Happy Thanksgiving: Angel Foundation for Learning


First off, I wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope everyone is enjoying their family time, getting stuffed, and making (possibly very embarrassing) memories that you won’t forget.

With my family this year, we’re thankful for always seeing each other at the end of the night, for our friends that truly care about us, to be living in our (my mom’s) dream home, to be in good health, and of course for the turkey (or rather chicken) on our table tonight.

However, I know well that not everyone is as fortunate as us. Although everyone deserves to be well-fed, to have a roof over their head and clothes on their back, that’s not the reality of the world that we live in today. Thankfully, there are programs such as The Angel Foundation for Learning that provides financial assistance to over 35,000 students as well as nutrition programs. 
 Angel Foundation

The Angel Foundation for Learning is a charitable organization that’s run within the Toronto Catholic District School Board, serving those within it. They promote the awareness of the vital link between nutrition and learning.

They’ve been around for 25 years now and recognized the The Toronto Foundation for Student Success 8th annual Feeding Toronto’s Hungry Student Week (Oct 1-5) with some awesome lunch recipes that were donated by some of our city’s top chefs! 
Photo credit goes to The Angel Foundation for Learning

Personally, I find it a relief that my belief has been confirmed, that school boards and teachers do care about their students, and that they truly go above and beyond for them! Just this past Friday (Oct 5) was World Teacher’s day. Gotta love and be thankful for those who inspired you. :) 
WTD 2012
Poster from World Teacher's Day site (http://www.5oct.org/2012/index.php/en/)

Anywhos, wanna try out some new soon-to-be-keepers-recipes?! They’re  from Chef Corbin Tomaszeski (C5), Chef John Horne (Canoe), and Chef James Gao (Kanji).

Crispy Vegetable Fritters – w/ cilantro, ginger and coconut chutney

Chef Corbin Tomaszeski’s take on making veggies enjoyable for kids to eat. Deep fried = instant winner. 
Photo courtesy of The Angel Foundation for Learning
(fritter mix)
     2 cup  chana or chick pea flour
     ½ tbsp grated ginger  root
     1        garlic clove, minced
     1 cup  chopped fresh spinach
  ¼ cup julienned carrot
  ¼       red pepper, julienned
  ½ cup julienned onion
  ¼ tbsp ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup  chopped fresh cilantro
½-¾ cup cold water
canola oil for frying
(coconut ginger chutney)
     1 cup    fresh cilantro
     1½ tbsp grated ginger root
     ½ cup   grated unsweetened coconut
1 cup    coconut mlk
1          birds eye chili
1 tbsp  brown sugar

Preparation: (**be careful of hot oil!)
1. (fritters): Combine all ingredients except water in small mixing bowl.
2. Add cold water to bind ingredients—a thick paste will form. Do not overmix!
3. Heat oil in heavy bottom cast iron skillet to 350OF; 2 inches up sides.
4. Drop large fork fulls of battered vegetables (2” in diameter) into the hot oil.
5. Fry til golden brown, crispy and cooked through, approx 4 min.
6. Remove from heat, drain on paper towel and season w/ sea salt and pepper.
7. Serve w/ your sauce of choice or coconut ginger chutney.
8. (coconut ginger chutney): Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée til smooth.

Country Lunchbox – Ham & Cheese on Buttermilk Biscuit w/ apple coleslaw & crunchy corn on the cob

This recipe from from Chef John Horne of Canoe restaurant (Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants). It’s an ode to what to childhood lunches that his mom would prepare for him. The buttermilk biscuit recipe is a family recipe that hails several generations back! 
Photo courtesy of The Angel Foundation for Learning

Ingredients & Preparation
(apple coleslaw; makes 1-2 servings)
1 cup  shaved green cabbage (can buy precut)
½       apple, sliced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar)
1 tsp   sugar
pinch of salt
touch of ground cinnamon (optional)
1. Place all ingredients in a small container w/ a lid.
2. Give it a quick stir and place lid on.
3. Shake it up. Allow it to marinate.

(buttermilk biscuits; makes 10-16 biscuits)
2½ cups  flour
2 tbsp      sugar
4 tsp        salt
4 tsp        baking powder
1 tsp        baking soda
1 tbsp      raisins (optional)
1 cup       butter, chilled
1½ cups  buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 325OF. Set a baking sheet aside.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Cut cold butter into dry ingredients. Mix w/ a fork or pastry cutter.
4. Add buttermilk. Allow to sit 5-10 min in the fridge.
5. Roll out to ¾-inch thickness. Use a large cookie cutter to cut rounds of dough.
6. Place on baking sheet. Bake 15-18 min.
7. Once cooled, cut open and layer w/ your favourite country ham and cheese.

(crunchy corn)
corn on the cob
honey, hummus, or any other preferred spread
salted corn nuts

1. Boil corn on the cob and cool in fridge.
2. Once chilled, brush w/ desired spread.
3. Crush the corn nuts by blitzing them in a blender.
4. Roll the corn in crushed corn nuts to give it a crunchy outside.

Crab Meat Salad

Chef James Gao from Kanji Sushi Restaurant offered up a “kid-friendly salad” that’s “so simple to make, yet it filled with the essential nutrients and vitamins which are key for any growing child.”
Photo courtesy of The Angel Foundation for Learning

½ cup shredded cucumber
¼ cup crab meat
⅛ cup seaweed salad
1 tbsp Japanese QP mayonnaise (or to taste)
½ tbsp tobiko (flying fish roe)
sesame seeds, to taste
tempura flakes, to taste

  1. In a bowl, mix together cucumber, crab meat, seaweed salad and mayonnaise.
  2. Add tobiko, sesame seeds and tempura flakes to your tastes.

All of these are quite straightforward so I know I’ll be trying them real soon! They all look really good…So these recipes were donated as lunch ideas for parents to prep for their kids (and themselves; because they’ll no doubt sneak a couple bites here and there while cooking).

To donate, check out their site. If you’re interested, they’ve also got an event coming up called “Evening to Feed the Soul – A Night in the Big Apple Gala.” It’ll take place Friday, November 9th and ticket sales deadline is the end of this month! And if I read correctly, Marc Kielburger (co-founder of Free the Children with his brother, Craig Kielburger) will be the MC.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving!! Thanks for following and reading my blog for the past year and a half! It’s been a wild ride so far…happy eating and be grateful for what you’ve got. 
Portuguese egg tarts!

***Please note: I’ve been approached to share these recipes and to talk about The Angel Foundation for Learning. This is NOT a paid promotion. I felt it appropriate to share with you this registered charity as they are making a difference in our city at its roots, the children.

“Les baobabs, avant de grandir, ça commence par être petit.” – Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry