Dan Marek - School Programs Manager for Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market Foundation. Dan runs Whole Kids Foundation’s Healthy Teachers Program which is designed to provide teachers and school staff with nutrition inspiration and healthy cooking techniques to transform their own wellbeing, serve as healthy role models for their students, and be change agents in their own communities.  The Healthy Teachers Program has trained nearly 15.000 teachers and food service workers with a fun, interactive class that breaks down simple nutrition into digestible information that everyone can use. Prior to his role with Whole Kids Foundation, Dan worked as a Healthy Eating Educator at Whole Foods Market’s flagship store in Austin, TX, was a personal chef for some of Austin’s elite business people, taught classes in culinary techniques at Austin Community College, The Natural Epicurean, and Cordon Bleu. He is also a regular volunteer cooking or speaking about nutrition for the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Marathon Kids, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas.  Dan is a board member of Slow Food Austin and earned his BA in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.


Miso Squash Soup with Ramen Noodles
14 cups water
2 Tbs wakame (dried seaweed) soaked in 1 cup of boiling water.
7 cloves garlic
1- 4” piece of ginger
1 organic onions, chopped
1-1/2 cups diced butternut squash
2 burdock root, peeled and grated
2 organic carrot, washed and chopped
2 organic celery, washed and chopped
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup green beans, cut into ¾” length
½ package organic tofu (firm or soft) cut into small cubes
1/3 cup white miso
1/3 cup red miso
1- block of ramen noodles for every 2 people, cooked according to directions
1. Fill a large pot with 14 cups of water.
2. Add the onions, carrots and burdock root and bring to a boil.
3. Add the ginger and garlic and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, chop the other vegetables and soak the wakame.
5. Cook the ramen noodles according to directions in a separate pot, then drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
6. Add the remaining vegetables and tofu to large soup pot.
7. Cook for another 10 minutes.
8. Drain wakame and add to soup.
9. In a separate bowl, dissolve the miso with 2 cups of soup broth. Make sure all of the miso is dissolved before adding it back to the larger soup pot. Add the miso mixture back into the soup pot. Add more miso if desired for taste preferences. DO NOT BOIL THE SOUP ONCE THE MISO IS ADDED!
10. Place ramen noodles in the bottom of each individual bowl. Laddle hot soup on top.
11. For a little spice, serve with Shichimi Togarashi (red pepper mix, found in Japanese food stores or International aisle of supermarket)