These past couple of weeks we’ve had some busy cooks in the classroom. Our culinary students have been honing new skills with recipes that included everything from working with sourdough starters to hand-making pasta and shucking corn.

At P.S. 110Q, Allergic to Salad educator Kristen’s class began with a discussion on the cultural origins behind their Corn Salad recipe before beginning. “The students were so excited to talk about Mexico and many of them shared that they (or their parents are from there); it also got the other students sharing where they are from and talking about some of their favorite dishes.”

Stephanie’s class at P.S. 276 also had fun preparing the Corn Salad. “I let the students have a chance to help husk corn. Then we mixed up the corn salad. The students helped cut the tomatoes, tear the cilantro, crumble the cheese, and squeeze the limes. Then they mixed everything together and tried the salad.” She mentioned that most students also asked for seconds – always great to hear with a vegetable-forward dish.

The Corn Salad was also a hit with Kayla’s students P.S. 267: “The students really enjoyed seeing the corn on the cob and getting to explore the husks and silks. They did a great job of using safe knife skills while preparing the recipe, juicing the limes, and chopped the cilantro. We talked about corn being used in Mexican cuisine in tortillas and I took in some corn tortilla chips for them to try with the salad. Most of the students liked the recipe and even some of the more picky eaters I had in this group liked the recipe.”

So there you have it, Corn Salad passed the picky eater taste test.

Corn Salad


  • 4 ears of corn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese (substitute goat cheese or parmesan)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Husk the ears of corn, taking care to remove all of the silk. Shuck the corn into a large bowl so the kernels don’t go flying.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the corn with a pinch of salt. Saute until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

  3. Pour in the beans and stir to combine with the corn. Add the lime juice, paprika, cotija cheese, and cilantro, along with a pinch of salt and pepper, tossing to combine. Taste, adjust seasoning as necessary, and serve at room temperature.

At P.S. 20K, Allergic to Salad educator Kayla’s students prepared a decidedly autumn-themed entree: Sweet Potato Pierogies.

“This class was very hands on and a lot of fun. I took in the sweet potato already boiled and mashed up to save time since I knew this would be a busy class. We made the dough, rolled it out, and each student got to assemble their own pierogi. It was wonderful to watch the kids use their fine motor skills to be creative in sealing their dumpling. We discussed what a dumpling is, talked about other dumplings we have tried, and talked about sweet potatoes and other orange foods we like. Almost everyone in this class enjoyed the recipe.”

Sweet Potato Pierogies


Pierogie Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Sweet Potato Filling

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus a pinch for cooking
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)

To Serve

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch sage, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • Sea salt, to taste


Pierogi Dough

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until a slightly sticky dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly-floured work surface until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Return to the bowl and let rest while you prepare the filling.

    (Best to let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes, if possible.) 

Sweet Potato Filling

  1. Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and submerge completely with cold water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain, and transfer the sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl. Mash with a fork and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the spices and salt, taste, and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

To Assemble

  1. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough out to a ⅛-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 15-20 rounds, squishing the scraps back together and re-rolling once or twice, if necessary.

  2. To assemble, take a round and roll it out a little more. Dip your finger in some water and trace the outer edge of the round. Place approximately 2 teaspoons of sweet potato filling on one half of the round. Fold the other half over, creating a half moon shape, and press or crimp the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add pierogis, and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes. Hint: the pierogis will float to the top of the pot when they’re close to being ready! Drain carefully.

To Serve

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the pierogis and pan-fry until golden-brown on the bottom, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and repeat with the other side. Transfer the finished pierogis to a plate and repeat with remaining dumplings, adding a little more butter if necessary.

  2. Wipe out the pan, and melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Allow it to foam and bubble, then add the sage. Cook until you begin to see brown specks at the bottom and the sage crisps, about 3 to 4 minutes longer.

  3. Remove from the heat and drizzle a little of the sauce of your pierogis. Garnish with the crisped sage leaves and serve hot.


Keeping with the theme of autumn mains, McKenzie’s classes learned to make Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Concerning her class Computer School, McKenzie shared, “The students who usually want nothing to do with cooking surprised me this week by participating! Many knew they loved gnocchi and they were excited to get to make it. It was a big success!.”

The gnocchi was also a hit with her class at Center School. “When the gnocchi were cooking I went over the different types of heat transfers.” In regards to her class at West End Secondary, McKenzie was happy to report that all her students tried the gnocchi. 

These past of couples weeks included lessons of different types of pancakes. At P.S. 20K, McKenzie’s students created Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes in celebration of Halloween. “Each student cooked their own pancake, trying the best they could to make a pumpkin shape.” McKenzie even shared a witch-hat pancake created with the batter.

Taking on another kind of pancake batter, Kerry’s students at ESMS learned the history and science behind sourdough for their Sourdough Pancakes with Pear Compote. She said some students  even brought their own sourdough starters, allowing them to “give their own input.” Overall, “the recipe turned out great and the kids really enjoyed this one.”

Sourdough Pancakes with Pear Compote

Servings 10 pancakes



  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (spelt or whole wheat pastry are also great, you can also use all-purpose)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (substitute oat milk for dairy-free)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, plus more for cooking (substitute coconut oil for dairy-free)

Pear Compote

  • 4-5 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar



  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the sourdough starter, milk, egg, and butter, and fold with a spatula just to combine. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside. While you prepare the pear compote, below.

  2. Heat a griddle to 350 degrees or warm a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a little butter and allow to melt, tilting to coat the pan. When hot, add ¼ cup batter, taking care to make sure the dollops don’t touch one another. Cook until the pancake starts bubbling on top, about 2-3 minutes, then flip. The underside should be golden-brown. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until no longer doughy in the middle. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Pear Compote

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the pears, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg (if you’re using it), sugar, and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook until the fruit has broken down, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before serving on pancakes.

At LMC, Eirann’s students graced their sourdough starter with a name. “The students were really excited to see how much the sourdough starter (named “Jimmy Doe Yo”…insisting on the spelling as “doe” not “dough”) had grown, though they thought the smell was less than wonderful. They loved flipping their own pancakes, and they also thought it was neat to see how the pears broke down into a mushy compote.”

We hope these autumnal recipes will keep you cozy as we move into those colder temps!

Until next week,

Team Allergic to Salad

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