Throughout the school year at Allentown Academy, we had the opportunity to have special guest Gail Manker visit and do some amazing and healthy cooking lessons with our students. Various cooking lessons include: Raw Candy Apples, Tofu Scramble, Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes, Vegan Mac n Cheese, and Mango Pie! All of her recipes were incredibly delicious, and it gave our students a chance to get involved in the creation of a healthy recipe as well.
What is so great about cooking lessons with Gail, is that students get the chance to help prepare foods, but are also introduced to foods that they may not have tasted before. When Gail prepared tofu scramble for the 2nd and 3rd graders, students were introduced to vegetarian bacon, vegan cheese, and also included mushrooms and bell pepper in the tofu. The tofu scramble was served in a delicious whole wheat wrap!
Even though the recipes are types of foods the kids may have not tried before, they are usually always willing to try the recipes they helped to create! It's an exciting process to see the students so eager to be helpers to Gail as she makes the food, and then have the chance to sit back and enjoy their hard work. When Gail made her Vegan Mac n Cheese, she made a dairy-free cheese sauce with cashews, mustard, lemon, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. She served the Mac n Cheese with broccoli, which the students seemed to like more!
One our favorite cooking lessons by Gail, was a Mango Pie! She made a raw, gluten-free crust out of dates, walnuts and coconut flakes in her food processor. Each kid formed a crust in their own little pie plate, which chilled and set. Then she made a puree out of fresh mangos and poured it into the crusts. We decorated our pies with juicy strawberry slices.
She talked a lot about mangoes and how they are the most beloved fruit eaten by children in Trinidad, her home country. We used mangoes that were grown in Haiti. Every kid got to take one home! It has been such a wonderful year to have Gail introduce us and our students to so many tasty foods. She taught our students to be respectful to foods they may not like, and always be willing to try something new that they may love!
A special thanks to Eat'n Park for their generous support of our health and wellness programs at Grandview.