President Obama loves broccoli, says Sam Kass...
In a special episode of NBC competition weightloss show The Biggest Loser, the cast and co-hosts Bob Harper, Allison Sweeney, and Jillian Michaels visited the White House and harvested vegetables from First Lady Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden. Led by Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass, the gang plucked fresh tomatoes, roots, basil and squash, before going into the kitchen to "cook" the veggies. Kass and Executive Chef Cris Comerford showed the group how to peel, chop, and chop, peel, and create a tasty and quick salad dressing for a bowl of healthy fare fit for President Obama. (Above, showing off the harvest: Kass is center; Harper kneels beside Michaels in front; Sweeney is in yellow)
Everyone was thrilled. Kass got quizzed about the President's favorite vegetable:
"He loves broccoli," Kass said.
During the episode, the Losers met with Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand and Sen. Bob Casey, and they discussed the devastating social and emotional impact of obesity on teens. Since being appointed to office, Sen. Gillibrand has become very interested in all kinds of food initiatives, including food safety legislation and efforts to help dairy farmers. (Above: The cast samples their salads in the White House kitchen as Kass looks on)
The easy Loser salad recipe is below. More White House salad recipes: The Winter Garden Salad, and the Winter Green Salad With Honey Vinaigrette.
1 head of fresh lettuce, washed, dried and cut into bite-size pieces
1 cucumber peeled, and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 fresh in season tomatoes, washed and cut into bite-size pieces
¼ red onion, peeled and cut as thinly as possible
1 bunch fresh basil, washed and chopped into big pieces
4 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions in large mixing bowl. In a sealable container, combine oil, lemon juice, honey and salt and pepper. Cover container and shake vigorously. Add dressing to salad and serve immediately.
A video of Kass and the cast in the Kitchen Garden:
Related: Mrs. Obama's most recent harvest of the Kitchen Garden was on June 4, 2010. Kass has now been promoted to Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives. He's also hosting a White House video cooking series, Let's Cook. Ed. note, Aug. 2011: Now canceled