Celebrate Year of the Dragon in the Dining Commons

Plate with Peking Duck, Stir-Fried 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.

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