Its Maria here in Williamson writing a rainy day blog, and unwinding from a huge week of celebrations! This year, Williamson was the recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize- a $25,000, unrestricted award. Last Thursday and Friday we had a local celebration to recognize our community, featuring a healthy walking parade, free photo booth and fire works

The City of Williamson asked us to help collaborate on the event by  sponsoring the first annual Healthy in the Hills Cook Off. The event exceeded my expectations! We had 12 competing recipes, and each contestant provided 40 samples for the audience—and they were gone in no time!! Each participant handed out recipes to the audience as well, to encourage healthy cooking. Here are some pictures from the event: chefs prepared stuff from chili, to meatless ribs, to a simple garden salad. Most importantly though, each recipe had to obtain at least one local ingredient, and they were judged on this component.

The top three chefs got gift cards, and the winner prepared this amazing stuffed chicken with feta and spinach. It was delicious!


meatless ribs!


Photos Take by Stephen Stonestreet at Stonestreet Creative.

ALSO- I just had to share one that really caught my attention: It was a delicious healthy dessert alternative. Garbanzo bean pie, as the competitor called it:

Garbanzo Bean Pie

    • 2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed well) (500g total, once drained)
    • 1 cup quick oats (or certified-gf quick oats)
    • 2 cups pitted dates (300g) (I recommend Sunmaid, as they’re softer and easier to blend.)
    • 4 stevia packs, or 1/8 tsp uncut (or 4 tbsp sugar)
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 2/3 cup milk of choice
    • 3 tbsp oil (canola, veg, or coconut)
    • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup chocolate chips (you can use sugar free choc. chips if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a 10-in springform pan (or two 8-in round pans). Combine all dry ingredients (except chips) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients. Put around 1/3 of the dry and 1/3 of the wet ingredients into a high-powered food processor like a Cuisinart (NOT a blender) and blend until super-smooth (where there are no date pieces to be seen). Scoop out into a bowl, and repeat the process twice more with the rest of the ingredients. (If you have an absolutely giant food processor, you can do it in two batches, as opposed to three.) Stir in the chocolate chips, and pour into the pan or pans. Bake 35-40 minutes (or 30 if you want it really gooey in the middle), then let cool at least 15 minutes before trying to remove it.


garbanzo bean pie!