For the past couple of weeks, Mr. Diaz’s ninth grade class has been coming out to the garden. With the sweltering weather we stayed cool as cucumbers inside while preparing a delicious, healthy veggie pasta salad. Before heading into the classroom, I harvested kale, tomatoes and beets from the garden. Students prepared the vegetables by ripping kale into small, bite sized pieces, quartering cherry tomatoes and slicing candy cane beets.
We added whole grain pasta, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to complete the dish. Students learned seeds, nuts, and olive oil contain “good” fats which are important for the body since all of the body’s cells contain fat! We also talked about whole grain vs. white grain. The difference is whole grains still have their nutritional endosperm whereas white grain have been stripped. That’s why whole grain is more filling; it had more nutrients!
“This is actually good.” was the phrase I heard thrown around as students sampled the quick, easy, and simple offering. Some students courageously tried beets for the first time and found it wasn’t too bad after all! Roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds were a huge hit!
One of the teachers was raving about beets so we all got to soak in his knowledge. He likes to use the leaves, with stems removed, in a light stir fry with onions, garlic, and Bragg Amino Acids. The students are very lucky they have such a good resource close at hand.
Our squashes in the garden have really been thriving in this heatwave. We’re very excited to watch these distinctive vegetables grow!