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ACA Chef Educator Annmarie Chelius Creates Healthy and Budget-Friendly Recipes

January 24, 2012

January is a month for new beginnings, and often a time of the year to establish healthier eating habits. Chef Annmarie Chelius, chef educator at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College, has created two healthy, tasty and budget-friendly recipes, perfect for a busy family—for less than $10 each.

Ginger Carrot Soup: Six “hearty” portions of Chef Chelius’ “Ginger Carrot Soup” will run the family shopper about $6.50; pair bowls of soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on Whole Grain Bread, for another $3.50, for a protein-packed meal.

Spagh-A-Beanie: Chelius created a healthy version of Alfredo sauce using Chick Peas and named the dish “Spagh-A-Beanie.” For a family of four, Chelius estimates the pasta dish will cost the family shopper $6.50. View complete recipes below.

Chelius is involved with the Chefs Move to Schools program through First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, “America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids.” Chelius often promotes her kid-friendly recipes to students during cooking demonstrations throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties. She puts effort into developing fun recipes, proving that healthy meals can be both simple and delicious. 

The ACA, located at Atlantic Cape’s Mays Landing Campus, has been training future chefs and food service professionals since 1981. The Academy is celebrating 30 years of culinary achievement all year with celebratory events. Learn more at For more information about the Academy, call 1-800-645‑CHEF, e-mail or visit

Curried Ginger Carrot Soup

Yield: 6 hearty portions


2 lb.                           Carrots

1 ea.                          12 oz. can Evaporated Milk

2 tsp.                         Curry Powder

2 tsp.                         Fresh Ginger, chopped fine

2 T                             Olive Oil

1 bunch                      Green Onion

                                 Salt and Pepper, to taste 


1.     Wash and peel carrots

2.     Cut carrots into 1-inch pieces

3.     Heat oil in a medium-sized pot; add curry powder

4.     Stir curry powder until it releases aroma

5.     Add carrots, ginger, salt and pepper

6.     Add enough water to cover the carrots

7.     Add evaporated milk and simmer on medium heat until the carrots are tender.

8.     Remove soup from the heat

9.     Using an immersion blender, puree the soup*

10.  Wash and slice green onions on the bias; use as a crunchy garnish

*If soup is too thick, simply add more water or milk.

Cost: $6.50*

Carrots: $2.75

Evaporated Milk: $1.25

Green Onion: $1

Ginger and Curry Powder: $1 (assuming you have Curry Powder as part of your pantry spices. Ginger can be purchased as small pieces in most produce stores)

Olive Oil: $.50

*Cost can vary slightly depending on grocery store.


Yield: 1 pint/4 portions


1 ea.                         15-ounce can Chick Peas

1 cup                         Milk

2 T                            Olive Oil                                   

2 cloves                     Garlic, minced

1 tsp.                        Salt

1 tsp.                        Pepper

1 lb.                          Spaghetti pasta

1 box                         Kale

½ cup                        Parmesan Cheese


1.   Open beans and drain liquid from can.

2.   Place beans in a small pot and cover with milk

3.   Add the remaining ingredients, including: olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper

4.   Simmer ingredients on medium heat for 20-30 minutes, but do not boil

5.   Puree in food processor or blender until smooth

6.   Boil 1 lb. spaghetti pasta, but do not rinse

7.   Reserve a cup of pasta water

8.   Place bean sauce in a sauté pan and heat

9.   Add drained pasta and toss to coat

10.  Thin out sauce with some reserved pasta water if necessary

11.  Cook kale according to package directions; add to pasta*

12.  Top with parmesan cheese

*For a heartier meal, add shredded chicken and other sautéed vegetables

Cost: $6.50*

Sauce: $2.50

Pasta: $1.25

Kale: $1.25

Cheese: $1.50

*Cost can vary slightly depending on grocery store.