We are proud to feature a recipe by Sam Hightower, the Maryland winner of the Healthy Lunch Challenge.
This recipe is easy to make, very nutritious, and low budget! Feel free to use your family’s favorite veggies- mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, etc. We hope you enjoy Sam’s recipe and story!
Sam's Story (Told by his Mom)
“My son Sam, 10, and I were the lucky Maryland winners of the Healthy Lunch Challenge this past summer. Our recipe was Sizzling Tofu with Green Onions and Sugar Snap Peas. I’m sure you’re reading this, thinking, “no way a ten-year-old kid willingly eats tofu!” But he begged me to buy it for him after sampling it in the local Asian market.
“Let me tell you a little bit about Sam. Sam has some learning challenges brought on by ADHD. He takes longer than most kids his age to process information and his memory isn’t great. It’s important for him to eat a high protein diet so he has fuel to keep focused all day long. It became apparent very early on that sandwiches were not a great option for Sam. While we could provide him with the protein he needed in a sandwich since Sam wasn’t eating the sandwiches, it didn’t matter. Sam found sandwiches to be gross because “they get mushy.”
“We started giving Sam leftovers for lunch which we packed in a thermos. That soon evolved into our weekend soup adventures. We would put our heads together and pour over cookbooks for soup ideas like Cauliflower Potato, Pumpkin Soup, and Mom’s Modified Mulligatawny, just to name a few. Anything was possible. I made sure the protein and nutrient level hit my criteria. Sam got to show off his cool lunches to his friends!
“After sampling the tofu, we brought some home and decided to prepare it with Green Onions and Sugar Snap Peas. We bought all the ingredients at the Asian market. The tofu was .89 a pound. That’s an amazing price for such a great source of protein! In fact, the total cost of our dish was about $5.00 or $1.25 per serving.
Sam takes this for lunch on a regular basis. His classmates often share his lunch. Thankfully Sam’s thermos holds ten ounces of food, so there’s plenty for him to get a decent lunch and share a couple of bites around the table. Tofu is very versatile. Feel free to add your own veggies. We also like it with mushrooms or frozen stir fry veggies.”
Sam's winning recipe:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ pound firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into thirds
½ cup cooked brown rice
1. In a large sauté pan on medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the tofu and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, scallions, and sugar snap peas, and cook 5 more minutes.
2. While the vegetables are cooking, warm the rice in the microwave for 1 minute on high, then serve the sizzling tofu on top.