Send In The Chefs!

A little while ago now, I was asked to embark on an awesome journey. Some of you already know that I run a non-profit so I’m a sucker for a worthy cause and always ready to go off to battle! This battle though is close to my heart… childhood obesity and the stuff that can sometimes pass for “healthy” food at many U.S. schools. Don’t get me wrong, some schools are getting on board, but more attention needs to be brought to the subject and we need to get more parents knowledgeable as well. To that end, I was honored when Hidden Valley Ranch contacted me about being a member of their parent panel and asked me to be involved with a fundraiser which would utilize the talents of 71 chefs across the country to bring funding and awareness to the Lunch Break for Schools program.
Here in Southern California, it was Chef Suzanne Goin of Tavern, Lucques and A.O.C., who spearheaded the effort to raise money and awareness at her restaurant, Tavern in Brentwood. The funds raised from the day go to creating resources for nutrition education programs at schools. What was so fun for me was being able to connect this great program with my own resources and helping spread the word on TV which lead to Chef Goin doing a cooking demo on Fox 11’s afternoon news/talk show, Studio 11 LA. You can see that below!

In case you wanted to know, here’s the delicious recipe that she shared on the show:

Suzanne Goin Specialty Lunch Break for Schools Recipe: Market vegetable Ficelle with Hidden Valley Ranch® dressing
**Makes 8 sammiches (yes, I said “sammiches”)
½ c diced meyer lemons (about 3-4)
2T rice vinegar
2T diced shallots
2t sugar
1c olive oil
2 c sugar snap peas, sliced on bias
2-4 small heads fennel, sliced lengthwise very thin
1 bunch baby carrots, mixed color, cleaned
1 bunch asparagus, sliced on bias ½ inch
2ea Persian cucumber, sliced
1c radish, sliced
2ea avocados, seeded, quartered and sliced
2hds little gems, cleaned
1 bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch Organic dressing
8 each ficelle rolls

First make a meyer lemon vinaigrette. Place the diced meyer lemons, shallots and vinegar in a bowl and let sit to macerate 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with 2t salt and 1/4t pepper and 2t sugar.

Place sugar snaps, fennel, baby carrots, asparagus, cucumber and radish in a bowl and toss with 1/2cup of the meyer lemon vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more vinaigrette if desired.

Season the avocado with salt and pepper.

To assemble sandwiches:
– Slice the ficelle in half lengthwise leaving one side intact.
– Spread each side of the ficelle bread with 1T ranch dressing
– Place 4 leaves little gems on the bread
– Add ¾ cup of the vegetable mixture
– Place 6 to 8 slices of avocado in the sandwich

If you’d like to donate to the Lunch Break for Schools program, you can use this link here: Donate to Lunch Break for Schools


This is a sponsored post, but a program I believe in nonetheless. I have been compensated to be a member of the Hidden Valley Ranch parent panel but the opinions and awesome expressed here are mine except where you see a recipe… that’s Suzanne’s and it is delish!

About Tshaka Armstrong

Tshaka Armstrong is the husband to one awesome wife, dad to three awesome children. On any given day you may find him posting internet & tech family safety info here and on his personal blog, or chatting with his tweeps when he's not dadvocating here. Join in the conversation, drop a line, share a joke and join him in encouraging each other to be awesome!