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Maplewood 12-year-old sitting down to a White House banquet

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When Sophia Webster sits down to lunch with the First Lady at the White House this week, the menu may include a dish Webster developed herself – with help from her mom, that is.

The Star Tribune reports the Maplewood 12-year-old is the Minnesota winner in this year's Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, which encourages schoolkids to come up with recipes for healthy, affordable lunches.

The Challenge is organized by Epicurious magazine with support from First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign.

In submitting her winning entry, Sophia (right) explained: "My family loves quinoa, and I love black beans, so we mixed the two together and voilà.”

Entries were required to use ingredients from each food group and half of the recipe must consist of fruits or vegetables.

FOX 9 reports there were about 1,500 entries in the third edition of the annual competition. Winners from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three territories are invited to this week's Kids' State Dinner at the White House.

Epicurious has a list of the winners. Let's Move put together a video on the selection process and offers links to all of the winning recipes.

Sophia and her mother, Deborah Webster, are heading to Washington on Thursday and the Star Tribune says their plans include a visit to Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The newspaper says Sophia plans to enroll at the Minnesota Math and Science Academy in Woodbury this fall.

Last year it was 9-year-old Kaitlyn Kirchner of Madelia who represented Minnesota at the White House for her garden stir fry.

Here's the recipe for Sophia Webster's quinoa and black beans:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup low-fat cheese, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: 

  1. In a medium saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the celery and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the quinoa and vegetable broth. Season with cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetables and black beans into the saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Top with cheese, if using, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

408 calories; 14g fat; 32g carbohydrates; 23g protein

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