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

January is a month for new beginnings, and often a time of the year to establish healthier eating habits. Chef Annmarie Chelius of Ocean City, 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


Wash and peel carrots

Cut carrots into 1-inch pieces

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

Stir curry powder until it releases aroma

Add carrots, ginger, salt and pepper

Add enough water to cover the carrots

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

Remove soup from the heat

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup*

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


Open beans and drain liquid from can.

Place beans in a small pot and cover with milk

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

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

Puree in food processor or blender until smooth

Boil 1 lb. spaghetti pasta, but do not rinse

Reserve a cup of pasta water

Place bean sauce in a sauté pan and heat

Add drained pasta and toss to coat

Thin out sauce with some reserved pasta water if necessary

Cook kale according to package directions; add to pasta*

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.