Thursday, August 3, 2017

Have a Berry Great Day!

Ripe for the summer. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are ready to harvest and eat! Not only are berries refreshing during these hot summer months, but they also come with many health benefits. 

Berries have the greatest antioxidant content per serving compared to any other food except spicesConsuming foods rich in antioxidants may be good for your nervous system, blood vessels, heart health and may also help to lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer. 

Women who eat about two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experienced less mental decline over time than peers who went without eating berries. Berries help support cognitive thinking, and development

Chef's Choice:

Executive Chef Andrew Benson recommends making a fruit compote. Fruit Compote is dessert made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. You can make fruit compote from any choice of berries and use as a healthy alternative to syrup. It's quick, easy and delicious!

3 cups mixed berries (3/4 lb) such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  1. 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  4. Directions:
    1. Melt butter in a skillet over moderate heat. Stir in brown sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add berries and cook, tossing gently (try to keep most of them from breaking up), until berries are warm and juices begin to be released, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    2. Once it's cool, store your compote in a tightly sealed jar and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Tempeh originated in Indonesia, and it is made with whole soybeans that are cooked, slightly fermented, and then shaped into a compact cake. 

Vegetarians and vegans love its nutrition and versatility, and now tempeh is attracting meat-eaters who want a healthy source of protein. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its use of the whole soybean gives it a higher content of protein vitamins and minerals. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor, which becomes more noticeable as it ages. 

Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine. Its ability to take on many flavors and textures makes it a great substitute for meat productstempeh is known to reduce cholesterol, increase bone density, reduce menopausal symptoms and promote muscle recovery. In addition to these amazing benefits, tempeh has the same protein quality as meat and contains high levels of vitamins B5, B6, B3 and B2.

Tempeh is extremely versatile 

Cube and toss into a stir-fry
Marinate and grill

Substitute for ground beef

 Slice and layer in sandwiches

Have fun experimenting with tempeh!

Monday, July 10, 2017

How to Use a Thermometer

There are several types of meat thermometers. You'll find the two most basic styles, the bimetallic and bulb thermometers, at most grocery stores. These are inexpensive options which are easy to find, but they can take much longer to give a temperature read-out and aren't as accurate as other options. Also, their glass parts can easily break.
Bimetallic Thermometer

Bulb Thermometer

Digital instant-read thermometers provide much more accurate results. There are two main types in this category:

A digital instant-read thermometer gives you an (almost) instant readout, and it's easy to use.
A digital probe thermometer, which connects the probe that you insert into the meat with a separate device that contains a temperature readout and customizable alarm settings, is great for roasting or smoking larger cuts of meat for long hours.


To quickly test if your thermometer is accurate, dip the tip into a bowl of ice water. It should read 32°F or 0°C, the temperature that water freezes at. Many digital thermometers have a reset button or re-calibrate button, so if the temperature is off, you can likely fix it—just follow the manufacturer's instructions.


For the most accurate reading, place the thermometer into the thickest portion of meat, avoiding fat and bone. You're looking to find the lowest internal temperature—that's the most accurate temperature for the core of the meat. Most thermometers require you to insert the probe at least 1/2 inch into the meat, but if the meat is thicker than an inch, you'll probably want to go deeper than that to reach the very center.
The temperature should keep dropping as the probe goes into the deepest part of the meat—if you see the temperature starting to rise again, you've gone too far.


For a larger roast, start checking your meat about 30 minutes before you expect it to be done; for thinner, smaller cuts, start testing the meat 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time. To hit the right doneness, aim for the meat temperature given in your recipe, as well as food-safety charts.
It's important to remember that meat will continue cooking after it's removed from the heat—this is called carryover cooking. It's not much of a factor with smaller cuts of meat, like chicken pieces, steaks, and chops, but large, thick roasts of beef, lamb, veal, pork loin, or even large turkey breasts should be removed from the heat when they reach 5 degrees less than their desired doneness temperature. Give these larger cuts 5 to 10 minutes of resting time, and the temperature will rise up to perfect doneness and the juices will have plenty of time to redistribute into the meat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Menu Item: Korean Bulgogi Tacos

Bulgogi is a grilled dish made of thin, marinated slices of beef or pork, grilled on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle. It is also often stir-fried in a pan in home cooking. Sirloin, rib eye or briskets are the frequently used cuts of beef for the dish.

We recreated this dish with beef, turkey, and tofu for healthier alternatives. Although you can change the protein, it wouldn't be Bulgogi without the marinade. 

Bulgogi Marinade

2 tablespoons sesame oil 
8 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup soy sauce 
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 scallions (green onions), minced

Heat sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add garlic and cook for 1 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, except green onions, and let the sauce cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved completely. Add green onions, promptly remove from heat and let the mix cool completely before using
as a marinade.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New Menu Item!! BBQ Peach Chili Chicken

This Wednesday we will be serving a new menu item: 
BBQ Peach Chili Chicken 

If you would like to try this at home take a look at the recipe below. 

BBQ Peach Chili Chicken

1 lbs- fresh peaches
3/4 cup- chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
1 1/2 tbsp- minced fresh jalapeño with seeds
1 tbsp- canola oil
1/4 cup- cider vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp- mild honey
2 tbsp- Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp- chili powder
1/8 tsp- dry mustard
1/4 tsp- kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs.-  Chicken Thigh

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place thighs in a baking dish. Season chicken thighs on all sides with salt and pepper. Bake chicken in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. 

For the Sauce:
  1. Cook onion, jalapeño, and a pinch of kosher salt in oil, in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add peaches and remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peaches are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Purée in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids). Pour the sauce on to the chicken and serve. 

Chile pepper

Chili and Chile  are often confused for each other, chile (generally) refers to the pepper pod, and chili usually refers to the stewed dish. 
The e and the i of it all.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ciabatta Bread

French Baguette

In the 1980's the popularity of the French baguette was on the rise. Italian bakers were afraid their business would suffer. As a way to combat this, they set out to try to create an Italian alternative that would work for sandwiches.

Ciabatta Bread

After weeks of trying and testing breads, the ciabatta came to be and consisted of a soft, wet dough with gluten flour. Ciabatta means slipper in Italian and refers to the shape of the bread. It is excellent bread for dipping in olive oil, for stacking high with meats and cheeses, or for use as a grilling bread.

We will be serving ciabatta bread with cold cuts this Friday for Lunch!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rabo Oxtail Stew

Rabo Oxtail Stew
The recipe for oxtail stew has been shared so often, that it has reached many nations. There are Jamaican, Korean, French, and Chinese oxtail stew variations. Rabo Encendido refers to the Cuban deviation of this dish. 

4 pounds oxtail, disjointed 1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons flour for coating meat
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups onion, diced 
2 1/2 cups green pepper, diced
2 cups red pepper, diced 
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup potatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic mashed with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups beef broth

Marinate the meat in a mixture of olive oil, and salt for 4 hours or preferably overnight. Drain marinade from meat.

Lightly coat meat with flour. Brown meat on both sides in oil. Remove meat and add onions, peppers, carrots, and potatoes.

Sauté until the potatoes brown and the onions are translucent.
Add garlic/salt mixture and continue cooking for another minute or so.
Add remaining ingredients, including the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the meat is fork tender, about 1.5 to 2 hours. 

Healthy Harlem Early Childhood Newsletter - June 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN TACOS (listed below) are making their debut on our lunch menu this week Tuesday! Chipotle peppers add a smokey characteristic to these delicious  chicken

1- onion, sliced
1 tbs- Canola Oil
2- 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes with chiles
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1- chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 1 tbs adobo
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
12- 6" Whole Wheat tortillas

In skillet, cook onion in canola oil over medium-high for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, chipotle and adobo; cook another 10 minutes. Heat chicken in sauce; season.
Serve with tortillas. 

We receive our chicken from Cascun Farm located in the rural farming community of Greene in upstate New York approx. 185 miles from Harlem. They raise and process chicken, ducks, geese, turkey and rabbits on location with no use of antibiotics or growth hormonesThe feed is non-medicated, there are no animal by products used and no growth hormones added. Because we receiving our food from a local farm, we are cutting down on our foods carbon footprint by 7%!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hawaiian Burger

A Hawaiian Burger is actually a fusion of Japanese and Hawaiian cooking. In the 1850's sugar cane and pineapples were growing in abundance and Hawaii needed immigrant workers to maintain the plantations after slavery had been abolished. Japanese people began to migrate to Hawaii and brought their culture and food with them. The Japanese people introduced ingredients such as Teriyaki Sauce. Teriyaki sauce is added to the ground meat in the Hawaiian Burger and a pineapple is added as a topping. 

The Hawaiian Burger (listed below) has been added to our menu and will make it's debut Friday, June 2nd 2017. 

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tablespoon Honey
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

8 whole Canned Pineapple Rings
1 whole Large Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Cut Into Rings
1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Teriyaki Sauce, As Needed
4 slices Provolone Cheese
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 whole Onion Rolls
1/2 whole Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
Green Lettuce Leaves

For the Sauce:
To make the sauce, stir together the mayo, teriyaki sauce, honey, and cayenne and set aside.

For the Burger:
Grill the pineapple and bell pepper rings over medium-high heat until they have great grill marks. (You can also just brown them in a hot skillet.)

Season the ground beef and form it into 4 equal sized patties. Cook them over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, then flip them over and add a splash of teriyaki sauce on top of each one. Place a slice of cheese on each patty and let it melt while the burger cooks through, about 4 minutes longer. 

Butter a griddle or separate skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon a little bit of the sauce on both sides and allow it to soak into the bread. Place the patties on the bottom buns and top each one with two pineapple slices, red onion slices, grilled bell pepper, and lettuce. Top with the top bun and smush it all together. Serve with extra sauce for dipping!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trini- Chinese Chicken

When you think about Caribbean food, the last thing that might come to mind is a Chinese influence. By the mid-1800's, slavery was abolished throughout the islands and indentured servants were imported from China and India. They brought their food traditions, cooking techniques, and ingredients with them, which, over time, have become part of the vibrant cuisine of the Caribbean.
Be on the look out for Trini-Chinese Chicken (listed below) on our Menu during Week 1
2 lbs. - Chicken Thigh
2 tbs. -Five Spice Powderis a blend of ground spices intended to incorporate the five main flavors of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent. Five spice powder can be used for seasoning meats and poultry, in marinades or in spice rubs
2 fl oz. -Lime Juice
3 tbs. -Tamari
1/2 oz. -Ginger (peeled and minced)
1/2 cup -Hoisin Sauce
1 tbs. -Scotch Bonnet Pepper
1/4 tsp. -Ground Black Pepper
1/2 oz. -Green Onion
Combine chicken with five-spice powder, lime juice, soy sauce, and the ginger. Mix the chicken thoroughly to combine all ingredients. Put in refrigerator over night. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. Combine Hoisin sauce, the Scotch Bonnet Pepper, and remaining lime juice. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken into preheated oven and cook for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle sauce over chicken. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. After the Civil War, in order to honor the soldiers who died people would decorated their graves. Today, many people choose to celebrate Memorial Day with barbeque's, cook out's, and parades.

Although tempting, there are healthier options to eat besides the common hotdog, cheeseburger, and sweet cakes usually found at a barbeque or cookout. Try bringing some of these healthier options to celebrate with family and friends. 

Try a Shrimp Roll, made with a hotdog bun or whole wheat bread. 

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. paprika
kosher salt
8 hot dog buns, preferably split top, toasted
or whole wheat bread
Scallions, for garnish

Boil shrimp in salted boiling water until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a cutting board to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, horseradish, and paprika and season with salt.
Chop shrimp and add to mayo mixture. Spoon shrimp mixture into toasted buns and garnish with scallions.

Try doing salads a little differently! This is a Cobb Pasta Salad. The pasta can always be replaced with whole grain noodles. 

kosher salt
1 lb. pasta
4 slices bacon
ranch dressing
3 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook gemelli according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Cook bacon until crispy. Drain and chop, then set aside.
To serving bowl, add ranch dressing and toss with pasta until evenly coated. Add bacon, egg, tomatoes, avocado, and blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper and toss to incorporate.
Drizzle with more ranch dressing and serve.

For an interesting dessert try Fruit Skewers

6 peaches, sliced
1 pt. Strawberries, sliced
1 pineapple, cut into large cubes
8 skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
kosher salt
Honey, for drizzling

Preheat grill to medium-high. Skewer peaches, strawberries, and pineapple. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
Grill, turning occasionally, until fruit is tender and slightly charred, 10 to 12 minutes.
Drizzle with honey.

Things To Look For:
Keep an eye out for strawberry, cherry, peas, asparagus and cabbage in your local produce sections. These fruits and vegetables are ready for harvesting in June!!! Fruits and vegetables lose their optimal nutritional value as soon as they are picked. Eating them as soon as they are ready will increase their taste and nutritional value. By eating locally grown fruits and vegetables, you'll reduce the number of miles your food has to travel and reduce your food's carbon footprint by 7%!!