A New York Chef’s VegOut! in the Big Apple

Chef Heather Carlucci
Chef Heather Carlucci

We asked award-winning NYC pastry chef Heather Carlucci to share her VegOut! 2015 adventures and her list of favorite VegOut!-friendly Manhattan restaurants. Heather, who serves on our Board of Directors, is also co-founder of Pig Mountain: Pig Roast and Veggie Fest, a charitable feast involving an army of chefs roasting what seems like a whole herd of pigs, plus delectable side dishes, held in upstate New York each August, and she is a member of the James Beard Foundation Board.

Carlucci says she joined our VegOut! Challenge because she wanted to support Recipe for Success Foundation’s effort to bring attention the role that eating produce plays in our overall health. She also says she enjoyed the challenge of cooking specific vegetables at home throughout each week. “I had fun keeping up with the vegetable of the day at home,” says Carlucci.

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Worksite Wellness Spotlight: Houston Food Bank

Staff leaderboard for VegOut! at Houston Food Bank
Staff leaderboard for VegOut! at Houston Food Bank

We are so proud of our enduring partnership with the Houston Food Bank. This dynamic organization feeds 800,000 hungry people each year by distributing food through nearly 600 hunger relief agencies in 18 southeast Texas counties. We share a common goal of nourishing our community and teaching the basics of smart food choices.  No wonder, we got such a huge kick when the folks at the Houston Food Bank enthusiastically joined in our 2015 VegOut! Challenge, encouraging not just their staff, but their volunteers and all their clients to participate, too. While we gear up for VegOut! 2016 at Houston Food Bank, read more about how we knocked it out of the park last year. 
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Announcing VegOut! 2015 Social Media and School Team Winners!


Anisha Anand's East Meets Southwest Salad.
Anisha Anand’s East Meets Southwest Salad.

Congrats to our Facebook friends who scored $100 Kroger gift cards for their enthusiastic social media presence throughout the challenge. Winners include Ryan Hawthorne, Debbie Kalis and personal wellness chef Anisha Anand, who posted this great photo of her East meets Southwest Salad with Mango Miso Dressing. Yum!

For our Instagram Amore the Obscure contest, Jenna White won the challenge for fennel; Alma Adams (a teacher at Patterson Elementary) won for jicama; Anna Eastman won for kohlrabi. Both Jenna and Anna won a copy of Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Shubhra Ramineni. Also for sharing the love via Instagram during Spring Break, Jacinda Wolofoson won a one-year membership to the Children’s Museum of Houston for a posting photo of her son vegging out during Spring Break. Way to go!

Food blogger Francine Spiering won the Hostess with the Mostess prize for her great posts with beautiful photos on the blog Life in the Food Lane,. Check out her posts, such as A week in Vegetables and In my kitchen VegOut 2015. Francine won a fabulous Bumble & Bumble gift basket!

Head of the Class: A total of 17 schools rocked the VegOut! this year.   Continue reading…

Worksite Wellness Spotlight: Luby’s

LUBYS VEGWe think Worksite Wellness programs are fantastic, because they cultivate peer support and collaboration for building healthier habits. Here’s another great example of VegOut! making a positive impact in the workplace. Now, this particular workplace happens to be an iconic Texas restaurant chain — Luby’s — where scores of people come in their doors and proceed to make food choices as they slide their tray along the stainless steel rails of the serving line.

We are proud to have Luby’s as a sponsor of Recipe for Success for the past 2 years, and as a VegOut! sponsor for 2015. “Luby’s Fuddruckers Restaurants, LLC got started as an Angel Affiliate and help create a vegetable garden for Lovett Elementary,” says Chisolm Tate, Human Resources Manager for Luby’s. “During the set-up for the garden, Molly Kaminski with Recipe for Success suggested that I VegOut! I took it a step further and in 2014: a team of 24 employees, including myself, took the challenge. We purchased a juicer and juiced a lot of the veggies — it was a fun activity and built a healthier team.” Continue reading…

VegOut! Fortifying Fort Bend Families

Heritage Rose posterVegOut! 2015 has engaged schools across the Houston area and beyond. We love the creativity and enthusiasm that our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ instructors, other teachers, principals and volunteers are channeling into this year’s VegOut! Challenge. Here’s a taste of the VegOut! fun blooming at Heritage Rose Elementary in Fort Bend ISD.

Viviana Ayala, the school’s Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ instructor, collaborated with Principal Shequelle Foster-Gims to open up the VegOut! Challenge the entire school. Ayala also created a clever, competition-inducing poster and placed it prominently in the cafeteria. “The poster reads: ‘Veg Out! Challenge! / The race is on … who will win?’,” says Ayala. “Below this is a graph on the left side with the grades from pre-k to 5th grade. As the percentage of kids per grade complete the 7-veggie mark each week that grade will get closer to the finish line. In essence it’s a race competition, which gives everyone a visual motivation to try more veggies.”

Both Principal Gims and Assistant Principal Nancy Sanchez offered their praise of Ayala’s motivational poster saying: “We love your idea of the VegOut! graph Competition.” Continue reading…