Adorable! Nine-Year-Old's Vegan Recipe Wins Him a Trip to the White House.

M+koch+pasta+02+copy.jpgNine-year-old Noah Koch from Waterville, Maine, is taking a trip Washington, DC, to meet First Lady Michelle Obama courtesy of his very own culinary creation: Vegan Powerhouse Pesto Pasta.

The young, emerging chef recently entered a national nutritious food contest. His dish was chosen as a winner out of 1,300 entries.

"I've always wanted to go to the White House, and my mom told me about this contest where the grand prize is you get to meet First Lady Obama at the White House," Koch said.

Koch's family strives to eat a primarily vegan diet due to health concerns. Koch said he was super excited to take a classic recipe that usually calls for cheese and load it up with superfoods. His pesto uses avocados, walnuts, tomatoes, and white beans. It's served over gluten-free pasta.

Tonya Steele, editor in chief for, helped organize the contest. She said winning recipes had to meet USDA MyPlate recommendations, and be original and affordable. Of Koch's pesto dish, Steele gushed that it was "extremely good" and "tasted very fresh."

This isn't the first time a vegan dish has been nationally recognized. Both vegan cookbook author Chloe Coscarelli and vegan bakery Papa Ganache took top prize for their cruelty-free creations in recent years on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars.

Whether it's to improve your health, lessen your carbon footprint, or help stop the horrific abuse of animals on factory farms, there has never been a better time to go vegan. For recipes and tips on creating your own award-winning vegan dishes, visit

Photo credit: Jacques Wood