Recipe Contest

Recipe Contest


Recipe Contest Winners

The winners of the VN DPG Recipe Contest have been selected! 

Congratulations to our grand prize winners:

  • Caldo Verde, Nichole Dandrea-Russert
  • Curried White Bean Hummus, Sharon Palmer
  • Umeboshi Chia Seed Onigiri, Sharon de la Pena

Thank you to all of our participants for making VN’s recipe contest a success!

Potato Category Winner
Caldo Verde
Caldo Verde
Recipe by Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RD


  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup roughly chopped yellow onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves, roughly minced
  • 4 cups roughly chopped potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups chopped spinach or kale leaves (ribs removed, leaves only)
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • sliced green onion to taste
  • 4 lemon wedges
Cooking Instructions
  • Sauté the veggies: Heat a large stovetop pot over medium heat. Add the oil and onions, cooking until the onions are translucent, about 3–4 minutes. Add 1–2 tablespoons of water as needed to deglaze the pan, if needed.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the potatoes, water, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10–12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool a bit before adding it to a blender or using an immersion blender, blending until smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat the stovetop pot on medium-high heat again. Add the spinach or kale plus ¼ cup water to the pot. Cook until the kale is wilted and water evaporates, about 2–3 minutes.
  • Transfer the soup mixture back to the pot. Reheat on medium until everything is warmed through.
  • Taste for salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Divide between bowls and top with sliced greed onion, lemon wedges, and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Beans Category Winner
Curried White Bean Hummus
Curried White Bean Hummus
Recipe by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN


  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-inch fresh turmeric (or 1 teaspoon dried, ground turmeric)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Cooking Instructions
  • Place drained white beans, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, cumin seeds, turmeric, and black pepper into the container of a small blender.
  • Process for a few seconds until smooth and creamy. May need to pause and scrape down sides as needed.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Makes 1 ½ cups (6 ¼-cup servings)

Category Winner
Umeboshi Chia Seed Onigiri
Umeboshi Chia Seed Onigiri
Recipe by Sharon de la Pena, MS, CDE, LND


  • 2 cups short-grain white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 4 umeboshi
  • 1 sheet nori cut into 8 1 inch wide strips
  • 1 teaspoon shiso fumi furikaki
Cooking Instructions
  • Wash and rinse rice until water runs clear.
  • Place the 2 cups of clean rice in an instant pot with the 2 cups of water. (Note: if cooking rice on the stove or in a rice cooker, increase the amount of water to 3 cups).
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds until well combined with the rice.
  • Place 4 umeboshi on top of the rice.
  • Place the lid on the instant pot and lock it into place. Cook the rice for 4 minutes and let the rice steam (natural release) for 15 minutes before releasing the pressure.
  • After the rice has steamed for 15 minutes, remove the lid. Remove the umeboshi. Take the seed out of the umeboshi and chop the flesh into small pieces. Add the chopped umeboshi back to the rice and stir gently to incorporate.
  • Using your hands or a mold, shape the rice into a triangular shape. Repeat until all of the rice has been used.
  • Wrap a nori strip around the bottom of the rice ball.
  • Sprinkle each rice ball with shiso fumi furikaki.

Previous Winners:


Celebrate National Nutrition Month®

This year, National Nutrition Month® will be celebrating flavors from cultures around the world is a tasty way to nourish ourselves and appreciate our diversity. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can help you create healthy habits that celebrate your heritage and introduce you to new foods and flavors.