Garden Basics

By Amanda Moses

Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman continues to cook up fun lessons with students in the Starrett Judo Club online and their parents! Every Monday from 5 pm to 6pm, Roytman joins Sensei Legros and the Starrett Judo Club online to provide an in-depth view of nutritional cooking, along with planting and growing food to support healthy lifestyles.

One of the lessons Legros instills in his students is healthy eating habits. He stresses the importance of consuming food that is jam-packed with nutrients, so that their bodies can grow and become stronger. For their latest cooking lesson, Legros and Roytman showed the class how to make the perfect salad.

Making the perfect salad is all about pairing your vegetables wisely. Roytman has grown a wide array of vegetables and herbs within the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC). Throughout her tenure at the UGC, she has harvested fresh crops that would impress any salad connoisseur, including ingredients such as kale, zucchini, zucchini blossoms, Nasturtium, Callaloo, Okra, Collard Greens, Malabar Spinach, beets, snap peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, lavender, strawberries, basil, dill, parsley, spicy oregano, and lemon grass.

Prior to making their scrumptious salad, Sensei Legros asked the judokas and their parents to boil and then bake a chicken. Chicken salad is the perfect combination of protein and antioxidants, as well as healthy dose of vitamin B.

The first step is always to wash all the meat, fruits and vegetables prior to cooking. Sensei Legros then asked the class to rub lemon on the chicken and then add spices, marinating it with your hand. Some of these spices include garlic, turmeric, black pepper, Celtic Salt, and Cayenne pepper.  The next step is to place the marinated chicken into a pot with one cup of water and let it boil for a half hour.

While the chicken boiled, Roytman showed the class how to Julienne chop the vegetables. This is a French method of slicing food into thin strips.  Together with their parents, the children chopped onions, cucumbers, and bell peppers, and then mixed it together with their salad (the children could use kale, a spring mix with spinach, arugula, or just plain iceberg lettuce). 

After the salad was prepared, the next step was placing the chicken into a glass pan that has been lightly based in olive oil. Legros showed the class how to place the chicken in the oven with the temperature at 350 to 450 degrees, which was set to cook for about 35 minutes or until it was brown.

As they waited for their protein portion of the meal to bake, the class made their own salad dressing. Legros showed the students how to make an avocado dressing using only a handful of ingredients. Together they smashed small slices of avocado with a fork, diced garlic cloves, vinaigrette, and added a smidge of water and lemon.

The lesson culminated with the class ready to eat a nutritious dinner that was high in antioxidants, vitamins and protein.

Screenshots by Amanda Moses