Tag Archives: healthy eating

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

enjoying food the Butter Beans way

15 Apr

225071_499064973454665_451393431_nWe are blessed to have a wonderful team of food service staff nourishing our students everyday at lunch-time.

We received this post from Shaquanna, who has been working with us for two years, and wanted to share her journey with you all.

Why I love Butter Beans

When I used to hear the term “lunch lady,” I immediately envisioned a woman in a hair net slapping visually unappealing food down on a plastic lunch tray.

Working with Butter Beans has allowed me to develop a new vision of what school lunch means. We truly are changing the way America thinks about school lunch!

With food being at the very core of our physical survival, the quality of the food we eat directly impacts our health and well-being.

As a Food Service Supervisor, I take pride in the work that I do since it makes a difference in the lives of the kids we serve. By serving high quality, nutrient dense food to children I know that we are positively impacting these kids’ lives for years to come.

Before working for Butter Beans my eating habits were far from what I wanted them to be. I grew up on a processed food diet. As an adult these foods continued to be my main sources of “nutrition.”

After having children of my own, I wanted to be more conscious of the foods I ate. Since good eating habits begin at home, I knew that I had to make changes in my diet so that my daughters would follow my example.

Although I wanteBHGRsfXCAAAfYqK.jpg-larged to change, I didn’t really know where to start. I didn’t know much about organic, or processed foods until years after my daughters were born. But that didn’t stop me from implementing small health changes as my food knowledge grew.

With that in mind, my experience at Butter Beans has helped me tremendously. Working with them has given me so many insights on healthy eating that I am really grateful for!

I have learned that eating healthy can be inspiring and fun. I’ve also been exposed to new foods such as quinoa and hummus, which I had never tasted or heard of before Butter Beans. I’ve even learned to come up with healthy new recipes based on our lunch menus!

Butter Beans has become an inseparable part of my life, my thanks to them for helping me on my road to health and wellness.

I will continue to incorporate healthy food choices in my everyday life so that my family and I can continue to live healthy, happy lives!

chicken fried rice

6 Feb

2208031777_5cf431d135Chicken fried rice makes for a kid-friendly meal, and also acts as a blank slate making room for lots of cooking creativity.

Add this recipe to your dinner repertoire and your kids will thank you!

We have first-hand proof from our students that this recipe comes out fantastically delicious, boasting two thumbs up in the cafeteria.

Here is how we make it in our kitchen:

Ingredients:
  • Brown rice, 4 cups (cooked the day before for best results)
  • Chicken breast, 2 lbs
  • Carrots, .3 cups
  • Celery, .3 cups
  • Eggs, 4
  • Yellow onions, .25 cups
  • Fresh frozen peas, .3 cups
  • Bok choy, .3 cups
  • Napa cabbage, .3 cups
  • Cooking oil (olive or canola), 2 tablespoons
  • Sesame oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Tamari, 2 tablespoons
  • Black pepper, 1 pinch
  • Kosher salt, 1 pinch
Marinade for chicken:
  • Tamari, 1 cup
  • Rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon
  • Cornstarch (optional), 1 teaspoon
  • Cooking oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Sesame oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Black pepper, 1 pinch
  • Kosher salt, 1 pinch

Directions:

Scramble eggs, set aside. Place diced raw chicken in marinade for twenty minutes (or overnight if you so inclined). In a skillet heat cooking oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the skillet, and cook until lightly browned. Add all vegetables, cook until tender. Add in cooked rice, then add in sesame oil, tamari, salt, pepper. Stir constantly. Add in egg mixture, stir until eggs are completely cooked. Taste and season to your liking.
Photo courtesy of patrickwoodward

suggestions for picky eaters

4 Feb

Picky EatersFeeling defeated in trying to get your children to eat healthy?

Perhaps it’s the texture, color or consistency of a food that discourages them from eating it, or simply an aversion to specific foods?

Your children are not alone, picky eating is a very common phase for growing children. In fact, research has shown that the average child needs to be repeatedly exposed to new foods before forming an honest opinion on it.

When introducing your child to a new or healthy food, have patience. It may take more than a few times of trying the newly introduced food before your child accepts it. A great way to help children ease into the introduction is by working new food into your typical family meals. Some favorites of ours include:

Cannellini puree: Makes for a great addition to various kid-friendly foods such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, or to thicken up soups. It will add in some extra protein and fiber into your everyday meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • herbs and spices of choice

Directions:

Blend until smooth.

Carrot puree: Add this puree to your favorite tomato sauce, mac and cheese, muffin or pancake recipe. A wonderful way to add more vitamin A and folate to your meals.

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrot stalks, peeled and diced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

Put sweet potatoes and carrots into a pot, add enough cold water to cover. Boil for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain, then add into your food processor with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth.

What strategies have you come up with to add nutrients into the diets of your picky eaters?

Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC

Recipes adapted from Parenting.com