Recipes in Honor of Hunger Action Month

Foodbank culinary school eggplant-dish

In honor of Hunger Action Month, Kristine Monica and Nicholas Hanerfeld, culinary students from The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, prepared these tasty dishes at the B.E.A.T. Center in Toms River. The eggplant dish was prepared with fresh herbs and vegetables from The FoodBank’s organic garden. It yields a variety of vegetables, herbs, and includes an orchard of apple, pear, peach and plum trees. The food harvested from the garden goes directly to their feeding programs to allow for healthy meals that include fresh produce Check out the website for additional information about donations and volunteer opportunities.

Kristine Monica

Whole Wheat Pasta with Eggplant and Mushrooms

Serves six, shown at top


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves, garlic minced (1 to 1½ teaspoons)
1 onion, small, julienne (6 to 8 ounces)
2 cups eggplant,diced medium, unpeeled
1 cup sliced mushrooms
28 oz. diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaf
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups cooked whole wheat pasta


Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook till translucent. Add garlic, cook half minute then add mushrooms and eggplant. Add tomatoes, thyme/ Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta and toss to combine. Can add 1 tablespoon whole butter, a sprinkle of Parmesan, or fresh basil if desired.


Recipes from FoodBank culinary students
Nicholas Hanerfeld

New York Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust 

Yields one 10” spring form or two 6-inch rounds

Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust:

1 cup ground graham cracker crumbs (or Oreo crumbs)
2 ounces butter, melted


Combine and press into designated shell. Bake for 8 minutes at 325° F. Then fill!

Ingredients for Cheesecake:

1½ pounds of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Using a paddle, whip cream cheese until smooth. Add condensed milk and whip until it’s fully incorporated.

Add eggs and yolks, and vanilla. Whip until just combined and smooth. Place over precooked crust.

Bake 20 to 30 minutes until firm in middle. For 10” or larger, use waterbath.

Edible Bowls

Yields 15 bowls


1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 oz. butter, melted
3 oz. water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup almonds fine pieces (processed), optional



In mixer with whip attachment, mix flour and sugar. Drizzle in butter and mix until fully incorporated. Combine vanilla and water then add to mix while mixing. Stir in nuts (optional).

Scoop one tablespoon of mix on a half sheet pan with a silicone mat in three areas. Bake at 325°F in a convection oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute. Remove with offset spatula, and drape over rocks glass or soufflé cup gently pressing the sides down. Once cooled, bowls can be stored for a few days.