Friday Frenzyyy


Today was an awesome day for numbers, we had 13 kids! I love when the numbers are high, it makes me so happy 🙂  I was told the salad bar looked amazing today so that made me feel really good as well. It was an all around really good day today! 

The Salad Bar and Hot Stuff!

Juicy Watermelon Slices


Chickpea Salad (with carrots, garden fresh snap peas, herbs, and scallions)


Orange Slices and Mixed Pears, Plums and Golden Delicious Apples



Grape Tomatoes and Shredded Purple and Green Cabbage


I thought this shot was pretty 🙂 


Romaine Lettuce and Homemade Refrigerator Pickles


Roasted Corn on the Cob with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and a sprinkle of salt


Roasted Cauliflower sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese


The Whole Salad Bar 🙂 Image


Quote for the Day 

Plant a radish, get a radish, never any doubt.  That’s why I love vegetables, you know what they’re about!  ~Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

So true, on that note, have a good weekend! 🙂 

Side walk chalk and silly putty

So today I had to watch my cousins instead of doing summer lunch. It’s been a fun day so far. We have played with sidewalk chalk, rode bikes around the neighborhood, painted toes and finger nails, taken a trip to the arts and crafts store, and now the girls are painting bird houses. All of that in a matter of 3 hours or so. Wow I forgot how busy kids like to keep you. I love it though 🙂

Riding bikes was my favorite, I haven’t done that in ages!

Have a great day!


Woo Wednesday!


So today was a really good day number wise. We had seven kids come in! For something different we made mashed cauliflower and oven fries today. The cauliflower was a hit or miss. Three of the kids really liked it while another girl really didn’t like it. I believe her words were, “This is disgusting.” Then the others were a tough sell to try something new. The oven fries went over really well though!

The Salad Bar and Hot Food

Mashed Cauliflower and Oven Fries

Refrigerator Pickles and Corn on the Cob

Watermelon Slices and Cantaloupe

Romaine Lettuce and Grape Tomatoes

Corn, Black Bean, and Barley Salad and Vinegar based Cole Slaw

Marinated Beets in White Balsamic Vinegar


Favorite of the Day!

Oven Fries and The Salad Bar in general

Quote for the Day

“Oh yum! I love oven fries!”

“What is this?! This is disgusting. I’m sorry.” This was from a 13 year old girl who is a tough sell with new food sometimes. At least she apologized and tried it. You know it takes more than once to realize you like something you previously didn’t like. Here’s an interesting article I found  🙂


So today we had four kids which seems to be our magic number lately, at least it’s consistent. 🙂 I got the kids to try beet chips! I made those by slicing the beet as thin as possible. Then putting them in a 325 degree oven and checking them every 10 minutes and then every five minutes after that. When they are done they will have shrunken to halve the size just about and will be crispy. Yum!

Beet Chips

The kids thought these were “pretty good”.


Fresh Cauliflower


Cabbage and Pear Coleslaw


Corn, Bean, and Barley Salad


Cherry Tomatoes


Cantaloupe and Orange Chunks


Corn on the CobImage

Cucumber Slices


Crunchy Romaine



” My favorite for the day was the cucumber slices!”

Monday again!


Today was an awesome day for getting kids to try new food! I got two kids to try “pop corn” cauliflower. The cauliflower is roasted to a toasty brown and then sprinkled with Parmesan cheese to give it a salty cheesy bite. The next vegetable I got them to try was roasted beets. Those were a tougher sell, I had tell them they would get a prize if they tried them. After I said that they were all for trying them. You have to love incentives. So after trying the beets they got their prize, which was a kite kit from Project Bread’s box of summer lunch incentives. The last new vegetable that was tasted was a vinegar and oil coleslaw made with red cabbage and slices of pear.

A couple other things that went over really well today was corn on the cob and the fruit popsicles. There were seconds and thirds of the corn and popsicles.

We had four kids come in and get lunch which still sounds like a low number but it’s not too bad for the beginning of the second week.

Now on to the pictures:

Vinegar and Oil Coleslaw


Corn on the Cob


Crisp Romaine Lettuce and Cucumber Slices


Roasted Beets (not the prettiest but so yummy)

Orange Slices and Pears

100 % Fruit Smoothie Popsicles

Quotes for the Day

A 12 year old describing the coleslaw, ” It’s satisfactory, I’m a good taste tester.” Then after finishing it and throwing away the bowl, “Mmm..that was good!”

The cauliflower description, ” Yumm this good! I’ll have more!”

Short and Sweet


I’m so happy it’s Friday! Fridays are great, especially because it means that numbers are usually higher for kids who get lunch! We had a total of 6 kids come in which is better than the past two days. I made banana ice cream today, which is frozen bananas whirled up in the food processor and it magically turns into a soft serve consistency of frozen banana deliciousness. Also an awesome treat for the kids, who loved it! As a matter of fact I wish I had some right now. There were also smoothies made today! Then with the left overs one of the fabulous interns put it in little cups to make it into popsicles! 

The Salad BarImage

Cucumbers and Romaine Lettuce


Carrot Sticks and Tomatoes in White Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil


Sauteed Green Beans, Homemade Hummus, Caramelized Onions, and Garden Radishes


Oranges, Plums, and Mango Slices 



“My favorite was the salad and picking what I wanted”    

I love when kids love their vegetables 🙂 


Going bananas Thursday!


     Today there was so much fruit on the salad bar! The great thing about being at the pantry is when produce comes in we can use it for summer lunch too, because for the amount delivered, it is hard to give every last piece of produce away. There was everything from mango slices to pineapple and cantaloupe chunks. The fruit was coming out our ears! The great thing about that is that the kids LOVE fruit. 

     Now on to the veggies, a bag of snow peas were found so that was a fun unexpected addition. I made homemade hummus for the kids to dip their veggies in. I don’t think they were the biggest fans of hummus because the two kids that showed up today are kind of picky. I also caramelized some onions. And then there were the usual suspects on the salad bar like green peppers, carrots, romaine, cherry tomatoes, and I think that’s it. 

Fruit SaladImage

Mango Slices


Snow Peas!


Homemade hummus with fresh herbs, garlic and a touch of the caramelized onion.



Caramelized Onion!


The Salad Bar as a whole




I personally love how pretty salad bars look. They are so colorful and rainbow like. All the color makes me smile. What can I say I’m proud of my salad bar creations. 🙂 


Today before I left I prepped some bananas and popped them in the freezer to make banana “ice cream”. I can’t wait for that tomorrow with all this heat we’ve been having! 


Quote (not from a kid today but I found it and liked it) 

“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” 

-Alfred E. Newman


It’s sad how this quote is so true. Exposing kids to good healthy foods can change this quote and that is what I’m trying to do. 

Taco Joe Wednesday


Today was a decent day, we had 4 kids come in and get lunch. It was exciting though because we got kids to try kale chips! The reactions were pretty good, a quote from one of the kids will be below talking about the chips. At least they were exposed to kale chips and had the opportunity to try them.I feel those are the first steps to eating healthy and getting on the track to preventing health problems down the road.

We also had a fun lunch sandwich called taco joe’s, they were similar to a sloppy joe but had the taste of tacos (they also had a secret ingredient to make them healthier….ready for it?….2 cans of mashed up chickpeas! Chick peas are great in a meat sauce because they have really good texture when mushed up. You would never know they were even in there. All the kids said they were yummy!). I also made my own sauce from roasted peppers, onions, and tomatoes from the previous day and pureed them all up and simmered everything together until it was the consistency of sloppy joes. Delicious 🙂

The next fun thing was strawberry smoothies! Almost all the kids loved these. Smoothies are a perfect way to use up fruit that doesn’t look the prettiest but still tastes delicious. I also threw in a couple orange slices and a couple chunks of watermelon. This smoothie was 100% fruit. The watermelon gave the liquid needed to be just the right consistency.

On to the salad bar options:

Radishes right from the garden


Carrot Sticks (per request by kids from yesterday)


Green Pepper StripsImage

Watermelon Chunks


Cantaloupe Chunks (I

t was so sweet!)


The salad bar as a whole


Can’t forget about the kale chips!


Recipe for Kale Chips 

1 bunch of kale or any hearty greens

a sprinkle of salt to taste

a sprinkle of garlic powder

a sprinkle of onion powder

about a tablespoon of canola oil or other oil of your liking

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash greens and dry very well. Then take out tough stems and cut or tear into pieces. (however large or small you’d like, I’ve done it before with just roasting the whole leaf)  Then put on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes then check on them to see if they are crunchy yet, if not put back in oven and check every couple of minutes until they are crunchy. ( I used a convection oven so they cooked within the 10 minutes.) Take out and enjoy that slightly salty, crunchy, and GOOD for you chip!

Quotes for the Day

“They’re good, but I can’t chew them!” An eight year old talking about the kale chips.

“These are really good, Ivette you should try them!” A 12 year old telling his sister to try them. The sister thought they were only “Okay”


Today was a great day for summer lunch at The Open Door. We tripled the amount of kids served today, to a total of 6! I know that sounds low but it’s 4 more than yesterday! The site usually starts off a little slow but then averages out to about 10 to 15 kids everyday that come in for lunch. It’s great to see the local neighborhood kids come in and be so enthusiastic about the fruits and veggies. Today one of the boys must have gotten seconds on the watermelon and grapes. He loves his fruit.

The sandwich for today was salami, bologna, and cheese or a combo of 2 out of the three. I realized that salami is an easy seller but bologna on the other hand is a tougher sell. I always thought kids liked bologna?! Hmm who knows… Now onto the pretty pictures from the salad bar selection. (I only posted the new options for today)

Fresh Orange Slices

Roasted tomatoes, onions, and peppers

Juicy Strawberries

Tomato and Green Pepper Salad

Red Grapes

And of course crisp romaine lettuce!

Quote for the Day

“The roasted veggies were okay but my favorite are carrots.”

*I’m sensing a trend of carrots being a favorite veggie among kids. I think I need to put carrots on the salad bar!

First Day of Summer Lunch!

Hi everyone!

So today was the first day of the summer lunch and it went well. We didn’t have too many kids but the kids that did come loved every bite of their lunch.

Today for the salad bar there were nine different options to choose from:

  • Thinly sliced onionsImage
  • Fresh green pepper sticksImage
  • Whole cherry tomatoesImage
  • Watermelon wedgesImage
  • Steamed garden fresh broccoli and some spring mix from the raised beds right outside the door 🙂 Image
  • Red grapes that you can spy in the pepper picture
  • Romaine lettuce that I forgot to snap a picture of
  • Oranges Image
  • And last but not least:  black bean and chickpea salad made with fresh herbs and spicesImageBlack Bean Salad Recipe 

makes about 2 quarts
2 15 oz. cans blacks beans
1 15 oz can chick peas
2 cans of corn/fresh corn/frozen (as long as it’s about 2 cups or more if you really like corn)
1 15 oz can tomatoes whole/diced/ or about 1 cup freshly diced
1 clove of garlic
~2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
~1 tablespoon fresh parsley
~2 tablespoons chopped onion/scallion/ or chive  (I used 1 scallion and a couple pieces of chive)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
juice of 1 lime
a light sprinkle of salt and pepper (taste before adding salt)

 Directions: Drain and rinse the beans and corn. Open the tomatoes. Chop the garlic and herbs. Mix everything together. I also added the juice from the can of tomatoes to give some added flavor. Add in the lime juice and spices. Taste and add more spice if necessary. Enjoy. 

*this is the type of salad that tastes even better the longer it sits in your refrigerator.  

Quote of the Day

(from the words of a five year old)

“My favorite fruits and vegetables are all of them! My most favorite is carrots and then second watermelon!”