Traditional recipes

Staff Meal Food Truck: Kitchen Staff Meals for the Masses

Staff Meal Food Truck: Kitchen Staff Meals for the Masses


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Kitchen Staff Meals for the Masses

What should you get when you order from Boston’s Staff Meal truck? Per the truck’s name and philosophy, whatever you’re lucky enough to be served. Depending on the restaurant (and how much pride the cook making family meal has), staff meal can either be something tremendous or wildly forgettable.

In this case, the truck’s Brian Dennehy takes the pride approach, noting on Staff Meal’s site, "We like to think we've made some pretty tasty staff meals over the years and we'd like to share those meals with everyone." There’s still something of an element of staff meal though: unpredictability. Will you be feasting on Hamdouille (hot ham and Andouille salad) with pickles and oyster crackers? Or beef blood meatballs in marinara with provolone and crispy shallots. Perhaps crab stick and scallion cream cheese, wontons, and apple butter? Who knows, just don’t mention their archrival, Boston’s Phantom Gourmet.

Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Follow Arthur on Twitter.


Tibetan Buddhist nuns’ food and delicious vegetarian recipes

Today we’re taking you behind the scenes to some of the Tibetan Buddhist nunneries supported through the Tibetan Nuns Project. You’ll see what the Tibetan Buddhist nuns eat and how they prepare their food.

Scroll down for four recipes for delicious vegetarian food that you can cook at home.

A collage of food photos from the Tibetan Buddhist nuns, including vegetarian Tibetan momos, top right. The photo on the left is courtesy of Dustin Kujawski. The photo of Tibetan momos in the top right is courtesy of YoWangdu.

The nunneries in India follow a simple vegetarian diet. The nuns’ diet is influenced by Indian food and local ingredients. With your support, their nutrition has greatly improved over the years.

A nun on kitchen duty checks rice. Photo courtesy of Brian Harris

At Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute, a typical breakfast might be a piece of flatbread, some cooked mixed vegetables, and tea. Lunch is the main meal of the day and is often rice, two kinds of vegetables, dal, and sometimes fruit. Dinner is often a noodle soup and maybe a steamed bun.

The nuns on kitchen duty at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute rise just past 3 a.m. to start preparing breakfast for the over 280 nuns and staff at the nunnery. In this photo by Brian Harris, a nun is making Indian-style flatbreads on a griddle.

It takes a lot of vegetables to feed about 250 nuns. A few years ago, the kitchen at Dolma Ling was expanded and this new storage room was built. It is designed to keep birds and animals out and has a special chopping area.

For 2,500 years, since the time of the Buddha, it has been considered an act of merit to give food to monks and nuns. As Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi and poet, said, “The practitioner and benefactor offering food create the cause to achieve enlightenment together.”

In the seven nunneries in northern India supported by the Tibetan Nuns Project, the nuns work together to prepare food for the entire nunnery. While the nunneries do their best to be self-sufficient, all of them are still heavily reliant for food support through our sponsorship program and through general donations.

Young nuns at Sherab Choeling Nunnery in Spiti sit in the warm sun and eat. The nunnery is located in the remote, high-altitude region of Spiti in northern India. Photo courtesy of Olivier Adam

Good health and nutrition are essential for the nuns to be able to study. The majority of nuns came to India as refugees from Tibet and most arrived destitute, malnourished, and ill. As refugees without their families and traditional communities to support them, they rely more than ever on the compassion and generosity of others. Providing the nuns with a steady supply of nutritious food makes a dramatic difference in the energy they are able to devote to their studies.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns at Shugsep Nunnery and Institute roast barley to make tsampa, the staple food of the Tibetan people. Once roasted, the barley is ground into flour and mixed with Tibetan tea for a high-energy meal.


1. Home Chef

Starting at $6.99 per serving, $90 off first four boxes with code NYPOSTJAN

Home Chef brings the elements of comfort food and home cooking to your doorstep, with recipes tailored to fit your schedule.

When curating my own box, I imagined all the types of meals I cook in order to go about my day well-fed and on-time. I ended up choosing a classic cooking meal with a 35-minute cook time, a faster 15-minute option and an oven-ready dish for those nights when you can’t bring yourself to do much more than turn on the oven and set the table.

For a taste-test, I went with the happy medium of the three, opting for the 15-minute hoisin pulled pork with jasmine rice. The first note to make is on the notes themselves. The recipe cards were super well-organized, making my type A personality very happy.

After unzipping the correct package for my meal, the cooking process was as easy as promised, clocking in at about 20 minutes due to my slower chopping skills.

The four-part directions were a breeze to read, and also featured photos for those who need a photographic confidence boost to compare their cooking. The meal itself was flavorful, easy and didn’t taste like a time-constrained cook at all.

With new meals offered weekly, choose between regular meal kits, 15-minute meals, easy-prep and oven-ready and extras like a protein pack of meats and fish to supplement a kit or make your own recipes with. Many meals can also be customized with Impossible Foods products, for those who go meat-free without sacrificing taste.

Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR):

  • A ton of options for different schedules, including 15-minute meals and oven-ready bakes
  • Easy-to-use zipper-bag packaging, and even easier-to-use recipe cards with cook time, expiration date, difficulty and spice levels
  • Everything included except salt, pepper and oil
  • Great variety of meals for each week, and in many meals the meat can be substituted for Impossible Foods vegan options

2. Sun Basket

Sun Basket boasts a health and sustainability angle, offering paleo, gluten-free, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, carb-conscious, Mediterranean, “quick and easy,” diabetes-friendly and “lean and clean” recipes developed by former Slanted Door chef Justine Kelly. All its meat ingredients are antibiotic- and hormone-free and the eggs are organic. When it comes to fish, they use only wild-caught seafood recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. With more than 20 weekly recipes, you can choose between oven-ready plates, pre-prepped servings, and classic meals that still require you to do all the chopping servings vary between two and four.

Cost/Minimum Order: $72 a week for two meals

Sample Meals:

  • Chicken cacciatore with spaghetti and quinoa bowls with wilted greens and citrus dressing
  • Vegetables in parchment with green goddess dressing and soft-cooked eggs

Customer Review: "During this pandemic I am thrilled to receive nutritious meals. I don't have to worry about grocery shopping and I have learned to cook better by following these recipes." —Corinn

Availability: Currently ships to most zip codes in the United States, excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and parts of New Mexico


Free Food Delivery Services for Seniors

The convenience of food delivery services has made cooking easier for a lot of seniors. However, getting your meals delivered can add up, so it may be too expensive for seniors on a tight budget or fixed income. The good news is, some organizations work to help those in need.

  • Meals On Wheels America: provides daily healthy meals either for free or at a lower price. Meals on Wheels has over 5,000 local programs, so they&aposre likely available near you. We love that Meals on Wheels also recognizes the importance of social interaction as we age seniors have the option to meet at designated meal sites to eat with other seniors and volunteers and spend time with people in their community.
  • Project Angel Heart: For those who live in Colorado, this program provides free meals to seniors with life-threatening illnesses like HIV/AIDS, cancer, or kidney disease. Project Angel Heart offers options for six different diets and aims to provide meals to keep seniors healthy and strong as they battle illness.
  • Mom&aposs Meals: provides free meals to seniors who qualify for government-funded nutrition programs or are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Mom&aposs Meals has menus that cater to a wide variety of senior diets, including low-sodium, diabetes-friendly, heart-friendly, cancer support, and more. The company operates in all 50 states, so they&aposre an option for seniors across the country.

Standards of Food Service

Three set meals a day, while still standard, are being supplemented by several small meals throughout the day depending on residents’ taste and eating habits.

Not everyone can make it to the dining room and some may prefer to eat in their rooms. If so, consider a room-service mentality. Instead of breakfast at 7 a.m., breakfast is made available between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Snack carts can roam the halls to satisfy in-between urges. In other words, just like you might eat at home.

Making food available 24 hours a day is a huge step in assuring person-centered care. Some homes build small kitchenettes on each unit and have it stocked with food that residents would want to eat any time of the day, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt, ice cream, cookies, soups, deli meats, and bread, and other items can be kept in a small refrigerator that staff, family, and residents have access to throughout the day and night. Have a coffee pot, microwave oven, and cupboards stocked with snacks such as microwave popcorn, chips, and pretzels, hot and cold cereals, pudding and gelatin.


Maintaining Your Truck

We’ve covered the food side of the food truck business. What’s left? Oh yes, the truck. From temperamental transmissions to wonky power steering, your truck is both your best friend and your greatest adversary.

Become Your Own Mechanic

Nancy from Kurbside Eatz (Houston, TX)

One thing I wish I knew was that, I needed to get a job as a part time mechanic, if not, an electrician. I’m sure most will agree!

I would have become a diesel mechanic first.

Andrea from Border Grill (Los Angeles, CA and Las Vegas, NV)

We designed and custom built our trucks. This has been incredible. Learning how to create a super efficient cooking machine. We can produce just as many orders out of our trucks as a restaurant kitchen ten times the size. We love the trucks!

Be a better truck mechanic! Anyone can make a pan gravy, but can anyone replace their power steering pump?

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.

Research The Best Equipment

Nathan from Oh My Gogi! (Oklahoma City, OK)

We are going into our fourth week now and my Gogi truck is a 1987 Chevy StepVan. She has who knows how many miles and a countless number of people who have tried to rig her to run. Me being a car enthusiast, I want the old girl to run properly.

That being said she really needed a lot. Replaced the entire transmission, the driveshaft, tires, brakes, wiring, re-customized the interior, had the engine tuned up. But even now I am having some engine issues.

The thing I wish I knew before starting would be to know which trucks run longer, have the quickest available replacement parts, which is easiest to maintain, and the pros/cons of diesel vs gasoline. The cooking, cleaning and serving are the fun part, even if I’m working 18 hour days. Sucks being stuck on the side of the road thinking about all the profits being lost on a Saturday night.

Since I have been in the restaurant business for over 30 years the easy part was the menu and food. I think what I need most was some guidelines on the build of the truck .

For example, what size of fresh water tank is needed for a two shift day? How much propane is need for a week? Generator size? Does an air conditioner really make a difference in a 130 degree truck in Houston summer?

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.

Adam from Food Shark (San Antonio, TX)

I wish we knew that Honda EU 2000 generators were the way to go with generators. You can take them tens of feet from the truck, so you won’t get gassed out. It’s more for a place where you’re gonna set up and be for awhile with some space around, like we pretty much always are (not for a mobile city unit unless you have them mounted on top but then what a bitch to have to climb up there and start them every day).

If you have a big loud generator on the front or rear bumper, you might give yourselves carbon monoxide poisoning which over time is not too good not to mention the noise . Anyway, portable, quietish, dependable generators which you can move fairly far from the truck will keep the occupants healthier, at least for Food Shark.

Splurging On Quality Equipment Is Worth It

Wendy from W.O.W! (Atlanta, GA)

I wish someone had told me not to cut corners. I wish I had gotten a newer truck . We had so many repairs the first year we were in business.

We had to replace the engine, transmission, all tires etc…if I had just taken that money and bought a better truck in the first place we would’ve been much better off.

Ryan from Dashboard Diner (Indianapolis, IN)

We should have built two food trucks instead of one. We have had great success since launching the truck in the fall of 2011 and are currently in the process of getting ready to build another one in the future. The food truck business is the future of restaurants.

Maintenance Will Be Time Consuming

The one thing we wish we knew before starting in the food truck business is the amount of maintenance/repairs that would be required for our trucks. A typical restaurant deals with ongoing maintenance for the facility and kitchen equipment. With a food truck, you have those same maintenance issues, but in addition, you have all the maintenance issues that come with owning a heavily used vehicle.

Our trucks serve the entire San Francisco Bay Area, as far north as Napa, and as far south as Monterey. Being headquartered in Half Moon Bay, they put on a lot of mileage, and there is constant need for them to be serviced, which gets expensive, and causes them to be unavailable for periods of time.

Evangeline from The Buttermilk Truck (Los Angeles, CA)

The one thing I wish I would have known is all the extra maintenance that comes with owning and operating a food truck including, but not limited to generator maintenance, equipment maintenance, vehicle maintenance, etc.

Note: This food truck has closed since this article was published.


Posted by boston sake on 11/18/2011 in sake and food

The last installment of Sake in my pocket saw the pairing of canned Sake with a great local food truck food. This week’s post tackles another great food truck but instead of cans, I am using cup Sake. For those out there who have never encountered cup Sake, it is a method of packaging a 5-6oz. glass of Sake with a vinyl lined metal lid. This unique packaging was pioneered by the Ozeki brewery for there budget priced Sake and has been a huge hit ever since. For more information on cup Sake, read a guest post that I did on urbansake.com. Although started as a package for cheap Sake, cup Sake is now used by smaller breweries as a convenient package for their higher quality Sake.
The Truck: Staff Meal – multiple locations but mostly South End and Back Back. Open for lunch and dinner.

The Sake:Kosui Shizenjo Seikai cup Sake. Junmai, 60% rice milling rate, 15% alcohol.
Chinese Sausage Steamed Bun:
Staff Meal was inspired by the ad hoc meals that chefs often cook for their staff before or after a shift. After working in restaurants for years, the guys at Staff Meal decided to bring this inventiveness to the public with their food truck. Churning out a small but interesting menu of meat-focused foods, it is no wonder that the back of their business card says “We Cure Vegetarianism”. The first thing I ordered was their Chinese steamed buns made with truck-made sausage, fried rice and fermented black bean mayonnaise. A steal at $4 for 2 buns, these did not disappoint. The truck-made sausage was not your typical breakfast link but a real, toothsome cured Chinese sausage that delivered on both meaty flavor and a pleasant fattiness that you get from those types of sausages. The simple fried rice added a nice spot of texture and brought some great sesame oil flavor. The biggest surprise was the mayo, which was very creamy (almost remoulade-like) and brought an interesting earthy, spicy quality that lingered even after it was washed away with Sake. Even though the Sake was clean and balanced with sweet rice upfront and pronounced apple and melon notes as it warmed, this pairing served to highlight texture more than flavor. The flavors in both the food and Sake were great but what really interested my palate was the counterpoint of clean, slightly dry Sake cutting through the Chinese bun’s amazing creamy goodness. With a triple hit of meat fat in the sausage, sesame oil in the rice and heavy, creamy fermented black bean mayo – this was sinful and savory mouth candy, wrapped in a steamed bun.

Griddled Pound Cake with Apple Butter:
Meat loving chefs are not usually known for their dessert prowess (just watch Top Chef!), for that reason you don’t see many desserts at food trucks. The “sweet” section of the menu at Staff Meal held a nice surprise – pound cake griddled in beef fat and sandwiched with apple butter. Each warm, crusty fried cake bite hid an explosion of Sake friendly flavors vanilla, apple, peaches, and slight spice all playing together with a soft, tender cake mouthfeel. Paired with the Sake these flavors were a perfect match to similar fruity fermentation flavors in the brew, both of which danced back and forth as your tongue struggled to find the balance between cake and liquid. The aftertaste was one of rich rice and a background hint of savory from the beef fat that the cake was griddled in. The cake did an excellent job of pulling out some of the more complex rice notes in the Sake that were hidden with drinking straight from the cup. This dish was one of those simple desserts that after tasting, you wonder why you have never tried it before.

This was a great pairing experience, especially considering it was a bit cold and windy on Boylston Street that night. Sake’s versatility really shines here along with the continuing trend of delicious food to be found on the streets of Boston. I hope that these posts are helping my readers to see that Sake is not simply alcohol to wash down Japanese food, but a nuanced beverage whose impact on the Boston food scene is in its infancy. Stay tuned for more trucks, and if you see a guy walking down the street with a can or cup of Sake in his pocket – you know that he is heading toward something delicious.
Staff Meal Food Truck


Meals to Feed to a Large Crowd

Setting up a buffet in which people line up and fix their plate according to their preference is the easiest all the way around. This also ensures that people with food allergies or those who are picky can fill their plate the way they need and like. Here are my best ideas for simple main dishes that can be made in bulk and fed easily to a large crowd:


Thank You for the Food

Food. I love food as I enjoy eating. October 24 is National Food Day. In the last year, my diet has become much healthier as I’ve learned to cook and make most of our meals which includes hot breakfast almost every day!

Writing a thank you note for dinner is covered here. And there are several other posts about food: lunch with the boss, should you write a note for lunch?, Eat Out Often Enjoy Life, and food provided after surgery/hospital stays.

This post will focus on thanking those who make food for us on a regular basis. This could be someone living in your household such as your spouse or parent. Or visiting the home of a friend or family member on a regular basis for a meal. My family has a Sunday Lunch tradition at my mom’s and my sister likes to invite me over too.

Making homemade meals is time-consuming and then there is the cleanup time for washing dishes. Sometimes it can feel like a thankless job. I admit that I did not appreciate all the meals and time my mom spent making meals for me until I moved out and was responsible for my own meals.

A great way to thank the regular food maker is to give them a night off! Go out for dinner or take a turn making the meal and doing the cleanup. Even helping with the clean up is a blessing. I am always thankful when my husband does the dishes!

Saying “thank you” after the meal is nice. An occasional thank-you note is another thoughtful gesture.

Thank you note examples for the food maker:

Dear [Mom, Dad, or their name],

Thank you for providing wonderful homemade meals for the family. I know that sometimes they can take a while to make. Please know that I appreciate them as they provide energy and taste great! The shrimp dish you made last week was fantastic!

I enjoy the weekly dinner at your house. It’s a joy to see your family and also gives me a break from figuring out dinner! I am aware of how much time cooking can take. I’d like to have you over to my house soon.

I love the meals that you prepare! Perhaps, you can start teaching me and I can help out sometimes. I would love to be able to give you a break some nights. Can we start with something easy?

Thank you for taking the time to make our meals and have enough leftovers for me to take to work the next day. Your meals are so much better than the frozen single serve meals we used to rely on. I understand that all the cooking can be a lot of work and time. It’s worth it. You are amazing and I love you for caring enough to make healthy food for us.

Thank you for having me over for lunch each week. I enjoy your homemade meals and desserts. You make the best chicken chili! Next week, let’s go out for lunch on me!

Thank you for having the family over most Sundays for lunch. We enjoy them and I like keeping in touch with the family. And of course, the food is wonderful. I also appreciate that you’ve switched over to making your own bacon bits!

How do you thank the people in your life that make your meals?

2 thoughts on &ldquoThank You for the Food&rdquo

Dear Food for thoughtfullness friends,

Thank you for all you do to help people at this very difficult time. I am sure the
kindness you show now will be reflected by so many people after this crisis finally
comes to an end. Bless you and thank you again!

I love food as I enjoy eating David Brown famous for delicious smoker recipes, expert cooking methods, cooking tips, and tricks as well as for his cooking recipes

This content may contain links to products. Please assume all such links are affiliate links which may result in Heidi (The writer of this site) earning commissions.


Watch the video: Toyo Eaterys Staff Gathers For Their Staff Meal Asias 50 Best Restaurants. (May 2022).