Shannon Reina stirs the brown tepary beans simmering in a slow cooker she brought from home to Salt River High School. For her, the nutty smell brings back memories of holiday gatherings — of aunts and cousins playing volleyball outside her grandparents’ house, of circling around a fire pit making bread.
On this particular day, Reina is making a bean bowl she and her sister Melissa Rave, a librarian at Salt River Tribal Library, came up with to feed a group of visiting triathletes competing in the Arizona Ironman. The athletes had come to Salt River High School to talk to students, and wanted to eat on campus.
The dish, a protein power bowl that makes use of indigenous tepary beans, has since become an occasional menu item at Salt River Schools, and may soon be added to the recipe book for all Arizona public school districts.
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