Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What's Cooking at Concord?

While the gardens snooze, our education programming sneaks indoors to Concord Elementary. We're two months deep into our school-based work, so we thought it was time for an update!

Monday through Wednesday, we teach cooking-based nutrition education to grades K-5. Recently, second graders met Pepita, the Purple Protein [hand-puppet] Squirrel and explored plant-based proteins through black bean and sweet potato chili. In fifth grade, we listened to a story about the Three Sisters - corn, beans, and squash - and learned about the traditional importance of these crops for Native agriculturists across the hemisphere. Kindergarten noses were tickled by the soft aroma of cabbage soup, which they seasoned and sampled.

At the end of October we held a Healthy Halloween raffle, where kids could turn in 5+ pieces of candy for a raffle ticket. This effort collected more than 45 pounds of candy (not quiiiiite as much as Emerson Elementary), which a kind dental office in Bellevue shipped to military personnel overseas.

Outside of the classroom, Apple Corps members have coached a Girls on the Run! team. Fifteen third, fourth, and fifth grade girls trained after school all fall for a 5K race, which took place last Saturday, December 7 at Seward Park. It was a chilly day, but the Concord Cougars had a great run!

We've begun a second year of 4th Grade Cooks, a night of community cooking led by students. Below are some pictures and a recipe from our first evening, which featured the return of some favorite menu items from last year. Want to join the fun? We could use 1-2 volunteers on Thursdays December 12 and January 16 from 5:30-8pm. E-mail Amelia at amelias@solid-ground.org if you're interested!

~Amelia Swinton, Lettuce Link Education Coordinator

Mahlet fine-tunes the griddle for pupusas
Salad fingers massage repollo
Souperstars making Squash and Lentil Soup!

Spicy Squash and Red Lentil Soup


  • 6 cups peeled, cubed winter squash 
  • ¾ cup red lentils 
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil 
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 cup chopped celery 
  • 2 tsp curry powder 
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 
  • ½ tsp coriander 
  • Cayenne, to taste 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste 
  • 2 cups milk (optional) 


  1. Cook squash and lentils in 5 cups of water in a large soup pot until tender, 20-25 minutes. 
  2. Working in batches, puree the squash, lentils, and cooking water in a food processor or blender. Return puree to the pot and set aside. 
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, and celery until tender, about 5 min. 
  4. Add the sautéed vegetables to the soup pot. Stir in spices and lemon juice. Heat soup and bring to a simmer. Add tomato, milk if desired, and simmer 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Serves 8

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