We Say, “What’s Cooking, GrowingGreat Chefs?” You Say, “Quiero un Burrito Bowl with Creamy Chipotle Sauce!”
(by Veronica Sanchez, GrowingGreat Program Assistant)
Did you ever wonder how today’s generation of teens will learn to develop a love for healthy food and cooking skills? This fall, thanks to a generous grant from the Steinmetz Family Foundation, GrowingGreat is teaming up with St. Pius X St. Matthias Academy (PMA) to cook up change in the kitchen. I was thrilled to be there for the first meeting! The GrowingGreat Chefs program teaches students: the fundamentals of cooking, how to plan nutritious meals, how to create a financial meal plan and how to create a restaurant menu. What’s for dinner? It’s the question many parents ask themselves when their family arrives home hungry from school or work. Imagine now, teens flipping that scenario around and parents asking their teens: What’s for dinner? Your teens will be jumping with joy to put their cooking skills into action thanks to an enriching after school program called “GrowingGreat Chefs Cooking Club.”
Brrrrrrrrrinng…the PMA bell is ringing announcing student dismissal on Monday, October 19, 2015 at 2:55pm. Students rush out of class quickly, and gather their backpacks to attend afterschool basketball practice, GrowingGreat Chefs, and the Associated Student Body meeting. It’s 3:00pm and Cooking Club’s first meeting is in session; students enter class with excitement and sign up with PMA Teacher Ms. Kaitlin Collins. Ms. Collins begins class with a lecture called “Fuel Your Body with Healthy Foods” from a PowerPoint by Sarah Minkow, GrowingGreat’s Nutrition Education Specialist. She asks twenty PMA students: “Why is good nutrition important?” “Food gives us energy, helps us concentrate more and helps us do well in school,” reply the PMA students. Then, Ms. Collins introduces “My Plate,” a visual diagram of a plate created by the USDA that helps us eat healthy. She illustrates slides of the five food groups (Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Protein and Dairy) and shows the students how much to eat from each food group every day. Also, she let the students know the benefits of fruits and vegetables and how they make up half of our plate at every meal. What’s on today’s menu, GrowingGreat Chefs? Burrito Bowl with Creamy Chipotle Sauce. “This a vegetarian burrito with no meat! I am not sure if I am going to like this burrito,” a group of PMA students say.“This is a new, tasty and healthy recipe. You should all give it a try; you might like it after all,” I reply. Let’s get Cookin’! PMA students dress up their burrito bowls with lettuce, cilantro, brown rice, black beans and avocado as Ms. Collins hosts a cooking demo on making a Creamy Chipotle Sauce for the Burrito Bowl. Here is the recipe: Ingredients:
- 1 cup of uncooked brown rice
- 1 cup of salsa or pico de gallo (homemade or store-bought)
- 4 cups of chopped Romaine lettuce
- 1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 (15.25-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For the Creamy Chipotle Sauce:
- 1 cup of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chipotle paste*
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
- *Siracha sauce can be substituted for chipotle paste.
- In a large saucepan, cook rice according to package instructions; let cool and stir in salsa; set aside.
- To make chipotle cream sauce, whisk together yogurt, chipotle paste, garlic, lime juice and salt; set aside.
- To assemble the bowls, divide rice mixture into serving bowls; top with lettuce, corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.
- Drizzle with creamy chipotle sauce and serve immediately.
Serve with a side of fruit such as strawberries, melon, or sliced apples to make a complete meal. When Cooking Club is over, PMA students are beaming with pride as they enjoy eating their culinary creations and take their yummy “Burrito Bowl with Creamy Chipotle Sauce” recipe home to share with their families. GrowingGreat is thankful, proud and happy to announce that teaming up with PMA is just the beginning of a remarkable new era where today’s generation of teens will be making a difference at school and in their community through GrowingGreat Chefs and Our Community Garden. Be on the lookout for GrowingGreat Chefs’ next meeting in November and, if you are a PMA student, you can still sign up. We have more seats in the PMA kitchen. Please contact GrowingGreat for more information and details at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow along to see more of PMA and GrowingGreat cooking up change in the PMA kitchen on social media: GG blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #GGCookingUpChange. Thank you, we hope to see you all in our next cooking adventure!