Are you aware of the tragic odds lined up against vulnerable youth in foster care? Here are just a few to think about: Teen girls in foster care are 2.5 times more likely to get pregnant by age 19 than those not in foster care, and 75% of the youth in foster care report being pregnant by age 21. Worse still, 40% of the babies born to these young moms will be detained and enter foster care themselves. Our government continues to fail this population as records further indicate that roughly half of all foster youth end up incarcerated or homeless in their adulthood.
We rely on non-profits to help fight these statistics. Our friends at Alliance of Moms have been organizing cooking classes at St Anne’s with the intention of sharing how important it is to cook for and with your child. They’ve been bringing in some Los Angeles chefs to teach an hour long class, and this week it was our turn.
Our Chef Matt decided on demonstrating six different recipes that could be frozen and turned into different menu items. The main bases were meatloaf, carrots (soup, baby food, ketchup), and rice that was turned into fried rice as well as added to the Carrot Soup. This sounds crazy to do in an hour, right? Well it was but the girls were all game.
Matt talked about how steamed rice on it’s own can last 5 days in a refrigerator, but you can also turn it into fried rice and add things like chopped meatloaf for an easy one dish meal.
Makes 8 Portions
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
2 carrots, peeled, cut into small pieces about the size of a quarter
1 onion, peeled and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 Stalks of celery, peeled, sliced
6 slices bread, diced, toasted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Carrot Ketchup (see recipe here)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees
Combine milk and bread and allow to sit 5 minutes for bread to absorb the milk.
In food processor, combine carrots, celery, onions, garlic until chopped finely.
In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, bread, eggs, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands, then fold in carrot mixture and smash well to make one ball. Roll into a loaf.
Spread olive oil on cooking sheet or in loaf pan (whichever you have available) and place meatloaf mixture. If possible, refrigerate for 30 minutes, if not, smear top with Carrot Ketchup, place in oven for 35-40 minutes or unKl temperature reads 155 degrees in the center of the Meatloaf.
If you are baking a loaf pan, be sure to place the loaf pan on a baking sheet so that any juices that bubble over do not drip in the oven.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing into the Meatloaf to absorb all the juices and to carryover cook. Slice and serve with steamed brown rice and a little extra Carrot Ketchup.
A pretty carrot-themed table was decorated by Homethrown LA where volunteers from Alliance of Moms sat and ate with the young moms who had just helped Matt cook this feast. The young moms got to connect with the volunteers with the intention to build mentoring relationships to help further assist this population who doesn’t have that kind of personal, family-like support at the ready. With histories of devastating neglect and abuse, they don’t have any breaks either. Let’s work to help them catch some.
Photos: Yolk & Flour