Monday, January 5, 2009

Exposing Kids to Veggies

Right now we are winding down for the semester and most all students are sewing....

But I thought I'd share an assignment that I used that was new this year. I had my 7th graders do a research project on fruits and vegetables. Not only were they becoming of aware of things like is a tomato a fruit or vegetable? How a vegetable can be used as a dessert (like sweet potato pie or pumpkin)....or making a fruit into a soup.

Here is the scope of the assignment:

(5 pts) What is you least favorite vegetable? Find a recipe that it is included in ingredients.
(5 pts) What is your least favorite fruit? Find a recipe that it is included in the ingredients.
(5 pts) Find a recipe that uses leftover cooked vegetables.
(5 pts) Find a recipe for preparing and serving a vegetable or fruit you have never eaten.
(10 pts) Find a recipe for fruit soup.
(10 pts) Find a recipe for vegetable served as a main dish.
(10 pts) Find a recipe for vegetable used in a dessert.
(10 pts) Find and paste- 5 pictures for preparing fruit or vegetables as garnishes.
(10 pts) Find 5 recipes for 5 fruit or vegetable snacks to substitute for high calorie snacks such as potato chips.
(10 pts) Pretend you own a restaurant. Plan a salad bar for your fruits and vegetables. Make a list of all the items you would include, and paste a picture from Google of a salad bar.
(20 pts) Prepare one of these recipes in your collection @ home. First, conference with Ms Mac. on which recipe is better, etc before you actually prepare it and have gone over…(cooking terms, shopping list)

Bonus Points: (+5 points) Perfect Capitalization, spelling
(+10 points) CREATIVE GENIUS

They used the internet to research different recipes based on their favorites and LEAST favorite (notice I did not use the term HATE) I wanted them to pick a veggie for example that they thought was OKAY but maybe based on the ingredients in the recipe that they'd eat that particular vegetable more. They had to present their project using Powerpoint or Notebook (Smartboard program) and had to provide pictures and all the recipes. The final part of their presentation was to prepare ONE of those recipes.

When all the presentations were being compiled, one of the students had found one of my recipes on allrecipes.com which happened to be my Tortellini Pesto Salad. I said "cool" and walked over (keep in mind I was not into photographing my cooking a few weeks ago). I looked over this student's shoulder and was AGAST...."Ewww, That looks like a pile of throw up" I told the kids....that was IT....we are going to make this as a class assignment and you will see yourself how good its SUPPOSED to look and see how good all these veggies can taste.

When their presentations were done....we took on the task to make the Tortellini Pesto Salad and submit a PROPER picture. They all did the prep work and I had to give them pointers about laying out the spinach...then how to arrange the broccoli to see the tops....spread out the peppers, etc. I think they did great. They loved it!!!

BTW: What JennyMac has learned....she needs to buy a few plain white plates for her future foodie pix... Here's my recipe:

Tortellini Pesto Salad


  • 1 (9 ounce) package cheese tortellini
  • 1 small red bell pepper, julienned
  • 3/4 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach leaves
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place tortellini in the pot and cook according to the package directions. Drain and cool.

2. In a large bowl, mix the cooked tortellini, red bell pepper, brocolli, carrots, olives and garlic.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the mayo, pesto, milk (if you need it to thin the dressing out), parmesan cheese, olive oil and vinegar. Pour over the tortellini and veggies and gently toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge 1 hour or until chilled. Serve over spinach leaves.
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I think I hear the can opener!!!!

1 comment:

Karen Babcock said...

Jenny, I love your blog! It has become a part of my morning routine - it's great :o)