We were extraordinarily busy in the Kitchen this week. We discussed the changes to the food pyramid and talked about why vegetables (and fruit) have now been moved to the bottom of the pyramid. We also looked at a plate and  what proportion of it (in fractions) should consist of plant based food when eating a meal. The menu this week was thus designed around wonderful things to make with vegetables. The children had lots of suggestions including salads, wontons, spring rolls, pizzas, sandwiches and of course soup, pasta, rice and patties which we covered in the class. They were very interested to learn that vegetables could be used in desserts. We looked at the components of rhubarb and talked about uses in the garden for the poisonous leaves (making an insect deterring spray). We also looked at what the garden is producing at the moment – loads of greens – silverbeet, rainbow chard, spinach, kale, parsley, spring onion, bok choy (which we used in our green rice, pasta sauce and minestrone), also potatoes, rhubarb, jerusalem artichokes (which we roasted with some olive oil and salt as a bonus dish) and bucket loads of citrus fruit. We used mandarins in our beautiful rhubarb dish and I showed the children how to make a healthier pink lemonade using fresh lemons, frozen strawberries, water and a little maple syrup to sweeten. We also talked about seasonal produce as we used tomato passata I had bottled up at the end of summer using the surplus cherry tomatoes we had in the garden. It was amazing for me to see how engaged the children were at each of their stations, how they evolving as risk takers and being more openminded about trying new foods and also how knife skills and cooking skills are visibly improving week to week. As always, please let your kids into the kitchen to help you with meal preparations and choices and give them responsibilities with regard to cleaning up, setting the table and making the meal a lovely experience for the family. Happy cooking.

Green Rice

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

50g butter plus 1 tablespoon for the end

1 portion of greens, washed, dried and finely chopped (approx 8 large leaves) – we used silverbeet, spinach and kale

1 bok choy, finely, shredded

4 spring onion, finely chopped

a handful of green beans, chopped into small pieces

1 clove of garlic, crushed

2 cups basmati rice

3 cups chicken stock

salt & pepper to taste

chopped parsley to garnish

 

Method

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pot. Add the spring onion, garlic, bok choy and greens.

Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the rice and keep stirring for 2 minutes until the rice is coated.

Add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.

Once all the liquid has evaporated, stir in the extra tablespoon of butter.

Season with salt and pepper and top with chopped parsley.

 

 

Minestrone

 Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 stalks of celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 pototoes, cut into tiny cubes

3 stalks (including leaf & stem) of silverbeet, chopped

8 cups of water

3 vegetabe stock cubes

3 cups of tomato passata (1 bottle ~ 700ml)

1 cup small pasta shapes (pre cooked to yield about 2.5 cups of cooked pasta)

 

Method

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often.  Add the silverbeet and cook for another minute.

Add the water, stock cubes and tomato passata and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and cover for 10-15 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Add the pasta and stir through.

Season with salt and pepper

 

 

Homemade Pasta with Greens & Tomatoes

Ingredients

Pasta Dough

600g plain flour

3 teaspoons salt

6 eggs, lightly beaten

Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

100g butter

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

a big bunch of chopped spinach/silverbeet (10-12 stalks)

2 can chopped tomatoes

parmesan to sprinkle

 

Method

Bring a large pot of water to the boil ready for the pasta.

 pasta dough

Combine the salt and flour in a food processor. With the motor running, add the eggs. Process until the dough starts to cling together and forms a ball. Tip the dough onto the bench and knead for a few minutes. Wrap it in glad wrap and leave it to rest for an hour.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Pass it through each of the setting on the pasta machine twice from 1-5. Once you get to setting 5 lay the pasta sheet on the (floured) bench and continue until all the past is in sheets. The place the sheets through the pasta cutter and lay on a tray. Once all the pasta has been cut it is ready to cook.

Place the pasta in boiling water and then simmer for 4-5 minutes until al dente.

 

sauce

Place the olive oil, butter and garlic in a large saucepan and sauté for a few minutes. Add the greens and stir for a few minutes until wilted. Add in the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour over the pasta and mix until well combined.

 

Stewed Rhubarb with Crumble & Vanilla Yoghurt

Ingredients

Rhubarb

750g rhubarb, trimmed and chopped

juice and zest of 1 orange (or 2 mandarins)

100 g caster sugar

2 pieces of crystallised ginger, finely chopped

Yoghurt

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)

250 ml natural yoghurt

Crumble

1 cup self raising flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

½ cup rolled oats

2 cups shredded coconut

160g butter, cut into small cubes

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Method

Rhubarb

Place the chopped rhubarb in a medium-sized saucepan with the orange juice and zest, 100g caster sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and the ginger. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and cooked, but still holds its shape.

Yoghurt

Meanwhile, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and mix these into the yoghurt with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

 Crumble

Preheat oven to 180C

Combine flour, brown sugar, coconut, oats and buter and use your fingers to make it bread-crumb like.

Place on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes – until crunchy.

Serve the warm rhubarb topped with crumble and a dollop of vanilla yoghurt.

 

Salmon Patties

Ingredients

1 onion, grated

2 spring onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, grated

1 zucchini, grated

¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

400g can red salmon

¼ cup tomato sauce

4 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

rice bran oil to fry

 

Method

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Heat oil in the pan. Drop tablespoons of mixture into the pan and gently flatten with the back of a spoon.

Cook on both sides until golden brown.

 

Strawberry Lemonade

Ingredients

4 cups water

1½ cups frozen strawberries

Juice of three small lemons

3 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey

a few sprigs of fresh mint (optional)

 

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend then enjoy.