North Texas Girl's Recipe Earns Trip to State Dinner

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ariel Derby, 8, from Tarrant County won a spot in Michelle Obama's new healthy e-cookbook as part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. (Published Friday, Jul 18, 2014)

    An 8-year-old girl from Tarrant County hung out with first lady Michele Obama at the White House on Friday.

    Ariel Derby was in Washington, D.C. for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner," which is part of the first lady's "Let's Move!" initiative.

    Derby's recipe for baked falafel and tomato cucumber salad won a spot in the first lady's new healthy e-cookbook.

    Entries had to represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe.

    Derby said there's a special reason she likes to cook.

    "My favorite part was spending time with my mom, actually," Derby said. "We always bake together, but if she's at work, it's always me and my grandma."

    The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge received more than 1,500 entries this year featuring wholesome, tasty ingredients.

    Derby represented Texas in the contest, along 53 other winners.

    Here's Ariel Derby's recipe:

    Baked Falafel & Tomato Cucumber Salad

    Ingredients for baked falafel:

    1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/3 cup chopped red onion
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    Splash of lemon juice
    Dash of cayenne, if desired

    Garnishes: Lettuce leaves, plain, low-fat Greek yogurt

    Ingredients for the Tomato Cucumber Salad:

    3 large tomatoes, chopped
    2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
    1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    PREPARATION

    To make the falafel:
    Preheat the oven to 425°F, blend all ingredients in a blender until the texture is like a very fine meal. Transfer to a large bowl. Form
    2-inch balls, like meatballs, and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turn them over, and bake 10 more minutes, or until lightly browned
    Serve wrapped in a lettuce leaf with Greek yogurt and the salad

    To make the Tomato Cucumber Salad:
    In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers and cilantro. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and toss.

    Makes four servings • 325 calories • 14g fat • 42g carbohydrates • 12g protein

    CLICK HERE to view the winners and download the free e-cookbook.