#MIKidsCan Cook Winning Recipe: Rosie’s Special Summer Salad

Anaka Armstrong, 10, wants to be a doctor, a singer or a chef when she grows up.

Anaka Armstrong preparing her winning dish.

If the results of a recent #MIKidsCan cooking contest are any indication, she could certainly have a future in the kitchen. The soon-to-be 5th-grader took the top prize in the healthy snacking competition, beating out a variety of parfaits, smoothies, and salsas.

The event was held June 12 at Baxter Community Center as part of the 2017 Let’s Talk Health Week in Grand Rapids, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Her summer salad wowed the judges and Armstrong explained it was named for her great-grandmother, Rosie.

Cle Jackson, senior community liaison for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan with Taylor Pierce, Justin Hilliard, Brandon Lee, Jr., Anaka Armstrong and WZZM TV personality Jennifer Pascua.

“She really is into being in the kitchen,” said mom Aliya Armstrong. “She put a lot of work and effort into this.”

Other contest winners included Brandon Lee, Jr., who took home third prize and a $50 gift card, and Taylor Pierce and Justin Hilliard, who tied for second place and both received a $100 gift card to Dunham’s Sporting Goods. Armstrong won a private skating party for all of her friends.

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Photo Credit: Julie Bitely

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  • 1.5 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup black grapes
  • 1/2 cup chopped avocado
  • 1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rosie's Special Summer Salad

Combine all ingredients together, chill and serve. Stuff in a small popover to make a light appetizer.

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