Tag Archives: seed-to-mouth cooking classes

Buchanan Mall with Rosa Parks Senior Center

4.28.16-RPSrCntr-BM_IMG_6592On Thursday, April 28, 2016 CommunityGrows joined Citizen Films, Green Streets, the Western Addition Neighborhood Access Point Career Center, Bayview Senior Services, the Recreation and Park Department, and other neighborhood partners for an afternoon on Buchanan Mall at the Rosa Parks Senior Center. There was planting of edibles led by Jay Jordan, our CommunityGrows Garden Educator,4.28.16-RPSrCntr-BM_IMG_6602and cooking demonstrations, led by Crystal Jones, our Seed-to-Mouth Cooking Coordinator. Jay worked with volunteers to harvest vegetables and fruit, and taught them how to re-plant starts.
Crystal made a spring vegetable stir fry and and a veggie loaded three bean chili. 4.28.16-RPSrCntr-BM_IMG_6617There were many dignitaries that joined the Buchanan Mall festivities and seniors from the neighborhood, including Board of Supervisors’ President, London Breed and her legislative aide Iris Wong; 4.28.16-RPSrCntr-BM_IMG_6633Cathy Davis, Executive Director of the Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services; Vallie Brown of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development; Tamara Walker from Citizen Films; and Derick Brown, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.4.28.16-RPSrCntr-BM_IMG_6606 Sophie Constantinou, Director of Citizen Films talked about the history of Buchanan Mall with Liz Ozol, Program Officer, Arts Education Community Investment of the SF Arts Commission. 4.28.16-RPSrCntr-BM_IMG_6652It was a beautiful afternoon to get out and see Buchanan Mall, meet neighbors and enjoy healthy food. More events like this are planned for the future.4.28.16-RPSrCntr-BM_IMG_6631 For more photos from the afternoon, check out our Flickr Photostream here.

Seed-to-Mouth Cooking at Willie Mays Clubhouse-March

3.31.16-WMC-Cooking-12During the month of March 2016 the primary focus for the Seed to Mouth cooking class at Willie Mays was discussing vitamins and their carriers. Relating vitamins and minerals to the food from which they come, touring our very own garden to discuss these matters further, then working together to execute recipes that would offer us those vitamins. We ended the month by discussing some of our favorite comfort foods that also provide our bodies the vitamins and sustenance that they need, and how we might still be able to enjoy those comfort foods when making modifications to assure that they are healthier for us. Such as taking an enchilada recipe and cutting the cheese in half or thirds, to reduce fat and sodium. 3.31.16-WMC-Cooking-11Pictured above is a black bean & squash enchilada casserole (a club favorite) made by our elementary schoolers. Rather than put three layers of cheese (as the recipe called for), we put just one on top. In place of using a “dollop of sour cream” on top we opted for a slice of avocado, to offer a healthy fat instead.3.31.16-WMC-Cooking-10
On our second week, we acquired a new gadget, called “The Spiralizer”, which shapes vegetables into different size noodles. 3.31.16-WMC-Cooking-5Our middle and high school groups were the first to try it out. I also taught club members how they could do this at home with a simple veggie peeler. From zucchini, to beets, to carrots and daikon radishes, we spent each class session using the spiralizer for a different recipe. Pictured below is our sun-dried tomato “zucchini pasta” mixed with a kale pesto, which was made by club members the day before from a bountiful harvest of kale, taken from the ESY garden.3.31.16-WMC-Cooking-6One of the goals for Crystal Jones (program manager) this month, was to install a nutrition resource board that clubhouse members can use as a resource board to learn about the Harvest of the Month, what’s in season, and to take home some of their favorite recipes that they’ve learned how to make in this year’s cooking class. 3.31.16-WMC-Cooking-7With the help of some of the teen staff members, we are glad to report it can finally be seen on the walls of the clubhouse. The next time you’re in the neighborhood, visit the halls of our kitchen to pick out a favorite recipe and to see our ever-changing board in person! Until next time, eat well! – Sincerely, your friends at Willie Mays Seed to Mouth Program.3.31.16-WMC-Cooking-9

BEETS visit Don Fisher Clubhouse

On Thursday, March 17th, the Spring BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) visited the Don Fisher Clubhouse. Located on Fulton Street between Gough and Franklin, the new Don Fisher Clubhouse opened in early 2015. It serve nearly 2,000 youth annually, ages 6-18, with an average daily attendance of 190. The Club features a competition-size swimming pool, learning center, performing arts studio, music studio, high school services center, middle-school center, Design-Thinking studio, and high school size gym; in addition to the organizational headquarters for the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco (BGCSF). 3.17.16-BEETS-DonFisherClubhouse_1A member of their teen staff gave the BEETS a tour of the facility,and then the BEETS presented an afternoon of cooking highlighting their spring theme of food justice. Ronnie Allen, Keyoncé Mitchell, Gene Chu, and Adrian Valencia worked in the kitchen preparing the marinade for kale chips harvested from the Koshland Garden. 3.17.16-BEETS-DonFisherClubhouse_2Other BEETS, including Alejandro Fernandez, Gonzalo Duque, and Jennifer Nazara worked with Don Fisher teens to prepare delicious fruit kabobs. 3.17.16-BEETS-DonFisherClubhouse_4Toddiana Jasper, Jay Jordon (our CommunityGrows garden educator), helped make black bean burgers. Linda Saenzpardo was at the grill flipping burgers. 3.17.16-BEETS-DonFisherClubhouse_6Everyone said the fruit kabobs were the best in the whole wide world, complete with lemon balm and mint harvested from our gardens! 3.17.16-BEETS-DonFisherClubhouse_8Amazing black bean burgers and kale chips too! 3.17.16-BEETS-DonFisherClubhouse_9The BEETS and the Don Fisher teen staff got to eat this fabulous, nutritious meal which they prepared together.3.17.16-BEETS-DonFisherClubhouse_12

Yummy Greens at Plaza East

report by Crystal Jones, CommunityGrows Seed-to-Mouth Cooking Coordinator
IMG_1274-SFWIn education, holiday calendars can be an excellent tool for planning how to organize ones curriculum, as well as aiding it. This is especially true I feel, when having the privilege of working with food, in that people already associate many holidays with specific food items. When necessary, it’s fun to challenge those ideas, but most of the time those long standing customs and ideas can be better used to your advantage. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day last week, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to spotlight green foods.

For the day at Plaza East, students got to participate in the making of green smoothies with bountiful kale sourced from our Edible Schoolyard Garden, as well as a wild green pesto which we used to top a small serving of “green nachos”. Vitamin and nutrient highlights for this lesson were (among many), calcium, potassium and vitamin c. Our ingredient of the day?IMG_1278-SFW


That’s right, carrot tops. The MVP in this week’s wild pesto. Carrot tops are not only edible, but full of nutrients and can contain as much as six times the amount of vitamin C as the root itself.

Sometimes it almost feels like a game to me to see just how many fruits and veggies I can get my students to try and enjoy in one sitting. For this lesson, I am glad to say that I lost count and there were thumbs up all around.

Here is the recipe for our “Wild Green Pesto”

2 cups of carrot tops (packed)
¾ cup fresh basil leaves (packed)
1 cup parsley leaves (packed)
⅓ cup of chives
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup of edamame (shelled)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

1. Combine the carrot tops, basil, parsley, chives and edamame in a food processor and pulse a few times.
2. Slowly add the olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add water to thin if desired
3. Serve over your favorite tortilla chips, with more edamame. Top with wild greens (we used arugula, carrot tops) and a little Parmesan. This pesto is also delicious used traditionally. Enjoy!

Cooking at Plaza East in February

Plaza East cooking on Thursday nights has been going well, especially with the addition of our new Seed-to-Mouth Cooking Manager Crystal Jones, and our two CommunityGrows volunteers, Jean Wang and Alana Herro. 2.18.16-Plaza East Cooking_1The small (under 20 individuals) crowd is growing with youth and their families joining the mix. One dad actually came by himself to observe. He has two daughters (7 & 11), heard about the cooking class and wanted to check it out before sending his girls over the next week–which he did. 2.18.16-Plaza East Cooking_2In one of the classes, Crystal set up work stations and divided the class into two groups. One group made mango-banana “frozen yogurt” and the other group made whole wheat pita tostadas. Harvested lettuce & green onions were used in our tostada recipe. 2.18.16-Plaza East Cooking_3Both recipes went over well – even with a technical difficulty of having the food processor break and having to make the frozen yogurt by hand! 2.18.16-Plaza East Cooking_4IMG_0511
In other classes at Plaza East this month we made omelets, taco salads, a bountiful grain bowl, and muffins at the end of the class as a reward. See photos here.

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.

We’re at the Edible Schoolyard at Hunters Point!

9.17.15-WMBGC-Community-Grows-(22-of-116)Thanks to a grant from the Department of Children, Youth and their Families (DCYF), CommunityGrows is honored to be working at the Edible Schoolyard at Hunters Point at the Willie Mays Clubhouse. We started teaching garden classes on September 3rd once a week, and soon we hope to be cooking there with produce from the garden.

9.17.15-WMBGC-Community-Grows-(24-of-116)The Edible Schoolyard at Hunters Point, established in 2008, is a 2000 square-foot organic teaching garden and kitchen program and the first after-school program in the country to become a founding affiliate of The Edible Schoolyard Project, which started in Berkeley by Alice Waters.

Working with the Willie Mays Clubhouse we hope to involve the 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. The goal of the Edible Schoolyard at Hunters Point is to be the healthiest place for youth in San Francisco!
9.17.15-WMBGC-Community-Grows-(21-of-116)The Willie Mays Clubhouse, located in Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP), is where alcohol, tobacco and junk food are the most commonly sold products. Plus, only 5% of the food sold is fresh produce. As a result, BVHP residents are hospitalized more than residents of other neighborhoods for almost every disease, including diet-related illnesses, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure.

Adrian Almquist, our CommunityGrows Gardens Program Manager, has been working with the youth to harvested lots of peppers and tomatoes, which youth have been taking home. They have also been harvesting Gravenstein apples from a garden tree and serving slices for snack. Youth planted sunflowers, beans, lettuce and carrots together. Lesson have been about life cycles, food webs, and the importance of pollinators with a focus on bees. After the lesson, one 2nd grader told Adrian, “I know now that bees are really important for the environment”.
9.17.15-WMBGC-Community-Grows-(25-of-116)We look forward to continue working here and supporting Bayview Hunters Point.

Photos for this blog post were taken by Laura Turner, an intern with us for a few days, sponsored by Momenta Photography Workshop-San Francisco. Laura is an undergraduate journalism student at American University in Washington D.C. Her photography website is here. See more of her photos from Willie Mays Clubhouse here.