Not your typical camp grub

This is Eat, Grow, Play Nature Camp so you can expect the unexpected at meal time around here.  Today’s meal was amazing and I was mostly impressed by the enthusiasm I witnessed from the campers.  After some morning outdoor free play, we began the morning in the garden.  While the campers were playing in the backyard I was busy pulling more weeds.  So the campers joined me and helped collect the piles of weeds to the wheelbarrow.  After a lesson on the bugs we don’t want in the garden and how we organically remove them i.e. squish with our hands, we moved on to explore some of the flavours found in the garden.  We smelled and tasted all the herbs in the garden and then selected the right ones for the salad dressing we were going to make.  Then we had just enough energy left to harvest the greens for our salad.

For our morning cooking session we made pumpkin macaroni and cheese, a fresh greens salad with maple roasted pecans and berries – dressed with a housemaid strawberry vinaigrette.  From the herbs we collected in the morning we thought oregano would be the most complimentary to go with the strawberries.  The campers have decided they want to try a lemon balm and dill herb combination so we are planning to dress our roasted root vegetables on Thursday with that.

Lunch was super delicious and all the campers were happy to try their meal as they had helped from farm to table.  It was a beautiful team effort.

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

1.5 cups milk

2 tbsp margarine, butter or veg oil

2 tbsp all purpose flour

½ cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp black pepper

¾ tsp salt

1.25 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (available at Bulk Barn)

½ tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 cups dry macaroni

1.5 cups broccoli (small pieces)

¼ cup breadcrumbs

2 tsp canola oil or melted butter or margarine

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. When there is 2 minutes left on cooking time place broccoli in with pasta until cooked. Drain and set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt margarine.
  3. Sprinkle flour over melted margarine and whisk steadily until flour mixture begins to bubble. Do not allow to brown.
  4. Slowly add the milk while continuing to whisk.
  5. Allow mixture to cook slightly while whisking until it thickens slightly.
  6. Add pumpkin puree, mustard, pepper and salt. Continue whisking – 2 minutes.
  7. Add cheese, nutritional yeast and Worcestershire and whisk until melted and combined.
  8. Add pasta and broccoli and combine. Pour into greased casserole dish.
  9. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining oil mixed together.
  10. Bake in a 375 F oven for 20-25 minutes.