Fondue and Summer Veggies

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments


This week we’ll be looking to Switzerland for a little inspiration. We’re making fondue! Fondue is a traditional Swiss dish. It’s combination of melted cheese, milk, and occasionally a little garlic, mustard or honey to add flavor. Everything is melted and mixed together in a large pot or fountain. Then comes the dipping!

We’ll be using gruyere for our fondue, which is actually named after the small Swiss town where it originated. It is a smooth, semi-soft and often unpasteurized cheese with a strong flavor.

And since we love fresh, seasonal produce here at Butter Beans, we’ll use  a few of our favorite summer veggies for dipping, some of which are superfoods. What’s a superfood you ask?

 “Superfoods” are nutrient-rich foods packed with vitamins and minerals  that help us reach our healthiest selves. They are often colorful and  contain lots of antioxidants, which stop “free radicals” that can cause  harm to healthy cells. 

Let’s get cooking!


  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 ½ c gruyere, shredded
  • 1 c emmentaler, shredded
  • ¼ c AP flour
  • ¼ t dry mustard

For the fondue:

    • Warm up milk to a boil, then turn to simmer and cover.
    • Measure the honey and add to the simmering milk.
    • Shred the cheese or cut into very small pieces if not shredded.
    • Mix cheese in a bowl with the flour and dry mustard.
    • Add a handful of cheese at a time and whisk until all cheese is in the pot.
    • Turn heat on very low, cover the pot, and hold.

Summer Veggies

    • 1 carrot
    • 1 zucchini
    • 1 summer squash
    • 1 pt grape tomatoes
    • ½ head broccoli
    • 1 granny smith apples

Prepare the dipping veggies.

    • Cut the summer squash and zucchini into juliennes (matchstick size)
    • Cut or break the broccoli into florets.
    • Cut the carrots into rounds or juliennes.
    • Cut the granny smith apples into wedges.

Once veggies are ready, pour the fondue into one big bowl for sharing, or a few small ones for individual fondue pots. Keep in mind, the more you split the cheese, the more heat you will lose and the faster the cheese will try to turn back into a solid.  The fun in fondue is the sharing!

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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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Spring Smoothie and Compost Cookies!

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments


At Butter Beans we’re all about eating sustainably, but what does that actually mean?

It can mean eating locally, in season, or organic. It can mean limiting your intake of processed meats and seeking out wild, line-caught seafood. It can mean steering clear of the dirty dozen. However, it also has to do with how you prepare and dispose of your food! This week we’ll talk a lot about reducing our food waste. Food waste is any uneaten food that is discarded, that could have had another practical use. One way to cut back on our food waste is to compost! Compost is broken down organic matter (usually kitchen scraps and unfinished food) made by tiny microorganisms in compost bins. It is often called ‘black gold’ because, when applied to our garden, it gives plants an all-natural fertilizing boost.

Today, we’ll be whipping up a batch of our favorite ‘compost’ cookies. We’re using zucchini, pretzels and carrots, but you could add any kitchen leftovers into this recipe and they would still taste great. To top off our tasty treat, we’ll also be blending up a fresh, nutrient-packed smoothie. Find the recipes below!

Smoothie Ingredients

  • 2 C spinach
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 21⁄2 C vanilla yogurt

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 C oats
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 C brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 C butter (4 TB/ 1⁄2 stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1⁄2 C grated zucchini (1
  • small zucchini)
  • 1⁄2 C shredded carrot (1
  • medium carrot)
  • 1 C pretzels
  • 1⁄2 C raisins

Measure and mix oats, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, place diced butter and sugar and cream together. Meanwhile, grate the zucchini and the carrot. At the end, let 2

Gently squeeze the grated carrot and zucchini over a cup, to get out excess water. Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter/sugar mix, then mix in the flour mix, veggies, pretzels and raisins. Mix well and crush the pretzels. Spoon dollops onto baking tray and put in oven. Bake for 15-20 min until done.

For the smoothie, blend all ingredients in blender/food processor, pulsing until smooth.



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Nicoise Salad and Roasted Rainbow Radishes

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments


An important part of eating healthy is  being creative with the ingredients we use in making our meals. It’s great fun to follow a recipe, but savvy chefs know that they can also change a recipe to use ingredients that are in season and readily available. This week we’re celebrating creativity in the kitchen by making our meals beautiful as well – through colorful vegetables, decorative displays, and garnishes. We will be putting together a fresh nicoise salad with a side of colorful roasted radishes. Let’s get cooking and let our creativity shine through!


  • 2 c multi colored radishes (look for reds, purples, pinks and whites!)
  • 2 T olive oil


  • 1 c white beans
  • 1 c green beans
  • ¼ c nicoise olives
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 fingerling potatoes
  • Salt and pepper  to taste


  • 1 lemon
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • ¼ red onion
  • ¼ bunch parsley
  • 2 T capers


For the radishes:

Preheat Oven to 350. Cut the radishes into wedges or bite sized pieces. Toss with 2T olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and spread evenly on a sheet tray, then roast until tender.

For the salad:

Do this ahead of time: Boil the potatoes, green beans, and eggs.  To boil the eggs perfectly, put eggs in cold water, bring to boil, cover then turn off the heat and let sit for 7 minutes then chill. Mince the onion. Rinse white beans.

1. Cut the boiled green beans into bite size pieces.

2. Cut potatoes into discs.

3. Cut olives lengthwise into 1/4s.

4. Cut cherry tomatoes in halves.

5. Cut the eggs into chunks.

6. Rip the lettuce into bite size pieces and put into a bowl.

7. Make the dressing:

      • Squeeze the lemon juice into a container or bowl.
      • Add in the olive oil, minced onion, and vinegar.
      • Pick the parsley and rip into small pieces and add that in.
      • Chop or crush the capers and add them in.
      • Shake or whisk to combine the dressing, then taste for seasoning and dress the lettuce.
      • If you have extra dressing, dress the other ingredients separately.

To finish, creatively add green beans, potatoes, olives, tomatoes, onions and egg to your lettuce. Drizzle with salad dressing. Serve roasted radishes on the side.

Bon Appetit!


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Asparagus Soup with Crispy Chickpea Croutons

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments


This week we’re looking to our friends in Spain for a little culinary inspiration. Our veggie of the week is asparagus!

Wild asparagus is a commonly used ingredient in springtime Spanish cooking. The variety grown in Spain is slightly more bitter than the cultivated varieties eaten in the United States, but still tastes delicious. These hardy Spanish varieties are perennial, meaning they re-grow each season. Some of these plants will live up to 30 years!

You may have noticed that asparagus has been front and center in your own grocery store lately. That’s because in the Northeast, asparagus is in season beginning in early spring and ending in mid-summer. This means if you’re eating asparagus now, it’s likely local and at its peak nutrient-density. Asparagus has all kinds of detoxifying health benefits and has been touted as a cancer-reducer in traditional medicinal fields.

Since Asparagus has a mild flavor when cooked, we’ll be adding some common aromatics to our dish. Your little chefs will be adding onions, garlic and ginger to their asparagus soup to enhance the flavor and smell of the dish. Let’s get cooking!

Soup Ingredients

  • 2 lbs asparagus
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water or veg stock
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley
  • salt+pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

Crouton Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t cumin
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 1 T lemon juice


  • Prepare all ingredients for asparagus soup.
    • Chop spears into 1-inch pieces. Be sure to taste!
    • Cut leek into small rounds.
    • Tear parsley leaves from stem, and rip into small pieces.
    • Caramelize Onions.
  • Get asparagus soup started.
    • Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic, cooking slowly and stirring for five minutes. Add ~¼ cup vegetable stock. Bring to simmer.
    • Add asparagus and 1 T of chopped parsley. Cook five minutes, before adding remainder of veg stock.
    • Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer slowly about 20 minutes
  • While soup is simmering, make chickpea “croutons.”
    • Combine chickpeas in large bowl with 1 T olive oil and seasoning. Toss well to coat evenly.
    • Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. Stir and return to oven for additional 5-7 minutes until slightly browned and crunchy.
    • While chickpeas bake, have students squeeze lemon juice into bowl.
    • Remove chickpeas from oven and drizzle 1 T lemon juice over sheet. Set aside the remainder of lemon juice as optional zesty addition to soup.
  • Return to soup. Add soup in batches to food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Serve in bowls, adding optional lemon and caramelized onions.
  • Garnish with asparagus tip and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Buen Provecho!


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