How does a “take Amy to work day” sound?

November 19, 2014

I do contract work for an organization that has seven group homes for people with developmental disabilities. I completely rewrote their menus when I started  earlier in the year. The staff were used to preparing easy, super carb heavy, processed meals that didn’t incorporate nearly enough produce or protein.   So now there is MUCH more slicing, dicing, chopping, roasting, baking,  sauteing… happening. I KNOW I have created more work for the staff, many who have little cooking experience. I wanted to ease that as much as I could so I asked the director if I could do the next in-service. It was a jam packed and super fun three hours! I started with the less fun stuff… health problems I can help with (I told them the easy way to remember was anything that happens between the fork and toilet), basic nutrition and proportions of foods I want served at meals. Then we got to fun stuff! We played a lively game of Jeopardy  (for real, it was lively), I taught save knife handling skills,  and then we went to town on food prep. I showed them the best way to chop an onion, watermelon, pineapple, kale, peppers, and on an on! It was awesome for me to give them new skills that would help cooking be easier and run smoother. SO fun to see them get excited!  It was a great group to work with and I had a blast!

While what I did this day was three hours, it can easily be split up into workshop series! If you would like to get yourself and your work peeps in on this give me a call or shoot me an email.


While I was at the store buying all the produce for the demos, I realized we were going to be working with some ingredients that would make some tasty salads.  One is a summer one and I’ll share that well, ya know, in the summer. We also made one with kale. It has grape tomatoes and bell pepper in it which are typically summer veggies but they still tasted pretty great in it! Both were a huge hit and I was repeatedly asked for the recipe, so I thought I’d share it with all of you as well!

Our recipe blurb: The interns will be switching us over to WordPress soon and when that happens you guys will have printable recipes from us! But for now, you have to deal with what we’ve got. We know, it’s annoying. Sorry. 


Author: Amy Esatto 


1 bunch of kale, stems removed and finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 carton cherry tomatoes cut into halves

¼ parmesan cheese, grated

1-2 tablespoons fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, thyme, oregano, parsley), chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Combine kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, cheese and herbs. Toss in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

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