Sienna Mazone, 12, of Dresden, submitted a recipe last year and became a semi-finalist for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, part of the Let’s Move! campaign to battle childhood obesity. The contest asks kids ages 8 to 12 to create an original lunchtime recipe that is “healthy, affordable and delicious” and meets federal nutritional guidelines. This year, her recipe for Mexican Haystacks did the trick, and she became Maine’s representative at the third annual Kids’ State Dinner at the White House.


Serves 6

6 whole-grain flour tortillas

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced thin

1 red Fresno chile pepper, seeded and chopped

½ red onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lemon or lime (about 1/4 cup)

1½ teaspoons salt

1 avocado, mashed

2½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 large sweet potato, baked, peeled and mashed

1 (15-ounce) can vegetarian refried beans

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the flour tortillas in strips and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the strips are crispy and slightly brown.

To make the salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, chile pepper, onion, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon (or lime) juice and the avocado with ½ teaspoon of cumin and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, add the remaining 2 teaspoons cumin to the mashed sweet potato. Warm the sweet potato and the beans in the microwave in 2 separate bowls for 1 minute.

To make the haystack: Either make 1 big haystack to serve at a party, by placing the refried beans on a plate, topping with sweet potato, salsa, and avocado, in that order. Place the baked tortilla strips around the haystack to use for dipping. Or plate by arranging a few tablespoons of each component into individual haystacks on individual plates.