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Our Blog: September 30, 2021

World Vegetarian Day

Did you know that 10% of the world population is vegetarian? That is approximately 375 million people! Our schools have many vegetarian students enrolled and we continue to support these children and their families by offering Meatless Mondays, as well as additional vegetarian products when available.  

To help support our Meatless Monday goal, we serve over seven varieties of beans and legumes at our schools including pinto, garbanzo, kidney, black, refried, baked beans, and lentils.  Eating less meat and more plant-based foods such as beans and legumes can improve heart health and reduced the risk of heart disease. Our planet benefits from this, too!    

Try one of our vegetarian Grow Fit entrees for dinner today! 


Chickpea Biryani

Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 C onions, chopped

1 tbsp garlic, minced

½ tbsp ground ginger

½ tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp salt

1/8 C plain yogurt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp turmeric

1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or substitute 5 lbs chicken)

10 oz tomatoes, diced & drained

4 C vegetable stock

¾ lb brown rice

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Cooking instructions:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onions until translucent. Add the ginger, chili powder, cumin, and tomatoes, stirring constantly for five minutes.
  2. Turn heat down to low and add yogurt, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cover and cook for five minutes. (It may be necessary to add a little hot water if the mixture becomes too dry and starts to stick to the pan.)
  3. Add chickpeas and stir to coat. Cook until there is very little thick gravy left.
  4. In a medium sized pot, heat the vegetable stock and then add rice and stir well. Add the chickpea mixture and gently stir.  Bring to a boil.  Cover tightly, turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid or stir while cooking. 

Recipe adapted from


Ranchero Bean Tacos

Yields 4-6 servings

2 15 oz cans pinto beans, drained

1 ½ C shredded cheese

12 whole grain tortillas

1 ½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

1/8 tsp black pepper

¼ C fresh cilantro, chopped

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat beans on the stove top over medium heat until temperature reaches 155 degrees for 4 min.  Drain. 
  2. Mix dried herbs/seasonings with beans. 
  3. Warm tortillas in microwave or oven.
  4. Serve warmed tortillas along with beans, cheese, and cilantro in bowls and let everyone build their own tacos! 


Serve with chopped lettuce and salsa

Recipe adapted from


Black Bean Soup

Serves 4-6

4 15 oz cans black beans

1 ½ tbsp avocado or olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

8 oz shredded carrots

1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced

6 C water or vegetable stock

¾ C salsa

1 ½ tbsp ground cumin

1 ½ tsp oregano

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Sauté onion in oil in large stockpot.  Add carrots and bell pepper and sauté a minute or two more.
  3. Add beans. Smash ¼ - ½ of beans with back of large spoon or spatula. Add water, salsa, cumin, and oregano to black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until veggies are tender (about 15 minutes).
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe adapted from USDA What’s Cooking? Website: