julie\’s kind kitchen

Another Non-Food Post
June 27, 2006, 11:46 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So, I have a NEW JOB! Well, actually…I am still keeping my job at the law firm (for now), so my new job is only on weekends.

I am working at the Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development. I LOVE IT! The Tumbleweed YAP serves homeless, runaway, and at risk youth in Phoenix, Arizona. They provide shelter, counseling, outreach, job development, and more to youths ages 16 and 17 years old.

Anyway, one of my job duties is to make dinner. Which at 1st glance seems awesome, right?! Well, kind of. I can’t just make anything. Tumbleweed gets $$ from the goverment and so must serve a specific menu…including lots of meat. 😦

I informed my boss that I am a vegetarian and they seem to be cool with me not cooking the meat–the kids have to help out anyway. I would have the other YAP worker make the meat part of the meal…but, she’s vegan!! She actually doesn’t really like to cook either, I don’t think…

The silver lining is that SAT night is cook’s choice–so, we can make whatever we want! Oh, did I mention that I get free meals there–if I choose.

So, my question is…what are some meals that have a meat option, but can also be vegetarian/vegan? or…what are some naturally vegetarian/vegan dishes that omnis like?



9 Comments so far
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Brunch/breakfast food: scrambled eggs, waffles, pancakes, fruit, muffins, bagels, homefries

Pasta dishes!

Comment by jess (of Get Sconed!)

What kind of ingredients are you working with?

Meat option + veg option= chili with beans, tamales, pasta anything, dips and spreads (oh wait, not meat dip), veggie burgers and cow burgers, tacos with meat and tacos with soy or TVP.

As for vegan options and regular veg options, I could think of a million… what about pasta with a choice of sauce? Most like pasta and you could maybe offer 3-4 sauces?

Comment by EatPeacePlease

Rice + beans, tortilla chips + beans (you could always have meat too, yuck)

Comment by EatPeacePlease

Leslie and Jess’ve got great ideas there!

How neat of a deal with these kids that need someone like you!! Fantastic.

Comment by KleoPatra

Congrats Julie, you sound very excited and I wish you luck!

As for the food, many obvious dishes (to me anyhow) to veganize (and they may not even notice) are chili (with ground round), tacos (again ground round), pizzas (with fake meats and either ‘real cheese’ (yikes, did I say that!) or no cheese or veg cheese, burritos, pastas (again with ground round or without). Kids (younger/older) love pastas, so whether it’s spaghetti, mac and cheese variations, creamy sauces, lasagna, etc, they are all popular. Maybe stir-fries too? Not sure how much veg they are willing to eat. Maybe get some smoothies going too, and desserts, to show them that veg food is great. Desserts and smoothies are always a great place to start!

Comment by Dreena

Thanks for all of the great ideas, everyone!!

Last Saturday we had a burrito bar. One of the kids made ground beef, and I made beans and rice. Another kiddo cut up some fresh veggies. Yum!

Jess~I love the breakfast for dinner idea!

Les~ Very basic ingredients…however, if I need to buy and bring a few items–I don’t mind. I like the chili idea–I’ll research some recipes.

kleo~ thnx for the wonderful comment! 🙂

Dreena~ Thanks for all of the ideas! I just noticed the other day that they had a blender that wasn’t being used–I will have to blend up some smoothies, asap!

Comment by Julie

Wow, these kids are so blessed to have you there! What a way to make a difference… and get paid, too!

And I agree with Dreena with the desserts and smoothies.

Comment by kaivegan

sorry… accidently erased my comment the first time around. i like the idea of having “bars”. you could do pasta bars, baked potato bars, or even soup and salad bars. it is an amzing thing you are doing, and i am sure you are making quite a difference in their lives.


ps found you through leslie’s blog… i am a fellow arizonan, but i live in tucson and am working on my graduate degree at
u of a.

Comment by ningostar

thnx Kai!! You are too sweet!

ningo~I’m glad there is another Arizonian who has a blog! thnx for the idea and the compliments–both are always welcome! 😉

Comment by Julie

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