Brent T. Frei 2013-01-29 01:31:17
Step out of the box— and into the bowl! Today, just about anything can be served in a bowl, to the delight of school nutrition operators and the students they serve. SOUPS, STEWS AND CHILIS, where offered in schools, are served in bowls, of course. For breakfast programs, cold cereal in a bowl tends to be a given. But across the nation, “bowl foods” are transcending the traditional! Today, you can find a wide variety of fun, flavorful and healthy entrées served in a bowl (or bowl-shaped cavity), appealing to customers of all ages. Part of the impetus behind the growth of so-called “onebowl meals”—in schools and elsewhere—is that food served in a bowl speaks to the child in each of us. Bowls communicate comfort, nurturing, safety and enjoyment; they’re entwined in our earliest food memories. Bowled Over One foodservice operation outside the realm of K-12 that understands the sheer emotional allure of food served in a bowl is a place actually named Bowl. The 20-seat restaurant opened in Reno, Nev., in November 2011 with an ambitious menu that offers everything—everything—in bowls. “It’s doing pretty well” in its second year of operation, says chef and owner Larry Dunning, a graduate of New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. Bowl’s menu takes the unpretentious concept of a simple bowl of food to lofty heights with complex offerings that change with the seasons. Last autumn’s menu, for instance, featured a rice bowl with jerk chicken, rattlesnake beans and acorn squash. Another highlight was an orzo bowl with mahi-mahi, chickpeas, hybrid Sun Gold tomatoes and fresh basil. But Bowl’s best-selling item is a perennial hit with adult diners, and it never leaves the menu: a polenta bowl with duck confit, seasonal mushrooms and Swiss chard. A close second in popularity, when offered, is a vegan bowl of “spaghetti and meatballs.” Standing in for the latter is grated zucchini, carrot and parsnip bound with garbanzo bean flour, panko bread crumbs and almond milk. These are hand-formed and briefly deep-fried in canola oil before being served over strands of spaghetti squash with marinara sauce. For the younger set, macaroni and cheese rules, although Bowl’s version is far removed from the iconic blue box mac ‘n’ cheese from the supermarket. Dunning makes a three-cheese sauce that capitalizes on the smoky contribution from English white cheddar, blended with mezzo secco (partially dry Jack cheese) and Grana Padano (the famed semi-aged, hard cheese from Italy). Blended with elbow macaroni and crowned with sautéed broccoli florets, parents often order this dish with pork tenderloin tossed in, while their children prefer it without additional adornment. “The kids love it big time,” Dunning reports. He recognizes that the needs of his youngest patrons can be very particular. “A lot of times, they don’t want all the things combined. So, we’ll put ingredients in little bowls for them to combine themselves; that makes our dishes more approachable,” Dunning explains. “Even my 5-year-old, as much as she likes the food, I have to serve things to her separately, not on top of each other.” He cautions chefs and cooks to put a hold on the black pepper, as kids tend to be suspicious of the small black flecks in their food—even flecks of green herbs can make some kids wary about trying a new dish. At first glance, Bowl’s success—given that upward of 80% of new restaurants fail in their first year—might imply that the trend was just sitting there, waiting for someone to stumble upon it. But the notion of a restaurant concept that focuses solely on foods served in bowls really isn’t all that new. Consider Vietnamese pho restaurants, which started popping up around the nation like wildfire in the mid-2000s; they owe their existence to a bowl of near-boiling broth with rice noodles to which chefs can add, at the customer’s request, raw meats, vegetables and herbs, cooking it in front of the guest, adding such garnishes as sprouts, lime wedges, hot chiles, Sriracha sauce and hoisin sauce. Today, pho (pronounced “fuh”) in prepared convenience or speed-scratch form is starting to be tested and offered in some school nutrition operations. (Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinebonuscontent to learn more about pho.) Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises opened Big Bowl in Chicago in 1992, touting itself as one of the first restaurants centered on the meal-in-a-bowl concept. The menu included Asian items, but also featured such dishes as chili mac, hummus and smoked whitefish. Over time, the most popular dishes proved to be from Thai and Chinese cuisines, so the menu focus shifted. Twenty years later, having expanded to eight restaurants in Illinois, Minnesota and Virginia, the menu at Big Bowl is all Asian, all the time. (And the novelty of the bowl is yesterday’s news, eclipsed by the multi-unit’s farther-reaching commitment to marketing its ecological stewardship and food sustainability.) Chain Reaction And then there are a number of successful quick-service and fast-casual restaurant chains that weren’t built on the idea of food served in a bowl, but which offer one or more very popular bowl entrées that appeal to patrons of all ages, including school-age customers. One bowl dish concept that’s all the rage—and known for wide copycatting—is the Burrito Bowl from Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill. Served without a tortilla, the bowl includes a choice of cilantro-lime rice, pinto or vegetarian black beans, meat (braised pork carnitas, beef barbacoa or adobo-marinated and grilled chicken or steak), guacamole, salsa and cheese or sour cream. The high schools in the Minneapolis Public Schools district offer a build-yourown Southwestern bowl inspired by Chipotle, but it’s menued without any dairy product options, which saves calories and fat. Students “have not missed the cheese and sour cream,” relates Bertrand Weber, director of culinary and nutrition services, adding that the customizable bowl gives his customers a sense of ownership. Kids can select among shredded beef or chicken, black beans, brown rice and salsa. The dish is served in disposable—but compostable—bowls. Indeed, “anything with a Southwestern flair is very popular,” Weber says, referring to another popular dish: a beef fajita bowl offering the choice of a Minnesotamade whole-grain flour tortilla or corn tortilla chips placed in the base of the bowl. Topping options include roasted bell peppers, onions and refried beans. A scratch-made orange chicken bowl with lo mein noodles and vegetables is another favorite among students. Minneapolis’ Nutrition Services department reports great success with bowl foods, overall. They can account for as much as 40% of sales at lunchtime, Weber estimates. In fact, this success has been a factor in a recent collaboration with a local restaurant to develop and test a suqaar bowl entrée, featuring finely chopped and sautéed goat meat to appeal to Somali students living in the district. Arguably the best example of a restaurant chain’s influence on one-bowl meals served in school settings is the Louisville, Ky.-based KFC Famous Bowls™ line that launched in 2006. Although offerings have evolved over the years, the mainstay is the Mashed Potato Bowl, which consists of creamy mashed potatoes layered with corn kernels and crispy chicken pieces, all drizzled with signature chicken gravy and topped with a shredded three-cheese blend. It became an instant sensation, inspiring foodservice operations of all stripes to offer their own variations. Plum Borough (Pa.) School District, serving five elementary schools, a junior high school and senior high school, jumped on the mashed potato bowl bandwagon in the early days of the trend. Food Services Supervisor Maryann Lazzaro, MS, RD, regularly watches what is selling well in mall food courts and at fastfood restaurants in the hope of coming across the “next big thing” to co-opt from popular food culture and transform into a healthier version for her student customers. Airwaves, billboards and print ads heralded the news of KFC’s novel, exciting offerings—with enough fervor to suggest that no one before had ever considered eating (much less serving) food from a bowl. Surely, Lazzaro thought, replicating KFC’s Mashed Potato Bowl couldn’t be rocket science. Besides, mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets were already part of her menu-cycle inventory. By tweaking here and there (adjusting the corn portion, replacing whole-milk cheese with lowfat, etc.), she believed she’d discovered a win-win dish for students and staff that happily, also would meet meal pattern requirements. But colleagues with whom she shared her idea scoffed at the notion of a healthier mashed potato bowl served at school. No child of any age, they said, once having sampled the Colonel’s gold standard at a KFC restaurant, would embrace Lazzaro’s more nutritious variation. Armed with trust in her gut and some point-of-service materials from Basic American Foods, Lazzaro took a chance. Knowing that word-of-mouth can make or break a new menu try, she was concerned about the initial response from the first lunch period’s customers. Her fears were quickly put to rest. Subsequent lunch periods saw kids “running for lunch, because they’d heard about our take on the KFC bowl. It was one of our biggest participation days ever,” she reports. Of 1,000 lunches served at Plum Senior High that day, 800 were of the new bowl entrée. Seven years later, Lazzaro’s mashed potato bowl, served with a whole-grain biscuit or roll on the side, is still offered in rotation, along with an Asian bowl featuring fried brown rice that meets new meal pattern requirements. (Reaction from students was “spectacular” when the Asian bowl tested at the high school last November, so Lazzaro has since expanded it to the junior high.) The two bowl meal offerings at the senior high school join a much-loved, spicier General Tso’s chicken bowl, featuring brown rice, un breaded chicken, Asian-style vegetables and sauces. “We switched to brown rice a couple of years ago,” Lazzaro notes, and when this bowl is menued, accompanied by a mini egg roll and fortune cookie, “It’s one of our biggest participation days.” Black Magic If Plum Borough is a good example of a smaller school district that offers a few bowl entrées that yield a lot of customer satisfaction, then San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) represents the epitome of a large district that offers many varieties of bowl meals, also to wide acclaim. An innovative bowl introduced last year to elementary schools, for example, was a completely edible dish: vegetarian chili served in a small, hollowed-out wheat roll. At De Portola Middle School, one of 256 serving sites in California’s second-largest district, several bowl entrées are popular: a Mandarin chicken and rice bowl (plus a Szechuan variety); a teriyaki chicken rice bowl with Asian vegetables (plus a beef version); a pasta bowl of rotini, meatballs and marinara sauce; and a layered Mexican bean bowl with tortilla chips. SDUSD’s high schools offer an even greater array of one-bowl dish options. In 2009, when the district retrofitted foodservices at all middle and high schools with its new marketplace concept, SanDi Coast Café, bowl-based meals were part of the strategy to convey a Southern California lifestyle—beachy, fun, casual—via themed stations that include Hi-Tide Grill (barbecue), Baja Beach (Mexican), Wok n Bowl (Asian), Raga Tony’s (Italian) and SanDi Fresh Bistro (salads and sandwiches). “It turned out that a lot of the types of things we offered through SanDi Coast Café lent themselves to bowls,” explains Joanne Tucker, foodservices marketing coordinator for the district. The SDUSD school nutrition operation has opted to serve its creations in black bowls, so that virtually any food placed within them would pop visually in contrast. Before long, students began referring to these as “magic black bowls,” a moniker Tucker and her team put to good marketing use. “We found that almost anything we put in them sells well,” she reports. One-bowl offerings deliver a solution to serving reimbursable meals that meet nutrition guidelines and kid acceptability standards, asserts Gary Petill, SDUSD foodservices director. “You have to present food so that kids will want to eat it,” he asserts. “A bowl allows us to incorporate ingredients in a way that makes the meal both wanted and reimbursable.” To illustrate, Petill’s customers typically will eat all the chicken they can get, and they might balk at the decreasing size of chicken served as a center-of-the-plate item—because there is no plate! Rather, chicken, beef, tofu and other proteins are regarded almost as condiments in a mélange of colorful, perfectly cooked on-trend ingredients in a dish that’s as portable (allowing students to move among groups and increase their social interaction within a limited meal period) as it is delicious. The Harvest Bowl Following the evolution of basic bowl concepts expanding to more varied menu items, like mashed potatoes, rice, Asian noodles and pasta, there now looks to be a new source for bowl inspiration—the nearest farm. An eight-month experiment at one elementary school turned into a salad bowl/bar program offered at all 103 of Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) learning sites last August when the district beefed up its efforts to provide students with access to salad bars and local produce. Instead of using plates or trays, students fill up 8-oz. biodegradable paper bowls. With the full district roll-out going strong six months later, the school salad bars always include leafy greens, cucumber and tomatoes. Other fresh fruits and vegetables in season are rotated weekly to keep the mix interesting, explains Dr. Marilyn Hughes, RD, LD, director of nutrition services. Other popular salad offerings include bean salads featuring kidney, black or garbanzo beans, as well as weekly specials, which might feature freshly made coleslaw or a cucumber- and-red-onion salad. Hughes believes the salad bar/bowl program “has really increased overall participation,” and lauds her team’s collaboration with APS teachers in nutrition education efforts. “The student is engaged in nutrition education in the classroom and applies it in the cafeteria,” she details. A Great Bowl Is the Goal Whether it’s a salad brimming with locally grown produce, stick-to-your-ribs mashed potatoes with chicken nuggets and gravy or a fragrant pho, why are one-bowl meals so popular with K-12 customers? Novelty. Convenience. Portability. Comfort. All these have been factors in this booming trend, but the most significant might be personal pride—in their creations and their cafeteria. “From the comments we’ve gathered, students [feel they] are shown respect by being able to customize their meals,” cites Minneapolis’ Bertrand Weber. “And they feel that the food we serve is now restaurant quality. They know there’s no reason to not have lunch with us when we offer a Chipotle-like bowl for only $2.50. So, they refer to us as an ‘outside restaurant inside the school.’” Ready to “bowl over” your own students? Talk to them about their favorite customizable outside-of-school creations and consider how you might incorporate some of those elements into a bowl creation of your own. Check out the new vendors and menu items offered at the local mall. Pay attention to the dishes that national chains have added as specials or standing options. And for additional inspiration, check out the recipes included throughout this article. BONUS WEB CONTENT Want to scroll through more about the bowl? School Nutrition has additional content available online. Learn about industry’s efforts to assist school nutrition operations in offering delicious, innovative bowl items, check out a recipe idea from one of the magazine’s Kitchen Wisdom Panelists and more. To access this content, simply visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinebonuscontent. “It’s comforting to know everything you need is there, and some like the thought of being able to mix it all up and dig in. The searching for those items you love is like a discovery of tastes, textures and colors—an adventure in a bowl.” —Robert Danhi, CCE, CHE, CEC, CCP, principal of Chef Danhi & Co., Inc., in El Segundo, Calif., and author and photographer of Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia & Singapore (Mortar and Press, 2008). HEARTY AND HEART-HEALTHY POTATO SOUP/STEW YIELD: 6 servings* PER SERVING: 301 cal., 20 g pro., 48 g carb., 5 g fat, 30 mg chol., 265 mg sod. INGREDIENTS Potatoes—2 lbs. or ~4-5 medium-to-large Olive oil—1 Tbsp. Onions, chopped, frozen—20 ozs. Tomatoes, dried, chopped—1⁄4 cup Chicken broth, low-sodium—2 pts. + 14-oz. can (46 ozs. total) Turkey, cooked, shredded—2 cups Mixed vegetables, packaged, chopped, frozen—3 cups Pepper, freshly ground—to taste DIRECTIONS 1. Scrub and cut the potatoes into 1⁄2-in. cubes (about 5 cups). Thaw the mixed vegetables and onions. 2. In a heavy soup pot, heat the oil on high and stir in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until well browned. 3. Add the potatoes, dried tomatoes and chicken broth. 4. Bring to a boil and cook covered for 10 minutes or until tender. 5. Add the turkey and vegetables, return to a boil and cook for 6-8 minutes. 6. To serve: Portion 1 1⁄2 cups per serving. Top with ground pepper. Photo, recipe & recipe analysis: Idaho Potato Commission, www.idahopotato.com *Note: If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, adjust the quantities for batch preparation and conduct a complete nutrient analysis. Adjust the serving size as necessary to meet current meal pattern requirements. TERIYAKI SOY RICE BOWL YIELD: 4 servings* PER SERVING: 460 cal., 23 g pro., 64 g carb., 9 g fiber, 13 g fat, 2 g sat. fat, 0 mg chol., 700 mg sod. INGREDIENTS Soybean oil—1 Tbsp. Tofu, firm, cut into 1⁄2-in. cubes—1 14-oz. package* Teriyaki sauce (bottled), reducedsodium— 1⁄2 cup Water—1⁄2 cup Carrots—1 1⁄2 cups Edamame—1 cup Broccoliflorets—1 cup Pepper, bell, red—1 cup Rice, white or brown, cooked*—2 cups DIRECTIONS 1. Shred the carrots. Shell and thaw the edamame. Cut the broccoli and red pepper into 1⁄2-in. pieces. 2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. 3. Add the tofu, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. 4. Stir in the teriyaki sauce, water, carrots, edamame, broccoli and red pepper. 5. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly. 6. Divide the vegetable mixture into four equal servings, each portioned over a 1⁄2-cup serving of brown or white rice. Photo, recipe & recipe analysis: United Soybean Board, www.soyconnection.com *Notes: Chicken or beef may be substituted for the tofu. Couscous may be substituted for the rice. To recalculate the recipe for a larger number of students, visit www.soy connection.com/recipes/teriyaki-soy-rice-bowl-recipe and type in the desired number of servings, then select “click here.” If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, adjust the quantities for batch preparation and adjust the serving size as necessary to meet current meal pattern requirements. KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • The tofu may be a little challenging to get from distributors and use in a timely manner. Diced grilled chicken also would be good in this recipe. • Consider adding ginger and garlic to boost the flavor profile of the recipe and serve the dish with soy sauce. • Consider substituting a baked tofu, which we have found easier to work with in our central kitchens; also, it is more appealing to kids. • To ensure that you serve the proper amounts of vegetables and tofu, you may need to marinate the tofu in half of the sauce and use the other half to prepare the vegetable part of the dish. Also, preparing this dish with brown rice is more in keeping with nutrition requirements. • Note that in some areas, edamame might be difficult to come by. • For a chicken-and-vegetable stir-fry recipe similar to this one, and already being served in the operation of one of SN’s Kitchen Wisdom panelists, see www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinebonuscontent. BUFFALO CHICKEN AND BARLEY SALAD BOWL YIELD: 28 servings PER SERVING: 217 cal., 9 g pro., 37 g carb., 9 g fiber, 5 g fat, 1 g sat. fat, 0 mg chol., 406 mg sod. SALAD INGREDIENTS Barley, white, uncooked*—2 lbs. Chicken meat, cooked, diced—3 lbs. Carrots—3 cups Celery—4 cups. Scallions—3⁄4 cup. DRESSING INGREDIENTS Yogurt, plain, unsweetened, nonfat—2 cups Mayonnaise—1 1⁄4 cups Hot sauce—1⁄4 cup Lemon juice—3 Tbsps Salt, kosher—1 1⁄2 tsps Blue cheese crumbles—1 1⁄2 cups DIRECTIONS 1. To prepare the salad: Peel and dice the carrots. Dice the celery and scallions. 2. Cook the barley according to the package directions, but slightly overcook the grains so that they remain tender when added to the dressing. Drain and cool the barley completely. 3. Combine the barley, cooked chicken, carrots, celery and scallions. Mix well. Set aside. 4. To prepare the dressing: Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, hot sauce, lemon juice and salt. Blend well. 5. Fold in the blue cheese crumbles. 6. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and mix well to distribute the dressing thoroughly. Portion into 1-cup servings. Recipe & recipe analysis: Indian Harvest, www.indianharvest.com *Notes: Indian Harvest White Barley may be used for this recipe. According to the company: One serving provides one bread/grain serving (100% whole grain), 1⁄4 cup vegetable and 1 1⁄2 ozs. meat/meat alternate. KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • Depending on students’ taste preferences and/or what your operation keeps in inventory, you could substitute brown rice, quinoa or elbow pasta for the barley. • Reduced-fat, shredded cheddar, mozzarella or Parmesan cheese could be substituted for the blue cheese. ROASTED VEGGIE AND WHOLE-GRAIN PASTA TOSS YIELD: 100 servings PER SERVING: 130 cal., 4 g pro., 21 g, carb., 4 g fiber, 4 g fat, 1 g sat. fat, 0 mg chol., 158 mg sod. INGREDIENTS Zucchini squash, fresh—5 lbs. Yellow squash, fresh—6 lbs. Carrots, sliced coins, frozen—5 lbs. + 4 ozs. Onions, red, fresh—1 lb. + 8 ozs. Peppers, diced, red, canned—1 1⁄2 cups Garlic powder—2 Tbsps. Rosemary leaves—2 Tbsps. Oregano, ground—2 tsps. Salt—2 Tbsps. Pepper, black, ground—2 Tbsps. Canola oil—1 1⁄2 cups Whole-grain penne pasta—3 lbs. + 2 ozs. White vinegar—1 1⁄2 cups Baby spinach, fresh—4 lbs. DIRECTIONS 1. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash in half, then slice into half-moon-shaped pieces. Cut the onions into quarter-size pieces. Drain the peppers. Mix the zucchini squash, yellow squash, carrots, onions and red peppers together in a large bowl. 2. In a separate bowl, mix the garlic powder, rosemary leaves, oregano, salt and black pepper together. Toss the mixed seasonings with the vegetables, add the canola oil and toss again, being sure to coat the vegetables evenly. 3. Spread the vegetables on unlined bun pans sprayed with pan coating. Bake in a convection oven at 325°F for 30-35 minutes or until the vegetables reach 135°F and they are tender. Set aside. 4. Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the time indicated on the package (for cold pasta salads). Bring the water to a boil, add the pasta and bring the water to a boil again. Do not add oil to the water. Drain carefully. 5. In a large food container, mix the pasta with the seasoned vegetables and the vinegar. Toss lightly to mix well. Refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors. 6. Several hours before service, place the spinach in the bottom of a new container. Place the pasta/vegetable mix on the top of the spinach. Refrigerate again until service. 7. For each serving: Portion 1 cup of the mixture with the spinach in a small bowl.* Photo: Barilla Foodservice, www.barillafoodservicerecipes.com Recipe & recipe analysis: Christina Welch, interim director of child nutrition, Judson Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas, K-12 winner of Barilla Foodservice’s Go for Great Grains Recipe Contest *Note: According to the company: One serving (3.9 ozs. or 109 g) provides 1⁄4 bread/grain servings, 1⁄8 cup dark green vegetables, 1⁄8 cup red/orange vegetables and 1⁄4 cup other vegetables. ASIAN MASHED POTATO BOWL YIELD: 1 serving* PER SERVING: 309 cal., 22 g pro., 41 g carb., 5 g fiber, 6 g fat, 4 g sat. fat, 45 mg chol., 1,369 mg sod., 45 mg ca., 2 mg iron INGREDIENTS Potato pearls, prepackaged, dehydrated —1 cup Pork tenderloin strips, pre-marinated in Asian sauce—1⁄3 cup Bell pepper, red or green, diced—1⁄3 cup Broccoli or broccoli florets—1⁄2 cup DIRECTIONS 1. Cook the potato pearls according to the package instructions. 2. Stir-fry the pork until it is cooked. 3. Steam or sauté the bell pepper and broccoli until they are tender. 4. Place 1 cup potatoes in a 16-oz. container. Evenly place 2 ozs. pork tenderloin over the potatoes, then 1.1⁄2 ozs. bell pepper, then 1.1⁄2 ozs. broccoli. Serve warm. Photo, recipe & recipe analysis: Basic American Foods, www.baf.com *Note: If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, adjust the quantities for batch preparation. Adjust the serving size, as appropriate, to meet current nutrition standards. ASIAN TOFU NOODLE SALAD BOWL YIELD: 24 servings* NOODLES INGREDIENTS Spaghetti, dry, enriched—3 lbs., Carrots, raw, shredded—1 lb. + 2 ozs., Onions, green—1 1⁄2 bunches Salad dressing, Oriental Sesame—2 qts. + 1 cup SALAD INGREDIENTS Lettuce, Romaine, chopped—27 ozs. Mandarin oranges, canned—5⁄8 #10 can Greens, micro, chopped—2 3⁄8 ozs. Salad dressing, Oriental Sesame—1⁄4 gal. Beans, garbanzo, canned—1⁄4 #10 can Tofu, baked, Asian-style—4 3⁄8 package DIRECTIONS 1. To prepare the noodles: Slice the green onions into small pieces. Break the spaghetti noodles in half. Cook until al dente in a kettle or tilt skillet. Drain the spaghetti. Combine the spaghetti with the carrots, onions and dressing. Chill under refrigeration at or below 41°F until service. 2. To prepare the salad: Slice the tofu into 1⁄2-in. cubes. Drain and rinse the beans. Drain the oranges. Portion 1 oz. of the salad dressing into each of 24 individual cups. Set all aside. 3. For each serving: Portion 1 cup of the Romaine lettuce to one side of a 24-oz. salad container. Portion two #8 scoops of the cold noodle mixture on the opposite side of the container. Portion one #16 scoop of beans midway along the side of the salad. Portion one #16 scoop of oranges to the opposite side of the beans. Place portioned Oriental dressing to one corner of the salad. Portion 2.1⁄4 ozs. of the tofu on the salad. Place a pinch of micro greens near the center of the container. 4. Maintain the salad under refrigeration at 41°F or below until and during service. Photo & recipe: San Diego Unified School District, Food Services Department, www.sandi.net/food *Notes: Chicken may be used in place of tofu for this recipe. In addition, finding prepared baked Asian-style tofu may be difficult; consider using standard tofu and trying a baked tofu recipe found on the Internet. If this recipe passes the test with a small group of students, adjust the quantities for batch preparation and conduct a nutrient analysis. Adjust the serving size as necessary to meet current meal pattern guidelines. Recipes obtained from outside sources and published in School Nutrition have not been tested by the magazine or SNA in a school foodservice setting, except for certain “Kitchen Wisdom” selections, which are evaluated by a volunteer pool of operators. When available, nutrient analyses are provided by the recipe source. Required ingredients, preparation steps and nutrient content make some recipes more appropriate for catering applications or adult meals. Readers are encouraged to test recipes and calculate their own nutrition analyses and meal patterns before adding a recipe to school menus. In addition, SN recognizes that individual schools use varying documentation methods and preparation steps to comply with HACCP principles; we encourage you to add your own HACCP steps to these recipes.
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