Great Ideas

White House Award Winners


First Lady Michelle Obama and food website Epicurious asked students nationwide to create dishes for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Here are some of the winning entries!


Makes: 3 servings

3 cups basil leaves, cleaned and dried

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1/8 cup walnuts or pine nuts

1 big garlic clove, cut into 3 pieces

1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

¼ tsp. black pepper

Pinch of salt

3 cups hot, prepared whole wheat pasta (cooked and drained by a grown-up)

Some of your favorite veggies

1. With help from a grown-up, put all ingredients for the pesto (basil and next 7 ingredients) into a food processor and mix well until blended.

2. Add half of the pesto to the prepared pasta and mix it up. Place a few spinach leaves in a dish (or lunch container) and top with a cup of the pesto pasta and your favorite veggies. The remaining pesto can be scooped into a zip bag or container and stored in the freezer.

Harrison Booker

Age: 9

Hometown: Edmond, Okla.


Michael Lakind

Age: 9

Hometown: Sugarland, Texas


Makes: 4 servings

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Garlic powder to taste

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup white wine vinegar

Kosher salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

4 slices whole grain bread

2 tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. parsley

½ tsp. garlic salt

1 pint strawberries

1 package prewashed spinach leaves

1. For the chicken, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and have an adult place on grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Cut into strips.

2. For the dressing, mix oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender for 10 seconds.

3. For croutons, cut bread into cubes. Mix together with melted butter, parsley and garlic salt. Place cubes on a baking sheet and bake in a 300 oven for 20 minutes or until crisp.

4. Slice strawberries. In a large bowl, add spinach leaves, chicken, strawberries and croutons and toss. Drizzle with the dressing.



Makes: 8 servings

2 lbs. lean ground beef

½ cup finely diced green pepper

½ cup finely diced zucchini

½ cup finely diced onion

½ cup dry breadcrumbs

1 tsp. chopped garlic

1 cup tomato sauce

1 egg

Salt and pepper

8 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese

1 cup ketchup

1 cup barbecue sauce

8 whole wheat or multigrain hamburger buns, toasted

Leaf lettuce

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. In a bowl, mix together hamburger, green pepper, zucchini, onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, tomato sauce, egg, salt and pepper. Make patties and place them on a baking sheet.

3. Bake for about 20 minutes, then flip them. Cook for another 10 minutes. Mix together ketchup and barbecue sauce, drizzle on patties and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Add a slice of cheese to each patty; bake until melted, about 20 to 30 seconds.

5. Remove from oven and place burgers on buns.

Sydney Brown

Age: 11

Hometown: Fuquay-Varina, N.C.

Bob & Cortney Novogratz’s Fave


The design gurus share some cool accessories to bring to the classroom


“We’ve got seven kids, and this is a great way to personalize their backpacks,” says Bob.

Super Mini Keychain Series 4, $4.95 each;


“My children are obsessed with LEGO,” says Cortney.

Lego Lunch Box, $14.95;


“These are perfect for kids, but we always have a full supply in our home office as well,” says Cortney.

Crayola Colored Pencils, 12 ct., $2.99;


“This is a bag that’s even cool enough for teenagers,” says Bob.

Backpack in Sailor Stripe, $34;


“I had to buy two of these since my twin boys both wanted one!” says Cortney.

Pencil Case Monster, $4.99; in Target stores

The new season of Home by Novogratz premieres on HGTV Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. EST

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