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Simone ParekhFirst Prize Winner $750
Simone Parekh
Los Angeles, California

When coming up with her winning recipe for Fruit Salad with Quinoa and Toast, “I thought about the fruit, the coconut spread, and the quinoa and how all the ingredients could go together in a salad,” says 5-year-old Simone. Although she’s only in kindergarten, Simone’s culinary education started well before her school days: At age 2, she started helping her mom stir, mix, and even cut ingredients with her kid-sized knife. Now she makes roti, an Indian flatbread, for the whole family! Next up on her list of dishes to master? Black sesame paste dumplings.

The food she could eat every day: Artichoke! Some people don’t even know how good it is.

Her silliest cooking memory: I accidentally added salt instead of sugar in a rice pudding that my mommy was making.

Her advice for wannabe chefs: Help your parents in the kitchen. You’ll learn a lot!

Fruit Salad with Quinoa and Toast

1 mango diced
1 peach diced
½ cup blueberries
½ teaspoon Nielsen Massey Vanilla Powder
1 tablespoon Earth Balance coconut spread
a pinch of Xylo Sweet sweetener, adjust as needed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 multi-grain toast

  1. Combine all the cut fruits together.
  2. Add the vanilla powder to the fruits and mix.
  3. Add a pinch of Xylo Sweet sweetener to the fruits. Adjust quantity based on the sweetness of the fruits. Mix.
  4. Spread the coconut spread on a toast and add the fruit salad on top for a tropical fruit salad sandwich.
  5. Alternatively – add cooked quinoa to the fruit mix and mix for a healthy quinoa fruit salad.

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