Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Of The Month for Promise Middle School

For December Ms. D. has chosen The Empty Pot by Demi. The book is about a boy named Ping with an emerald green thumb; he can make anything grow ``as if by magic.'' One day the Emperor announces that he needs a successor, someone who can carry on after he is gone with the ruling of the kingdom and the growing of the flowers. He gives each child one seed, and the one who grows the best flower will take over after him. Competition is fierce, and Ping is heartbroken that nothing comes up, despite his careful tending. On the day of the competition, he is the only child with an empty pot; all the others brings lush plants. But the Emperor has tricked everyone by distributing cooked seeds, unable to grow; and Ping, with his empty pot, is the only honest gardener--and the winner.

Chef June and I are looking forward to eating lunch at the Chefs Table with the winners of the "Character Trait of the Month."

Friday, November 30, 2012

2012 Holidays

With the holiday approaching rather quickly, I thought I would take the time to share some healthy tips for the season.

When presented with all of the beloved family recipes and tasty dishes expected at any holiday get-together, it can become difficult to say "no." Good news: you don't have to! Here are a few simple tips to make the holiday season more healthful and less guilt ridden.
  • Make realistic goals. The holiday season is not the time to place added stress on yourself by attempting to lose weight.
  • Use smaller plates if available when at a buffet-style party.
  • Try eating a healthy snack before going to a party to ease your hunger.
  • Conversation is calorie-free, but move away from the buffet so you won't be tempted to eat while you talk.
  • Scope out the buffet before you go up to make your selections.
  • Balance what you eat at parties with what you eat during the day.
  • Remember that beverages contain calories as well. Alcoholic beverages, home-made punches, and chocolaty beverages tend to have sneaky calories that you may not bargain for. Consume these in moderation!
  • Watch your portion sizes and take small "tastes" of high calorie dishes.
Hope enjoy has a happy and healthy holiday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

And we are back

Sorry it has been so long since the last post. With the school year just starting and launching a new menu cycle we have been very busy in the kitchen. We are also very excited to have launched the Chef of the Day program. This program was created to give the throughout the agency the opportunity to come in to the kitchen and serve our students. We are looking forward to this year as we have a lot planned. Hope to see everyone on the lunch line.

Please look at the new menu cycle under the menu link. Bon Appetit!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome Back

We hope that everyone had a happy and healthy summer. We are very excited for the upcoming year. A new menu cycle will be in place as well. Please view the blog regulary for upcoming events, menus, recipes, cooking classes, etc..

Have a great year!

Friday, August 10, 2012

HCZ's Children's March for Peace

Our community came together on Wednesday for our annual Children's March for Peace. In the moving and highly visible walk through the streets of Harlem, children and their families along with HCZ staff from our different programs joined together to call for peace. Here's the full story from NY1 including a video of Geoffrey Canada speaking about why this issue is so important to us: Children's March for Peace on NY1

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

HCZ's Bold New Plan

We're getting so excited here in Harlem about tomorrow's Peace March that I wanted to share some inspiration with you too! Here's a great video that GoogleLabs helped put together for us about our bold new plan to build a school in the middle of the St. Nicholas housing projects. We hope to see you tomorrow at the Peace March!

School Garden Bounty

People often ask me what's in season right now? This picture is a great way to answer that question here in our school garden this summer. We have been having a great summer in the garden this year. Many of our students and staff who have worked hard to keep the garden looking beautiful--through weeding, watering, mulching, planting and general upkeep, are taking their much deserved summer break this week and so we wanted to share with everyone what our garden looks like and what we're enjoying from it right now. Clockwise from the top left you'll see: Italian Rose Beans, Radishes, Banana Peppers, Swiss Chard, Cherry Tomatoes, Purslane, Green Bell Peppers, New Yorker Tomatoes, and Eggplants. And what makes all this fresh produce even better? It was grown right here in Harlem on a humble little rooftop that used to just be our 5th floor terrace!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The delicious smell of Curry...

Today for lunch we are enjoying Curry Chicken with yellow rice, sauteed spinach with garlic sauce and fresh apples, pears and oranges. Our Soup of the day is Roasted Red Pepper with Creamy Ricotta. Please come dine with us!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Food Art

Last year Ms. Porco kindly gave us an Andy Warhol inspired Campbells art piece that the students painted. The work is terrific. We recently framed the picture using recycle wood from an old garden box. We wanted to share this with you, to inspire individuals to recycle as much as possible. Enjoy. 

Chimichurri Sauce

Recently in the cafeteria we served Sliced Beef with a Chimichurri Sauce. Chimichurri is one of most delicious and versatile sauces around. It's traditionally served with grilled steak, and is an essential part of the Argentinian parilla, but it goes great with chicken and fish too. The response was overwhelming and many asked for the recipe.

1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup yellow onion
¾ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients in processor. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This summer has been full of excitement for all of us here at the Harlem Childrens Zone. In the Garden and the Kitchen we've been growing lots of vegetables and exploring new culinary options for feeding our students and our selves with healthier, tastier fresher produce. As any local New Yorker knows, it's been a hot dry summer here in Harlem and our crops have struggled a bit to keep up with the heat. But the struggle always makes the fruit of your labor all the sweeter!

Our senior staff at HCZ has also renewed our focus on healthy eating, active living and we've been brainstorming many exciting ways to improve the programs and services we offer to our whole community to support positive change in these arenas. We are always looking for ways to further engage the community around making healthy choices accessible, affordable and easy. What are some of your ideas? What ways would you like our support? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section of this blog.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today is our second annual Health and Wellness fair. The event is being held in the Gymnasium and Blue Room. We will have a booth and will be serving a delicious Watermelon Caprese Salad. Please see the recipe below:

Watermelon Caprese Salad

2 cups seedless watermelon, ½ inch dice
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, ½ inch dice
1 large vine-ripened tomatoes, ½ inch dice
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Coarse salt to taste*
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix to incorporate. Just before serving, drizzle on some top-quality balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

Serves 4

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Menu Change for June 13th

tomorrow we are featuring a new menu item. Chicken Pineapple Fried Rice. Stop over for lunch.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What's for Lunch? June 5, 2012

Today we are featuring a new menu item. Mexican Rice Bowl. The bowl is comprised of Roasted Chicken, Yellow Rice, and topped with a Fresh Black Bean and Corn Salsa. Please join us. Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 4, 2012

CHOP CHOP Summer edition

We recently received the most recent edition of Chop Chop. Please pick up the Chop Chop magazine from the Promise Sites or Gems Sites. The magazine has a lot of great articles and recipes.

Berry Bold Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are fun to make for breakfast and snacks. You can use any fruit you like, but this version is pretty perfect, so check it out! Be sure to use bananas that are mushy and a little brown to give the smoothie a smooth texture.



  • 1⁄4 cup orange juice
  • 1⁄2 cup low-fat or nonfat yogurt
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries or blueberries
  • 1⁄2 overripe banana (Peeled and sliced)
  • 2 ice cubes


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.
  1. Put the orange juice and yogurt in the blender, then add the fruit and ice cubes.
  2. Put the top on tightly. Turn the blender to a medium setting and blend until the ice is chopped and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Serve right away, or refrigerate up to 4 hours.
please visit for more recipes and information.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Whats for Lunch, May 29th, 2012

Today we are featuring a new menu item. Sliced Roast Beef with Chimichurri Sauce, Rice Pilaf and Garden Salad.
Chimichurri (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃimiˈtʃuri]) or Chimmichurri is a sauce used for grilled meat. It is originally from Argentina but is also used in Uruguay and in countries as far north as Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico.
Chimichurri is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red vinegar. Additional flavorings such as paprika, cumin, thyme, lemon, and bay leaf may be included. In its red version, tomato and red bell pepper may also be added.

Chimichurri Sauce
1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients in processor. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's for Lunch, May 22

Today we have a couple new menu items. One being a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and the other Quinoa Salad. This is served with steamed string beans.

Our Quinoa salad is comprised of Quinoa, Mandarin Oranges, Fresh Cilantro, Red Onions, Raisins and a Citrus Vinaigrette.

Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year.
Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas."
A recently rediscovered ancient "grain" native to South America, quinoa was once called "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kermit, Pizza, and Congress

Back in the fall, Congress approved the tomato paste on pizza as counting as a vegetable component. We thought that this little SNL skit featuring Kermit the Frog had some insightful and hilarious points to bring to our lawmaker's attention. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lunch Hour: A Documentary

There's a great new documentary out about one of the issues that we care most deeply about here at HCZ's Educated Eaters Project--the quality and state of school lunch. "Lunch Hour" highlights the current state of the plate in our nation's public school cafeterias and underscores why we should all be concerned. It does a great job of explaining how the current state of school lunch came about (often with good intentioned programs that had unforeseen consequences) and encourages everyone to help make positive changes starting in our own habits and communities.

Drawing on a range of perspectives, the film including interviews with journalists, politicians and physicians, and showcasing a few schools who are already confronting the challenge of not simply changing the items on the lunch line but transforming our attitudes toward food and health, the film is a compelling and eye-opening picture inside the nation's cafeterias.

Our own Promise Academy Cafeteria and Chef Andrew Benson are featured in the film as a counter-example to the general state of school cafeteria food. Chef Andrew describes how our food is made largely from scratch, sourced from local farmers, how all our meat and dairy is organic or hormone free, and how important it is that the food is enjoyed by both students and staff. The film shows Chef Andrew in our 5th Floor Garden which supports the work in the cafeteria by teaching students about where food comes from and giving them ownership of the process. As you know, we cook or give away all the food we grow. If you'd like to get involved this summer in our gardening or cooking classes, please let us know!

Congratulations to first-time film maker James Costa on a great project with a worthy cause. Thanks for including us in the whole story. We're excited to see the movement to improve what our children eat gain more national attention and momentum!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Todays Menu, May 15, 2012

Todays menu features Beef Tajine, Cous Cous and Steamed Veg. Please Join Us.

A tajine, or tagine (Berber: tajin), is a Berber dish from North Africa, that is named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring Planting

Here we have a few different tomatoes, string beans, squash and peppers. They will soon be transplanted into the garden on the 5th floor.

Please stop by and visit the garden.

Todays Menu prepared by Chef Lori.

Today Chef Lori created a delicious dish. Roasted Spring Veggies and Chicken with a Pesto Sauce over Rotini Pasta. Since we are a nut free school, this dish is prepared without the use of nuts. Please stop by and join us for lunch. Bon Appetit!

Pesto (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpesto], Genoese [ˈpestu] is a sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy (pesto genovese),and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil and European pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano and Fiore Sardo (pecorino sardo).The name is the contracted past participle of the Genoese word pestâ (Italian: pestare), which means to pound, to crush, in reference to the original method of preparation, with marble mortar and wooden pestle. However, the ingredients in a traditionally made pesto are not "pounded" but "ground" with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar.

Pesto Recipe
2 cups fresh basil leaves (firmly packed)
6 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
3-4 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (for making it my ‘toddler friendly’ I did not add any)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
dash of lemon juice (optional)

1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the oil. Pulse until a thick paste is formed.
2. Add oil slowly and blend until well combined.

3. Transfer to an airtight container and press plastic wrap directly onto Pesto to prevent browning. Cover with lid.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A huge thank you to Christian with the assitance of Junius for their outstanding work. This mural was painted in the serving area of the main building. Notice the shapes of the blocks are the same shapes in the HCZ logo. Excellent work Christian and Junius! Thank you again!
- Educated Eaters

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Menu Change for March 27, 2012

Today Chef Sharif created a dish for us. He decided to make BBQ Chicken Wings, Ranch Infused Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Spinach. Sharif Made the bbq sauce this morning from scratch. Great job Sharif. Please join us.
Bon Appetit!

The precise origin of barbecue sauce is unclear. Some trace it to the end of the 15th century, when Christopher Columbus brought a sauce back from Hispaniola, while others place it at the formation of the first American colonies in the 17th century. References to the substance start occurring in both English and French literature over the next two hundred years. South Carolina mustard sauce, a type of barbecue sauce, can be traced to German settlers in the 18th century
Barbecue sauce (also abbreviated BBQ sauce) is a flavoring sauce or condiment ranging from watery to very thick consistency. As the name implies, it was created as an accompaniment to barbecued foods. While it can be applied to any food, it usually tops meat after cooking or during barbecuing, grilling, or baking. Traditionally it has been a favored sauce for pork or beef ribs and chicken.
It sometimes carries with it a smoky flavor. The ingredients vary, but some commonplace items are tomato paste, vinegar, liquid smoke, spices, and sweeteners. These variations are often due to regional traditions and recipes.

Friday, March 23, 2012


GLAM – Girls Learning to Achieve More – aims to equip young women with life skills and social/emotional competency in order to be successful academically and personally. It is a sorority type organization for the 6th grade scholars and aims to build positive friendships while encouraging the young woman to learn about and who they are as a unique individual. "Cupcake Secrets", a program developed by Ms. Leah Foster, used the fun activities of baking and decorating cupcakes to explore personal fears, insecurities, anxieties, and goals. Each girl was able to hide a secret message within their own cupcake and then decorate the outside to represent how they portray themselves to the world. The GLAM girls had a great time sharing their secrets and then decorating and eating the cupcakes!
Here is a picture of the GLAM girls assembling Carrot Cupcakes.

Menu Change for March 23, 2012

Today we have are featuring a delicious dish created by our very own, Chef Kim. Chef Kim prepared a Cajun Style Shrimp and Chicken Alfredo over Linguini. A special salad was also prepared using Romaine, Mandarin Oranges and Red Bell Peppers topped with a Creole Salad Dressing. Please join us! Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cold Minted Pea Soup

Today at the main building we are offering a Cold Minted Pea Soup during lunch. A great way to start off Spring!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas (20 ounces)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
6 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese


1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Add the peas and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the soup cool to room temperature.

2. Transfer the soup in batches to a food processor or blender. Add the ricotta and process until smooth.

3. Adjust the seasonings, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until chilled.

Serves 6

Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Menu Change for Monday March 19th

Good Morning! Today we have decided to change the menu and incorporate a personal favorite from one of our team members. Chef Daniel decided to make one of his favorite dishes. Baked Ziti with Turkey accompanied by Cesar Salad. Stop by and have lunch.

Ziti is Italian for "a bridegroom." Although the common form of modern ziti is about two inches in length, the name makes more sense when considering the original, classic form of ziti, which was over 18 inches long.

Baked ziti is a popular baked Italian casserole dish made with ziti macaroni and sauce. In many recipes, the ziti is first cooked separately while a tomato and cheese sauce is prepared, which may include meat, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and more. The cooked and drained ziti is then combined with the cooked sauce, which may be layered with additional varieties of cheeses, baked in the oven, and served hot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Menu Change for Thursday March 15th

Tomorrow we will have a menu change for lunch. We will feature a dish created by our very own Chef Lori. She has decided to make a Spring inpired Chicken Primavera. Grilled chicken, Roasted Spring Veggies over Rotini. Lori will also prepare a spinach salad to be served with her delicious pasta dish.

Chef Lori and Chef Chewy

Please join us. Bon Appetit!

Roasted vegetables add wonderful flavors to dishes without a lot of fat and calories. Roasted veggies like garlic, potatoes, and carrots can also work wonders as fat substitutes in recipes for mashed potatoes, sauces, cream soups, and casseroles.

Why Roast Vegetables?
The process of roasting brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables and intensifies their natural flavors. Think about how wonderful roasted onions; carrots; red, orange, or yellow peppers; eggplant; and asparagus taste. Roasted garlic is another perfect example. While raw garlic is pungent, roasted garlic has a sweeter, milder flavor. You might be hard pressed to choke down a clove of raw garlic, but you can spread six cloves of roasted garlic over a slice of bread as you would butter.

To me, there's no comparison between steamed vegetables and roasted vegetables. Roasted veggies have browning, carmelization, and crisping happening, while steamed ones are just cooked. Roasted vegetables are just more tantalizing to most all of the senses -- sight, taste, smell, and even touch.

How to Roast Vegetables
You might have had roasted vegetables at a restaurant or friend's house that seemed to be nearly as much oil as veggies. But roasted vegetables really don't need to be made with a lot of oil. Here are the four basic vegetable roasting steps:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a jellyroll pan with foil, and coat the foil with canola or olive oil cooking spray. Cut your vegetables into small chunks or hearty bite-sized pieces.
Add vegetables in a single layer to the foil-lined pan and spray the top with cooking spray or drizzle with a bit of canola or olive oil (use no more than a teaspoon of oil for every cup of vegetables). If you use oil, toss the veggies about on the pan to coat as much of them with oil as possible.
Sprinkle on any desired seasonings, such as rosemary or basil, parsley, marjoram, salt and pepper. Coat the tops of your veggies again with canola or olive oil cooking spray, if desired, especially if you didn't drizzle with oil in Step 2.

Bake until veggies are lightly browned in areas, and tender. If your vegetables look like they are starting to dry out during the roasting period, drizzle some broth, apple juice, or low-fat Italian dressing or vinaigrette over the top. Different vegetables require different cooking times. Check your roasted vegetables after 25-30 minutes (this is probably the halfway point), turn them over with a spatula, then cook until they're tender and nicely browned around some of the edges (about 25-30 minutes more.)

Team WIT!

As a way to support each other in our attempt to not only talk the talk around Healthy Living but also walk the walk, (and I guess run the run too) HCZ is starting an exercise club called “Team WIT”. That is right, Team “Whatever It Takes”. This group of employees is committed to doing Whatever it Takes to:
· Support each other in making a lifelong commitment to Healthy Living;
· Encourage each other to commit to a consistent exercise routine, which will include training together;
· Support each other to make healthier food choices at work and beyond; and
· Support each other in our attempts to manage our stress and help to boost staff morale.

Team WIT will participate in physical activities such as walking, running, biking, swimming, as well as iron man/woman competitions, biathlons, half marathons, and mud runs. This will be a fun way for us to stay healthy and build camaraderie at the same time.

We will post the events on the HCZ intranet and on the Healthy Living website. You should check these sites regularly to see our menu of activities and opportunities to train together at the Armory and other outdoor venues. Our first event is the Revlon Run/Walk on May 5th –. Look out for the details.

There are no better leaders in this country than the hard working employees of HCZ. We want to ensure that we keep ourselves strong, healthy and focused so that we can continue to serve the children and families of Harlem.

If you have any questions, please contact Deborah Carroll ( or Anne Williams-Isom ( .

Team WIT- Keeping Ourselves and the Community Strong!

Monday, March 12, 2012

How New York Ate in 1900

New York City has five geographic areas, "boroughs", that were incorporated into one city in 1898. Of these, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn had their own city governments, tax base, etc. The Bronx had been more connected to Manhattan administratively and much of the development from farmland followed the advent of public transportation to Manhattan. With the exception of the border between Brooklyn and Queens, each borough is separated from the others by a river or harbor; local food production, industry, neighborhood markets and restaurants developed their own flavors and functions in the communities.

How New York Ate 100 Years AgoAt the turn of the last century nearly 3.5 million people saw the birth of the newly consolidated City of New York. In their food supplies, Manhattan had ceased to be self-sufficient decades before, and relied on imports and the bounty of the other four boroughs.

The New Yorkers in these boroughs cultivated orchards, trapped wild fowl in the teeming woodlands, foraged for edible plants, fished in the surrounding waters of New York Harbor, Long Island Sound, and Jamaica Bay, and worked 250-year-old farms raising cattle, horses, hogs and grain.

In the urban neighborhoods of all boroughs, residents bought bread, milk, ice, fish, hot corn, pie and more from horse-drawn wagons and pushcarts. Children bought snowballs of shaved ice and sweet syrups for a penny.

As for restaurants and hotels, they fed millions, from single five-cent meals to $10,000 banquets. Ethnic foods helped establish immigrant enclaves, and dishes and markets were starting to find cross-cultural acceptance. As the largest port and market in North America and a leading manufacturing area, New York City provided food and food products for the entire country.

The variety of ethnic communities and the diversity of immigration to New York created a wealth of cultural traditions, each community taking on a different character as it grew, strengthened, diversified, assimilated, dispersed, specialized in industry or faced special discrimination.

When communities were substantial, their food dynamics affected food quality and prices (for more on the Kosher Meat Riots, click Manhattan on the map above) stimulated import trade, created manufacturing and farming opportunities as in the Chinese farms and restaurants, restaurant chic and frequently food industries, needing limited English language skills or American certifications (see pushcarts for one example, current restaurant practice for another--links from Retail section at left).

Opportunities in the food business led to advancement in other food-related businesses, and fostered restaurant ownership and ethnic food manufacture. For recent immigrants, a neighborhood that practiced familiar food traditions meant a place of security, fellow countrymen and women, news from home.

Immigrant communities, particularly Greeks, worked truck farms near Bull's Head that provided the Manhattan markets with vegetables and livestock for Washington Market.

please visit :

Book of the Month.

The Great Kapok Tree is set in the Amazon rain forest. A young man begins to chop down a kapok tree, following the orders of a "larger man". After he has hit the tree a few times with his axe, he sits down to rest and falls asleep. While he sleeps, several rainforest animals and a child whisper into his ear and beg him to spare the tree, explaining its importance in the fragile ecosystem. When the man awakes, he leaves his axe at the foot of the tree and walks away.

This is the most recent book chosen by Ms. Francois for the students to read. Excellent Choice!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Truce Fitness Culinary Arts

Truce Fitness recently had it first culinary arts class. The students created a dish using fruit. The dish had to be creative in creating their fruit personality.

The students used pineapple, watermelon, grapes, melon and either fruits to get their dream to come to life.

Every Friday the culinary arts students create something new. The blog will be updated periodically so you can see what the culinary arts students are doing at Truce Fitness.

Great work Truce Fitness!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Menu Change for Thursday March 1st

After a recent trip to Miami, I was inspired to bring a bit of the Cuban flavor back home. We are going to prepare Ropa Vieja with Frijoles Negro y Arroz (black beans and rice). Please join us. Buen Provecho!

Ropa vieja originated in the Canary Islands (Spain), which were the last place ships from Spain would stop on the way to the Americas. They were also the first place that Spanish ships coming from the Americas would stop en route back to Spain. Due to this, Canarian culture is very similar to the Caribbean as well as Spain. The Canarian Spanish dialect of Spanish spoken there is very similar to the Caribbean and sounds extremely close to the dialects of Cuba and Puerto Rico, due to heavy and continuous immigration to both islands. This is how ropa vieja arrived in the islands; with the Canarian immigrants.[citation needed] The original version of ropa vieja contained leftovers, but later became a shredded meat dish with chickpeas and potatoes in the Canary Islands.

There are many theories as to how the dish was named. One of the more popular ones is a story about a man whose family was coming to his home for dinner. Being very poor, the man could not buy them enough food when they came. To remedy his situation, he went to his closet, gathered some old clothes (ropa vieja) and imbued them with his love. When he cooked the clothes, his love for his family turned them into a wonderful beef stew.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Todays Menu - 2/17/12

Today we are serving Jerk Fish, Braised Collards and Coconut Rice. Please join us. Bon Appetit!

Coconut milk is extracted by grating mature coconuts and squeezing them by using cheesecloth or both bare hands.

Following are some of the health benefits of coconut milk:

1.Helps to maintain blood sugar places:
Glucose intolerance may cause manganese deficiency in your body. Coconut milk is a rich source of manganese. Whole grains, legumes and nuts are some excellent sources of manganese.

2.Aids in building strong bones:
Coconut milk is not rich in calcium, but it is rich in phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that body needs for strengthening bones. It is must to take phosphorus with calcium particularly to prevent bone loss because it supplies phosphate to the body.

3.Relaxes muscles and nerves:
Whenever you feel muscle cramps or muscle soreness, have some food along with coconut milk. It is rich in magnesium and can help you in relieving the problem. One of the functions of magnesium is it acts as a gate block in many nerve cells. If magnesium is not present in body, nerve cells become very active because of calcium that activates nerves. Excess contraction of muscles is caused by over active nerve cells.

4.Helps in Controlling Weight:
This can be a good news for people who are trying to reduce weight. Coconut milk makes you feel full very quickly because of high concentrations of dietary fiber.

5.Helps in lowering high blood pressure:
People who are concerned with their blood pressure will not face any problem for reaching the foods containing potassium. Potassium helps in lowering blood pressure levels in the body.

Coconut Milk and Lactose Intolerance
If you have lactose intolerance, the easiest way to manage your symptoms is to avoid foods with lactose, such as any products made with milk that comes from animals. Coconut milk is free of lactose, meaning that you may consume coconut milk if you are lactose intolerant, according to the DairyFreeLiving website. Although you can substitute coconut milk for animal milk in recipes, coconut milk has a different taste and consistency than animal-derived milk, so it may not be ideal for some recipes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Menu Change

Tomorrow, Thursday February 16th we are changing the menu. We will be serving Baked Ziti with a Vegetable Medley. Tomorrows original menu will be next Wedsnesday.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Menu Change

Tomorrow 2/15/12, we will test out a new recipe. We will be preparing Turkey Pot Pie. Come by and join us!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Whats for Lunch? Feb.10, 2012

On Friday Feb 10th we are serving Seafood Jambalaya, Rice and House Salad. Please join us. Bon Appetit!

Jambalaya History
Creole jambalaya originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans, in the original European sector. It was an attempt by the Spanish to make paella in the New World, where saffron was not readily available due to import costs. Tomatoes became the substitute for saffron. As time went on, French influence became strong in New Orleans, and spices from the Caribbean changed this New World paella into a unique dish. In modern Louisiana, the dish has evolved along a variety of different lines. Creole jambalaya, or red jambalaya as it is called by Cajuns, is found primarily in and around New Orleans, where it is simply known as 'jambalaya'. Creole jambalaya includes tomatoes, whereas Cajun jambalaya does not.

Cajun Jambalaya originates from Louisiana's rural, low-lying swamp country where crawfish, shrimp, oysters, alligator, duck, turtle, boar, venison, nutria[1] and other game were readily available. Any variety or combination of meats, including chicken or turkey may be used to make jambalaya. Cajun jambalaya is known as 'Brown jambalaya' in the New Orleans area; to Cajuns it is simply known as 'jambalaya.' Cajun jambalaya has more of a smoky and spicy flavor than its cousin Creole jambalaya.[citation needed] The white French Creoles introduced jambalaya to the Cajuns, but since tomatoes were rarely used in Cajun cooking, they omitted them, browning the meat for color instead

Menu Change

Today we are serving Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and House Salad. Sorry for any inconveniences.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Whats for Lunch? Feb.6, 2012

Todays lunch features: Spaghetti and Meatballs with House Salad. Bon Appetito!

The Marinara Sauce today was created using locally sourced Heirloom Tomatoes.

An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it's valued characteristics. Since 'heirloom' varieties have become popular in the past few years there have been liberties taken with the use of this term for commercial purposes. At TomatoFest Garden Seeds we chose to adopt the definition used by tomato experts, Craig LeHoullier and Carolyn Male, who have classified down heirlooms into four categories:

Commercial Heirlooms: Open-pollinated varieties introduced before 1940, or tomato varieties more than 50 years in circulation.

Family Heirlooms: Seeds that have been passed down for several generations through a family.

Created Heirlooms: Crossing two known parents (either two heirlooms or an heirloom and a hybrid) and dehybridizing the resulting seeds for how ever many years/generations it takes to eliminate the undesirable characteristics and stabilize the desired characteristics, perhaps as many as 8 years or more.

Mystery Heirlooms: Varieties that are a product of natural cross-pollination of other heirloom varieties.

Meatball Facts
The record for World's Largest Meatball was set several times in 2009. It was first set in Mexico in August weighing 49.4 kg (109 pounds) and then again a month later in Los Angeles when late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel helped set the record weight at 90 kg (198.6 pounds).In October 2009, an Italian eatery in Concord, New Hampshire set the new record at 101 kg (222.5 pounds).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Today in our Cafe we are serving Fajitas, Rice and Vegetable Medley. Join Us. Bon Appetit.

A fajita (/fəˈhiːtə/; Spanish pronunciation: [faˈxita]) is a term found in both traditional Mexican cuisine and in Tex-Mex cuisine,[1] commonly referring to any grilled meat served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla.

In Spanish "faja" means belt or girdle; "fajita" is the diminutive form. In original Tex-Mex culinary parlance, fajitas are a dish with roots in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas made from a specific cut of meat: skirt steak.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Whats for Lunch? Feb.1, 2012

For todays lunch we are having Hamburgers, Mashed Potatoes & Sauteed Spinach. Please join us.

Beef Facts
All of our beef is coming locally from NY and is grass fed. But what does that mean?
Many of us think of “corn-fed” beef as nutritionally superior, but it isn’t. A cornfed cow does develop well-marbled flesh, but this is simply saturated fat that can’t be trimmed off. Grassfed meat, on the other hand, is lower both in overall fat and in artery-clogging saturated fat. A sirloin steak from a grainfed feedlot steer has more than double the total fat of a similar cut from a grassfed steer.

Grassfed beef not only is lower in overall fat and in saturated fat, but it has the added advantage of providing more omega-3 fats. These crucial healthy fats are most plentiful in flaxseeds and fish, and are also found in walnuts, soybeans and in meat from animals that have grazed on omega-3 rich grass. When cattle are taken off grass, though, and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they immediately begin losing the omega-3s they have stored in their tissues. As a consequence, the meat from feedlot animals typically contains only 15- 50 percent as much omega-3s as that from grassfed livestock.

Fun Facts about Burgers
Supposedly, the first hamburgers in U.S. history were served in New Haven, Connecticut, at Louis' Lunch sandwich shop in 1895. Louis Lassen, founder of Louis' Lunch, ran a small lunch wagon selling steak sandwiches to local factory workers. Because he didn't like to waste the excess beef from his daily lunch rush, he ground it up, grilled it, and served it between two slices of bread -- and America's first hamburger was created. The small Crown Street luncheonette is still owned and operated by third and fourth generations of the Lassen family. Hamburgers are still the specialty of the house, where steak is ground fresh each day and hand molded, slow cooked, broiled vertically, and served between two slices of toast with your choice of only three 'acceptable' garnishes: cheese, tomato, and onion.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Whats for Lunch? January 31, 2012

Today our very own Chef Jimmie will feature one of his family recipes. Today the menu will feature Brown Stewed Chicken, Yellow Rice and Braised Cabbage with Carrots. These recipes have been used in Jimmies family for generations and many to come. Bon Appetit.

Fun facts about Cabbage!
For more than 4,000 years, cabbage has been farmed and has been a staple for over Two and a Half millennia. It was the Celts who brought cabbage to Europe from Asia around 600 years B.C. Since cabbage grows pretty well in cooler climates and is known to store well over winter, the cruciferous vegetable soon became a major product in Europe.

Cabbage grows to its full harvestable size with in three months. It has been known that the cabbage yield is greater than that of any other vegetable. That is the reason why it is such a preferred product. Other related cruciferous cabbage cousins include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower, and kale.

The largest cabbage the world has ever seen weighed in at 123 pounds. This monster of a cabbage belonged to a 19 century farmer named William Collingwood. Collingwood hails from the County of Durham in England. The Cabbage weight was recorded in 1865.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Whats for Lunch? January 30, 2012

Todays Lunch menu will feature: Primavera Marinara, Spinach Fettucini and Vegetable Medley.

Fun Facts about Spinach:
- Spinach belongs to the goosefoot family along with beets and Swiss chard.
- Fresh spinach is available year-round.
- Spinach grows quickly. It can be harvested and eaten after only 37 to 45 days!
- California and Texas produce the most spinach in the United Sates. Spinach likes to grow best during the cool winter months.
- The whole spinach plant is picked during harvesting.
- Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid.

Did you know…that leafy vegetables,such as spinach, contain more vitamins and minerals and less calories than other vegetables.

Also happens to be a favorite of a very iconic cartoon. Guess who.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Whats for Lunch? Jan. 27, 2012

On todays lunch menu we are featuring: Herb Crusted Pollock, Wild Rice Pilaf and Steamed Brocolli and Cauliflower with Garlic Oil. Please join us. Bon Appetit!

You can find the pollock anywhere from North Carolina to the Gulf of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Look for underwater terrain that is rocky and as deep as 100 feet for pollock. When fishing for them, be prepared for one that is over 3 feet long and can weigh up to 45 pounds. They are extremely strong fighters that can grow up to 5 inches a year. The growth rate slows down as they get older but they grown nonetheless. The oldest known pollock was documented at 19 years old.
One of the reasons that pollock is sought after is the fact that they are a “white fish”. The lack of oil and the good nutrition that comes with it gives it a high place on the place. It is low in saturated fat and a good source of B12, protein, magnesium, and potassium. But there is one drawback for the health conscience. It is also high in cholesterol.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Whats for Lunch? January 26, 2012

Today on our menu, we are featuring Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed String Beans. Come eat with us. Bon Appetit!

The Healthy Potato Facts
The predominant antioxidants in potatoes are vitamin C, certain carotenoids, and anthocyanins. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure. Potatoes are a good source of potassium.

Fun Facts About The Spud!
During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold. Potatoes were valued for their vitamin C. And gold, at that time, was more plentiful than nutritious foods!

In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.

American’s Love Their Potatoes: The average person eats 126 pounds of potatoes each year in the form of frozen, fresh, chips and dehydrated. That’s a lot of spuds!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Educated Eaters Visitor

Today Reed Alexander, also known as Nevel from the hit tv show iCarly (nickelodeon) stopped by today to learn about the Educated Eaters Project. Reed has a great passion for food and is involved with President Clintons Healthier Generation. More so becoming interested in improving school food, which is right up our alley. Reed launched the Kewlbites website, fun and informative. Please check it out.

Todays Menu - 1/23/12

Today we have a change in menu for Lunch. Today we are serving: Jerk Chicken, Plantains and Braised Cabbage. Bon Appetit

Why is Jerk called Jerk?
There are many different theories regarding the term "jerk" which has to do with the process of spicing and grilling the meat. Some say that the word comes from the Spanish "charqui" (term for jerked or dried meat) or from the jerking and poking of the meat with a sharp object, thus producing holes which were filled with the spice preparation.