If you're a parent who won't cook because you feel it's too time-consuming or that your children are "picky eaters," listen up. Hellmann's (yes, the mayonnaise people) developed The Real Food Project to help you prepare quick, simple, and delicious meals for your family. (Real mayonnaise, real food—get it?) To spread the word, they've teamed up with celebrity chef Bobby Flay and actress Lori Loughlin to help bring easy recipes and cooking tips to life.
In addition, Hellmann's will donate up to $75,000 to fight childhood hunger through its virtual Sandwich Swap 'n' Share initiative. For every sandwich you build, as well as for ones you share with friends, Hellmann's will make a donation to Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit organization committed to making sure "no kid in America grows up hungry." At present, 16.7 million children—roughly one out of four—are at risk of hunger in this country. As that number continues to rise, every little bit helps.
For this event, Bobby Flay prepared three delicious snacks: a Chicken Gyro; Egg Salad, Cheese, and Bacon on Toasted English Muffins with Tomato; and a Mini Fish Taco. (Because links to the recipes are provided below, my remarks are limited to a few additional salient preparation notes.)
First up, the Chicken Gyro. Bobby uses Hellmann's Light (made with cage-free eggs) to produce a mayonnaise-infused variant of tzatziki, a Greek yogurt sauce. After dicing the roasted chicken breast, he grates the fresh garlic, using kosher salt as an abrasive to dissolve the garlic into a paste. He emphasizes the importance of straining the cucumber thoroughly to avoid excess water. (View recipe details; view video.)
Next is the Egg Salad, Cheese, and Bacon on Toasted English Muffins with Tomato. Hard-boiled eggs are, of course, the basis for an egg salad. For the sake of texture, Flay advises against chopping them too finely. To further emphasize contrast in texture, he uses chopped turkey bacon for its crunch as well as for its smokiness. The poultry variant, though not the chef's favorite, is the bacon of choice owing to its health advantages over its porcine cousin. Celery, the sine qua non of any egg salad, rounds out the texture and flavor. Finally, he adds cilantro (one of my favorites) as a garnish. Again, Bobby prefers seasoning with kosher salt for its clean flavor. (View recipe details.)
Mini fish tacos conclude the offerings. With Tostitos Scoops! serving as the taco shells, this recipe calls for tuna, although other fish such as salmon, halibut, or snapper may be used instead. "It's like a fish salad on a tortilla chip," he told Erica Hill that morning on the Early Show on CBS. (View video.) Bobby Flay uses diced green onions enthusiastically for what he calls their "fantastic flavor." He hastens to add that, because of their pungency, "a little goes a long way." Lime juice, cilantro, tomatoes, and jalapeños deliver additional flavor and heat. Chef Flay played down any concerns about spicy foods and children: "Don't be afraid of a little heat," he reassured us. (View recipe details.)
Finally, I've saved the dessert for you, dear reader. Hellmann's invites you to spin the Wheel of Real for your chance to win one of hundreds of instant prizes and a shot at a $500 grocery gift card. (Your email address is required to play.)
By teaming up with Bobby Flay, and making some of his videos and recipes available online, Hellmann's is making real food really accessible. And by partnering with Share our Strength, they're helping to fight the rising problem of childhood hunger in America. If their Sandwich Swap 'n' Share proves successful, wouldn't it be nice if Hellmann's would bring out the best by upping the ante?