This weekend, the Aetna Healthy Food Fight competition was held during the Bayou City Art Festival in downtown Houston.
Food fight? Yeah, I brought it (my healthy chicken salad, that is).
I’m not going to lie — I was so excited to do this, but I was also really hesitant to break the great “Friday Night Lights” marathon Eric and I had going on. We’re addicted to this show. It’s bad. I could have spent the day watching it…but alas, a girl has to make a sandwich in public on occasion!
They were running a bit behind, so Eric and I wandered around the art fair for about an hour first. The art was seriously so impressive. We both really enjoyed checking out so many artists’ work.
And then it was time for me to get to work!
This was seriously so fun! I was really excited to be there; the guy running the show told us that thousands of people had entered from the Houston area and only 32 had made the final cut.
At least that’s what Frank, the guy in the white jacket, told me. And considering he refers to Bobby Flay as just “Bobby,” I’ll consider that pretty good!
Backstage there was so much cooking equipment and all our ingredients were set out for us on trays. It was quite a production! Really, I just loved that I got a new apron and my own cooking station…I felt so legit.
My recipe couldn’t have been any easier to prepare; it doesn’t even require cooking. But…I ran into one little problem. They provided all our ingredients, and they didn’t get me enough chicken, which I discovered sort of late. I needed four cups, but I only had two. I spoke to Frank and he just suggested I halve the recipe. That was fine…until I forgot I was doing that when I added the Greek yogurt. I dumped in the original amount and my chicken salad turned to creamy chicken soup.
“Uh, Frank?” I said. “I…made a mistake.”
He was really cool about it, especially because it wasn’t entirely my fault. He just brought me a strainer and a big bowl and told me to use that to get as much yogurt out as I could. This may have freaked some people out but, HELLO — I have cooking mishaps all the time. I wasn’t too worried.
In between scraping off yogurt, I just chatted with judges and festival-goers about my recipe, while reminding myself about 400 times not to lick my fingers.
The strainer worked great for getting the yogurt off, so that’s good to know for future disasters. Even though I took my time and had a yogurt debacle, I was still the first one done…by a lot. That was a little nerve-wracking, like when you’re the first one to finish a test. However, I was frequently the first one to finish tests in school and that never hurt me, so I just tasted it a few times, added salt and pepper, and then called it a day. Then emcee took me to the judges’ table where I told them a little bit about my recipe and why it was healthy and I left it to them to sample!
And that was it! The judging is all based on numerical scoring (for taste, presentation, and healthiness) and apparently, they do math like I do and won’t have a winner until next week sometime.
Once I was done playing “Top Chef,” Eric and I headed to the stand selling Bluth frozen bananas.
Arrested Development fans, I think you’ll understand why this was the most exciting moment of the day.
And…now back to the “Friday Night Lights” marathon! We’re only breaking to get fro-yo for dinner (don’t judge me) and watch “Mad Men” tonight (seriously…DJM).