Edible Garden Program and Food Forests in Miami Dade County Schools

Aug 27, 2015

08/27/15 - 1:30 -Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview Debi LaBelle, from the Education Fund and Cathy Nunnally a teacher from Charles Wyche Elementary.  Topic: The Edible Garden Program and Food Forests in the Miami Dade County Schools. The gardens and forests grow fresh produce year-round, are used in school meals and are tended by teachers and students. Cathy brings produce from her school garden for us to taste on air.

~~Dinner in Minutes~~

 Chinese Salad with Asian Dressing: cool salad for end of summer supper

This simple one-dish meal made with shiitake mushrooms, chicken, cashew nuts and an Asian dressing is perfect summer evening fare.  It can be served warm or at room temperature.

I’ve given substitutions for some of the Chinese ingredients, so that you can make this salad with ingredients you have on hand, if you prefer.

Sesame oil lends a nutty flavor.  Toasted sesame oil can be found in most supermarkets.  I prefer its more intense sesame flavor.

Steamed Chinese noodles can be found in the refrigerated section of the produce department.  Dried Chinese noodles or angel hair pasta can be used instead.





2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 1/2-tablespoons toasted sesame oil (divided use)

1/4 pound steamed or dried Chinese noodles

3/4 pound roasted or rotisserie boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 red bell pepper, sliced (about 1 cup)

1 cup sliced shiitake or portobello mushrooms

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Washed, ready-to-eat Romaine lettuce (about 3 cups)

2 scallions, sliced

2 tablespoons cashew nuts

Place a medium saucepan filled with water on to boil over high heat. Mix the soy sauce, vinegar and 1 tablespoon sesame oil together.   When water comes to a boil, add the noodles.  Boil 2 minutes and drain in a colander.    Run cold water through them. Set Aside.

Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil in a wok or nonstick skillet over high heat and add the chicken, garlic, red pepper and mushrooms.  Stir fry 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the noodles.  Add salt and pepper to taste and the sauce. Toss well. Divide lettuce leaves between 2 dinner plates. Spoon noodle and meat mixture over lettuce.  Sprinkle sliced scallion and cashews on top. Makes 2 servings.


  NUTRITION INFORMATIONCHINESE SALAD WITH ASIAN DRESSING:Per serving: 642 calories (27 percent from fat), 19.6 g fat, (2.9 g saturated, 10.0 g monounsaturated), 144 mg cholesterol, 53.7 g protein, 60.9 g carbohydrates, 8.0 g fiber, 742 mg sodium.SHOPPING LIST

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

1 bottle toasted sesame oil, 1 bottle rice vinegar, 1 package steamed Chinese noodles, 3/4 pound roasted or rotisserie boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 red bell pepper, 1 small package shiitake mushrooms, 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat Romaine lettuce, 1 bunch scallions and 1 small package cashew nuts.

Staples: Low-sodium soy sauce, bottle minced garlic, salt and black peppercorns.

Helpful Hints

  • White vinegar diluted with a little water can be used instead of rice vinegar.
  • Any variety of cooked chicken strips, pieces, roasted or rotisserie can be used.
  • Regular sesame oil or canola oil can be used instead of toasted sesame oil.
  • Any sliced mushrooms can be used instead of shiitake.
  • Minced garlic can be found in jars in the produce section of the market.
  • Walnuts can be used instead of cashew nuts.
  • A quick way to slice scallions is to snip them with a scissors.


  • Place water for Chinese noodles on to boil.
  • Mix sauce.
  • Boil noodles.
  • Make salad.

Copyright © Linda Gassenheimer

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 20 books including her newest, The Flavors of the Florida Keys and Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.  Follow Linda on Twitter: @LGassenheimer, Facebook: Linda Gassenheimer