Monday, January 21, 2013

Littlest Wok-n-Rollers

Today I returned to The Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan, this time with two of our children in tow (while I “rolled” with Sienna and Ryan, Matt and Dylan took in the Chelsea neighborhood).

The class, “Vegetarian Sushi for Kids,” was one with which I was familiar. Many of you may recall that Matt and I attended Vegan Sushi there in December. We enjoyed our class so much that we thought our two younger children would like it as well. We also saw it as an excellent opportunity for Ryan and Sienna to expand their “likes” a bit. We’ve read that children are more likely to try new foods if they prepare it themselves.

We had the same teacher -- a little vegan spitfire whose energy and enthusiasm are absolutely contagious. She bounces around the room (literally, she wears springs on her shoes) with such grace and speed. She’s excellent with kids too -- very hands-on, patient and encouraging. She comes with an extensive and highly impressive resume. Most noteworthy was beginning her career as one of just a handful of female sous chefs in Japan.

Ryan and Sienna took to the art of sushi making immediately -- and they were quite good. In fact, the teacher kept referring to Ryan as the “Sushi Monster” because he turned out rolls quickly and with great ease.

The kids made Spring Rolls with Edamame, Tomato, Red Cabbage, Scallion and Cilantro; as well as Sushi, Hand and Dragon Rolls with Avocado and Cucumber.

The books were right too because they tried everything and with the exception of the Spring Rolls enjoyed it all. They also begged me to let them make sushi at home this coming weekend.

Sienna gave the class her highest praise calling it, “More fun than school.”  In Sienna’s world, there isn’t anything better than the second grade. And when the teacher mentioned a cupcake decorating class in May/June, they both turned to me immediately and asked if I would take them.

I love that they have an interest in cooking and nutrition. As I shared in an earlier post, while they may not fully embrace the optimal dietary lifestyle today, they are well aware of what to eat, what to avoid and why. They read ingredients and nutritional information constantly. They are open to learning and, well … unlearning. They are on their way. I love that.

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Little sushi makers

Making the Hand Rolls

Rolling away

Ryan's works of art ...

and Sienna's


Did I mention the Vegan Chocolate Mousse, courtesy
of our very talented teacher!

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