I work in a special needs room at a local elementary school and I absolutely love it. My favorite part is that we get to teach practical life skills: cooking, crafting, hygiene, shopping, and social skills, all with the hope that the kids can be as independent as possible. I love to watch the kids' faces when they learn these new skills, but it is even more rewarding to watch them master these skills and see their confidence grow over time.
All of these skills are fun to practice, but of course I favor the days we cook. Not every student is capable of doing some of the skills we practice, but I feel like cooking is something everyone can experience in one way or another. Cooking is such a sensory experience and even if you can't see, then you can still feel the food, touch the food, hear it cooking, smell it and definitely taste it, and so on. So while we have several students who are impaired in different ways, there is usually something they can experience while cooking.
During the last few weeks of school our Spanish translator came into the room and made a Mexican feast. The kids made guacamole in her molcajete. They also made homemade corn tortillas from maseca and learned how to cook them on a comal. We cut veggies for salsa and also made a steak filling for tacos. It was a very special day. The kids were beaming, the food was delicious, and everyone learned something, including me.
The guacamole was something that everyone could participate in, more so than any other dish we created up to that point. The avocados were soft, and easy for the kids to chop and mash, and of course their pretty green color was a hit. The guacamole, because of it's soft nature, was also something everyone could eat, and for that we were thankful. We had such a special time making and eating the guacamole that we even decided to buy the teacher in our room a mortar and pestle, as well as the ingredients to make her own guacamole, as a special end of the year gift. Now guacamole is present at every get together we have. It's our signature dish that holds special meaning.
Since that day I've been buying avocados and eating them with everything: on sandwiches, on toast, in guacamole, chopped up in a salad, and so on. Not only are they good for you, but they just make me smile!
This Smashed Avocado Toast with Hard Boiled Egg is an easy and quick recipe that is perfect for the hot summer mornings we've been having. Satisfying enough, but also light enough, so as not to weigh you down. I love the sprinkling of seeds and the refreshing pop from the mint and squeeze of lime. Perfect for enjoying before heading to the pool!
Smashed Avocado Toast with Hard Boiled Egg
Recipe Adapted from Donna Hay Website
4 slices of wholemeal bread, toasted
1 avocado, mashed
1 teaspoon white chia seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt and black pepper, to taste
mint springs, to serve
lime wedges, to serve
Place the eggs in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Peel, slice in half and set aside.
Place the toast on plates and top each slice with the avocado and egg. Place the chia seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine.
Sprinkle the seed mixture and mint over the avocado and serve with lime wedges.