The Heat Is on for National School Lunch Week!

This week is National School Lunch Week!

For NSLW 2017, we are featuring recipes from our 2017 Meals Plus Customer Cookbook. This cookbook will feature 40+ delicious school meal recipes submitted by Meals Plus Customers, and school lunch recipes using USDA Foods. The cookbook will be available to download for everyone this Fall.

Today’s featured recipe is Chicken Quesadilla with Chili-lime Oil, submitted by Charleston County Schools (SC).

Ingredients: Chicken Quesadilla
5 each – chicken breast, char-grilled, frozen
10 oz. – onions, chopped, frozen
10 oz. – pepper, bell, green, diced, frozen
1 c. – peppers, sweet, red, chopped. raw
13 oz. – cheese, cheddar, mild, shredded, feather, yellow
10 oz. – cheese, mozzarella, shredded, part-skim, bag
3 tbsp. – Argo cornstarch, 1 lb.
1 tsp. – spice, garlic powder
1 tsp. – spice, onion powder
10 piece – flour tortilla 8” – 8” flour tortillas

Ingredients: Chili-Lime Infused Oil – Optional
2 tsp.- spice, chili powder, mild, plastic shaker, shelf stable, seasoning
1/3 tsp. – spice, garlic powder
1/3 tsp – spice, onion powder
2/3 oz. – juice, lime, canned or bottled, unsweetened
1 oz. – oil, Canola, olive extra virgin
2/3 tsp – spice, oregano, ground, shelf stable, seasoning
1 tsp. – spice, cumin, ground, plastic shaker, shelf stable, seasoning
2/3 tsp. – spice, salt, table, iodized, canister
2/3 tsp. – spice, pepper, black, ground, plastic, shaker, 30m
1/3 oz. – honey, cover, plastic jug, shelf stable, 6/3lb

Chili-Lime Infused Oil Directions:
Mix all ingredients together. Cover, label, and date. (CLAD)

Chicken Quesadilla Directions:

3 Days Prior:
Pull chicken breast, onions, and green peppers from the freezer.
Thaw under refrigeration.
Dice fresh red peppers and keep in refrigeration.

Two days prior:

  1. Prepare Chili-Lime Infused Oil
  2. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  3. Drain peppers and onions of excess liquid. Toss and coat with 2/3 of infused oil. (Reserve remaining oil to brush tortillas)
  4. Arrange on a sheet pan in single layers, in order to roast evenly.
  5. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until veggies are tender.
  6. Cool veggies and set aside. After veggies are cooled, combine with chicken, diced into 1/4″ pieces.
  7. Wrap tightly, label, and keep under refrigeration.

Two days prior:
Mix Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese together with seasonings and cornstarch.
Wrap bowl tightly with plastic, label, and place under refrigeration.

One day prior:

  1. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Lay out 6 tortillas (8″) per sheet pan and evenly distribute 2 oz. cheese mixture and 3 oz. of the chicken, pepper, and onion mixture per tortilla.
  3. Fold each tortilla in half to make a half moon shape. Lightly press to seal quesadilla.
  4. Brush top with remaining Infused Oil.
  5. Wrap pans tightly with plastic, label, and place under refrigeration.

Day of Service:

  1. Batch Cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Bake for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Take out and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes in warmer before cutting.
  4. Cut each folded tortilla into thirds and serve with Sriracha.

Inventory, Menus and Production Tips, with Meals Plus Graham

Hi, I’m Graham! I’m Meals Plus.

I want to make sure you get the most out of your cafeteria management software system. So if you’re a Meals Plus Inventory or Menus & Production customer, check out these “Best Practice” tips to help keep your lunchlines moving!

• Run a Transaction Summary preview while Physicals are still open so that changes can be made prior to posting.
• Assign Blanket PO Invoices to their own batch so the Close PO checkboxes are more easily used for single PO Invoices.
• Physicals cannot be reopened once they are closed. Consider restricting rights to ‘Save Only’ for users keying Physicals.

Menus & Production:
• Save time creating Cycle Menus by using the Duplicate feature to copy an existing cycle menu, then give it another Nutritional Standard.
• Using Reimbursable Meals in a Cycle Menu saves time since they contain all required food components for a Nutritional Standard.
• Update Inventory Usage automatically from Production Records by linking Menus Ingredients to Inventory Items.


Happy New (school) Year from Matt at Meals Plus!

Is it a happy new school year or are you drowning in the same old frustrations as this time last year?  Meals Plus can help you save time, money, and effort:

FOOD ORDERS: Get your food orders completed and sent to your vendors quickly and easily using Inventory Management.

ENROLLMENT: Ensure that your enrollment is up-to-date with automated imports from your Student Information System (if you use PowerSchool, it’s even easier with the PowerSchool Connector!).

DIRECT CERTIFICATION: Import your Direct Certification file directly into the system using our Free & Reduced program.

APPLICATIONS: Take the hassle out of entering Free & Reduced applications by having parents submit them online using

MENU PLANNING: Generate a Nutrient Analysis with a button-press, and easily create menus using Menu Planning.

FAST, EASY-TO-USE, POS: Get the students through the line faster and keep track of all your sales with Point of Sale.

STUDENT DEBT: Help keep student balances in the black by having parents prepay for meals online using

REPORTING: When it comes to the end of the month, we have one report on one page that will summarize everything for you (Accountability Management reports and my blog post)!

Email me, so we can talk about how Meals Plus can help you streamline your food service operation!

I’m ‘Bacon’ You to Try this Frittata for National School Breakfast Week

This week is National School Breakfast Week!

This Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Frittata is one of the breakfast recipes from the 2016 Meals Plus Child Nutrition Cookbook, which you can download here. The cookbook includes recipes from Meals Plus Customers and school breakfast recipes using USDA foods. Its hard to beat a recipe this good!

Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Frittata

Menu_planning_technologyYields: 96
Serving Size: 1 piece
Food Group Components: 2.5 oz. eq. meat/meat alternate,
1/8 cup starchy vegetable
Recipe Type: Entree
Allergens: No Listed Allergens


10 lb. 11 oz. – pasteurized whole eggs, frozen (USDA Material #100045)
4 lb. 11.5 oz. – chopped roasted redskin potatoes, seasoned
3 lb. – American cheese, shredded, reduced fat
1 lb. – premium cooked turkey bacon pieces
1 oz. – pan spray, butter flavored


3 days prior to day of service:

  1. Pull eggs from freezer. Open cases and remove cartons from case.
  2. Place cartons on sheet pans with space between to allow for thawing.
  3. Place pans on lowest available shelf in cooler to thaw. CCP: Hold below 41° F.
  4. Wash hands thoroughly.

Day of service pre-prep:

  1. Clean and sanitize workstation.
  2. Pull 4-24 count muffin tins (2 3/4” cup) and place at workstation. Spray lightly with pan spray. Place muffin pans on sheet pans covered in parchment paper.
  3. Pull eggs, turkey bacon pieces and cheese from cooler and place at workstation.
  4. Pull seasoned diced redskins from freezer and place at workstation.
  5. Empty eggs into 1 1/2-gallon container. CCP: Prepare foods at room temperature in two hours or less. TOTAL time of food at room temperature shall not exceed four hours.

Day of service continued:

  1. Wash hands thoroughly and cover with gloves.
  2. Whisk eggs well.
  3. Place 1/8 cup or .78 oz. of diced seasoned redskin potatoes in bottom of each cup, using 1 oz. spoodle.
  4. Sprinkle each cup with 1 tbsp. of bacon pieces.
  5. Sprinkle each cup with 1/2 oz. of shredded cheese.
  6. Pour eggs into cups slowly (1.78 oz. each).
  7. Cups will be full.


  1. Bake in preheated convection oven at 375° F for 17- 20 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165° F is reached and they are lightly browned. CCP: Heat until an internal temperature is reached of 165° F for 15 seconds. SOP: Batch cook as necessary to insure best end product and nutritional.
  2.  Remove from oven. The muffins will be puffy and sink as they rest. Let rest 2 minutes. Empty from pans onto parchment paper lined sheet pans and place in warmer. CCP: Hold above 135° F. Serve 1 bacon & cheese frittata. CCP: Hold above 135° F.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories – 130
Chol (mg) – 225
Sodium (mg) – 260
Fiber (gm) – 1*
Iron (mg) – 2
Calc (mg) – 59
Vit A (IU) – 307
Vit C (mg) – 3
Protein (gm) – 9
Carb (gm) – 17
Tot Fat (gm) – 7
Sat Fat (gm) – 2
Sugars (gm) – 0
Trans Fat (gm) – 0.000*




Meals Plus Solves Your Menu Planning Problems

Elke and Mandy from Nash Rocky Mount

Matt with Mandy Gill and Elke Black of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools (NC) and Graham.

Hello, this is Meals Plus Matt! I’ve been talking to a lot of districts recently who are doing their menu planning and nutrient analysis by hand.  That sounds really complicated and time-consuming, and I know directors and managers are already very busy!  So, I thought I’d share the Meals Plus answer to that problem.  

Is Menu Planning a chore? Is Nutrient Analysis overly complicated? Meals Plus Menu Planning & Nutrient Analysis modules have the answer!

Our menu planning system helps standardize and streamline your district menu planning.

  • USDA-approved for nutrient analyses required in the school meal programs
  • USDA Child Nutrition Database
  • Food-based planning and tracking
  • Ability to build and add custom recipes
  • Accommodation for HACCP guidelines
  • Approved by USDA for use in certification of compliance with lunch meal requirements
  • Post-production and record keeping
  • Fully integrated with Inventory Management component

Email “Meals Plus Matt” to talk about out how easy Menu Planning can be!


Meet the Meals Plus Support Team – Tye

Get to know the members of the Meals Plus Technical Support Staff! Tye is a Technical Account Specialist, so if you call the Meals Plus Help Desk or receive onsite training for your Meals Plus school lunchroom software, Tye may be the one to provide you with excellent customer support.

free_nutritional_analysis_softwareThe Dish: How long have you been with Meals Plus?
Tye: I have been with Meals Plus since March 2015.

TD: What duties does your position entail?
T: As a member of the Help Desk, I am responsible for onsite training, troubleshooting and resolving software/customer issues.

TD: What do you like most about working with Meals Plus?
T: I enjoy traveling and meeting new people. I love troubleshooting our customer’s issues and finding a resolution. My teammates are an awesome group to work with as well.

TD: What do you like doing in your free time?
T: I love listening to music, writing poetry, and spending time with my family.

TD: What was your favorite meal when you were in school?
T: Pizza with tater tots!

For more on the Meals Plus Support Team, click here!Cafeteria_technology_Support

National School Lunch Week is “Eggciting” with this Recipe Made with USDA Foods

This week is National School Lunch Week!

To celebrate National School Lunch Week, (October 12-16, 2015) we offering a sneak-peek of our upcoming Meals Plus Customer Cookbook. Every school district that uses Meals Plus cafeteria management software receives a free copy of the cookbook, and additional copies will be available for sale. The cookbook features tasty recipes for K-12 schools from Meals Plus Customers and Consultant Malissa Marsden, SNS, who creates school recipes using USDA Foods. Our featured recipe from Malissa is Egg Bistro Sandwich, created with the American Egg Board.

Egg Bistro Sandwich



2 lb. 8 oz. hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 lb. mixed baby greens
1 lb. 8 oz. fresh sliced tomatoes, RTU, 1/8” thick
20 pieces WGR Kaiser roll, 2 oz. eq. grain
2 1/2 c. honey mustard dressing


1. Pull sheet pan and cover with parchment paper.
2. Pull eggs from cooler and place at workstation. CCP: Prepare foods at room temperature in two hours or less.
3. Slice eggs and place on sheet pan.
4. Pull Kaiser rolls and honey mustard dressing and place at work station.
5. Pull mixed greens and sliced tomatoes from cooler and place at workstation. Set up assembly line.
6. Spread each side of the Kaiser roll with 1/2 oz. or 1 tbsp. of honey mustard dressing.
7. Place 1/4 c. mixed greens or 0.8 oz. on Kaiser Roll bottom.
8. Add 2 slices of fresh tomato, 1.2 oz. total or 2 – 0.6 oz. pieces.
9. Top with 2 oz. of sliced whole eggs. CCP: Hold below 41 F.
10. Add roll top and place in sandwich container.
11. Wrap or drop in bag and date stamp.
12. Place in cooler and hold until service. CCP: Hold below 41 F.


Nutrients per serving:
Calories – 320
Chol. (mg) – 230
Sodium (mg) – 450
Fiber (gm) – 3
Iron (mg) – 2
Calc. (mg) – 80
Vit. A (IU) – 1574
Vit. C (mg) – 4
Protein (gm) – 11
Carb. (gm) – 29
Tot. Fat (gm) – 21
Sat. Fat (gm) – 3.5
Sugars (gm) – 0*
Trans. Fat (gm) – 0.000*

We are offering a sneak-peek of one recipe from our cookbook every day of NSLW, so stay tuned for more school lunch recipes! Click here for our other featured recipes, and check out the the School Nutrition Association’s NSLW 2015 Toolkit for free handouts, ideas to celebrate NSLW and more!