Lunch was darn good today

Summer is here, along with the desperate search for meals that don't require use of the oven! Thank goodness it also means beautiful veggies and salads, salads, salads.
I didn't completely accomplish the oven-free meal yesterday - I turned the oven on to roast some chickpeas. And I cooked some quinoa because I was anxious to try out an idea that came to me after talking to a co-worker about rekindling our love affair with the grain. We started cooking quinoa at BCS about a year ago, mainly using it as a substitute for rice in casseroles, or with beans or chili. It worked well as a side dish and the kids ate enough to make me believe I should try to incorporate it into the menu more often.
Here's what I came up with today...quinoa salad with rainbow peppers and black beans, along with carrots, hummus, whole grain bread and cantaloupe. Look at those lunch plates!

Actual Preschoolers' Lunch Plates

Hi there!
It took a week or so to recover from marathon madness, but we made it and.....(drumroll)....... we raised over $2500 for our take-home food bag project!!! Thank you to everyone who supported Team BCS in our efforts to make sure everyone has enough good food to eat, at school and at home. We love you!
We have already stepped up our efforts. In the coming weeks we plan to double the number of bags we prepare each Friday. This week we're sending home the ingredients for curried chick peas with brown rice and salad, along with bread and fruit - enough to make a hearty dinner for 5-6 people. I will keep you updated and post some pics of our bags this Friday! 

Now we are moving full speed ahead into summer, and getting excited about growing season in Vermont! Soon our weekly farm share from the Intervale Food Hub will begin, and the kids will be growing herbs and veggies in their raised beds and neighborhood garden plots. 
In celebration I'm going to start posting the photos I've been collecting of actual preschoolers' lunch plates! 
My plan is to continue this throughout the summer, focusing on all the fresh local veggies we'll be enjoying and sharing with families. 
We serve and share our meals and snacks family style, so remember these are plates of food children have served themselves. Look at all that green!

Turkey shepherd's pie and spinach salad

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Quinoa, stir fried veggies with chick peas, red grapes and apple slices


In other exciting news, starting on Wednesday I will be posting on the Kids Vt blog every other week as the lunch lady!  Look for great recipes to make and share with kids, and maybe some stories about lunch lady life at BCS too. I'm so thankful for the opportunity and look forward to working with the cool and talented staff at Kids VT

Take Care!