Tag Archives: Seed To Mouth Cooking Class

Plaza East Health Faire

image_2On Saturday, January 30, 2016 our CommunityGrows Seed-to-Mouth Coordinator, Crystal Jones join the Plaza East Apartments Health Faire outside their Community Room and had this to report: Saturday’s demo at Plaza East went great. It was really nice to be able to familiarize myself with some of the residents and meet parents of a few of the students who I’ve had the pleasure of teaching in cooking class over the past few weeks. This cooking demo felt to me, what the first restaurant pop up or food truck must have felt like. I strapped my camping stove onto the front rack of my bicycle, enjoyed a sunny ride from the Mission to the Western Addition, where I set up a small table, a few flyers, my camping stove and a propane can. Then prepared Community Grows’ “Tortilla Espanola” recipe (recently featured on the blog). imageIt was a success. Though truly, not much can go wrong with sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, egg whites, spinach and a little Parmesan (I threw in some garlic to attract a crowd). A line of curious and encouraging brunch enthusiast formed in no time. I look forward to the next event where we can again engage like this with the community – and hope to even have a couple of my Thursday night elementary school chefs assisting next time. *I even had a couple who thought we were there selling the omelettes and tried to pay me for them. Ha!image_1

Tortilla Epanola and Arepas at Willie Mays Clubhouse

IMG_0188Crystal Jones, our new Seed-tp-Mouth Cooking Coordinator is already making a big impact at Willie Mays Clubhouse in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. Here is Crystal’s report: The teens enjoyed making the Torilla Epanola recipe very much last week. So much so that they ended up making another so everyone could have seconds, after they all finished off the first :)IMG_0176 This recipe was made using kale from the Edible Schoolyard garden. We discussed briefly, the differences between the American Omelette and the Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Epanola). American omelettes are more blocks of scrambled egg, browned, and fortified with creams (the NY style), milk (Chicago style), butter or oils (Texas style), and baking powder (Portland style). Italian and Spanish omelettes are created by thoroughly heating egg mixtures until set.

We also discussed the importance of protein in the diet not only for muscle building, but as it relates to skin health and tissue repair when one has an injury. Many of the teens are athletes and found this interesting. We continue this conversation next week, discussing ways to get protein from non-animal sources.IMG_0172Here is the Torilla Epanola recipe:

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup precooked diced red potatoes, (see Tip)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
6 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup shredded Manchego, or Jack cheese
3 cups spinach or baby kale, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add potatoes, thyme and paprika and cook for 2 minutes more.

2. Lightly whisk eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Gently stir the potato mixture into the eggs along with cheese, spinach, salt and pepper until combined. Wipe the pan clean; add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture, cover and cook until the edges are set and the bottom is browned, 4 to 5 minutes (it will still be moist in the center).

3. To flip the tortilla, run a spatula gently around the edges to loosen them. Invert a large plate over the pan and turn out the tortilla onto it. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and continue cooking until completely set in the middle, 3 to 6 minutes. Serve warm or cold.IMG_0070Later in the week youth from Willie Mays Clubhouse also make Arepas. Arepa is a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Columbia and Venezula. It is eaten daily in those countries and can be served with various accompaniments such as cheese (cuajada), avocado, or (especially in Venezuela) split and used to make sandwiches. Various sizes, maize types, and added ingredients are used to vary its preparation. It is similar in shape to the Mexican gordita and the Salavadorian pupusa.  Arepas can also be found in Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic,  Trinidad and Tobago and the Canary Islands. Delicious! Thank you Crystal!IMG_0153IMG_0156For more photos from the day, check out our Flickr Photostream here.

Creating a Grateful Bowl at Willie Mays Clubhouse

IMG_4778Friday, November 20th the youth at Willie Mays Clubhouse made a Grateful Bowl recipe by Crystal Jones, inspired by Café Gratitude. Crystal mentioned that “the idea behind the grateful bowl is to have one dish that is not only satisfying, but is affordable and also meets every nutritional need. The grateful bowl should always contain these four ingredients: a grain, a green, a protein, and a sauce. The sauce that I make to top a grateful bowl is not only tasty and helps to tie the whole thing together, but it typically contains herbs and spices designed to aid in digestion. I am grateful for the bonding element of food and for creativity. My favorite thing about the grateful bowl is that the possibilities are endless. IMG_4814The ingredients are very much so up to you. Feel free to top your grateful bowl with nuts or seeds and find ways to incorporate your favorite herbs and vegetables. Enjoy!”IMG_4824Yusef, age 10:
Staff: Do you want a little more kale?
Yusef: A lot more!
Staff: What do you like about kale?
Yusef: It’s good! You can make a lot of things out of it, like kale chips and green dip.
IMG_4786Grateful Bowl Recipe:
[nutrient highlights for this recipe: Protein & Vitamin C]
1/2 cup of cooked grain (rice, quinoa)
1 cup of greens (kale, spinach, collards)
1/2 cup of protein (tofu, beans, legumes)
1-2 tablespoons of sauce (Pesto, curry, ginger-miso, etc)

For more photos from the class, check out our Flickr Photostream here.

Chef Chauncy at Hayward Rec Connect

IMG_4654Hayward Rec Connect and the Buchanan YMCA kids were abuzz on Monday, November 16, 2015 with excitement to cook with Chef Chauncy Yarngo. Chauncy Yarngo is from the Kpella tribe in Liberia who came to America at a younger age and has become a professional chef in the United States. Chef Chauncy currently works part time at Facebook Headquarters and full-time with the 2nd largest catering company on the West Coast, Best Beverage Catering. He will be taping a reality show called Bringing It to the Table on the Food Network soon. He has cooked for some famous people, including President Obama, Steph Curry, Danny Glover and Janet Jackson, to name a few.
On this day though, it was all about the kids! He started out by preparing a plate with grapes and pears in the shape of a turkey for Thanksgiving and passed it out to the youth to enjoy. Then he prepared a delicious Brussel Sprout stir-fry that everyone gobbled up. He started by showing how the Brussel Sprouts grow on a stem and how to harvest them. IMG_4663Then he halved the Brussel Sprouts and stir-fried them with coconut oil, salt and blue cheese crumbles, topping them off with a sauce of balsamic vinegar and honey and macadamia nuts. Such a delicious and nutritious treat! IMG_4668IMG_4675IMG_4677Later in the hour everyone got to enjoy a non-sweetened smoothy made with apples, strawberries, coconut milk and bananas. Thumbs up all around! IMG_4703IMG_4714Chef Chauncy is looking forward to taking his experience back to his native land, Liberia. “I’m good at bringing people together and making them feel good about themselves through the food I cook. I like donating my time helping people less fortunate than me, like the homeless. I have a great wealth of experience in cooking international cuisines but I love cooking Liberian food and favorite to eat is fufu and pepper soup.”IMG_4716
For more photos from the day, check out our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream here.

Cooking at Willie Mays Clubhouse

IMG_4526On Thursday, November 12, 2015 we did our first cooking class at Willie Mays Clubhouse at Hunters Point. It was an honor to work in this kitchen, which is part of the first Edible Schoolyard Project built in San Francisco by Alice Waters in June 2008. CommunityGrows will be offering cooking and gardening classes in the 2,000 square foot garden and well-appointed kitchen. One of the main objectives of these programs is to involve youth in all aspects of tending the garden – along with preparing, serving and eating the food – as a way to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and develop lifelong healthy eating habits. IMG_4518On this day Tavi Baker, MPH, the Citywide Director of Health and Fitness at the Boys & Gils Clubs of San Francisco joined us with Dominick Anthony, Education Director at Willie Mays Clubhouse. We were interviewing candidates for the Seed-to-Mouth Cooking Programs manager. This new position will oversee our cooking programs in the Western Addition and Bayview-Hunters Point. These photos are of the youth making veggie wraps.IMG_4537IMG_4560IMG_4580
The Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco (BGCSF) started serving the Bayview-Hunters Point community in 2005 at the request of Mayor Gavin Newsom and City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who asked BGCSF to transform an old Housing Authority site into a safe haven for local youth. Their partnership has been critical in this historic project. Other key partners included the San Francisco 49ers and the San Francisco Giants, who built a Junior Giants Field on-site and later led the effort to rename the Club after the great Willie Mays. Now the Willie Mays Clubhouse provides full-service resources for 6 to 18-year-olds on Hunters Point Hill – a community that for decades had desperately lacked services for young people.
CommunityGrows is thrilled to be partnering with the Willie Mays Clubhouse at Hunters Point and thanks the Department of Children, Youth and Families for this opportunity. IMG_4590For more photos from the day, check out our Flickr Photostream here.

John Muir Salad Days are here again!

IMG_3470With a grant from Kaiser-Permanente we are honored to offer Salad Days again this year at John Muir Elementary School. CommunityGrows staff Melissa Tang and Cha’Shay Woldridge joined Advisory Board member Casey Johnson in the morning Friday, October 2nd, 2015 to cut and peel organic vegetables, donated by Veritable Vegetable. IMG_3468Carrots from Something Good Organics were shaved and HoneyCrisp apples from Cuyama Orchards apples were cored and sliced, and then combined with a spring mix of greens from Jayleaf. IMG_3487Even though most of us shaved off a little of our fingertips, the morning and lunch were a huge success. In the cafeteria, waves of students came by to get salads and enjoy seconds. IMG_3500Three big bowls were gone in no time. A delicious party. Stay tuned for more salad days at John Muir Elementary School throughout the year. IMG_3492For more photos, check out our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream here.

Salad Day and Gardening at Rosa Parks

IMG_3163On September 2, 2015 Rosa Parks Elementary kicked off their school year with a planting in the garden and a salad day in the cafeteria. New CommunityGrows Garden Assistant Cha’Shay Woldridge, with the assistance of Garden Program Manager Adrian Almquist, helped Ms. Wong’s class get started weeding and planting in their plot in the lower garden. Jay Jordan, our CommunityGrows Garden Educator helped out preparing and serving salad in the cafeteria.


Quiche at Plaza East

7.23.15-PlazaEast-Quiche_IMG_2560On Thursday, July 23rd, youth from Plaza East put together two beautiful quiches with the help of CommunityGrows staff Adrian Almquist and volunteer, soon-to-be staff, Jay Jordan.
7.23.15-PlazaEast-Quiche_IMG_2590Everyone was excited to work with Jay and pitched in to de-stem kale, chop onions and crack eggs.7.23.15-PlazaEast-Quiche_IMG_2599 Each youth got a chance to do all the steps of the recipe, and assemble the quiches before they went into the oven. 7.23.15-PlazaEast-Quiche_IMG_2598In thirty minutes, the quiche came out of the oven and were enjoyed by all.
Here is the recipe:
Kale Quiche


2 tablespoons butter
1 oinion, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups chopped fresh kale
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 eggs, well beaten
1-1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic and kale. Cook slowly stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft.
3. Spoon vegetables into crust and sprinkle with cheese.
4. Combine eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper and stir in melted butter. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until center has set.

Pizza at Plaza East

6.25.15-PlazaEast-#2_IMG_1903On Thursday evening, June 25, 2015 CommunityGrows held their second cooking event at Plaza East Apartments in San Francisco. We had a large crowd of youth and families who helped to make delicious pizzas from scratch! 6.25.15-PlazaEast-#2_IMG_1843We made our own dough and cut up mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini, and added kale and spinach from the food bank in the area. 6.25.15-PlazaEast-#2_IMG_1859Here are some great photos from the day.6.25.15-PlazaEast-#2_IMG_18726.25.15-PlazaEast-#2_IMG_1892Thank you Ms. Martha Hollins, Shannon Watts and Monica Bhagwan from Leah’s Kitchen for helping out and making the evening a success!6.25.15-PlazaEast-#2_IMG_18256.25.15-PlazaEast-#2_IMG_1909 Check out more photos on our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream here.

Summer Cooking at Hayes Valley Apartments

Thanks in part to support from Aetna Foundation and a Community Benefit Grant from Kaiser-Permanente, CommunityGrows held its first of six Seed-to-Mouth cooking classes at Hayes Valley Apartments on Friday June 12, 2015. Ziek McCarter, CommunityGrows Garden Assistant led the class of youth from the neighborhood and the Western Addition Beacon Center. 6.12.15-HV-COOKING_IMG_1405Ziek started the class quietly getting to know everyone, finding out how their summer is going, what their garden names are. His garden name is Ziek Zuccini! He also asked them what they’d like to cook this summer.
6.12.15-HV-COOKING_IMG_14256.12.15-HV-COOKING_IMG_1450Then the class made quiche. After washing hands, everyone helped chop onions, garlic, and mushrooms, and crack eggs and grate cheese. 6.12.15-HV-COOKING_IMG_14616.12.15-HV-COOKING_IMG_1463Youth helped clean up and then enjoyed a great slice of pie. A wonderful afternoon with a great bunch of youth. Thank you Ziek Zucchini! 6.12.15-HV-COOKING_IMG_1476For more photos see our Flickr Photostream here.