November 12, 2015

Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. There’s a chill in the air and our students are “bundled up” as they make their way to school (Note: as a girl who spent the first 17 years of my life in Chicago, I feel compelled to use quotes around bundled up-we are in Southern California after all).  Venture into any of the SNP kitchens and the season is reflected in our menus.  At many of our schools we are now serving chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, as well as hearty stews.

The SNP chefs are continually creating menus that showcase seasonal ingredients as well as reveal their extensive culinary training.  One recipe which our chefs did not create, but we are particularly proud to serve, is our Founder and President’s Grandmother’s chili recipe which we use in every SNP kitchen.  I think it speaks to who we are as a company and the responsibility we feel to do the best we possibly can for our students. 

When my grandmother cooked for me, I remember her telling me “I made this food with love”, and somehow I knew that, I could taste it.  In an effort to emulate that sentiment, we are bringing some of the traditional flavors and recipes of times past into today.  Sure, updates and modifications need to happen in order to comply with regulations but one thing that hasn’t changed is that we still make our food with pride, tenderness, and love.  And, we sincerely hope our students can taste it.

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the coolness in the air and some warm delicious chili.

Grandma Zona’s Chili


1 Tbsp Garlic, Minced
1 Yellow Onion, Diced
1 Lb. Ground Beef (or Turkey)
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
½ Green Pepper, Diced
14 Ounces Canned Diced Tomato & Liquid
½ Cup Tomato Paste
28 Ounces Chili Beans
1 Cup Tomato Juice
7 Ounces Kidney Beans, Drained
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Chili Powder


1. Sautee onion and garlic in vegetable oil until softened
2. Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper and cook until beef is browned
3. Add green pepper and sauté for 2 minutes
4. Add diced tomato and liquid, chili beans, kidney beans, tomato juice, cumin and chili powder
5. Add water if necessary to thin chili.
6. Simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper if necessary
7. Enjoy!