Ethnic flavors make meatless breakfast dishes pop

K-12 vegetarian breakfast idea

From Bush's Best®.

As lunch and dinner traffic continues to be a pain point for the foodservice industry, a number of operators are betting on breakfast—and not just in the morning. Many foodservice directors are finding that breakfast flavors work across all menu parts; even McDonald’s is currently testing all-day breakfast. In the K-12 segment, school districts are focusing on breakfast to build participation and boost child nutrition.

All operators with a stake in breakfast have the same challenge—creating menu items that are tasty, easy to execute and unique from what the other guys sell. Lending K-12 foodservice directors a big hand with this is a familiar friend: beans. Packed with nutrients and flavor, these little legumes have a long, broad reach into global cuisines, healthful diets and breakfast as well as lunch.

Breakfasting on beans may seem odd to Americans, but it’s a global practice ripe for adoption here. In fact, ethnic-inspired breakfast items—fertile ground for bean cuisine—is a top-20 food trend, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast.

For our cousins across the pond, a full English breakfast, or fry-up, may include baked beans along with eggs, blood pudding, bacon, sausage, fried tomato and fried bread. A simpler, quicker option is beans on toast.

Beans are breakfast staples in Hispanic cultures as well. El Salvador has its own version of beans on toast that includes cheese and an egg. In Cuba, moros y cristianos, a dish of black beans and rice, is often topped with eggs in the morning. And Costa Ricans breakfast on gallo pinto, a dish of red or black beans, white rice, onions and peppers that’s also commonly enjoyed with eggs.

Further inspiration awaits those who spin the globe. Asia offers breakfast pastries filled with sweet beans or sweet rice. The Middle East greets the dawn with ful medames—stewed fava beans garnished with eggs and vegetables.

As global flavors such as these trickle down to schools, two products from Bush’s Best® are well suited for K-12 breakfast menus. Bush’s Best® Bean Pot Maple Baked Beans are simmered with real maple syrup, brown sugar and a blend of spices. Kids will enjoy the restrained sweetness and inviting maple flavor that they recognize from pancake syrup and maple-flavored breakfast meats. Try them as a breakfast side dish or pureed as a dip for French toast sticks or sausage links.

Bush’s Best® Taco Fiesta Black Beans are dark, rich beans in a not-too-spicy sauce enhanced with a zesty mix of authentic Mexican seasonings. They pair brilliantly with breakfast meats and eggs and shine in breakfast burritos, tacos and quesadillas. Serve them in breakfast bowls with scrambled eggs, and hash browns, or tuck them into whole-wheat tortillas with fresh veggies, melted cheese and salsa for a kid-pleasing morning wrap.

In addition, Bush’s Best® Bean Pot Maple Baked Beans and Taco Fiesta Black Beans help out K-12 operators in another important way: They count as a vegetable in a breakfast-for-lunch or brunch-for-lunch meal, which is essential for qualifying as a reimbursable meal.

For recipes and tips for using Bush’s Best® Beans at breakfast, visit

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
student choice

Turkey and cucumber are two ingredients foodservice director Vince Scimone would never have thought to put together. Student judges at Grossmont Union High School District in La Mesa, Calif., however, believe they are a winning combination.

The students selected the combo, which was paired with a spicy Thousand Island dressing and sandwiched between a jalapeno bagel, as the winner of the district’s first Shark Tank competition. The now-annual event pits schools across the district against one another to come up with creative menu items. The new items are judged by students....

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to address the danger of student allergies , the University of Maryland is looking to make EpiPens available in its dining halls by the time spring break rolls around, The Diamondback reports .

Each dining hall would have multiple two-pack EpiPens on hand, which would cost about $1,000 per eatery, Dining Services Director Colleen Wright-Riva told The Diamondback. The EpiPen initiative would be instituted in partnership with the College Park, Md., school’s University Health Center.

Out of the university’s 9,000 students who are currently enrolled in a meal plan...

Managing Your Business
help wanted

Put down your peashooter for a moment to consider how weaponry has evolved in the battle for foodservice talent.

Restaurants, the perennial rival for key employees such as cooks, cashiers and line servers, have been griping for more than three decades about “Help Wanted” signs becoming permanent fixtures of their front windows. The only break came in the Great Recession, when their hiring pleas were replaced with “Going Out of Business” alerts. But even then, noncommercial foodservice had a tough time convincing potential hires to work inside the operations of hospitals, employee...

Ideas and Innovation
Romaine Lettuce Concerns

Following last week’s warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that urged foodservice operators to halt serving all romaine lettuce , FSDs across the country have found a variety of ways to replace the crunchy green that’s a customer favorite in salads and sandwiches.

Though the original warning was earlier this week limited to romaine grown in certain areas of California , operations continue to do without romaine as they await new supply. In the meantime, prices of alternative iceberg lettuce have been on the rise .

FSD reached out to members of its...

FSD Resources