We all know that “eating the rainbow” helps us get the necessary vitamins and nutrients to thrive. Use the recipes below to serve a wide range of vegetables to children in your life! See our blog posts about meals and snacks for more ideas.

Please note: recipes, meals ideas, and other information found in the links is not guaranteed to meet the USDA Meal Patterns, which are a requirement of the Food Program. For more information, please see the Food Program page.

Rice & Black Beans with Plantains


  • 1/2 cup brown rice, long-grain, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 and 1/4 cups onions, fresh, peeled, 1/4″ diced
  • 1 clove garlic, fresh, minced (1 clove is about 1/2 teaspoon minced)
  • 1 quart black beans, low-sodium, canned, drained and rinsed OR dry black beans, cooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, low-sodium, canned
  • 2/3 cup plantains, fresh, ripe (yellow), peeled, 1/4″ diced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, dried, ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 2 tablespoons salsa (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons green onions with tops, fresh, chopped (optional)


Combine brown rice and 1 cup water in a small stockpot. (Reserve remaining 1/2 cup water.)

Heat on medium-high heat to a rolling boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium.

Cook until water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes, then stir once. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes over low heat.

Fluff the rice gently with a fork.

Heat oil in a medium stockpot on medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft.

Add garlic. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add cooked rice, black beans, 1/2 cup water, tomato sauce, plantains, cumin, paprika, and pepper. Stir well and bring to boil. Stir frequently.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed into the ingredients. Heat to 140 °F for at least 15 seconds.

Garnish each serving with 1 teaspoon of salsa, 1 teaspoon of cilantro, and 1 teaspoon of green onions (optional).

Chickpeas and Tomatoes


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 and 1/4 cups onion, fresh, peeled, 1/4″ diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, fresh, minced (1 clove is about 1/2 teaspoon minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, fresh, grated (If using dried ground ginger reduce amount by half.)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, canned, drained, and rinsed or garbanzo beans, dry, cooked
  • 3 cups tomatoes with juice, canned, low-sodium, diced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin, ground


Heat oil in a small stockpot on medium-high heat.

Add onions and sauté until soft. Do not brown.

Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant.

Add the garbanzo beans (chickpeas), tomatoes and juice, water, chili powder, and cumin. Continue cooking on medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until there is only enough liquid to cover the bottom of the pan.

Heat to 140 °F or higher for at least 15 seconds.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Delicious Oven French Fries


  • 2 potatoes (large, about 2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (ground)
  • 8 cups water (ice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper flakes (hot)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch strips.

Place potato strips into ice water, cover, and chill for 1 hour or longer.

Remove potatoes and dry strips thoroughly.

Place garlic powder, onion powder, salt, white pepper, allspice and pepper flakes in plastic bag.

Toss potatoes in spice mixture.

Brush potatoes with oil.

Place potatoes in nonstick shallow baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place in 475° F oven for 15 minutes.

Remove foil and continue baking uncovered for additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Turn fries occasionally to brown on all sides.

Allow to cool before serving. Makes 5 servings.

Quick & Healthy Black-Eyed Peas


  • 4 slices turkey bacon (chopped)
  • 5 and 1/2 cups black-eyed peas, frozen (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 cups water 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Place a pot over medium high heat and cook bacon for 3-4 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes.

Serve hot.

Spice Roasted Carrots


  • 16 carrots
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Preheat oven to 425° F.

Peel the carrots and cut into 3-inch long sections. Cut the sections lengthwise into halves, quarters, or sixths, making the stick mostly even in size.

Toss the cut carrots with the spices and coconut oil.

Place on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Stir, cook for another 15 minutes, stir again. Cook for a final 5-15 minutes until the carrots are soft and golden.