Playing with Your Food

 At my school (Odyssey STEM Academy) I have been teaching an online baking and cooking class. In this class we are covering world history, empirical reasoning and nutrition to name a few subject areas. Last week we made fresh pasta, rice milk horchata from freshly cooked brown rice, and pizza dough. During Friday’s class, the “social distancing” faded as we laughed our way through making 20 different pizzas in 20 different kitchens. COVID-19 resulted in mandated distance learning but has given us the opportunity to flex our creativity. I’ve enjoyed creating lessons that are hands-on, engaging and beneficial to the well being of the community in which I’m lucky enough to work.

Food has always served as an opportunity to bring people together; I believe this now more than ever. The highlight of my day is always checking in with my students, working our way through the day’s lesson, creating together and, ultimately, breaking bread together. Each night I receive multiple emails with pictures of dishes and notes mentioning how families are enjoying this student-created food.

On any given day, my home kitchen is a space where I love to prepare food. The last few weeks my kitchen has become so much more than just a cooking space. It’s become my classroom, my gym, my dance floor and my office; classroom and office are understandable, but gym and dance floor? One current challenge is figuring out how to get exercise when we are being encouraged to stay inside. I find that doing 20 jumping jacks and 25 pushups at the beginning of each hour helps put my brain in a more creative place. Another thing that helps me out is having multiple dance parties in the kitchen each day. Whoever said you shouldn’t play with your food was way off! I encourage you to throw on some of your favorite music (speaker or ear buds-depending on what your scene is) and dance your way through food preparation. Whip up a healthy meal AND get some exercise along the way.

I look forward to seeing what recipes you might be cooking and what dance moves work best in your kitchen space!



Pasta With Fresh Spring Greens
  1. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add pasta and cook for as long as noted on package (typically 5-12 minutes depending on the type of pasta)
  3. Peel and mince 3 cloves of garlic
  4. Chop 1/4 cup of onions
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes
  6. Toss in garlic and onion. Stir and saute for 5 minutes or until the onion turns translucent or starts to brown
  7. Rinse and chop 1 bundle of spinach or kale. This will equal 2-6 cups of chopped greens
  8. Toss these into the sauteed onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the greens are cooked down
  9. Spice up with salt, pepper or any spices you might like
  10. Pour one portion of pasta into a bowl and then toss in as many of the greens as you like (you can also add your preferred sauce)
  11. Enjoy!
  12. Dance!