tasting days with the little ones

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in healthy food, local food, lunch time, Recipes, school food | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 4.52.03 PMA few weeks ago we had the pleasure of hosting two fun tasting days with the students in Pre-K and Kindergarten at BASIS Independent Brooklyn.

We chose two specific menu days based on students eating habits and food preferences to see if we could open their palates to liking something they may have not liked (or even tried) before.

We also used this opportunity to test out our brand new stickers showcasing our little Butter Beans chef mascots that state, “I tried something new!”

We chose blackened chicken drumstick day, and our homemade fish sticks.

You would think that chicken drumsticks would be an easy win for these students, but some of them don’t love it because of how it’s described. What does blackened mean they asked?

I brought in some fresh herbs to show them the main components of the blackened spice rub that our chef creates and sprinkles onto the chicken before it gets roasted in the oven.

Then we put our food explorer hats on, and dove into the fun part.

After the students tried the chicken in our 1oz sample cups, the majority of them gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up, with requests for seconds!

IMG_1307Then came the fish stick tasting day. I came in with a handout of how fish sticks are made by hand, and shared with them that we serve wild caught pollack, a fish similar to cod but less fishy tasting, and that our chef hand breads each and every one of them for 15 schools!

To make the tasting even more exciting, we offered the option of dipping their fish sticks into three different condiments: ranch, ketchup and our homemade tartar sauce. They were a hit! Students who had never tried them before, couldn’t get enough.

Here are some fun quotes that we collected from our tasting adventures:

  • I love Butter Beans!
  • It’s very good!
  • This is really good
  • I like it
  • Super yummy
  • Best thing I’ve ever eaten
  • Can we have a Butter Beans person come visit everyday?
  • That was better than pepperoni pizza (in regards to the chicken)

With all of the positive feedback and buzz that was generated, we are sure that these students are going to be ready to dig in when they’re on the menu again!

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Matzo Ball Soup and Roasted Roots

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in after school, cooking classes, cooking with kids, holiday, local food, Recipes | 0 comments

This week our chefs will be celebrating Passover with a traditional Jewish dish. Passover is one of the most widely-celebrated Jewish holidays. It is seven days long and usually ends with a Seder dinner which includes lamb, eggs and matzo! Matzo, which can also be spelled Matza or Matzah, is unleavened bread made from spelt, wheat, barley or rye flour. It is consumed in its un-risen form to honor the Jewish people who didn’t have time to let their bread rise before they fled Egypt. Today, we usually see matzo in large flat “crackers” or in matzo ball soup. Enjoy!

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Matzo Ball Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C matzo meal
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 T water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 qt vegetable stock

Directions

Beat eggs and mix with matzo meal, olive oil, water, and salt. Add more matzo meal in small increments if necessary to firm dough.

Roll into 1-inch matzo balls using damp hands.

Bring vegetable stock to a boil. Drop in matzo balls. Lower heat slightly to simmer. Cover and cook 25 minutes.

Roasted Roots

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 parsnips
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh dill
  • 1⁄2 lemon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut carrots and parsnips into matchsticks. Tear dill from stems and squeeze lemon juice. Toss with oil and roots. Roast for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy your matzo ball soup and roasted taproot veggies together!

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our famous turkey tacos!

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in cooking with kids, healthy food, lunch time, Recipes, school food | 0 comments

Taco Beef Mexican Food

Across all of our schools our students look forward to their Taco Tuesday’s!

We are excited to share our most beloved recipe with you all so that you can recreate them at home.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 T canola oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 heaping T of dark chili powder
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes

Directions: 

Heat oil over high heat, then reduce to medium heat. Add onion and salt. Cook until translucent. Add peppers and garlic, cook for 3 minutes. Then add turkey meat and seasonings. Cook until golden brown.

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Red Velvet Beet Brownies

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in cooking with kids, healthy food, nutrition, Recipes, valentines day | 0 comments

800px-Chocolate_Beetroot_BrowniesSurprise your loved ones this valentine’s day with these delightful brownies that use red beets as a natural food coloring and sweetener, and an added protein punch with black beans!

Our cooking class students are excited to whip these up, and of course indulge in their goodness!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/4 C oats
  • 1 medium cooked beet
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 C rice milk
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1/2 C black beans
  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips

Directions: 

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil an 8×8 pan.

2) Cut beet into quarters and bring to a boil. Drain, allow to cool, peel, and chop into small pieces.

3) In food processor, blend oats, cocoa, salt, and baking powder until oats are blended into fine powder.

4) Add the rice milk, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Then add the beets and beans to form a thick batter. Add additional milk if needed to reach brownie consistency.

5) Mix in chocolate chips by hand and pour batter into pan.

6) Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Shamika’s Crazy Croutons

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in cooking with kids, fast food, healthy food, lunch time, Recipes | 0 comments

5583144074_c81f2cb217Have some bread ends that you don’t want to throw away?

Learn how to make croutons from Shamika, our supervisor at PAVE Academy and create an added value product from the least desirable part of the loaf, while curbing your food waste.

The students love when Shamika’s crazy croutons make their way onto the salad bar!

Here’s how you can make them at home:

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat bread ends
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • olive oil to grease a sheet pan

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Cut the bread into cubes
  • Place bread on a large sheet pan, sprinkle salt & pepper on top
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown

 

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early fall roasted tomatoes

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in fall recipes, healthy food, Recipes, seasonal | 0 comments

fullsizerender-16There is always inspiration to be had when faced with the bounty of late summer – early fall vegetables.

One such vegetable, shall we say fruit (!), the juicy and refreshing tomato was the perfect suspect for a seasonal food transition from warm to cooler weather.

Instead of chopping it up into a salad, it was time to turn on the oven and bring out the deep sweetness that comes from roasting these gems.

What came out on the other end, was a mouthwatering, caramelized treat that lends itself useful in many dishes.

The versatility and pure deliciousness of this humble roasted tomato allowed for the seasonal transition to be that much sweeter!

Ingredients: 

  • End of summer tomatoes
  • Olive oil, drizzle
  • Salt, to taste

Directions: 

1) Prep: Preheat your oven to 325F. Quarter your tomatoes, and arrange on a sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle with salt.

2) Cook: Let them cook and bubble for 20-25 minutes, until nicely caramelized and fragrant.

3) Eat: Enjoy on fresh bread with avocado and grilled chicken (as seen in the picture), make into a sauce, use on pizza, add to frittatas, puree and use as a sandwich topping…the possibilities are endless!

This post was written by Flora McKay, Director of Community & Nutrition

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