Cleaning up is part of cooking. It’s very important to keep everything clean in the kitchen so that bacteria doesn’t have a chance to grow. Certain types of bacteria can make people very sick. A clean kitchen is a safe kitchen. In this Project CHEF video we will look at washing hands, washing dishes, washing fruits and vegetables and cleaning spills.
When choosing food that comes in a packet, the first thing you should do it read the ingredients list to know what’s going in your body and to help you make a healthy choice.
In Canada, by law companies must list all the ingredients in a packaged food. Ingredients are listed in order of weight from most to least. This means that a food contains more of the ingredients at the beginning of the list and less of the ingredients at the end of the list.
Following a recipe can be more challenging for some due to food allergies or intolerances. This doesn’t mean that food should be any less enjoyable or lack in taste. Knowing what substitutes to use for certain ingredients that cause issues is helpful in being able to alter recipes to suit your individual needs.
Salad greens we grow ourselves are phenomenal! Why do they taste so different? In a word, freshness. We have seen it time and time again in schools, kids who start out “allergic” to greens soon become salad green lovers by tasting all the different flavours of greens they are cooking with in the classroom, some even from their school garden. If you don’t try growing anything else with us this season from home, try one pot of salad greens. From seed to plate in a bit more than a month, the satisfaction can’t be beat.
We have made this traditional recipe with Kindergarten to adult cooks and the response has always been a resounding two thumbs up. Make this recipe in the springtime when BC rhubarb is in season. Although it may be tempting to make this early in the season, try to wait for BC strawberries as they explode with flavour and colour taking this recipe off the chart with local goodness.
Yield: Serves 6 – 7
Preparation Time: About 20 minutes
Baking Time: About 45 minutes @ 350 F
If I had to pick a favourite fictional food-related children’s book, one of the top tier books would be Chicks and Salsa, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Paulette Bogan (Bloomsberry USA Children’s Books, 2007).
What could be more fun than farm animals deciding to cook Latin inspired food and holding a fiesta? This book is begging to be read aloud as the words spring to life with alliteration that captures their fabulous feast. The illustrations are equally rich with delicious details.
Enjoy the video retelling of the book then get busy searching for wonderful words that feel good in your mouth. After that, make a sumptuous snack with our Latin inspired recipes.
Cook. Healthy. Edible. Food. That’s what the CHEF in Project CHEF stands for. It’s called an acronym. We think that the words stand for what Project CHEF is all about. An acrostic poem starts with a word and this is the topic of the poem. The letters of the word become the first letter of each line of the poem. The word or phrase in each line of the poem is related to the word topic.
At Project CHEF, we believe that children of any age are capable of helping out in the kitchen. It’s hard to put a number on what age your child may start using a knife, but if you are looking for a place to start, we have a few helpful tips to get your kids in the kitchen.
Do you ever feel regret about putting unused veggies or vegetable trimmings in the city compost? At Project CHEF we believe food is much too important to waste. If you have a little patio garden, it might be time to try a worm bin to make your own compost. Put those veggie scraps to work and make what we gardeners call, black gold.
There is nothing better than harvesting something and eating it right away. Herbs are our flavour makers, they bring joy to our food and fill our hearts with the flavour of home. In this activity we share some tips for a mini herb garden, especially geared toward young people and what we know they love. If you have never really grown anything before, pick one plant you like to use in the kitchen, and try growing it.
Sometimes you just want to do a quiet, relaxing activity all by yourself. The ingredients you find in your fridge or garden, and kitchen tools you find in the drawers or cupboards can provide you with inspiration and objects for drawing.
Some of the classes of students we teach come to the Project CHEF kitchen to gather a few ingredients we’ll be cooking with that day and some of the kitchen tools we will be using. They take them back to their classroom and set them out in different areas in the classroom. Students silently choose what they want to draw, open their food journal and sketch what they are looking at.
A magical spell comes over the classroom as students really focus on what they are looking at and drawing what they see. You dare not make a sound as creative minds are at work and a calm tone prevails in the room.
Scientists keep records, so do farmers, and so do we! Since planting your potatoes, what have you noticed? What can you observe? After planting your seed potatoes, in Part 1 of this activity, your Project CHEF task over the next two months is to look closely, pay attention to the details, and write down your observations. The more specific, the better.
It’s almost Mother’s Day. What are you doing for your mum this year? It’s a tricky year, how can we get creative with what we have at home to show our loved ones gratitude? Well, we are still grocery shopping. If you have some paint and paper around the house, try making some veggie prints for a card. This is a 5-star kid-approved activity. The flower pictured above is made from dipping a bok choy stem in paint and then pressing it into paper with a little twist (just like a stamp).
Sharing meals around a table is one of our favourite things to do. In Project CHEF, when it’s time to dine together, we share conversation as well as food. We assign Table Talk Topics everyday to get the conversation going. It’s interesting how we can start talking about a favourite meal then before you know it we’re talking about something else. That’s how conversation works!
Another book we love is The Sandwich Swap, by Her Majesty Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan (with Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Tricia Tusa, Disney Hyperion Books, 2010). It’s not often you read a book written by a Queen! Queen Rania wrote this book about her experiences as a child. The Sandwich Swap shows us that though we’re all different, friendship can see beyond differences to focus on what we have in common.
Recipes let us know about how much they will make in the Yield. The yield is usually included near the beginning of the recipe. The yield will sometimes tell you how many it will make, for example 24 cookies, and sometimes it will tell you how much it will make, for example 1 litre of soup. But what happens if you need more or less of a recipe? Chefs convert recipes all the time so that they can make the amount that is needed.