Buffalo-Style Hummus by the No Meat Athlete


Anne-Michelle harvesting the K/1 student garden plots.

This week’s K/1 cooking project took us outside to our classroom garden to harvest our green and purple lettuces, cabbage, broccoli, and mint that have been growing for a few weeks now. The perfect dipping sauce for raw veggies is hummus, but rather than teach the kids the same old basic hummus recipe, we decided to add a little fire to the sauce and made it a spicy buffalo hummus instead!

The recipe is from the book entitled No Meat Athlete by Matt Frazier, and the Buffalo Hummus Recipe can be found here.

We teach the students in three groups of 7-8, so we began our 30 minute cooking session by going out to the garden to harvest their little plots. Each student showed me which plot was theirs that they have been nourishing with water and compost and picking weeds, and we cut through many types of vegetables to bring back to class with us to eat in their raw state.


Adding all of the ingredients (minus the hot sauce and cayenne) to a bowl, then combined.

I had all of the ingredients lined up on the table, and each student was able to measure out the spice, squeeze lemon, and we stirred it around in the bowl to combine.


Added the mixed ingredients to the food processor.

I saved the hot sauce (Tabasco) and cayenne pepper for the very end. This step can easily be skipped by placing all the ingredients in the food processor, but with a group of kids the journey is more important than the destination. When they were satisfied with the combination, I added it to the Cuisinart and whirred it for about a minute.


Placed a portion of the combined hummus back in a bowl, and then added the hot sauce and cayenne for the students who wanted it spicy!

I asked which students wanted it spicy and which did not. Surprisingly, it was about half and half, but eventually everyone tried the spicy and said “this isn’t spicy at all!” I was surprised to receive such a favorable reaction among Kinders and 1st graders, but you should have seen them eating up their lettuce and raw veggies! It’s amazing what kids will open themselves up to when you give them an appealing plate of healthy food.


Our beautiful harvest! Green lettuce, purple lettuce, broccoli, and even a few innocent little snails.

We also talked about which body parts purple lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli could be good for, in order to circle back around with last week’s lesson about What the shape and color of produce tells us. They remembered a lot more than I expected, and it was refreshing to hear how much they processed from one gardening/cooking lesson.

Later that day, I received a text message from my daughter’s Run Club coach informing me that she just beat two 8th graders in a 200 meter sprint! I told her coach to commend her because of all the healthy foods she eats that make her strong. The girl was on fire!

Next week, we’ll be making Mint Lemonade with mint from our school garden, lemons from all of our student’s trees, and a raw vegan simple syrup made from dates and water! What are your favorite recipes using mint? Our garden has a ton, and we’d love to use it!


What the shape and color of produce tells us…

Did you know that fruits and vegetables are often the shape and color of the exact body part that they are the most beneficial for?

Today’s cooking session with the K/1 class was a joint lesson between me and the gardening parent since Arun is out of town this week, and he was going to leave me alone to cook with all the kiddoes. Eek! My husband me this photo while on his terribly boring business trip. I feel so sorry for him, don’t you?


Arun Frances at Malibu Boats Surf Gate 2014

Not to leave anything to chance, I organized a cooking project that would keep us outside working in the garden, then enjoy a raw foods cooking lesson based on the importance of eating a rainbow of colors when consuming produce.

We started the day with a scavenger hunt in the community garden. The volunteer gardening parent, Katy McKay of Mother Earth’s Children Preschool, created a worksheet that had a color scribbled in a box, then the students had to find something in the garden that matched that color. The colors she used were red through purple to represent the colors of the rainbow, which would tie into my cooking project.

The students returned to plates filled with only one or two fruits and vegetables, each representing an internal or external body part that the particular produce was both shaped like and beneficial for. Here are the samples we used:


20140430-145346.jpgRed: Tomatoes – beneficial for, shaped like, and the color of your heart / Kidney Beans – beneficial for, shaped like, and the color of our kidneys

Orange: Carrots – beneficial for and shaped like our eyes if cut into discs

Yellow: Bananas – increases serotonin levels that put you in a happy mood; shaped like our smile

Green: Celery – beneficial for and shaped like our bones

Blue: Blueberries – beneficial for the skin and a favorite snack of the students!

Purple: Garnet Yams/Sweet Potatoes – beneficial for, shaped like, and the outside is the color of your pancreas

Brown: Ginger – beneficial for, shaped like, and the color of your stomach

Grey: Mushrooms – beneficial for and shaped like our ears if sliced into 1/4″ pieces


We spent 1 1/2 hours outside in the community garden today — the hottest day so far that clocked in at 92 degrees, but there is nowhere else I would rather be — enjoying beautiful, wholesome, and healthy organic foods for which I am able to share my love for with my son’s K/1 class.