Diet and nutrition are critical components of overall health. We are much more than just what we eat - we are what we eat, digest, absorb and utilize. Many of the symptom presentations in ADHD, ADD, Autism, etc. are directly related to nutritional deficiencies, disturbances in nutrient metabolism, poor diet, and the negative effects of specific foods.
With our cooking classes we aspire to motivate attendees to want to learn about what they eat, how it's made and where it comes from. When entering the kitchen they become Jr. Chefs!
This week we aimed for a recipe that would require a group effort. Homemade turkey tacos! Together they would learn what it takes to create their own healthy meal. We allowed each child to measure ingredients that would form the yummy end result.
The Jr. Chefs were suggested to smell and even taste some of the fresh ingredients going into the recipe. Believe it or not each one of them wanted to taste a fresh cilantro leaf after smelling it! :)
Our recipe was gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free and nut-free. Including 24g of dietary fiber, 60g of protein, 2672mg of potassium and 12mg of Iron. We used corn tortillas vs. flour tortillas to avoid the gluten. Unlike flour tortillas, corn tortillas do not contain any added fat or salt and are much more nutritious. Ground turkey was used instead of ground beef because turkey is rich in protein, improves mood, lowers cholesterol and provides energy. We also chose to use olive oil vs. vegetable oil because olive oil promotes good heart health, improves depression and cognitive functions, lowers cholesterol and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Each Jr. Chef had the responsibility of pouring their assigned ingredients into the mixture and stirring it in. While their ingredients were cooking we cleaned up, wash our hands and set our table to enjoy our homemade lunch.
Their hard work paid off! There was not one empty plate as they expressed how delicious their very own creation was. These Jr. Chefs did a great job!
2 cans (15 ounces, or 420 g, each) red kidney beans, drained
2 cans (8 ounces, or 225 g, each) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon (8 g) chili powder, red or green
¼ teaspoon paprika
Salt to taste
¾ bunch cilantro
3 medium Spanish onions
1 head garlic
1 green pepper, preferably cubanelle, seeded
Yields 1 ½ cups (225g)
Wash Cilantro. Peel onions and garlic. Put everything in a tenfood processor and pulse until minced but not liquid.
Brown turkey completely in the olive oil on high heat. Add sofrito and lower to medium heat, continuing to mix. Add beans and mix. Add tomato sauce, spices and salt and mix well. Serve on warm tortillas (Rice or corn). Serve on field greens or romaine lettuce for a taco salad.