After-school cooking students work with chef!

Beaver Dam Middle School students participating in an after-school cooking club got to learn about a colorful healthy dish from chef Irene Pawlisch.

Pawlisch represents Taher Professional Food Service Management and visited with the students on Thursday. Taher has been providing healthy meals for the district since fall 2012.

Last month Taher representatives spoke to third grade students in the district about the importance of healthy eating. Pawlisch said working with the middle school students was another way to promote the importance of eating fruits and vegetables every day.

Korean Rainbow Tacos are made using Korean pork belly, red bell pepper, orange cherry tomatoes, yellow summer squash, green zuchinni and kale, purple cabbage, fresh chives, sesame seeds, tortillas and sweet chili sauce. The vegetables make up the bulk of the taco filling.

“Today’s Korean rainbow taco recipe was inspired by Bibimbap, a traditional rice bowl dish,” Pawlisch said. “Taking unfamiliar flavors in a familiar concept, like tacos, helps kids try new foods. Today the kids learned how to sauté and to fry an egg.”

Pawlisch shared cooking techniques while teaching the students about different vitamins, minerals and phyto nutrients that each vegetable color offers.

All 12 students who attended the class raised their hands when Pawlish asked them if they had tried a new food during the meal.

The cooking club is one of several after-school clubs at the school and was created a couple of years ago to expand students’ cooking knowledge.

The students meet about twice a month and make different dishes together. There is a 16-student limit for the class.

Next month, Taher Food Service staff will be starting “Kids in the Kitchen” classes at the elementary level, Pawlisch said.

“Learning to cook healthy is an important life skill and we are excited to be expanding the program,” Pawlisch said.