but they blew off the steam and began tasting. Their eyes lit up, and they exclaimed “I really like this!” It was a rare and special moment to witness the students at peace with the task at hand, and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Of course, that didn’t last long. Their curious and talkative minds got back on a roll and they were ready to share everything with their caregivers and parents who had just walked through the door. Several students had saved their poached pears for their parents to try, excited to bring home their delicious creations.

Photos courtesy of Charles Roffey and Jessica Merz

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