Archive for March, 2016

Volunteer Spotlight: Steven LaFraniere

Steve

Tell us about yourself.
I’ve been cooking since I was 18. I still love it today after 40 years. One of reasons I do it is because I like to see other people enjoy my food and the things that I make. I’ve been working at Capuchin Soup Kitchen for 20 years. I am the assistant chef and prepare all the meals. We serve breakfast and lunch at the Meldrum site. I also work with our volunteers every day and guide them to do the things that needs to be done.

What does the Capuchin Soup Kitchen do as an organization?
Capuchin offer services to those in need without charging any fees. We do a lot more than meals – we arrange for showers, clothing, AA meetings, and a garden program. We provide our neighborhood with services. We’re there to serve the people and help make their lives a little easier .

What is your experience with the Cooking Matters program?
When I did my first Cooking Matters class, it was called Share Our Strength. I was a resident at Jefferson house, where I teach classes now. Back then we talked about the food pyramid, but otherwise class went the same way. A chef from Union Street a restaurant in Detroit came in and worked with us. I liked the fact that he came in and taught us. It made me want to pay it forward. I left Jefferson House and have been in recovery for 22 years. When Cooking Matters came along later, my boss Allison Costello started doing a class at Gleaners for single mothers. That’s when I became involved as a volunteer. This was my seventh year teaching the guys at Jefferson House.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?
I have learned so much from working with volunteers at CSK and how enjoyable it can be.  Two or three guys come from Jefferson House help at Capuchin every day. It’s a nine month program. We get them to come and help work in the kitchen. After I work with them in the Cooking Matters class, things change. I build a better relationship with the group. They have a whole different attitude.
Some of the guys are really interested in cooking, but some don’t really care that much. I try to gear the class towards them as much as possible. I want to show them skills they could use if they have a date over or want to impress their families, and how to keep within a budget. Some of the guys have never been in a kitchen before in their lives. It’s fun when you find someone who can’t cook and egg and they get really into it.
Because Jefferson House is a residential program, we do the classes a little differently there. We do a competition for final week – one team makes an entrée and the other does dessert and salad. We plan the menu week four, shop for the ingredients week five, and make the food week six. As much as we can, we give them free range to give their input and create the meal.

Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share?

Roasted Vegetables or Potatoes

Ingredients:
Vegetables of of choice (I like yellow squash, green zucchini, roma tomatoes, fresh asparagus, red, green & yellow peppers, and  fresh garlic – chopped or bulb, or potatoes)

Directions:
Cut veggies into 1/2 inch pieces
In a large bowl combine:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Fresh or dried herbs
Basil
Thyme
Oregano
Marjoram
Paprika
Sea salt
Pepper
Place veggies in bowl and toss.
Put seasoned veggies on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 mins until tender, or place in foil and put on a grill for 15 to 20 mins. If doing red skin or white potatoes, cook ½ hour to 45 mins until tender.

March 30, 2016 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

Volunteer Spotlight: Stacy Miller

Stacy Miller

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a mother and my children are grown. I have been in the food industry all of my adult life.  A few years ago I watched a movie called A Place at the Table that totally changed the way I think about everything related to food. That’s how I found out about Gleaners and the Cooking Matters program.  I know about food, am good with people, and have time to volunteer, so I was hoping I could make a difference.

When did you first get involved in the food industry?

My first job was at the local Dairy Queen when I was 13 years old.  I saw other kids my age working there and asked how they were able to get a job when they were so young.  They told me to go to the counseling office to get a green card saying my grades were high enough to handle working and studying.   I wanted a job to make money, so I did it.  It’s been a natural progression from there.  I moved on to dishwashing, waitressing, and cooking.  I went to culinary school to study cakes and pastries.  I have one more semester left to finish my degree.  Right now I’m a cake decorator for Costco.  Once I started working around food, I never stopped except to focus on photography for three years – but depending on what you photograph that could be food related too!

What ingredients do you always have in your kitchen?

A wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and Greek yogurt.  I was a vegetarian for several years before I slowly started reincorporating meat into my diet, but mostly we eat fruits and vegetables at home.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering with Cooking Matters?

I’m volunteering in my 4th Cooking Matters class and have worked with teens, middle school students, and now kids in the 3rd to 5th grades.  I like seeing kids try to eat stuff that they’ve never seen before.  Some of them are convinced that they won’t like certain things, but when they taste them they get it right away.

 

Is there a recipe that you would like to share?

One of my favorites is actually a Cooking Matters recipe: Southwestern Black-eyed Pea and Corn Salad.  I like to change it up depending on what I have on hand; it’s so easy.  I’ve started taking this salad to parties when I know that the only food options will be hamburgers, hotdogs, and desserts.

 

Southwestern Black-eyed Pea and Corn Salad

Serves 10, 3/4 cup per serving

 

Ingredients

1 medium bell pepper

1 small red onion

2 (15½ ounce) cans black-eyed peas

1 (15¼ ounce) can corn kernels, no salt added

3 Tablespoons canola oil

2 Tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional Ingredients:

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

 

Materials

Can opener

Colander

Cutting board

Large bowl

Measuring spoons

Mixing spoon

Sharp knife

 

Instructions

  1. Rinse and dice bell pepper, removing core and seeds. Peel, rinse, and dice onion.
  2. If using, rinse and chop cilantro leaves.
  3. In a colander, drain and rinse black-eyed peas and corn.
  4. In a large bowl, add pepper, onion, peas, corn, cilantro if using, and remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Chef’s Notes

Dried black-eyed peas may be cheaper than canned. If using dried, cook according to package directions until peas are soft but not mushy. Drain, rinse, and add 3 cups cooked peas to salad. Use leftovers in other recipes later in the week.

Try chilling the salad. Serve it over cooked spinach or kale.

Use any type of vinegar you have on hand. Try balsamic, cider, or red or white wine vinegar.

Use black beans in place of black-eyed peas if you like.

When corn is in season, use fresh in place of canned. Cook 4 medium ears corn. Remove kernels from cob with a knife. Add to salad.

March 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment


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This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. This work is supported in part by the Michigan Department of Human Services, under contract number ADMIN-10-99011. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Michigan Fitness Foundation or the Michigan Department of Human Services. In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, these institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720- 6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more contact the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline at (855) ASK-MICH. Space-Limited USDA/DHS/MNN Credit Statement This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. These institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet call the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (855) ASK-MICH.