Seed-to-Plate Moves into South Texas

Vote 0 Votes

Big News! We're talkin' King Ranch big! Recipe for Success Foundation has partnered with the Santa Gertrudis School in Kingsville, Texas to offer its comprehensive Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education Program to the school's 2nd and 3rd grade classes. The students will learn to plant and cultivate fruits and vegetables, learn about nutrition and learn to how to cook with the produce they harvest from their own garden. The school saw the Recipe for Success Seed to Plate Nutrition Education Program as a key opportunity to increase student awareness about healthy eating, the food cycle, provide greater understanding of the farming culture, which has a rich heritage in their local community since the early days of the King Ranch during the mid-1800s.


"I am looking forward to watching the students learn about growing plants and how they contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Young children have such enthusiasm for learning and when new things are introduced it is motivating to everyone. It is so important to change the thinking of our children when they are young and then they can help teach their families. This is the best way to change for our future. It is my hope that other schools learn about our program and want to pursue it with their campuses. There is such a need in South Texas to help everyone learn about becoming healthier," said Mary Springs, Superintendent, Santa Gertrudis ISD.


Located on the grounds of the King Ranch in Kingsville, Santa Gertrudis School, originally was established for the families who work on the King Ranch, and the current school facility, which opened in 2010 and features historical displays honoring the heritage of the King Ranch. "In 2012, Gracie Cavnar introduced me to Recipe for Success and I wanted to incorporate this learning experience at Santa Gertrudis Elementary, said Robert J. Underbrink, President and CEO of King Ranch, Inc. "King Ranch has always had a belief that we need to take care of one another and teaching our children how to create healthy habits is the foundation for our future. Over the past several years, we have continued to educate and encourage our employees through our own wellness program. This is a great opportunity to now include the whole family. I look forward to hearing about the children helping their parents in the kitchen and making long lasting family memories."


Third and Goal

Vote 0 Votes

Healthy Lunch.pngIn June, the Texas State Ag Commissioner rolled back progressive rules to support healthier lunches in Texas citing complaints by lunch providers that it was too difficult to meet the standard and that students rejected healthier options.  Well, that's not what the rest of the country is reporting, according to a recent survey by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Hopefully Texas schools will stay the course and help our kids grow up healthier by rejecting poor nutritional options offered by the big food manufacturers.  But, it will be up to parents and concerned citizens to ensure this outcome.  We have seen ever and over again, its the squeeky wheel...

Picnic Shish Kebabs

Vote 0 Votes

July is National Picnic Month! Now is the time to enjoy the warm summer weather with friends and family united by a plateful of the season's best produce. 

Two key attributes to a perfect picnic dish: ease and portablitiy. Our Veggie Shish Kebabs & Dipping Sauce are fast to prepare and can be eaten with a frisbee in hand. Bon appétit!

Shish Kebabs and Dipping Sauce.png

Yields: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 min

Active cooking time: 12 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Skill level: Easy

Cost: $12.19


Dipping Sauce

1c greek yogurt

2T mint

2T parsley

1t red curry paste

2 lemons, zested & juiced

Salt & pepper


1t cumin

1t coriander

½t sumac

½t fenugreek

1 eggplant 

2 zucchini

2 summer squash

1 pint cherry tomatoes

Salt & pepper


Preheat grill to high, or if using a grill pan, heat over high heat.

Combine yogurt, mint, parsley, curry, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 

Combine cumin, coriander, sumac and fenugreek in a large bowl. Cut the eggplant into 1" cubes. Cut zucchini and squash in half long-wise, half again long-wise and then slice into 1" pieces.  Toss vegetables with spices.  Skewer. Grill over high heat until charred, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with sauce on side.

Original recipe and photograph created for Recipe for Success by Chef Justin Kouri. 

                     - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

What is your favorite picnic spot? 

Eating Mindfully?

Vote 0 Votes

Salad.JPGConcerned about how we are going to feed an exploding population AND make progress toward healthier diets? Wondering how you can positively impact a sustainable food system? We can all play a part--with our personal habits and daily descisions.  We have to walk the talk in our own lives. 

"The Flavors of India" Small Bites

Vote 0 Votes

Bobbie Nau, Kiran Verma, Andy & Liz Stepanian blog.jpegIndian chef partners with River Oaks philanthropists for one of tastiest dinner parties ever. By Shelby Hodge - May 18, 2015 

Chef Kiran Verma, who seems to never stop smiling, was grinning with extra verve during Recipe for Success' "The Flavors of India" dinner party in the River Oaks home of Bobbie and John Nau. For not only did the hostess dress up her garden with tented Indian party flair but guests fully embraced the theme, many dressing in saris and modern Indian dress.

Liz and Andy Stepanian, the Nau's daughter and son-in-law, joined in co-chairing the dinner evening and all three hosts (John Nau away on business) dressed to the nines, Bollywood style.

Read the whole story.

Fashion Gene Awards star designer Nanette Lepore

Vote 0 Votes

Tootsies Group Resized .jpegBy Melissa Aguilar - May 6, 2015

Some women are born with a fashion gene. Houston mothers and daughters with innate style walked down the runway Wednesday as Tootsies hosted Recipe for Success' fourth annual Dress for Dinner - The Fashion Gene Awards Show. Nanette Lepore was the featured designer and dinner guest for the post-party feast prepared by chef Barbara McKnight of Culinaire.

Mother-daughter team Leisa Holland-Nelson and Laura Nelson Rose chaired the event. CultureMap's Clifford Pugh served as master of ceremonies. As the duos took their turns on the catwalk, he revealed what each thought about the other's sense of style -- and past fashion faux pas. "Shoulder pads," was the common criticism the daughters had for those moms who lived through the '80s.

Read the whole story. 

S2P Iron Chef Competition

Vote 0 Votes

Annually in May our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ cooking classes participate in Iron Chef Competitions. The competition is a summation of the Seed-to-Plate classes for the school year as students' cooking skills are put to the test to make a dish without a recipe. Classes are split into teams to compete for five distinguished categories: Best Knife Skills, Best Plate Presentation, Cleanest Workers, Best Teamwork, and the most coveted, Best Dish Overall. 

Iron Chef April 16th.JPG

Iron Chef Competition at Rodriguez Elementary School with special judges H-E-B Area Community Coordinator Meagan Galbraith, Recipe for Success Chef Susie Mullen, and Recipe for Success Culinary Education Coordinator, Justin Kouri. 

In Jeopardy fashion, teams answer questions from the year's curriculum to pick their ingredient baskets. No two baskets are the same, stirring the competitive spirit even more. 

Thumbnail image for JonBuchananIronChef.JPG
Sneaking some help from Chef Jon Buchanan of Trevisio.

This year, students at Rodriguez Elementary school were judged on their salad making abilities, while at MacGregor Elementary School students were judged on garden fresh spring rolls. 

Ms Bell 4th Grade .jpeg

Students presenting spring rolls to Chef Monica Pope of Sparrow and fellow judges. 

When it comes to the judging, the tasting part is easy! Deciding category winners, however, is no easy feat. The amount of effort, sincerity, imagination, and skill the students pour into their final class is enough to deem everyone a winner. 

Summer Veg Paella

Vote 0 Votes

Summer Veg.jpgPaella is truly an interesting dish. It is a compilation of Roman irrigation, the rice brought by the Moors to the Iberian Peninsula and the Spanish worker. Conceived in Valencia, paella is traditionally cooked in a low, flat-bottomed skillet over an open flame. The Spanish workers would cook paella with chicken, rabbit, snails and vegetables - anything that was inexpensive. Now most Spanish regions have their own twists on this famous dish.

My veggie focused take on paella incorporates the other culinary export from Valencia - oranges. Using the zest brightens the flavor profile and the juice adds some necessary acid and sweetness to the dish. I used summer squash and eggplant in my version, but depending on seasonal availability, feel free to substitute any vegetable.


 4c chicken stock

Pinch of saffron

5 sprigs of thyme

2T olive oil

1 small yellow squash (cut into ¼"coins)

1 small zucchini (cut into ¼" coins)

½ eggplant (cut into ¼" coins)

1 oz of dried chorizo, finely chopped (about ¼c)

½ onion, finely chopped (about ½c)

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped (about ½c)

2T tomato paste

3 cloves garlic, minced

1T fresh thyme

1t paprika

¼t cayenne

Zest of 1 orange

Juice of 1 orange

Pinch of saffron

1c Arborio rice

1t salt

Flat leave parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish


  1. Bring stock, saffron and sprigs of thyme to a simmer in a medium size pot. Keep at a simmer until ready to use. 
  2.  Heat oil in a large flat bottom skillet over medium high heat. Quickly sear both sides of the vegetable: 2 minutes per side for the yellow squash and zucchini; 4 minutes per side for the eggplant. Set aside.
  3. In the same skillet add chorizo, onion and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent and starting to brown. Add tomato paste, garlic, thyme, paprika and cayenne and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rice to skillet, continuing to stir, toasting the rice for 2 minutes. Add the orange zest, juice, saffron and chicken stock. When the liquid boils, reduce heat to low. Stir the rice mixture frequently for 5 minutes. Stop stirring and allow rice to cook for 20 minutes. DO NOT STIR. After 20 minutes, nestle the seared vegetables into the paella, cover the skillet and turn off the heat. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.


Yields: 4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Active cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Inactive time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Skill level: Easy

 Justin Kouri is Recipe for Success' Culinary Education Coordinator. He tweets at @ChefJustinR4S.

Who's ready for Eat This! Summer Camps?!

Vote 0 Votes


While you're counting down the days till school's out, don't forget to check out the fun-filled Summer Camps at RecipeHouse coming up in June and July. Kids spend the week learning about cooking and gardening alongside talented chefs and wonderful garden instructors.

Choose from two programs: the original Eat This! Camp combination of cooking and gardening and product development, and Eat it! Food Adventures with Marco Polo exploring cuisines from Italy, Greece, Turkey, India and China. 

 Enrollment is open to all children ages 8-11. The 5-day camps are held at RecipeHouse, conveniently located in Houston's Museum District. Find camp dates and program details and download registration forms via the Eat This! Summer Camp page. 

A Gala in Small Bites 2015 Season

Vote 0 Votes


Gracie & Bob Cavnar launched the 2015 season of We're Cooking Now! A Gala in Small Bites with two sold out events in late March. April's exciting dinners featured seafood, Spanish cuisine and the art of the easy gourmet! Guests at the remaining Small Bites fundraiser dinners happening in May will delight in the exotic flavors prepared by celebrated chefs and be inspired by the latest collections from top fashion designers - with two of the May dinners featuring tabletop accents by Christofle! Savor dishes prepared by acclaimed chefs, such as Chef Danny Trace of Brennan's, Chef Barbara McKnight of Culinare, Chef Kiran Verma of Kiran's and Chef Charles Clark of Ibiza Food & Wine Bar, Coppa Osteria and others. Chef Clark's event is the final dinner in the 2015 series and takes place in the exclusive penthouse at the Four Seasons!

 See the full 2015 season page to buy tickets or view the official invite.


<< 1 2 3 4 5

Tag Cloud