Peoria Girl Headed To White House

Photo: Roslan & Campion Public Relations

A recipe for “West Wing Chicken with Secret Service Noodles” has landed a Peoria girl an invitation to the White House.

Maggie Smith, 11, entered her recipe as part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe challenge for children age 8 through 12 that promotes cooking and healthy eating. The contest is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative.

Smith, a student at Banner Elementary School in Dunlap, is among the winners from all 50 U.S. states, five territories and the District of Columbia who will attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House July 14. The 56 winners, with a parent or guardian, will join the First Lady for a healthy lunch, featuring a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a visit to the White House Kitchen Garden.

“Last fall, I started to cook different recipes and would change ingredients and measurements to make them healthier and tastier,” Smith is quoted in a news release. “My aunt told me that I should enter the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, because I am so interested in cooking.”

“With this recipe, I cooked it three times in order to get it just right. My family enjoyed the meal and commented how yummy and filling it was. My dish includes all food groups, and ingredients that are grown locally.”

Photo: Roslan & Campion Public Relations
Photo: Roslan & Campion Public Relations

Each winner and a parent or guardian will be flown to Washington, D.C. courtesy of United Airlines. Accommodations in Washington are provided by the Westin Georgetown. New this year, Blue Apron will be featuring one of the winning recipes on its Family Plan menu for delivery the week of July 11 as part of its efforts to get the whole family into the kitchen preparing healthy meals.

Below is Maggie Smith’s winning recipe for “West Wing Chicken with Secret Service Noodles”

Makes 8 servings
426 calories, 15g fat, 37g carbohydrates, 36g protein

For the West Wing Chicken:
2 eggs
1 teaspoon skim milk
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
8 4-ounce skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Marinara Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 28-ounce cans crushed or whole plum tomatoes, diced
¼ cup fresh basil, cut into strips
1 bay leaf
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

For the Secret Service Noodles:
6 squash (3 zucchini and 3 yellow squash)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large carrot, peeled
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
10 grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Italian parsley


1. To make the West Wing Chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Put the breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then lightly dredge both sides of the chicken in the bread crumbs. In a large nonstick skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cooking in two batches, cook for 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through and golden brown.
2. To make the Marinara Sauce: In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and carrot and cook for 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
3. To make the Secret Service Noodles: Spiralize the squash (or you can use a box grater) and put into a colander to drain excess juice. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and let stand for 15 minutes. Spiralize the carrots. In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil over medium – high heat and add squash, carrots and asparagus. Cook for 3 minutes, drain into a colander and rinse the vegetables immediately with cold water.
4. In a nonstick skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, squash, carrots, and asparagus, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 1 minute.
5. To Assemble: Place serving of noodles on a plate and garnish with tomatoes, Parmesan, and parsley. Place 1 West Wing Chicken breast next to the Secret Service Noodles and top with Marinara Sauce.


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