TIME White House

See the Evolution of Michelle Obama in Magazine Covers

From fashion icon as a Vogue cover girl to power symbol on the cover of Ebony, the First Lady has graced the cover of more than 15 American magazines

TIME Food & Drink

Why the Obamas Don’t Eat Mac and Cheese Out of a Box Anymore

Cooking Light

And why Chelsea Clinton would hate it in the Obama White House

Michelle Obama sat down with Cooking Light for an interview about her now five-year-old Let’s Move! campaign, but she also opened up about the meals she grew up with and the challenges of cooking for a family.

In one of the more interesting anecdotes, the First Lady recalls the time Sam Kass, the former executive director of Let’s Move! and White House chef, taught her older daughter, Malia, a memorable lesson about eliminating processed foods.

My kids loved the macaroni and cheese in a box. And he said, if it’s not real food then we’re not going to do it. If we want macaroni and cheese, we’ll cook it with real milk and real cheese. He said, there’s nothing wrong with mac and cheese, but it’s got to be real food.

So my oldest daughter [Malia], who was probably 8 at the time, he took a block of cheese and he said, if you can cut this cheese up into the powder that is the cheese of the boxed macaroni and cheese, then we’ll use it. She sat there for 30 minutes trying to pulverize a block of cheese into dust. I mean, she was really focused on it, and it just didn’t work, so she had to give up. And from then on, we stopped eating macaroni and cheese out of a box, because cheese dust is not food, as was the moral of that story.

Those rules would have been hard for Chelsea Clinton to follow back when she moved into the White House at age 12. “At that age she had a very narrow idea of what she wanted to eat,” former White House executive chef Walter Scheib recalled in 2008. “Two of her favorites then were grilled chicken breast with lemon pasta and broccoli, and macaroni and cheese. She was very clear that it had to be Kraft macaroni and cheese from a blue box. We couldn’t deviate.”

Read the rest of the First Lady’s interview at Cooking Light.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 FLOTUS Family Dinners for Under $12

Michelle Obama on making the dinner table healthier

Cooking doesn’t have to be an expensive, labor-intensive chore. That notion may well be the legacy of Michelle Obama—“the First Lady of food”—who’s on the cover of Cooking Light this month.

Studies show that cooking at home is healthier and costs less than eating out, yet putting dinner on the table that’s both healthy and tasty is a scary proposition for many families. “A lot of people think that a meal requires some sautéing and sauces and double boilers,” Michelle Obama told Cooking Light in an interview. “I mean, it looks really intimidating. But broiling a chicken is probably one of the simplest, quickest things you can do.”

Inspired by Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! program, Cooking Light developed a curriculum for home cooks who want to make fast, healthy dinners for mere dollars. Each meal costs less than $12 for four people and takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Head to CookingLight.com for more First Lady-approved recipes.

  • Smoky Two-Bean Vegetarian Chili

    Flotus Michelle Obama Recipes: Chili
    Jennifer Causey for Cooking Light

    Cost for 4: $4.69

    Hands-on: 15 min. Total: 28 min.

    A wee bit of canned chipotle chiles goes a long way in infusing this hearty chili with rich, smoky flavor and a hint of heat.

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
    1 small green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 cup water
    2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce
    1 teaspoon salt
    1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
    2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted black beans, drained
    1 (15-ounce) can unsalted pinto beans, drained
    1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted petite diced tomatoes, undrained

    Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
    Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper; sauté 4 minutes.
    Add cumin; sauté 30 seconds.
    Stir in 1 cup water and remaining ingredients.
    Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
    Remove 1 cup bean mixture from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a bowl. Mash beans with a fork.
    Stir mashed beans into chili. Simmer 5 minutes.

    Serves 4 (serving size: about 11⁄2 cups)

    CALORIES 233; FAT 3.6g (sat 0.5g, mono 2.5g, poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 12g; CARB 38g; FIBER 11g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 4mg; SODIUM 655mg; CALC 128mg

    3 Ways to Riff:

    Add ground turkey or ground beef for a meaty version; cook it with the veggies.
    Use any other type of bean: kidney beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), or red beans.
    Swap in 1 can of hominy or 1 cup frozen corn in place of 1 can of beans.

  • Quick and Easy Green Beans

    Flotus Michelle Obama Recipes: Green Beans
    Jennifer Causey for Cooking Light

    Cost for 4: $1.12

    Hands-on: 6 min. Total: 6 min.

    Here’s a fast, efficient way to cook green beans (and other vegetables), eliminating the fuss of bringing a large pot of water to a boil or draining the veggies.

    12 ounces trimmed green beans
    1⁄4 cup water
    1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
    1⁄4 teaspoon salt
    1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

    Place green beans in a large skillet; pour in 1⁄4 cup water.
    Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as water comes to a boil, cover pan and cook 3 minutes.
    Uncover pan, and stir in butter. Cook 1 minute or until water evaporates and beans are crisp-tender.
    Sprinkle beans with salt and pepper.

    Serves 4 (serving size: about 1⁄2 cup)

    CALORIES 52; FAT 3.1g (sat 1.9g, mono 0.8g, poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 6g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 8mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 179mg; CALC 33mg

    3 Ways to Riff:

    Try this technique with cut asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower florets, thinly sliced zucchini or yellow squash, or quartered radishes.
    You can also try with carrot chunks, butternut squash cubes, or halved Brussels sprouts; just double the cook time and add more water if the pan dries out.
    Cook tender leafy greens (spinach, baby kale, Swiss chard, or mustard greens) this way; just use a Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid.

  • One-Pot Pasta with Spinach

    Flotus Michelle Obama Recipes: Pasta
    Jennifer Causey for Cooking Light

    Cost for 4: $8.43

    Hands-on: 29 min. Total: 29 min.

    This fast pasta dinner is a game changer: Everything goes into one pot with just enough liquid to cook the pasta—no colander needed; it all stays in the pot. Recipe adapted from our sister publication Southern Living.

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted petite diced tomatoes, undrained
    11⁄2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
    1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
    8 ounces whole-grain spaghetti or linguine (such as Barilla)
    1⁄2 teaspoon salt
    10 ounces fresh spinach
    1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1⁄4 cup)

    Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat.
    Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion starts to brown.
    Add tomatoes, stock, oregano, and pasta, in that order. Bring to a boil.
    Stir to submerge noodles in liquid.
    Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 7 minutes.
    Uncover; stir in salt.
    Add spinach in batches, stirring until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
    Sprinkle with cheese.

    Serves 4 (serving size: about 2 cups pasta mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)

    CALORIES 333; FAT 7.1g (sat 2g, mono 3.2g, poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 15g; CARB 55g; FIBER 9g; CHOL 5mg; IRON 5mg; SODIUM 538mg; CALC 197mg

    3 Ways to Riff:

    Switch from canned tomatoes to fresh grape tomatoes, as shown on our cover. Add your favorite fresh herbs.
    Swap out spaghetti for any short pasta shape, such as elbow macaroni, rotini, or shells.
    Try adding chopped skinless, boneless chicken thighs, sausage, or ground turkey for a heartier dish.

  • Parmesan Chicken Breast Tenders

    FC March 2015
    Jennifer Causey

    Cost for 4: $8.61

    Hands-on: 15 min. Total: 20 min.

    We call for chicken breast tenders here to keep things easy, but you can also use skinless, boneless chicken breasts (which are less expensive). Just cut each breast lengthwise into 3 strips.

    1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1⁄3 cup)
    3 tablespoons fine-ground cornmeal
    1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1⁄4 cup)
    1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
    1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
    1⁄4 teaspoon salt
    1⁄2 cup nonfat buttermilk
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    8 chicken breast tenders (about 11⁄4 pounds)
    1 1⁄2 tablespoons canola oil
    Cooking spray

    Preheat oven to 425°. Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium shallow dish.
    Combine buttermilk and egg in another shallow dish.
    Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture.
    Dredge chicken in flour mixture.
    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
    Transfer chicken to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

    Serves 4 (serving size: 2 tenders)

    CALORIES 336; FAT 12.2g (sat 2.8g, mono 5.5g, poly 2.4g); PROTEIN 37g; CARB 17g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 143mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 481mg; CALC 145mg

    3 Ways to Riff:

    Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces for nuggets.
    Use skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips, for richer flavor.
    Try the breading on tilapia for homemade fish sticks.

  • Beef Chorizo Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

    Flotus Michelle Obama Recipes: Tacos
    Jennifer Causey for Cooking Light

    Cost for 4: $8.37

    Hands-on: 25 min. Total: 25 min.

    Each person gets three filling tacos for a satisfying meal with lots of fresh veggie crunch. A good hit of garlic, paprika, cumin, and vinegar turns regular ground beef into near-instant, much leaner Mexican-style chorizo than one traditionally made with pork.

    4 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage
    1⁄3 cup cilantro leaves
    3 tablespoons white vinegar, divided
    3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    3⁄4 teaspoon salt, divided
    1 tablespoon paprika
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
    5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 pound 90% lean ground sirloin
    12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

    Combine cabbage and cilantro in a medium bowl.
    Combine 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, stirring with a fork or whisk.
    Drizzle vinegar mixture over cabbage mixture; toss well to combine. Set aside.
    Combine remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, and garlic, stirring well with a fork or whisk.
    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned and done, stirring to crumble.
    Stir in vinegar-spice mixture; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
    Heat tortillas over medium-high heat directly on the eye of a gas or electric burner or in a skillet for about 10 seconds on each side or until lightly charred.
    Spoon about 1⁄4 cup beef mixture and 1⁄4 cup slaw into each tortilla.

    Serves 4 (serving size: 3 tacos)

    CALORIES 443; FAT 23.5g (sat 6.1g, mono 12.4g, poly 2.4g); PROTEIN 27g; CARB 34g; FIBER 6g; CHOL 74mg; IRON 4mg; SODIUM 549mg; CALC 91mg

    3 Ways to Riff:

    Swap in ground turkey or ground chicken for ground beef.

    For crunchy tostadas, crisp the tortillas in a 400° oven, and assemble chorizo and slaw on top.

    Try this as a modern take on taco salad: Chop cabbage, and use the slaw as salad base; top with chorizo, and serve with tortilla chips.

TIME Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Unveiled in Saudi: A Style Statement, Not a Political Statement

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in a delegation receiving line with new Saudi Arabian King, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, right, in Riyadh, Jan. 27, 2015.
Carolyn Kaster—AP President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in a delegation receiving line with new Saudi Arabian King, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, right, in Riyadh, Jan. 27, 2015.

Correction appended Jan. 29

There is nothing quite as contentious as the headscarf issue when it comes to women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, at least where western observers are concerned. So when U.S. first lady Michelle Obama went to pay her respects after the death of Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh with her hair uncovered, social media lit up with both praise and opprobrium. “Michelle Obama shouldve stayed in Airforce One as a sign of boycott rather than flouting rules of another country #Michelle_Obama_NotVeiled” tweeted @Random_Arora. “She was a guest in another country &culture. She should make no judgements, but show proper respect at a funeral.2 #Michelle_Obama_NotVeiled,” wrote @MonaBadah.

The thing is, Obama wasn’t really flouting any rules when she chose not to wear a headscarf. While foreign female visitors to the Kingdom are expected to wear long, loose fitting garments as a sign of respect — Obama obliged with a long coat over dark trousers — the headscarf is optional. The muttawa, or religious police, might growl menacingly, but there is nothing legally wrong with going uncovered for non-Muslims. Doing so may draw unwanted attention, and the ire of conservatives, but most Saudis treat the headscarf as a sign of piety, or at least feigned piety for public consumption.

When it comes to women’s rights in the kingdom, the headscarf is the least of any Saudi activist’s worries. She is more likely to be concerned about the right to drive, the right to vote, the right to keep her children after asking for divorce and the right to travel, marry and work without express permission from a male guardian. So maybe if Obama had driven to the funeral herself, it would have been worth a stir. Instead, she did as several other notable female visitors to the Kingdom, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice among them, have done before: dressing respectfully without compromising their own personal sense of style. It’s not like Mr. Obama decided to don a thobe and shemagh for the occasion.

Correction: The original version of this story mischaracterised Obama’s visit to Riyadh. It was to offer condolences for the Saudi King.

TIME India

See President Obama Attend India’s Republic Day Parade

President Barack Obama joined Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his country's Republic Day Parade in New Delhi. Obama is the first U.S. President to be a guest of honor at the annual festivity.

TIME India

India Pulls Out All the Stops for Obama at Republic Day Parade

Indian soldiers march in formation down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Jan. 26, 2015.
Prakash Singh—AFP/Getty Images Soldiers march in formation down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Jan. 26, 2015.

One of the South Asian nation's biggest occasions was made even more momentous by the choice of chief guest

Gloomy skies and a steady downpour were not enough to dampen New Delhi’s spirits on Monday, as thousands turned up to watch U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle and a sizable American delegation witness a display of India’s military might, economic achievements and diversity at the country’s 66th Republic Day parade.

Obama became the first U.S. President ever to attend the annual event, an invite for which is considered one of the greatest honors India bestows on foreign dignitaries. The President rolled up to the viewing platform in his armored limousine, known as The Beast, eschewing the tradition of riding in the Indian president’s vehicle over security concerns. He then took his place between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whom he announced a “breakthrough” on a civil nuclear deal Sunday evening, and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee (whose choice of headgear caused a bit of a flutter on social media).

While the U.S. has become India’s biggest military supplier in recent times, the South Asian nation’s armed forces have traditionally been equipped with Soviet hardware, a fact Obama was reminded of as Russian-made T-90 and T-72 tanks rolled down the main stretch, along with a mobile launcher for the BrahMos missile jointly developed by India and Russia.

The parade-ending flyovers by the Indian Air Force did have American P-8 Poseidon naval planes, and although these too were flanked by Russian MIG-29 and SU-30 fighter jets, officials on both sides expressed hope and confidence in the 10-year bilateral defense agreement that Obama and Modi renewed on Sunday.

“None of these things should be considered small in terms of just what it means for working together as two defense industrial bases and what we can share with each other,” Phillip Reiner, Obama’s top South Asia advisor, told the New York Times.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Indian lawmaker Baijayant Panda agreed, even though other analysts remained skeptical but hopeful.

Between the displays of military might came a series of marches — including multiple all-female contingents and even a camel troop — followed by floats and dance performances representing various Indian states, as well as government initiatives like Modi’s “Make in India” and “Swacch Bharat” (Clean India) campaigns.

Finally, there were the motorcycles of the Border Security Force. Known as “Janbaz,” or Dare Devils, they showcased feats of amazing balance, focus and agility — all while tapping on laptops and dressed as peacocks and lotuses.

Judging by Obama’s reaction, one of his most animated during the course of the parade, they got the White House seal of approval.


The New Path to College Admission

One first-generation college student's inspiring story

On Tuesday night, Michelle Obama was joined by a handful of people to watch the President’s State of the Union address in person. From astronaut Scott Kelly to Alan Gross, the foreign aid worker who was recently released after five years of imprisonment in Cuba, each of the White House’s guests personifies a story the President would like to tell about America.

In 2014, Estiven Rodriguez was the author of one of those stories. Then a high-school senior from New York City, Rodriguez was recognized by Obama in the State of the Union address for arriving in United States, the son of a Dominican factory worker, unable to speak a word of English and going on to become a first-generation college student.

“Imagine not being able to speak up for yourself, communicate and truly make the right choices,” Rodriguez wrote in an essay that helped him earn a spot at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “I was that middle-schooler who easily could have fallen into the wrong path.”

In the video above, TIME followed Rodriguez on his journey to the State of the Union.

TIME State of the Union 2015

The State of the Union Has Already Given 2016 Republicans a Headache

Rep. Steve King speaks with reporters at the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa on Aug. 8, 2014.
Tom Williams—AP Rep. Steve King speaks with reporters at the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa on Aug. 8, 2014.

President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union speech was still hours away from being delivered when it created a headache for likely Republican presidential candidates.

In a tweet posted around 6 p.m., Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who takes a hard-line stance against illegal immigration, called one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s guests “a deportable.”

King was referring to Ana Zamora, a 21-year-old college senior from Dallas who benefited from Obama’s 2012 executive order allowing people brought to the United States illegally as children to defer deportation. That program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, upset many congressional Republicans, who voted narrowly on a symbolic effort to overturn it last week, but it is widely popular among Latino voters.

It’s hardly unusual for King to make controversial statements about immigration, but the timing is trickier. On Saturday, he’ll be hosting a number of likely Republican presidential candidates at the Iowa Freedom Summit, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.

They should expect to be asked about the phrase “a deportable” when they arrive in Iowa

TIME White House

Here’s Michelle Obama’s State of the Union Guest List

Michelle Obama
Jessica Hill—AP First lady Michelle Obama speaks to supporters during a rally in New Haven, Conn on Oct. 30, 2014.

The White House just released the list, which includes astronaut and TIME cover star Scott Kelly

The White House has released its list of the 22 special guests who will be seated in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The list includes high-profile names such as astronaut and TIME magazine cover star Scott Kelly, who will spend a year in space, and the president and CEO of CVS Health, Larry J. Merlo.

Other guests include Captain Phillip C. Tingirides of the Los Angeles Police Department; Catherine Pugh, Maryland Senate Majority Leader; Kathy Pham, a computer scientist with the United States Digital Service; and Alan Gross, a USAID sub-contractor who was reunited with his family after five years of imprisonment in Cuba the same day the U.S. announced it would begin to normalize diplomatic relations with the country.

TIME 2016 Election

Huckabee Knocks the Obamas for Encouraging Their Daughters to Like Beyoncé

Darren McCollester—Getty Images Mike Huckabee speaks at the Freedom Summit on April 12, 2014 in New Hampshire.

Parenting advice and criticism from a potential 2016 presidential candidate

First, it was Beyoncé and Jay Z up for scolding by conservative Republican Mike Huckabee. Now it’s Barack and Michelle Obama‘s turn.

In an interview about his new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, Huckabee tells PEOPLE he doesn’t get how the Obamas can encourage their daughters’ love for Beyoncé. Especially, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister says, if the president and first lady ever actually listened to the lyrics to – or seen a performance of Beyoncé’s steamy “Drunk in Love.”

The Obamas “are excellent and exemplary parents in many ways,” Huckabee says.

“That’s the whole point. I don’t understand how on one hand they can be such doting parents and so careful about the intake of everything – how much broccoli they eat and where they go to school and making sure they’re kind of sheltered and shielded from so many things – and yet they don’t see anything that might not be suitable for either a preteen or a teen in some of the lyrical content and choreography of Beyoncé, who has sort of a regular key to the door” of the White House.

Beyoncé, Jay Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy, were at the White House last January for Mrs. Obama’s exclusive 50th birthday bash and the first lady has taken her girls to several Beyoncé concerts.

The singer, criticized in Huckabee’s book for “obnoxious and toxic mental poison in the form of song lyrics” and dance moves “best left for the privacy of her bedroom,” was also featured prominently at the president’s second Inauguration in 2013.

The first lady’s office had no response to Huckabee’s comments.

This article originally appeared on People.com, read the whole story at People.

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