Recipe: Sneaky chili surprise by Lydia Finkbeiner

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Nine-year-old Lydia Finkbeiner of Carmel is headed to the White House for a state dinner with First Lady Michelle Obama. She was chosen after submitting her healthy recipe for "Sneaky chili surprise." Lydia is one of 54 kids from across the country selected for the honor.

The state dinner is next Tuesday.  Lydia and her mom joined Eyewitness News at Noon on Friday.

Download a cookbook of the winning recipes.

Sneaky Chili Surprise by Lydia Finkbeiner, 9

Makes 10-12 servings


4 carrots, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 T olive or vegetable oil
½ large onion, cut into small dice
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ T chili powder
½ T ground cumin
1 t ground chipotle pepper
¼ t salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
2 (15 oz) cans tomato puree
2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed


1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add half the carrots and potato and boil until soft, about 10 minutes. Mas the carrots and potato by hand or puree them in a blender.

2. In a large stockpot, over medium heat, warm the olive or vegetable oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and the remaining carrots and sweet potato and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, chipotle pepper, salt, and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree and tomatoes as well as the sweet potato and carrot puree and still well to combine. Add the black and cannellini beans and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.