LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2013—Winners of the 2013 C-CAP Meatless Monday Chili Recipe Contest were announced today by Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), the national leader providing scholarships, education, and career opportunities in the culinary arts to underserved youth and Meatless Monday, an initiative of the nonprofit The Monday Campaigns, which provides healthy and environmentally friendly information and recipes. First place winner and the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship is Lucila Flores of John Marshall High School, Los Angeles for creating Kung Pao Chili.
One of Lucila’s favorite dishes is Kung Pao Chicken. She literally enjoyed it in the womb. When her mother was pregnant with her, she went to the same Chinese restaurant that her family still goes to today. She has fond memories of sneaking behind the counter as a small child and watching the food being prepared. Lucila intends to pursue a career in culinary arts and will take part in the C-CAP LA Cooking Competition for Scholarships. She would like to attend The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) for its great program and the independence it would offer her.
“When I began to work on the Meatless Monday project, I wanted to convert a traditional meat dish into a meatless dish. That way, everyone can enjoy the flavor. Cooking for other people is about sharing experiences and sharing memories. I am excited to continue to learn about new techniques and flavors. I will use what I learn to be creative in my work. Cooking fine foods for other people will be how I express myself and share myself with people,” says Lucila.
Thousands of C-CAP high school seniors became head chefs in their classrooms and were introduced to the Meatless Monday public health campaign encouraging everyone to start each week with a healthy meal. While working with their culinary arts teachers to concoct the original meatless chili entree, the teen chefs were encouraged to use the recipe contest to explore new fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.
“We’re thrilled to team up with C-CAP for our second annual recipe contest. Our goal is to motivate aspiring chefs to create tasty and healthy meatless meals. We can’t wait for America to taste the winning C-CAP students’ imaginative meatless renditions of the traditional chili,” says Sid Lerner, founder of the Meatless Monday movement.
Each C-CAP school was invited to submit only one student recipe and photo. Seven finalists were selected and presented to a distinguished panel of judges. Three scholarships will be awarded this spring at the C-CAP Cooking Competitions for Scholarships Awards in the hometown of the winning student chefs. The first prize winner will receive $5,000, the second prize winner will receive $3,000, and the third prize winner will receive $2,000. The first prize winner and her teacher will be awarded a Canyon Ranch all-inclusive stay where the student will be able to experience healthy-cooking practices first-hand from Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein. Additionally, she will have the opportunity to spend time with a nutritionist to gain further insights into healthy eating. For the teachers, they’ll have time to pamper themselves and also spend time in the kitchen with Canyon Ranch’s culinary team.
“Through this contest, student chefs were guided by their teachers on recipe writing and development and were able to showcase their talent creating exciting meatless recipes,” says C-CAP president Susan Robbins. “We greatly appreciate The Monday Campaigns providing high school seniors with the opportunity for scholarships while promoting healthy eating in high schools and communities throughout the nation.”
The recipe submissions were judged on originality, flavor, healthfulness, ease of preparation, and writing ability. The recipe contest winners are from Los Angeles, New York, and Hampton Road, VA.
The judges evaluating the submissions for the C-CAP Meatless Monday Chili Recipe Contest were:
Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet; Laurie David and Kristen Uhrenholdt, co-authors of The Family Dinner; Joey Lee, recipe editor of meatlessmonday.com; Hillary Mickell, founder of FOODILY, “the world’s largest recipe network”; Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It, a practical guide to how to shop for the healthiest foods in the supermarkets; and Scott Uehlein, corporate chef of Canyon Ranch.
Kung Pao Chili
By Lucila Flores of John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California.
First Place: $5,000 Scholarship
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 8 ounces diced onion
- 8 ounces diced carrot
- 8 ounces diced zucchini
- 1 pound trimmed and diced mixed mushrooms
- 8 ounces diced bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice powder
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons Chinese-style black bean garlic paste
- 2-4 tablespoons Vietnamese-style chili garlic paste
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
- 1 (5-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice with 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved into it
- 3 ounces coarsely chopped, roasted, salted peanuts
- 6 sliced green onions
- 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
In a large pot over medium flame, heat the vegetable and sesame oils. Add the minced garlic and fresh ginger to the oil. Stir until just fragrant, but do not let it burn.
Add the onion, carrot, zucchini, mushrooms and peppers to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the Chinese Five Spice Powder and continue to cook and stir for 3 minutes more, or until it has become fragrant.
Add the mirin, vinegar, hoisin, black bean and chili pastes to the pan. Stir in the drained beans and water chestnuts. Stir in the orange juice-cornstarch mixture. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 7-10 minutes, or until the chili has thickened. Garnish with peanuts, green onion and cilantro to preference and enjoy!
Joyce Appelman, C-CAP, 516.482.1016, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cherry Dumaual, The Monday Campaigns, 212.991.1056, email@example.com
Acknowledgment: Thank you to Bush’s Beans for their product contribution to the schools.