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Benvenuti a Ashville! Ira B. Jones Elementary Tempts Judges with Taste of Tuscany

Posted by Debbie Smoot, Southeast Regional Director, Food and Nutrition Service in Initiatives Food and Nutrition
May 26, 2011

Cross posted from the Let's Move! blog:

Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, N.C., is known for its rich heritage, arts, and fine dining.  Recently, students from Ira B. Jones Elementary School, located in Asheville, shared a taste of another well-known region of fine dining – Tuscany – as the school’s recipe team prepared their semi-finalist recipe of Tuscan Smoked Turkey and Bean Soup for the judges in the First Lady’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition.

The school nutrition and cafeteria staff worked hand-in-hand with the recipe team to cook 350 servings of the Tuscan Smoked Turkey and Bean Soup for lunch as a special menu day in celebration of the judging event and served it alongside a corn muffin, fresh green vegetables and fresh fruit to the students who gave it great reviews. The judges also got a taste of the soup and talked to students about what they thought of the recipe. Delizioso!!

 Tuscan Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup. Ira B. Jones Elementary is a finalist in the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition.
Tuscan Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup. Ira B. Jones Elementary is a finalist in the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition.

Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy also showed up to give her support to Ira B. Jones Elementary and presented a proclamation declaring May 24, 2011, as “Healthy Kids Challenge Day”, encouraging all students to focus on healthy choices through food and exercise.

The recipe team – Ira B. Jones Elementary Child Nutrition Manager Susan Bowers; Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa Executive Chef Denny Trantham; Ira B. Jones Elementary School AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator Tara Jardine; and student Nichelle Burroughs – all worked together to develop the winning recipe. Then 165 students participated in a tasting session and evaluated the recipe before it was submitted.

Three judges made up of a Food Nutrition Service staff representative, American Culinary Federation chef, and school nutrition professional, continue to make their way across America in search of the winning nutritional finalist recipes that are kid tested and kid approved and that can easily be added to the National School Lunch Program menus.

To vote for your favorite recipe, go to the Recipes for Healthy Kids website.  Below is the recipe for Ira B. Jones Elementary School’s Tuscan Smoked Turkey and Bean Soup for you to try at home with your family or with your classmates:

Tuscan Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup
6 Servings


3/8 cup of onions, raw
1/3 cup of celery, raw
1/3 cup of carrots, raw
Smoked Turkey, cooked
1 1/2 cups of navy beans, canned, no salt
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth or stock, low sodium
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 1/2 cups of Kale, raw, trimmed w/o stem

Find out more on how to prepare the recipe, please click here.

Buona fortuna! to Ira B. Jones Elementary School.