Cook: Brynna Robert, 12
Hometown: Metairie, La.
One day Brynna’s mom made a dish that was, unfortunately, “really bland.” So Brynna stepped in: “I changed it up in every way that I think could make it better, and eventually it became a whole different dish.” Then she entered the recipe in the First Lady’s competition and happened to win herself a day at the White House. (It puts a whole different spin on “Thanks, Mom.”) She describes Michelle Obama’s dancing during the dinner’s entertainment as “pretty crazy.”
Brynna’s inspiration: “It doesn’t have any meat in it. It’s a vegetarian recipe, not that I’m vegetarian or anything. But it’s a good recipe for anyone to make. So it’s not like if you’re a vegetarian you can’t have it. So that’s where that part came from.”
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced
- 2 medium carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin rings
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce (optional)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 orange separated into sections
- In a medium sauté pan over moderate heat, warm 2 teaspoons of the canola oil. Add the pineapple slices and cook until golden and softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pineapple to a plate and set aside. Do not clean the plan.
- In the same pan, warm the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli, red bell pepper, garlic, and ginger and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the cooked brown rice, chickpeas, scallions, soy sauce, and chili-garlic sauce, if using. Stir and continue cooking for 4 more minutes. Add the parsley and the reserved pineapple and stir to combine. Serve the stir-fry with orange wedges to squeeze juice on top.
286 calories; 8 g protein; 53 g carbohydrates; 5.7 g fat (.46 g saturated fat); 519 mg sodium
Makes 4 servings