Butter Beans + bio-compostable disposables

Posted by on Feb 17, 2012 in food politics | 0 comments

While many of our schools have the set up to offer lunch on real plates with proper silverware, some of our schools that are limited by logistics and/or space to offer a hot lunch program, must rely on paper products.
As it happens with you, every time you shop for your household, at Butter Beans we constantly weigh the pros and cons of our decisions to ensure that what we offer our clients is as much in line with our ethos of being a sustainable and responsible company as possible.
It is with this in mind that we are proud to share that we are using only bio-compostable disposable items from World Centric for the schools that need them.
Recycled paper, biodegradable plastics and plant fibers! Biodegradable plastics are derived from corn, potato and tapioca starch among others, that are completely non hazardous or toxic during their production, and that break back down to carbon dioxide, water and biomass when composted. It is even possible (and research is constantly evolving with this) to make biodegradable products from petroleum – which is initially counter-intuitive, but speaks volumes about the potential for rebalance and healing that we are just starting to tap into as a people. Plant fibers made from the residue of sugar cane production (that otherwise gets burned and creates toxic gases), and wheat stalks (what is left after wheat has been harvested) make wonderful bowls and tableware. When it comes to paper products, recycled paper makes a huge difference. Did you know that producing recycled paper causes 74 percent less air pollution, 35 percent less water pollution, and creates 5 times the number of jobs than producing paper from trees? It saves old-growth trees, forest eco-systems, native habitat and biodiversity.
World Centric’s mission:
It is a real pleasure to support companies that are doing what they can to make a positive difference, so that we can better support and nourish you and your family to do what you do best.
Photo courtesy of worldcentric
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winter produce + tonight’s dinner

Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in Food for thought, food politics, healthy food, local food, Recipes, seasonal | 0 comments

6316956581_b11250a6c6With beautiful displays of summer produce throughout winter in our grocery stores, it’s easy enough to forget what it means to eat locally in the winter. Local food, even this time of year, is fresher and has the added bonus of supporting the farmers that work so hard just beyond the limits of our everyday to provide for so many while caring for the plots of land that support where we stand today. If you are craving some freshly harvested local winter vegetables, but don’t know where to get them, check out Local Harvest, they will help you find local farmers markets, winter CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), and small family farms to visit on a chilly winter weekend.

Another great organization if you live in and around NYC, is GrowNYC.  They manage all of the city’s farmers markets, and many of them stay open in winter! Check out their market listings here.

The Farmer’s Market Coalition is another great resource that supports farmers markets across North America. Did you know that in 1994, there were approximately 1,755 farmers markets in the United States, and in 2010 their numbers have more than tripled — to approximately 6,200! This is great news for the livelihood of our neighborhoods, for our local economy and for our health. Even though the abundance of spring, summer and fall produce is hibernating, there are still great ways to connect with local produce and local farmers.

Here is a simple meal using winter veggies – inspiration for tonight’s dinner!

Rice + veggie medley (Serves 4)


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 + 1/4 cup of water
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1-2 beets
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt + pepper


Place 2 + 1/4 cups of water into a pot with a pinch of salt. Add one cup of brown rice into the water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, decrease heat to a simmer, cover until the rice absorbs the water and is soft (35-45 minutes, for brown rice, depending on the rice you use).

Preheat the oven to 400F. Chop carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yellow onions into quarter-inch pieces.  Place on a baking sheet, and drizzle olive oil over the veggies.  Mix up all the veggies so they are evenly coated with oil.  Once coated, sprinkle salt + a bit of pepper, mix one more time, and place in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes.  Every 15 minutes, use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix the veggies around.  Remove from the oven once all veggies are tender and have a golden glow.  Mix roasted veggies with the brown rice, and serve.

What creations have you made with your winter vegetables lately? 

Photo courtesy of goodlifevancouver

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in cooking with kids, healthy food, raising children, seasonal | 0 comments

Wishing you love and friendship today and everyday!

Want to make your own beet prints?

Take a bunch of beets, scrub them well, cut off the ends and slice them into half-inch slices. Then, carefully, cut each slice into the shape of a heart or any other favorite shape.  Keep one or two slices out for print making, and put the rest aside to cook. Your freshly cut beet shapes are ready for printing immediately. If you make many stamps and your ink runs dry, just dip the beet stamp in a bit of water for 10 seconds, and print on!

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“Love at Mast”

Posted by on Feb 10, 2012 in families, local food, news and happenings, seasonal celebrations | 0 comments

6051371199_cc34151e60It’s almost valentine’s day! Have you sorted out the special gift for your sweetie yet? Or made plans to spend the evening sipping wine with sliced apples and fabulous cheese and chocolate? Either way, check out these delicious chocolate-infused cheese wheels from Murray’s and Mast brothers.  We visit both of those local purveyors during our Food & Garden Summer Camp (read about it here) so we trust that they wouldn’t serve up anything but deliciousness!  The cheese, available in stores today, is made in Murray’s cheese caves, which our campers love to explore.  They even get to experience a plateful of taste tests!

Almost as good as this chocolate-cheesy concoction? The adorable card, “Let’s grow mold together.”

Cheers to you and yours.

Photo courtesy of Brook Butler

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Butter Beans’ newsletter debut + summer camp open house!

Posted by on Feb 7, 2012 in Food & Farm program, healthy food, news and happenings, Recipes, summer camp | 0 comments

Butter Beans just put out its first newsletter! From a delicious lentil recipe, to updates on our Food & Garden summer camp, to how we connect with students through school food committees and a chance to hear from our chefs, we have a lot to share.  We hope you get the chance to check it out!

Sign up on the sidebar (scroll down on the right) of our website to receive future newsletters direct to your inbox.

If summer camp is on your mind (we’ve certainly had some weather to bring on warm summer thoughts in NY!), please join us this Sunday from 11am-1pm at our camp headquarters, Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center. This is an opportunity for you to meet and hear our wonderful staff, taste a typical Butter Beans summer camp snack, get answers to all your questions and mingle with other like-minded parents. And of course, children are welcome. You can sign up for camp on the spot and if before March 15th, receive an early bird discount!

The details:

Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center
540 President Street
suite 2E
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Thank you for supporting Butter Beans’ vision to nourish and sustain healthier, happier children.

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