February 12, 2012

RECIPE: Tomato Sauce

At yesterday's Cooking Sprouts session at PS24, we used our go-to recipe for tomato sauce! You can definitely get creative with this recipe--  it's great to add any meats or veggies of your choice to make a more balanced meal! We added some eggplant to ours yesterday-- yummy! It’s also  great for dishes like chicken parmigiana, eggplant parmigiana, lasagna. Our recipe below will make enough for 8-10 servings. 

The sauce freezes and reheats well, so it's perfect for lunches, dinners, and everything in between :)

Tomato Sauce

1 large can whole tomatoes
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 large onions, roughly chopped
1 tiny can of tomato paste (you’ll only need about 3 tablespoons)
1 bunch basil
Olive oil

1. Saute the onions and red pepper flakes (as much as you like) in a tablespoon of olive oil in your heaviest nonreactive pot for 15 minutes on medium-high heat. Season with salt to taste.
2. Mix the finely diced garlic with half the tiny can of tomato paste.
3. After 15 minutes, when the onions are pretty well browned, make a spot in the center, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and add the garlic paste mixture. Let the little paste ball get brown before you mix it around (still keeping it alone in the center). It is finished after 5 minutes or so, after you smell a roasted garlic/tomato aroma.
4. Add the entire can of crushed tomatoes and the basil and 2 pinches of ground pepper.
5. In a bowl, have the kids mash up the can of whole tomatoes into chunks with their (washed!) hands. It will give the sauce a hearty texture. Only add the tomatoes, not the liquid from the can; if the sauce still needs liquid, add stock or water, because two full cans of tomatoes will make the sauce too acidic. Discard the extra tomato juice, or save it for another purpose.
6. Simmer sauce for 10 minutes and it’s ready.

PS24: Valentines Day 2012

Yesterday was our Valentines Day themed Winter Session at PS24.

On the Menu:

... and all from scratch!

The sprouts chopped up vegetables (for our meatballs and sauce) and walnuts (for our brownies), and learned the ingredients and steps to making each dish!

Meanwhile, Paige and Meghan led the group with Paper Flower Bouquets and with our version of Hot Potato (a quick game of Stinky Stinky Garlic) and Freeze Dance!

Our paper flowers!

Meatball Making!

Recipes and activity instructions to follow!

RECIPE: Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs (serves 6)

Olive Oil for the baking sheet
1 pounds ground turkey
1 medium carrots, finely chopped or minced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 small onion minced
1/2 bunch parsley finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cups bread crumbs
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 egg


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray or line
with parchment paper.
2. Combine turkey, carrots, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce
and egg in large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
3. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared baking dish. Bake 15 minutes or until fully cooked.

Preparation tip: for faster preparation, roughly chop all of the veggies and put into a food processor,
pulsate until the carrots and onions are the size of a grain of rice.

Serving tip: serve the meatballs over your favorite tomato sauce and whole wheat pasta.

RECIPE: Wholegrain Brownies

Wholegrain Brownies (serves 10)

1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cups brown sugar
1 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecan nuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch square pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the applesauce, sugar, eggs and oil until smooth.
3. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract.
4. Combine the cocoa, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the wet ingredients until incorporated.
5.Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
6. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean,
but the brownies are still moist. Cool, and cut into squares.

Portion Tip: you can spoon the batter into muffin tins instead, fill them a bit less than half way up, bake for
about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

February 7, 2012

Recipe Corner: Dumplings

Who doesn’t love dumplings? And once you discover how much fun they are to make with a little practice—especially if you enlist some friends to help stuff and fold them—you’ll visit your local Chinese takeout a lot less often. Any Asian market will have dumpling wrappers, as will many large supermarkets; look in the refrigerator cases. They come in square or circle shapes; both work fine. Dumpling wrappers freeze well and don’t take up much space, so keep some around—you never know when a dumpling craving might hit you.

VIDEO: Halloween at PS24

PHOTOS: Halloween at PS24

PHOTOS: Final Day of Cooking Sprouts, Summer 2011