Oakland school semifinalist in healthy recipe contest

May 17, 2011 5:42:19 PM PDT
Could Tuscan smoked turkey or porcupine sliders be on school menus in the future? They are included in first lady Michelle Obama's Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. So is Spanish chickpea stew from Oakland's Skyline High School. Judges were on the campus Tuesday to judge the tasty, and healthy, submission.

Skyline High School's Spanish chickpea stew is among 15 semifinalist recipes in Obama's Recipes for Healthy Kids competition, which wants to bring better, nutritious food that kids will like into school cafeterias.

Student-chefs worked with Chef Jenny Huston to create the stew. Then they tested it on fellow students.

It wasn't an easy sell at first, but once students tasted, it was a different story. Now the garbanzo, spinach, tomato mix is an item in the cafeteria and kids dig it.

Tuesday, the national competition got serious. Three judges were in the kitchen to watch the preparation and then to sample the recipe for flavor, appearance, creativity. Skyline was their first stop on a five-city taste tour to rank the recipes.

"I thought it was delicious, I'm on the bean team, I love beans," judge Eileen Ferruggiaro said.

If the Spanish chickpea stew wins the top spot, it could be served in schools across the country.

A national cook-off for prize money will be held in Texas in July.

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