Kim Lawson, the adult program manager at the Stroum Jewish Community Center and a mom of two, knows first-hand how being the family chef can be stressful for working parents. So this year, she decided to offer cooking classes at the SJCC to help.
A three-part series, “Cooking for Your Family,” taught by caterer Teri Esensten, launched this fall with a back-to-school lunches class. Esensten’s Café Stellina Catering provides hot lunches to more than 500 school kids each, so Teri knows a few things about cooking for kids.
The chefs-in-training — also known as parents — learned a few of Teri’s tips and tricks, and left with several healthy and delicious recipe ideas that can be great for grownups and kids alike.
Her menu included:
• Deconstructed veggie burger: Teri cut a grilled cheese sandwich and a veggie burger into bite-sized pieces, which she threaded onto a skewer along with cherry tomatoes, olives, and pickles, but you can add anything your kids like to eat.
• Chunky tomato soup: Spinach and carrots are blended into this hearty soup, but it’s so flavorful, your kids won’t suspect it’s full of veggies.
• Noodles with peanut sauce and cucumber: This simple and kid-friendly Asian dish can be customized for your kids’ preferences or allergies using any nut butter. Teri cuts the cucumbers lengthwise (either by hand or with a mandoline) because she has better luck getting kids to eat vegetables in that shape rather than in chunks.
• Puff pastries: These look fancy, but they’re pretty simple. Use store-bought puff-pastry dough, add fillings, roll, and bake. Teri’s filling suggestions include spinach, cheese, and basil; cherry tomatoes; and veggie burger pieces with cheese.
The two remaining classes in the series will be offered on both SJCC campuses:
Healthy Snacks for the New Year
Seattle: Mon., Jan. 13, 6 p.m. at 2632 NE 80th St.
Mercer Island: Tues., Jan. 14, 9:45 a.m. at 3801 E Mercer Way.
Fast and Easy Dinners
Seattle: Mon., Feb. 10, 6 p.m.
Mercer Island: Tues., Feb. 11, 6 p.m.
For more information visit www.sjcc.org.