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Announcement: January 5, 2021: Fun with Composting
Jan 9th, 2022 by Alex Koster

Welcome to Kidscookdinner.com, a website my brother and I started in 2015 to talk about food and kids’ cooking. We also tried to raise awareness about social issues like worldwide hunger. (See post below, About Kids Cook Dinner, for more info about that.)

I am also trying to educate myself and others about climate change and I’ve learned that the food we eat can be a big part of it. And the food we waste is a huge issue! Not only does it waste water and energy to produce food that is then wasted, but food waste also generates greenhouse gases and the United States is the worst. We discard more food (40 million tons) than any other country in the world.

So instead of talking about cooking today, I wanted to talk about what we can do to help reduce food waste. The first thing is to buy groceries more thoughtfully: make a list before you go to the store about what you need and stick to it.

The second thing you can do is compost some of the food waste. We have always done this at our house in the country because it’s easy there. Our compost bins are close to the house and we just empty our compost bucket into them when it’s full. The things we compost are:

(We have two bins, one is for new compost and the other is aging, and we use that in our garden)

  • fruit, vegetable scraps
  • egg shells
  • coffee grounds
  • dried flowers/leaves
  • old bread, grains or pasta

For the new year, I wanted to try to make sure we tried to compost stuff in the city. So I got another compost bucket and found a compost bin along the Hudson River near where we walk the dog.

If you are interested in composting your food waste, it’s easy to find a drop off spot in New York City. Just check out https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/site/services/food-scraps-and-yard-waste-page/nyc-food-scrap-drop-off-locations

The link will show you your nearest drop-off spot and what it accepts. Good luck and happy composting!

Announcement: December 20, 2021: Crispy Sheet Pan Teriyaki Tofu, Broccoli, and Garlic
Jan 1st, 2022 by Alex Koster

Welcome to KidsCookDinner.com, a website my brother and I started in 2015 to talk about food and kids’ cooking. Since then we’ve tried to use it to raise awareness about social issues such as worldwide hunger (see post below “About Kids Cook Dinner…”. And now, since I’m really concerned about climate change, I want to raise awareness about food’s carbon ‘footprint”. I am trying to learn more about it, but what I understand is that the mass production of meat, dairy, and eggs has a big negative impact due to the greenhouse emissions these activities produce. I love meat but I am going to try to eat a more plant-based diet to do my part. Accordingly, today I am going to cook something healthy, high in protein–but with no meat, dairy or eggs. This tofu dish, loosely based on a recipe in Recipe Runner (I added garlic!), looked delicious.

Ingredients:

For the tofu, broccoli, and garlic mix:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce*
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10-15 peeled garlic cloves

For the teriyaki sauce

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce*
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch whisked with 1 teaspoon water.

* you can substitute tamari sauce if you have it.

Once you have everything assembled, drain and dry the tofu with paper towels. Cut the tofu into about 50 cubes by slicing the tofu into 5 slabs, stacking them on top of each other and slicing lengthwise and then across again.

Line a sheet pan with paper towels, or a soft clean cotton towel, and lay the tofu on top in a single layer. Place a towel on top and them put something heavy on top and let the tofu rest for at least 20 minutes (longer is better).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and oil a rimmed baking sheet. After at least 20 minutes, toss the cubed tofu with 1 and and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a large bowl. Keep mixing until no corn starch is visible.

Spread the tofu onto1/2 of the baking sheet. Then add the broccoli to the same bowl along with the remaining olive oil (1 and 1/2 teaspoons) and salt and pepper. Mix and then spread the broccoli on the other half of the baking sheet, leaving a little room for the garlic

Slice the cloves of garlic in half if too big, toss with a little olive oil.

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Bake for 12 minutes, remove the pan from the oven. Toss the broccoli and tofu around and add the garlic. Cook for another 12 minutes or until the tofu is gold and crispy on the edges.

Meanwhile, make the teriyaki sauce (this is what makes the dish really good)! Over medium heat in a small saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients listed above, except the cornstarch and water. Bring it to a boil and then whisk in the cornstarch-water mix. Reduce the heat and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.

Once the tofu, broccoli, and garlic are done baking, combine with the teriyaki sauce and serve over rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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