Last week delivery shifts to the Magnolia Center and the Rockbridge Area Occupational Center looked a bit different. Normally we show up with our menu for the day and clients eat their hot meal. Instead, we had a healthy pizza party at both sites!
I'll have a little bit of everything on my pizza!
As clients went through the line (or gathered around tables) they had the option to load their whole wheat pizza crust with healthy options in addition to sauce and cheese:
- red onions
- bell peppers
- baked chicken bits
Enjoying a pizza lunch at RAOC
As we baked the pizza we talked about the importance of whole grains for our digestive system, and also the variety of vitamins found in our veggie toppings.
Veggie loaded whole grain pizza. Yum!
Adding whole wheat flour to your pizza crust recipe is an easy way to make your meal a bit more nutritious. Adding veggies galore goes much further and provides for a balanced lunch. Are you ready to try? Here’s the crust recipe:
Mix and knead (or use a mixer):
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 TBSP yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose or bread flour
Once the dough has come together, toss or roll it out, put on your desired toppings and pop it in a 425 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. Enjoy!
Recently I’ve been reading a lot of blogs of people who cook ahead for their families and freeze food. At the Campus Kitchen we already freeze a lot of prepared food simply because it is donated to us that way. Many other donations, however, come in from Wal-Mart raw and I’m thinking through cooking these items to have on hand in advance as well. For instance, in January CKWL will process chicken. It won’t take too much effort to convert 4 pans worth of raw chicken breasts into cooked, shredded chicken to have on hand for recipes. Here are a few of our favorites (we substitute ingredients quite liberally based on what’s been donated):
And a few more to try:
What’s your favorite chicken recipe? Could it be adapted for the Campus Kitchen?
We seem to always have an excess of eggs. While Graduation day was the most we’ve ever received at one time, every week we receive about 400 pounds of eggs.
I have a love/hate relationship with the eggs we get in- they are such a good protein I can’t help but love them. On the other hand, 400 pounds of eggs means almost 3,000 eggs that need to be personally examined each week for cracks. That requires quite a bit of manpower and time. They also require quite a lot of fridge space and between the local food pantries and good ole CKWL we only have so much. I find myself pawning eggs off wherever I can- bringing extra to a shift to give to our clients raw, asking the Free Clinic if they can hand them out, and closely monitoring the local Food Pantry’s space so I can pass them off as soon as there is room. Of course we don’t give them all away. We hard-boil at least 5 dozen eggs each week, and here are my new favorite recipes that use up our eggs:
Breakfast Egg Casserole– Serves 30
- 60 eggs, beaten
- 35 slices worth of bread cubes (we like to use cheddar rolls from Kroger)
- 5 lbs cheddar cheese (or whatever kind you happen to have on hand)
- 5 lbs of your favorite breakfast meat, cooked (we use ham, bacon or breakfast sausage)
Combine all the ingredients and pour into a greased hotel pan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until the casserole is golden brown and bubbly.
Bread Pudding– serves 36
- 15 cups cubed bread
- 24 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups white sugar
- 2 TBSP Vanilla extract
- 12 cups scalded milk
- 6 pinches of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- pecans to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and generously grease a hotel pan with butter. Place bread into the pan. In a separate bowl combine eggs, sugar and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the scalded milk. Pour over the bread and sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Bake for at least 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Can be served hot or cold.
Last Wednesday we officially launched our new CKWL reusable individual meal containers for our service to Project Horizon, Hospice and Lexington Presbyterian. We expect to include Habitat for Humanity homes in the next few weeks.
CKWL is always looking to become more sustainable and create less waste. This is a double win because we will no longer have to spend money purchasing individual meal containers, and they will no longer end up in the trash. And our immediate favorite part of our new containers? Their cost was reduced because CKWL received a grant from 4imprint, one-by-one. The grant covered $500 of an in-kind product donation- our containers. We’re excited to see where this new step takes us! Let us know if you have any more ideas for sustainability…
What’s cooking tonight? That’s right, our volunteers are making wings from scratch for the Lexington City Office on Youth afterschool program. To add some veggies and celebrate in true wing night fashion, we have carrot sticks to accompany the main dish. Here’s the recipe for our sauce (to go with the 18 lbs of wings Wal-Mart donated).
18 cups ketchup
3 cups honey
3/4 cup lemon juice (the only purchase we’re making for this great recipe)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium!)
3/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP paprika
24 minced garlic cloves
3 TBSP curry powder
1 TBSP pepper
Looking forward to seeing the kids faces, they’re going to love this. Be on the look out for pictures capturing their joy!