Dining at the Whitehouse

Vegetarian Senator Cory Booker

Vegan Senator Cory Booker

When it comes to food served at the Whitehouse, there’s both good news and not so good. A couple of months ago vegan US Senator Cory Booker, from New Jersey, left a White House event early because of the lack of vegan food. “I can tell you that there were no vegan options, so I’m going to have to complain to my congressman,” said Booker. This was especially disappointing since one of the topics for discussion at the dinner was global warming, and raising livestock is a major contributor to this.

However shortly afterward, the president and the first lady welcomed 54 kids from around the country at the Kids State Dinner.  The kids won their way to the exclusive event by providing a winning recipe for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge competition.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

“If unhealthy foods can have all kinds of advertisements,” commented the First Lady, “why can’t we do that for fruits and vegetables?” We couldn’t agree more.

A few of those winning recipes were then served at the luncheon, and some of them were vegetarian and vegan. ‘Deliciousness Over Rice,’ for example, submitted by 10-year old Sable Scotton of Alaska, included broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables served over rice. ‘Oodles of Zoodles with Avocado Pistachio Pesto’ by Arizona’s Nia Thomas, another 10 year-old, used zucchini as noodles in a pesto sauce. Maine’s Leo Koch, age 8, submitted a ‘Superhero Vegan Soup’ full of vegetables, and other recipes, including nutritious vegan ingredients like faro, quinoa and tofu. To make the meals even fresher, the vegetables used to cook the luncheon were collected from the White House’s vegetable garden.

Hopefully the White House chef wrote down some of the recipes to use for future events!