Joining Forces: NGI and West Side Campaign Against Hunger

Food brings people together. Whether it’s a group of culinary students testing out the perfect pie crust, hungry dinner guests crowding around a buffet table, or market shoppers gathering over bushels of just-ripe heirloom tomatoes, cooking builds community.

It’s one of the many reasons for NGI’s partnerships, including Wellness in the Schools, Union Square Greenmarket, and most recently, West Side Campaign Against Hunger. Known as WSCAH, this Upper West Side supermarket-style food pantry provides low-income families with locally grown fresh produce, as well as essentials like whole grains, beans and canned goods. This innovative model encourages customers to make empowered decisions on the groceries they bring home to their families.

WSCAH also runs a bilingual, 12-week chef training program, taught by Chef Andrea Bergquist. Here aspiring chefs are taught knife skills, professional cooking technique, nutrition, and more. After graduation, they are connected with job opportunities in kitchens all over NYC. This past August and September, WSCAH students joined NGI in our bi-weekly cooking demonstrations at the Union Square Greenmarket.

NGI had the absolute pleasure to work with WSCAH students. They share an honest passion for food, and are excited to learn more about cooking healthy, plant-based recipes. The students were surprised how tender and aromatic Brussels sprouts could be in this deceptively simple recipe the two groups made together.


Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Apples with Caramelized Onions

Yields 4-6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 medium apples (Golden Delicious work well), cored, diced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pinch of black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add apple juice and deglaze pot, stirring until all juice has evaporated and all caramelized bits have been released from the bottom.
  2. Add Brussels sprouts, thyme and salt. Sauté until Brussels sprouts are slightly tender and bright green, about 5 minutes. Add apples and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and black pepper.
  4. Make it a Meal: Serve with roasted cremini mushrooms and creamy polenta.

Click here to support WSCAH and local families in need.

This post was originally published by the Natural Gourmet Institute. Learn more about today's Natural Gourmet Center.

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