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Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - Winning recipe announced in Power Chef recipe contest

Having fun with fruits and veggies was the goal of the PowerUp Power Chef recipe contest.

And the 30-plus children and adults from across the St. Croix Valley and western Wisconsin who submitted entries into the signature PowerUp Week competition did just that.

From Sassy St. Croix Summer Salad and Chop Chop Chickpea to Wham-Bam Veggie Slam, the fruit- and vegetable-inspired meals, snacks and treats were varied and delicious.

But there could only be one winner. PowerUp staff this week announced that the winning recipe was submitted by Cody Zizzo, 6 years old, from Mahtomedi. His winning recipe for Wham-Bam Veggie Slam was declared the most popular and judges’ favorite after several rounds of voting.

Eight semi-finalists were narrowed down to five by a popular vote on the PowerUp Facebook page. Then, the overall winner was selected from the five finalists by a combined vote from local all-star judging panel at the first PowerUp Power Chef Recipe Contest tasting event held at Lakeview Hospital on June 27 and Amery Hospital & Clinic on June 29.

This fun event drew many community leaders, PowerUp community partners and other members of the community to honor of our little chefs and to taste and vote for their favorite Power Chef recipes. The top five recipes were prepared and served up by some of PowerUp’s community partners, including Acapulco Mexican Restaurant (Stillwater), Great Harvest Bread Co (Stillwater) and Table 65 (New Richmond).

The all-star tasting panel at Lakeview included: Ted Wegleitner (President/CEO Lakeview Hospital), Tom Kottke, MD (HealthPartners Associate Medical Director), Jean Streeter (Washington County Public Health), Natalie Vasilj (Washington County Public Health), Tracy Maki (Valley Outreach Food Shelf), Jean Wendt (Somerset Food Pantry), Paul Erickson (Lakeview Health Foundation), Christine Clark (Lake Elmo Bank), Ann Searles (United Way St. Croix Valley ) and Mandi, Dani and Charlee Leonard (family that loves to PowerUp).

“We know how important a plant-based diet is and what a great way to make colorful veggies and beans in a way that not only looks good and tastes good, but is good for you, too,” said Dr. Tom Kottke, HealthPartners Associate Medical Director.

PowerUp asked overall winner, Cody, a series of questions.

Q: Who inspired you to start cooking?

A: My daddy! He likes to cook a lot. Our favorite things to cook are homemade soup, pizza, pancakes and salad.

Q: What is your favorite chef skill(s)?

A: My favorite skills are measuring, mixing and chopping! That’s why I like making Wham-Bam Veggie Slam so much. I get to do them all.

Q: How did you get the idea for your Wham-Bam Veggie Slam recipe?

A: My grandma, but I added the salsa. I love salsa and it makes the soup taste really good.

Cody’s mom, Erica, said, “Cody’s grandma gave him the recipe and he swapped out certain things and added his favorite veggies and salsa. He loves salsa!”

Cody and his family won an Instant Pot pressure cooker gift pack, filled with lots of PowerUp chef gear for coming up with the winning recipe.

Here’s Cody’s winning recipe to make at home:

PowerUp would like to say Thank You to all the kids and families, who submitted their delicious and unique fruit and veggies recipes, along with a special congratulations to the TOP 5 recipe winners:

To find these Power Chef winning recipes, along with plenty other delicious, kid-approved fruit and veggie recipes to help your family eat better and for fun ways to move more year-round, check out the PowerUp website: