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.