Tag Archives: Belinda DiGiambattista

weekly family dinner plan

1 Nov

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AMThis week’s family dinner plan is inspired by: pantry items!

While I was cooking last week I noticed I have several items in my cabinets that I have been overlooking that could go to good use. So this week’s grocery list is inspired by what I already have on hand.

If you have a bunch of items that you need to use as well, you can take the same approach and substitute a couple of nights of my menu items with what you are trying to use, so that you can save at the checkout line.

I am also inspired by superfoods again this week, making sure we have fish at least once during the week, and I am including my son’s suggestions on Kid’s night so he feels included in the process, and is then more open to my choices on the other nights.

Feel free to share your children’s favorite dinners on our Facebook page and we will include them in future menus.

Our menu this week is:

risotto2Monday Butternut squash risotto and black bean salad

Tuesday: – One pot:  Red bean salad served with bulgar wheat with dried cranberries and side salad  (Note – this is a more adventurous menu. My son preferred the black bean salad and had that from leftovers from Monday in place of the red bean salad.)

Wednesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Turkey tacos with pico de gallo and a side of corn

Thursday:  Baked fish with pan seared garlic and olive oil (or butter) and rice noodles with a side salad

Friday: No noodle zucchini lasagna 

Click here for this weeks grocery list for a family of four.  

Here is your personal Sunday prep list for the week as well as your nightly prep and cook steps that will take the guess work out of every night.

Photo courtesy of zestycook.com

weekly family dinner plan

23 Oct

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AM

This week’s family dinner plan is inspired by: super-foods!

“What’s for dinner?”

Starting up the new school year has been an exciting and busy time for our family.

It is hard to believe that we are in mid-October, but managing the meals for eleven schools plus my own two children’s makes the days fly by. I am sure I am not alone in settling into the cooler weather and busy soccer and dance schedules for our children which makes what we serve for dinner more important than ever. Packing in nutrition so that everyone has strong days with energy is easier when we plan ahead.

TWalnutshis week, I am incorporating a few ‘super’ foods into the menu. They include beans, greens, yams, garlic, tomatoes, and whole grains. You may need to adjust some recipes to suit your family’s tastes, but these items will surely give you a base for a satisfying week at the dinner table.

While making my list of super foods, I also came across a list of foods you may want to add to your shopping list for breakfast. They include berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), yogurt, oats, eggs, flax seeds, nuts (especially walnuts), and oranges (or orange juice).

The last super food I will share this week is tea. I am excited to try caffeine-free herbal varieties (like chamomile) to serve to my children and myself, and look forward to the enhanced moods in addition to the flavonoids as we prepare for bedtime.

Enjoy dinner and I look forward to your comments and suggestions on our Facebook page. If you or your children have a favorite recipe you want me to include in the weekly menu, please share it there. Have fun!

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Our menu this week is:

Monday:  Chicken legs with a side of tomato and herb white beans

Tuesday: – One pot:  Yam and black bean burritos with a side of sautéed greens

Wednesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Mac n cheese with a side of salad greens and roasted carrots

Thursday: Baked fish and veggie fries with a side salad

Friday: Pan crusted tofu with a side of broccoli and quinoa chard pilaf

Click here for this weeks grocery list for a family of four.  

Here is your personal Sunday prep list for the week as well as your nightly prep and cook steps that will take the guess work out of every night.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and let us know how it went!

Photo courtesy of Pauline Mak and oprah.com

our love affair with beans

2 May

8035456049_0801afba3fHere at Butter Beans, we truly love our beans!

You may have wondered where we came up with the name Butter Beans? Our co-founder and CEO, Belinda grew up in North Carolina on a farm and used to shell butter beans with her grandmother. This experience stood out to her as one of her fondest food memories. Butter beans are extremely nutrient dense and delicious, and were one of Belinda’s favorite foods she enjoyed as a child. Now these beans have come to embody our mission of feeding children nutritious foods at lunch-time, teaching children about nutrition, and the skills to cook up homemade meals for themselves and their families.

Beans are an excellent source of protein, are filled with fiber, vitamin B, folate and minerals like iron, potassium and zinc. Eating beans helps keep your heart, circulation, blood pressure and digestion strong! They make a great addition to most dishes; mixed into rice or quinoa, tossed into salads, blended into dips, sculpted into patties, stewed in soups, and spiced up to make a tasty chili.

Buying them in a can is great for saving time (always rinse the beans in a colander after opening the can to remove some of the sodium, and look for cans that are BPA free), however, buying them dry then soaking and cooking them on your own can save you money and time too (say thank you to your freezer)!  Soaking your beans also allows for easier digestion, and contain a lesser amount of sodium than canned beans.

Here’s how you can make your very own delicious beans at home:

Add 1 cup of dried beans to a bowl (they get bigger when you soak them, so with 1 cup of dried beans you end up with 2.5-3 cups depending on the bean), add water to cover the beans and place on your countertop or in your fridge for at least 8 hours. Rinse your beans off in a colander, and place in a pot. Add water to cover your beans by at least 2-3 inches, bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes- 1 hour (they are pretty low maintenance). Like you would when cooking pasta, taste a few beans to make sure they are cooked to your desired texture.

Use your cooked beans for lunch, dinner or even breakfast (huevos rancheros, yum). With your leftover or extra beans, place them in freezer bags or glass containers and place in your freezer for later use.

Photo courtesy of tonrulkens

CHANGING THE WAY WE EAT: Join our CEO at TEDx Manhattan this Saturday

20 Jan

2754886941-3This Saturday, January 21st, TED Manhattan will take over the Times Center for “Changing the Way We Eat.”

The details: 10 a.m. to 5:15 pm at the Times Center, 242 W. 41st. St. (between Seventh and Eighth aves.); 212-556-4300

The thoughtful, inspiring and educational talks from people of various expertise and viewpoints in every field imaginable, has made TED a household word, provoking conversations that matter across the country and globe. TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission “ideas worth spreading.” The TEDx program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

Tomorrow, “Changing the way we eat,” will feature speakers from the world of food, politics and science. Butter Beans is committed to doing our part in revolutionizing school food and connecting this generation of youth to their food systems with a vision of just food policy in our future. If you are able to, come join our CEO and Co-Founder Belinda DiGiambattista who will be in attendance tomorrow at the Times Center.

The day’s line-up:

10:30am Session 1- Issues
ETHEL
TED Video
Dr. David Wallinga, Antibiotic Resistance
Wenonah Hauter, Food/Farming Consolidation in Poultry Industry
Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, Health/Meat Reduction/Consumption
Performance
Patty Cantrell, New Roads to Markets
Urvashi Rangan, Labeling and the Controversy Around it

12:05pm-1:20pm-Lunch

1:20pm Session 2- Impact
TED video
Fred Kirschenmann, Soil
Michelle Hughes, GrowNYC – Immigrant Farming
Performance
Mitchell Davis, How Taste Affects Food Behavior
Wayne Pacelle, Impact of Factory Farming
Howard Hinterthuer, Veteran’s Food Production Project
Stephen Ritz, Edible Food Walls and How They’re Changing Students’ Lives.

3:15pm-3:45pm Break

3:45pm-5:35pm Session 3- Innovation
TED Video
Cara Rosaen, Online System for Restaurant Goers to Find Out Where Their Food Came From
Marianne Cufone, Recirculating Farms, What They Are and How They’re Helping People
Stefani Bardin video
Kerry McLean, Green Cart Program in NYC
Paul Lightfoot, Commercial Hydroponics on Top of Stores
Performance
Frieda Lim video
Kavita Shukla, Organic Paper That Keeps Produce Fresh
Gary Oppenheimer, Food Pantries and Food Distribution

For those of you unable to attend, the talks will be webcast online and at viewing parties through the city (click here for live webcast and viewing party information).

For more info, visit: tedxmanhattan.org

Photo courtesy of eventbrite.com

Butter Beans in the NEWS – NY Daily Post, March 2, 2011

3 Mar