SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Two young gastrophiles from Prince County recently got a boost to their budding cooking careers.
Erica Gallant, 11, of Kensington and Raya Cann Boisvert, 8, of Arlington, attended the annual Kid Food Nation gala on Oct. 21 at the Fairmount Château Laurier in Ottawa.
The girls got to spend plenty of time getting to know the 24 other participants from across Canada, try all kinds of new food, listen to inspiring speeches from distinguished chefs and others in the food and health industry and, of course, they got to cook.
“The event was really fun, I met a lot of people there and we tried a bunch of new food I hadn’t really tried before. It was really fun and cool,” said Erica.
“We learned a lot about healthy eating and how to prepare healthy food.”
Kid Food Nation is an eight-week program run at Boys and Girls Clubs in communities across Canada. Participants create a unique recipe and winners are chosen from each province to attend the national gala in Ottawa.
“I think it showed her that she can do anything. It also showed that cooking is important and it’s important to teach children to eat healthy. They make a big deal out of it and I think it’s good for her to see that. It’s good for her self-confidence.”
-Will Cann, Raya's dad
Raya created a dish dubbed ‘Raya’s Macaroni Madness,’ which is a low-fat version of a pasta salad full of her favourite veggies.
Erica created ‘Erica’s Eggciting Omelet,’ stuffed with lots of peppers, tomatoes and cheese.
“I just like to make eggs, and I thought it would be fun to try something different. It is special because my mom and I make it together,” she said.
Raya wasn’t feeling talkative when she spoke with the Journal Pioneer, but did say she enjoyed “meeting new people, from other provinces,” at the gala.
Her dad, Will Cann, said it was a great experience for her and the whole family enjoyed taking it all in. It definitely sent a positive and healthy message to a lot of kids, he said.
“I think it showed her that she can do anything. It also showed that cooking is important and it’s important to teach children to eat healthy,” he said.
“They make a big deal out of it and I think it’s good for her to see that. It’s good for her self-confidence.”
In addition to getting to take in the gala and everything else associated with their prizes, the girls will be featured in the 2018 edition of the Kids Food Nation cookbook.
Kids Food Nation is partnership between PC Children’s Charity, the Government of Canada, Corus Entertainment Inc. (YTV) and the Dietitians of Canada.
For more information about the program or to see the recipes, check out the website at kidfoodnation.ytv.com.
RAYA’S MACARONI MADNESS
Prep time: 15 min
Chill time: 1 hr
½ cup (125 mL) fat-free or light mayonnaise
¼ cup (60 mL) fat-free zesty Italian salad dressing
2 cups (500 mL) elbow macaroni, cooked and cooled
2 tbsp (30 mL) each red, green, and yellow bell peppers, diced
2 tbsp (30 mL) cucumber, diced
2 tbsp (30 mL) carrot, shredded
2 tbsp (30 mL) dried tomatoes
Pinch each of salt and pepper
1. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and salad dressing.
2. Add macaroni, peppers, cucumber, carrot, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
3. Stir until coated well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Erica’s EGG-CITING OMELETTE
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 8 min
¼ tsp (1.25 mL) each salt and pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
¼ cup (60 mL) onion, diced
½ green or red bell pepper, diced
½ tsp (2.5 mL) dried oregano
¼ tsp (1.25 mL) onion powder
3 tbsp (45 mL) each havarti and cheddar cheeses, grated
1 tomato, diced
1. In a bowl, mix together eggs, salt, and pepper.
2. In a 9 in. (23 cm) non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, oregano and onion powder and cook for three minutes to soften. Pour in the eggs. Using a spatula, pull the mixture away from the outer edges of the pan into the middle. Continue until eggs are almost set.
3. Sprinkle cheese over top and cover for about one minute or until cheese is melted and eggs are cooked through. Sprinkle tomatoes on one side and transfer onto a plate. Use a spatula to help fold over the omelette.