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!


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


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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School’s Back! Cooking Class Kick Off with Kobocha Squash Curry

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

School’s back in session and we kicking off our cooking classes with a bang!

We are so thrilled for the year ahead with new programs ranging from pre-k to high school! This week we are making delicious Kabocha Squash Curry and Bok Choi Stir Fry. Kobocha Squash (also called a Japanese Pumpkin) is a sweeter winter squash than its cousins, the acorn squash or butternut squash. It has the taste of a mix between sweet potato and butternut squash.


We are using the Kombocha Squash in a sweet Thai Curry. While the word “curry” refers to the mixture of spices used in the dish, which vary widely between countries and cultures, we are focusing our global spotlight this week on the cuisine of Thailand. In certain parts of Thailand, coconut milk is used in curries to diffuse the rich flavors of the spices throughout the entire curry. It certainly makes this dish rich and flavorful!

So, join us at the dinner table with this delicious Kabocha Squash Curry and Bok Choi Stir Fry! 

Registration for Butter Beans Cooking Classes is still open at many schools! Don’t have Butter beans Cooking Classes at your school yet? Email us at classes@butterbeanskitchen.com to inquire about upcoming cooking opportunities. You can also join our Newsletter to keep up to date with food-focused community events, recipes, and stories, and more!

Kabocha Squash Curry and Bok Choi Stir Fry


  • 1 cup brown rice (quick cooking)
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 T fresh gingerroot, grated
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1 t turmeric (opt)
  • 1 t ginger
  • ½ t cumin
  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ head cauliflower
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water


  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 bunch bok choy
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • Salt, pepper to taste


  1. Cook 1 cup rice in 2 cups water, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Prep winter squash (cut in half, remove seeds, peel, break down)
  3. Chop all vegetables 
  4. Drain and rinse beans
  5. Mince 1 garlic cloves
  6. In a large pot, start the curry with the onion and spices, stirring frequently to prevent burning
    • Add onions, cook for two to three minutes on medium-high heat.
    • Add garlic and ginger. Sauté three to five minutes.
    • Add powdered spices (curry, turmeric, ginger, cumin)
    • Add coconut milk and remainder of veggies, simmer on low
  7. While curry cooks, prepare the bok choy stir-fry.
    • Cook garlic over medium heat in sesame oil until slightly browned.
    • Add black beans, simmer for 2 minutes
    • Add bok choy. Cook until tender.
    • Garnish with sesame seeds and season to taste.
  8. Serve curry over brown rice with side of bok choy bean stir-fry.
  9. Enjoy!


Bon Appétit in Thai: ขอให้เจริญอาหาร!




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summer camp reflections

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in cooking classes, cooking with kids, families, healthy food, summer camp | 0 comments

13882634_1141748522550748_7682930224653544935_nOne of my favorite recipes I’ve made with the young chefs during summer camp was Chipotle stuffed sweet potato skins.

They loved to scoop out the baked sweet potato from its skin. They jumped at the opportunity to squeeze lemon, shred kale and cilantro and cut the Chipotle pepper and radish. When it was time to add the cumin, salt and pepper, they all would jump at the opportunity to pinch the spices and sprinkle it over the dish. They added the corn and took turns mixing the sweet potato mixture, putting it back into the skin, sprinkling cheese and putting it on the sheet pan.

While it was in the oven they would quickly clean up their station to prepare for lunch. The counselors would put the sweet potato on the campers’ plate and we served ourselves.

From my first spoonful, I loved the dish.

The balance of the saltiness of the cheese with the sweetness of the sweet potato mixture, the corn that added a crispy texture to the creamy sweet potato and the freshness that the cilantro added was nirvana.

We asked the young chefs how they felt about the dish, I saw a couple of stuffed mouths nodding their heads and putting their thumbs up. But then I saw a few thumbs sideways and we asked what can we do to make it a thumbs up. Some children said that they don’t like spicy foods. The one comment that stuck to me the most was, “I like the flavor, but not the textures, there is too much going on here.”

13887077_1145480382177562_4024558246028311134_nDuring my time at summer camp I loved to see the campers curious to learn the different components of a dish, even if they know what is in it they love to see it separately. I can very much relate this to food service. When working at schools, I see kids enthusiastic to go to the cold bar after they get their flavorful hot food item, because it is their chance to create their own, or in other words, be a chef.

I love seeing them pick and choose different items to make a vegetarian wrap or make a yogurt parfait. It shows that kids love to make their own meals from an early age, which can help expand their minds and allows them to express their inner passion and creativity.

This post was written by Kelly Laurent, Food + Garden Summer Camp Counselor & Food Service Associate  


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