spring green potato celery soup

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in cooking with kids, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, nutrition, seasonal, sustainability | 0 comments

4904477507_bbe492a693_oEver wondered what a wildlife biologist eats to stay healthy, happy, and strong after a day of adventuring outdoors?

Well, wonder no more! Here at Butter Beans we love learning about (and sharing!) the different foods & recipes that fuel our communities. We linked up with Audubon Society’s Long Island Bird Conservation Manager Amanda Pachomski to discover her favorite healthy recipe to cook at home.

As a wildlife biologist, Amanda spends her days helping protect the Earth’s natural spaces and the many amazing creatures who live there. Ask any of the Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Campers and they’ll tell you how important it is to care for our planet’s precious resources in order to grow and eat nourishing foods. A healthy planet means a healthy you and me!

We fell head over heals for this simple, vibrant soup and we know you will too. Its bright green color alone has us running for the kitchen. Happy cooking!


1 small yellow onion

1 large bunch celery

3 large potatoes

2-3 tsp turmeric

2 cubes vegetable bullion

1 quart water

olive oil

powdered garlic

salt & pepper

Topping, opt.

½ avocado, thinly sliced

coconut oil popcorn*

Directions: Chop onion, celery, and potatoes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until softened. Add two cubes of veggie bullion. Add celery and potatoes. Sauté for additional 5-7 minutes. Add turmeric, salt, fresh black pepper, powdered garlic, and optional pinch of chili pepper. Mix well and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Add enough water to cover veggies, bring to a boil, and cook until veggies are soft (~20 minutes). Transfer soup to food processor or use immersion blender to blend. Pour back into soup pot to hold warm. Serve soup. Top with avocado slices, coconut oil popcorn, and a sprinkling of turmeric for a decorative and delicious garnish.

*make-your-own popcorn with our recipe for stove top popcorn. Drizzle with coconut oil once popped and mix well. Voila!


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a new kind of after school snack

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in after school, cooking classes, cooking with kids, seasonal | 0 comments

As I looked over the unique winter twist to this week’s recipe of Moroccan Mint Tea and Squash Kebabs, I had a flashback to my experience with after school snacks as a child. Squash & Kebobs were just not in my food vocabulary. Rather, sugary cereals, Capri Suns, pop tarts, and cheese rollups, my finest culinary specialty of microwaving cheese on a flour tortilla. It wasn’t that I was a picky eater, I simply didn’t know any other way.

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Starting a new session of Butter Beans classes, I was reminded at how much my experience and relationship with food has changed. I feel an extra sense of responsibility and excitement towards introducing seasonal, fresh, and delicious healthy recipes made with real food.

It is incredible to hear an energetic child ask if they can taste a raw vegetable they just chopped, the anticipation and hunger too much for them to wait!

There are also an abundance of stories told while cooking together in class. “ My mom uses olive oil while cooking all the time!” or “ I’ve tried pomegranate tea before so I will probably like the mint tea!” The connections they make from experiences at home or even in school are inspiring and contagious towards creating a positive relationship with food.

We introduced composting our food scraps, and a 7 year old explained to the class, “it is just like recycling but for the earth.” Another student was bummed out to find that there would be no worms assisting the compost in our classroom!

image1There is something innately creative about children and their ability to see something for what it is. We work on not “yucking someone else’s yum” and cooking with care, but the magic for me comes out in the way they talk about smell and taste, their strategies for assembling a kebob or tearing a mint leaf, and the end result of wanting to take home their hard work to show off to their parents!

All done with gratitude towards our famers and our chefs, a lesson I know will impact this next generation far beyond the classroom.

This post was written by Ann Duffy, Food Educator and Cooking Instructor

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Welcome Jessica Allen! Our New Camp Director and Wellness Program Coordinator

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

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We’re very excited to bring on the newest member of our team, Jessica Allen!

Jessica is a health nut with a science background. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Nutritional Sciences and Behavior at The University of Texas at Austin.

She researched Food Systems Education, focusing on effective, sustainable nutrition programs, in collaboration with the Sustainable Food Center of Austin, TX.

Jessica has also kindled her passion for nutrition by completing the Valley Organic Growers Association (VOGA) Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training; working on farms, orchards, and vineyards in Colorado, Texas and Hawaii; cheffing vegan, gluten free desserts for a local food truck; and leading nutrition programs in gardens, kitchens, farmers markets, and greenhouses.

She’s excited to join the Butter Beans team to put in action her belief that providing opportunities for communities to interact more closely with whole foods engenders pride and respect for themselves and their communities.

We’re excited to see Jessica’s talents enrich our wellness programs and communities!

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Tommy’s not spicy gazpacho for kids

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in cooking with kids, families, healthy food, Recipes | 0 comments

4826276524_9c04ffdf65_zTommy’s not spicy gazpacho for kids! Just the name makes us want to create this recipe!

We were excited to receive this refreshing recipe from our “Soup’s On Recipe Challenge” at the Churchill School, since gazpacho is a very kid friendly soup even though it doesn’t sound like one right off the bat.

We also loved how creative Tommy got with his gazpacho toppings: avocado, hard boiled eggs and croutons – how can you go wrong?!

As the warmer weather settles in, we highly suggest making Tommy’s recipe. Enjoy!


  • 8 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • 2 cucumbers
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic

Directions: Peel & seed cucumber. Blend together all vegetables raw. Add olive oil and red wine vinegar to help blend. Add more oil, salt, vinegar (and optinally ice cubes!) to taste, to balance flavors. Strain gazpacho so it is smooth. Serve with avocado, hard boiled eggs & croutons.

Photo courtesy of Cyclone Bill

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Chloe’s white bean & kale soup

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in cooking with kids, families, healthy food, Recipes | 0 comments

8615680362_409eb0aa30_zWe are thrilled to include a recipe that was written by a student on our blog!

We just hosted a fun “Soup’s On! Recipe Challenge” at the Churchill School, and we received some amazing soup recipes written by children who worked with their parents to come up with an original recipe for a delicious and nutritious soup.

We plan to include our winning recipe & our honorable mentions in the blog for all of our readers to make at home, hopefully inspiring you to cook more at home together with your family!

We hope that you will enjoy Chloe’s White Bean & Kale soup, one of our honorable mentions from our recipe challenge:


  • 1 small onion diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 2 can white beans, drained and rinsed cannellini or northern white beans
  • 1 package vegetable broth
  • 1 small bunch of curly kale
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme or rosemary

Directions: Saute onion & garlic in pan until translucent, then add broth, tomato, and white beans. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 10 minutes. Ladle 1/3 of soup into blender, blend until smooth, pour the blended mixture back into the pan. Add thyme or other fresh herbs, bring to a boil, add kale in small pieces, simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove the sprigs of herbs then serve.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Braun

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