Our pastry chef

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in lunch time, Recipes | 0 comments

2012-10-22 09.21.12We sat down with our Pastry Chef, Allison Chung who bakes our delicious Friday desserts every week, along with other goodies like our delectable muffins and pizza dough, that we serve to our students.

Here is our short, but *sweet* interview with Allison, we hope you enjoy!

BB: What inspired you to become a pastry chef?

Allison: “I knew I wanted to be a baker ever since I was little, when I set my sights on an easy bake oven.  Then seeing all of these pastry chefs create such delectable and aesthetically pleasing works of art reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in pastry.”

BB: Where did you learn how to bake?

Allison: “I learned to bake professionally at the French Culinary Institute.  From there I launched my career at Kyotofu where I learned a lot about gluten-free products.”

BB: How did you learn to bake for such large volumes?

Allison: “I started off as a pastry cook at the restaurant and moved onto becoming the sous chef for the large production of pastries for Whole Foods. Baking large amounts of muffins, brownies, cookies, and desserts at Kyotofu has also prepared me for baking the large volume at Butter Beans.”

BB: Why do you like working for Butter Beans?

Allison: “Working at Butter Beans has been a great experience.  Everyone has one goal in mind, and that is to create healthy and tasty meals for growing children.”

BB: What do you think about us serving dessert to the students once per week, and serving them fruit for dessert for the rest of the week? 

Allison: “I think its great to eat healthy and have fruit four days a week and be given a special treat on Friday.  It gives the children something to look forward to.”

BB: What makes our desserts stand out?

Allison: “All of the ingredients I use are natural, and do not contain any preservatives.”

BB: What motivates you to do your best everyday?

Allison: “Not everybody gets to go to work and create products that people get to enjoy, and that is what motivates me.”

Thanks Allison for creating homemade, delicious desserts for our students!

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Apple-nut Soup

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Recipes | 0 comments

Nothing screams fall more than butternut squash and apples.

So why not mix the two together?

Butternut squash will woo you with its rich beta carotene count that your body converts into vitamin A, helping to strengthen your lungs, heart and eyes, while giving your skin that beautiful glow.

Apples will refresh your body with it’s high amounts of vitamin C, helping to boost your immune system. A perfect food for this time of year when the season is changing.

We call for sage in this recipe, but if you don’t have it, don’t worry, the soup can stand on it’s own without it.

If you are feeling more adventurous and have some extra time, we’d recommend adding in some caramelized onions, to increase the depth of flavor.

Serves 2 Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 C butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, cored
  • 1/2 C water or chicken/veggie stock
  • 5-7 leaves sage, sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. Prep: Steam your squash for 10 minutes, until soft. Heat up water, or stock, set aside. Cut apple in half, removing the core.

2. Process: Blend squash and apple in a food processor. In a pot, add your puree, then your water or stock, some salt and pepper, then bring to a boil.

3. Serve: Set out your bowls and serve. Drizzle with olive oil, top with sage and another grind of pepper.

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tips for picky eaters part 3

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in cooking with kids, families, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, lunch time, nutrition, raising children, Recipes, wellness | 0 comments

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We’re back with our last installment of Melissa d’Arabian’s “Picky Eaters Project.”

We’ve learned a lot along the way! For a quick recap, click here for part 1, and here for part 2.

Here is our summary for you all to enjoy:

Healthier meal makeover:

  • Bridge from kid food to adult food with gradual transitions. Start with the chicken nuggets your kids love, then create a homemade version of them. From there, go onto a  homemade chicken milanese, then onto a baked breaded fish stick.
  • Other examples include: transitioning from white bread to wheat bread, then to whole wheat bread. Same goes for pasta (regular – whole wheat), or juice (regular – to diluted with water).

Menu planning strategies:  

  • Include your kids in the menu planning process, so that you’re involving them in creating a family meal. On your night, use that as an opportunity to introduce new dishes, making sure theres at least one thing that your kids will eat.

Master breakfast and snacks:

  • Swap out the sugary stuff, and develop two or three easy breakfasts that you can rotate like mini muffins, whole grain cereal with milk, fruit, or green smoothies. For snacks try something nutritious like whole grain crackers, apples, almond butter, string cheese, or berries.

Don’t forget the fun:

  • Do something fun and physical with your kids whether it’s bike riding, walking, dancing, or playing. Make  up recipes with your kids. Cooking can then become even more of a family activity mainstay.

Take stock of where you are:

  • Review the binder that you created at the beginning of the project, and see how far you have come. Celebrate your small victories, “its about progress, not perfection.”

We hope that Melissa’s tips will continue to inspire your family meals for some time to come!

Photo courtesy of blog.landofnod.com

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family dinner guide – week 4

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in cooking with kids, families, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, raising children, Recipes, wellness | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AMBelinda is back with her family dinner guide, helping busy parents create healthy family dinners that are easy, fun and delicious.

She has compiled another week of tasty food for your family, all planned out just for you.

Have fun, good luck, and enjoy homemade meals every night of the week!

“What’s for dinner?”

Starting up the new school year has been an exciting and busy time for our family.

It is hard to believe that we are in mid-October, but managing the meals for eleven schools plus my own two children’s makes the days fly by. I am sure I am not alone in settling into the cooler weather and busy soccer and dance schedules for our children which makes what we serve for dinner more important than ever. Packing in nutrition so that everyone has strong days with energy is easier when we plan ahead.

This week, I am incorporating a few ‘super’ foods into the menu. They include beans, greens, yams, garlic, tomatoes, and whole grains. You may need to adjust some recipes to suit your family’s tastes, but these items will surely give you a base for a satisfying week at the dinner table.

8593210803_2172732419While making my list of super foods, I also came across a list of foods you may want to add to your shopping list for breakfast. They include berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), yogurt, oats, eggs, flax seeds, nuts (especially walnuts), and oranges (or orange juice).

The last super food I will share this week is tea. I am excited to try caffeine-free herbal varieties (like chamomile) to serve to my children and myself, and look forward to the enhanced moods in addition to the flavonoids as we prepare for bedtime.

Enjoy dinner and I look forward to your comments and suggestions on our Facebook page. If you or your children have a favorite recipe you want me to include in the weekly menu, please share it there. Have fun!

201204-omag-delicious-fries-300x205This week, our menu is:

Monday:  Chicken legs with a side of tomato and herb white beans

Tuesday: – One potYam and black bean burritos with a side of sautéed greens

Wednesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Mac n cheese with a side of salad greens and roasted carrots

Thursday: Baked Fish and veggie fries with a side salad

Friday: Pan crusted tofu with a side of broccoli and quinoa chard pilaf

Click here for this weeks grocery list for a family of four.  

Here is your personal Sunday prep list for the week as well as your nightly prep and cook steps that will take the guess work out of every night.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and let us know how it went!

Photo courtesy of veganbaking.net and oprah.com

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Decorate with Food

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Recipes | 1 comment

Love the fun selection in the bulk section, but don’t have that much storage space?

Display your bulk items in canning jars, and find ledge for a perfect solution to your bulk section dilemma!

If you don’t have a ledge, or empty shelf that warrants some color, you can always store your dry goods using canning jars, and place them in your pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Not only do they add visual vibrancy to your kitchen, they also serve a real purpose by keeping your bulk items dry, airtight and uncontaminated.

They are the perfect vessel for keeping your dried legumes, grains, dried fruit, pasta, cereals, and herbs fresh. These items can stay out of the fridge for ~3-6 months, depending on the specific item. While flours do best in your freezer, and nuts and seeds are best placed in your fridge.

Canning jars come in all different sizes, so find the ones that work best for your kitchen, and have some fun!

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