The Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) and USA Rice collaborated at the 2017 School Nutrition Association Annual Nutrition Conference in Atlanta to seek out the next great cranberry-rice foodservice recipe. After receiving numerous unique and trendy recipe ideas, the CMC and USA Rice are excited to announce that Debra Morris, director of nutrition of Jackson County Schools in Jefferson, GA, has won the $500 recipe contest grand prize for her black bean, cranberry and rice shaker salad recipe.
Representing two American food staples, the CMC and USA Rice challenged foodservice professionals at the conference to think outside the box and share their most creative recipe concepts combining these two versatile ingredients.
“We were thrilled to see the diverse and imaginative entries we received this year,” said CMC Executive Director Michelle Hogan. “Cranberries are America’s Original Superfruit® and are a healthful addition to school menus year-round. With cranberries and rice being on the USDA’s Foods Available List, both are easily accessible by foodservice professionals to incorporate in their school menus.”
Morris has been working in foodservice for five years and loves the joy that comes from knowing that she played a pivotal role in promoting lifelong healthy eating habits for children and their families. “Rice and cranberries have always been a staple in our household and both add delicious taste and texture,” said Morris. “The tangy, yet sweet taste of cranberries is a perfect complement for rice.”
Morris will also serve as a consultant in developing her concept into a tested, creditable school foodservice recipe.
“We were excited to partner with the Cranberry Marketing Committee because cranberries and rice make a perfect combination that isn’t always top-of-mind,” said USA Rice Director of Domestic Promotion Katie Maher. “From savory pilafs to sweet rice puddings, the possibilities of combining rice and cranberries are endless and who better to hear from than those on the front lines of planning and preparing school lunches.”
Morris said shaker salads are a way to appeal to children and stay up with current food trends. “Shaker salads are very popular in the retail food circuit and on the home front with the popularity of mason jars,” she said. “In school nutrition, we are constantly looking for ways to offer trendy and familiar items on school menus.”
Hogan added, “We couldn’t be more excited to work with foodservice professionals directly and are excited to add this new delicious recipe to our dedicated foodservice website for schools across the nation to use on their menus.”