"Young, Gifted, and Black" AZI Spotlight

Nia Thomas, 10, of Tucson, the Arizona winner of the 2015 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge shows off her winning dish, “Oodles of Zoodles with Avocado Pisrtachio Pesto.”                              photo: eight arizona pbs

photo: eight arizona pbs

Tuscon’s Nia Thomas is Arizona’s winner of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a national competition that invites kids to create their own nutritious recipes. First lady Michelle Obama will host a Kid’s “State Dinner” at the White House for all the winners of the competition on July 10. The aspiring young chefs will then join the first lady for a visit to the White House Kitchen Garden. Check out Nia’s recipe below:


Oodles of Zoodles with Avocado Pistachio Pesto
Makes 5 servings
310 calories, 31g fat, 8g carbohydrates, 3g protein
For the pesto:
1 ripe avocado
1 packed cup fresh basil
1 packed cup fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 cup pistachios
For the zoodles:
4 zucchinis, peeled
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups peeled, shredded carrots
1/2 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1. To make the pesto: In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup water with all the pesto ingredients, except the pistachios, until incorporated. Add the pistachios and blend until mostly smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.
2. To make the zoodles: Use a grater, peeler, mandoline slicer or spiralizer to turn the zucchini into “zoodles.” (I used a spiralizer to get the noodle aka zoodle shape.) In a large bowl, mix the zoodles with the tomatoes, carrots and red onion. Arrange the salad in bowls. Top with the pesto and serve.


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