November 2017 Archives

Meet T'Liza Kiel: 2017 Volunteer of the Year!

Volunteer Coordinator
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T'liza farm.jpgWe are excited and honored to name T'Liza Kiel the 2017 Volunteer of the Year for Recipe for Success Foundation. T'Liza connected with Recipe for Success Foundation through her work at Hope Farms with The Mission Continues 4th Platoon. T'Liza immediately connected with the Sunnyside community, which reminded her of La Marque, Texas, her hometown. Sunnyside's similarity to La Marque, as well as the fact that Hope Farms allows access to fresh produce to an area identified as a food desert, increased the significance of her service. As the Veterans Behavioral Health Director for Mental Health America of Greater Houston, T'Liza recognizes the positive effects fresh produce has on physical and mental well-being. Because the subject of mental health still carries a stigma, her work on the farm can serve as a conduit to open conversations with peers and community members concerning how a healthy diet positively influences mental health. For T'Liza, the urban farm exists as "a world of impact in one place".

In 2016, The Mission Continues Platoon learned their team could help make a big impact at Hope Farms. Not knowing the farm wasn't in full production, T'Liza was surprised upon her first visit to the farm to see an open field without crops. She remembers looking at Chief Agricultural Officer, Justin Myers, asking, "Where's the farm?" When he responded, "with that big Justin grin...'You're looking at it' ", T'Liza then understood their team truly had the opportunity to make an impact. She appropriately named their first service project "Breaking Ground". Since then, T'Liza and her team have watched the farm grow to fully operational with Saturday Farmers Markets, cooking demonstrations, and a weekly farm share program.

Aside from the good feelings derived from her service on the farm, T'Liza continues to volunteer because if organizations such as The Mission Continues and Recipe for Success Foundation existed during her childhood, it would have positively affected her life. "Volunteering is a humbling experience and since I am no longer in the Military, this is my continued way to serve my community," she says.

Outside of volunteering, this busy full time working mom of a three year old also cares for her sixteen year old sister and amazingly still finds time to nurture her passion, writing. "I aspire to be a bestselling author one day!" She also enjoys completing home projects with her husband of five years including starting their own home garden.

On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, Recipe for Success Foundation will honor T'Liza for her service to the foundation. As Justin Myers says, her "genuine enthusiasm and passion for service and her work with Hope Farms made a tremendous impact in mobilizing and uniting her fellow The Mission Continues volunteers. She first came to the farm when it was a mere field and over the course the year, she played a critical role in helping to shape and build the farm into the reality of today. Her positivity and commitment to the farm and mission of Recipe for Success as left an everlasting and valuable impact."

Thank you, T'Liza!

Roasted Fall Vegetables

Justin Kouri
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Recipe by Chef Al King

Photo by Justin Kouri

If it's cold in Texas, we're willing to bet it's cold where you are! Warm up with some roasted veggies. The some zesty gremolata, makes this recipe one of our favorites!

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 pound carrots, peeled, halved & cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound parsnips, peeled, halved & cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound turnips, cut into 1-inch wedges

1¼ pound brussel sprouts, halved

½ pound shallots, quatered

3 tablespoon grape seed oil

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, destemmed & minced

1 garlic clove, minced

¾ cup pecans, coarsely ground

¼ cup Romano pecorino cheese, grated

1 lemon, zested & juiced

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

2 tablespoon grape seed oil, for garnish

1 tablespoon lemon juice, for garnish

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a sheet pan with foil.
  2. Place the carrots, parsnips, turnips, brussel sprouts, and shallots in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.
  3. Place the vegetables on the lined sheet pan and roast the vegetables for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Stir every 10 minutes to ensure even roasting.
  4. Remove sheet pan from the oven. Transfer the vegetables to a large platter to cool.
  5. Prepare the gremolata by combining parsley, garlic, lemon zest and juice, pecans, cheese and 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium size bowl.
  6. Add salt to taste. Mix to combine.
  7. Before serving, drizzle the vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. then sprinkle the gremolata over the vegetables. Enjoy!

Garden Pesto

Justin Kouri
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Swing by Hope Farms this weekend to purchase some lovely greens. We'll show you how to make a veggie packed pesto, which can be frozen for flavor loaded additional to your favorite fall and winter dishes!!!

Garden Pesto

Photo & Recipe by Justin Kouri

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup basil

½ cup arugula (or other greens)

2 tablespoons oregano

2 cloves garlic

¼ cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

¼ cup parmesan, finely grated

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 lemon, juiced

To taste salt & pepper

1 cup olive oil

Procedure

  1. Combine basil, arugula, oregano, garlic and walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until fine.

  2. Add parmesan, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until incorporated.

  3. While food processor is running, stream in olive oil until emulsified.

  4. Use pesto on pasta, sauteed vegetables or in scrambled eggs. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Pesto can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one (1) week.

  • Try freezing pesto in ice cube trays for already portioned single servings to use all season. Frozen peso will keep for up to one (1) month