Hello! My name is Rebecca Holmes.I am a senior in Nutrition Science at NCSU, and the class manager for the Operation Frontline class at Loaves and Fishes. This week we finished up our fifth class, and time has flown by. If you haven't been keeping up with this class, you can still read Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4! As we get to know each other and the youth, each class only improves. I can’t believe that this group will be graduating next week! I wish we could continue on for the rest of the year, but I honestly believe the youth are ready to be master chefs of their home kitchens. We started off in the kitchen this week with chef Susan to cook a meal inspired by the dairy food group. Then, Megan (our nutrition instructor) gave the youth a lesson on calcium to complete their tour of the food pyramid. In the kitchen we prepared stovetop macaroni and cheese, followed by chocolate pudding for dessert. Susan gave a lesson on the importance of dairy safety. She explained how important refrigeration and sanitation are in the world of milk and cheese. That means no drinking out of the carton! Since the beginning, the youth definitely seem more confident and comfortable in the kitchen. While the pudding was thickening, and the mac-n-cheese was simmering Megan began the nutrition lesson. She explained to the youth how important calcium is for bone and teeth formation and strength. Also, she explained that Vitamin D helps us absorb the calcium we get from dairy products. She followed up with an activity using teaspoons of sugar to help the youth visualize the amount of calcium we can get from different dairy products.
The biggest surprise for the youth this week was the addition of broccoli to mac-n-cheese. In fact, one of the first comments of the evening was “where are we putting that broccoli?” But, when we were eating together the broccoli didn’t seem to stop them from cleaning their plates! The funny thing is, I was watching Rachel Ray Show the very next morning and she made whole-wheat mac-n-cheese with broccoli (I think she somehow must have heard about our wonderful meal).
makes 4 servings
- 2 cups dry macaroni (whole grain recommended)
- 1/3 cup low-fat milk
- 3 ounces of cream cheese
- 2/3 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Colby, Monterey, jack, brick, or chilhuahua)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional extras: 2 cups of steamed broccoli, 2 cups of cooked peas, 1 can of tuna (packed in water, drained)
- Boil water with a pinch of salt in a big pot
- Add macaroni; boil until tender (about 8 minutes), and drain.
- Combine the milk and cream cheese in a pan over medium heat, and stir until smooth.
- Stir in the macaroni and the shredded cheese.
- Stir on medium heat until the cheese is melted.
- Add desired options, especially vegetables.
- Season with salt and pepper.
makes 4 servings
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix cornstarch, sugar, cocoa, and salt together in a bowl.
- Pour milk into a pot over medium heat. Add cocoa mixture and stir constantly until cocoa mixture is well blended and the pudding begins to bowl.
- Lower heat to a simmer and stir pudding continuously until thick. Remove from the heat. Add vanilla.
- Pour into four dishes. Chill.
- Optional: Tow with low-fat whipped cream before serving.