Garrett Stevens just loves peanut butter.
He’s 10 years old and is in the fifth grade at Flat Rock Elementary School.
He didn’t know what Greek yogurt was, however.
Not until he decided to enter the Snack Master cooking contest this year.
That’s when he combined his love of peanut butter with Greek yogurt and honey to make a peanut butter yogurt dip — winning him first place in his division, the third-through-fifth-grades category.
But Garrett has won so much more than just a cooking contest. Because of his involvement with the Snack Master program, he has lost 16 pounds recently.
“I now eat healthier and exercise more,” he said. And he plans on keeping up his good, healthy habits. He might even enter the contest again next year.
Harlie Sechrist, 16, in 10th grade at East Surry High School, was the top prize winner from the ninth-through-12th-grade division. She made the Fresh Avocado and Tomato Salsa with Baked Tortilla Chips for this Snack Master contest. She has been learning how to cook at home for about two years now.
“This contest is a way of encouraging people to eat healthy,” Harlie said.
Kenya Cope, 13, who is in the seventh grade at Gentry Middle School, won her sixth-to-eighth-grade cooking division with her dish of Mini Tuna Burgers on Wheat Crackers.
“I’ve been cooking for a long time,” Kenya said. She started cooking around age 8 with simple dishes. “I started cooking with my grandma … My family cooks a lot … Cooking just comes naturally to me.”
Kenya more recently started to take outside cooking classes to eat healthier and lose some weight.
“And I really enjoyed it,” she said. “I will definitely enter this contest next year.”
This is the first year the Surry County Schools Healthy Snack Master Contest was held. This Snack Master program, along with the School Health Advisory Council and other groups, challenged students to create their own healthy snacks and dishes, said Sonia Dickerson, director of communications for the Surry County Schools, as well as chairperson for Snack Master.
“We can reach kids better together,” she said. “But we strive to help the entire community … health equals success … quality of life is crucial.”
Other dignitaries attending last Wednesday’s award ceremony and congratulating the winners were Sue Stone and Clark Goings, both members of the board of education.
“The recipes all sound delicious,” Stone said. “I can’t wait to try them.”
Samples of the top three winning entries were available for guests to taste after the awards ceremony.
“The children all did a great job,” Goings said.
A total of 23 area students earned recognition for their cooking skills last week. All winners were announced and introduced to the guests attending the awards event at the Surry Central High School media center on March 27. The names of all the student entrants are: Emma Brown, Colby Callaway, Kenya Cope, Colton and Dalton Gilmore, Madison Goins, Isabella Hooker and Kalie Mabe, Katelyn Jones and Katlin Anthony, Chainey Kuykendall, Carrie McKeaver, Chealsea Mullis, Kailey Myers and Eliza Hart, Daniela Martinez, Anamari Ocampo, Harlie Sechrist, Garrett Stevens, Cayla Tate, Carolyn Willard, and Sarah Wyble and Edi Nixon.
All entrants received prizes of water bottles and a $5 Subway gift card. Some of the prizes were donated by the North Carolina Prevention Partnership.
“They do a lot of teamwork with the schools,” Dickerson said.
The top three winners received $50 Walmart gift certificates.
In addition to the three top winning recipes, some of the other recipes included: A Movie Night Mix, Banana Snack Bar, Fresh Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips, K&I Yummy Cinna-Whip Fruit Dip and A Peachy/Strawberry Smoothie.
Cooks and dishes were judged on a number of criteria: How well they followed contest directions; the ease of preparation of the dish; the creative use of ingredients; the appearance of the finished dish; the health and nutrition benefits; food safety and healthy food preparation; and the video presentation taken while making the dish.
A recipe book of all the entries were available at the award ceremony, as well as by calling Dickerson at 401-1453.
Mini Tuna Burgers on Wheat Crackers
By Kenya Cope
Gentry Middle School
12-ounce can of tuna in water, drained
1 1/4 cups of bread crumbs, divided
1 cup of low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg white
1/2 cup of non-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon of dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup onions, chopped
Drain tuna and flake tuna with a fork. Mix the ranch dressing with the yogurt. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, half of the bread crumbs, cheese, egg white, yogurt mixture, celery and onions. Mix. Shape into 12 little patties and coat them in remaining half of the bread crumbs. Spray pan or griddle with cooking spray. Cook at medium temperature for 2 minutes on each side.
Fresh Avocado and Tomato Salsa with Baked Tortilla Chips
By Harlie Sechrist
East Surry High School
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped finely
1/2 large red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 bell pepper (green or yellow), chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
10 small tortilla chips
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into 8 triangular pieces. Drizzle olive oil over the tortillas. Sprinkle the tortillas with the sea salt. Place the tortillas on a baking pan and put in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the chips and bake for about 7 minutes or until golden brown or crispy. While the tortillas are in the oven, combine the tomatoes, avocado, onion, pepper and cilantro. Add the fresh lime on top of the salsa mix. Use a leaf of the cilantro as a garnish. Once the tortillas are done, let them cool for about 3 minutes. Serve the chips with the salsa.
Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
By Garrett Stevens
Flat Rock Elementary School
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon of honey
Fruit, veggies and whole-grain crackers
In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, peanut butter, and honey until smooth. Refrigerate until cold. Put the bowl in the middle of a serving tray. Place fruit, veggies and crackers around the dip.
Granola and Apple Crepes
By Chainey Kuykendall
North Surry High School
1 cup brown rice, sweet rice, or whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons of no-calorie sweetener
1/4 cup or less of low-fat granola
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons of honey (optional)
1 cup of soy milk
10 tablespoons of non-dairy whipped topping
2 teaspoons of olive oil or light soft-tub margarine, melted
4 egg whites or 1/2 cup of egg substitute
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
Combine the sweetener, flour, salt and cinnamon. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, soy milk, water and olive oil. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients slowly until evenly combined. Spray a heated frying pan with no-calorie spray. Pour a little of the mixture in until the bottom of the pan is completely covered. Flip after a couple of minutes. After cooking on the other side a couple of minutes, flip crepe onto a plate. While crepe is cooling, slice the apple in thin pieces, with the skin on. Put some of the whipped topping on the crepe. Add some apple pieces on the whipped topping. Sprinkle some granola over the apples and drizzle with some of the honey. Fold the crepe twice and enjoy.
By Chelsea Mullis
Surry Early College
1 cup of banana
1/4 cup of dried cherries
1/4 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of flour
1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
1 cup oatmeal
Peel the banana and mash into a measuring cup. Cut up the dried cherries and chop the walnuts. Combine all ingredients together until well mixed. Roll the mixture into 1-inch-diameter balls and let chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
No-Bake Granola Bars
By Anamari Ocampo
Cedar Ridge Elementary School
2 1/2 cups of crisp rice cereal
1 1/2 cups of quick-cooking oats
1 cup of Planters Nut-trition
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar
Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil with ends of foil extending over the sides of the pan. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Microwave honey and dark brown sugar in a microwave bowl on high for 1 minute. Stir. Add honey and dark brown sugar mixture to the cereal mixture. Mix well. Press onto the bottom of the 13x9-inch pan. Cool for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan using the foil and cut into bars.
Reach Lucie R. Willsie at email@example.com or at 719-1930.