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Arizona's Winning Recipe: Scarlet's Southwest Barack-A-Bowl

“Much of the food we eat is inspired by southwest flavors, which is why I chose to create a healthy southwest dish loaded with power foods for energy. Due to the beautiful weather in Arizona, we grill outdoors year round, so I wanted to include grilled chicken and corn. Our family is trying to be healthier in our food choices, so I suggested to my mom that we substitute white rice with cauliflower ‘rice,’ and when we mixed it with the quinoa, I couldn't even tell it wasn't white rice!”

             - Scarlet Summers, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtme Challenge winner from Arizona

Makes 4 Servings


  • ½ pound chicken tenders
  • ¾ of 7-ounce can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ears of corn or 1 cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ¼ head of cauliflower
  • ¼ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Cotija cheese, grated (Parmesan can be substituted)
  • ¼ cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
  • Juice of ½ fresh lime


  1. Place chicken and chipotles in 1-gallon freezer bag, refrigerate, and marinate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat the grill. When it’s hot, sprinkle ½ teaspoon olive oil on each ear of corn, wrap in foil, place on the side of the grill, and cover. (You can also boil the corn; place in cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain and remove the kernels.) Cook for 10 minutes, turn the corn over; remove the chicken from the plastic bag and place onto the grill. Cook for 6 minutes on each side. Turn the grill off. Remove the chicken and corn, then unwrap the corn and place back on the grill for a few minutes to get grill marks. After corn has cooled, cut the kernels off the ears by holding cobs vertically and slicing downwards. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
  3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package instructions in a large saucepan. In a food processor, add cauliflower and process until it’s a rice-like consistency.
  4. In a large nonstick pan, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, then add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until softened.
  5. Into the quinoa pan, add cauliflower, chicken, corn, onion, garlic, black beans, and cilantro. Warm over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add Cotija cheese. Garnish with avocado slices, pumpkin seeds, and lime juice and serve! 

365 calories 16g fat 33g carbohydrates 26g protein

Scarlet likes to serve this with a prickly pear smoothie.

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