In the final weeks of the Teen Culinary Apprenticeship (TCA), students used what they’ve learned over the past months to create original small dishes to share with family and friends at a fun community feast. The final lesson challenged them to take all the skills and techniques they’ve learned to present a healthy, well-balanced, delicious meal. They accomplished this by using alternative ingredients or healthy-cooking techniques recipes. Students also needed to think about budgeting and menu planning, while further developing their teamwork skills.
The TCA Bronx – Cohort A’s menu’s included lemon chicken parmesan with arugula salad, cold pasta salad, carrot cheesecake, and strawberry lemonade. The healthy fats used to make the carrot cheesecakes were coconut oil and greek yogurt (for the frosting.) Instead of using only all-purpose flour, they also used whole wheat flour.
All the recipes incorporated whole wheat. They made chicken alfredo with wheat fettuccine. Low sodium black beans and low-fat sour cream were used for the quesadillas. The vanilla ice cream used half the amount of sugar the recipe called for and the lemonade was made with muddled berries, squeezed lemons, and simple syrup to lessen the amount of sugar used.
The TCA BK recreated general tso with broccoli and brown rice. The broccoli was blanched to give it a crisp and tender bite. To give the chicken a nice crunch, they coated it with crumbled cornflakes and oven baked it instead of frying. The cooking method and alternative ingredients used greatly reduced the amount of fat. For the strawberry lemonade, they used honey instead of white sugar.