The Big Red

By Madeleine D. from Norton Elementary School, Cheshire, CT.


Some of our kids called this side dish Perfectly Pink, Supreme Squash, Seeded Wonder, Pink Veggie Mix, but when it came time to vote the name The Big Red was chosen as the best name for this dish.  What ever you would like to call it, most all kids said that "it tastes good!"  The smooth barley with orange bursts of squash, bits of red peeking through and a crunch only pumpkin seeds can deliver, toppped with shredded Alpine Lace Cheddar Cheese totals up to be a unique sensation.  You'll agree with Erica when she said this recipe was "life changing !"

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/2 cup

From Fat30.3%
From Saturated Fat6.4%
From Sugar6%


Ingredient 6 servings 50 servings
Barley3 oz1.6 LBS
Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced2 cups1 gal
Fresh Beets, scrubbed, trimmed and peeled2/3 cup5 cups
Oil vegetable canola1 1/2 tsp3TBSP + 2 tsp
Cinnamon ground3/4 tsp2 TBSP
Pumpkin seeds toasted1/4 cup2 cups
Reduced Fat Alpine Lace Shredded cheddar cheese2 ounces17 oz
Coarse or kosher salt (not more than 280 mg of sodium per 1/4 tsp)3/4 tsp2 TBSP

  1. Wash hands for 20 seconds and dry with single use paper towel.

  2. Boil barley for approximately 60 minutes on medium heat or until tender.

  3. Drain, rinse and coat with 1/3 the oil.

  4. You can chill for further use later. Chill to 70 degrees within 2 hours and to 40 degrees within 4 hours if you do not continue with preparation.

  5. Peel, seed and dice butternut squash. This may be done in advanced.

  6. Scrub trim, and peel beets, then dice. Do not prepare in advance or beet juice may dry out and recipe may not be as pink in color.

  7. Mix balance of oil with cinnamon. Toss with part of oil with diced butternut sqush and the other part with the diced beets.

  8. Roast vegetables separately at a convection oven temp. 400 degrees for 10 minutes and 350 degree convection oven for 25 minutes on sheet pans.

8.Toast pumpkin seeds for 15 minutes at 300 degrees if already not toasted.

  1. Shred Cheese if it is in block form.

  2. Mix all ingredients together except for cheese.

  3. Serve with a #8 scoop or a 1/2 cup serving.

  4. Garnish with 1/3 ounce of shredded cheese.