Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm Strong to the Finish, 'Cause I Eat My Spinach

"Bon Appetit, Bon Appetit
We're thankful for the food that we eat;
From farm to market to our homes
or gardens where we grow or own.
What do we say before we eat? Bon Appetit!"
-Bon Appetit, one of our favorite children's songs, by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
After our field trip to visit our CSA farm, the children have been incredibly interested in the weekly delivery that we receive from the farm. Each delivery provides the children with the opportunity to learn to recognize and appreciate vegetables that they may be unfamiliar with and to learn simple cooking techniques as they utilize the produce to prepare simple, fresh, nutritious snacks. This week, one of the highlights of our share were the bags brimming with beautiful emerald savoy spinach leaves which the children used to prepare spinach dip.

During the independent work period, many of the children perform practical life activities to prepare the mise en place. For this recipe, some of the children chose to carefully wash the spinach leaves,

grind fresh tarragon, dill, parsley, and basil into a fragrant melange,

peel garlic cloves,

carefully mince garlic cloves,

or finely grate an onion.

Later, many of them opted to work together as a small group to combine the ingredients.

The food processor was exciting, but our brigade of little chefs found using the salad spinner to dry the spinach leaves to be the most desirable tasks!

Voila! A delicious, kid friendly snack of spinach dip, whole wheat pitas, and crudite.

Vegan Spinach Dip
1 lb fresh spinach
8 oz. water chestnuts
1 cup Tofu Mayonnaise
10 oz. silken tofu
2 T grated onion
minced garlic to taste
1 t basil
2 t tarragon
1 T parsley
2 t dill
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients; refrigerate several hours or overnight.

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