Farm-to-School April 2019: Chili
Beloved Community of South Burlington,
After two years of serving as your Farm-to-School Educator, I have decided to enroll in a Masters Program at Saint Michael’s for teaching elementary education in May. Watching students grow not only in the healthy risks they take in trying new foods, but also growing as thoughtful protectors of the planet has been so inspiring to me. Whether we were talking about climate change, food waste, saving the bees, or mitigating our carbon footprint, the students first response to hearing any problem would always be, “What can we do to help?”
For our last lesson together before my successor, Kayli, introduces herself to you all next month, I wanted to share a favorite in my house no matter the time of year. This hearty, protein rich chili is great for these winter months we are emerging from, but also can be scooped on top of nachos on a warm summer night. Making chili is a wonderful way to use random veggies in the fridge, but most chili and most soup, start with five colorful, nutritious ingredients: Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Onions, and some kind of fat, Olive Oil in this case. Students Chopped, Mashed and Sliced these veggies to create this flavor base, called a Mirepoix.
Today’s Recipe: Veggie Chili
- 2 cups of cooked Kidney Beans
- 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed
- ½ Red Onion, Diced
- 2 Stalks of Celery, Diced.
- 2 Carrots, Diced.
- ½ Tablespoon of Dried Oregano
- ½ Tablespoon of Cumin Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Salt
- Olive Oil
- Soak Beans overnight, strain.
- Dice Garlic, Onions, Carrots, and Celery.
- Heat pan over low- medium heat, drizzle Olive Oil, and stir in diced veggies.
- Sauté for 10 minutes or until veggies are tender and onions are translucent.
- Stir in Oregano and Cumin Powder and then immediately add strained soaked beans.
- Add water only high enough to cover beans. Let simmer until all ingredients are tender.
- Salt to taste and serve.
Enjoy your future food explorations! Whether you be a student or family member reading this, remember to invite color and curiosity into the kitchen and allow it to be a fun time to connect and create with the ones you love, letting go of the need for it to be “perfect”. When we invite our younger people to be a part of the process, and empower them to want to make these choices for themselves, we can all get more excited for mealtimes!