Archive | June, 2013

cooking energy

26 Jun

6835168360_2805c66ff0“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” -Harriet van Horne

Try this experiment:

1. Cook a meal after an argument you had, a broken tire, commuting delays, or after a general bad day.

2. Cook a meal after you just finished a project you are proud of, just came back from an inspiring exercise session, snuggled with your kids, husband/wife, pets, took a leisurely stroll, or after a general good day.

In each case, what do you think your food will taste like?

The energy that we put into making our meals is incredibly important. When we are in a negative state of mind, the end result of our meal won’t taste very vibrant. When we are in a positive state of mind, our food will sing with good energy, taste, texture and overall appeal.

We teach this fundamental concept to our cooking class students and summer campers. Learning how our energy affects our food (and countless other aspects of our lives) at a young age will help solidify good cooking habits for the future.

The next time you cook, think about what mood you are in. If you are in a bad mood, try simply smiling while sautéing, prepping, assembling – maybe put on some music. Even these little steps can cause a major shift in your energy.

Your taste buds will thank you!

Photo courtesy of Summer Skyes 11

on the importance of water

24 Jun

358189259_fd05cc1126“Water is the most neglected nutrient in your diet but one of the most vital.” – Kelly Barton

With a humid summer heat wave reaching our city this week, it’s the perfect time to revisit the importance of water.

As the quote states above, water is often times overlooked in our diet.

The vital power of water is a necessity that we can’t live without.

Make sure you are drinking enough water today, and everyday!

Inspire others around you to do the same, and we will all be much better off.

Photo courtesy of fox_kiyo

Quinoa everything salad

21 Jun

photo-49It’s easy to dress up quinoa, since it provides such a neutral base.

Use up lots of goodies sitting your fridge with this delicious, nutritious, and quite stunning quinoa salad.

Serves 2 – Prep time 5 minutes – Total time 7 minutes (not including the 20 minute quinoa time)


  • Quinoa, 1 cup
  • Carrots, 1 medium sized, chopped
  • Scallions, 2 chopped
  • Raisins, handful, chopped
  • Almonds, handful, chopped
  • Red onion, 2 slices, chopped
  • Cilantro, handful, ripped
  • Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
  • Maple syrup, 2 tsp
  • Olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • Black pepper, a few grinds


1. Cook quinoa: Place quinoa in a pot, with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then to a simmer. Once all water is absorbed (about 20 minutes), remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. Cook more quinoa if you want to use some later in the week, place in a container and refrigerate.

2. Prep your ingredients: Chop carrots, scallions, raisins, almonds, red onion, rip cilantro, and in a separate bowl whisk up lemon juice, maple syrup and olive oil.

3. Assemble + cool: Add all your chopped goodies into the cooked pot of quinoa, mix well. Pour dressing over, mix again. Cool in the fridge or eat right away.

You’ll be amazed at how delicious quinoa is!

Of course, feel free to use whatever you have in your fridge. This salad would taste great with all sorts of other veggies like mushrooms, peas, beets, kohlrabi, edamame, sunflower seeds, pepitas…the possibilities are endless with this versatile super-seed!

avocado banana blueberry smoothie

19 Jun

8126608990_b4902babfeOMG, you are going to love this smoothie, and so will your kids!

It’s very filling, nutritious and super tasty!

Serves 3 – Prep time 2 minutes – Total time 7 minutes


  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 frozen banana, thawed for a few minutes
  • 1/2 cup blueberries


1. Cut your avocado in 1/2, let your banana thaw for a few minutes.

2. Add all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.

3. Enjoy for breakfast or snack!

Photo courtesy of you as machine

grilling tip + gratitude

17 Jun

5062066751_bbfb3a8ce4Calling all grilling enthusiasts!

Leave a lasting mark on your summer grilling ingredients by using the “cross hatch” method.

Not only does the cross hatch make your food look pretty, it allows it to cook more evenly ensuring that your ingredients both look and taste delicious.

Check out our last table top of the school year that our students get to read during lunch. Hopefully this cooking method will inspire our students during their fun summer cook outs!

Happy end (or almost end) of the school year for all! It’s been an amazing year filled with lots of healthy food, nutrition education, cooking classes and happy and healthy children.

Thanks to everyone that has been apart of making our program a success, and to all of our students, parents and faculty for being so supportive, informative and enthusiastic.

Looking forward to another spectacular school year ahead, and a rich, fun and eye opening summer camp program to come!

With gratitude,

The Butter Beans Team

Photo courtesy of Dinner Series