Cook: Henry Oates, 9
Hometown: Adrian, Mo.
Henry, a rising fourth grader, is from the Show-Me State. His advice to kids who want to eat healthy? Eat “lots of vegetables.” And that’s a sentiment echoed by the President when he made a surprise appearance during the dinner. “I’ll admit that there are some things that are good for you that don’t taste great but it’s usually because they’re not prepared right,” President Obama said. “When I was kid–I’m now older than most of your parents, which is kind of depressing–my family, when they cooked vegetables, they would just boil them. Remember that? They’d get all soft and mushy.” Obama says he likes vegetables now, just like little Henry Oates.
Henry’s inspiration: “We used to always eat it hot, but then now, my mom has a garden camp, and we tried it at her garden camp cold. So we figured out it was good. And so we tried it. And so we entered it.”
- 2 cups whole wheat bow tie pasta
- 1 large carrot, cut into thin rounds
- 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach
- 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce of tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- While the pasta is boiling, in a large bowl, toss together the carrot, zucchini, bell pepper, snow peas, spinach, and onion.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl of vegetables.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, orange juice, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper. If necessary, add a little water, one tablespoon at a time, to make a smooth sauce. Pour over the pasta, add the chicken (if using), and stir to combine. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro, if using.
557 calories; 29g protein; 59g carbohydrates; 25g fat (3g saturated fat); 828mg sodium
Makes 4 servings