Thursday, September 8, 2011

White House Lunchbox Recipe: Whole Wheat Pasta Primavera With Grilled Chicken

Video cooking lesson from Executive Chef Cris Comerford: A kid-friendly MyPlate meal for school lunch...
Just in time for the start of the 2011-2011 academic year, White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford has created a healthy recipe for a homemade school lunch that's in keeping with USDA's MyPlate project, unveiled by First Lady Obama in June. MyPlate encourages citizens to fill half their plate at each meal with fruit and vegetables in keeping with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, so the easy, kid-friendly lunchbox meal, Pasta Primavera with Grilled Chicken, is made with three kinds of vegetables and uses whole wheat pasta. In a video for the blog, the Top Toque demos how to make the dish, which she suggests serving with a side of Apple Dippers. (Above: The meal, packed for a lunchbox in pyrex)

The pasta "recipe" as issued by the White House has no directions for seasoning or cooking, but Comerford explains how to put the dish together in the video. She suggests using a small amount (no portion size is given) of grilled chicken left over from a family meal, but there is no recipe for this, either. Comerford has a terrific White House recipe that can be put to good use here: Check out White House Kitchen Garden Herb-Roasted Chicken with Braised Greens. (Above: Comerford with the First Lady in the White House kitchen)

How to keep lunchbox apples from turning brown...
Comerford also "demos" the Apple Dippers in the video, which she says can be packed in a lunchbox peeled and served with a tablespoon of honey for dipping. Comerford shares an old tip beloved by chefs for keeping the apples from turning brown: Dip the peeled slices in water that has a half teaspoon of powdered vitamin C mixed in, pat dry, then package them in an airtight container. The apple slices will magically remain white. More White House MyPlate recipes are on the sidebar of the blog. The recipe as released by the White House:

Whole Wheat Pasta Primavera
with Grilled Chicken

Whole wheat penne pasta, cut in half
Blanched broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces
Chicken cut into bite-size chunks

Combine all ingredients as shown in video.

Related: By Presidential Proclamation, September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

*More information about MyPlate is at

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