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From Cafeteria to Kitchen: Veggie Breakfast Delights

December 5, 2023

As an organization that provides nutrition education to students, you know we are passionate about promoting healthy eating habits. Oftentimes when we are talking about fresh fruits and vegetables in the classroom we share ways that they can be incorporated into your everyday favorite foods. The Cookin’ Up Breakfast Program also furthers this messaging by practicing what we preach. We ask our partner chefs who cook the delicious meals to incorporate as many healthy ingredients as possible so we can be the model for what healthy eating looks like. 

On our most recent visit to our friends at Halle Hewetson ES, Chef Steve Soltz, Chef John Metcalfe, and the culinary team at College of Southern Nevada really stepped up to the plate by crafting a morning menu that not only delighted the young palates, but also prioritized nutrition. The veg-forward menu featured guilt-free versions of breakfast fan-favorites. From cauliflower hash browns to chocolate zucchini muffins, each dish was a masterpiece showcasing the chefs’ dedication to creating meals that are as nourishing as they are delicious. 

Chef Steve and Chef John were more than happy to share two of their recipes from that morning with us so that you too can enjoy making them at home. So join us on a culinary journey that transforms breakfast into a celebration of taste and well-being as Chef Steve and Chef John share their delightful and wholesome recipes to inspire healthier mornings for everyone! 



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 finely shredded zucchini on the small to medium size, about 1 cup shredded


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with muffin liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add skim milk and stir until combined. Fold in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips (batter will be thick).
  4. Divide batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let muffins cool in the muffin pan until they’re safe to handle, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Tips for Baking with Zucchini

  • Do I have to peel the zucchini? No, you don’t have to peel it! The peel is very tender and you can grate it right into the batter.
  • Do I have to squeeze the liquid from the zucchini? No, I don’t like to wring the water out of the shredded zucchini. You want all of that moisture in the muffins.
  • What size zucchini is best for this recipe? Choose a small to medium-sized one. I would avoid large ones because they tend to be drier and more stringy than the smaller ones. So, choose a four to six-ounce zucchini

How to Freeze Muffins

One of the many things I love about this muffin recipe is that you can freeze them for later. Sometimes I make a double batch!

  • Be sure to fully cool the muffins first.
  • You can wrap them individually in freezer wrap or store them in a freezer bag or other freezer-safe container.
  • They will keep in the freezer for up to three months!
  • You can leave them at room temperature to thaw or warm them in the microwave.


Servings: 8 Hash Browns


  • 3 cups riced cauliflower from about 1 ¼ pounds or ½ medium head cauliflower or thawed frozen riced cauliflower.
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Non-stick cooking spray


  • Place racks in the center and upper third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
  • Place the cauliflower rice in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  • Spread the cauliflower onto a clean, dry kitchen towel and let cool for 5 minutes; keep the cauliflower fairly centered on the towel.
  • Bring the sides of the towel up and around the cauliflower to make a purse. Squeeze as much moisture out of the cauliflower as possible. The drier it is, the crispier the cauliflower hash browns will be.
  • To a large, dry mixing bowl, add the egg. Lightly beat it with a fork, then stir in the cheddar, Parmesan, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
  • Add the cauliflower to the bowl and mix to thoroughly combine.
  • Divide the cauliflower mixture into 8 equal portions. Working one portion at a time, squeeze the portion firmly into a ball with your hands, then gently flatten with your hands to shape into patties that are about 1/2-inch thick. Arrange the patties evenly on the baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of space between each.
  • Bake on the center rack until lightly browned and set, about 15 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through.
  • Turn the broiler to low. Transfer the pan to the upper-third rack and bake until crispy on top, about 5 minutes. Watch very carefully so that the hash browns do not burn.
  • Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to set. Enjoy hot.

So did you try it? What did you think?
Share photos of your experience on social and tag us on social!

@chefsforkids @nevadachefsforkids

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