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.