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Cooking/Food Science "Curriculum?"

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My son likes to cook, and I'm considering expanding his repetoire of meals and such. Then, it occured to me that this might be the basis of a fun elective for next year.


I'm thinking I'd like it to be like "Good Eats," where we cook something and learn about the chemistry/science behind why foods do what they do.


Here's the wrinkle: We're vegans, and we're not going to buy, cook or eat many of the foods that seem to be featured in the food science or home ec curricula I've found so far.


I'd really appreciate any suggestions, sharing of experiences or brainstorming anyone could offer?



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How about using MIT OpenCourseWare's Kitchen Chemistry or Advanced Kitchen Chemistry materials? It looks like at least several of the foods might be vegan-friendly?


For some reason unknown, I can't get the recipes (i.e., homework assignments) to open for the 1st course, but they're working fine in the second. Perhaps you could mix & match and/or substitute a vegan friendly version of each category. Both courses use the same textbook & additional on-line readings are linked in the syllabus for each unit.

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You might find a few more resources on this thread:



and/or by clicking on the tag(s) on that thread, to find similar threads.


We have the Julicher book mentioned on there, and it looks like it's only in ebook format right now?


I could get it out, but I'm not sure if there are meat recipes, but I am sure it's not *all* meat recipes.


I like to see what others have done, to minimize the reinvention of the wheel. Here's a description from a local homeschool co-op class:

This semester-long course is for those who have never set foot in the kitchen and for those who love to cook. It is intended to teach students that cakes don't have to come from a box and vegetables don't have to start out in the freezer. We will be covering skills such as, but not limited to, chopping, sautéing, browning, caramelizing, whisking and roasting. Each class will focus on a couple of kitchen skills and after practicing those skill, we will go on to cook dishes that incorporate those skills. We will then sit down and eat the fruit of our labors; so come hungry! A sample of things we will prepare includes: roasted chicken, Asian dumplings, apple turnovers, omelets and pasta con broccoli. Bon Appétit!

Texts: None - tutor provided handouts for course material

Students are to provide: Full size apron, 3 ring binder notebook for handouts


Here's a public school course description:

CREATIVE FOODS - This class studies the preparation of different foods, nutritional needs, and the planning of meals. This is a great class for learning to cook for yourself.

INTERNATIONAL FOODS - This class is designed to introduce students to different ways of cooking and different lifestyle from around the world. Students are encouraged to broaden their horizons and try new foods.


And another school near us, with a lot more less-advanced students attending:

1340: S1 2340: S2 INTRODUCTION TO FOODS (9, 10, 11, 12)

Semester Class: S1 S2 Prerequisite: None

Intro to Foods is an introductory course on nutrition and food. You will learn the basics of safety, sanitation, measuring, terminology, equipment, and nutrition. Current concerns and topics will also be discussed. A highlight in the course is the lab experience. Examples of lab experiences include: chocolate chip cookies, chicken fajitas, smoothies, cream pies, sweet rolls, homemade pizza, omelets, ad more! Learn to be a safe and responsible "chef".

1341: S2 2341: S2 CREATIVE FOODS (10, 11, 12)

Semester Class: S1 S2 Prerequisite: Introduction to Foods

Creative Foods builds on your knowledge you gained in Introduction to Foods. You will venture into the more creative aspects of food preparation; examples include appetizers, garnishes, presentations, and originality. Lab experiences are a major portion of this course. Examples of labs include cookie and cake decorating, homemade pies, soups, breads, turkey dinner with all the fixings, creating original recipes, and seafood. A cultural foods unit brings foods from other cultures, along with cultural traditions, right into the classroom.

2341: S2 CULTURAL FOODS (10, 11, 12)

Semester Class: S2 Prerequisite: Introduction to Foods

Advance your skills in meal planning and food preparation. Learn special skills and vocabulary in cultural foods. Ethinic and regional foods will be studied. You will learn the customs, cooking techniques, special ingredients, and equipment of a variety of cultures. Lab experiences will include a luau, Southwest American, Italian, German, Mexican, French, Chinese cuisines and more!



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Good Eats has three books out that have all the explanations in there. I'm not sure how much of it is vegan but since many of the sections are broken down into ingredient-whys and then recipes you might be able to see if it'll work for you.

There are also Alton Brown's other books. "I'm Just Here for the Food" is heavy on methods for cooking meat, so that wouldn't do, but the other, "I'm Just Here for More Food," is more baked goods. Probably NOT vegan, as they'd have milk and eggs, but it does group recipes into methods of preparation, rather that types of food. For example, there is a section called "the muffin method," which covers several foods that you don't want to over mix. (So, muffins, obviously, but also pancakes, etc.)


Funny the Alton Brown/Good Eat books should come up. We have all five -- I just got the last two Good Eats for Christmas -- and I've been trying to describe to DH this idea for teaching the kids to cook with them ever since!

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Oh, Shirley O. Corriher is the lady that shows up as the food scientist on Good Eats once-in-a-while! Cool! I didn't know she had her own books.
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Oh, I'm glad to see the Julicher book is actually available in print, and now I see it's at CBD, too. I'm used to looking at their website, and I only found it as an ebook there. http://www.homeschoolsciencepress.com/shop/cooking-science-ebook


There are also quite a few ideas and links to check out here:





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My sister is using this amazing resource: http://rouxbe.com/


The classes can be purchased separately, which is why my sis was all excited to find it, as they have diet restrictions there, too.


She was saying her dd is such a visual learner that this online format was perfect, plus since it's used in high schools and culinary schools, it's a serious resource.


We did an "Advanced Culinary Arts" here, but as both dd's who did that class were already competent cooks, we tailor made it to bumping up their level. We just used a culinary school text, then books geared to the specific extra skills they were learning beyond that. I'm really considering using rouxbe for future children doing a culinary arts class.

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What about Diet for a Small Planet, not for the recipes but for the science part? My copy has diagrams of various amino acids and information on how traditional diets complement vegetable protiens.


You could subscribe to Environmental Nutrition (www.environmentalnutrition.com), a newsletter about food, nutrition, and health. Here is a quote from a Dec. 2011 edition article about coffee: "A meta-analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009 found that drinking three to four cups per day may reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 25%. And Harvard researchers reported that five cups of coffee per day for two months were associated with significant metabolic benefits, according to a study published in the September 2011 Nutrition Journal." It isn't always good about giving sample size and who paid for the study, but at least it usually sites the source of the study.


The two might complement a good recipe book...


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