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The words ‘food truck’ and ‘healthy food’ do not always go together. Food trucks are the latest rave for restaurateurs offering an alternative to diners who want to experience a new type of “to-go” food. So who would think a food truck sponsored by a health solutions company would have a place at a football game? Florida Blue does. The company believes that healthy food is a key ingredient to building healthier communities. And to reach people – you need to be in the places where they are.
I am proud to be the chef for the opening of the Florida Blue Flavors Food Truck which launches this weekend. And I know there is no better place to do something historic and momentous than at one of the nations, largest and oldest football games.
The 2013 Florida Blue Florida Classic
, on November 23, is the annual college football game between the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats and the Rattlers of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. First held in 1925, it is hosted by the city of Orlando, this rivalry draws an average of 60,000 fans each year. It is a cultural and social juggernaut for the Central Florida community.
We are all aware of how important the halftime show with the bands is, but the food vendors surrounding the Citrus Bowl have become their own industry. Hundreds of entrepreneurs peddle food, snacks and beverages to those who attend the game and those who do not.
The Florida Blue Flavors Food Truck will be set up in the Fan Fare area of the Citrus Bowl and provide attendees with healthy choices along with cooking demonstrations featuring healthy alternatives to holiday themed soul food.
Ever wonder how to make black eye peas into an appetizer? My black eye pea hummus with johnnie cakes can be a welcome addition to any holiday gathering. Or if you have been thinking about what is the big deal with kale? Instead of cooking it for hours, like their cousin collard greens, a salad with a light vinaigrette is a tasty option.
All in all, the Florida Blue
Florida Classic will be a “classic” weekend full memories with history, entertainment, food and most importantly a football game. Please join Florida Blue and me and include the Flavors food truck as one of those memories.
Black Eye Pea Hummus with Johnnie Cakes
- Serves 6
- 2 cups dry black eye peas soaked for an hour in water
- 4 tbsp. chopped garlic cloves
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 smoked turkey leg
- 1 cracked bay leaf
- 1 quart water
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. cumin
- 2 tbsp. olive juice
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Start by heating oil in a large pot. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf and turkey leg. Cook the turkey leg and onion with garlic until the garlic is light brown in cool than add the peas and water. Cook peas and cover on medium heat for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the peas are fork tender. Drain the peas and set aside. Mix the cooked peas, lemon juice, cumin and olive juice in a food processer.
Mini Johnnie Cakes
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup melted butter
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 ½ cup corn meal
- 2 tbsp. baking powder
Pour the mixed batter onto a lightly sprayed griddle. Cook pancakes on both sides until golden brown. Serve the johnnie cake warm with the hummus on the side.
Kale Salad with Asiago Cheese, dried cranberries, candied nut and lemon vinaigrette
- 1 1b fresh kale
- ½ cup Asiago cheese
- ½ dried cranberry
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsps. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Bring the water and ½ cup water and sugar to a rolling boil. Add the nuts and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the nuts and in a medium size bowl, toss the remaining sugar, salt and cinnamon with pecans. Place on a sheet pan and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
- 3 whole lemons cut in cube with skin
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- ¼ cup soy
- ½ cup white vinegar
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processer and set aside.
Wash Kale and cut in small strips. Toss the greens in lemon vinaigrette and place in desired serving bowls and top with cheese, cranberries and candied nuts.