My recipes from Food Network Star Kids

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Hi everyone! I have been asked to share recipes for dishes I made on Food Network Star Kids, so I decided to collect them all here on this page!

Finale – Episode 6

In the finale, I had to make “The most important meal of my life.” I chose my award-winning Zucchini Noodle Lasagna, Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic-Herb Drizzle, and Tomato Salad with Green Goddess Dressing.

Zucchini Noodle Lasagna with Sausage and Tomato Sauce

Step-by-step photos can be found on this post.

4.34 from 3 votes

Award-Winning No-Noodle Lasagna

Former First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge in 2013, calling out to kids and parents across the country to submit an original healthy recipe that would inspire families to cook together and eat wholesome meals. I submitted this recipe and won for the state of Washington! I had the honor of dining next to the First Lady and meeting President Obama, and I also chatted with many amazing kids and parents who think that fresh, delicious food is the best kind of food. This lasagna ditches pasta and uses zucchini as the noodles, and trust me, it tastes so good. My family eats the whole pan every time! If the White House kitchen staff and First Lady Michelle Obama approve of this lasagna, I think you will, too.
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Author Amber Kelley


  • 3 medium-size zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup/160 g chopped yellow onion about 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and pressed
  • 1 pound/455 g Italian turkey sausage casings removed
  • 1 28-ounce/800 g can crushed tomatoes in tomato purée
  • 1 6-ounce/170 g can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces/225 g mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 ounces/55 g Parmesan cheese grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200°C.
  2. Slice the zucchini lengthwise with a mandoline so that they are paper-thin strips. Set out the strips on paper towels to dry out while you make the sauce.
  3. Heat the oil in a large (10- to 12-inch/25.5 to 30.5 cm) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Add the sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it’s no longer pink and crumbly.
  5. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on taste and the saltiness of your sausage), and the pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
  6. To assemble the lasagna, ladle about 3/4 cup/175 ml of the sauce into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch/33 x 23 x 5 cm rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Layer the zucchini, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with a small handful of mozzarella, a bit of Parmesan, and then another ladle full of sauce. Repeat until you are out of ingredients, finishing with sauce, topped with Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. Broil for a minute or two at the end to get a nice crust. Let it cool slightly so that it can set before serving.
Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic Herb Drizzle

2.84 from 6 votes

Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic Herb Drizzle

My grandma didn’t like cauliflower until she had this recipe—and then she was converted. So, if you think you don’t like cauliflower, try this recipe and think again! It’s perfectly roasted yet still has a slight bite to it, and I drizzle a fragrant herb oil over it that is to die for. This herb drizzle is great over all different types of grilled veggies, but it tastes the best over cauliflower, in my opinion. This recipe makes 1/4 cup/60 ml of the Garlic-Herb Drizzle, but you only need a portion of that for this dish. Save the rest for drizzling over veggies or chicken! It’s that good!
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Amber Kelley


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and pressed


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°F.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and place on a baking sheet, making sure the cauliflower is not crowded. You may need to use 2 baking sheets.
  3. Drizzle with some grapeseed oil, just enough to lightly coat the cauliflower. Toss with your hands to coat.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are browned and crispy.
  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, place the olive oil, oregano, basil, rosemary, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic in a small saucepan and stir. Heat the drizzle just until the garlic starts sizzling, and then remove from the heat.
  6. Place the hot cauliflower on a plate and drizzle with the Garlic-Herb Drizzle, making sure to get some of the garlic and herbs onto every bit of cauliflower. Serve immediately.

Episode 5 – Hollywood Power Lunch

My Thai-Inspired Spring Rolls impressed the Hollywood VIP judges! I wasn’t able to plate the Soy-Lime Dipping Sauce on the show, but it’s a MUST-HAVE if you’re making it at home. 😀

Thai-Inspired Spring Rolls with Sriracha Mayo and Soy-Lime Dipping Sauce

Steak Spring Rolls with Sriracha Mayo and Soy-Lime Dipping Sauce
Juicy steak, fresh vegetables and herbs and a creamy spicy Sriracha Mayo, wrapped tight with silky rice noodles and served along a soy sauce, lime, garlic dipping sauce...Oh YES! This is a slam dunk. You must try these amazing spring rolls!
Steak, Marinade, and Dipping Sauce
  1. 1 lb. flank steak or skirt steak
  2. 1/2 cup lime juice
  3. 1/2 cup soy sauce
  4. 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  5. 2 tsp crushed garlic
  6. 1.5 tsp grated fresh ginger
  7. 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
Sriracha Mayo
  1. 6 tablespoons of mayo
  2. 2 tablespoons sriracha
  3. 1 teaspoon lime juice
  4. ¼ teaspoon of soy sauce
To Assemble
  1. Rice paper
  2. Vermicelli rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  3. Red leaf and butter leaf lettuce, torn to bite size pieces
  4. Shallots, thinly sliced
  5. Cilantro, roughly chopped
  6. Basil, roughly chopped
  7. Cucumber, julienned
  8. Carrot, shaved using a potato peeler
  1. The dipping sauce and marinade are almost identical, so making them both at once saves time.
  2. Get 2 bowls ready. In each bowl, add 1/4 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic, and about 3/4 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger.
  3. In the marinade bowl, add a 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil. Place the marinade and the steak in a ziplock bag, take as much air out as possible, and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
  4. In the other bowl, add a tablespoon of water. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. To make the Sriracha mayo, combine the mayo, Sriracha, lime juice and soy sauce in a bowl and mix well. If you have a squeeze bottle, put the Sriracha mayo in the squeeze bottle and refrigerate until your spring rolls are ready to assemble.
  6. Pull your steak out of the refrigerator an hour before grilling, to bring it up to room temperature. Spray grill or grill pan with cooking spray and preheat. Grill steak until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness. Let rest until room temperature then slice thinly against the grain.
  7. To assemble the spring rolls, fill a plate or sauté pan with water. Slide a sheet of rice paper in the water and leave for about 10-15 seconds. Remove the paper, place it on a plate or cutting board, and dab off excess water.
  8. Think of the spring roll as a burrito. In the bottom third of the paper, place some vermicelli, veggies and herbs. Squeeze some Sriracha Mayo on top of the filling, add a strip of steak. Bring the lower edge up over the filling, then fold in the two side flaps, and then roll the entire thing up.
  9. Serve with the dipping sauce on the side.
Cook With Amber

Episode 4 – Secret Ingredient: Seaweed

On the show, I added a little twist to Nana’s okonomiyaki recipe by adding bacon to the batter, Sriracha to the mayo, and omitting the noodles. But below is the REAL deal – my Nana’s Okonomiyaki recipe!

Okonomiyaki – Japanese Savory Pancake

5 from 2 votes

Nana’s Okonomiyaki (Savory Japanese Pancake)

Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese pancake topped with meat and a variety of delicious condiments. It’s a mix of great flavors and textures that meld together perfectly. It’s super popular in Japan, and if you give it a try you will understand why. Okonomi translates to “as you like,” and different regions of Japan have their own styles of this dish (and every family has its favorite). This is my nana’s version—if you ask me, hers is the best! This recipe calls for grated Japanese yam. It’s a small amount, but don’t be tempted to leave it out. It makes the pancakes extra fluffy and delicious.
Plus chilling time for the batter 1 hour
Total Time 45 minutes
Author Amber Kelley


Batter (makes 1 large or 3 small pancakes):

  • 1/2 cup/120 ml prepared konbu broth seaweed broth, or dashi (see directions)
  • 1/2 cup/60 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated Japanese yam also called yamaimo or nagaimo
  • 2 pinches of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups/140 g very thinly shredded cabbage
  • 1 large egg
  • Dried shrimp optional
  • 1 tablespoon or more grapeseed oil for cooking


  • 1 5.6-ounce/159 g package precooked yakisoba noodles
  • 1/4 pound/115 g thinly sliced pork


  • Japanese tonkatsu sauce
  • Mayonnaise in a squeeze bottle
  • Aonori seaweed sprinkles
  • Green onion chopped
  • Red pickled ginger optional


  1. If your broth or dashi is in powdered form, make the 1/2 cup/120 ml of broth according to the package instructions.
  2. Combine the broth, flour, yam, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or more.
  3. While the batter is in the fridge, prepare the yakisoba noodles for the yakisoba. Break up the noodles by soaking in hot (not boiling) water for 1 minute, pulling apart with a fork or chopsticks. Drain immediately.
  4. Take the batter out of the fridge and add shredded cabbage, egg, and shrimp, if using, and mix.
  5. Heat a nonstick 12-inch/35.5 cm skillet over medium-high heat and grease with a teaspoon of grape-seed oil. Alternatively, you can use an electric griddle at the dining table, and have your guests make the pancakes as they eat. Place about 1/3 of the package of the yakisoba noodles in the skillet and sauté with about a tablespoon of tonkatsu sauce. Once heated through, transfer the noodles to a plate, wipe out the skillet, and pour a ladleful of batter onto the skillet and flatten into a pancake 6 to 8 inches/15 to 20.5 cm in diameter.
  6. Place a pot lid over the batter to help it cook through. This will take about 4 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid, and lay slices of thinly sliced pork on top of the pancake.
  8. Flip the okonomiyaki and cook the pork until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. With a spatula, flip the okonomiyaki onto the plate on top of the yakisoba, so that the browned pork is face up.
  10. Let your guests top the okonomiyaki with tonkatsu sauce, mayonnaise, aonori, and other condiments. Enjoy!

Episode 3 – Fresh + Southern Teamwork

Tyra and I had to team up to create a Sunday dinner, so she made pork chops and I made this delicious Quinoa side dish. Citrus tied the dishes together.

Quinoa with Roasted Veggies, Herbs, and Feta
Crazy Quinoa with Roasted Veggies
I call it CRAZY Quinoa because it's spelled QUNIOA but pronounced KEENWA. Crazy! I really really love this dish. It's got such good flavor! This goes well with grilled steak or grilled portobello mushroom...or by itself! My mom and I eat all the leftovers the next day. 😀 I hope you like it!
Roasted Veggies & Quinoa
  1. 3-4 cups of quiona cooked in chicken broth or vegetable broth, still warm
  2. 1 small eggplant peeled and 3/4-inch diced
  3. 1 red bell pepper 1-inch diced
  4. 1 yellow bell pepper 1-inch diced
  5. 1 red onion peeled and 1-inch diced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  7. about ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
  8. 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  9. ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  2. ⅓ cup good olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To Assemble
  1. 4 scallions, minced
  2. ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  3. 15 fresh basil leaves cut into julienne, plus a few more for garnish
  4. ⅓ cup feta cheese, for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour onto a large sheet pan, using two if needed so the vegetables are not crowded. Roast for 20-40 minutes, until brown on the edges, turning once with a spatula.
  3. For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix together the vegetables, quinoa, and dressing.
  5. Before serving, add the scallions, pine nuts, and basil. Check the seasonings. Serve at room temperature with the feta on the side as an optional topping.
Cook With Amber

Episode 2 – Orange You Glad It’s Brunch?

We had to create two brunch dishes – one that used fresh orange juice, and another that is served in an orange. I had tough time with the quick-cooking oats, but since then I tested it with steel-cut oats and it’s absolutely delicious! The frittata recipe below is the original one, without the orange juice.

Orange Oatmeal
5 from 2 votes

Orange-Infused Steel-Cut Oats with Blueberries and Almond Slices

Oatmeal is perfect for a chilly day, and it is also a really great power-packed healthy breakfast. This is my all-time favorite oatmeal recipe. Creamy, citrus-y oatmeal, burst of fresh, sweet blueberries, and the nutty crunch from the almonds makes this heaven in your mouth!
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Amber Kelley


  • 1 cup/80 g steel-cut oats
  • 2 cups/475 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup/235 ml unsweetened regular almond milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or to taste
  • 1 pint/340 g fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup/55 g sliced almonds
  • Orange zest optional


  1. Combine the oats, orange juice, almond milk, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and bring to a simmer.

  2. Let it simmer, partially covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the oatmeal is the right chewiness for you. Stir occasionally to keep the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add the maple syrup and stir until combined.
  4. Top with fresh blueberries, almonds, and orange zest, if using.
  5. To really take your presentation to the next level, you can serve your oatmeal in an orange peel. Take an orange and cut it in half. Slice a bit of the bottom of the orange “bowl” so that it will stay put and not wobble. Carefully take a paring knife and cut around the inside of the peel, and use your fingers to pull out as much of the orange flesh as possible. Save the orange flesh for eating or juicing, and use the orange peel bowl to serve your oatmeal!

4 from 2 votes

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Frittata

We have great salmon here in the Pacific Northwest, and this is one of my dad’s favorite breakfast dishes. Salty salmon and creamy, tangy goat cheese are tucked in a warm frittata with herbs. I made this on Food Network Star Kids…and the judges loved it! I know you guys will enjoy it, too. It’s the perfect dish for breakfast, brunch, or lunch if you want something easy and packed with flavor.
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Amber Kelley


  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 ounces/55 g goat cheese
  • 2 ounces/55 g smoked salmon flaked
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375ºF/190°C.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, dill, salt, pepper, and chives in a bowl. Using two spoons or your fingers, separate the goat cheese into small clumps. Fold the goat cheese and salmon into the egg mixture.
  3. Heat the oil in a 10-inch/25.5 cm nonstick, oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir lightly to make sure the filling is evenly distributed in the pan. Cook until the bottom is set but not browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the center is no longer jiggly and the edges are golden brown, about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Take a butter knife and run it along the edges of the pan to make sure the frittata isn’t sticking, and then slide the frittata onto a large plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with a simple green salad or sliced tomatoes.

Episode 1 – Signature Dish

This is an absolutely amazing salad that can stand on its own as a meal. It’s tangy, zingy, and creamy. It’s full of so many flavors and textures – it’s one of my all-time favorite dishes.

Poached Salmon Salad with Goat Cheese and Tarragon Dressing
5 from 2 votes

Poached Salmon Salad with Goat Cheese and Tarragon Herb Dressing (a.k.a. I’m-in-Heaven Salad)

When I was four years old, I named this the I’m-in-Heaven Salad because it is so delicious—even at a young age, I could tell when I tasted a masterpiece! The cool thing about this salad is that it looks really fancy, but it’s actually super simple to make. This salad is filled with amazing flavors from the fragrant dressing, tangy goat cheese, the bite from the onion, and the tender, poached salmon. I wasn’t kidding when I named this dish.
chill time 1 hour
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Amber Kelley


Poached salmon:

  • 4 (6-ounce/170 g salmon fillets about 1-inch/2.5 cm thick
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • About 2 cups/475 ml dry white wine


  • 1/4 cup/60 ml Champagne vinegar
  • 11/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon

To assemble:

  • 2 5-ounce/140 g packages mixed baby greens
  • 1/2 red onion sliced thinly with a mandoline
  • 3 to 4 ounces/85 to 115 g goat cheese crumbled (optional)
  • Chives for garnish optional
  • Zucchini for serving optional; see directions


  1. Prepare the salmon: Place the salmon in a 10-inch/25.5 cm skillet. The salmon should fit tightly in the pan. This way it doesn’t require as much wine to cover the fillets. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Add enough wine to the skillet to cover the fillets. If the wine doesn’t completely cover the fish, add water to make up the difference.
  2. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the salmon is cooked, about 7 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the salmon to a plate and refrigerate until chilled.
  3. Prepare the dressing: In a bowl, stir together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add grapeseed oil in a steady stream while whisking until the dressing is well blended. Stir in the herbs.
  4. Assemble the salad: In a bowl, combine the mixed greens and red onion. Break the salmon into big bite-size chunks, add the dressing, and toss to coat. Top with goat cheese and chives, if using, and serve immediately.
  5. I love serving this salad in zucchini rings. To do this, use a mandoline to thinly slice a zucchini lengthwise into ribbons. Take two long ribbons and overlap the ends, creating a ring. If the ribbons don’t stick, dabbing a little water on the ends will help. Place the circle on a plate, fill it with salad, top with goat cheese, and sprinkle with chives.

2 Comments on “My recipes from Food Network Star Kids”

  1. Hi Amber,
    You were great on Food Network Star Kids. When you made the lasagna on the show you added pancetta. I would like to add that. How much should I use and how do I incorporate it? Thank you!

  2. Hi Amber,
    This is Sophie. You responded to my email awhile ago about that interview I wanted to do with you. I completely understand why you couldn’t do it, and even now, I really just can’t get over you and your food!!!!! If you could do me a huge favor, I need some publicity for my blog because I don’t get many views. Can you please help me out? My website is called If you could just make a post about it or something to promote it, that’d be great. After all, I promoted your website. (Check my blog, and you’ll see it). Thank you so much.


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