Thursday, January 12, 2012

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Welcome Chinese New Year with the Bastyr community from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, January 23, with traditional favorites such as Chinese Szechuan Noodles, Peking Duck with Mandarin Pancakes and Stir-Fried Rice and Vegetables.
Plate with Peking Duck, Stir-Fried Chinese Greens and Fried Rice and Vegetaables
Plate with Peking Duck, Chinese Greens and Fried Rice and Vegetaables

The Bastyr Dining Commons is breathing fire into the Year of the Dragon with a Chinese New Year feast that's just the first of many themed lunches planned for 2012.

In the past couple of months, the dining commons has featured Thanksgiving- and Christmas-themed meals, but Bastyr Food Services Director Jim Watkins says he hopes to add even more themed lunches around holidays and other events.

"I'd like to make these a really regular part of the Bastyr Dining Commons experience," Watkins says. In addition to the Chinese New Year Celebration on Jan. 23, he also is planning a special menu for Mardi Gras on Feb. 21. He adds that a Southern-style lunch to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is definitely in the works, although it isn't slated to begin until 2013.

Watkins, who was hired nearly a year ago, has already brought plenty of changes to the whole-food dining commons, including the addition of meat options to the formerly vegetarian-only cafeteria; a bigger selection of grab-and-go snacks prepared by the dining commons staff; made-to-order sandwiches available daily; and traditional or gluten-free Belgian waffles daily for breakfast.

Throughout the transition, Watkins has retained the dining common's focus on offering healthy and delicious choices for various dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.

"I want to make sure everyone can find something they enjoy that also fits their dietary needs," Watkins says.

The Chinese New Year menu will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, January 23, and will feature:

  • Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup
  • Fried Tofu with Mushroom Gravy
  • Chinese Szechuan Noodles
  • Stir-Fried Chinese Greens
  • Peking Duck with Mandarin Pancakes
  • Stir-Fried Rice and Vegetables
  • Plum Compote
  • Sponge Cake with Coconut Frosting
  • Chinese Almond Cookies
  • Coconut Ice Cream and Green Tea Ice Cream

All menu items will be sold by weight, except for the animal proteins, which will be at a set price.