Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's for Lunch: Tamale Pie

By Ed Bruske

aka The Slow Cook

When I saw this "tamale pie" advertised on the Chartwells menu site I thought my daughter would love it. But I was wrong. She wouldn't have anything to do with it and brought lunch from home.
In the cafeteria, I was anxious to try it. It reminds me a little of the deep-dish vegetarian enchilada they were serving at the schools in Boulder when I was there. This "pie" is like a chili--ground beef, pinto beans, diced tomato, onion and cumin--at the bottom of a hotel pan topped with corn bread mix.
In fact, the corn bread mix was a bit sweet--just like the corn bread muffins they serve in the morning. I think I would have left the sugar out.
Still, I wolfed it down and was surprised--yes, actually surprised--that the kids around me weren't doing likewise. I got up and took a stroll around the lunchroom and saw that most of the kids hadn't touched the tamale pie at all, nor the "cilantro lime rice" that was served with it.

When I asked why they weren't eating it, they just shrugged. "It looks gross," one girl offered. "I don't like beans."
Hard to figure. Most of them just ate the apple sauce. It made me wonder, Do the kids ever get hungry when they refuse to eat the lunch?


  1. As I was looking at the picture, I have to admit I was having the same thought as the kids. It does look a bit unappetizing, as does a lot of school food. I wonder if they ever think of making the presentation a bit more appealing. That's something the in the long run could be made to not take too much time and doesn't cost any money. May be something to look into.

  2. Do the kids ever get hungry when they refuse to eat the lunch?

    No, they just go to the corner store on the way home and fill up on junk food.