Recently I was invited to a Smartfood event. I was compensated for this opportunity but it is a product I believe in. I love to cook and am always interested in trying new recipes, especially from the experts. While I was attending the Smartfood event, I was invited to some delicious new recipes and pick the brain of Chef Jody Denton. Chef Jody is the Executive Research Chef at the Frito-Lay (the parent company of the Smartfood brand) Culinary Innovation Center. I found it interesting that the team of chefs and food scientists Chef Jody oversees, use a combination of culinary arts, science and technology, which is called “culinology”. They take the latest trends in foods, apply their culinology and develop the delicious and flavorful snacks that Frito-Lay is famous for. Chef Jody has been a renowned world chef for 30 years and has worked with such masters as Wolfgang Puck. Chef Jody told us his current position “was the best job I have ever had because I get to be creative.” He went on to tell us that in his opinion, “The Smartfood snacks embodies good choices for a balanced lifestyle. The great flavors and the real herbs and spices, sets the Smartfood snacks apart from the rest.”
Delicious New Recipes For Summer
The dishes that Chef Jody made for the panel were inspired by the savory flavor profiles of the new Smartfood select snacks. Chef Jody prepared several delicious new recipes for summer that were robust, fresh, mouth watering and super simple to make. I have to tell you that Chef Jody was the most personable and approachable person you would ever want to meet. It was so apparent that he just loves what he does and that he is proud to part of such a great product. While he cooked for us, Chef Jody explained each step and encouraged us to come up and see what he was doing. He shared with us that one of the things he loves most about San Francisco was the ability to shop at over 25 farmer’s market. When I tell you we had some amazingly fresh and flavorful products would be an understatement.
I wanted to share 2 of my favorite dished that Chef Jody made for us. Both dishes are super easy to prepare and make, are light and fresh for the summer and will be a hit at your next party. One of my favorite snacks from the Smartfood select line are the Feta Herb Popped Chips. These light and delicious chips have a great feta flavor with fresh basil, rosemary and black pepper. Chef Jody took the flavor profile from the chips and made a truly spectacular watermelon salad.
Spicy Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese and Mint:
- 6 cups of cubed, seedless watermelon
- 1 cup of red onion that has been julienned
- The juice of 2 limes
- a Pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt
- 1 cup of crumbled Feta cheese
- 2 Tbsp. of shopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tsp. of coarse sea salt
Toss all of the ingredients except the Feta into a large bowl. When those ingredients are well blended, then gently toss in the Feta cheese. Serve with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
The second recipe I wanted to share is a fresh and new twist on the traditional chips and dip. This is a wonderful dish, especially for the summer and it is just absolutely fantastic. This dip was made to compliment the hard to put down Cinnamon Brown Sugar Multigrain Popped Chips.
Honey-Blackberry Greek Yogurt Dip:
- 3 cups of Greek yogurt
- 1/2 pint of fresh or frozen blackberries (or any berry you choose)
- 3 Tbsp. Honey
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
- 1 pinch of salt
In a mixing bowl, smash the blackberries with a fork. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Spoon the fresh blackberries into the middle of the yogurt mixture and gently fold in, but do not mix in all the way. Serve with the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Multigrain Popped Chips.
I hope you are as inspired Chef Jody’s recipes and the savory flavor profiles of the Smartfood select snacks as I was. Chef Jody inspired me to think about a more balanced approach to cooking. When using bold flavors in easy recipes with healthy ingredients, it is easy to live a more balanced lifestyle. My kids absolutely adore the Greek Yogurt Dip and my husband and I are crazy about the Spicy Watermelon Salad.