A budding chef from Menlo Park has been hanging out at the White House with the Obamas -- all because of her ultra-trendy, yet healthy, recipe for Pork and Tofu Lettuce Cups. Rose Scott, 12, was one of 54 kids honored in the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a contest co-sponsored by Epicurious and first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative. A panel of experts judged the 1,300 submissions and picked a winner for each U.S. state and some territories. The top recipes, like Rose's, sound cutting-edge enough for any hipster restaurant menu: There's Quinoa "Risotto" with Shrimp and Kale (from a 9-year-old, no less!); Chicken Masala Wrap; Alaskan Ceviche with Mango; and the eco-friendly Wisconsin Solar Oven-Simmered Chili. Find all the recipes at www.letsmove.gov/kids-state-dinner-winners. And you can catch a glimpse of the Kids' State Dinner at www.mercurynews.com/food-wine. Here's Rose's winning recipe:

Pork and Tofu Lettuce Cups

Serves 6; each serving, 180 calories

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound lean ground pork


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1 block firm tofu, drained well and cut into half-inch cubes

2 heads romaine lettuce, cleaned and separated into leaves

Toppings: 1 bag broccoli slaw (undressed), plus bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, fresh mint and lime slices

1. Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, vinegar, ginger, sugar and garlic.

2. In a medium saute pan over moderately high heat warm the olive oil. Add the ground pork and cook, stirring to break up the meat until brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain any excess oil from the pan, then add the sauce to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the tofu and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

3. To serve, scoop several heaping tablespoons of the pork and tofu mixture into each romaine lettuce "cup," then top with broccoli slaw, bean sprouts, cilantro, mint and lime slices.

-- Rose Scott, 12, Menlo Park