BY MELISSA ROLLINS & SHAMIRA MCCRAY (Morning News)
The basis of the Greens Medley Mayhem contest, part of United Way of Florence County’s Biggest Loser contest, was to provide a healthy, locally grown meal free from Ovis Hill Farms.
Two winners were chosen; one is a contestant in the Florence’s Biggest Loser competition. The other was a person from the community who had submitted a contest entry email explaining why she wanted to win a healthy meal. Each winner was allowed to invite nine others to enjoy the meal.
Ovis Hill provided vegetables, grass-fed meat and homemade cheese for the meal, which was cooked by Stephanie Navarro, community resource manger for United Way.
“The purpose was to promote the benefits of farm-to-table cooking and to show people you can cook it (at home),” Navarro said. “We wanted to showcase the variety of ways you can cook it economically and nutritionally. To go organic (instead of just shopping local), there is a lot of cost involved.”
The meals varied for the groups. For the Biggest Loser contestant, who shared his meal with others from the competition, it was lentil stew with turnips, sweet potatoes, green garlic and onion, turnip greens and spinach garnished with kale micro greens and asiago cheese. The meat was a beef shoulder roast with Mediterranean flavoring served over onions.
For the second group, who had also been learning about healthy living and eating by following The Daniel Plan, the meal included roasted lentils, a sourdough bruschetta with pickled onions, cucumber, kale microgreens and white cheddar cheese curds. They had a chocolate chip granola bar for dessert.
Overall, the reviews were good. Biggest Loser contestant Peggy West said she enjoyed the flavors incorporated into the meal.
“The food was very tasty,” West said. “No salt was used and spices you wouldn’t think would be put in the roast were put in this. Mixing vegetables, each one feeds off the other and made it better.”
Teresa Streett, who was the winner chosen from the community, said the meal was the perfect way for her group from Southside Baptist Church to finish the study they had been doing for the past eight weeks.
“We were trying to eat better,” Streett said. “You just feel so much better when you do. This just fits perfectly with that. Trying new things, not eating a lot of salt and getting food locally.”
Southside’s Associate Pastor Jay Perez was part of the group and said he really enjoyed the meal.
“The meal is filling,” Perez said. “You don’t feel stuffed; you feel full but not stuffed.”
Particiants in both meals were surprised at the amount of flavor that came directly from the foods they ate, without much added salt.
Ovis Hill, located in Timmonsville, has several farmers’ market locations including one each Thursday and Saturday at Naturally Outdoors on Palmetto Street in Florence. The farm can be reached at 843- 346-3646.
Read the story and get the recipes at SCNOW.com!