Nutrition and Cooking Lessons

By: Pamela Stern

In the latest nutrition and cooking class that Coach Legros hosted virtually there were also some additional presenters, Chef Dana and Chef Marvin of Fork Flavor Catering. In this week’s lesson, attendees learned how to make Roasted Asparagus with potatoes. Chef Dana and Chef Marvin both educated the students on tips to select fruits and vegetables from the supermarket and they taught the children and their parents cutting techniques in preparation for their cooking lesson with Coach Legros.

“We are so blessed to have two people working with us and I have learned so much from Chef Dana and Chef Marvin,” said Legros.

Chef Dana and Chef Marvin explained to the class how to select fruits and vegetables when shopping and what to look for and how to know if the items are fresh and ripe. She told them that they need to pick the best fresh fruit and vegetables and to look for firmness and they should be bright in color and avoid anything that is bruised, smells, or has mold on it.

She also explained that fruits and vegetables need to be kept separated from raw meat and that they should not touch raw meat because that could lead to cross contamination (which is bad) and that they should try new fruits and vegetables. She gave the class some tips: shop for fruits and vegetables in season- they will be cheaper in price and will be the best in flavor.

She also explained that they should wash their hands after touching the fruits and vegetables when shopping because you do not know who has touched them and if they have germs, or dirt and to always keep your hands clean. She suggested if they have with them hand sanitizer to use it after touching the fruits and vegetables.

After Chef Dana explained to the class what to specifically look for in the fruits and vegetables then she explained to the class how to properly clean them. She told the class that it is important to properly clean the fruits and vegetables and also the utensils that they will be using.

She said to never wash the fruits and vegetables in soap and to only use water or a specialized solution to wash the fruits and vegetables in. Chef Dana then explained to the class the items that should be stored in the refrigerator and which items can be stored at room temperature. She said that broccoli, carrots and leafy greens should be stored in the refrigerator in one of the drawers in the fridge.

She said that you should not put the fruits and the vegetables in the same drawer because the vegetables will give off gases that might ripen the fruit. She said to keep them as separated as possible. Apples, pineapples, and oranges can be kept out of the fridge but, she said not to leave them out for too long and that you should eat them within a week.

Onions, and garlic need to be kept in a well-ventilated area that is dry and that storing them in the fridge could cause them to soften or get wet and could cause them to cause mold. Potatoes should be stored in a dark, dry, cool place because they have tendencies to have sprouts that look like eyes and sprout out all around the potatoes. She told the class that she is giving them a homework assignment to practice what she taught them so when they go shopping with their parents they can pick out the fruits and vegetables.

Next Chef Marvin explained to the parents the importance of making sure that the knives are sharp and clean before they use them. He then showed everyone how to cut the asparagus properly into ½ inch pieces. He also explained that they should cut off the bottom portion of the asparagus and he showed the parents how they can wiggle it and it will snap off.

After he cut up the asparagus, he placed the pieces into a bowl, and then he cut the grape tomatoes straight from top to bottom, lengthwise, not from the top to the bottom. Chef Marvin then took the petite potatoes and cut them in half, he explained that if you have bigger potatoes then you should cut them into ¼ pieces. Then he cut the avocado he said to hold it down and cut it in half, then he stated that the parents should take the knife into the pit and take the pit out and then he showed everyone how they can peel the skin off the avocado and scoop the avocado out of the skin and place it on a plate.

Next Chef Marvin took the garlic and showed everyone how to peel the garlic from where the stem is on the bottom and then to pull the segments out or he explained that if they have a garlic press at home that they can put the segment into the garlic press and squeeze it, and then place it on a plate and continue until all of the garlic is crushed or chopped like a “choo choo train” and to keep them as fine as possible.

Now that Chef Dana and Chef Marvin gave the class their lesson, Coach Legros jumped in and explained the benefits of asparagus: (it has multiple benefits)
• Low in calories
• High in nutrients
• It is good for your bones

Then Legros explained that Vitamin K:
• Is good for digestion
• Is loaded with antioxidants
• Lowers your blood pressure
• Prevents urinary tract infections
• It can ease a hangover

Legros instilled the fact to the class that you must wash your food because you do not know who has touched it. Legros instructed the class to put their cut up vegetables into a bowl and to set the oven to 450 degrees. He then told everyone to make sure that their vegetables were dry by patting them with a dry towel and then placing them into a Pyrex bowl if they have one.

He showed everyone how to shake them up and also explained to them that they could use either a little bit of oil or water into the Pyrex bowl and then he used the spices that he likes to call the “Legrospices” which is Celtic salt, and then shake up the vegetables, then turmeric, and again shake up the veggies, then black pepper which will enhance the turmeric, and shake it up then cumin, and again shake it up, then garlic powder, and shake it up and last of the spices is cayenne pepper and once you use it, you must wash your hands immediately and then you can stir up the veggies, and again put either a little bit of oil or water and shake it up and stir it up.

Now it’s time to place the Pyrex in the oven for 20 minutes depending on the type of oven that you have it could cook for less than 20 minutes. After it is done, you can sprinkle some lemon juice on it and you can also sprinkle some cheese on it and place it back into the oven for a few minutes and then you can serve it with two slices of avocado.

Screenshots by: Pamela Stern

Pamela Stern