TODAY   |  March 12, 2013

Chef phenom, 12, cooks up quinoa salad with shrimp

Haile Thomas, 12, is an Arizona native with a goal to inspire her peers to eat better. She talks about her travels to promote healthy eating and cooks up a quinoa salad with garlic shrimp and salad skewers that’s perfect for lunchboxes.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning in today's kitchen, salads as easy as one, two, three. at 12, hailey thomas has already met her celebrity eyele dolls, chefs like tom colicchio and alice waters . she wants to inspire kids to eat healthy and is traveling the country with a for kids, by kids menu. good morning. you're quite a little slacker. no, no. you're doing a great job. how long have you been cooking?

>> since i was really 5.

>> wow.

>> it's been a long time.

>> you have great recipes kids can make starting with a quinoa and shrimp salad.

>> the ingredients are simple. i will have you --

>> you cooked the quinoa already.

>> it takes 20 minutes . then we have corn, black beans . these are great flavor combinations. you know, really bright with some onion, tomatoes. then add just a pinch of salt. mix it up for me and incorporate it while i go over here and work on the shrimp.

>> this is something you made -- that was prepared for the first lady's first kids state dinner .

>> yes. that was very exciting to have the first lady enjoy my food. all right. so once that's incorporated we'll add it to the plate. for this shrimp here, i'm going to add some garlic and some sea salt .

>> shrimp cooks quickly, right?

>> really quickly. i paired it with shrimp because i love seafood so much. get that in there.

>> smells terrific. so you're going to cook that up.

>> it cooks for a few minutes.

>> this is a finished version.

>> yes. so add this to our plate. there we go.

>> all plated up. that looks lovely. i love the other idea. you have salad kabobs.

>> yes. this is on the kids' menu. it's really simple and delicious, too. i'd say we should get some kabobs together.

>> start with cheese --

>> smells great, hailey .

>> isn't it terrific?

>> wow. you know your stuff.

>> lettuce. it has a great honey mustard sauce.

>> so a little dipping thing. this is really terrific.

>> the whole point of the menu is to have it fun, fresh, flavorful, sophisticated and interactive.

>> your friends can make it. hailey , thank you so much. you have to do a cookbook.

>> thank you.

>> she will. i'm sure.