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Chef Bland's Low-Fat Spinach Jalapeno Dip


2 cloves very finely minced garlic

2 cup strained low fat or non fat Greek yogurt

2 T. Pickled Jalapeño peppers, finely minced

1 cup chopped frozen spinach

juice of one small lime

1/2 tsp ground cumin or more to taste

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Strain the yogurt through a sieve or colander that's been lined with several layers of cheese cloth or a couple of layers of coffee filters. Leave the yogurt in the sieve, over an empty bowl for several hours, until about 1 cup of liquid drains off. I generally start with about 3 cup of Greek yogurt to get 2 cups of strained yogurt. You can use plain Greek yogurt unstrained if you like but the dip will not be as thick.
  2. Simple mix all of the other ingredients into the strained yogurt and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or even overnight for the flavors to meld together.
  3. Serve with julienned fresh veggies or with tortilla chips.
  4. Thinned with a little low fat milk or buttermilk, this dip could also be used as a creamy salad dressing.

Chef Bland's Chipotle Roasted Shrimp

Chipotle Roasted Shrimp


Makes 4 tacos


1 lb. thawed raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 sm. Can roasted chipotle peppers

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. garlic powder

3 tbsp.  melted butter


Season shrimp with cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Pour over 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the canned chipotles (you can put the rest of the peppers and liquid from the can in a Ziploc bag, freeze it, and use it later!)

Spread shrimp evenly on a sheet pan and roast in a 400-degree oven for 12 minutes.

Remove the shrimp from oven, place in a bowl, and toss with melted butter.

Serving the Community

When the students in the Goose Creek CISD left on March 6th for Spring Break, none of them had a clue that it would be the last day they would be in a traditional classroom.  No one knew that the entire state, country and world would go on a mandatory lock-down because of an unseen enemy; COVID-19.  

Natalie Edwards, Food Service Director, was in constant communication with district leaders as everyone scrambled to assemble and put a contingency plan in place to make sure students can finish the school year.  For the Food Services department, the goal was clear; make sure the children in the district could continue to receive food.  

Since March 16th, the Food Services team has provided bagged, Grab and Go meals for any Goose Creek student, 18 years and younger for free.  Meals will continue through the end of June.  



Hehejandro and The Boys Place at State

Team with PriceSeniors, Alejandro Alcantar, Destiny Whitener and Nathan Garza once again proved that they have the culinary skill to tickle your taste buds and impress the pros!  The trio, competing under the name, Hehejandro and The Boys, placed second out of fourteen culinary teams from all over the Lone Star State in the Lone Star Chef Competition sponsored by Aramark.  


The student chefs had thirty minutes to cook and plate their dish, a Cuban sandwich called El Destino's Swich.  They had to incorporate two of four secret ingredients that included: Dil Havarti Cheese; tomatillos; jicama; and grapefruit.  


This was the second time the trio had appeared at the Lone Star Chef Competition.  They won first place in the 2018-2019 competition.  

Headed Back to The State Competition!

District Lone Star Champs

Four teams of students from three Goose Creek CISD high schools competed in the Aramark Lone Star Chef Competition on Tuesday, December 17th.  The culinary teams took on the theme Eat the Street as they prepared food truck inspired dishes that incorporated two of the three secret ingredients:  Brussels Sprouts; Pomegranates and Curry Powder.


Judges Deputy Superintendent of Goose Creek CISD, Dr. Anthony Price; Sysco Corporate Chef Brittany Jerome and Meat Processing instructor Rex Miller were presented amazing dishes but ultimately crowned last year’s Lone Star Chef Champions HeHeJandro and the Boys the victory.  Alejandro Alcantar, Nathan Garza and Destiny Whitener were crowned the State Champions of the Lone Star Chef Competition last year and the trio are excited to defend their title again this year!  


Student culinary champs from across Texas will gather at Southern Methodist University on February 7th to determine who will bring the trophy home.  

‘It’s a Wrap!’ Goose Creek students win 2019 Lone Star Chef Contest

Goose Creeks team gives a thumbs up.

Friday, March 29 was an exceptionally good day for Alejandro Alcantar, Nathan Garza and Destiny Whitener. The Goose Creek CISD Culinary Arts team cooked their way to first place in Aramark’s 2019 Lone Star Chef state contest with their recipe for “Nathan’s Crunch Wrap.”

Fourteen Texas school districts sent teams to the Lone Star Chef finals at Minute Maid Park in Houston that day, where their challenge was to create and prepare a dish that fit this year’s theme – “Eat the Truck.” 

Coached by Chef Kylie Sobczak of Stuart Career Tech High School, the students took the food truck theme seriously when they created their recipe.

“We wanted to make something that was fast and easy to eat on the go,” said Alejandro Alcantar.

Destiny wraps the tortillas during the Lone Star Chef Competition.

Their first inspiration was to make pupusas, but then teammate Nathan Garza said the idea for “Nathan’s Crunch Wrap” came to him in a dream. Destiny Whitener’s perfect wrapping technique completed the winning dish.

Prior to the competition, all teams enjoyed a tour of Minute Maid Park provided by the Houston Astros, plus a BBQ-themed lunch prepared by the Aramark chefs who run the park’s food operations.

Once lunch was over, the real work began. The high school culinary teams had time to set up their stations and scope out the massive table of ingredients before the 30-minute cooking clock started. They also learned that they needed to include at least two of these four “mystery ingredients” into their recipes: Poblano Pepper, Grapefruit, Shitake and Portobello Mushrooms and Radishes.

“Hehejandro and the Boys” – as the Goose Creek team called themselves – remained poised and calm as they prepped their dish for the judges.  They were able to incorporate three of the mystery ingredients into their pork wrap.

Their perfect execution won over the judges and “Hehejandro and the Boys” went home with a first-place trophy and $2,500 in scholarship money.

Goose Creek won $2500 in scholarship money.

Stuart Career Tech High School advances to state in Aramark's Lone Star Chef Competition

Chef Kylie Sobczak, left, and her Stuart Career Tech culinary students who won the district-level competition in Aramark's Lone Star Chef Contest. Destiny Whitener, Nathan Garza and Alejandro Alcantar.

Goose Creek Lone Star Chef Contest Winners

Culinary Arts teams representing Lee, Sterling and Stuart Career Tech High Schools competed in Aramark’s annual Lone Star Chef Competition February 7 for the right to represent Goose Creek CISD at the state competition in March.

The theme of this year’s contest is “Eat the Truck.” Students are challenged to create a recipe that has food truck appeal, while still meeting the nutritional requirements of the TDA School Lunch Program.

Lee’s team, coached by Chef Ginger Zoidis, created “Trash Can Nachos” and Sterling’s team, coached by Chef Alesha Tate, concocted “Freestyle Tostadas.” But in the end, the dish that won over the judges' taste buds was “Nathan’s Crunch Wrap,” prepared by the team representing Stuart Career Tech High School, coached by Chef Kylie Sobczak.


Nathans Crunch Wrap was the winning dish

The competition was judged by Dr. Anthony Price, Deputy Superintendent for Goose Creek CISD; Chef Cheyenne Peer of H-E-B’s Cooking Connection; and Rex Miller, Stuart Meat Processing instructor at Stuart Career Tech HS.

The Stuart Career Tech team, calling themselves “Hehejandro and The Boys,” includes Destiny Whitener, Nathan Garza and Alejandro Alcantar. They will now face off against 14 other school districts at the Aramark Lone Star state competition at Minute Maid Park in Houston on March 29.


Pictured below are all the Goose Creek competitors:

Front Row: Alejandro Alcantar, Nathan Garza, Favyon Russell

Back Row: Destiny Whitener, Angel Palos, Jason Buruca, Joseph Coy, Kaitlyn Ruiz



Culinary students from Lee, Sterling and Stuart Career Tech High Schools

Lee Culinary Team performed with skill and grace in Aramark's Lone Star Chef Competition March 29

Lee Culinary Team performed with skill and grace in Aramark's Lone Star Chef Competition March 29

Students Present Plate to Judges

Darely Sandate, Mildreth Sandate and Naomi Carrey of Lee High School present their plate (below) to the judges at the Aramark Lone Star Chef Competition at Baylor University. The team was coached by Chef Ginger Zoidis of Lee High School.



For the last four years, Aramark has hosted a statewide cooking competition for high school chefs called the Lone Star Chef Competition. This was the first year that Goose Creek CISD has entered the competition, in which teams are challenged to create and execute a recipe that meets all the USDA nutritional requirements for a school lunch entree. The 2018 theme was "Latin Fusion."


The district competition was held February 1. It was Lee vs. Sterling. Ultimately, the local judges selected the Lee High School’s “Latin-Inspired Pizza” to represent our district at the state competition at Baylor University on March 29.


Fifteen teams from throughout the state competed for $5,000 in scholarships and prizes. Although our team from Lee High School did not place in the top three, they were definitely a contender as they sailed through the tense competition with practiced poise.


Congratulations to Chef Ginger Zoidis and the Lee team – Mildreth Sandate, Darely Sandate and Naomi Carrey – for representing Goose Creek CISD so well!


Competition Team

The Goose Creek CISD Lone Star Chef Contestants at the district-level competition in February.


From left to right are Brayan Franco and Harlan Haynes of Sterling High School, and Naomi Carrey, Mildreth Sandate and Darely Sandate of Lee High School.

Chelsea's Challenge: 'Texas Produce' Recipe Contest Winners

Meet the winners of Chelsea's Challenge: 'Texas Produce' Recipe Contest!


Chelsea's Challenge Winners

Congratulations to these TOP CHEFS from 2017!

From left to right: Robert Johnson (Highlands), Ismael Santana III (Walker), Genesis Acosta (Harlem), Annaira Aguilar (Banuelos), Erik Gonzalez (Crockett), Jeikobs Joel Mercado (Alamo).


Missing from photo: Yoleth Alvarez (Travis).


Back row: Chef Franchesca Bland and Chelsea Arkadie, Registered Dietitian.


Printable Packet of 2017 Winning Recipes

2016 Top Chef Winners

Here are the 2016 Top Chef Winners!

2016 Top Chef Winners


Top row, from the left: Evyn Edwards (Austin); Asana Gordon (Austin); Ariana Lizette Loy (San Jacinto); Jason Wheelock (Highlands); Chef Kylie Sobczak.


Bottom row, from the left: Briyana James (Harlem); Madeline Gomez (Alamo); Madalynn Blackburn (Travis); Viridiana Nunez (Banuelos); Kyilee Whittington (Clark).


Not pictured: Alejandra Herrera (Ashbel Smith)