Week 6, 2014: Vegetarian Around the World

This week, our campers are exploring the vegetarian side of eating! Fresh vegetables and whole grains will have a starring role in each dish this week. The campers started their morning in the garden where they picked blackberries and planted radishes. They were also introduced to the garden team including Mrs. Marilyn! She showed them around the garden and explained the importance of organic gardening. After the garden, the campers headed up to the kitchen to prepare lunch for the day. Before beginning, Ms. Beth gave a quick explanation of the rules of the kitchen including Knife skills and Kitchen Do’s and Don’t’s! A quick demo of how to cut an onion and mince garlic was shown, and then the campers began cooking!

The menu for todays lunch included vegetable rigatoni with button mushrooms, zucchini, and tomato sauce as well as a crunchy vegetable salad with Dijon vinaigrette. The vegetable salad was delightful and hearty, including radishes, shredded carrot, cucumber, and bibb lettuce.

Practicing knife cuts!
Practicing knife cuts!
Chopping zucchini.
Chopping zucchini.
Prepping for the rigatoni! Onions, garlic, mushrooms, and zucchini were sautéed before the tomato sauce and pasta were added.
Prepping for the rigatoni! Onions, garlic, mushrooms, and zucchini were sautéed before the tomato sauce and pasta were added.

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This crunchy vegetable salad included thinly sliced radishes and a Dijon vinaigrette!
This crunchy vegetable salad included thinly sliced radishes and a Dijon vinaigrette!

 

After lunch and a quick run around outside, the campers headed back up to the kitchen to prepare for the appetizer party on Friday and make a delicious snack for the afternoon. The campers prepared a fish-free salad Nicoise including red bliss potatoes, green beans, hard boiled eggs, and olives. They also prepped for stuffed zucchini with a filling of pine nuts, bulgur, chickpeas, and sage. For snack, peach and cardamom were combined with flour, sugar, and milk to make a delicious and custardy Peach Clafouti.

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Using fresh herbs from the garden!
Using fresh herbs from the garden!
The filling for the stuffed zucchini.
The filling for the stuffed zucchini including hearty bulgur and chickpeas.

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The day was finished with baking these peach calfouti's. They were a great ending to a fun filled day of cooking!
The day was finished with baking these peach calfouti’s made with almond flour. They were a great ending to a fun filled day of cooking!
Just look at all the veggies!
Just look at all these veggies!

 

Tuesday:

This morning the campers headed off to Belleville, Illinois to visit a family owned farm, Braeutigam Orchards! The 100 acre farm is chock-full with fruits and vegetables, including potatoes, various varieties of squash, berries, apples, peaches, melons, and corn. The campers were given an in-depth tour of the farm on a tractor where they were able to see different farming techniques and ways in which the farm uses natural repellents. Brauetigams is a 7th generation farm, and the hard work on the farm is shown greatly in it’s beautiful up keep and delicious produce!

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Breathtaking views of the pumpkin patch. This picture shows specifically a farming technique known as contour farming.
Breathtaking views of the pumpkin patch. This picture shows specifically a farming technique known as contour farming.

After the tour, the campers were able to pick and eat summer Pristine apples right off the tree. They were tart, crisp, yet still slightly sweet. Perfect for baking! After the apples, the campers headed over to pick blackberries. Large, juicy blackberries waited to be picked from these enthused campers! Each camper came home with a pint of fresh blackberries, 5 Pristine apples, and a tummy full of fresh fruit and homemade apple slushies! It was a great learning experience and fun morning!

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Fresh picked apples and blackberries. Yum!
Fresh picked apples and blackberries. Yum!

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In the afternoon, the campers headed back up to the kitchen to cook Middle Eastern vegetarian fare. The menu included vegetable biryani, chickpea and tamarind fried cauliflower, and an Indian spiced carrot cake. Vegetable biryani is a traditional Indian dish of curried vegetables over a bed of Jasmine rice cooked with Saffron.

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That's one big turkey!
That’s one big turkey!

 

Wednesday:

 

Today was Disability Awareness Day, and the campers spent the morning in the garden learning about different disabilities and how these may affect daily activities for an individual. A representative from Paraquad STL came to speak to the campers. Michael, a disabled man himself, expressed how he has adapted to doing things in a wheelchair. Michael explained that although a person might have a disability, they are still very capable of doing everyday things! The campers split up into groups and worked with adaptive kitchenware such as a one handed can-opener and knife.

After the garden, the campers headed up to the kitchen to make lunch. Lunch today was vegetarian in Mexico! The campers made Roasted Corn and Poblano Salad with a Chipotle Vinaigrette and fresh vegetable Quesadillas made with squash and red bell pepper. The Quesadillas were served with a corn relish made with lime and scallions. It was a spicy and fresh lunch!

After lunch, the campers took advantage of the wonderful, sunny weather and played outside. Then they headed back into the kitchen to prepare vegetarian summer sweets such as a fresh raspberry and strawberry granita and a rhubarb compote. The compote was made using sugar, rhubarb, and fresh grated ginger. It will be served over yogurt with fresh sliced strawberries!

The campers also made Baked Quinoa Croquettes made with dill and kale. It was fun to get our hands messy preparing the quinoa mixture, and they turned out perfect! We can’t wait to try our delicious dishes on Friday at the appetizer party!

Grabbing eggs for the croquettes.
Grabbing eggs for the croquettes.

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The finished rhubarb compote!
The finished rhubarb compote!
Rhubarb ginger compote!
Rhubarb ginger compote!
The finished croquettes. Protein packed and delicious!
The finished croquettes. Protein packed and delicious!
Cleaning up at the end of a hard day!
Cleaning up at the end of a hard day!

 

Each team had a really fun day of cooking! Introducing week 6 of Culinary Camp 2014!

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THURSDAY: HERB DAY

On Thursday, the campers enjoyed a lovely morning in the garden learning about herbs. The campers made herb spray, minty lemonade, sugar herb scrub, and herbed butter with dill! The campers were given a tour of the herb garden at SLU and were then able to plant a couple of their favorite herbs in their very own planters to take home.

A quick snack of our strawberry granita before cooking!
A quick snack of our strawberry granita before cooking!

After the garden, the campers came back to the kitchen to learn about hunger awareness and Campus Kitchens! The campers discussed how they can make an impact on hunger in America and learned about SLU’s Campus Kitchen, a non profit organization which uses leftover food and ingredients from local grocery stores to make meals for those less fortunate. We were in charge of 30 meals for Campus Kitchens this week! The campers made roasted chicken with rosemary, an arugula and green bean salad, toasted bread with herb butter (from the morning!), and apple cinnamon bread! It felt awesome to cook delicious and nutritious food for others!

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Packaging the meals for Campus Kitchens.
Packaging the meals for Campus Kitchens.

In the afternoon, the campers headed over to SLUruba, the campus pool! They had a blast swimming and relaxing in the sun after a hard days work.

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Friday:

Today was our final day of camp, Vegetarian week! The campers had a great morning harvesting produce and herbs in the garden. They harvested kohlrabi, herbs, radishes, tomatoes, and onions! All of the produce they harvested today went directly to the farm stand in SLU’s garden on Friday night!

After the garden, the campers headed up to the kitchen for their final cooking session. The campers explored the Vegetarian side of the Middle East by making homemade falafel with chickpeas. They also prepared a spinach salad with toasted almonds, dates, and toasted pita bread in ghee. Ghee is a traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine which is just clarified butter.

Falafel mis en place.
Falafel mise en place.

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Chopping herbs for the falafel!
Chopping herbs for the falafel!

 

Pureeing the falafel.
Pureeing the falafel.

Lunch! So very vegetarian!

After lunch, the campers prepared two final dishes for the appetizer party: Greek honey cookies also known as Melomakarona and Corn latkes served with a chipotle sour cream.

The cookies were glazed with a honey syrup and topped with chopped walnuts to serve. The latkes were gently fried on the stove until golden brown and crisp. They were great at the appetizer party! This was such a fun week exploring the vegetarian side of cooking!

Mixing up the corn latkes.
Mixing up the corn latkes.

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Cracking eggs for the latkes.
Cracking eggs for the latkes.
Whipping egg whites for the latkes.
Whipping egg whites for the latkes.

 

Decorating the cookies with a honey syrup and chopped walnuts!
Decorating the cookies with a honey syrup and chopped walnuts!
Melomakarona cookies!
Melomakarona cookies!

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