Mount Pleasant 9-year-old chef learns the White House is ‘fancy and cool’
Corbin Jackson’s culinary talents earned him an opportunity most 9-year-olds don’t have — visiting the White House and meeting the president and first lady.
Corbin Jackson’s ‘Bring it on Brussels Sprout Wrap’ recipe
Makes 10 servings
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut oil
10 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and finely chopped
1 15 oz. can of organic pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 small avocados, pitted
Juice from 2 limes
2 tablespoons chia seeds
10 whole wheat tortillas
Stir together the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
In a large sauté pan over moderate heat, warm the coconut oil.
Add the Brussels sprouts and the seasoning mixture and cook until the Brussels sprouts soften and wilt slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans, lower the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the beans are heated through, about 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the avocados and lime juice into a creamy paste.
Add the chia seeds and stir to combine.
Spread a thin layer of the avocado mixture on each tortilla then top with the Brussels sprout–bean mixture.
Roll up the tortillas, tucking the sides in as you roll.
Corbin was the South Carolina winner of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, which encouraged parents to work with their children, ages 8 to 12, to create a healthy lunch recipe. Corbin’s “Bring it on Brussels Sprout Wrap” embraced a food most kids his age aren’t crazy about.
When asked if he was scared of going to the White House for the competition winners’ lunch July 9, Corbin replied with the fearlessness you might expect from someone who just finished third grade.
“No,” he said.
Corbin said he and his mom, Kerrie Poulin, weren’t worried about the security at the White House, but they did say it was thorough.
“Our bus alone took a good 20 minutes to get through the initial gate. The bus had to stop and be fully searched,” said Poulin.
While Secret Service agents performed security scans, they kept the families entertained by asking them bits of presidential trivia, Corbin said.
Corbin, a rising fourth-grader at Pinckney Elementary School, was one of 54 winners — one from each state and territory — who had lunch with the first lady and took a tour of the White House garden.
At the lunch, a surprise guest — President Barack Obama — made an appearance, meeting the young chefs and their families while supporting his wife’s healthy-eating initiative.
“President Obama mentioned to me that he loves Charleston, and that we have fantastic food,” said Poulin.
Upon meeting Michelle Obama, Corbin asked if she ever drank any soda or ate any candy.
“She said, ‘I usually have like half a can of soda and sneak a little Snickers bar on the plane sometimes,’” he said.
Corbin and his mother enjoyed the sampling of dishes that were served at lunch, saying they were healthy and light. They both said their favorite dish was a pizza with cauliflower crust. The recipe came from 10-year-old Olivia Neely of Kansas.
Corbin said he wasn’t surprised at how big the White House was, but was surprised by the collection of presidential portraits.
“I didn’t know all of the presidents had big pictures hung on the walls.”
Along with getting a palm tree with a monkey hanging on it in balloon-animal form, Corbin and Poulin received their own Healthy Lunch- time cookbook, filled with the recipes of each of the 54 winners. The cookbook is available for download at letsmove.gov.
The Healthy Lunchtime cookbook will go to good use at his Mount Pleasant home, according to Corbin.
“I plan to try all of the winning recipes with my mom.”
Reach Zach Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org