Coop Collaboration: Healthy Food at SF’s Gonzales Elementary

From Cooking With Kids. 

For the past seven years, La Montanita Coop has supported the Cooking with Kids program at Gonzales Elementary Public School with the ingredients necessary for the program. It is near and dear to our heart that the children who go to the school next door to the Coop location in Santa Fe have this important opportunity.   Seven times a year, the Coop funds a Cooking with Kids unit that teaches, feeds and touches every child at the school.

The Cooking with Kids program teaches children the importance—and joys, of eating healthy foods and how to prepare them. It also links math, science and cultural awareness and cooperative skills to the process of cooking a meal and sharing it with their classmates.  All children at the school share in the opportunity.

In February, Gonzales Cooking with Kids classes enjoyed the following meal. Thanks to Cooking with Kids for sharing this recipe. AND THANKS TOO, for helping our community kids learn and appreciate healthy food.

Middle Eastern Falafel, Flatbread, and Tomato Cucumber Salad

Serves 4 to 6

In Middle Eastern countries, falafel is made from garbanzo beans and spices, shaped into

balls or patties and deep-fried. It is a popular form of street food, often served wrapped in

thick pita breads. These falafel patties are made on a griddle, using much less oil. Children

can help mash the chickpeas and form the falafel into the patties.


2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2/3 cup finely chopped parsley

2 green onions, thinly sliced

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 egg

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unbleached white flour

Olive oil for griddle

Make the falafel

Put the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans into a bowl. Use a potato masher to completely mash the beans. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the parsley and green onions to the mashed garbanzo beans, stirring well. Then add the salt, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and thyme. Add the egg and olive oil and mix until well combined. Stir in the flour. Form the falafel mixture into patties about ½ inch thick and 2 inches in diameter. Heat a griddle to medium-high heat. Spread about 2 teaspoons of olive oil evenly over the surface. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.

Yogurt sauce

1 cup plain, low fat yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, mint, salt, and pepper. Serve as a dipping sauce for falafel patties.