In support of the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move!’ fifty-six children from the ages of 8-12 will attend the Kids “State Dinner” at the White House to create an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable, and tasty on July 14th. This group included one Texas 10-year-old who created a Tex-Mex veggie dish.
‘Let’s Move!’ encourages kids and families to lead healthier lives, entrants were recommended to use ChooseMyPlate.gov to ensure recipes meet the USDA’s nutrition guidelines. In addition, in celebration of the My Plate, My State initiative, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime
Challenge put a spotlight on homegrown pride across the country and encouraged entries to include local ingredients grown in the entrant’s state, territory, or community.
One winner from each of the 50 states, the District of Colombia and U.S. territories were chosen. Priya Patel, age 10, is the Texas winner of the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. She created a Tex-Mex Veg-Head Lasagna (see recipei below).
“I was first inspired to make this recipe by my mom. She always tells us to add vegetables to everything we make and to experiment,” says Priya. “I love Tex-Mex food and also lasagna so we thought this was a good way to combine both. My mom also tells us to be flexible so we use canned or frozen vegetables if we’re out of fresh. You can substitute any veggies and fruits you like. The possibilities are endless. My mom says not having or liking one ingredient is not an excuse to not try a recipe or to buy fast food!”
The winning chefs will serve as healthy food ambassadors for their state or territory and are being flown to Washington D.C. with a parent or guardian to attend the “State Dinner.” The dinner will be hosted by Mrs. Obama at the White House. The children will also have a chance to learn television personality and member of President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, Rachael Ray.
Tex-Mex Veg-Head Lasagna
Makes 4 Servings
342 calories 8g fat 56g carbohydrates 16g protein
For the Lasagna Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄4 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1⁄2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Juice of 1⁄2 fresh lime
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon Mexican oregano or regular oregano 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup vegetable stock or broth
For the Tortilla Lasagna:
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
6 corn tortillas
2 corn cobs, kernels removed or 1 cup frozen corn
1⁄2 cup low-fat cheddar or jack cheese
1 cup fresh spinach
1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped Cilantro, for garnish
To make the Lasagna Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium heat, and cook onions for 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a slow boil, about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and mash beans with back of wooden spoon or masher.
To make Tortilla Lasagna: In a round or square oven-safe dish, put 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, followed by a tortilla, 3 tablespoons black bean filling, 1 tablespoon cheese, 5 spinach leaves, 1/5 of the corn and bell pepper. Repeat with remaining tortillas and ingredients. (You will have a little tomato sauce, cheese, corn, and bell pepper remaining.)
On the 6th and last tortilla, top with remaining 3 tablespoons tomato sauce and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the remaining cheese on top and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and garnish with any remaining peppers, corn, and cilantro.