Oatmeal Muffins

National Oatmeal Muffin Day

Packed with soluble fiber and healthy carbohydrates, oatmeal has a number of key health benefits.  From curbing appetite to reducing cholesterol, eating more oatmeal is a simple way to boost health.  Even the FDA has approved oatmeal as a  heart-healthy food. Knowing this, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank offers oatmeal in many of our distributions throughout the county.  Our partner agencies are also able to pickup bulk oatmeal from our Nonprofit Food Center for use at their feeding sites all over San Diego.

However, despite its health benefits, oatmeal doesn’t have the best of reputations. It’s easy to be turned off by the idea of plain old oats in a bowl. But, there are lots of different ways you can use this superfood. It’s works well in cookies, granola, even on top of your baked berry dessert.   Since today is National Oatmeal Muffin Day, we thought we’d share a recipe that allows you to add a little extra health boost to your morning meal.

These muffins are easy to make. They’re excellent served warm for breakfast and they’re also perfect for a quick and filling snack on the go!

Oatmeal Muffins

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. oats, quick or old-fashioned, uncooked
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. nonfat milk

Sift into bowl: flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Stir in the oats.  Add vegetable oil, beaten egg, and nonfat milk.  Stir only until dry ingredients are just moistened.  Fill greased, medium-sized muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes.  Serve hot.  Makes a dozen.

Variation:  Add 1/2 c. raisins, chopped dates or nuts

Recipe found here: http://www.blessedwithgrace.net/2011/01/tempt-my-tummy-tuesday-oatmeal-muffins/


Volunteering Starts Early

The Kindergarten classes at Redeemer by the Sea recently held a volunteer food and fund drive at their school in Carlsbad, CA.  Under the guidance of their Director, Cindy Brown, the students collected money, backpacks and child friendly non-perishable food.  On Novemer 14th all 40 students traveled down to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego warehouse to present a total donation of $650, 50 backpacks and aproximately 1,000 pounds of food!

During their visit Food Bank staff took all 40 children and their chaperones on a tour of the warehouse.   Despite their young age these bright kids were full of great questions about how the Food Bank feeds people, where we get food from and how our equipment works.  Some children are shocked at the number of families and children at risk of hunger and others express gratefulness for what they have and understand the need to share. At the conclusion of their tour one young boy even offered up the change from his pocket so we could “get more food.”

All the children agreed that they had fun collecting food and they would come back to volunteer in the warehouse with their mom or dad as soon as they were six years old. As demonstrated by some of our youngest supporters, volunteering starts early and makes you feel great no matter how old you are.

If you are interested in donating your time and helping feed people in need, please click here.

Happy Holidays from the Busalacchi Family


This December, the Busalacchi Family is teaming up with the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank to make the holidays special for everyone by collecting nonperishable food at all six of their San Diego restaurant locations.

They’re not just taking your donations though; they’ve got a gift for you too! Now through December 31, 2012 everyone who brings three nonperishable food items to any of the Busalacchi restaurants will receive the following discounts:


Po Pazzo – Receive the appetizer of the day (chef’s choice)

1917 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Zia’s Bistro – Receive 50% off any bottle of wine or entree

1845 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Receive 20% off your next dining experience at:

Trattoria Fantastica

1735 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Café Zucchero

1731 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio

3707 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

Via Lago Trattoria

866 Eastlake Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91914

Thanks to the Busalacchi Family for making the holidays special for everyone, especially our neighbors in need!



Stuff the Bus Bags

Stuff the Bus

In response to the increasing number of San Diego residents who are struggling to put food on their tables, the region’s public transit operators and Albertsons joined us last weekend to host the Fifth Annual ‘Stuff the Bus’ Holiday Food Drive.


Shoppers could purchase pre‑packaged bags of nutritious and non-perishable food between November 26 and 29. Then on Saturday, December 1, 2012 MTS and NCTD buses were parked in front of 15 Albertsons stores throughout the county and over 40 volunteers from the Armed Services YMCA were on hand stuffing them with the pre-packaged bags and collecting even more donations from everyone who stopped by.


All 15 buses were loaded with donated food and then caravanned to the Food Bank where 30 more volunteers from the Armed Services YMCA unloaded the food into our warehouse.


Through the generosity of MTS, NCTD, Albertsons, San Diego Armed Services YMCA volunteers, and shoppers throughout San Diego the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank collected 15,719 pounds of food in just 5 days.


THANK YOU San Diego!

Chef's Choice Artisan Cheese Board from Wild Thyme Catering

Dollar A Dish: Catering

This year continues to be a year of firsts for the Dollar A Dish campaign. Not only did we add farmers market vendors and special events into the mix but we also had some generous catering companies here in San Diego want to get on board. Whether you’re planning a wedding, a backyard BBQ or taking a cruise out on the bay there are hundreds of excellent catering companies here in San Diego to help make your event a success but only TWO of them are also donating to Dollar A Dish!

With an innovative and fresh approach to catering, The Wild Thyme Company raises the bar for off premise catering in San Diego. Through creative custom menus and personalized event design, their goal is to create the perfect combination of their client’s taste and the Wild Thyme style. In addition to catering weddings and private events, this year they are the official caterer for the 2012 San Diego Polo Club summer polo season! Every Sunday they’re serving up specially-designed boutique bites for the fantastic crowds and when you order the artisan cheese board they’ll donate $1 to the Dollar A Dish Campaign, helping us feed hungry kids. It’s a chance of a lifetime to enjoy an entertaining game while feasting on delicious cuisine!

Indulge Contemporary Catering is a premier custom caterer specializing in weddings, events, and corporate accounts. Chef Flor Granados-Franco, along with her talented staff, offers you an extraordinary synergy of fine culinary arts, creative vision, extensive experience and exemplary service. From small social gatherings to grand soirees, each inspired creation is individually customized to fit your needs and lovingly executed with outstanding service and impeccable taste. We’re thrilled that this successful company is donating a portion of their proceeds in August to the Dollar A Dish campaign and we hope you’ll consider them for your next event!

St. Germain’s Bistro and Cafe Executive Chef Kaitlin Ramos at work in the restaurant’s kitchen.  Photo courtesy of Nino “Neens” Camilo

Dollar A Dish in Encinitas

Located along six miles of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, Encinitas is characterized by coastal beaches, quaint shops and sidewalk cafes and restaurants. It is also home to two Dollar A Dish participants.

Solace & the Moonlight Lounge, sister restaurant of Urban Solace in North Park, is situated in Pacific Station in the heart of downtown Encinitas. Executive Chef Matt Gordon and his team continue their tradition of creating hand-crafted food sourced from sustainable, artisan producer all in the spirit of “fun and good food.” The Braised Brandt Farm Beef Cheeks featured for Dollar A Dish exemplifies this tradition and is sure to melt in your mouth and have you coming back for more.

St. Germain’s Bistro & Café has been serving delicious, freshly prepared meals to countless satisfied diners in Encinitas since 1984. Executive Chef, Kaitlin Ramos, joined the team in 2011, and since then the restaurant has added a dinner service to their offerings. This month they are featuring Pan Seared Wild Alaska Salmon with roasted lemon vinaigrette, mixed green salad and roasted grapes for Dollar A Dish and will be donating $1 to the Backpack Program every time it’s sold in August. By that description we have no doubt that lots of you will be stopping by to try it, helping us feed hungry kids in San Diego!


Dollar A Dish: In the Neighborhood

San Diego is made up of more than 100 unique little neighborhoods. Each of these communities has a personality of its own and the restaurants and shops within their boundaries reflect the diversity among them.  The Food Bank is lucky to have Dollar A Dish participants representing several of these distinctive enclaves.


San Diego’s East Village began its journey into what it is today with the opening of PETCO Park in 2004.  If you’re taking in a ballgame or shopping in one of their boutiques this month we hope you’ll stop by TOAST Enoteca & Cucina or Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop for lunch or dinner. TOAST brings San Diego the cuisine, wine and intimate atmosphere of an authentic Italian experience and they are featuring their Lasagna Degli Asparagi.  The Cowboy Star is a repeat Dollar A Dish participant and this year they’re donating $1 every time someone order their 8oz. Filet. The Filet is “Natural” certified Angus beef aged for 21 days and will melt in your mouth.


North Park, east of Balboa Park, offers a dynamic mix of cafes, antique shops and art galleries as well as the city’s most up-and-coming “restaurant row.”  Carnitas Snack Shack, The Farmhouse Café, Ritual Tavern, and Urban Solace are all North Park favorites and Dollar A Dish participants.  Carnitas Snack Shack, lead by Chef Hanis Cavin is featuring their Shack BLT; applewood-smoked Duroc bacon, slices of crispy Black Forest ham, fresh butter lettuce, juicy vine-ripe tomatoes and Shack aioli all loaded up on some locally-baked Brioche toast. Yum! The Farmhouse Café features fresh French cuisine and this month they’re donating $1 every time the House-made fettuccine with Moroccan spiced lamb bolognese and lemon confit is ordered.  Ritual Tavern is featuring their Seafood Bouillabaisse.  And last, but definitely not least, Urban Solace is featuring their well-known Beef Cheeks.  Urban Solace was one of the founding restaurants of Dollar A Dish and we’re thrilled to have them and their delicious fare back for a fourth year!


Normal Heights is far from boring like the name might imply and its home to one of our extraordinary vendors, Viva Pops. This cool treat was inspired by the festive colors and flavors of traditional Mexican-style pops called “paletas.” Viva Pops are made with organic fruits and herbs, many of which are purchased from local growers and suppliers at San Diego farmers’ markets. Throughout August you can stop by and pick up a “Food 4 Kids” Pop for a refreshing taste of summer that’s sure to cool you down!


South Park and Golden Hill are right outside downtown and we’ve got a restaurant from each of these “Indie” neighborhoods. Urban Chicken opened in Golden Hill at the beginning of 2011 and has been creating healthy, organic “fast food” ever since. Owner, Chef Flor Franco is donating $1 for every whole chicken sold in the month of August. In South Park Alchemy is featuring the Sea Bass entrée; pan roasted sea bass with crispy skin served over caramelized fennel and topped with grape tomatoes, capers and basil. We caught them on camera sharing a little bit about the entrée and why their part of the Dollar A Dish campaign, but you’ll definitely want to check it out in person too.

Dollar A Dish: Alchemy from San Diego Food Bank on Vimeo.


La Jolla is one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in Southern California. With luxurious and historic hotels, fine dining, and shopping it’s no surprise that it’s known as the “jewel” of locals and tourists alike. We are thrilled that several La Jolla restaurants joined us this year. When you dine at Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar, Georges at the Cove, NINE-TEN Restaurant, Puesto Mexican Street Food, Rimel’s Rotisserie or Zenbu Sushi and order their featured dish they will be donating to the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.  Finch’sBistro is featuring their Catch of the Day so they’ll be something different to order every day. George’s has unbeatable ocean views and when you order the Date Salad at California Modern you’ll be helping out Food 4 Kids. NINE-TEN is donating $1 every time you order their NINE-TEN burger at the bar and Puesto is mixing it up and donating $1 each time you buy their Frozen Horchata, its sure to cool you down in this hot summer month.  Rimel’s Rotisserie and Zenbu Sushi are two more of our Dollar A Dish founding restaurants and we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back again.  You can order the Sirloin Burger at Rimel’s or the Hot Rock at Zenbu and $1 will be donated.

Dollar A Dish: Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar from San Diego Food Bank on Vimeo.


Whatever neighborhood you’re in there’s sure to be a spot nearby where you can satisfy your cravings for delicious food and help out hungry kids at the same time.

Tommy Gomes of Catalina Offshore Products at the Collaboration Kitchen

Dollar A Dish Events

Since its humble beginnings in 2009 with just a few restaurants on board, the Dollar A Dish fundraiser has grown in ways we could not have imagined.

This year the campaign not only includes restaurants, food trucks, caterers and farmer’s market vendors from around the county but it also features FOUR separate culinary events that will benefit the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program. Each of these events is open to the public and allows you the opportunity to try some incredible food as well as the chance to learn from some of the best chefs in San Diego.

First up, The Red Door Restaurant and Wine Bar is donating part of the proceeds from its August 15 Chefs Market Dinner celebrating Julia Child’s birthday, featuring chef/writer and Food Network Star Amy Finley, author of How to Eat a Small Country, and The Red Door’s chef Miguel Valdez. Together you’ll walk through the Mission Hills Farmers Market beginning at 5:30pm and then head back to the restaurant for a meal made with your market finds. Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 619-295-6000 and are $48 per person for a four-course meal or $73 per person for a four-course meal with wine pairings.

Then at 6:00pm on August 26 Catalina Offshore Products, with support from Specialty Produce, is dedicating its August Collaboration Kitchen to the Dollar A Dish Campaign. It will be an evening filled with cooking, eating, socializing and educational seminars lead by guest chef, Mitch Conniff, and the Catalina Offshore crew. Mitch Conniff is the chef/owner of Mitch’s Seafood in Point Loma. Mitch’s is a casual, waterfront Seafood restaurant specializing in the freshest, locally caught seafood. So bring a bottle of wine to share, an appetite, and dress warmly for a fun filled night of seafood & fresh produce education and tastings. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased in advance here.

And finally Fixtures Living and Chef Bridget Bueche are wrapping up the campaign in style for us with two events inspired by and benefitting the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program. On Thursday, August 30, you are invited to take a culinary trip down memory lane with kid-inspired tastes that have adult attitude! Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by emailing events@fixturesliving.com. Then on Friday August 31 from 12:30-2:30pm “Fixtures Friday” invites you to bring your kids in to learn how to craft healthy nutritious brown bag lunches. You’ll have a chance to create and taste new lunch ideas as well as a spot to decorate your lunch bags! Be sure to check out their website and events calendar for more information!

We are thrilled to have ALL aspects of the culinary community involved this year. Whether grown, created, served in a restaurant or dished up at the Polo field, it is ALL helping provide food for chronically hungry elementary students across San Diego County.

Sessions Dog from Sessions Public

Dollar A Dish: Taverns & Pubs

The popularity of craft beer is on the rise throughout the country and with 50 breweries in San Diego County it is no surprise that the area is also home to some excellent taverns and pubs as well.

Flying Elepant Pub is a quintessential American Pub with an excellent All-American selection of food and drinks. You can swing in to this casual spot some great beer or a Bacon Bloody Marys to go with your savory burger, loaded Tater Tots or Elephant bites. So if you’re in the mood for some live music along with your meal stop by FEP in Carlsbad and be sure to order the Elephant Burger because they’re donating $1 every time it’s sold in August. They’re giving you a sneak peek at this meal in the video below, but be careful because once you see it you’ll want to get in there to try it.

Dollar A Dish: Flying Elephant Pub & Grill from San Diego Food Bank on Vimeo.

Ritual Tavern is tucked into a little spot on 30th in the neighborhood of North Park. They have great beers on tap, a cozy pub atmosphere and contemporary gastropub fare.  Their locally sourced menu caters to all with delicious options for the carnivore as well as for those on a vegan or gluten-free diet.  But, best of all throughout the month of August Ritual Tavern will be donating $1 each time an order for the Seafood Bouillabaisse is placed. The tasty combination of mussels, scallops, local caught fish, tomato sauce, and market vegetable is sure to please your palate and helps feed hungry children too!

Sessions Public rounds out our selection of Dollar A Dish pubs, but its a popular spot to end with. This popular spot is nestled in between Point Loma and OB and effortlessly incorporates good food and great beer.  If you stop by anytime in August be sure to order the Sessions Dog to go with your brew, because when you do they’ll be donating $1 to the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.  Chef Chef Eric Meyers gives you a an idea of what waits for you if you stop by in the video below!

Dollar A Dish: Sessions Public from San Diego Food Bank on Vimeo.

The DUroc Pork Chop from The Wellington

Dollar A Dish: Mission Hills

The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar and the Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge are sister restaurants nestled into the perfect spot in Mission Hills. Owner Trish Watlington and Chef Miguel Valdez ensure that guests of both restaurants are treated to a feast of the senses, with fabulous décor and excellent cuisine.

Each restaurant utilizes fresh organic produce harvested from the Red Door Family Garden and are committed to locally sourcing from companies like Specialty Produce and Catalina Offshore Products whenever possible. It may cost a bit more but both Watlington and Valdez believe that doing so helps them create higher quality food that also benefits the community and those who work in it. Both of the dishes being featured as part of our Dollar A Dish Fundraiser  exemplify this very commitment, not only are they delicious but by ordering and eating either of them you’re supporting both local growers and the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.

The Red Door Restaurant’s featured dish is the Garden Vegetable Plate. This delectable dish features a plethora of the beautiful vegetables from the Red Door family garden. The garden chard & arugula house made fettuccini, topped with sautéed squash blossoms, seasonal garden squash, oyster mushrooms, brown butter sage, and parmesan is a perfect summer dish.

The Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge featured dish is the Duroc Pork Chop with sautéed garden swiss chard & seasonal vegetable medley, garlic yukon mash, walnut cherry apricot chutney, and a port wine reduction. Paired with a garden cucumber martini it would be the perfect meal for an evening out on the town.

In addition to participating in Dollar A Dish, the Red Door Restaurant is donating part of the proceeds from its August 15 Chefs Market Dinner celebrating Julia Child’s birthday, featuring chef/writer Amy Finley, author of How to Eat a Small Country, and The Red Door’s chef Miguel Valdez. Together you’ll walk through the Mission Hills Farmers Market beginning at 5:30pm and then head back to the restaurant for a meal made with your market finds. Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 619295-6000 and are $48 per person for a four-course meal or $73 per person for a four-course meal with wine pairings. We hope to see you there!

For an even better look at the dishes check out the San Diego Living feature and you’ll get to see Chef Miguel present both dishes on camera, you won’t want to miss it!

‘Dollar a Dish’ Fundraiser Aug. 1 – 31 from San Diego Food Bank on Vimeo.

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