A decade ago, Kansas City Public Television aired a 10-part series, Generation XL, which examined “the obstacles and challenges facing schools in their battle against sedentary lifestyles and bad eating habits among children.”
Through Take Note, we are checking in with some of the local foot soldiers in this ongoing battle of bulge. The update, Generation XL: A 10-Year Weigh-In, is a three-part Web package running this month. The series takes us back to the cafeteria, back to the gymnasium, and beyond, to measure progress in addressing this critical health issue.
The series will wrap up with a panel discussion of experts, premiering at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 on KCPT 19.1, hosted by KCPT’s Nick Haines.
About This Video
A lot of the discussion in Generation XL centered on how school cafeterias could actually afford to provide the healthy meals mandated by the federal government.
When you strip out things like personnel costs and other overhead, schools say they only have about a buck left from federal subsidies to actually apply to the ingredients. In this, our second video in the series, we picked the incongruous location of the Roth Living Kitchen on the Country Club Plaza to put local chefs Jasper Mirabile Jr. and STRETCH into the shoes of food service directors. The challenge was to prepare a nutritious meal, on a shoe string, that kids would actually eat.
See the first video here.
Jasper's Parsnip & Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
Jasper's Notes: President Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States. I think he may have just added some parsnips and sweet patties to his mac & cheese. A great fall and winter dish, easy to make, and something the whole family will enjoy! It is noted that Jefferson loved Virginia Ham, so I recommend adding 1/2 cup diced Virginia ham while layering this dish!
1 lb. Barilla macaroni
2 cups shredded Wisconsin Cheddar
2 parsnips trimmed and peeled
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 sweet potato
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup Cream Sherry
1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Cut parsnips into 1/2 inch chunks. Place parsnips in a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast 20 minutes. At the same time, bake a sweet potato in the oven until soft. Peel and set aside.
Boil macaroni in salted water, following package directions. Drain.
Mash parsnips and sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl or purée on food processor. Large mixing bowl, add milk, sherry wine and salt. Add cooked macaroni and nutmeg and fold with cheese. Add more milk if necessary. Add mac & cheese mixture to a large well greased casserole. Top with Panko breadcrumbs.
STRETCH's Grilled Chicken & Broccoli Pizzadilla
2 (4-6oz.) Free Range Chicken Breast
2 Stalks of Broccoli Steamed & Diced
1 – 26 oz. Jar of Jasper’s Marinara Sauce or Favorite Brand
2 TBSP Olive Oil
12 oz. Low Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4 – 8-inch Whole Wheat Tortilla
Salt & Pepper
Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper. Coat griddle lightly with olive oil and grill chicken on griddle for about 4 minutes per side. Set aside, and allow to slightly cool, and then dice into small bite-size pieces.
Place 4 cups of water on stove top in a pan and bring to boil. Place steamer on top of pan and add broccoli and cover with lid. Allow broccoli to steam for about 3-4 minutes until fork tender. Remove from steamer and place in strainer to allow water to drain off the broccoli. Pat dry with paper towel. Set aside.
Warm Marinara sauce in a saucepan on stove top.
Clean griddle and spray griddle with nonstick spray and lay whole wheat tortilla on griddle. Spread 2 TBSP of Marinara on tortilla, add diced chicken, diced broccoli and shredded cheese. Let stand for 3-4 minutes until cheese melts. Remove from griddle and cut into four equal parts.