Written by Dahlia Chaudhury
Last week, I had the unique opportunity to go to Brainfood, an organization that teaches young adults cooking skills, with the Truesdell Trojans. Brainfood led a Community Cooking Class for our students to learn a healthy recipe that they can recreate at home: creamy avocado pasta!
After riding the bus downtown to Brainfood HQ, the students were introduced to about 10 high school students who were leading the course. They explained the agenda for the day, which included a short lesson, games and, the best part, cooking!
The Community Cooking Coaches taught Truesdell students about the important food groups and healthy ways to incorporate some of all of them into meals. After a quick recap, the students stood up to play game and get their energy out before the cooking began.
The game split the room into two halves: true and false. Brainfood cooking coaches read statements about nutrition and the students had to decide whether they were true or false, and choose a side of the room based on that.
"True or False, sucrose is a type of sugar?" is just one example of the questions asked by Community Cooking Coaches.
There was a mass migration of students from the false side to the true, led by a select few who remembered sucrose from their sugar unit.
"Correct, now lets get cooking!"
The students were then split up into small groups of about five and paired with two coaches. Each cooking station had all the ingredients for the creamy avocado pasta: avocado, olive oil, salt and pepper, corn, cauliflower, tomato, and water.
The "sauce" was made first. Students were able to scoop avocado into a big bowl, then after adding the other ingredients they took their bowls to the blender station. They learned how to "pulse" the blender and that if their sauces were too chunky or dry to add more water to help smooth it out. The finished product looked delicious!
After each group had their sauce done, they added whole wheat pasta, corn, tomatoes and cauliflower to add some veggies to the meal.
Everyone took a turn mixing everything up, and then the coaches took the finished product to be plated. While that happened, Truesdell students learned how to wash dishes properly in a kitchen: it requires teamwork and hands at all stations (rinsing, scrubbing, drying and stacking). They were also able to try out the special industrial faucet!
Once everything had been washed, everyone filed into a classroom to taste their creation! Students all tried their group's pasta, but when they had finished that they were able to try other groups to give a look into how different things can change with just slight differences. They tried their pasta with hot sauce, which garnered very mixed reactions.
Eventually, everyone was stuffed with creamy avocado pasta and we loaded the buses to head back to Truesdell. All the students had a fantastic time, and now know an easy recipe they can make at home thats nutritious and delicious. A huge thank you Brainfood DC for such an amazing experience for all the students!