March 21, 2020

The Perfect “Social Distancing” Comfort Food

As social distancing and self-quarantines seem to be the COVID-19 norm, many of us are finding more time to cook. To get us started, Ms. Bridget has shared a few of our lunchtime favorites:

How to make veggies your children will want to eat!

At McGillis, we try to make every vegetable that we serve extra yummy. Really, it’s our mission to serve vegetables in a way that will appeal to kids, but once they do taste it, we want it to leave a positive memory impression. We all have that vegetable that we tried as a kid and it was so yucky that even as adults, we still dislike it. Almost all of this could be avoided if only vegetables were steamed “ al dente “ or roasted to perfect tenderness after being tossed with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. At McGillis, we roast Cauliflower, quartered Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes to name a few.

Broccoli, Green beans, Snap peas and Asparagus we prefer to steam to “al dente,“ then stop further cooking by immersing in an ice bath. Once cool these veggies can be drained and then quickly reheated for just 3-5 minutes, eat plain or butter or cream sauces can be added.

Tips for Roasted Veggies:

  • Experiment with roasting vegetables by adding fresh herbs like mint, or tarragon. Add chopped garlic and or thin sliced red onions to the veggies about halfway through cooking. This adds wonderful flavor. Substitute regular oil for Sesame oil, and substitute salt for soy sauce.
  • Start with veggies cut very similar in size as cooking time and veggie tenderness will be more uniform.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan as veggies will not brown or crisp but instead retain more moisture.
  • Play with the temperature of your oven, I roast as high as 475 degrees at home but at school more like 400 degrees. Ovens and convection can vary.

Yuck or Yum?
Here is a fun tasting project!
If ever, I have strawberries that are not so sweet, I will slice them and sprinkle a bit of sugar to taste and then add a few drops of good quality balsamic vinegar (more vinegar if it’s not the best quality). My family prefers even perfect strawberries this way. Try just a few strawberries, in case this is a thumbs down for your kids.

 

Are you interested in learning more about the healthy school lunch program at McGillis?

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