October is National School Lunch month, so Chartwells K-12 Dining is not only serving up lunches each day but working extra hard to teach students how to follow fresh recipes, participate in demonstrations and have fun through nutritional education. 

This month, Chartwells featured "Seed to Table" in their cafes. Chef Jennifer Brower joined 13 ON YOUR SIDE at Noon to showcase some of Chartwells' initiatives that go beyond the classroom -- and share some taste treats they've been serving up to students.

Seed to Table is a celebration of fresh, seasonal, and local foods while allowing students to have fun learning how they and their families can have fun growing their own vegetables and herbs. Chartwells chefs and dietitians have been conducting interactive demonstrations and samplings to the students to show how eating fruits and vegetables that are grown locally in their community and picked at their peak of freshness and flavor so they contain their highest nutrient values are easy to prepare and taste great.

Schools have also been conducting “Farmer’s Markets” for students. The schools invite in local farmers and feature their crops in recipes for tastings, and allow the students to “shop” and take some produce home to their families along with a recipe card for what they tasted. 

Nationally Chartwells feeds students across the US in over 4500 school districts. Here locally, Chef Jenn is responsible for supporting over 213 school districts.  

Seed to Table Recipes: 

  • Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Acorn Squash
  • Honey Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Tofu & Basil Stir Fry
  • Tomato, Green Bean & Chickpea Salad
  • Zucchini & Yellow Squash Chips

Baked Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Acorn Squash with Roasted Seeds

Fresh tomatoes and onions tossed with green beans and chickpeas in a vinegar-based dressing featuring fresh mint and feta cheese.

Yields: 4

Portion Size: 1/2 cup

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $1.53

Cost Per Serving (approx.): $0.38

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds Acorn Squash, Fresh
  • 1/2 tsp Canola Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, Ground
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Brown Sugar, Light
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Butter or Margarine, Melted

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. Cut squash in half.
  3. Peel hard rind from squash carefully.
  4. Remove seeds.
    1. Wash seeds & allow to dry on clean paper towel.
  5. Cut squash into 2"x2" pieces & toss with oil.
  6. Place prepared squash squares into a baking pan or sheet pan.
  7. Roast in oven at 350 degrees F until fork tender (approx. 15 minutes).
  8. Place squash seeds onto sheet pan, dry and roast while squash is roasting.
  9. Remove from squash from oven when fork tender.
  10. Mix melted butter/margarine with cinnamon & brown sugar.

Honey Roasted Root Vegetables

Sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots and rutabagas roasted in honey.

Yields:  4

Portion Size: ½ cup 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes 

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $2.20

Cost Per Serving (approx.): $0.55

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 ounces Sweet Potatoes, Fresh, Peeled, Dice ¾”
  • 3 1/2 ounces Turnips, Fresh, Peeled, Small Diced ¼”
  • 3 1/2 ounces Parsnips, Fresh, Peeled, Cubed 1”
  • 3 1/2 ounces Carrots, Fresh, Peeled, Small Diced ¼”
  • 2 2/3 ounces Rutabagas, Fresh, Peeled, Small Diced ½ “
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Honey
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 TBSP Shallots, Peeled, Chopped
  • 1 TBSP Garlic, Fresh, Chopped
  • 2 tsp Canola Oil
  • Cooking Pan Spray

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. Combine all ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. Spray sheet pan with pan spray.
  5. Pour all vegetable mixture onto sheet pan and spread evenly.
  6. Roast veggies at 450 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until they are fork tender &begin to brown.
  7. Stir occasionally during the baking/roasting time.
  8. ENJOY!

Tofu & Basil Stir Fry

Tofu, sweet & sour sauce, fresh peppers, onions, basil... can you say Plant Forward & FRESH!?

Yields: 4

Portion Size: 1 cup

Preparation Time: 10 minutes 

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $6.69 

Cost Per Serving (approx.): $1.67

Ingredients:

  • 1.25# Tofu, Extra Firm, Including Liquids
  • 2 tsp Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup Onions, Fresh, Sliced Thin Half Moon Shape
  • 1/3 cup Green Bell Peppers, Fresh, Medium Diced
  • 1/3 cup Red Bell Peppers, Fresh, Medium Diced
  • 1/2 cup Sweet & Sour Sauce, Low or Reduced Sodium
  • 1 TBSP Basil, Fresh leaves, sliced Chiffonade (thin shreds)

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. Drain tofu thoroughly for at least 30 minutes under refrigeration & dice into 1” cubes.
  3. Add oil to pan, heat to a medium-high heat and add peppers & onions.
  4. Saute peppers/onions until tender (approx. 3 minutes), moving them around rapidly in pan.
  5. Add tofu to the pan and gently mix while heating for approx. 3 minutes.
  6. Add Sweet & Sour Sauce and cut fresh basil leaves to the pan mixture. 
  7. Heat until 165 degrees F (temp the tofu).
  8. Serve over your favorite cooked rice.

Serving Size-1 cup of Tofu/veggie/sauce mixture

Tomato & Greenie Beanie Chickpea Salad With Feta

Fresh tomatoes and onions tossed with green beans and chickpeas in a vinegar-based dressing featuring fresh mint and feta cheese.

Yields:  4

Portion Size: 1/2 cup 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes 

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $1.90

Cost Per Serving (approx.): $0.47

Ingredients:

  • 2 2/3 cup Boiling Water
  • 2 2/3 ounce Green Beans, Fresh or Frozen-Cut
  • 5 1/3 ounce Tomatoes, Fresh, Medium Dice
  • 1 1/3 ounce Red Onion, Fresh, Small Dice
  • 1 ounce Feta Cheese, Crumbled
  • 1 tsp Mint Leaves, Fresh, Cut Into Small Strips
  • 1 cup Garbanzo (chickpea) Beans, Canned, Drained, Rinsed
  • 2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Canola Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper, Ground Fine
  • 1/8 tsp Salt

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. Bring water to a boil, add green beans and blanch for 3-5 minutes. Do NOT overcook.
  3. Drain beans & plunge them into ice water to shock them (stop the cooking process quickly).
  4. Drain well and combine with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, onion, feta & mint.
  5. To make the dressing:
  6. Whisk together the red wine vinegar, oil, mint, black pepper & salt.
  7. Pour dressing over veggie mixture.
  8. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.
  9. ENJOY!

Zucchini & Yellow Squash “Chips”

Thinly sliced Zucchini & Yellow Summer Squash, seasoned up with garlic & other Italian herbs. Baked until crispy for a healthy "chip."

Yields: 4

Portion Size: 1/2 cup

Preparation Time:10 minutes 

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Recipe Cost (approx.):  $0.85 

Cost Per Serving (approx.):  $0.21

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces Yellow Squash, Fresh, Sliced Into Half Moons 1/2” Thick
  • 7 ounces Zucchini, Fresh, Sliced Into Half Moons, 1/2“ Thick
  • 1 TBSP Garlic, Fresh, Chopped
  • 1 TBSP Basil, Fresh Leaf, Chiffonade Sliced
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano, Fresh Leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley Leaves, Fresh Chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper, Ground
  • 1/2 tsp Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • Pan Spray

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. Spray baking sheet pan with pan spray.
  3. Toss all ingredients in a bowl and spread onto sprayed pan evenly. 
    1. Take care to not allow the ingredients to overlap.
    2. Avoid the extreme outer corners & edges (burns the fastest).
  4. Bake mixture in 375 degree F oven for up to 30 minutes.
  5. Toss & flip using a metal spatula and reposition the “chips” (inside to outside & vise-versa) at least 3 times during the timeline.
  6. Helpful Hint-set timer for 5 minute intervals for up to the total cooking timeline to remind you to move the ingredients around on the pan.
  7. “Chips” are perfectly finished when they are all a light golden brown and slightly crisp!

***Squashes tend to “weep” a lot of moisture as they cook. Depending on your oven, if you notice excessive moisture building on the pan, and not much browning, then your oven is likely too low in temperature for this recipe and you might need to increase the temp by another 25 degrees and extend the cooking time slightly.

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