Inclusive Recipes for Inclusion Dining & Jams!

On Sunday April 11, 2021 from 5:30 to 7:30pm EST Accessible Festivals will present Inclusion Dining & Jams, a “dinner and a show” experience for all ages and abilities featuring Ryan Montbleau. The event will be livestreamed by donation from Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem, PA. Limited in-person tickets are available here.

The cafe will feature an inclusive dining menu, and viewers at home are invited to cook along with us with the following recipe suggestions from speech-language pathologist and self-taught home cook Arden Hawes, who is passionate about sharing accessible, nutritious recipes on her blog The Ardent Cook.

For the Inclusion Dining & Jams menu, Arden offers up her recipes for Hidden Veggie Sloppy Joe’s, Spruced Up Annie’s Mac and Cheese, and Broccoli Salad with Quick Homemade Ranch. All recipes can be modified to meet the needs of sensitive eaters and those with specific dietary restrictions and preferences. Each recipe selected is intended to combine familiar foods and flavors with a variety of healthy veggies and whole food ingredients.

Hidden Veggie Sloppy Joe’s

Serves 6-8


2 lbs ground beef (sub ground turkey, tofu crumbles, or beans)

1 large zucchini, minced

2 medium carrots, minced

1 red bell pepper, minced

4oz baby bella mushrooms, minced

½ yellow onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

28oz can crushed tomatoes

6oz can tomato paste

¼ cup maple syrup (optional)

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

Hamburger buns, for serving (optional)


  1. Process or very finely mince the zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Set aside.
  2. In a very large skillet, brown the ground beef. Season with salt and pepper,
  3. Add the minced veggies and stir everything together thoroughly. Season again with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the water from the vegetables has cooked out.
  4. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Let the mixture come to a boil, then simmer an additional 10 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  5. Adjust salt and pepper as needed, and serve over hamburger buns for a traditional sloppy joe. Alternatively, serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or mashed potatoes for a fun twist. Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Original recipe here.

Spruced Up Annie’s Mac and Cheese

Serves 4-6


2 6-oz boxes Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese (choose from original, gluten free, or vegan!)

3 Tbsp milk of choice (dairy, soy, oat, almond, etc)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter (optional, sub vegan/non-dairy free if desired)

1 cup steamed carrots, sweet potato or squash

1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets or peas (optional)


  1. Prepare boxed macaroni and cheese according to package directions.
  2. Add broccoli florets or peas (if using) to the boiling water at the same time as the pasta.
  3. Mash or roughly chop the steamed carrots, sweet potato or squash and add to your prepared cheese sauce. Use a whisk or immersion blender to blend it very smooth.
  4. Stir in pasta and you have a very quick, nutritious side dish or meal. Enjoy!
Broccoli Salad with Quick Homemade Ranch

Serves 4-6


1 large head broccoli, chopped into small pieces

6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional, sub toasted walnuts if desired)

1 shallot, diced

¼ cup raisins (optional)

½ cup greek yogurt (sub vegan/non-dairy yogurt or sour cream if desired)

3-4 tbsp water

⅛ cup fresh parsley

⅛ cup fresh chives

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper


  1. Crisp the bacon in a medium skillet until cooked through, then chop.
  2. Chop broccoli into small pieces and add to a large mixing bowl, along with the cooked bacon, diced shallots, and raisins.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the greek yogurt, herbs, spices, salt, and pepper. Add water, tablespoon by tablespoon, and whisk until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad and fold to incorporate. Chill for 30 minutes or overnight, then serve cold. Enjoy!

Original recipe here.

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