Wisconsin Teen Wins First Lady’s Recipe Contest, Hundreds Of Thousands Of Public Comments On Net Neutrality, White Dwarf Discovery

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

Cynthia Schuster and Rob Ferrett talk with a 12-year-old Wisconsin girl, who recently won First Lady Michelle Obama’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide search for healthy and delicious recipes. In Wisconsin Life, they learn about the history of the term ‘bubbler.’ They also discuss the latest news on net neutrality, and talk with a local astronomer who has discovered a white dwarf star that appears to be made up of diamond.

Featured in this Show

  • Appleton 12-Year-Old Wins Trip To White House In Healthy Recipe Contest

    A 12-year-old girl from Wisconsin cooked up a prize-winning recipe that has earned her a ticket to a dinner at the White House dinner.

    Sarah Ganser’s “Amazing African Sweet Potato Stew” was selected as the Wisconsin winner in a national healthy recipe contest promoted by first lady Michelle Obama.

    The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is part of the first lady’s Let’s Move Campaign, an effort to promote healthier lifestyles for American children. The 54 winners — one from each state, along with winners from Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and two American territories — will join a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House on July 18. The recipes were judged on their health value, affordability, and child-friendliness.

    Sarah Ganser and her mom, Jennifer Ganser, adapted the winning recipe from a friend’s recipe that didn’t initially meet the child-friendly requirement.

    “It was super-spicy and really good,” Jennifer said, “but my kids just didn’t go for it because of the super-spiciness.”

    Taking out cayenne pepper and filling in with some other spices was a key change that made the dish more child-friendly. For Sarah, the substitution improved the dish.

    ”I personally don’t like the spiciness,” she said. “I like the kids’ version.”

    Jennifer said they had considered other recipes, but the peanut stew stood out for its uniqueness and affordability — and especially for its nutritional content.

    “There’s beans in there with a lot of fiber and protein,” she said. “And the sweet potatoes have tons of vitamins.”

    Sarah said she embraced cooking at an early age.

    “I love to cook; I cook often. It’s one of my hobbies that I really like,” she said. “My mom cooks a lot so I just kind of picked it up from her, and started helping her. And now I’m cooking by myself.”

    Jennifer said cooking with children is a great way to promote healthy eating, and is good for family life as well.

    “We love to have family meals, we try to eat together and cook together,” she said. “It’s something that we do to be together. It’s a bonding time as well.”

    Jennifer recommended international recipes, like the African stew, as a source for healthy food ideas.

    “We find that foods from all over the world tend to be healthier than the American diet,” she said. “So, we love to cook Indian food, Thai food, African food — food with lots of vegetables and fruits and spices we tend to gravitate towards.”

    Here’s the recipe that Jennifer and Sarah came up with for the contest, as was posted on the Let’s Move Campaign’s website:

    Amazing African Sweet Potato Stew

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
    • 4 minced garlic cloves
    • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
    • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch squares
    • 2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 6 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
    • 11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped, optional
    • Red pepper flakes, optional

    In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, beans, tomatoes, broth, brown sugar, fresh ginger, cumin, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, and peanut butter, and bring to a boil.

    Reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Serve with cilantro and red pepper flakes, if desired.

  • Appleton-Native Wins Michelle Obama's Kids Recipe Contest

    Sarah Ganser, a 12 year-old from Appleton, Wisconsin won a national kids recipe competition set up by First Lady Michelle Obama. She and her mother talk about how the developed the winning recipe.

  • FCC Had To Extend Deadline For Public Comment Because Its Site Gets Overwhelmed With Traffic

    The Federal Communications Commission just extended the public comment period on net neutrality because their site was so overwhelmed with traffic it crashed. An expert on telecommunications explains why this issue is so controversial and the latest news on net neutrality.

  • Wisconsin Astronomer Helps Identify Coolest White Dwarf

    A team of astronomers, including one from Milwaukee, has identified what might be the coolest, faintest white dwarf star ever detected. We’ll meet the local scientist who helped find it.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Cynthia Schuster Host
  • Sarah Ganser Guest
  • Jennifer Ganser Guest
  • Barry Orton Guest
  • David Kaplan Guest
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Cynthia Schuster Producer

Related Stories