I guess you can officially say doing a food demonstration is a thing for us gals over at Life To Table.

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I have always admired Amanda’s strong will and dedication to wake up at the crack of dawn and perform food demonstrations at her local farmer’s market when living in Washington, D.C.  Then last month, I received an email from Sustainable Long Island, asking for a Registered Dietitian to perform food demonstrations for youth-run Farmer’s Markets in the Nassau County Area.  I quickly jumped on the opportunity and just had my first food demonstration this past Saturday at the Freeport Recreation Center Farmer’s Market.

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I am grateful it was a success and I am looking forward to performing my second food demonstration next Saturday as well.

I absolutely loved doing a food demonstration at a farmer’s market for two reasons:

1)  I was able to reinforce and motivate the community to shop at farmer’s markets and support the local farmers. Fresh is best!

2)  I was able to share  a recipe and food preparation methods for them to incorporate when they get home.  Many times have I heard some one tell me that why want to eat more vegetables, but have no idea how to prepare them.  Food demonstrations are a great way to educate the public that healthy eating can be delicious and easy.

So what was on the menu?

Mexican Style Lettuce Cups

  • Boston Lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves
  • Red cabbage
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • black beans
  • cilantro
  • greek yogurt
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

I chopped the tomatoes, red cabbage and cilantro.  Mixed it with a little vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  I added this salad mixture to a large lettuce leaf, topped it off with a dollop of greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.  Roll up the lettuce so its easy to handle and the salad mixture doesn’t slip out and enjoy! 

The shoppers enjoyed this recipe very much.  They loved that it was tasty and healthy.  It was a great way to enjoy mexican style food with less carbohydrates.  They also loved the idea of preparing and enjoying it with the family.  Most important, it was easy!!  A lot of them told me they had most of the ingredients already at home and made plans to make the recipe soon :)

I also had them take a print out of the recipe and a two page newsletter I wrote, highlighting the importance of family dinners and reducing risk of obesity.

Cut out recipe cards and put them in a mason jar so shoppers an grab one as they had a sample of the lettuce cups.

Cut out recipe cards and put them in a mason jar so shoppers an grab one as they had a sample of the lettuce cups.

All in all it was a great success!

I also want to thank Sustainable Long Island for developing this program.  It is so important to get our younger generation thinking about sustainable living, farming and eating healthy.  The adolescents volunteering on Saturday were so friendly, helpful and professional.  I really think they will take something valuable out of this opportunity.

~ Michelle