April 19, 2014

Jun 24, 201309:21 AMTable Talk

Chevy Chase girl wins recipe contest; headed to White House

Jun 24, 2013 - 09:21 AM
Chevy Chase girl wins recipe contest; headed to White House

Emma Scielzo, a 10-year-old Chevy Chase girl, is the Maryland winner of a nationwide healthy recipe contest that has landed her a seat at a Kids’ State Dinner” at the White House on July 9 with Michelle Obama. She’ll also get a tour of the White House kitchen garden.

The second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is a contest originated by Epicurious and conducted as part of Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to promote healthy eating habits among children. The First Lady’s office announced the 54 winners—who hail from every state, three territories and the District of Columbia—late last week. 

Kids ages 8 to 12 could enter the contest, which stipulated that the recipes had to be original and include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal. Fruits and vegetables had to make up about half the plate or recipe, according to the White House.

Scielzo, who will be entering 5th grade this fall at Bethesda’s Norwood School, submitted a recipe for a chicken masala wrap—grilled chicken sautéed with colored peppers and stuffed in a whole wheat tortilla. As part of the entry, she also had to write a short blurb about her recipe:

My "Nani" (grandmother) cooks healthy and delicious, home-cooked Indian food for us whenever we visit.  I am Indian-American.  She inspires me to try different flavors, spices, and herbs in the food I eat. Many of the ingredients found in Indian cooking are very healthy for our bodies, such as garlic, ginger, turmeric and cumin.   Also, Indian cooking uses a lot of vegetables that are good for you, such as tomatoes, onions and peppers. I don't like a lot of spice in my food, but I do like a lot of FLAVOR!! 

My dish is a chicken masala wrap, paired with a refreshing "raita" (plain yogurt and cucumber side dish) and fresh mango slices.  My dish is nut free and very low fat. 


Asha Scielzo, Emma’s mother, said “we entered the contest at the last minute—very spur of the moment, as a lark after seeing an article about last year's winner in the [Washington Post] KidsPost.” It was Mother’s Day, and the family was visiting Emma Scielzo’s grandmother (Nani) in Baltimore. Instead of going out to a restaurant, the family went to the supermarket, worked on the recipe, and had the wraps for dinner that night. That was the deadline day for submissions.

As for Emma’s reaction to winning the Maryland slot, Asha Scielzo said, “oh my gosh, she’s so excited.”

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Welcome to Table Talk, the blog version of the column in Bethesda Magazine. Be one of the first to find out about new restaurants and food shops, and join in the lively discussion about first bites, snipes and recommendations.

Before becoming Food Editor of Bethesda Magazine, Carole Sugarman was an award-winning food reporter for The Washington Post for 20 years. She has also written for national food magazines and a food policy newsletter, as well as judged cookbook and cooking contests. She lives in Chevy Chase where she eats PB&J for lunch when she’s not working.

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