Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bean and cheese burritos

Bean and cheese burritos were served today. Corn was offered to the younger students as well as tortilla chips and salsa.
The older students were offered a corn and bean salsa on the salad bar.
The fruit bar offered grapes and apples.

The picture is of the corn salsa. Cilantro, red onion lime juice and jalapeno made this delicious.

Ask your student to try tofu on the salad bar next week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tortellini and the ugly squash

Today we served tortellini with homemade tomato cream sauce, and broccoli.
Tortellini is very popular and a surprising number of students opted to try the sauce.
Grapes, bananas and apples were offered on the fruit bar.

Ask your child if they noticed the "ugliest squash" on display atop the salad bar.
This is called a peanut squash.
I found this beauty at the Murray farmers market.
I will display it for another week and then cook it and offer it at lunch for only the bravest students.
The farmers were very excited to sell me loads of butternut and acorn squash.
One farmer from Lehi remembered that he was here as a construction worker building our new addition.
Its a small world and McGillis is becoming quite a recognized school around the valley.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pizza and Peaches

Today we served pizza as the main entree. Carrots, celery and grapes were side dishes served.
The salad bar was popular today. Oranges, sliced apples and peaches were fruit options.
Sadly this is the last lunch that farm fresh peaches will be served.
The farmers tell me that the season is near the end. I will miss my weekly farmers market trips.
Apples will be available and there is a farmer that will supply them to the school directly.
It is sad to see the summer end.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beef Stew or Garden Pie

Today we served Beef Stew. It is truly delicious and was perfect this fall day.
As a vegetarian option we served Garden Pie.
Garden Pie is kidney beans and peas andcarrots and bell pepper and other veggies, topped with mashed potatoes and baked.
Most students were cautious to try the Garden Pie but those that tried it really liked it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken Caesar Wrap was the entree today.
Marinated chicken breast on a pita topped with romaine lettuce, olives and tomato.

Friday, October 14, 2011

sustainable pathways

Today McGillis students had a tour of the kitchen and I spoke about the whole process that is lunch.
We talked about where our food comes from.
We talked about the kitchen being designed to be energy and water efficient and use natural lighting.
I showed them the equipment that it takes to feed 400 people.
Lots of students commented on the size of cans and boxes of food.
Most students got to walk into our refrigerator and see our dish washing machine.
I showed the students how much water the dish machine takes to wash all of the dishes from one day (39 gallons).
Students were shown the difference between smart packaging and bad packaging.
Students were shown yesterdays food waste and we talked about ways that our garbage can be decreased.
I hope that the students had fun learning about the kitchen.
The process of looking up details about the efficiency of the kitchen was eye opening for me.
I learned that we are more efficient than I had thought, but we can do better.
Feeding 400 people is a huge responsibility.
Food safety is my number one priority, but I see that it is also important to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.
We can all do a better more thoughtful job.
I have set new goals in the kitchen regarding reducing our carbon footprint.
I look forward to the future at McGIllis and am inspired by our students regarding sustainable pathways.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hot dogs

Hot dogs are always a hit at McGillis. We don't have them often but our students really like them.
As always a quality all beef hot dog is used. Veggie dogs are offered for vegetarians.
Steamed french green beans will be served as a side dish as well as chips.

Salad bar fact.....Soy beans now top the list as most popular salad item.
Who knew?

Lo mien noodles and veggie egg rolls

Lo mein noodles and veggie egg rolls were the entree today.
This lo mein is a dish just full of veggies.
I use the six foot grill to stir fry broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green onions, celery, garlic and carrot.
I boil the noodles first and then add them to the veggies on the grill.
Sesame oil and soy sauce as well as sesame seeds are added to the stir fry.
The egg rolls that we serve are also full of veggies.
Most of the kids don't mind the veggies because the egg rolls are crispy.
We have an oven that truly is amazing. It has a "fried" setting that really gives food a fried taste and look.
If you ever have a chance come in and let us show you this oven.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Veggie hummus wrap

Veggie hummus wrap was the featured sandwich today. Pita bread topped with hummus, sliced tomato , cucumbers, spring mix,
and a bit of cheese. Sides were apple slices, string cheese, baked chips, juice box.

Friday, October 7, 2011

sorry no posts

So sorry I have not posted anything for a few days. Ian our new dishwasher has injured himself and has not been able to work. We have been very busy trying to keep up with out him. Hope to have a new post soon. Thanks for your interest and patience.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

tamales or quesadilla? Wich did your child opt for?

Homemade tamales are so much work and I love them, but I've decided to do this only twice a year. Tamales were the main entree today, but we also offered quesadillas as a more kid friendly option. As I look back on all of the students who opted for the quesadilla I am rethinking tamales place on the menu. We also served spanish rice and churros for a sweet treat.

The fruit bar offered farm fresh plums, bananas and apples. This variety of apples are called Gingergold and they are now my new favorite.

Salad bar update.... Kids are really enjoying the salad bar and eating a record amount of greens. FYI we use romaine lettuce, a mixed greens blend and spinach. Ask your student if they have tried the cusabi dressing. Cusabi is wasabi cucumber ranch.
We are still enjoying fresh baby orange tomatoes from the farmers market as well as peppers and even broccoli.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Egg salad sandwich the easy way

Egg salad sandwich was the featured sandwich for todays family group lunch. I count two eggs per pre ordered sandwich. So I boiled, cooled, then painstakingly peeled 300 eggs. Ha ha, actually that last part was true in the past but is now a sad sad memory. The eggs now come pre boiled and pre peeled and I love it. Now all I have to do is put the eggs through an egg slicer and stir in mayo and dijon mustard, and seasonings. I really do not understand how I had the time to do this when I had to start with raw eggs. As I think about it, lots of food items come in a more convenient form. This kind if thing is a huge trend in the food service industry. I can get onions and peppers already diced or sliced in 5 pound bags. Most produce items come in pre sliced or diced options. I would say that a food establishment of our size most often uses these options.

Lots of companies offer meat that comes pre cooked, both for convenience and also food safety. People do not always cook their meat to the proper temperature, and when it comes this way it is a safer product. Think about raw meat and everything it comes into contact with being a possible source of contamination. My Sysco salesman tells me that reheat and serve meat is a huge trend in the industry. At Mcgillis we use this option only for chicken nuggets. This kind of precooked meat can cost more than raw meats.

Another trend is aseptic packaging of foods. This is a high heat and sealing process that keeps food from needing refrigeration, If you go to the supermarket and see packaged dinners that look like they belong in the freezer section, these are aseptically packaged.
Its like pasteurization. As long as the seal remains intact the food has a very long shelf life, even without the use of preservatives.
Our juice among other things are packaged this way.

Technology brings lots of changes, some bad, some good. I am thinking that pre boiled pre peeled eggs are a change for the good.