Friday, February 17, 2012

Hellmann's Real Food Grants

I've been using Hellmann's Mayo - my fave these days... their Olive Oil Mayo - since I was a kid.  I can't imagine my mother's tuna or chopped egg or chicken salad without some.
I slathered some along with Dijon mustard on our Greek Style Lamb Burgers we enjoyed a couple of days ago and added a heaping spoonful to my own version of Caesar Salad Dressing for some Romaine Salad on the side.  The left overs keep for a few days in the fridge.

1 tbsp mayonnaise (instead of the raw egg)
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 tsp anchovy paste or 1 -2 anchovies, finely chopped or mashed
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a large serving bowl, adding the olive oil last and whisk until well blended. Add the chopped romaine, toss and serve.

Mayo dreaming aside, this post is about Hellmann's Real Food Grants.  So let's back up a bit.   Back in May, 2009 I was invited, along with 8 other food bloggers from across Canada to participate in the Eat Real Eat Local Panel Conference held in Toronto.  It was an awesome experience and very eye opening for me.  I always shopped at farmers markets, but also spent time (and money) in regular grocery stores... without, I might add, looking for the origin of the :"fresh" produce.  That changed and now I always check before buying.  The closer to home your food is grown, the fresher, the tastier it is.   Enough said!

Last year I wrote about Hellmann's continued Real Food Grant program, geared to helping individual families and community groups create their own special projects to bring nutritious food to their tables - like vegetable gardens that popped up in school yards and community parks all over the country.. 
(Photo supplied by Hellmann's)
And now I want to share a shining star example of what one school - Ecole Camille J. Lerouge School in Red Deer, AB has accomplished with the help of one of my very favorite Canadian chefs - Chuck Hughes plus a $25,000 Hellmann's Real Food Grant to overhaul their cafeteria kitchen and provide more nutritious lunch menus.   Typical of many school cafeterias, their menu used to feature a limited selection of processed and pre-packaged foods, simply reheated.  The new menu at ECJLS now features daily, made from scratch  specials with an more nutritious spin on favourites like chicken fingers.  

It's an ongoing process to continue to create tasty additions to the menu,  but as Stephanie Cox, Senior Brand Manager for Hellmann's® brand in Canada had to say at the inauguration...

“We’re very excited to be able to support this school in their efforts to deliver nutritious and delicious lunch-options to their students as part of our Real Food Grants program, We truly believe that the passion and initiative displayed at the École Camille J. Lerouge School can serve as an inspiration and model for other motivated communities across Canada. 

“The idea is not to take away the foods kids love, but make them with real, fresh ingredients,” said Chuck Hughes who was on hand to help serve up some of his healthful menu creations.  “People will be surprised at how adventurous kids are when it comes to food if it’s prepared in fun and delicious ways. When I saw the old menu my first reaction was not to get rid of cafeteria classics that kids love but rather to make awesome chicken fingers that are good for them too.  Pretty soon they’ll be asking their parents to prepare these at home.”
I don't know about you, but I know I'll be putting on my thinking cap to see who I can share this news with. If you know of any organization, school, community or church group... not to mention chefs in your neighborhood who would love to make a difference.  Check out the Hellmann's Real Food Grant application details and have serious discussions with those around to make a real difference in your community.

1 comment:

li'l sista said...

That's pretty cool. Go Hellman's! Go Once Upon a Feast! Thanks for letting us know.