Some Healthy Holiday Southern Comfort

Justin Kouri
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Sweet Potato Biscuits.JPG

Keep the holiday cheer going with this rich rendition of a southern classic. It might look like a million bucks, but we're sure your pocket book will thank us!

 

Sweet Potato Biscuits & Gravy

Yields 4 servings

Additional Cost: $2.45

 

Ingredient

Biscuits

1 cup leftover sweet potato puree

2 eggs

1 lemon, juiced

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

 

Gravy

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 button mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 cup homemade turkey stock

1 cup leftover gravy

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Procedure

Biscuits

1.) Preheat the oven to 350F.

2.) Combine sweet potato puree, eggs and lemon juice in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir until smooth.

3.) In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.

4.) Add half of the dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture and stir to combine.

5.) Add the remaining dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture and stir until completely incorporated.

6.) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out to ½ inch thickness.

7.) Using a 2-inch punch, cut out 8 rounds and place on a parchment lined sheet tray.

8.) Bake biscuits for 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Set aside.

 

Gravy

1.) While the biscuits are baking in the oven, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

2.) When oil begins to shimmer, add the mushrooms in an even layer. Let them sit for a minute so that they get a nice brown color. Stir and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes.

3.) Add stock to the skillet and scrap off anything that stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

4.) Add the left over gravy to the skillet and bring to a boil. Continue to cook for 10 minutes.

5.) Once the gravy thickens, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

 

Assemble

1.) Place two biscuits on each plate. 

2.) Pour or spoon gravy over biscuits. ENJOY!

 

What's A Bird Without Some Sides?

Justin Kouri
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Holiday Sides.JPG

While your turkey is resting and your gravy is simmering, it is the perfect time to crank up the oven and quickly roast some Brussels sprouts. We like to prepare all our vegetable the night before, so when it's show time, all we have to do is pop them in the oven!

We've even taken it a step further - the cranberry sauce can be prepared the night before, as well as roasting the veg for the sweet potato puree. Blitzing the potatoes with piping hot stock brings them back to life!

Citrus Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Yields 4 servings plus leftovers (about 8 cups)

Cost: $7.66

Ingredients

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

4 slices uncured bacon, sliced thinly

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

1 orange, zested

 

Procedure

1.) Preheat the oven to 450F.

2.) Combine Brussels sprouts, bacon, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

3.) Toss until evenly coated and transfer to a lined sheet tray.

4.) Roast for 25 minutes, shaking the tray every 10 minutes to make sure the sprouts don't stick. 

5.) When the sprouts are finished, remove them from the oven and zest the orange over them. The heat will extract the orange oil from the zest. ENJOY!

 

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Yields 4 servings plus leftovers (about 4 cups)

Cost $2.68

Ingredients

12 ounces cranberries

2 oranges, zested

1 jalapeno, minced

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup water

 

Procedure

1) Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.

2.) Over high heat, bring contents to a boil, stirring occasionally.

3.) Reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking for 1 hour, until sauce is bright read and consistency of jam.

4.) Cool completely.  ENJOY!

*Cranberry sauce can be made 3 days in advance

Sweet Potato Puree

Yields 4 servings with leftovers (about 8 cups)

Cost: $1.79

Ingredients

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes

1 green apple, peeled and cut into 1" cubes

1 onion, peeled and cut into 1" cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup chicken stock

 

Procedure

1.) Preheat oven to 450F.

2.) Combine potatoes, apple, onion, olive, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

3.) Toss until evenly coated.

4.) Transfer to a lined sheet tray and roast for 30 minutes. (I recommend roasted these at the same time you put your turkey in the oven.)

5.) Meanwhile bring stock to simmer in a small pot over medium low heat.

6.) Once the roasted potato mixture comes out of the oven and cools for 10 minutes, transfer to a food processor or blender. Puree with warm stock until smooth.

7.) Adjust seasoning if necessary. ENJOY!

Oh SNAP! Budget Friendly Holiday Recipes

Justin Kouri
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Turkey.JPG

Oh SNAP! It's the holidays! 

You've already spent a small fortune on gifts for friends, family, coworkers and everyone else. Now you need to spend even more to feed everyone?!

Don't worry. We have tons of recipes for a feast and leftovers, making sure you don't break the bank this holiday. Follow our posts, cook along with us and let us know what you think!

We're going to get started with the heavy hitters. Here's our recipe for a Roasted Turkey. Happy Holidays!!! 

 

Simple Roasted Turkey & Gravy

Yields 4 servings, plus leftovers

Cost: $16.31

We know it looks like a lot of ingredients and it is - we're making a feast! The stuffing and roast are playing several roles: they're keeping the bird moist, creating the base for our gravy and providing us with perfectly roasted vegetables to use with our leftovers.

 

Ingredients

Brine

2 cups brown sugar

¼ cup black peppercorns

¾ cup kosher salt

2 oranges, peeled (reserve actual fruit)

1 lemon, peeled (reserve actual fruit)

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 gallons cold water

12 pound turkey

 

Stuffing

2 oranges, reserved from brine, quartered

1 lemon, reserved from brine, quartered

6 cloves garlic, smashed

½ bunch thyme, fresh

 

Roast

4 carrots, peeled

2 parsnips, peeled

1 onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

4 button mushrooms

6 cloves garlic

4 tablespoons butter, melted

 

Gravy

Dripping from turkey, all vegetables removed (reserve carrots, parsnips and mushrooms for later use)

¼ cup all-purpose flour

6 cups homemade chicken stock

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Procedure

Brine turkey

1.) Combine all ingredients except the turkey in a large stockpot. Stir to combine.

2.) Add turkey to the brine.

3.) Cover and place in refrigerator for 12-24 hours. 

 

Roast turkey

1.) Preheat oven to 450F.

2.) Remove turkey from brine and soak in cold water for 20 minutes. Discard the brine.

3.) Rinse turkey again to remove the additional salt and sugar. Pat dry.

4.) Stuff the turkey with oranges, lemon, garlic and thyme. Tie legs together.  

5.) Brush turkey with butter. Set aside.

5.) Place carrots, parsnips, onion, mushrooms, garlic and ½ cup of water on a sheet tray. Place a rack on top of the vegetables, and the turkey on top of that.

6.) Roast turkey for 30 minutes.

7.) Lower the temperature to 350F and cover the breasts with aluminum foil. Cook for another 1.5 - 2 hours, or until the internal temperature registers 165F.

8.) Remove from heat and rest for 30 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

 

Gravy

1.) Using oven mitts, transfer the turkey drippings to a medium saucepan. 

2.) Heat the drippings over medium heat.

3.) When the drippings begin to bubble, add flour and whisk until smooth.

4.) Continue whisking for 5 minutes. This process removes the raw flavor from the flour.

5.) Pour 1 cup of stock into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

6.) While whisking, add remaining stock to the pot and bring to a boil.

7.) Once the gravy boils, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, or until the gravy is thick.

8.) Season with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey. ENJOY! 

Meet Vareck Herrera

Justin Kouri
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Vareck 10.50.26 AM copy.jpgCongratulations to Vareck Herrera, our Volunteer of the Month for December.  Driven by his desire to offer his culinary and hospitality experience to help feed and educate our local community, Vareck joined the Recipe for Success volunteer team.  As a Bartender Extraordinaire at the Art of Food event, Vareck quickly integrated himself into the action, displaying a willingness to take on any task and engaging key guests throughout the evening.  "The entire night was a blast!" Vareck remembers.  A few days later, he brought his infectious enthusiasm and energy to volunteer at the Texas Contemporary Arts Fair.  

Vareck was intrigued by Recipe for Success because the Seed-to-Plate Nutrition EducationTM program emphasizes the importance of healthy sustainable foods.  He believes children can not only gain knowledge and skills in art, reading, math, and science while learning about plate presentation, recipes, weight and measures, and techniques, but they also learn that cooking is fun and rewarding.  An aspiring chef, Vareck loves that Recipe for Success allows him to "network with such amazing chefs" while also giving the opportunity to interact with both event guests and other volunteers.  Volunteering combines two of his loves: cooking and putting smiles on faces "one meal at a time".  Thank you, Vareck!

New Scholarship for Veterans

Recipe for Success
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FArmer.jpgHope Farms celebrated Veterans Day 2016 with the announcement of a new workforce development scholarship for U.S Veterans interested in pursuing a career in urban agriculture. Our Veteran Farmer Training Scholaraships are designed to empower a new battalion of urban agriprenuers.

The scholarships, funded by United Healthcare Foundation, provide a twelve-month Hope Farmer Training Program, which includes full-time wages, hands-on classes in horticulture, the business of growing and distribution of produce, as well as college level coursework in financial literacy, accounting, banking and business planning. Members of the Houston business community will mentor the trainees, who will also benefit from specially curated course work at Houston Community College and University of Houston in a well-rounded workforce development program designed to foster entrepreneurship.

Two U.S. Veterans will be awarded the scholarship in early 2017. The Foundation will gradually increase the number of annual awards to Veterans to a total of eight by 2019. Applications for the scholarship are being accepted here: http://recipe4success.org/programs/hope-farms.html through December 31, 2016.

Houston is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the country, and the Hope Farmer Training Program is a unique tool for empowerment and change. Research shows that Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress respond well to working in agriculture. Recipe for Success Foundation has built a coalition of support for the program with the Mission Continues, the Lone Star Veterans Association, Mental Health America - Veteran Outreach, Houston's Department of Veteran Affairs and Goodwill Veteran Employment Services among others. By transforming retired warriors into a battalion of new urban agripreneurs, the Foundation seeks to help solve the problem of equitable access to affordable, fresh produce in the city's poorest neighborhoods.

"We are particularly excited to provide the space for Vets to continue to serve their community in an environment that is conducive to their recovery from post-war stress," says Gracie Cavnar-founder of Recipe for Success Foundation, which developed and operates Hope Farms.

Delicious Fun with Girl Scouts

Gracie Cavnar
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Girl Scouts with Pasta.jpegThe San Jacinto Council Girl Scouts have found their Recipe for Success! They are arriving to RecipeHouse in droves to earn prized culinary and nutrition badges, including our coveted VegOut! patch.

It's no secret that Recipe for Success Foundation is the premier host to help children acquire life-long cooking skills in a healthy and fun atmosphere. The Girl Scouts were among the first to discover this several years ago. Now about 50 Scouts a week come to RecipeHouse to learn our hallmark healthy and delicious recipes. Carried home by Brownies and Ambassadors, the aromas of our healthy snacks and simple meals permeate Houston's family kitchens and dinner tables.  Now other youth groups have picked up the scent and made their way to RecipeHouse. The Jack & Jill Woodlands Chapter and a local National Charity League chapter of ninth grade girls are putting on their aprons this month.

These healthy learning opportunities aren't limited to organizations--anyone can join in the fun! We offer customizable cooking classes for all ages designed for you and your friends, family and coworkers.  If you are interested in booking a cooking class at RecipeHouse, give Chef Justin a shout at (713) 520-0443 or justinkouri -at- recipe4success.org

Sprouts Helps Grow Hope Farms

Gracie Cavnar
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An Apple a Day.pngSprouts is passionate about supporting organizations that are stewards of health and wellness in the communities where our team members and guests work, live and play.
Launched in 2015, the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation was created to support local nonprofit organizations creating stronger and healthier communities served by Sprouts.

In April, stores hosted a first ever in-store "Round Up for Our Community" campaign, where customers were given an opportunity to donate change to the Foundation. Thousands  participated, raising $258,000 in just eight days! These dollars, and contributions from the Foundation, funded the 2016 Neighborhood Grants program, designed to keep 100 percent of donations in communities where the donations were collected.

Recipe for Success Foundation is honored to be among the 54 non-profits selected to receive grants, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. In total, the Foundation distributed over $400,000 in Neighborhood Grants. Thank you Sprouts Farmers Market for awarding $10,000 to support our Hope Farms project!!

Partnering For Social Change

Gracie Cavnar
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Meredith BrandFront.JPGNEW YORK September 14, 2016.  TODAY Meredith Corporation, the nation's leading media and marketing company serving 102 million American women, and Recipe For Success Foundation, a national leader in the effort to end childhood obesity, announced a broad-reaching collaboration tied to Meredith's new "Partnerships That Will Change the World" initiative, which was unveiled during the company's first-ever BrandFront presentation. The Partnerships That Will Change the World campaign is designed to engage Meredith's young, female audience in influencing social change in measurable and meaningful ways.

"This partnership opens the door for Recipe for Success to help millions of women and families across America live healthier lives," said Gracie Cavnar, Founder and CEO of Recipe for Success Foundation. "We will be working across all the Meredith brands, which include Parents, Rachael Ray Every Day, Family Circle, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens and EatingWell, along with websites, television shows and multi-media."

Parents magazine launched the new collaboration by funding a new Recipe for Success Foundation Affiliate Partner School in the New York metro area next year.  Meredith and Recipe for Success will develop a variety of 2017 collaborations including cross-channel editorial, original video series, live events and social media campaigns to feature Foundation initiatives.

During the event, Cavnar appeared onstage with EatingWell Editor-in-Chief Jessie Price to announce the first of many Meredith collaborations for 2017. EatingWell will leverage the Recipe for Success VegOut! 30 Ways in 30 Days Challenge, incentivizing their readers to step up to the plate and pile it with veggies.  Price said her team is motivated to drive downloads of the Foundation's VegOut! mobile app to 50,000 users by 2020.

"We are excited to launch our Partnerships That Will Change the World," said Jon Werther, Meredith National Media Group President. "Giving back, promoting family safety and connectivity, empowering women to lead healthier lives and supporting female entrepreneurship are all key parts of Meredith's heritage."

Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP; www.meredith.com) has been committed to service journalism for 115 years. Today, Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms - including broadcast television, print, digital, mobile and video - to provide consumers with content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners.

Meredith's National Media Group reaches more than 100 million unduplicated women every month, including nearly 75 percent of U.S. Millennial women. Meredith is the leader in creating and distributing content across platforms in key consumer interest areas such as food, home, parenting and health through well-known brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Allrecipes, Parents, Shape and EatingWell.

Meredith also features robust brand licensing activities, including more than 3,000 SKUs of branded products at 4,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing is an award-winning, strategic and creative agency that provides fully integrated marketing solutions for many of the world's top brands, including Kraft, Lowe's, TGI Friday's and NBC Universal.

Meredith's Local Media Group includes 17 owned or operated television stations reaching 11 percent of U.S. households. Meredith's portfolio is concentrated in large, fast-growing markets, with seven stations in the nation's Top 25 - including Atlanta, Phoenix, St. Louis and Portland - and 13 in Top 50 markets. Meredith's stations produce over 660 hours of local news and entertainment content each week, and operate leading local digital destinations.

Put A Patch On It

Gracie Cavnar
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Girl Scouts_1.jpgWe have special classes at RecipeHouse for Girl Scouts to earn requirements toward GSUSA Badges.  Girl Scout troops can learn cooking skills alongside professional chefs, or design their own badge or journey workshops.  We even have a special VegOut! patch.  Contact Justin Kouri to plan a class for your troop or meeting, or visit the San Jacinto Girl Scouts Council Information Network to register for one of the already scheduled classes beginning September 10.

Exploring the World through Food

Gracie Cavnar
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Marco Polo Passport.jpgEvery year our Seed-to-Plate Team fine tunes a new year-long lesson plan with 20 integrated culinary and gardening classes designed to be embedded into an elementary student's regular school day, or delivered in an after school format or even adapted for summer camp.  Each lesson plan has a comprehensive step by step guide for teachers and beautiful collateral materials that incorporate complementary learning activities for the kids to do in their homerooms--or at home--to amplify our healthy messaging.  All of this is painstakenly aligned with TEKS and Common Core grade level deliverables for math, science, language arts and social studies as well as health.  Together these units present a powerful engagement tool to inspire kids to eat healthier as well as give them the life skills they will need to support their healthy inclinations.

This fall begins our students' year-long adventure with Marco Polo spiced up with culinary explorations that take them from Italy to Greece, the Middle East and China. Besides amazingly delicious and easy to prepare, healthy recipes based on the produce in thier gardens, they will absorb cultural insights and learn that there is more to unite us than divide us.  For instance, every country has a great noodle dish!

Children engaged in our signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ are changing their habits and attitudes, after just one academic year eating 30% more produce.  It's easy to become a Recipe for Success Foundation Affiliate Partner and recieve training, content and support in providing our program to your students.   Explore how to bring our award-winning Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ programs to your school. Details here.

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