Trending Towards Healthy – The Year in Food

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in families, fast food, featured articles, Food for thought, food politics, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, news and happenings, nutrition, raising children, school food, sustainability | 0 comments

Looking back at the year in food, we feel more strongly than ever that we are part of a larger movement towards healthier eating. As this article from NPR points out, evidence of these trends can be seen in the biggest producers. Reacting to consumer demands, even McDonald’s has taken steps to use healthier, more sustainably produced ingredients. This shows that clearly we are part of a larger movement changing how everyone eats, not just those already shopping at Whole Foods.

We at Butter Beans are often told that we are just providing good food to a small niche. This article proves that change we are part of is now reaching all parts of the food system and our “niche” is only growing. Sales of foods marketed towards health and sustainability conscious consumers surged in 2015, indicating that a much larger trend is only beginning. As the health benefits of nutritious eating become more and more apparent (especially for young kids in schools), all kinds of consumers are acting to create a change.

If you believe in critical tipping points that propel major changes, this past year hinted that one such shift may lie near on the horizon. Often the best way to measure the success of a movement is to follow the actions of the largest and most influential actors in the industry. The fact that big, highly profit-driven companies such as Kraft are seeking to include more natural ingredients in their products makes us hopeful for the future. Healthy foods are no longer just for yoga-moms and crunchy-foodies; now all kinds of Americans are showing concern for the kinds of foods carried by even large chain supermarkets and fast-food joints. This is how a paradigm shift occurs. At Butter Beans, we see everyday how we can shape the next generation of healthy, food-educated consumers to demand that America becomes a nation that embraces nutritious food.

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Employee Spotlight – Tania Lopez

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in cooking classes, cooking with kids, families, featured articles, Food for thought, food politics, giving, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, news and happenings, nutrition, raising children, wellness | 0 comments


This week we highlight the incredible work of Tania Lopez, our school lunch supervisor at Nord Anglia International School. Outside of her work at Butter Beans, Tania founded an organization called Coqui the Chef which works to promote healthy eating in her home community of the South Bronx.

Check out this video, “Kids Cooking for a Brighter Future,” to catch a glimpse of Tania’s interactive and educational classes and hear her talk about why she finds this work so important in food deserts like the South Bronx.

In her series of fun, interactive, and informative cooking videos for children, Tania hopes to directly combat the current trends of childhood obesity. For Tania, this national epidemic can be felt strongest closest to home where a walk around any block will reveal a plethora of fast food joints, but very little in the way of fresh produce. Tania believes that this makes nutritional education all the more essential in these communities. Tania is using powerful community-based and culturally relevant education to build a healthier South Bronx from within, resisting the profit making forces of corporate fast food and the industrial global food system.

Tania says that working at Butter Beans has given her valuable perspective on how kids eat. While engaging at lunchtime with kids of different communities and backgrounds from her own, Tania has been able learn a lot learn how to best educate all kinds of children about healthy eating. For Tania, there is little more inspiring than seeing all sorts of communities come together over good food.

We’re so proud of Tania for taking the passion we all have for healthy eating education back to her own community. She is currently working hard to secure funding and hopes to expand her web episodes to a full television series. In this format, Tania hopes to reach a wider audience and connect communities across the city that also exist in food deserts.

Watch a trailer and full episode of her show below!

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Employee Spotlight – Athena Cameron

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Food & Farm program, Food for thought, healthy food, school food, wellness | 0 comments

 

 

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This week we spotlight one of our longest working servers, Athena Cameron. Athena, from Gravesend, Brooklyn, has been with Butter Beans since 2011, making this her 5th school year working as one of our most reliable and enthusiastic servers.

Athena loves to be in the school setting and her favorite part of each day is interacting with the kids and her coworkers. She worked in school lunch before coming to Butter Beans and loves to see how much kids appreciate the healthier lunches that we make.

Motivated to work for Butter Beans because of her passion for kids nutritional eating, Athena also cares deeply the wellness of animals. Outside of her work at Butter Beans, Athena spends many hours volunteering at local animal shelters. One day she hopes to start a shelter of her own and build a refuge for our animal friends.

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mushroom and kale tacos

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in cooking classes, cooking with kids, healthy food, Recipes | 0 comments

5353716322_0ee053b04c_zWe’re switching up the typical taco fillings and using vegetables as our proteins with a sprinkle of cheese on top.

Mushrooms cooked in this way really do taste like meat, if not better! The kale adds some beneficial nutrients, along with a beautiful green hue to the dish.

Feel free to use hard or soft shell tortillas, whatever floats your boat, and get creative adding in your favorite toppings like chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, avocado or salsa.

This recipe takes no time to make, a win for all!

Here’s how!

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, chopped
  • sprinkle of chili powder, to your liking
  • sprinkle of cayenne, to your liking
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • shredded cheddar cheese, to your liking
  • salt, to your liking
  • corn tortilla shells (hard or soft, depending on your preference)

Directions: 

1) Prep: Rinse and chop your kale and mushrooms. Shred your cheese. Take out your spices. Preheat your oven (350) to warm your shells.

2) Cook: Place your shells on a sheet tray, and into your oven to warm. In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Add your mushrooms, sprinkle on some salt and your spices and sauté until soft and brown, 5 minutes. Add kale and sauté until soft and bright green, 5 minutes.

3) Assemble: Evenly place your veggie filling into each taco shell. Finish each one with some shredded cheese and enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Steve Snodgrass

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