Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy Holidays

As we come to the end of the year, this is the time to reflect on your achievements and create new goals. Take notice of how far you’ve come and be proud. But before the year officially comes to an end take this Holiday season to spend time others during social events.  

Here are some tips for attending holiday season social events and parties:
  • Don’t arrive overly hungry! Get a little protein snack before a social event – it helps to take the edge off, and can prevent you from overeating higher calorie foods provided at the occasion
  • Bring your own healthy dish to a party. Try foods like veggies and hummus as an appetizer, or a nice big green leafy salad as a side dish – you will know for sure there will be a healthy option, and I bet others will be grateful for your contribution as well.
  • Don’t keep favorite holiday treats around the house! You will be much more likely to eat them if they are there. If you like to make special foods, make them and give them away, or adjust the amount that you make
  • Consider healthier substitutions in favorite dishes. You can often reduce the amount of sugar in recipes, or substitute applesauce for butter, or whose whole wheat flour for regular. All of these modifications can add up!
  • Only get one plate of food/don’t go up for 2nds – this can greatly decrease your overall intake for the night.
  • Be choosy at buffets – look at what all the options are before you select what you’ll eat. If we take a little bit of everything that is offered, we can really rack up a lot of calories.
  • Count dessert as part of your meal. This helps to prevent going over what you planned for.
Happy Holidays from the Kitchen Team!

Friday, November 18, 2016

While preparing for the days meal, one of our team member placed the ingredients for our Corn and Black bean Salad into a storage container creating a piece of food art.

Corn and Black Bean Salad
Serves 4-6
  • 15 ounces can of black beans
  • 15 ounces corn kernels, frozen              
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced                               
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil                              
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper                              
1. Thaw corn under warm water, drain and empty into a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the black beans, combine with corn.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and gently toss with a spoon. Allow the mixture to rest in the refrigerator for a half hour before serving.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tis the season...... For Turkey. Turkey 101

As we enter the Turkey Cooking Season, I have attached some basics on food safety, cooking and brining for your teams and turkey recipients. Please let me know if you have any questions. Happy and Safe cooking.
"The Big Thaw"
Turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature during "the big thaw." While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. However, as soon as it begins to thaw, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again.

A package of frozen meat or poultry left thawing on the counter more than 2 hours is not at a safe temperature. Even though the center of the package may still be frozen, the outer layer of the food is in the "Danger Zone" between 40 and 140 °F — at a temperature where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly.

There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave oven.

Safe Methods for Thawing
Immediately after grocery store checkout, take the frozen turkey home and store it in the freezer.

Frozen turkeys should not be left on the back porch, in the car trunk, in the basement, or any place else where temperatures cannot be constantly monitored.

Refrigerator Thawing
When thawing a turkey in the refrigerator:
  • Plan ahead: allow approximately 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at 40 °F or below.
  • Place the turkey in a container to prevent the juices from dripping on other foods.
Refrigerator Thawing Times 
Whole turkey:
  • 4 to 12 pounds — 1 to 3 days
  • 12 to 16 pounds — 3 to 4 days
  • 16 to 20 pounds — 4 to 5 days
  • 20 to 24 pounds —5 to 6 days
A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking. Foods thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking but there may be some loss of quality.

Cold Water Thawing
Allow about 30 minutes per pound.

First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product.

Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.

Cold Water Thawing Times 
  • 4 to 12 pounds — 2 to 6 hours
  • 12 to 16 pounds — 6 to 8 hours
  • 16 to 20 pounds — 8 to 10 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds — 10 to 12 hours
A turkey thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately. After cooking, meat from the turkey can be refrozen.
Turkey Basics 101: Safe Cooking
 A food thermometer should be used to ensure a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F has been reached to destroy bacteria and prevent foodborne illness.

Many variables can affect the roasting time of a whole turkey:
  • A partially frozen turkey requires longer cooking.
  • A stuffed turkey takes longer to cook.
  • The oven may heat food unevenly.
  • Temperature of the oven may be inaccurate.
  • Dark roasting pans cook faster than shiny metals.
  • The depth and size of the pan can reduce heat circulation to all areas of the turkey.
  • The use of a foil tent for the entire time can slow cooking.
  • Use of the roasting pan's lid speeds cooking.
  • An oven cooking bag can accelerate cooking time.
  • The rack position can have an effect on even cooking and heat circulation.
  • A turkey or its pan may be too large for the oven, thus blocking heat circulation.

1. Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F. Preheating is not necessary.

2. Be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Times are based on fresh or thawed birds at a refrigerator temperature of 40 °F or below.

3. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep.
Optional steps:
  • Tuck wing tips back under shoulders of bird (called "akimbo").
  • Add one-half cup water to the bottom of the pan.
  • In the beginning, a tent of aluminum foil may be placed loosely over the breast of the turkey for the first 1 to 1 1/2 hours, then removed for browning. Or, a tent of foil may be placed over the turkey after the turkey has reached the desired golden brown color.
4. For optimum safety, cook stuffing in a casserole. If stuffing your turkey, mix ingredients just before stuffing it; stuff loosely. Additional time is required for the turkey and stuffing to reach a safe minimum internal temperature (see chart).

5. For safety and doneness, the internal temperature should be checked with a food thermometer. The temperature of the turkey and the center of the stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

6. Let the bird stand 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving.

(325 °F oven temperature) 

UNSTUFFED (time in hours)
  • 4 to 6 lb. breast — 1 1/2 to 2 1/4
  • 6 to 8 lb. breast — 2 1/4 to 3 1/4
  • 8 to 12 lbs. — 2 3/4 to 3
  • 12 to 14 lbs. — 3 to 3 3/4
  • 14 to 18 lbs. — 3 3/4 to 4 1/4
  • 18 to 20 lbs. — 4 1/4 to 4 1/2
  • 20 to 24 lbs. — 4 1/2 to 5
STUFFED (time in hours)
  • 8 to 12 lbs. — 3 to 3 1/2
  • 12 to 14 lbs. — 3 1/2 to 4
  • 14 to 18 lbs. — 4 to 4 1/4
  • 18 to 20 lbs. — 4 1/4 to 4 3/4
  • 20 to 24 lbs. — 4 3/4 to 5 1/4
Brining foods in a saltwater mixture before you cook them adds flavor, tenderness, and reduces cooking times. If this sounds like a good thing then it's time to learn the basics about brining.
Brining meat is an age-old process of food preservation. Heavy concentrations of salt-preserved meats were taken on long ocean voyages and military campaigns before the advent of refrigeration. Today, brining has a new purpose.
By using smaller quantities of salt mixed with other spices and herbs, brining can permeate meat with flavor.
The chemistry behind brining is actually pretty simple. Meat already contains salt water. By immersing meats into a liquid with a higher concentration of salt, the brine is absorbed into the meat.
Turkey Brine Recipe
  • 2 quarts apple cider or juice
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons allspice
  • 6 slices fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons powder
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 3 oranges

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Uptown Gems Parent Cook Off

Last Week, Chef Andrew and Chef June were invited by Ms. Vivian (healthy harlem coordinator) and the Uptown Gems team to judge their Parent Cookoff. The main ingredient of each of the 5 teams was Apples. The recipes were great and seeing the kids involved in the cooking was the best part. Seeing their engagement and willingness to try new foods and flavors means everything to us. Thank you Parents and Uptown Team for inviting us and showing your great work.

Apples are big business in New York. It’s true – we grow more apples than any state (other than Washington) and offer more varieties than any state. According to the USDA, New York produces almost 30 million bushels annually.
New York State apples are grown on about 55,000 acres, in six major production districts around the State:
  • Champlain Valley
  • Eastern Hudson Valley
  • Western Hudson Valley
  • Central
  • Lake Country
  • Niagara Frontier

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Yesterday we had the opportunity to teach our 7th graders at Promise 2 about Ratios and Scaling of Numbers. We tied a West African Cabbage Salad to the lesson as they are learning about West Africa in History/Social Studies. We are always excited to show our students how the work they learn in school is connected to various careers. Thank you to all the students for providing Thank You cards.

West African Cabbage and Pineapple Salad
Serves 8                                                                      
1 lb cabbage, shredded
1 cup celery, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup sliced scallion
1/2 cup green pepper, thin sliced
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato, not canned
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 tablespoon parsley
1 cup nonfat yogurt  
2 tablespoons light sour cream                                                    
2 -3 tablespoons low-fat milk                                                 
1. Place all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl; toss lightly
2. In a small bowl, beat together the dressing ingredients until smooth.
3. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss to coat well.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Please click on the Fitness Class Schedule below to learn more about the FREE CLASSES taught at the Armory.



(For all students enrolled in an HCZ after school site)


·       Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) Armory

o   40 West 143rd Street New York, NY 10037

Gender/Age Range

·       Male or Female ages 7-17 years old

10 Week Session

·       Tuesday October 11th – Friday December 16th

Practice Dates

·       Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm

Application Deadline

·       Friday September 30th

o   Hand in the completed application at the HCZ Armory

Parent Meeting

·       Saturday October 15th

Equipment needed

·       Proper Tennis Attire – Sneakers, Shorts/Skirt, T-Shirt

Please feel free to reach out to me, Daniel McGarry, at or 212-281-5431 for any questions, concerns and for an application.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Healthy Harlem Early Childhood Newsletter

 Attached is our Healthy Harlem Early Childhood newsletter for September.  Best wishes for an excellent school year! - Healthy Harlem

Friday, September 16, 2016

During our most recent Fall Harvest we handed out a number of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. The Healthy Harlem Team also made an incredible Fruity Coleslaw. Attached is the recipe for those unable to try it.

§  Cutting board
§  Sharp knife
§  Box grater
§  Medium bowl
§  Measuring spoons
§  Big spoon for stirring
§  Small jar with a tight-fitting lid or small bowl with a whisk

§  1 tablespoon olive oil
§  1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
§  1 garlic clove, minced
§  1⁄2 teaspoon salt
§  1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
§  3 cups very, very thinly sliced green cabbage (or packaged slaw mix from a bag)
§  1 carrot, scrubbed or peeled, and grated (about 3/4 cup)
§  4  scallions, trimmed and white and green parts thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
§  1 apple or pear, cored and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) (or 1 small navel orange; 2 clementines; or ½ large grapefruit, peeled, sections separated, and each section cut into 3 or 4 pieces)
1.       Put the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in the jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shake it until the mixture is smooth (or put the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth).
2.       Put the cabbage, grated carrot, scallions, fruit, and dressing in the medium bowl and toss well with the big spoon. Taste the coleslaw and add more pepper, more vinegar, or a pinch of salt if the flavor needs a boost.
3.       Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

National Guacamole Day

It's the holiday you've all been waiting for! September 16 is National Guacamole Day and November 14 is National Spicy Guacamole Day. Show your true green colors and impeccable good taste with Hass avocados, the choice of professional chefs and guacamole connoisseurs. Serve them proudly throughout the day and for the remaining 363 days for breakfast, lunch, dinner and more. The possibilities are endless with always in season Hass avocados. Try our tips and recipes for a perfect guacamole celebration.

Guacamole Entertaining

Guacamole Preparation Tips
  • Picking Hass avocados - Although the skin of the Hass avocado turns darker as it ipens, you can't always judge a ripe avocado by its color. Instead, select avocados that yield to gentle pressure when you squeeze them in the palm of your hand. Or if you're planning ahead for your celebration, look for Hass avocados that are firm to the touch, they'll ripen naturally in four to five days. You can speed up the process by placing them in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana and store at room temperature.
    Get more tips from our How to Select and Buy Hass avocados page.
  • Cut, Twist & Spoon Hass avocados - Slice Hass avocados lengthwise, cutting around the seed and twist to separate into two halves. Use a spoon to gently remove the seed. For more detailed instructions, visit our How to Make Guacamole section.
  • Refrigerating Guacamole - Keep unused avocado or your celebration guacamole from oxidizing (turning rown) by adding lime or lemon juice. Store in an air-tight container or wrap tightly in clear plastic wrap to limit the surface area exposed to the air. If your guacamole surface does oxidize, simply scrape the brown top layer away without disturbing the green "guac" underneath.
    Get more tips from our How to Store section.

Guacamole Serving Suggestions

Tortilla chips are traditional, but you don't have to be. Serve your guacamole with crisp sliced vegetables. Use it as a sandwich spread. Top a burger with a dollop of guac. Dress up grilled fish, chicken or pork. Add a dash to an omelet. Your guacamole adventure is limited only by your imagination!

Guacamole Party Fun

  • Guac'n'Roll - Don't forget to have plenty of fun party dance music, with guacamole as the star attraction, why not a little 'guac-n-roll' theme with plenty of rock and roll music.
  • Guacamole Party Games - Looking for a fun party game to go along with your guacamole celebration? Try guac-n-bowl. Clear a long strip of an area in the corner of your party for guests to throw. Take the leftover seeds from your avocados, wash and dry thoroughly. Set-up empty water bottles with spare change inside for weights as pins and let guests try to knock over the bottles with the seeds. Each bottle or "pin" can be one point or you can make some bottles more points than others. Keep strips of paper and pencils nearby so guests can keep score.
  • Guacamole Bar - National Guacamole Day is all about serving the delicious green stuff - why not focus your entire celebration around it with a guacamole bar. Prepare a variety of ingredients and seasonings like cumin, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeƱo, green chiles, bell peppers, your favorite cheeses, and more - give your guests a wide selection to be creative. Be sure to include plenty of mashed or diced Hass avocados and lots of dipping possibilities. Or for a competitive edge to your party, challenge your guests to submit their creations for a guac-off where each custom guacamole is voted on to choose the crowd favorite. Be sure to have plenty of recipe cards on hand so guests can write down their recipe creations for future use.

New Menus

Our new menu cycle is posted under the "WEEKLY MENU" tab. Please view the menus and stop by for a meal.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Healthy Tips to Starting off the New School Year


Friday, September 9, 2016

Soup we made from last week. Puree of Carrot with pickled Thai Chilies from the garden. Sweet and Spicy!

Pickled Thai Chilies


6 tbsp white wine vinegar

4 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of Thai bird chilies, sliced lengthwise

1 bunch lemon basil

2 cloves garlic, smashed


In a sauce pan, add vinegar, sugar, water and salt. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sugar dissolves.

Once the mixture has cooled, add the chilies, basil and garlic to a small, sealable container, and pour the vinegar solution into the container, making sure you have covered the chilies. Seal, and place in the refrigerator for about two days.