Thursday, June 9, 2016

End of the Year Farm to School Updates!

Well we certainly ended the school year on a high note! Our final taste test at both schools was by far the most popular of them all! Students at RES & CHMS taste tested basil pesto pasta with basil from Maple Wind Farm as well as some from our very own CHMS garden (Recipe Below). Our elementary school students had an added treat of mint lemonade with mint from our garden during field day and gave both items a resounding thumbs up! Our RES students also helped to design a canvas banner that will hang at American Flatbread on Tuesday, June 14th during our Community Benefit Bake event-we hope to see you there!

Basil Pesto
Yield: 1 cup
Ingredients:

  • 5 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated hard cheese, such as cheddar or parmesan
  • salt, to taste
  • optional: the zest of one lemon

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
2. If desired, add hot water to the mixture to thin it out.
3. If desired, add chickpeas to thicken the mixture/incorporate protein.
Every RES student had a hand in making this banner for our fundraiser on June 14th at American Flatbread. We hope to see you there!

Mint Lemonade at Field Day

Making our Banner at Field Day!

Mmm Basil Pesto Pasta


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Benefit Bake at American Flatbread

Come on out and celebrate the start of the summer with a pizza pie! On Tuesday, June 14th from 5pm-11:30pm American Flatbread in downtown Burlington will donate a portion of all dine-in and take-out pizza orders to our Farm to School Program. We hope you can make it!



Benefit Bake at American Flatbread in Downtown Burlington
Join us the evening of Tuesday, June 14th and celebrate the end of the school year with a pie! American Flatbread will donate a portion of their pizza sales from this night to our Farm to School Program at RES & CHMS ($3.50 for each large and $1.75 for each small). This includes take out and dine in! We hope you will join us for dinner and support Farm to School for years to come!

When: Tuesday, June 14th from 5pm-11:30pm
Where: American Flatbread Restaurant 115 St. Paul Street Burlington, VT
What: Benefit Bake & Raffle

Thursday, May 19, 2016

What a great week for Farm to School!

What a week it's been! From fundraisers to field trips, taste tests to community nights we've been keeping busy! Last Sunday, we had a successful silent auction at the Skinny Pancake with all proceeds going to Farm to School for the 2016-2017 school year. We're still tallying up the total but we raised upwards of $300 for the program! We also visited our farm partners at VYCC with the kindergarteners where we seeded sunflowers, planted two apple trees, and journaled about baby chicks, rabbits, and cows! Check out the video Ms. Gilbar made here: RES Kindergarten visits VYCC. On Wednesday and Thursday we had taste tests at RES & CHMS featuring local greens from another farm partner, Jericho Settlers Farm and it was a hit with the students at both schools. Thanks to those who came out to the 3rd and 4th grade art & music night on Wednesday where we prepared some tasty snacks! We'll be back at it next week for the 1st and 2nd grade event so swing by and see us.

Planting perennial apple trees at VYCC Farm!

Seeding Sunflowers at VYCC Farm!
Mmm local greens!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Silent Auction Items & Preview!

Check it out! You could win a family membership to Shelburne Farms for the 2016 season this Sunday, May 15th at the Skinny Pancake during our Silent Auction event to benefit Farm to School programming. We've got tons of great auction items and tasty food is guaranteed during Bluegrass Brunch! We hope you'll join us in supporting Farm to School at this event from 11am-3pm this Sunday, May 15th! Questions? Contact Mae at farmtoschool@cesuvt.org. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Carrot Coconut Muffins a Big Hit in Health Class!

Last Friday in Miss Thompson's health class at CHMS we learned about carrots: how they're grown, how to prepare them, and their nutritional quality before heading into the kitchen. We whipped up some tasty coconut carrot muffins with local carrots from our farm partners at the Farm at VYCC and the students gave them a thumbs up! Check out the recipe below and stay tuned for our next harvest featuring mixed greens!

Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins (from Eating Well magazine)

ACTIVE: 20 MIN
TOTAL: 1 HR

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat or white
  • whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled
  • oats plus 2 Tbsp., divided
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (see Tip),
  • melted if necessary
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded
  • coconut plus 2 Tbsp., divided
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt
and allspice in a medium bowl.

3. Whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in
coconut oil. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in
carrots, 1/2 cup coconut and raisins.

4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with the remaining 2
tablespoons each oats and coconut.

5. Bake the muffins until they spring back when lightly touched and a
toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached,
30 to 35 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning
out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

MAKES: 1 DOZEN MUFFINS

TIP: Look for coconut oil, in jars or tubs, near other cooking oils. It is solid at
temperatures below 76°F. To melt solidified coconut oil, remove the lid and
place the container in a bowl of very hot water; stir frequently until melted.






Thursday, April 28, 2016

Carrot Fries!

Check out these tasty Carrot "Fries" from this week's taste tests at RES & CHMS and try out the recipe posted below! The kindergarteners will learn more about carrots in their Harvest of the Month lesson today and the 5th, 7th, and 8th graders at CHMS will be taste testing and making carrot muffins tomorrow in health class. Thanks to our farm partners at VYCC for sharing the harvest!



Carrot Fries: 

Pro Tip:  You can mix up the flavor and use whatever spices you have at home!

YIELD
6 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks
2 Tbsp oil
½ tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
¼ tsp ground oregano
½ tsp chopped raw garlic

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss carrots with remaining ingredients: oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic.
Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until tender (15-20 minutes), stirring occasionally.


Some favorite quotes:

"These are actually pretty great"
"How come they're sweeter when you cook them?"
"I love when you do these!"

Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring Harvest!

Check out this week's bounty featuring 200 pounds of carrots from The Farm at VYCC and organic baby kale, spinach, and parsnips from Jericho Settlers Farm! Keep an eye out for these goodies in the cafeteria and for our taste tests on Tuesday and Wednesday at RES & CHMS featuring carrot fries!


Save the Date(s)!

As we near the end of the school year, it's time to start thinking and planning for next year's Farm to School Program. In order to increase access to local foods in our school cafeterias, fund field trips to farms in the area, and provide nutrition education in the classroom we are hosting a few fundraisers and we hope you will join us! First up:


  • Silent Auction at the Skinny Pancake in Downtown Burlington
Join us during Skinny Pancake's Bluegrass Brunch on the Waterfront in Downtown Burlington on Sunday, May 15th from 11am-3pm. Live music starts at 12pm and food goes all day! We have tons of great auction items from our generous neighbors at  Hen of the Wood, City Market, Healthy Living, Smugglers Notch Resort, Cabot Cheese, Green Mountain Coffee, and more! Help to support Farm to School for years to come!

When: Sunday, May 15th 11am-3pm 
Where: Skinny Pancake Restaurant 60 Lake Street Burlington, VT 
What: Silent Auction to benefit Farm to School Programming at RES & CHMS

  • Benefit Bake at American Flatbread in Downtown Burlington
Join us the evening of Tuesday, June 14th and celebrate the end of the school year with a pie! American Flatbread will donate a portion of their pizza sales from this night to our Farm to School Program at RES & CHMS ($3.50 for each large and $1.75 for each small). This includes take out and dine in! We hope you will join us for dinner and support Farm to School for years to come!

When: Tuesday, June 14th (Dinner Service)
Where: American Flatbread Restaurant 115 St. Paul Street Burlington, VT
What: Benefit Bake & Raffle

Happy (Belated) Earth Day to all!

Check out this letter from our Food Service Director, David Horner:

Today may look and seem like a typical Friday in late April, but did you know that people all around the world will be celebrating Earth Day? 

If you’ve never celebrated or heard of Earth Day, it has become an annual event, celebrated on April 22 every year. Groups worldwide will host events to demonstrate support for and provide education about ways to protect our environment. Since 1970 the movement has been motivating people to action.

So, how can you participate in Earth Day from your own home? Simple! Take a break from meat.
Here are a few impactful ways you can help the environment by reducing your meat consumption: 
 
1.     Reduce Your Carbon Footprint - The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly 15 percent of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change worldwide, far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
2.     Minimize Water Usage - The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu typically requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
3.     Help Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence - On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.

There is no doubt that animal agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to global, human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Intensive factory farming also harms the environment by polluting the air, water and soil with manure and other contaminants.

As an added advantage, when you curb your intake of meat, you can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer as well as limit obesity. It’s a fun and easy way to improve the nutritional quality of your diet!

And if you want to continue to help the planet, your health and spare animals from factory farming, you can try Meatless Mondays every week.  Meatless Monday is a weekly holiday from meat and a program that promotes the opportunity to get the week off to a healthier start.

The concept of Meatless Monday dates back to WWI, when it was implemented as a way to conserve resources for troops fighting abroad. In 2003, when  the U.S. began fighting a war of a different kind—a war on chronic, preventable disease such as heart disease—it was a team at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that understood the dire need to reintroduce Meatless Monday.

As the District Food Service Coordinator of Chittenden East Supervisory Union, I’m proud to say that our schools are doing their part by participating in Meatless Mondays, as well as serving a variety of meatless meals throughout the week. Our students love giving back by being more mindful of what they put on their plate, whether it’s a bean and rice burrito or a protein-packed three-bean chili.

As you look for ways to help our planet today, think about replacing your hamburger with a tasty veggie burger, or trying all new recipes that push vegetables to the center of the plate. Our world will thank you.
David Horner is the District Food Service Coordinator of Chittenden East Supervisory Union and a Middlesex resident.



Thursday, April 7, 2016

Locally Delicious at Camel's Hump!

Every day our all star kitchen staff at Camel's Hump prepares a tasty salad bar and daily soup in addition to featured lunch items. You can regularly find local, organic vegetables from area farms like Maple Wind Farm, Jericho Settlers' Farm, and The Farm at VYCC. Today's salad bar featured roasted Vermont Soy tofu, pickled beets, rainbow carrots, roasted parsnips, and baby spinach all from local producers. Additionally, we had a tasty Carrot/Parsnip/Ginger/Turmeric soup jam packed with nutrients and local vegetables from VYCC and JSF farms. We sure are lucky to have such great partners in our community!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Need a little fuel at the end of the day? Sweet potato baked fries and mixed berry/spinach/coconut smoothies sure make a great after school snack! Check out our healthy cooking club whipping them up today after school. We are taking a brief break from our club but will be back after April break Wednesdays starting again on April 27th! Sign up and e-mail Mae with questions/suggestions/thoughts at farmtoschool@cesuvt.org!





Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Beet Goes On

It's official: beets are a hit at RES....well, beet brownies are! Our students tasted these brownies made with local beets from Jericho Settlers Farm today and the overwhelming majority gave them a thumbs up! Tomorrow we'll test them out at CHMS and see how they stack up. Check out the recipe below and stay tuned for next month's harvest: carrots!



























Recipe:

Ingredients
  • 2 medium beets, roasted, peeled and rough chopped*
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate squares or chocolate chips (1 1/3 cup)
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour [can substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour]
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Method


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Melt butter and 8 ounces of chocolate in a double-boiler [or a large stainless steel bowl set over a pan filled with 1-inch of simmering water] over low heat, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Place roasted beets and sugar together in food processor and puree. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well. Add the beet puree to the melted chocolate and then stir in the flour, salt, and chocolate chips by hand.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 mins. or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with dry crumbs, not wet batter. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. 
  • Cut when cool. Store in airtight container. 
  • *To roast beets: Wash beets and trim off tops. Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil. Place on a sheet pan and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool completely. Use a paring knife to peel the skin from the beets. 



Yield: Makes 24 brownies

Monday, March 21, 2016

Beets from the Garden Make Their Way into Miss Thompson's Health Class

What a great day with CHMS 5th, 7th, and 8th graders in Miss Thompson's Health Class on Friday! We learned about the Harvest of the Month for March, compared different root vegetables, and made a tasty snack with ingredients from our very own garden! This fall, CHMS students harvested garlic and beets among other things from our garden and preserved them for future use. They roasted and froze the beets and lucky for us, there were some left over for our class on Friday! Using beets and garlic from the fall harvest, our students made bright red beet hummus and homemade crackers for a tasty, local snack at the end of a long week. We recommend taking a look at the recipes below and trying it out at home. This week, we will be featuring local beets in our taste tests at RES & CHMS, so keep an eye out for recipes to come for beet brownies.






Roasted Beet Hummus:

Ingredients


  • 1 small roasted beet
  • 1 15 oz. can (1 3/4 cup) cooked chickpeas, mostly drained
  • juice of half a large lemon
  • healthy pinch salt and black pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping Tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Roast beets in oven.
  • Once your beet is cooled and peeled, quarter it and place it in your food processor. Blend until only small bits remain.
  • Add remaining ingredients except for olive oil and blend until smooth.
  • Drizzle in olive oil as the hummus is mixing.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, lemon juice or olive oil if needed. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water.
  • Will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Homemade Crackers:

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, or a mix of all-purpose and whole grain flours
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional topping: 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
  • Heat the oven to 450°F: Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 450°F. Sprinkle a baking sheet lightly with flour and set aside.
  • Mix together the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the oil and water: Add the oil and water to the flour mixture. Stir until a soft, sticky dough is formed. If a lot of loose flour remains in the bottom of the bowl and the surface of the dough, add more water a tablespoon at a time until all the flour is incorporated.
  • Divide and shape the dough into a square: Divide the dough into two halves and set one half aside. Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour and set the other half on top. Pat it into a thick square with your hands.
  • Roll out the dough: Working from the center of the dough out, roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 1/8-inch thick or thinner. If the dough starts to shrink back as you roll it, let it rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes and then continue rolling.
  • Sprinkle dough with topping (optional): Brush the surface of the dough very lightly with water. Combine the seeds in a small bowl and sprinkle half of them (roughly 1 1/2 tablespoons) evenly over the surface of the dough. See Additional Notes below for additional ideas for toppings and flavorings.
  • Cut the dough into cracker-sized rectangles: Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into individual crackers roughly 1-inch by 2-inches. Alternatively, cut the crackers into squares, diamonds, or use cookie cutters.
  • Transfer crackers to baking sheet and prick with fork: Transfer the crackers to the baking sheet using a metal dough scraper or spatula. It's fine to crowd the crackers very close to each other. Prick each cracker with the tines of a fork to prevent them from puffing during baking.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes: Bake the crackers in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are browned. Thinner crackers will bake more quickly than thicker ones; you can remove the crackers as they brown to your liking and continue baking the rest. While the first batch of crackers is baking, roll out and cut the remaining dough.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It was a Farm to School Kinda Day at RES!

What a day filled with tasty local food at RES. For lunch, we had chicken from Misty Knoll Farm, carrots from Jericho Settlers Farm, and soup featuring local squash. Our Farm to School Coordinator, Mae spent some time with Ms. Gilbar's kindergarteners in the afternoon learning about root vegetables, tasting pickled beets, and using our five senses to describe different kinds of produce. After school, we made carrot muffins (featuring local Jericho Settlers carrots) with a homemade vanilla glaze in our kitchen creations group! Next up: Healthy cooking club at CHMS and harvest of the month programming in Ms. Thompson's health class. #lovelocal




Thursday, February 18, 2016

Taste Test at RES & CHMS: Asian Cabbage Slaw

This week, our students at RES & CHMS both participated in a taste test featuring the Harvest of the Month: Cabbage. We made an Asian Cabbage slaw with local onions, carrots, and cabbage all from the farm VYCC. For the dressing, we used maple syrup from our friends at Slopeside Syrup. Check out the recipe below. We can't wait for our next taste tests on March 23 & 24. Mark your calendars!

 

Recipe:
YIELD
6 servings

INGREDIENTS
4 cups cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 green onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp hot chili sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, red onion, and green onions.
2. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix until well combined.
4. Refrigerate for a few hours or longer, and serve.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Harvest of the Month in Ms. Gilbar's Kindergarten Class

Yesterday, in Ms. Gilbar's kindergarten classroom, we learned about where our food comes from and prepared for next week's taste test with a lesson on cabbage. We read How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?, played a round of Cow/Chicken/Potato, and drew pictures of 6 different kinds of cabbage! You can check out some of the artwork on the Farm to School board in the cafeteria and check out this great video that Ms. Gilbar made of our lesson!






Monday, February 8, 2016

Local Goodies From Our Friends at VYCC

Check out this bundle of goodies from our Farm Partners at The Farm at VYCC! These onions, squash, beets, turnips, carrots, and cabbage will find their way into school lunches at RES & CHMS over the next couple of weeks. We can't wait to see what our wonderful kitchen staff will come up with!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Parsnip Tastin at CHMS & RES

This week, we featured the Harvest of the Month: Parsnips with a taste test at RES and in Miss Thompson's health class at CHMS! At RES, we had parsnip hummus with carrots (check out the recipe in a previous post) and at CHMS we made parsnip chips with 5th, 7th, and 8th grade classes. Both parsnip recipes were a hit! Before diving into the kitchen, the CHMS students learned about parsnips and completed a number of activities comparing parsnips with their cousin the carrot. We then worked together to prep the recipe and bake them into a tasty snack. Check out the pictures below and stay tuned for updates on February's Harvest of the Month: Cabbage!




Thursday, January 28, 2016

CHMS Eighth Graders Attend Leadership Development Training on Food Systems

What a great day at UVM yesterday with CHMS 8th graders who've signed on to be part of the TRY for the Environment Program this school year. We spent the day learning different lesson plans and teaching practices so that our CHMS students can teach younger students all about the food system! In this 6 part lesson series, CHMS students will develop leadership skills, strengthen their knowledge of the food system, and have the opportunity to share their learning with younger students both at CHMS and next door at RES-what a great way to connect our campus and continue to strengthen farm to school practices! Keep an eye out for updates and contact farmtoschool@cesuvt.org if you or your classroom is interested in participating! Check out these pictures below of hand made flowers from our pollinator lesson, food system bracelets representing each lesson, and the students with their certificates of completion!