10-year-old’s winning recipe earns her a trip to the White House

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A girl from Fort Collins is getting ready for the trip of a lifetime. Next week, she will head to the White House as an invited guest of first lady Michelle Obama.

Hannah Skalicky has been cooking since she was 3 years old.

“I can remember her sitting on chairs to help me flip pancakes and ask all the time, 'Mom, can I help?'" Hannah’s mother Cindy said.

At just 10 years old, Hannah has a sophisticated palate. Her favorite spice is curry powder, her signature dish is puttanesca sauce and recently she learned how to grill.

“I like how you can just kind of experiment in the kitchen and there’s lot of different things you can try,” Hannah said.

So when Hannah heard about a nationwide recipe contest called “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge,” she got to work. She only had four days to develop an original recipe that is healthy, affordable for families and features a local ingredient.

After some trial and error in the kitchen, she came up with “Hannah’s Sweet & Savory Chicken and Peaches." The dish has rice and grilled curry-rubbed chicken topped with sauteed onions, mushrooms, apples and cinnamon.

It's topped with a sweet curry milk sauce. On the side, Hannah serves grilled Palisade peaches with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt on top, then drizzled in honey. The plate is also garnished with fresh sliced cucumbers.

Hannah’s recipe was selected as the winner from Colorado. More than 1,200 children submitted recipes from all over the country. The 56 winners will travel to Washington on July 12 where they will be guests at a state dinner with Michelle Obama.

All of the winning recipes will be released as an online cookbook. It will be available for free download beginning July 14.

“She’s fearless in the kitchen and isn’t afraid to make mistakes, so that’s something I hope stays with her throughout her life,” Cindy said.

Hannah's Sweet & Savory Chicken and Peaches

Makes 4 servings. Nutrition facts:

  • 594 calories
  • 10g fat
  • 55g carbohydrates
  • 71g protein

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 peaches, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄2 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Gala apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups cooked basmati, white or brown rice
  • 1⁄2 cucumber, sliced
  • Optional toppings: Raisins, cashews, peanuts, sliced bell pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts each with 1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder, salt and pepper, and add to the grill. Cook for 6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove chicken then add peach halves, cut side down, and cover. Grill until peaches are soft and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill, plate, and drizzle with honey.
  2. In a large nonstick pan, warm oil over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Add 3⁄4 cup broth, cinnamon, and apple to pan and warm through.
  3. In a blender, combine milk, flour, remaining 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1⁄4 cup broth, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy.Transfer to a small saucepan, heat over medium heat, continuously stirring with a whisk, until slightly thickened.
  4. Divide the cooked rice and chicken amongst 4 plates. Top chicken with vegetables and sauce. Arrange cucumbers along rim. Serve with grilled peaches.
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