HINCKLEY TWP.: Eleven-year-old Logan Kendall could well be a budding Food Network star.
The Hinckley Middle School sixth-grader even has spiky hair like one of his favorite TV chefs, Guy Fieri. And soon he, too, will be hobnobbing with someone pretty famous: first lady Michelle Obama.
Logan is Ohio’s winner in the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge sponsored by the food website Epicurious.com, the first lady, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture.
He leaves Aug. 19 for two days in Washington, D.C., including a “state” lunch on Aug. 20, when winners from all 50 states and four U.S. territories will enjoy a healthy lunch with Obama, followed by a tour of the White House kitchen garden.
The contest selected winners out of more than 1,200 entries. Logan was chosen to represent Ohio with a recipe for a Shredded Veggie Wrap.
Like any celebrity chef, however, Logan didn’t get where he is without some help along the way. The first boost came from his aunt, Susan DeLuca (his mother’s sister), who heard about the contest on television and told her nephew about it.
The next came from his grandmother, who provided inspiration with the veggie pizza she brought to a family Memorial Day picnic. Logan said he likes to see a dish and put his own spin on it, and thought the pizza might work better for a school lunch if it were turned into a wrap.
A trip to the grocery store produce aisle with his mom, Rose-Marie Kendall, provided all of the veggies he wanted to make his creation: onion, green pepper, celery, fresh parsley, and shredded broccoli, carrots and red cabbage. Low-fat mayonnaise and cream cheese combine to hold the veggies in place, while a few circles of turkey pepperoni give the wrap a zesty finish. Logan selected a whole-grain flatbread for the lunch, but switched to a multigrain tortilla when his grocery store stopped carrying the flatbread he used.
After it’s done, Logan puts the wrap in the refrigerator for an hour. “That’s important; it lets the flavors set together,” he said. (Visit www.Ohio.com to watch a video of Logan making the recipe.)
Logan tried to create a sandwich everyone would like, and has made it for a few parties as he works on his cooking skills.
“He’s been practicing with omelettes and grilled sandwiches,” Rose-Marie Kendall said.
When he’s not cooking or watching food TV (Alton Brown is another favorite), Logan is typically practicing his tae kwon do (he’s a black belt) or rehearsing for his upcoming performance at the Medina County Fair as part of his school’s honors choir and band, in which he plays alto sax.
He loves school, especially science class (his mom said he’s always wanted to know “how things work”), and spending time with his family, including dad Bill Kendall and younger sister Sienna, 7.
Logan and his mom will head to Washington on Aug. 19. The trip includes a tour of the Julia Child exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, and a bus tour of the national monuments.
The nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy lunches is part of. Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. The contest was open to children ages 8 to 12 from the United States and its territories. Other winning recipes included tofu with green onions and salmon salad.
Here is Logan’s recipe:
SHREDDED VEGGIE WRAP
8 oz. ⅓-less-fat cream cheese
½ tsp. fresh parsley, minced
½ cup light mayonnaise
½ cup diced onions
¼ cup diced green pepper
¼ cup diced celery
⅛ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. pepper
12 oz. bag broccoli slaw (shredded broccoli, carrots, red cabbage)
3 multigrain flatbreads (Flatout brand suggested) or 3 multigrain tortillas
12 slices turkey pepperoni
Place cream cheese, mayonnaise, onions, green pepper, celery, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, blend well until creamy.
Place 1 flatbread on a large plate. Use a spatula to spread cream cheese mixture evenly on flatbread. Be careful not to get too close to the edges.
Top spread with about ½ cup of the broccoli slaw. Top with 4 slices of pepperoni.
Roll up tightly and use a few toothpicks to hold wrap together.
Repeat to make 2 more wraps. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before eating, to allow time for flavors to meld.
To serve, cut in half or fourths. Enjoy!
Makes 3 servings.
— Logan Kendall, Hinckley