It was hot enough to melt butter outside during our annual Sprouts – Cropped cooking competition, but that didn’t deter the kids from putting forth their best effort to create a kid-friendly, tasty dish featuring ingredients from the garden.
We are so proud of these kids. They came to the Sprouts – Get Out and Grow Garden with eager and enthusiastic attitudes throughout the summer. And this special day, they couldn’t wait to see what’s been growing in the garden and invent a dish based on those ingredients.
The kids, with the guidance of a chef, were to incorporate fruits and vegetables from the garden into a MyPlate meal that was kid-friendly, featured a cancer-fighting food and most importantly, tasted great.
Team Tomato worked with Chef Kristine to harvest broccoli, Swiss chard, carrots and fresh strawberries. They were also able to supplement their recipe with some ingredients from our supermarket – another highlight for the kids. They loved bagging their own groceries!
Team Carrot worked with Chef Elizabeth to harvest strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes and sweet corn. Their idea was to create a quesadilla featuring garden fresh ingredients and cancer-fighting vegetables.
From start to finish, the kids worked so hard on their recipes. Harvesting, washing, chopping, mixing, plating enough plates for 40 people – the kids had a true culinary garden-to-table experience. To give this to the kids was a dream come true.
The judges loved hearing the presentations of the kids too – the name of their dish, the ingredients they used from the garden and the cancer-fighting ingredient they chose to incorporate. They even explained how to make a MyPlate meal out of their recipe: how they would feature five food groups within the meal. Both teams did such a great job – and the winner was determined by only a one point difference. It was Team Tomato with their Super Food Salad.
I started this garden and cooking program with one goal in mind: to help kids create memories that will serve as the basis for healthy habits now and in the future. With one scoop of a shovel, the dream started to become a reality and we have now completed our third season. A true blessing.
Team Tomato’s Super Food Salad
- 3 cups torn Swiss chard
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Raspberry vinaigrette, for serving
- Build the salad atop four individual plates starting with Swiss chard, add spinach, broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, carrots and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle walnuts and Parmesan cheese over the top of each salad.
- Serve with raspberry vinaigrette.
Team Carrot’s Y Not Eat These Healthy Quesadillas
- 8 whole grain tortillas
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ears sweet corn, removed from ear (2 cups)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup diced, cooked chicken
- Place four whole grain tortillas on a flat surface. Evenly divide mozzarella cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes and cooked chicken over the top of each tortilla.
- Place another whole grain tortilla over the top of filled tortilla and transfer to a heated skillet, Panini press or quesadilla maker. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortilla is golden brown.
Team Carrot served their quesadillas with a fresh from the garden salad featuring diced cucumbers, diced cantaloupe, diced watermelon, and fresh strawberries. Yes, that’s right, cucumbers and fruit go really well together!
What a great way to end the season! A big thank you to my sidekick, Jackie, for all her hard, yet fun, work this summer.
- Finding Protein in the Garden – Colorful Corn & Bean Salad (jenhaugenrd.wordpress.com)
- Teaching Kids There’s Power in the Food They Eat! (jenhaugenrd.wordpress.com)