Who doesn’t like Mexican food? A 12-year-old from Dresden likes it so much she created a recipe for a national competition.haystack

Last Summer, Sienna Mazone was one of 54 children from the U.S. who got the chance to take part in The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge in Washington D.C. The children who participated had to create a healthy original lunch dish that represented all of the food groups. Sienna created something called Mexican Haystacks. The recipe includes tomatoes, onions, cilantro, avocado, sweet potatoes and refried beans. For this competition, Sienna got some help from a local chef. Shannon Bard of Zapoteca in Portland was there for support almost every step of the way.
mexican haystack

The highlight of the competition for Sienna was getting to tour the White House and meet First Lady Michelle Obama. Sienna has memories that will last a lifetime from her trip and a great picture. Michelle Obama

The Mexican Haystacks are not only delicious, but using all the food groups makes it very healthy for you as well. The recipe is also pretty simple. Whether you’re 12-year-olds like Sienna or 51-years-old like me, you can whip up this dish in less than a half hour. Enjoy this original recipe and also that vegan thing.


6 whole-grain tortillas

1 cup of cherry of tomatoes, sliced thin

1 red chile pepper seeded and chopped

½ red onion, chopped

2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of one lemon or lime

1½ tsp of salt

1 avocado

2½ tsp ground cumin

1 large sweet potato, peeled, baked and mashed

1 can of vegetarian refried beans


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tortillas in strips and place them on a baking sheet and bake until the strips are crispy and slightly brown. To make the salsa, combine tomatoes, pepper, onion, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice and one teaspoon of salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the remaining lemon or lime juice and the avocado along with half a teaspoon each of cumin and salt. Set that aside. Then in a separate bowl, add the remaining two teaspoons of cumin to the mashed sweet potato. In the microwave, warm the sweet potato and the beans in two separate bowls for a minute. To make the haystack, put a few tablespoons of refried beans on the plate, then sweet potato, salsa and avocado. Place the tortilla strips around the haystack and serve.

Jeff Peterson

About Jeff Peterson

Jeff Peterson anchors Good Day Maine on CBS 13 from 4:30-7:00a.m and on FOX 23 from 7:00-8:00am. Back in 2012, he decided to become vegan. Jeff has lost over 50 pounds and his cholesterol has dropped dramatically. Besides having kids, It's the best decision he's ever made.