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:


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


  • 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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Trending Towards Healthy – The Year in Food

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in families, fast food, featured articles, Food for thought, food politics, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, news and happenings, nutrition, raising children, school food, sustainability | 0 comments

Looking back at the year in food, we feel more strongly than ever that we are part of a larger movement towards healthier eating. As this article from NPR points out, evidence of these trends can be seen in the biggest producers. Reacting to consumer demands, even McDonald’s has taken steps to use healthier, more sustainably produced ingredients. This shows that clearly we are part of a larger movement changing how everyone eats, not just those already shopping at Whole Foods.

We at Butter Beans are often told that we are just providing good food to a small niche. This article proves that change we are part of is now reaching all parts of the food system and our “niche” is only growing. Sales of foods marketed towards health and sustainability conscious consumers surged in 2015, indicating that a much larger trend is only beginning. As the health benefits of nutritious eating become more and more apparent (especially for young kids in schools), all kinds of consumers are acting to create a change.

If you believe in critical tipping points that propel major changes, this past year hinted that one such shift may lie near on the horizon. Often the best way to measure the success of a movement is to follow the actions of the largest and most influential actors in the industry. The fact that big, highly profit-driven companies such as Kraft are seeking to include more natural ingredients in their products makes us hopeful for the future. Healthy foods are no longer just for yoga-moms and crunchy-foodies; now all kinds of Americans are showing concern for the kinds of foods carried by even large chain supermarkets and fast-food joints. This is how a paradigm shift occurs. At Butter Beans, we see everyday how we can shape the next generation of healthy, food-educated consumers to demand that America becomes a nation that embraces nutritious food.

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chard chips

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in fall recipes, fast food, healthy food, local food, nutrition, Recipes, wellness | 0 comments

photo (9)Kale chips take the spotlight for very good reasons, but if you think outside the box, swiss chard can make for a brilliant kale chip substitute!

A dark leafy green related to beets and spinach, swiss chard is packed with vitamin K helping our blood to clot, and phytonutrients (think of the colors of rainbow chard) keeping our bodies working well, and feeling vibrant.

When swiss chard leaves get roasted in the oven and become crispy, their flavor gets condensed into this savory yet sweet experience for your palate that’s quite the adventure.

It’s a must try, especially for kale chip fans – or anyone who wants to transform their swiss chard into something fantabulous!

Here’s how:

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 12 minutes

Serves 2-4


  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, leaves removed from stems (save stems for sautéing, roasting, or adding to soup)
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • A pinch of sea salt


1. Prep: Preheat your oven to 400F. Rinse your chard, spin dry or towel dry (important step!). Place your swiss chard leaves on a baking tray. Add olive oil, massaging the chard well to make sure each leaf is oiled. Finish with a pinch of sea salt, mix again. Make sure to leave some space in between the leaves.

2. Roast: Place your sheet tray in the oven. Let the chard cook for 5 minutes, then mix. Cook for another 2-5 minutes (depending on the strength of your oven), until crispy and fragrant.

3. Eat: Make these when you aren’t too hungry, or else they will vanish in no-time!

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millet bowl

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in fast food, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, lunch time, nutrition, Recipes, seasonal | 0 comments

photo (2)Here is a perfect example of kitchen creativity, and flexibility!

Use up any extra Sicilian pesto with this millet bowl recipe.

Pump up your diet with some fun millet minerals like copper, manganese, phosphorous and magnesium, then add in all the late summer vegetables in your kitchen, and poof – a nutritious dinner or lunch in no time (tip: make the millet beforehand for an even faster meal)!

Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 27 minutes

Serves 2


  • Millet, 1/2 C
  • Water, 1.25 C
  • Sicilian pesto, 3-5 T
  • Cherry tomatoes, handful
  • Zucchini, 1 medium sized
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Olive oil, 1 T
  • Salt, to taste


1. Prep: Cook your millet (it only takes 20 minutes). Add millet to a pot, then add water. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Once millet soaks up all of the water, turn off the heat and cover to steam. Chop zucchini, cut tomatoes in half.

2. Cook: Add olive oil to a pan, then add zucchini, sautéing until soft and caramelized, approximately 8-10 minutes.

3. Assemble: In a bowl, mix Sicilian pesto into the millet, add zucchini and tomatoes and mix well. Top with grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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Sicilian Pesto (not nut-free)

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in fast food, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, Recipes | 0 comments

12042140976_245388da67_zWow – this pesto goes a long way in changing the flavor profile of typical pesto.

Blanched almonds and pistachios elevate the basil, and really takes your pesto experience to a new level.

This recipe is not an original idea, in fact it’s a traditional way of making pesto in Sicily, “pistu cu pistacchiu”.

You will be as delighted as the Sicilians are when you make this recipe at home. Enjoy the interesting flavors, and process. You won’t be sorry you diverted from the norm!

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 7 minutes

Serves 2


  • Almonds, handful
  • Pistachios, handful
  • Basil, 2-3 handfuls
  • Parmesan cheese, 1/4 C
  • Olive oil, a few drizzles
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Water as needed


1. Prep: Blanch your almonds by adding them into boiling water for 5 minutes, rinsing with cold water and popping the shells off. Shell your pistachios, rinse your basil.

2. Process: Add all ingredients into your food processor. Add water as needed to reach a creamy, yet still thick consistency. Taste and adjust the cheese, salt, pepper ratio according to your liking.

3. Eat: Add to fresh pasta, millet, quinoa, meatballs, fish, or to a vegetable soup. You will be so please with the results!

Photo courtesy of Michael Bentley

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cod and potato mash

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in fast food, healthy food, local food, Recipes, sustainability | 0 comments

photo (1)Do you enjoy cod but need some inspiration?

Try making cod with this Italian twist, and keep in mind this helpful information from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch when it comes to purchasing this tasty, flaky friend of the sea.

Prep time: 2 minutes Total time: 20 minutes

Serves 2


  • Cod filet, 5-7 oz
  • Potatoes, 3 large
  • Capers, 1 – 2 T
  • Olive Oil, 2 T for pan + 1 T for assembly
  • Salt + Pepper, to taste
  • Lemon, 1/2 medium
  • Cilantro, a few leaves
  • Optional: balsamic vinegar reduction


1. Prep: Rinse and cut potatoes into quarters. Rinse your cod under cold water.

2. Cook: Place potatoes into a steamer basket, cover and let steam for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. While the potatoes are steaming, cook the cod. Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat, then add the cod. Season with salt and pepper, let it cook on each side for 5-9 minutes, until flaky and cooked through out.

3. Assemble: Add steamed potatoes into the fish pan. Mash fish and potatoes together well, adding in the capers, lemon and olive oil. Season to taste. With two large spoons (or your hands), create a ball shaped form, and place the mash on your plate. Top with cilantro leaves, and place a few drops of balsamic reduction to dip your mash into.

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