June 1, 2013

We're Back! Summer 2013: Session 1

Earlier this month marked the first session of our THIRD summer at PS24! Both Little and Big Sprouts alike were full of anticipation to begin a new season of planting, harvesting, and cooking delicious meals... and perhaps the most exciting part? We were joined by a bunch of new little faces!

The session began with our inaugural welcome circle led by Big Sprout Cam.   You know what this meant! It was time to give names to our new faces. We went around the circle, each new sprout picking a food that began with the first letter of their name- our favorite Cooking Sprouts tradition!

 We moved to the garden next, as believe it or not, thanks to a Big Sprouts small planting session a month earlier, there were a few things ready to be harvested! One of our resident Little Sprouts was able to harvest our first vegetable with ease: a perfect radish, which we set aside. With her help, the new Little Sprouts were able to harvest several more, learning all about the rules of the garden, and the way to which we tend to the plants.

We were also greeted by an overflow of leafy greens- a forest of all different kinds of lettuce! Teaching our new Sprouts the difference between a vegetable and a weed, the team began to weed and harvest.

Planting  and gardening was next on the agenda, and there was quite a bit on our to-do list! We began with a lesson on transplanting: for we had several pots of Basil, Brussels Sprouts, and more to be moved into the dirt in our beds! Gardening using seeds of peas, leeks, kale, and tomatoes were also on the agenda-- and following the vegetable specific instructions on each package, we sewed, pushed, and sprinkled the tiny pods into the ground with ease.

Using the posts of our beds, we also created our very own trellis for our pea plants! After a Big Sprout safely hammered little nails, using twine, our  Little Sprouts strung the posts as high as they possibly could!

And then, to the cutting boards! Since we had our new sprouts, we began with an agreeable meal for all: chicken and vegetable kabobs with three different dipping sauces (to be made from scratch, of course!), and a watermelon and feta salad. Delish!

The meal also proved to be a perfect introduction to some primary cooking techniques: and our new sprouts learned how to chop and dice with safety and ease! Our little sprouts chopped everything from mushrooms, to eggplant, to zucchini and onion!

The day was full of fun, and we of course left with bellies full as well-- a perfect first session of 2013!

Here are some of our recipes below:

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon and Feta Salad is a perfect go-to summer treat: perfect for days when it's hot and you need something refreshing to cool down! Our Little Sprouts loved the combination of sweet fruit with the saltiness of the feta: and of course, the mint for the refreshing kick!

Makes 6 servings
  • 1 Whole Watermelon, cubed
  • 1 Red Onion, finely diced
  • 12 oz Feta Cheese
  • 1/3 C. Fresh Mint, chopped

  • The juice from 3 limes, about 1/3 cup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

1. Mix watermelon, and onion lightly together. Add in feta, and then mint. Put into a large rectangular serving tray.
2. Evenly pour the dressing on top, and serve!

Making Kabobs
Making Kabobs is always a fun introductory way to get our Little Sprouts excited about being in the kitchen! They love to chop up all of the vegetables, which, when at home, can be chosen to cater to your Little Sprouts vegetable likes and taste! Though you can use everything from steak to shrimp, for our first session we used boneless chicken breast, which we cut into cubes and marinated with salt, pepper, olive oil, and some fresh lemon and parsley.  Your Little Sprouts will also love to create their own combination of protein, vegetables, and fruits!

You can buy Kabob Skewers at your grocery store in the kitchen supply section, or of course, at any BB&B!

Here are some suggestions for some foods to Kabob:
Chicken, Steak, Shrimp, Fish (Swordfish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi)

 Zucchini, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Peppers, Onion, Carrots, Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes

Pineapple, Peaches, Plums

Dipping Sauces

Yogurt & Avocado Sauce


  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 Limes (the juice only)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (pressed)
  • Fresh Cilantro
1. Chop avocados, and mash until smooth. 
2.  Whisk in Greek Yogurt, Cumin, and Lime Juice, until smooth.
3. Stir in the fresh garlic and cilantro.
Honey Mustard


  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • pinch of salt (to taste)
1. Stir ingredients together, adding salt to taste.
BBQ Sauce


  • 1 15oz Can Tomato Sauce (or you can use our recipe for tomato sauce, as posted last year)
  • 1 12oz Can Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup pure raw honey
  • 1/3 cup molasses
1. Stir sauce and tomato paste together for several minutes.
2. Add in vinegar, then applesauce, then honey/molasses at the very end.
3. Whisk until smooth.