Archive for December, 2012

Extreme Food Makeover Holiday Edition Winners

This season, Cooking Matters challenged participants via social media to makeover a typically unhealthy holiday-time favorite.  The only rule:  incorporate healthy ingredients and cooking techniques when recreating your dish!  Bonus points were awarded for use of the secret ingredients.

The secret ingredients were:

1. Winter Squash

2. Peanut Butter

3. Cinnamon

Cooking Matters staff voted for their favorites based on the following criteria:

1) Health Value (Incorporation of healthy ingredients and techniques)

2) Thoughtfulness (Incorporation of holiday theme/meaningfulness to its creator)

3) Presentation

4) Creativity

Best Overall:  Peanut Butter Cookies with a Healthy Twist by David Moss

davids efm

Why did David win best overall?  Voters appreciated the simplicity of his recipe.  With only 9 ingredients total, the 3 secret ingredients can really shine.  This whole grain recipe is approachable even to baking beginners (such as participants in a Cooking Matters class).  Cookies are undoubtedly a holiday indulgence, but this recipe gives them a healthy and unexpected twist!

Most Thoughtful:  Winter Squash Peanut Butter Cheese Cake w/ Whipped Yogurt by Chef Mike

mike efmWhy did Chef Mike win most thoughtful?  He chose to recreate his mother’s traditional pumpkin pie recipe, but with a healthy twist.  Chef Mike gave us the most background about his family’s holiday traditions (adding the whipped “cream” because his mother wouldn’t allow it otherwise!).  Judges loved this recipe’s use of greek yogurt and low fat ricotta.  We also loved the idea of using Chef TJ’s healthy cookie crumbs for the crust!

Best Presentation: Pumpkin Peanut Butter Mousse Tart by Chef TJ

tj efmWhy did Chef TJ win best presentation?  Well, in a recipe contest where we can’t try the foods, we eat with our eyes– this one blew us away!  We appreciated this recipe’s use of nutritious ingredients like flax, chia seed,  wheat germ and whole wheat flour.  Using greek yogurt and egg whites give the mousse a healthier spin.  If this dish tastes half as good as it looks I’d like some now, please.

Most Creative:  Pumpkin Casserole by Dawn Claybrooks

dawns efmWhy did Dawn win most creative?  Two words:  homemade marshmallows.  What an idea!  Everyone has had sweet potatoes with marshmallows, but Dawn put a creative spin on this classic through the use of pumpkin.  We also liked her use of natural peanut butter (meaning no hydrogenated oils) and use of unsaturated fats instead of butter!

A big thank you goes out to all the participants. Contests like this one help us promote healthier eating habits and demonstrate the array of ingredients and techniques that can be used to make any dish healthier.  We couldn’t have a competition without competitors– thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to share your skills and creativity!  We hope you had fun!

Winners should contact aeisenberg@gcfb.org to receive your prizes!!!

Happy and Healthy Holidays Everyone!

December 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm 2 comments

Extreme Food Makeover: Holiday Edition!

extreme makeover

 

It’s that time of year again….Extreme food makeover!!!

The holidays are here, and no matter how you celebrate, we all gotta eat!  Holiday foods=comfort foods and comfort foods=unhealthy, right? WRONG!

This holiday season, Cooking Matters challenges YOU to makeover a typically unhealthy holiday favorite.  This is a totally nondenomenational competition– whatever your family eats over the holidays is fair game!  The only rule is that you incorporate healthy ingredients and cooking techniques when recreating your dish!

The competition begins TODAY, Friday the 14th of December, 2012.

The secret ingredients are:

1. Winter Squash

2. Peanut Butter

3. Cinnamon

Although secret ingredients are optional, using them awards you bonus points.  The more secret ingredients you incorporate the more points you win!

Entries are due via the Cooking Matters Michigan facebook page by midnight on Sunday.  Post your recipe along with a picture or 2 of the final product.  We encourage you to share your inspiration for this dish, how you prepared it, and what this dish means for you and your family!

What’s at stake here?  PRIZES!!!  The winner and the runner up will be able to choose from an array of awesome goodies.

Winners will be announced on Monday.

Get Cooking!  Good luck and Happy Holidays!!!

December 14, 2012 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

Volunteer Spotlight: Billy Genterola

Billy really wowed us with his fruit carving skills at the volunteer appreciation event at Le Petit Zinc this fall.

Billy really wowed us with his fruit carving skills at the volunteer appreciation event at Le Petit Zinc this fall.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Billy Genterola. I came from the Philippines. I have management degree in the Philippines and worked with various multinational companies including retail and restaurant chains. I recently finished my Culinary Arts degree at OCC. I am actively volunteering in the dining room management classes. I love working in the restaurant especially in the dining room. I love talking with guest and suggesting wines to pair with their food. Last June 2012, I won the gold at SkillsUSA National Food and Beverage Competition held in Kansas City, MO.

What made you decide to pursue a culinary career?

I always love Cooking. My mom taught me how to cook when I was 7 years old. I came from a family of cooks too! My great grandfather was a cook during World War II. When I came to the US I decided to go back to school and pursue my first love.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love running. I read books (mostly cooking books). I carve fruits for display. I also like adventure and dining out with friends.

How did you find out about Cooking Matters?

I was talking to my friend about my volunteering activities and she told me about her volunteer job at Gleaners. So during an ACF convention I was able to talk to a CM coordinator and learned about the program.

Do you have a highlight from a Cooking Matters class that you’d like to share?

Nothing in particular. I taught seniors and teen classes. They were all great! They have lots of questions and always ask for my favorite foods.

Do you have a favorite recipe?

Edamame Hummus!

Ingredients

1/2 pound frozen shelled edamame (green soy beans), about 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons), juiced
1 clove garlic, smashed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

1. Boil the beans in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, or microwave, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. In a food processor, puree the edamame, tahini, water, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix until absorbed.
3. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the parsley and drizzle with remaining oil.

Serve with the pita or vegetables, or refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.

Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com

December 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment


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This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. This work is supported in part by the Michigan Department of Human Services, under contract number ADMIN-10-99011. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Michigan Fitness Foundation or the Michigan Department of Human Services. In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, these institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720- 6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more contact the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline at (855) ASK-MICH. Space-Limited USDA/DHS/MNN Credit Statement This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. These institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet call the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (855) ASK-MICH.