Protein Power: Additional Vegetarian Recipes

In the December 2016 issue of School Nutrition, contributing editor Kelsey Casselbury extolls the virtue of plant-based protein. Try out these two additional recipes, straight from school chef Sharon Schaefer, SNS.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Lettuce Wraps

Servings  25 

Per Serving

157 cal., 6.8 g pro., 1.4 g fat, 32 g carb., 7.5 g fiber, 212.5 mg sod.

Meal Pattern

1 oz.-eq. meat/meat alternate, ¼ cup red/orange vegetable,¼ cup starchy vegetables, 1/8 cup dark green vegetable
3 lbs., 14 ozs. Canned low-sodium black beans
2 lbs., 12 ozs. Raw sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp.  Vegetable oil  
1 cup Raw onions, chopped  
2 Tbsps. Minced garlic
1 cup     Red bell peppers, chopped  
2 lbs., 4 ozs.         Frozen corn 
1 Tbsp.  Cumin  
1 tsp.    Salt 
1 tsp.    Chili powder  
1 lb.   Romaine lettuce 

  1. Fully drain the black beans. Rinse and drain again. Heat the beans on the stovetop or in steamer. Keep warm. Hold above 135°F.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into an even small dice.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato in the oil. Add the diced onions, peppers, garlic, corn, cumin, salt and chili powder. Spread evenly on a sheet pan and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender but still hold their shape.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, wash and completely dry the lettuce halves. Trim the lettuce to hold the vegetable mixture, aiming for the size of a normal taco. Assemble 50 leaves.
  6. At the time of service, combine the hot black beans to the sweet potato mixture. Toss lightly. Using a #10 disher, fill each lettuce leaf. Serve two lettuce wraps per meal.

Spicy Eggplant and Tofu Stir-fry

Servings  25

Per Serving

107 cal., 6.6 g pro., 5.4 g fat, 10.5 g carb., 5.3 g fiber, 85.7 mg sod.

Meal Pattern

1-oz.-eq. meat/meat alternate, ½ cup other vegetable
2 ozs. Oyster sauce
2 tsps. Granulated sugar
2 tss. Sesame oil
3.5 lbs. Firm tofu
7.5 lbs. Raw eggplant
1 cup Red bell peppers
¼ cup Olive oil
1 Tbsp, 1 tsp. Minced garlic
2 Tbsps. Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1.In a bowl, mix oyster sauce, sugar and oil. Wrap, label, date and set aside.
  • 2.Cut tofu evenly into 1-in. cubes. Dive tofu evenly into four batches.
  • 3.Cut the eggplant into ½-in. cubes. Divide eggplant into four batches.
  • 4.Cut the red pepper into 1/2-in. dice. Wrap, label and place in cooler for time of service preparation.
  • 5.Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large nonstick pan or a wok over medium-high heat. Saute 1 batch of tofu for about 5 minutes, browning all sides. Remove from pan and place into a preheat ½ steamtable pan. Repeat with remaining tofu.
  • 6.Reduce heat to low and add another tsp. oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and red bell pepper. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from heat and distribute evenly into four pans.
  • 7.Quickly reheat on a low flame and add one batch eggplant. Raise heat to medium and stir-fry for 10 minutes, flipping eggplant after 5 minutes to cook on all sides.
  • 8.Add tofu and pepper garnish back to pan. Coat with some sauce and heat through.
  • 9.Repeat with remaining batches. Serve immediately.

Note: Stir-fry in small batch for best quality. Other stir-fry vegetables can be substituted for eggplant. Serve over brown rice with roasted broccoli. 

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