I haven’t done a major overhaul of the lunch menu for quite a while but there have been a few minor changes. One of the more recent additions – about four months ago – was the Oriental Casserole.
This recipe was originally added because I needed a new rice recipe – I try to have a mixture of rice, pasta, potato and bread/sandwich lunches on the menu each week. Now, I’d also have to say that, when they were young, my own children would have refused to eat Oriental Casserole or any other rice dish. Now that they are all adults there is still only one that actually likes rice.
However, many of the children in my care today actually do like rice and for some reason they all LOVE the Oriental Casserole. Even the really picky eaters eat it. There was a lot of excitement at lunch yesterday because it was Oriental Casserole day. I listened to the comments made throughout the meal and I think I know what ingredient in particular makes this dish so poular.
This is a short excerpt from the lunch conversation;
- “You’ve never had this before? Oh, you’ve got to try it! It has bamboo in it.”
- “I didn’t know you could eat bamboo. Now I know why panda bears like bamboo.”
- “I think Cheryl should be on ‘Chopped'”.
- “I can’t wait to tell my dad that we had wood for lunch.” (giggle)
- “I wonder where you can buy bamboo?”
- “I think they sell bamboo at IKEA.”
Just for the record, I don’t think opening a can of bamboo qualifies for participation on ‘Chopped’. Here’s the rest of the somewhat vague recipe I use to make my Oriental Casserole.
Heat olive oil in pan and stirfry 4 stalks of celery (sliced), 2 onions (chopped), and any other veggies like peppers that I have on hand and feel like tossing in. Add one or two cans of sliced bamboo shoots (drained), one can of water chestnuts. and a pound of cooked, ground pork. Heat through.
Cook 2 cups of Basmati rice in 4 cups of water/chicken stock with several Tbsp of soya sauce. Combine cooked rice with stirfried veggies and pork. Serve immediately or put in a casserole dish to reheat in oven later.
I think it is really a pretty simple recipe but the children really enjoy it.