Nicoise Salad and Roasted Rainbow Radishes

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments


An important part of eating healthy is  being creative with the ingredients we use in making our meals. It’s great fun to follow a recipe, but savvy chefs know that they can also change a recipe to use ingredients that are in season and readily available. This week we’re celebrating creativity in the kitchen by making our meals beautiful as well – through colorful vegetables, decorative displays, and garnishes. We will be putting together a fresh nicoise salad with a side of colorful roasted radishes. Let’s get cooking and let our creativity shine through!


  • 2 c multi colored radishes (look for reds, purples, pinks and whites!)
  • 2 T olive oil


  • 1 c white beans
  • 1 c green beans
  • ¼ c nicoise olives
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 fingerling potatoes
  • Salt and pepper  to taste


  • 1 lemon
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • ¼ red onion
  • ¼ bunch parsley
  • 2 T capers


For the radishes:

Preheat Oven to 350. Cut the radishes into wedges or bite sized pieces. Toss with 2T olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and spread evenly on a sheet tray, then roast until tender.

For the salad:

Do this ahead of time: Boil the potatoes, green beans, and eggs.  To boil the eggs perfectly, put eggs in cold water, bring to boil, cover then turn off the heat and let sit for 7 minutes then chill. Mince the onion. Rinse white beans.

1. Cut the boiled green beans into bite size pieces.

2. Cut potatoes into discs.

3. Cut olives lengthwise into 1/4s.

4. Cut cherry tomatoes in halves.

5. Cut the eggs into chunks.

6. Rip the lettuce into bite size pieces and put into a bowl.

7. Make the dressing:

      • Squeeze the lemon juice into a container or bowl.
      • Add in the olive oil, minced onion, and vinegar.
      • Pick the parsley and rip into small pieces and add that in.
      • Chop or crush the capers and add them in.
      • Shake or whisk to combine the dressing, then taste for seasoning and dress the lettuce.
      • If you have extra dressing, dress the other ingredients separately.

To finish, creatively add green beans, potatoes, olives, tomatoes, onions and egg to your lettuce. Drizzle with salad dressing. Serve roasted radishes on the side.

Bon Appetit!


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Asparagus Soup with Crispy Chickpea Croutons

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments


This week we’re looking to our friends in Spain for a little culinary inspiration. Our veggie of the week is asparagus!

Wild asparagus is a commonly used ingredient in springtime Spanish cooking. The variety grown in Spain is slightly more bitter than the cultivated varieties eaten in the United States, but still tastes delicious. These hardy Spanish varieties are perennial, meaning they re-grow each season. Some of these plants will live up to 30 years!

You may have noticed that asparagus has been front and center in your own grocery store lately. That’s because in the Northeast, asparagus is in season beginning in early spring and ending in mid-summer. This means if you’re eating asparagus now, it’s likely local and at its peak nutrient-density. Asparagus has all kinds of detoxifying health benefits and has been touted as a cancer-reducer in traditional medicinal fields.

Since Asparagus has a mild flavor when cooked, we’ll be adding some common aromatics to our dish. Your little chefs will be adding onions, garlic and ginger to their asparagus soup to enhance the flavor and smell of the dish. Let’s get cooking!

Soup Ingredients

  • 2 lbs asparagus
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water or veg stock
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley
  • salt+pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

Crouton Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t cumin
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 1 T lemon juice


  • Prepare all ingredients for asparagus soup.
    • Chop spears into 1-inch pieces. Be sure to taste!
    • Cut leek into small rounds.
    • Tear parsley leaves from stem, and rip into small pieces.
    • Caramelize Onions.
  • Get asparagus soup started.
    • Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic, cooking slowly and stirring for five minutes. Add ~¼ cup vegetable stock. Bring to simmer.
    • Add asparagus and 1 T of chopped parsley. Cook five minutes, before adding remainder of veg stock.
    • Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer slowly about 20 minutes
  • While soup is simmering, make chickpea “croutons.”
    • Combine chickpeas in large bowl with 1 T olive oil and seasoning. Toss well to coat evenly.
    • Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. Stir and return to oven for additional 5-7 minutes until slightly browned and crunchy.
    • While chickpeas bake, have students squeeze lemon juice into bowl.
    • Remove chickpeas from oven and drizzle 1 T lemon juice over sheet. Set aside the remainder of lemon juice as optional zesty addition to soup.
  • Return to soup. Add soup in batches to food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Serve in bowls, adding optional lemon and caramelized onions.
  • Garnish with asparagus tip and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Buen Provecho!


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Coming Up This Week: Adult & Youth Spring Cooking Classes!

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

It’s finally here! This week we’re kicking our our adult and youth spring cooking classes, and we could not be more excited. We feel so lucky to be hosting our classes at Asphalt Green’s new location in Battery Park. Find all the tasty details on our host’s blog.


 Adult Classes

Thursdays, May 4th – June 8th

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!Ak3G2OXFSZmMl7Ck5yig_tamales-sauce-5316  
Thursday, May 4 | 7-9pm
On the Menu: Fresh Corn Tamales – Red Beet Salsa – Corn Pancakes – Black Bean Tostadas – Fruit Guacamole – Plátanos Fritos con Crema de Coco y Miel (Sautéed Bananas with Coconut Cream and Honey)

Colorful festivities and meals con la familia are sights that enrich the lively culture of Mexico. Learn to create seasonal, nutritious twists on classic dishes as we celebrate the flavors of Cinco de Mayo in this festive cooking class. We’ll end the class on a sweet note with our take on the traditional plátanos fritos con crema de coco y miel, a deliciously simple dessert that’s perfect for your next fiesta!

Brunch for Dinner: A Mother’s Day CelebrationSpinach-Quiche  
Thursday, May 11 | 7-9pm
On the Menu: Spinach and Gruyere Quiche – Sweet Potato Hash – Whole Wheat Dutch Baby – Avocado Toast with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Pumpkin Seeds

Brunch out on the town is an experience to behold on any given weekend in New York City. If you’ve ever tried getting a table for five on a Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, you know what we’re talking about! Skip the line and learn the secrets of an unforgettable brunch this Mother’s Day! You’ll discover how to balance sweet and savory tastes, as we cook up classic favorites and trending brunch dishes (#avocadotoast) in this celebratory cooking class. 

Rustic Italian Handmade Pastagnocchishaped
Thursday, May 18 | 7-9pm
On the Menu: Potato Gnocchi with Kale Pesto – Tagliatelle with Marinara Sauce – Ricotta Ravioli with Wild Mushroom Sauce – Bibb Lettuce Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Make authentic, fresh pasta from scratch! Immerse yourself in vibrant Italian “cucina” with our Butter Beans chef who will guide you in creating mouthwatering pasta dishes and accompanying sauces. Discover the best filling and sauces for your dishes, and learn the secrets of making authentic pasta. Join us as we knead, roll, shape and simmer our way to a delightful Italian pasta dinner!

Spanish TapasPatatas-Bravas-2
Thursday, May 25 | 7-9pm
On the Menu: Sweet Potato and Kale Spanish Tortilla – Patatas Bravas – Pan con Tomate – Roasted Cauliflower & Manchego Empanadas – Calçots (spring onion) with Romesco Sauce

Discover how to create delicious tapas in this colorful, culinary journey inspired by the streets of Spain. You’ll taste, savor, and create beautiful small plates using fresh, seasonal ingredients and a dash of creativity. Transform your next dinner gathering and delight your guests with your newly gained skills in the art of Spanish tapas! 

Thai Take-OutVegetarianPadThaiClose
Thursday, June 1 | 7-9pm
On the Menu: Vegetable Pad Thai – Coconut Curry Soup – Banana Leaf Mango Sticky Rice – Thai Iced Tea

Skip the take-out and take a journey through the street markets of Bangkok. The aroma of fragrant curries and spices will be sure to make your mouth water! Enjoy the tastes of Thailand as our Chef Instructor guides you in stir-frying, infusing, and simmering our way through the kitchen in this one-of-a-kind culinary excursion.

Farm-to-Table Pizza NightRosemary-Focaccia-Recipe-6
Thursday, June 8 | 7-9pm
On the Menu: Classic Margherita with Tomato Sauce – Fresh Ricotta, Kale Pesto, and Mozzarella Pizza – Ham and Caramelized Onion Pizza – Caprese Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Local Basil

Ready to up your pizza party game? Discover how to craft the perfect whole wheat dough from scratch in this hands-on, collaborative cooking class. With taste buds guiding the way, we’ll explore New York City’s local pizza heritage while celebrating the traditions of Italian pizza making. Local toppings from the market will make for a true farm-to-table experience not to be missed!

Kids Classes

Saturdays, May 6th – June 3rd

Themes Include: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, Mother’s Day Brunch, Taste of the Italian Countryside, Summer Picnic

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!Amazing-Guacamole-Recipe-3-from-willcookforsmiles.com_
Saturday, May 6 | 10am-12pm
On the Menu: Beet Green Quesadillas, Beet Salsa, Fresh Guacamole, Berry Burst Seltzer, Cinnamon Banana Parfait

Lettuce turnip the beet with this festive culinary celebration of Cinco de Mayo! Student chefs will create traditional Mexican dishes with a local New York City twist in a colorful, hands-on cooking adventure.

Mother’s Day Brunch (drop off optional)GE0305_Croque-Madam-Sandwich_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462
Saturday, May 13 | 10am-12pm
On the Menu: Croque Madame, Spring Blossom Salad, Whole Wheat Baguette with Homemade Herb Butter, Strawberry Basil Lemonade, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

Moms will rejoice this Mother’s Day when presented with this French-inspired brunch! Oh la la! Treat yourself to brunch out with your friends while your little one cooks with us, or stay for the class and enjoy the delicious dishes prepared in your honor!

Taste of the Italian Countrysidefresh-pasta1
Saturday, May 20 | 10am-12pm
On the Menu: Roasted Sweet Potato Ravioli, Roasted Rainbow Carrots, Spring Pesto Pasta Salad, Frutta del Sole, Rosemary Spritz

Budding chefs will create and enjoy handmade pasta, paired alongside Italian-inspired favorites. Join us for this unique exploration of one of the world’s most famous cuisines with our delightfully delicious dishes!

Summer PicnicCitrus-Fruit-Salad-3
Saturday, June 3 | 10am-12pm
On the Menu: Spring Herb Couscous Salad, Bibb Lettuce with Lemon Vinaigrette, Citrus Medley Fruit Salad, Honey-Sweetened Lemon Iced Tea, Strawberry Rhubarb Turnovers

Celebrate the summer season and get ready to fill your picnic basket with farm-to-table dishes and a seasonal strawberry rhubarb dessert! Student chefs will learn the recipe for an unforgettable family picnic, using fresh, seasonal ingredients in this flavorful experience not to be missed!


Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to explore delicious menus and fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Register today!

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Beet Green Quesadillas and Red Beet Salsa

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

Happy Cinco de Mayo Foodies!

Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, is a celebration of the Mexican army’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. Many Mexican Americans honor this day to celebrate their Mexican culture and heritage. This week our junior chefs will explore Mexican culture by cooking up a couple culinary classics: quesadillas and salsa! To pack a detoxifying punch into our cheesy quesadillas, we will be adding sautéed beet greens and chopped beet salsa. Since we’re using the whole beet plant, we can feel good about reducing food waste AND getting every possible nutrient out of this tasty root veggie. Recipe below, enjoy!



  • 4 whole wheat tortillasquesadilla-with-beans-and-cheese-29864-1
  • Tops of one bunch beets
  • 1 c shredded cheese
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 T olive oil

Beet Salsa

  • 3 medium beets
  • 2 limes
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt to taste


For the Quesadillas:

  1. Cut beets in quarters, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast until tender.  Cool.
  2. Take the beet greens off the stems. Sauté the greens for 30 seconds in olive oil.  Cool, then squeeze the extra liquid out.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into small dices and wedge limes.
  4. To assemble quesadillas, sprinkle the cheese over half and spread the tomatoes and beet greens over the cheese. Fold the quesadilla and begin cooking them in a dry sauté pan, toasting both sides until cheese is melted and the tortilla is toasted.

For the beet salsa:

  1. Cut the roasted beets into small pieces and put into a bowl.
  2. Rip or cut the cilantro into tiny pieces and add to the bowl.
  3. Squeeze the lime juice into the bowl.
  4. Cut the scallions into thin slices and add to the bowl.
  5. Add 2 T olive oil, salt and pepper, and the minced garlic and toss together.  
  6. Top warm quesadillas with beet salsa and enjoy!

Buen provecho!

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Butter Bean Barley Risotto and Three-Bean Salad

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

Risotto is a traditional Italian dish usually made with arborio or other short-grain rice that is known for it’s creamy and rich texture.  In this recipe we include butter beans!  Butter beans are a variety of lima beans and have their unique name because of it’s buttery texture.  5-souprisotto-17-20100109

Beans, like nuts and seeds, are plant-based foods that provide a lot protein to help our bodies build muscle and make us strong. When we eat grains and beans together our bodies get a super nutritional boost because these two foods combine to form a complete protein. This means that our bodies can get both complex carbohydrates to give us energy and protein to help build muscle.

By eating a balanced diet, our bodies benefit from all of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals a variety of foods have to offer us. Combining certain grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and protein sources helps to boost the nutritional value of these foods even more than if they were eaten by themselves.





  • ½ onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 c pearl barley
  • 1 c butter beans, canned
  • 5 c veg or chicken stock
  • 1 c mushrooms
  • ½ bu fresh thyme
  • 1 wedge parmegiano


  • 1 c green beans
  • 1 lb fresh favas in the pod
  • 1 can red beans
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 lemons
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • ¼ bu parsley


  1. Dice onions and mince garlic.  Heat olive oil in pot on medium heat and saute.
  2. Add barley to pot adding water a few ladles at a time until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Cut mushrooms into bite size pieces.
  4. Grate cheese.
  5. Pick thyme off branches and add to pot.
  6. Saute mushrooms on high heat.
  7. Finish risotto by stirring in butter beans, cheese and mushrooms.
  8. For salad, take fava beans out of shell and blanch.
  9. Cut green beans into bite size pieces.
  10. Dice celery and add to bowl with three beans and red onion.
  11. Take parsley off stems, cut into small pieces and add to bowl.
  12. Squeeze lemon juice and mix with olive oil.  Mix with beans.
  13. Serve and enjoy!


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