"A Taste of All-Natural Goodness!"

The Trenton Junior Chef Program was founded in 2015 by Shiloh Community Development Corporation in the City of Trenton. This program was created to promote healthy food and address youth-related violence by stimulating unity, health/wellness, and academic excellence. Our junior chefs are ServSafe Certified in food sanitation and trained to prepare international cuisines.  The Trenton Junior Chef Programs serves all communities in Mercer and neighboring counties.

Trenton Junior Chefs

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Our Latest Recipes

Three-Veggie Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

  • Ground turkey
  • Zucchini squash (at home substitute non-leafy veggies - they lose the nutrients when overcooked – such as carrots, squash, peppers, tomatoes, etc.)
  • Carrots
  • Sweet peppers
  • Sunflower oil*
  • Rosemary
  • Onions
  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and seasonings in a food processor and blend until well chopped. If you don’t  have a food processor, simply cut up the veggies into small pieces with a grater or knife. Parents: young children love to learn new things like using a safe grater or plastic knife to cut up veggies.  
  3. Empty the food processor into a large bowl, add the ground turkey, chopped up rosemary, thyme or any herb that you have at home and mix together completely.
  4. Form meatballs and place on a non-greased baking sheet (about 1.5-2 inches each). Bake for about 25 minutes, or until completely cooked.
  5. You can make enough to freeze for snacks or spaghetti and meatball during the week.

 

*The health benefits of sunflower oil include its ability to improve heart health, boost energy, strengthen the immune system, improve skin health, prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, protect against asthma, and reduce inflammation.

Quick and Crispy Vegetable Fritters

PREP: 20 MINUTES
COOK: 5 MINUTES
YIELD: 12 FRITTERS

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions (green and white parts)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Sour cream or yogurt, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the shredded zucchini in a colander and sprinkle it lightly with salt. Let the zucchini sit for 10 minutes then using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl then add the carrots, garlic, flour, eggs, scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir the mixture until it is combined.

Line a plate with paper towels. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, scoop 3-tablespoon mounds of the vegetable mixture into the pan, flattening the mounds slightly and spacing them at least 1 inch apart.

Cook the fritters for 2 to 3 minutes then flip them once and continue cooking them an additional 1 to 2 minutes until they’re golden brown and crispy. Transfer the fritters to the paper towel-lined plate, season them with salt and repeat the cooking process with the remaining mixture.

Please fill out a short 5 question survey below. Thanks!

Community We Serve

Our program serves youth ages 13 to 18 who are at-risk in our community. Overall our youth are brilliance in the making. Like all adolescents, they need opportunities to grow and thrive.

Program Goals
  • To ensure that at-risk youth gain valuable skills that will prepare them for their careers and entrepreneurship
  • To empower community members to aim for healthy food choices through local farmer’s market
  • To improve the quality of life for youth that are at-risk of conflict with the law
  • To improve participant’s math and literacy skills
Summer Culinary Arts Camp

Youth will participate in a Culinary Arts Camp during the summer months.  All program youth must attend 8 weeks summer culinary arts camp where they will learn the basics of dining etiquette, principles of hospitality and serving, kitchen sanitation, kitchen tools, equipment, and appliances, as well as meal preparation.  Our youth use several commercial kitchens in the City of Trenton - Cherry Street Kitchen (link - http://www.cherrystreetkitchen.com/), local restaurants, and Shiloh Baptist Church.

Since most of our youth are high school students, our staff and members of the community provide free math and language arts tutoring, and career coaching.

Junior Chef Catering Services

Before a young person gets involved in catering, they must go through more rigorous training to obtain their ServSafe certification in food handling.  Additionally, they will serve as ambassadors for eating healthy. The Greenwood Avenue Farmers’ Market is one of many sites throughout the City of Trenton where youth will conduct food demonstration using fresh produce.

As part of their community service hours, the junior chefs will cater lunches serving the elderly, disabled, veterans, and other groups in the community.

Quick Stats

The Census Data estimates that there are approximately 11,000 people between ages 10 to 19 in the City of Trenton.  According to statistics provided by law enforcement, between 2012 and 2015, approximately 1,174 juveniles were apprehended within city limits by TPD officers. Local agencies confirm that youths are using over the counter medicine (e.g. pills, cough syrup), and marijuana.  More than half (55%) of substance abuse treatment admissions in the county of Mercer is from the City of Trenton. One out of every 3 children living in the city of Trenton is living below the poverty level. The poverty figures, according to several local youth agencies, are resulting in youth not going to school due to inadequate clothes, mental health illness, and poor hygiene.

Given the lack of supermarkets in Trenton, the city has been deemed a “food desert.” Food deserts are defined as urban neighborhoods where fresh fruit and vegetables are scarce and obesity and diabetes are correspondingly common. The Food Trust found that Trenton would have to triple its number of supermarkets to adequately serve its residents. There are only three true supermarkets in the confines of the city. The lack of supermarkets and the distance to existing ones end up contributing to and fueling racial/ethnic and healthcare disparities in the city of Trenton. (source:https://www.capitalhealth.org/~/media/B67A9807E88E472287BCADB9CB7BCD67.ashxpage 38)

Testimonials

Thank you for having Trenton Junior Chefs prepare a delicious healthy food demonstration at our Women’s Health Event on December 13, 2017.

It is events like this which help Children’s Futures and Mercer Street Friends create not only community health awareness, but access to health and support services for pregnant and parenting women across Mercer County. We are grateful for the enthusiasm and support you showed during this event. Once again, thank you very much for your support.  We deeply appreciated all you have done.

Guerline M. Pierre, MPH

Coordinator of Community Engagement & Consumer Education (Children*s Futures)

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