Pesto Pasta Salads

“Are we going to make healthy things again this class?”

This was the first question I got at the last Flour Children class.

“Well, yes we are.” I replied. “However, healthy doesn’t mean it’s not going to taste good…”

The boy looked at me like I was crazy.

Why do we do this? Associate health with bad taste? In Flour Children classes we do indeed create healthy recipes. That does not mean that the food we make isn’t completely delicious. I like when the kids understand this by the end of the class. When they see that they spent an hour prepping vegetables and fruits and flavorful sauces, and then at the end the combine these “healthy” ingredients and enjoy their meal thoroughly, though completely unexpected. That makes me happy!

Here are some pictures from the last class we did at the Point Loma library. We made pesto pasta salads using whole wheat cous cous as a base. We made two different pestos: A classic basil pesto with pine nuts and then a parsley pesto with almonds. Both were enjoyed by Flour Children and their parents. Of course, we made sure to top the salads with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. It was a healthy snack, sure. But was it delicious, too? Oh yes it was.

DSC_2311 DSC_2322DSC_2321DSC_2316



Meatless Monday

This is so great!

Meatless Monday on the Menu at San Diego Schools

mm_sd_meetingCheered on by a group of supporters holding up green signs saying “Meatless Monday,” members of the San Diego Unified School District’s board of education voted Tuesday evening to begin Meatless Mondays this fall at the district’s 118 elementary and K–8 school cafeterias.

“Our job is to improve our students’ prospects for a healthy, happy and successful life,”school board trustee Kevin Beiser said before the vote.“Learning how to make good food choices is an essential component.” Driving home just how important such choices are, Beiser cited statistics saying nearly 28 percent of children in San Diego are overweight or obese.

The move to go Meatless Monday had vocal support from San Diego community members as well.  Speaking in favor of a “yes” vote on the proposal during a public comment period, Dr. Lawrence Hansen, a professor at UC San Diego medical school told board members, “I have five reasons why the district should adopt Meatless Mondays: heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes and obesity.” Research has shown that cutting down on meat intake can help prevent the chronic conditions Hansen referred to, and that adopting a more plant-based diet has numerous positive health effects.


California’s second largest school district, San Diego now joins nearby Los Angeles (the state’s largest) in doing its part to promote healthy meal choices at school to tens of thousands of kids. Los Angeles schools implemented Meatless Mondays in March 2012. Across the country, 18 school districts and 47 independent schools have joined the campaign. Baltimore City Public Schools became the first fully Meatless Monday school district in 2009.

Want to bring Meatless Monday to your school? Get started with simple ideas for engaging students, staff and parents in our K-12 Tools and Resources PDF.


Smart Snacking

Let’s face it. Snacks are important to keep our energy at optimal levels throughout the day. Smaller meals and snacks in between can be ideal for kids… if they are the right snacks.


I promote fruit and yogurt parfaits and smoothies… also, acai bowls are delicious, like the one above from the Hillcrest Farmers Market. You can buy acai at Sprouts or Peoples co op in OB… acai is a delicious super fruit from the Amazon. Either way, granola atop yogourt or a smoothie is a great snack to keep energy high, without the sugar crash.

Here is an article I found that may be of help when it comes to Smart Snacking. Enjoy!

Earth Fair at Balboa Park


Here’s a fun event for you and your Flour Children to check out!

Earth Fair at Balboa Park...

There you’ll find traditional conservation organizations, wildlife preservation groups, products made from natural and organically grown crops, organic gardening information, alternative energy vehicles, ecotourism opportunities, many alternative and traditional health care products and services, pet adoption services, clean air and clean water products, rainforest preservation groups … the list goes on and on.

In our Children’s Activity Area you’ll find crafts, games, face painting, storytelling, and a hands-on activities for children of all ages. Activities are intended to educate, entertain and inspire youth, in the spirit of Earth Day. This year, participants will learn to make paper, find out about recycling, make gift cards from recycled materials, and learn how to visit wild areas without disturbing the environment. Our Children’s Stage features youth-oriented performances throughout the day.

Hope to see you there!!!

Kids in the Kitchen: March Event

Olivewood Gardens asked Flour Children to be the guest chef at another of their great events. I was thrilled! I have written about their incredible garden and kitchen before… it is truly incredible. Kids have a chance to really learn about where their food comes from, they learn about compost, and then they get to put on their chefs hats and create something delicious.

The Kids in the Kitchen event rotates the kids between 5 stations, three of which are cooking. Besides making peanut butter avocado smoothies and avocado corn salads, they came over to my station to create their very own granola mix. They topped plain yogurt with their granola and fresh fruit of choice- and devoured their creation. It was so much fun to see the different mixtures that came together!

3 kidsinkitchen kidsinkitchen2 kidsinkitchen3kidsinkitchengranola

Fruit and granola parfaits are one of the five Flour Children Introductory Classes. When I teach it, I specifically focus on food as medicine. Something like a fruit and granola parfait does as much for your taste buds as it does for your body. It prevents and heals what ails you.

Come learn how to make granola parfaits with Flour Children! Check our class schedule