2019 Future Chefs National Challenge ~ Fiesta Fit - Healthy Mexican Recipes

A big thanks and congratulations again to all of the finalists! And a special thanks also to our amazing Cafeteria Staff, event judges, and IT Staff for their participation and assistance.

Sodexo Future Chefs National Challenge logo 1st Annual Future Chefs Winners 2018-2019 in PDF format 

Congratulations Abbie Tinsley ~ 1st place winner!

1st place Abbie Tinsley Abbie is loving 1st grade at Flat Rock Elementary School this year. She enjoys new adventures, being outdoors, and has a zest for life! Abbie is an avid animal lover. At home, she has two cats named Simon and Ollie, as well as her new Collie puppy Roxy. Some activities she has experienced and enjoyed are cooking/baking, hiking/camping, ballet, tennis, Sparc Musical Theater, and swimming. Abbie really has a creative, enthusiastic spirit, so anything related to art or music is right up her alley. Don't forget snuggling up with a good book! She's excited to be in the Cook-Off this year and hopes everyone enjoys her Organic Lettuce Wraps!


Abbie's Organic Mexican Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients Directions
  • 1 Lb. Veggie Crumbles
  • 1 Can Salsa
  • 1 Can Corn
  • 1 Can Diced Tomato
  • 1 Small Can Black Olives
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • Non-stick Spray for Pan
  • 1 Bag Shredded Cheese
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Head of Lettuce (Bibb or Boston)
  • 2 Cups Brown Rice
  • 1 Bag Organic Blue Chips

  1. Brown veggie crumbles in pan with 1 tablespoon organic olive oil.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 tablespoon chili powder as veggie crumbles warm.
  3. Add ½ can corn, 1 small can black olives, and ½ can diced tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Wash lettuce, pat dry, and remove leaves.
  6. Spoon 2 teaspoons of mixture into lettuce leaves.
  7. Top with cheese, 1 tablespoon yogurt, and 1 teaspoon of salsa.
  8. Serve with brown rice cooked in rice cooker, chips, and salsa.

Congratulations Eva Crane ~ 2nd Place!

2nd Place Eva Crane  Eva is a 5th-grade student at Powhatan Elementary School. Her favorite subject to study is Social Studies. Outside, she enjoys relaxing in the hot tub, playing in the pool, jumping on the trampoline, vacationing on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and swinging. When the weather keeps her inside, she likes to watch Netflix with her mom and paint along to Bob Ross videos. Her favorite foods are Mexican and everything dessert. Her current favorite restaurant is Mabel’s. When she grows up, Eva wants to be a veterinarian. Eva loves her family and friends. She is excited about making Mexican Shakshuka for you today.

Eva's Mexican Shakshuka



  • 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Diced Medium Yellow Onion
  • 1 Diced Large Red Pepper
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Minced Garlic
  • 1 Large Can of Diced Tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cumin
  • ½ Teaspoon of Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 6 Cups of Prepared Brown Rice
  • Green Onions
  • 2 Ripe Avocadoes
  • 1-1/2 Cups of Shredded Queso Cheese
  1. Prepare 6 servings of instant brown rice according to package directions.
  2. Peel, deseed, and slice avocadoes.
  3. Sauté diced onion, diced red pepper, and garlic in vegetable oil until soft and starting to brown in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and stir.
  5. Add chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, and stir.
  6. When vegetable stew is hot and bubbly, carefully crack the eggs and drop evenly on top of the veggies.
  7. Cover pan and cut heat back to medium-low. Simmer until eggs are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve stew over brown rice. Top with slivered green onions, slices of ripe avocado, and shredded queso cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

Congratulations Evelyn Hawkins ~ 3rd Place & winner of the best Chefs Hat!

3rd Place & Best Chefs Hat: Evelyn Hawkins Evelyn is a 1st-grader at Pocahontas Elementary School. This is her first cooking contest, but she has been watching/helping mom in the kitchen for years. She has a 17-year old cat and a few fish she shares her room with. In her free time, she enjoys How To Train Your Dragon, playing with her baby sister, making art, and tending to her fairy gardens in the Spring.

Evelyn’s Fiesta Soup

Ingredients Directions
  • 1 Package of Knorr Fiesta Sides Spanish Rice
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ½ Package Morningstar Chorizo Crumbles (frozen)
  • 3 Cups Veggie Broth
  • ½ Cup Prepared Sofrito
  • ½ Can Del Monte Southwestern Corn
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano (dried)
  • 1 Teaspoon Parsley (dried)
  1. Prepare Spanish rice, following package directions in a large saucepan. Set aside.
  2. In sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chorizo. Stir while cooking until heated through (5 minutes). Add 1 cup of broth and continue to stir. Scrape up any burned/charred bits from the pan for flavor.
  3. Add chorizo/broth to saucepan with rice and place over medium-high heat. Add remainder of veggie broth. Bring to a quick boil. Add sofrito, oregano, parsley, and corn.
  4. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
Serves 6-8.

Congratulations Madalyn Myers ~ 3rd Place!

 3rd place Madalyn Myers  Madalyn is a 3rd-grade student at Pocahontas Elementary School. She loves to cook, do art, play with her 6 golden retrievers, and ride horses. She also enjoys swimming, going to the lake, and to the ocean.

Madalyn's Tiny Taco Cups

Ingredients Directions
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 1 Lb. of Lean Ground Beef
  • 3 Tablespoons of Taco Seasoning
  • ½ Cup Sliced Black Olives
  • ½ 20% Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cut 4” circles out of each tortilla. Place one in each muffin pan.
  3. Bake tortillas for 12 minutes.
  4. Cook beef in large skillet.
  5. Stir in taco seasoning until beef is brown.
  6. Leaving tortilla cups in the muffin pan, add beef evenly to each cup, followed by salsa, olives, and cheese.
  7. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese melts.
  8. Top with black olives and sour cream.
Serves 4.

Congratulations Annie Crane ~ 3rd Place!

3rd place Annie Crane  Annie is a 5th-grade student at Powhatan Elementary School. Her favorite subjects to study are reading and writing. Outside, she enjoys jumping on the trampoline, swimming, vacationing on the Gulf coast of Florida, and playing with her dog. When the weather keeps her inside, she likes to watch movies, style hair, and draw. Her favorite foods are sushi, take out Chinese, Mexican, and Italian. Her current favorite restaurant is Cava. When she grows up, she wants to be a nurse. Annie loves her family and friends. She is honored to be making Mexican Pizza for you today.

Annie's Mexican Pizza

Ingredients Directions
  • 2 Prepared Whole Grain Pizza Crusts
  • 1 Can of Fat-free Refried Pinto Beans (30 oz.)
  • 1 Lb. of Lean Ground Pork
  • 2 Cups of Prepared Salsa
  • 1 Can of Fat-free Black Beans (15 oz.)
  • 1 Can of No Salt Added Corn (15 oz.)
  • 3 Cups of Queso Cheese (melting variety)
  • 1 Cup of Low Fat Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup of Prepared Guacamole
  • 2-3 Teaspoons of Hot Sauce
  • Green Onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place prepared pizza crusts on two pizza pans.
  3. Spread refried beans evenly onto pizza crusts, half can each.
  4. Spread salsa evenly onto each pizza, one cup each.
  5. Rinse and drain the black beans. Shake off excess water. Spread black beans evenly onto each pizza, half can each.
  6. Drain corn and spread evenly onto each pizza.
  7. Spread 1 and ½ cups of shredded queso cheese evenly onto each pizza.
  8. Bake pizza 25-30 minutes or until tops are bubbly and melted
  9. Transfer pizzas to serving platters. Be care! Pizzas are hot!
  10. Mix together to guacamole, sour cream, and hot sauce until creamy. Pip guacamole crema onto pizzas.
  11. Top finished pizzas with slivers of green onions.
Makes 8 servings.

Congratulations Ava Duke ~ 3rd Place!

3rd place Ava Duke  Ava says, My favorite style of food is BBQ, and my favorite subjects are language arts and science. I play softball and basketball, and I also play the guitar. On the weekends, I like to read a lot and cook food for my family. I’m in the 4th grade and I am 10 years old."

Ava's Healthy Mexican Burritos

Ingredients Directions
  • 1 Lb. of Ground Beef
  • 2 Romaine Hearts (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning
  • 6 Whole Grain Tortillas (12”, warmed)
  • ½ Cup Fresh Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers (chopped)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 Cup Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup Salsa
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink; drain, stir in taco seasoning.
  2. Spoon about ¼ cup beef mixture into center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Add in peppers and cooked brown rice.
  3. Fold sides and ends of all tortillas over filling, and roll up. Top with salsa, Greek yogurt, lettuce, and cilantro.
  4. Serve with a lime wedge.
Serves 6.