Meatless Monday is going to Washington, D.C. And a second grade student deserves all the credit.
Lily Vinch, an 8-year old who attends Andersen Elementary School, Guam, created a winning recipe and will be traveling with 54 other students, all of whom earned a trip to the third annual “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge” in Washington. Created by Epicurious and designed to challenge students to create nutritious meals according the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge will also be attended by First Lady Michelle Obama, who will be hosting a “State Dinner” for all the student participants.
“I am looking forward to hosting the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge here at the White House,” said Mrs. Obama. “This event gives us the opportunity to showcase healthy creations from talented kid chefs from across our country, and I can’t wait to see—and taste—this year’s selections.”
Lily’s winning entry is called “Mo-Rockin’ Meatless Monday Special,” a dish the First Lady’s office called “particularly impressive, as it was creative, tasted great, and most importantly, was healthy, so that’s why in a recent judging, we picked yours as the best from your state.”
So what is a Mo-Rockin’ Meatless Monday Special? It’s a couscous and spinach salad with Moroccan spices and dried fruit. “We thought we had a good chance of winning with a recipe for a meal that we love to eat,” Lily told a local reporter. “I’m really looking forward to meeting the First Lady and hopefully the President of the United States.”
Here at Meatless Monday, we congratulate Lily for her accomplishment, and for getting the Meatless Monday name on this health-focused national stage. This also confirms that when children cook with their parents–the mission behind The Kids Cook Monday–kids develop a passion for food that is delicious and nutritious.
This certainly seems to be the case in the Vinch household. “We had a few healthy, tried and true recipes our family enjoys,” Sarah Vinch, Lily’s mom, said. “So we tested a few, and I let Lily choose which one she thought would be our best chance at winning. I’m so proud of her for wanting to enter the contest, and just plain ecstatic that we are going to the White House. Sometimes a little effort, like entering a contest, can have a huge reward! It’s a great lesson for life.”