Cookin' Tex-Mex with Operation Frontline

By: Elizabeth Stahl, Communication Intern Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend an Operation Frontline class taught at St. Augustine College.  Attending the first class of the series, I was excited to witness the enthusiasm of the teens and to experience a class for myself.  IFFS intern Whitney Hlubik opened the class with nutrition facts and information on the food pyramid.  Learning that I need more veggies in my diet, the class also taught me that people commonly overlook the grains portion of the food pyramid as well as the vegetable servings.

The class then moved to a cooking demonstration, where the teens could experience first hand how to prepare “Tex-Mex Skillet” to add to either soft-shell tacos or tortilla chips.  Chef Nick reviewed basic knife skills when dicing fresh, local tomatoes, peppers, and onions for the meal.  Instead of using ground beef, the class opted for lean ground turkey instead, a more health-conscious choice. Most of the teens had never tasted parsley before, some were hesitant to add it to their tacos but in the end the majority of them enjoyed the healthy addition.   Once everything was prepared the teens got to sit and enjoy while discussing how they can prepare this meal and similar meals for themselves at home.  The food was delicious;  you should try to make the "Tex-Mex Skillet" for yourself- I know I will!

1. Make sure to thoroughly cook the turkey, adding salt and pepper to taste.

2. Make sure to carefully cut peppers, tomatoes, and onions.

**The OFL class even used some fresh veggies from the IFFS farm which provides fresh fruits and vegetables to community members in need.

3.  Once meat is browned, begin sauteing the veggies!

4. Add black beans and corn to the turkey and vegetables.  Stir everything together adding seasoning.

5.  Once everything is cooked, sprinkle with fresh tomatoes.  Enjoy over tortilla chips or in a whole-grain soft tacos.  Adding fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, and sour cream is optional.

A big thanks to the students for letting me join them, and also to Whitney and Amanda!