Exploring the Culinary Versatility of Beans in Schools

Chef Janyl from JSI leading the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo

Across the country, beans are taking center of the plate on menus, including school menus. To support this popularity, JSI created the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo conducted by Chef Janyl at SNA of Massachusetts Chapter Meetings. In March, Chef Janyl led the culinary demo at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, MA, where school nutrition professionals tasted several delicious bean recipes and discovered first-hand the versatility of beans. Participants also learned how beans can add nutritional value, great flavors and texture to reimbursable school lunches.                                                                            During her presentation, Chef Janyl shared more about the nutritional and environmental benefits of cooking with beans. They are not only packed with nutrients such as fiber but beans are easy to incorporate in a variety of dishes, including recipes from different ethnic cuisines. Beans can serve as either a vegetable or meat alternate for reimbursable school lunches, are inexpensive and a sustainable food. Beans are beneficial to the environment because they can lower greenhouse gases and do not require a ton of water to grow.

Bean dips that were sampled at the March SNA of MA Chapter Meeting at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham after the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo hosted by JSI.

Chef Janyl demonstrated how to make different bean recipes like a Green Goddess Hummus and shared several tips on how to maximize this ingredient in a school kitchen. Some tips included:

  • Enhancing the vibrancy of bean dishes with color and different garnishes will make these dishes more eye appealing and exciting for students.
  • You can turn one bean dip dish into another one later in the week by adding additional ingredients like spinach to change up the look and feel of the dish without wasting food.

After the Culinary Demo, attendees sampled six different bean recipes including Barbecue Bean Dip and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Participants walked away with all the recipes and a newfound appreciation for this versatile ingredient. JSI also hosted its first Facebook Live event during the chapter meeting so all JSI Facebook fans could view the demo at home or at school. The video is on the JSI Facebook page, so if you missed it live you can watch the whole demo here.

To find the recipes that were sampled during the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo, please visit the JSI Resource Center. 

Preview of the JSI Facebook Live video capturing Chef Janyl presenting the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo.