Last week, on July 10th 2013, our usual Wednesday Greenbelt staff lunch turned into a recipe testing and tasting when I whipped up a few of the fabulous recipes developed by the City of Toronto for their city-run daycare centresand served them up to our staff. With support from the Greenbelt Fund, the City of Toronto created 14 healthy, veggie-infused recipes, loaded with lots of fresh, local Ontario-sourced food. After being taste-tested by four hundred kids who gave them thumbs-up for taste, we thought we would give them a try. Would our staff be as gung-ho as the kids were?
Now we have a pretty food-savvy group here, who enjoy all manner of diverse cuisines from around the world. The verdict? It was unanimous. The recipes tasted great and would definitely appeal to kids with their bright flavours and colourful presentation.
The roasted, spiced squash dip served with gala apples is so healthy, with no added salt, sugar, or fat, but when spiked with cinnamon and a touch of coconut milk, tasted like pumpkin pie. Chili-style vegetable soup was thick with tomatoes and lots of vegetables, and one comment on the Ranch chicken wraps was that it was “a really great chicken sandwich.”
The recipes were scaled down for home use, and the beauty is in the simplicity. The recipes worked, and are pretty good on their own, but adventurous cooks could easily add their own unique touches. A handful of Ontario corn, cut from a fresh cob and a jalapeno or two would be great in the chili. The chicken wrap, which uses peppers and cucumbers, could have any fresh chopped vegetables added (I’m thinking a bit of spicy radish or a handful of sunflower sprouts). A touch of smoked paprika would work in any of the dips we tried.
Thanks to our grantees, we have amassed quite the collection of recipes made with fresh, local Ontario ingredients.
I have a feeling we may be doing another testing in the very near future!
To view these recipes and more, please visit Make it Local!
-- Kelly Hughes, Education & Outreach Coordinator, Greenbelt Fund