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CulinArt creates a menu template to support plant-forward eating in K-12 schools

Chefs and directors at more than 60 independent schools can use the tool to plan menus focused on more sustainable, healthier choices.
plant-forward foods
CulinArt's menu template offers menu items for four weeks. / Photograph: Shutterstock

CulinArt Culinary Development, a foodservice provider under the Compass Group umbrella, has created a menu template for chefs at independent schools to promote plant-forward eating.

The template offers menu items for four weeks (seven days of service, three meals a day) at a variety of stations, including breakfast, soup, grill, entrees, deli and pizza. It provides the flexibility for K-12 chefs to customize and create the menu best suited for their operation.

“It’s a very broad template for our school clients,” Peter Klein, CulinArt’s director of culinary development, said in a statement. “We do understand that every account is different. They can use the template as is and fine-tune, say, the days of service and stations … the real work is in the recipes loaded into the system.”

Klein worked with CulinArt Regional Executive Chef Heather McQuaid and Director of Nutrition and Wellness Stephanie Dorman to choose the recipes and create the template for its 60-plus independent school accounts.

“The menu emphasizes blending or infusing proteins with noodles, rice or other grains,” said Klein. Items include a Tofu and Vegetable Noodle Bowl, Portobello Burger and Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna. Additionally, by limiting animal proteins, the template points operators toward more affordable, readily available choices in the supply chain.

Along with the template, CulinArt foodservice teams have access to training that offers insights into the plant-forward movement. Called “RePlant Your Menu,” the training takes a deeper dive into how delicious a plant-forward diet can be and why it is better for people and the planet, according to Michael Panfil, director of culinary for Compass Group’s Envision Group.

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