ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — An 8-year-old boy from Ellicott City will meet the First Lady for lunch at the White House after winning the nationwide Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

Braxton Young, who won with his healthy “Quinoa Crusted Spinach Tofu Pie” recipe, will join the other 54 winners and their parents at a Kids’ “State Dinner” on July 10.

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Young’s recipe was chosen from over 100 entries.

It had to include each of the food groups and First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged the kids to use ChooseMyPlate.gov for nutritional guidance.

Young, who loves to cook and eat healthy, said he started cooking with his mom when he was just two years old.

“I created this recipe for kids like me who are allergic to dairy, nuts, and gluten,” Young said. “But even if you don’t have an allergy, you’ll love it too.”

The White House lunch will feature a selection of the kids’ winning nutritional recipes.

After lunch, Young and the other chefs, all between ages 8-12, will get the chance to visit the White House Kitchen Garden.

Obama, PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the winners earlier today.

The recipes were chosen by a panel of judges consisting of nutrition, food, and education experts.

“Reading over these winning recipes, two things become very clear,” Obama said. “America’s kids are passionate about not just eating healthy food, but about cooking healthy food, too. And we’re raising some truly inventive and talented chefs. I can’t wait to meet our 2015 winners and try some of their recipes at the Kids’ “State Dinner.’”

The recipe challenge promotes healthy eating and cooking for kids.

Young said that while a lot of kids don’t bring very nutritional lunches to his school, they are open to eating healthy.

“Unless I have smelly eggs in my lunchbox, they want my healthy food,” Young said.

PBS has posted a complete list of winners and recipes.

A free downloadable and printable e-book with all of the winning recipes, complete with nutritional information and photos will be available starting on July 10 on the Let’s Move! site.

Interested in making Young’s “Quinoa Crusted Spinach Tofu Pie”? Check out his recipe here:

Makes 4 Servings (Nutritional Value: 280 calories, 13g fat, 29g carbohydrates, 12g protein)


Spinach Pie Fillings-

1/3 cup tofu, cut into small cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon coconut oil

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1/2 white onion, peeled and diced

1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrots

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

8 ounces fresh baby spinach

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons of your favorite non-dairy milk

For the Crust:

3/4 cup cooked red quinoa, drained well

2 tablespoons buckwheat flour

1 large egg

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon basking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt


1. To make the Spinach Pie Filling: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tofu on a paper towel-lined plate and press with another paper towel to squeeze excess water out of the tofu. Place the tofu on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light brown. Don’t turn off the oven

2. Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, garlic and maple syrup and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted and there is no extra liquid in your pan. Add the thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for another 30 seconds and set aside in a bowl to cool. Add the tofu and mix to combine. Cover and let cool in the refrigerator.

3. To make the Crust: In a small bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, buckwheat, flour, egg, olive oil, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Press into 4 mini quiche dishes and bake for 10 minutes.

4. To finish the Spinach Pie Filling: Whip the eggs in a small bowl. Remove the spinach filling from refrigerator and add the eggs and non-dairy milk. Stir quickly for another 1 minute.

5. Remove the quinoa crusts from oven. Pour the spinach pie mixture into the four mini crusts. Reduce the over temperature to 400°F and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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