First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a “Let’s Move!” recipe roundtable in the China Room of the White House, Feb. 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Last week EatingWell traveled to the White House in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the MyPlate Recipes Partnership, a new effort to make healthy recipes that meet USDA’s MyPlate guidelines easy to find and share online and on a new MyPlate Recipes Pinterest page. The effort is a partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama, her Let’s Move! initiative, the Partnership for a Healthier America, the USDA and 17 top American publishers. In a sit-down meeting in the White House’s China Room last week (pictured left), the First Lady shared her family’s dinnertime challenges.
—Michelle Edelbaum, EatingWell Digital Editor
Representatives from First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, the Partnership for a Healthier America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and America’s five major media companies meet at the White House to celebrate a new effort to make healthful MyPlate recipes easy to find and share online. (February 19, 2013. Photo credit: Adam Garber)
White House assistant chef Sam Kass meets with representatives from Meredith, Condé Nast, Hearst, Scripps and Time Inc., the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, the Partnership for a Healthier America and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to celebrate a new effort, the MyPlate Recipes Partnership, to make healthy recipes that meet USDA’s MyPlate guidelines easy to find and share online.
White House pastry chef Bill Yosses leads a tour of the White House garden, composter and beehive on the south lawn. While the White House garden is not certified organic, they do use organic growing methods, Yosses said. The #1 question from visitors? Yosses said they give lots of tours to school kids and most of them ask if they can taste what’s growing. In the summertime, Yosses said Sam Kass always prepares something from the garden for the First Family’s table. Any crops they cannot use fresh are either pickled or donated to local shelters.
Even though it is February, the White House garden, which is located on the south lawn, is full of cold-weather greens including spinach, Swiss chard and tatsoi; in the hoop house there were beautiful heads of red leaf lettuce, starts for broccoli and hardy herbs that are being used in the First Family’s meals. In the kitchen, Yosses uses many of the herbs to add healthy flavors to his desserts. And in terms of favorite new healthy recipes, Yosses said recently he’s been starting sourdough breads with whole grains and also makes a delicious green tea quick bread. “That’s the direction we’re moving in—less sugar, less fat, more intense flavors.”
The White House raised-bed garden is small, neat and tidy and features heirloom seeds from Thomas Jefferson’s 1,000-foot garden at Monticello—and a fig tree—among other vegetables.
White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford leads a tour of the White House kitchen, which is surprisingly small in size considering it houses the cooking for state dinners and White House events.