11-year-old Goodyear boy wins cooking contest with his recipe 'Purple Explosion'

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(Source: Walk On Kids' Cooking Challenge/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona) (Source: Walk On Kids' Cooking Challenge/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona)

Gabe Bandera, 11, of Goodyear entered and won the 13th Annual Walk On Kids' Cooking Challenge with his recipe called Purple Explosion.

The challenge is put on by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and its aim is to teach fourth and fifth grade students about making healthy choices.

Gabe says he entered the contest because he wants to be on a cooking show one day.

He told Blue Cross Blue Shield that it's important to cook healthy foods because they taste better than junk food. 

Gabe's recipe is below, so you can make this delicious and healthy meal for your family. 

Purple Explosion



  • 1 small beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 red pepper, shredded
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 large parsnip, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, shredded
  • 1 cup purple kale
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt Black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs such as chives, basil and parsley
  • 4-5 mandarin oranges, peeled and chopped in half 


  • 1/2 cup mandarin juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped 


1. Mix all vegetables together in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.

2. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and put under broiler for 3-5 minutes, just until they start to soften.

3. Set aside and let cool.

4. To make dressing, whisk mandarin juice, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and honey. Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking.

5. After cooled, add mandarins and herbs to slaw. Toss with dressing and serve. 

To download Gabe's recipe, click here. Congratulations, Gabe!

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