Herbs and spices in fresh lunch options win over Pa. students

Wilson School District adds fresh tomato sauces, Italian spices and fresh produce to lunch menus.

Oct. 21—For someone who doesn't like zucchini, Alyssa Mikes sure was raving about it in her school cafeteria.
"I like it because I like the tomato sauce," the Wilson High School senior said after taste-testing a hot dish of sliced zucchini in a sauté of tomatoes, garlic and Italian spices.

Getting kids and teens to eat veggies they wouldn't normally eat is possible, but there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it, according to chef Bill Scepansky, who helped Wilson cooks prepare the zucchini recipe and a cold tomato salad last month.

"You can't just put eggplant on a plate and say, 'Today, we're having eggplant,' " he said.

But by adding some skillfully cooked eggplant into a ratatouille of zucchini, garlic, tomatoes and other fresh vegetables, Scepansky said, the eggplant has a chance to sing.