Monday, May 6, 2013

Kids Class and Meatloaf Muffins?

Yes, I had never thought of a meatloaf muffin until I came across a recipe for it online and it turned out really good. Even better, I was able to get some vegetables, zuchinni and carrots, in the muffins as well which was an added bonus.  We also cooked sweet potato chips and took the packaged crescent rolls from the grocery store and rolled them up with cut up strawberries and chocolate chips for dessert with homemade whip cream on top. It was great to watch the kids whip up the heavy cream and see how it changed over time to the whip cream they all know and love.
During our class session, we played a game and reviewed what we learned in prior classes concerning the food pyramid. They had to answer questions from me for prizes that revolved around the 5 areas of the food pyramid and naming different foods and having them tell me where they fit in the pyramid.
Where are the pictures you ask? My excuse for this class is having 12 kids, 3 volunteers and kids with lots of  energy meant that my time and attention were taken in by the present moment not the picture-taking moment. Note to self, next time appoint a class picture taker...

They Were Skeptical but They Tried It and Some Even Liked It....

What is my title talking about? Well, it was the menu for this week with the parents and seniors: Sauteed and Steamed Kale, Lentil Salad and Turkey Burgers. And yes, we had class even though there is no picture proof,  I just got so excited talking about lentils and kale that I totally forgot to take pictures in either class!
We started class by discussing the many health benefits of kale and discussed an alternative to cooking greens that differed from the usual Southern style of greens cooked in seasoned water and ham hock. We cooked our kale with olive oil and infused the oil with garlic and then steamed the kale over high heat with lightly salted water. Everyone was excited with this new way of cooking greens and were eager to try this technique at home.
We also discussed lentils and their long history as one of the earliest farmed foods with a history that dates back an estimated 9,000 to 13,000 years ago. We discussed their reference in the Bible and how they are a really high source of protein and fiber and discussed the many regions of the world that use lentils in their dishes. A lot of seniors and parents tried fresh cilantro for the first time and we used that in our lentil salad. We also discussed the health benefits of turkey and tried feta cheese which we used crumbled up inside the burgers.
In our class session, while everything was cooking, we reviewed food labels and what to look for when reading a food label. We got into a more detailed conversation about daily values in food labels and what to look for percentage-wise when looking at a label. We also reviewed our 5 food groups and went around the room seeing if we had all eaten from one of the five food groups today and, if so, what we ate. It was great to hear from some of the participants about how much they looked forward to the class each week and how they really like having a chance to gather and  talk to other people in the neighborhood each week.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Senior and Parents' Menu: Spinach Lasagna, Balsamic Vinagrette Salad & Strawberry, Balsamic, Ricotta Crostini Dessert

Our parent and senior class had a great time this week preparing our Italian recipes. We talked about lowering the fat content in lasagna by substituting spinach for the typical meat filling. We also talked about other things you could add to the lasagna like sliced squash and zucchini.

We also made our own balsamic vinaigrette dressing and talked about the health benefits versus the creamy dressings like ranch dressing. We looked at the cost of making your own vinaigrette versus store bought and talked about the endlessly different combinations of vinaigrette dressing you can make as long as you remember the ratio- 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar/acid. We prepared our food in "stations" like restaurants do and discussed the different stations in a restaurant kitchen like the grill station, appetizer station, etc..
While the lasagna was cooking, we continued to look at food labels and focused on serving sizes and how sometimes the same food from two different companies can have two vastly different serving sizes and the reasons behind those different serving sizes. We also talked about comparing similar products by doing some math when looking at serving size so that you can compare similar products based on the same serving size which can be tricky.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Kids Class = Good Times!

We had our inaugural session of Rosemont Cooks for kids and had a great turnout with lots of kids having fun, learning and eating what they made. For our first class, we made banana bread and fruit smoothies. Through this, the kids started to learn basic baking techniques that ranged from the proper way to measure flour, to how to check if a cake is done by using a toothpick or, just as useful, a piece of spaghetti.
We also made fruit smoothies, and I was successful in sneaking in some baby spinach into the smoothies and surprised many of the kids when I told them how healthy it is for them, and I think they were surprised that it was good in a shake. They also put together their own smoothies with bananas, frozen mixed fruit, plain yogurt, orange and apple juice and of course the spinach and ice. We had so much fun that I forgot to take pictures of the finished product! But, yes, we really did make banana bread and smoothies.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rosemont Cooks With Seniors

We had our inaugural session of the Rosemont Cooks with seniors and what we lacked in size we made up for in enthusiasm and great discussion.  We learned how to make a pizza and save money by making our own pizza sauce and using dough from the grocery store which we learned how to handle and make into pizza. We discussed healthy toppings like turkey pepperoni instead of real pepperoni and emphasized how vegetables as toppings are a tastier and healthier way to have pizza. Based on a great class question, we talked about why we should make our own pizza versus buying the frozen stuff at the grocery store. Answer, because we can recognize all the ingredients that go into our pizza versus the laundry list of additives that go into a frozen pizza.

We Got a Grant!

Rosemont Cooks is proud to announce a partnership with the City of Charleston and a grant award by Charleston Promise for $4,500 to fund our healthy cooking program. This grant will allow Rosemont Cooks to fund approximately 2 1/2 months of a free, healthy and hands-on cooking program in the Rosemont community in Charleston. This program, through weekly classes, explores eating options that are both healthy and affordable with individual classes focusing on three main groups in the community- children, parents and seniors.

Rosemont Cooks would like to thank the City of Charleston and Charleston Promise for their support in this endeavor.  If you would like to learn more about our program or volunteer, fund or send healthy recipes my way, I would appreciate any and all input. The goal for Rosemont Cooks is to expand and become a year-round cooking program and with your help, we can make that happen!

Thanks again...

Tim Holloran
Program Director

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Make Your Own Pizza

Rosemont Cooks put on a pizza making party for the kids in Rosemont. The kids learned how to press out raw pizza dough, make their own pizza sauce and used healthy pizza toppings. Oh, and they also ate their creations and had a good time...