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The Kids Cook Monday

Specialties
My specialty is finding family friendly recipes and meatless recipes.
What is The Kids Cook Monday Doing Now?
We just launched a community cooking class in Harlem with Teachers College Columbia University and the Harlem Health Promotion Center. We’re hoping to release a curriculum that any community can use in similar family cooking classes.

Featured Recipes

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Q&A with The Kids Cook Monday

What is your name?
Joey Lee
What was your very first cooking experience?
My first cooking memory was baking whole-wheat molasses oat bread with my dad. I remember my dad teaching me how to punch down the bread to knead the dough. As a 5 year old I found it hilarious that “kneading” and “needing” sounded the same, but meant two different things!
Do you ever make mistakes cooking?
Who doesn’t? I try and prevent mistakes by reading and rereading recipes before I begin prepping ingredients. And if a snafu happens to happen in the kitchen, I don’t beat myself up about it. It happens to the best of us and most of the time the dish can be saved, even improved, by a cook who is quick on their feet. Be flexible. Your food will thank you.
Who taught you how to cook?
When I was younger my dad did. I was also one of the very first participants of Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard program at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, CA. In my adult life, I’m largely self-taught. I almost never cook the same recipe too many times and I’m eager to try innovative techniques that are new to me.
Why do you like to plan and make meals?
Family dinners have been linked to lower incidents of obesity, better grades in school and healthier diets. But all the health benefits families gained through family dinners only occur if the family eats together frequently. Our research has shown that people prefer starting their weekly routine off on the healthiest foot possible, so The Kids Cook Monday seeks to make Monday night, family night. As families begin their weekly routine, they can use the unique feeling of Monday to cook and eat dinner together, and make sure they keep up family dinners every week. And if you miss a Kids Cook Monday night, there are 52 more opportunities to try again throughout the year.
What advice do you have for kids to learn to cook?
Don’t be afraid to try new things and foods. You’d be amazed how different a fruit or veggie you thought you didn’t like will taste when prepared differently. Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes. It happens to everyone and that’s how you learn!
Why do you like zisboombah?
The games on zisboombah are as engaging and fun as they are educational.
What is your favorite food?
Blue corn chips and guacamole.
How long have you been a chef?
I’m not a chef, but I’ve been recruiting and editing recipes professionally for 2 years. I’ve been an ambitious amateur home cook since I was 12 and a baking assistant for my father since I was 5.
Where do you work now?
The Monday Campaigns, which includes both The Kids Cook Monday and Meatless Monday. http://www.mondaycampaigns.org/ http://www.meatlessmonday.com/
What does your day consist of?
It depends on the day. At work I have calls with other organizations and bloggers who would like to use The Kids Cook Monday concept. I also recruit and edit The Kids Cook Monday and Meatless Monday recipes. When I get home I cook extravagantly for myself and for friends.
What thought process do you use when making a meal?
I feature vegetables and fruit that are in season, to ensure that the produce I’m using is both cheaper and tastier. I think about whether the flavors of side dishes will go well with main courses or if I should concoct any condiments or salads. I consider the nutrition of what I’m making and usually decrease the protein and increase the veggies. I’m especially intrigued by recipes which use fresh ingredients in new ways which totally transform the original taste and texture.
If you have kids, do they like to eat your food?
I don’t have kids, but all of The Kids Cook Monday recipes have been kid tested and approved by the bloggers’ kids participating in The Kids Cook Monday

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The Kids Cook Monday initiative

The Kids Cook Monday is an initiative to encourage families to set aside the first night of every week for cooking and eating together as a family. When kids pitch in making meals, they’re empowered to consider the portions, the vitamins and the nutrients of what they’re eating. And since the family that cooks together eats together, parents can check in with their children during dinner. TheKidsCookMonday.org features examples of family friendly recipes and video demonstrations along with a free starter family dinner toolkit- making it easy for families to cook and eat together every Monday.

www.TheKidsCookMonday.org

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