CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Alexis Nelson, 10, of Crab Orchard, was among the 54 winners in the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids Contest, sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama, Epicurious and the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture.
Nelson was selected to represent West Virginia for the recipe she created for Golden Moroccan Butternut Stew. More than 1,200 entries were submitted by youths ages 8-12.
The youthful cooks were challenged to come up with a healthy lunch recipe that included all the food groups and tastes delicious. The winners attended a "State Dinner," actually a luncheon, at the White House, hosted by the first lady on Aug. 20. They dined on a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a tour of the White House kitchen garden.
"One of my favorite vegetables is butternut squash. My mom uses Moroccan spices to add flavor to our meals, and this inspired me to make this stew," Alexis says in an excerpt in the e-cookbook. "This butternut stew has all my favorite vegetables and spices; this stew is pretty much me in a pot."
Alexis serves the stew over couscous.
Find a free downloadable and printable e-cookbook of the winning recipes, including nutritional analyses, at www.recipechallenge.epicurious.com.
Alexis Nelson's Golden Moroccan Butternut Stew
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped shallots
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 14-ounce can crushed plum tomatoes
1 whole cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala