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Lily Radtke is the Arkansas winner of the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

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Join us in congratulating 11-year-old Lily Radtke, Arkansas’s 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner! Lily showcased her culinary skills with a dish called “Asian in Arkansas,” which features spring rolls, edamame salad and watermelon skewers.

Lily will represent Arkansas at the Kids’ State Dinner at the White House in July as Arkansas’s 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner. Along with 55 other young chefs who represent all 49 other U.S. States, four territories and the District of Columbia. First Lady Michelle Obama will join Lily and the other young chefs for a healthy lunch followed by a special visit to the White House Kitchen Garden.

When asked about her winning recipe, Lily shared that while she loves Southern cuisine, she also enjoys experimenting with recipes from around the world and goes to the farmer’s market with her mom, Catherine, every Saturday to get inspired. The main ingredients behind “Asian in Arkansas” — rice, edamame and watermelon — highlight major crops for The Natural State and make up one of Lily’s favorite lunches to pack for school.

We can certainly see why this recipe is one of Lily’s lunchtime favorites! As Lily’s mom, Catherine said, “Lily is small in stature, but big in heart and cooking is a place where she feels especially skilled.” Give this recipe a try and put Lily’s talent to work for your family!


Asian in Arkansas

For the Spring Rolls:

  • 4 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, tails removed and deveined
  • 8 brown-rice wrappers
  • 8 basil leaves, whole
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 8 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped
  • Ponzu sauce, for dipping (optional)

For the Edamame Salad:

  • 1 pound frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

For the Watermelon Skewers:

  • 1 cup watermelon cubes
  • 16 sprig mint leaves, halved
  • 8 bamboo skewers


To make the Spring Rolls:

  1. In a medium saucepan, cook vermicelli noodles according to package instructions; rinse, drain and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and sauté until pink and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Let cool and then coarsely chop.

To Assemble:

  1. Place a rice wrapper in a bowl of warm water until softened then lay on a flat surface.
  2. Place one basil leaf first. Then add vermicelli noodles, 1/8th of shrimp, carrots, cucumber, and mint.
  3. Fold in the sides of the wrapper and then roll. Continue with remaining 7 wrappers. Serve with Ponzu sauce for dipping.

To make the Edamame Salad:

  1. In a large stockpot of boiling water, cook the edamame over medium-high heat, until just softened; drain.
  2. Into a large bowl, add the onion, tomato, edamame, and garlic.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk thoroughly the olive oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and ginger.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and let sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until the dressing is absorbed.

To make the Watermelon Skewers:

  1. Alternate watermelon and 2 whole mint leaves on skewers.
  2. Serve two skewers with two Spring Rolls and Edamame Salad.

Makes four servings.
523 calories, 16g fat, 70g carbohydrates, 28 g protein

A free, downloadable and printable e-cookbook of Lily’s and all of the nation’s winning recipes will be available beginning July 14 at, and Don’t miss reading it for even more healthy, delicious and affordable recipes!


Find further information about the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge at