If you're wondering how to spend this year's extra day, Feb. 29 features a way to feed yourself well, while supporting a worthy cause.

Brenda Langton, chef and owner of Spoonriver in Minneapolis, has created a salad of vegetables, chickpeas, and pasta salad that will be sold in its deli from 11:30 a.m. through the day on Wednesday.  All of the proceeds then will be given to the Chefs Move for Schools Program (www.chefsmovetoschools.org/).

This program is run through the USDA and pairs chefs with interested schools in their communities. The chefs work with teachers, parents, and school nutrition professionals to help educate kids about food and nutrition. The idea is that wiser kids make wiser food choices for the rest of their lives. The fundraiser is a collaboration of ACF (www.acfchefs.org/) and Hidden Valley Ranch's Love your Veggies Program (www.hiddenvalley.com/veggies/lunch-break/).

And if you'd like to make your own salad, here's the recipe, courtesy of Langton.

Ranchy Veggie Pasta Salad

½ pound Whole Wheat Fusilli Pasta


2 cups Broccoli flowers
2 cups Carrot rounds
1 cup sliced Celery
1 Can of Chickpeas, drained thoroughly

In blender, puree...
1 small Tomato, chopped
¼ cup Parsley
2 Green Onions, chopped
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
¼ cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup organic Hidden Valley Organic Ranch Dressing

Bring a pot of water to boil for pasta
Put in pasta and cook until al-dente
Drain and let cool on a sheet pan. Don’t rinse.

In a pot of boiling water blanch the Broccoli and Carrot rounds for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a bowl toss the pasta, broccoli, carrots, celery and chickpeas with the sauce and Hidden Valley Organic Ranch dressing.





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