Friday, January 31, 2014

Improving School Food - Cafeteria Connection

Howard County student leaders meeting 

Thomas attended a meeting recently where school officials asked a group of student leaders their opinions about the school food program.

There was no shortage of opinions about what students want to eat in the school cafeteria. Among the top suggestions were adding more healthy foods, grab-and-go options (to avoid long food lines) and vegetarian selections.

We agree with these suggestions and have a few more of our own.

Thomas speaking at the meeting 
So, when we heard about the White House Student Film Festival we thought, why not make a film about how we can improve the school lunch for every student, not just students in our county.

The White House Film Festival theme is technology - how it is currently being used in schools and how it can aid education in the future.  Our film focuses on technology in the cafeteria and how it can be used so students can practice the nutrition education they learn in class.

So, here's our White House short film, Cafeteria Connection

If you have any ideas on how to improve school lunch or breakfast, let us know.

- Charles

Monday, January 27, 2014

Meatless Monday

It's Meatless Monday in the Regnante Household
again! One of our favorite and quick weekday meals is what we call Loaded Boca Burgers Night - made with "All American Flame Grilled Veggie Burgers".

It's an easy dish to prepare. While the burgers are cooking, we saute onions, sweet red peppers and garlic in a small amount of olive oil.  
Then we slice fresh tomatoes and sprinkle them with garlic salt and pepper. If we have fresh basil we'll add that too. 
That's it for the burger. For a side, we'll add a salad or baked sweet potato tater tots.  We like the Alexia sweet potato puffs.   

The flame grilled veggie burger really does taste like a real burger. Of course, the texture is not the same. But for all the health benefits it gives me - like half the calories and same amount of protein of a real hamburger - it's totally worth it.
We have our Aunt Cindy to thank for introducing us to Boca Burgers many years ago. She's a vegan who is very knowledgable about how to cook healthy without using animal products. 

Stay tuned for more meatless dishes. We'll be showcasing more fast, easy and healthy weekday meals - both homemade and at restaurants - that even teenagers will like.  

- Charles

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Our 100th post

Yep, this is our 100th post.  The big 1-0-0 ! When Charles and I started this blog in 2011, we didn't have any expectations. We were only 12 and 14 years old at the time and thought our blog would be just a summer writing project

Our first restaurant review at Clyde's in Columbia 

After two and half years, with the support of our family, the Howard County blogging community and our school teachers, we're still writing strong.

We've been working on a big surprise to celebrate our 100th post, but unfortunately it's not ready yet. It should be ready in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for it.  We promise it will be big.

While the blog has given us the opportunity to meet new people and experience some amazing foods,  we're most proud of the food philanthropy events we've done on the blog.  It's a way for students like us to give back to the community - either by organizing food drives or having food sales to raise money for those in need.

This weekend we heard of a local group, Small Miracles Cat and Dog rescue, that was holding a water drive for the West Virginia animal shelters that were without water because of a chemical spill that contaminated the water supply for the entire community - not just the animals. Literally, some West Virginia counties had no water except what was shipped in.
So, we used our Christmas money and purchased a dozen gallons of water and brought it to Small Miracles. Their floor was lined with water donations. The very next day, Small Miracles volunteers filled an entire van (their 4th trip this week) with the water donations and drove it to West Virginia. Click here to see the story about the water drive on ABC news.

Small Miracles  is still accepting water donations, supplies and cash at the shelter.  Even if you don't live near the rescue, you can still help by making a donation online.  Here's their website for more information, and their phone numbers (410) 274-3530
 or (410) 461-0516. 

- Thomas