In my Social Order and Social Change class we study the impact of food insecurity and what social change can be created with food. I have them read about Leanne Brown's "Good and Cheap" cookbook and we discuss what we can do to help. For instance here is a list of the most needed items at food banks...peanut or other seed butters, canned vegetables (low sodium), rice (brown), canned fruit (packed in water or juice) or natural applesauce, dried or canned beans (low sodium), whole grain cereal (low sugar), canned or boxed soup (low sodium), whole grain pasta, canned meats & fish (in water), healthy snacks such as low sugar granola bars, raw nuts or dried fruit. I have also had classes watch "A Place at the Table" which is very compelling (it's available on Netflix).
In addition to talking about the social change, we discuss the community that can be created with food. The class loved reading, "Friday Night Meatballs". And, as an example, I bring in food for us all to share. I started with an idea for broccoli apple salad from a recipe from Good and Cheap, then came up with a half dozen ideas on how to change it, and made up forty plates to snack on during class.
Broccoli Apple Pasta Salad with Feta and Sunflower Seeds
- 1 box (14.5 ounces) protein plus rotini pasta, cooked according to instructions, drained and cooled
- 1 1/2 pounds broccoli florets; chopped, streamed and cooled
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 2 small apples, chopped into small pieces
- 1 tub (6 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Steam broccoli until tender and set aside to cool completely. Cook pasta and set aside to cool completely. When both are cool combine in a large mixing bowl adding chopped onion, apple and feta cheese.
To make the dressing combine minced shallot, Dijon mustard, sugar, and white wine vinegar. Stream in olive oil while stirring continuously until dressing is emulsified. Add mayonnaise to dressing and mix in completely.
Toss the salad with the dressing and allow it to chill together for at least a couple hours. Add sunflower seeds just before serving.