Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Readin', Writin' and Recipes

When you and your learner want to read something practical, recipes come up as something easy to get your mind around. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created a website (click here) to help home cooks use the materials they want to use in order to make meals that are nutritious, affordable and, of course, tasty.
You can search for one ingredient at a time-onions, lentils, tuna fish-whatever you have on hand or want to work with. The screen capture at the right shows a recipe that came up when I searched on the term mustard (always in the last thing in an empty fridge). Also interesting: the recipe gives a rundown of nutritional information and cost per serving.
So, for the learner who needs to practice reading, learn vocabulary about cooking and/or make nutritious food on a budget, this is a great resource. According to Kelley Burd-Huss, Literacy Network volunteer, the site is terribly underutilized. It also recommends only whole, simple ingredients—nothing terribly processed. A lot of the stuff you can get in the WIC program is in there." After you have tried one of the recipes you can even rate it from one to five stars and - teachable moment! - write a review together with your learner.

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