Each month the organization’s “Wellness Committee” organizes an activity for the staff of the NB3 Foundation. The activities vary from physical challenges like completing 100 miles of running and walking in a month to much more mellow mindfulness activities such as journaling. Since March was National Nutrition Month, the committee decided to host an Iron Chef inspired competition to help boost morale and promote healthy nutrition.  

To pull this off, we had to find some ingredients that were:
1) Healthy
2) Not commonly used in our homes
3) Needed little to no cooking preparation. The third requirement is because our office is not equipped with a kitchen so any cooking would have to be done on a single hot plate or in the microwave, or possibly the toaster.

There were also no meat products included in the basket so that was an additional challenge for those who are not used to preparing plant-based only meals. 

We invited our neighbors Derek Gutierrez from the Santa Ana Golf Club and Prairie Star Executive Chef, Myles Lucero to judge the final products. The dishes were scored on a scale from 1 to 5 by three categories: creativity, taste and presentation. 

Overall, the staff and judges enjoyed the challenge. The NB3 Foundation team is incredibly competitive with each other, and it was evident that each team wanted to win. The prize was bragging rights. The team was honored to have a surprise judge to help select the winning team. Chef Myles brought a new perspective and gave us chef-level feedback on the dishes. The winning team wowed the judges with their hummus pinwheels, stuffed sweet pepper and garbanzo bean toast. 

The activity was a great team building experience and something that can be done with your staff or even youth in your program. When we expose ourselves, and our youth, to different ingredients and foods outside our comfort zones we have to be creative and experiment with new tastes. 

We challenge you to host your own Iron Chef inspired team building activity.

Here is a list of the ingredients we used. 

Required ingredients:
Garbanzo beans
Sweet peppers

Salad Dressing
Sliced bread