NEW YORK -- High school students aspiring to become future celebrated chefs faced a challenge recently from the nationwide 2015 C-CAP Meatless Monday Recipe Contest. The challenge: Turn Traditional Meat Dishes into Healthy Plant-Based Recipes.
C-CAP high school seniors became head chefs in their classrooms and entered the recipe contest with three students from Arizona, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. winning scholarships from Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), the national leader in providing culinary scholarships, education, and career opportunities to disadvantaged youth, and Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit organization in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities.
The C-CAP Meatless Monday Recipe Contest winners are:
1st prize: $5,000 scholarship- Arizona:
Jenna Kraus, Barry Goldwater High School – "Spaghetti and Meatballs" Take #2. This top winner also wins for herself and her teacher an all-inclusive stay at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, where the student will be able to experience healthy cooking practices first-hand from Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein.
Jenna used spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta and replaced the ground meat with walnuts. The walnuts provide a similar texture and meaty aspect while making the dish vegetarian.
2nd prize: $3,000 scholarship- Philadelphia:
Jacob Trinh, Delaware County Technical Schools – Cajun-plant Taco
According to Jacob, his dish is a spin on the classic fish tacos. He replaced the fish with meaty eggplant.
3rd prize: $2,000 scholarship- Washington, D.C. Region:
Jonathan Hernandez, DuVal High School – Quinoa Veggie Burger with a Sweet Tomato Compote
Jonathan made over a 100% beef burger buy using quinoa, a high-protein grain.
These winners, along with the many others who entered, worked with their culinary arts teachers to convert meat-based recipes by exploring and applying new cooking techniques and using vegetables, grains, and legumes as the basis of their dishes. Many were inspired to transform their family's favorite meat dishes into healthier vegetarian options.
"We're thrilled to team up with C-CAP for the annual recipe contest. Our goal is to motivate aspiring chefs to create tasty and healthy meatless meals. This year, we challenged C-CAP students to convert traditional meat-based dishes into meatless versions. We are excited for America to taste the winning C-CAP students' imaginative meatless renditions," Sid Lerner, founder of the Meatless Monday movement, said.
"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," C-CAP president Susan Robbins remarked. "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 judges evaluating the submissions for the C-CAP Meatless Monday Makeover Recipe Contest were: Kelvin Fernandez, NBA Fit Chef & Executive Chef, La Marina restaurant, NYC; Jason Weiner, Executive Chef, Almond, NYC and Bridgehampton; Diana Rice, RD, Meatless Monday Recipe Editor, and Scott Uehlein, Corporate Chef, Canyon Ranch.
Acknowledgment: Thank you to Ronzoni for its product contribution to the schools.