Miguel Villarreal knows the importance of eating a variety of vegetables and fruits. For over twenty years, he’s been improving school food and the community’s health as a School Food and Wellness Director in Texas and in California. In his home life he’s a dad and husband who cares about feeding his family well. Recently, we spoke to Miguel and his talented daughter Isabella, who is also a budding cook. They shared how using the Joyful 12 together has given them an opportunity to cook and learn together and discover new ways to prepare seasonal vegetables in their home kitchen.
How has the Joyful 12 helped you get more fruits and veggies into your family’s diet?
Isabella: It has opened my mind to using more raw vegetables in cooking.
Miguel: Following a plant-based lifestyle for 7 years has increased our veggies and fruits in our diet. Joyful 12 has enhanced our ability to experiment with more seasonal veggies in more dishes.
Have you noticed a change in your kitchen skills?
Isabella: I learned how to cut raw corn from the cob.
Miguel: Joyful 12 has taught me a few simple kitchen techniques that can be shared with children and families at work and with my own family.
How did your kids (or family—husband, parents, other family members) feel about the Joyful 12 veggie dishes you prepared?
Isabella: We felt “goodly!”
Miguel: My daughter and I both found it very gratifying and enhanced our appreciation for preparing meals from scratch. We plan to make this a weekly family affair.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Isabella: I really enjoyed watching the videos on how to cook and be safe. We both loved the quinoa salad! Yum. I could come across as a REAL Chef, instead of just playing one at school.
Miguel: Joyful 12 has taught me that you do not have begin with a love for cooking to enjoy cooking. Everyone will gain their own appreciation when learning and preparing the simple, delicious Joyful 12 meals. Mine is being satisfied that my children are not only learning a life skill that will nourish them the rest of their lives, but they are doing it humanely for themselves and for the environment by considering veggies and fruits as their first source of food.
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