Action Schools Healthy Recipes

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Range Beets with Vinaigrette


  • 4 pounds of beets
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or parsley
  • salt to taste

Trim & discard tops and root ends of beets (leave peel on). Place the beets in a saucepan, add water, bring to a boil and add generous amount of salt. Boil until beets are fork tender (approx. 30 minutes). Drain and let cool. Remove the skins and slice the beets 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick.

While beets are boiling, in a bowl, mix orange peel, orange juice, vinegar, olive oil and tarragon/parsley. Combine mixture with beets, add salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: It is easier to peel beets once they have been boiled. Rub salt on your hands to remove any stains.


Mashed Potabagas


  • 3 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled & cut into 2-inch pieces (about 6 medium)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley, optional

Cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water in separate saucepans. When both are fork tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take 30 minutes whereas potatoes will take 20 to 25 minutes. Drain; puree or mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes. Combine mashed rutabaga and potatoes; add butter, milk, pepper, and nutmeg. Beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Tip: Always start with cold water when cooking root vegetables and add salt generously once the water boils.


Red Cabbage with Apples


  • 1 medium head red cabbage, washed and shredded
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

In a large deep skillet, melt butter, add cabbage and apple slices, mixing well. Add bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add wine, vinegar and sugar; stir to mix well. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasoning.




  • 2 lbs. fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 cups finely chopped green onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 14 phyllo pastry sheets (usually sold frozen, thaw thoroughly!)
  • 3/4 cup clarified butter, melted

Wash & clean spinach. Discard the stems. Drain & cut leaves into shreds. Combine the spinach, parsley, dill, green onions and sea salt in a bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes, then press out all the liquid. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet and saute the 3 cups of chopped onions until soft and transparent. Add the spinach mixture from step 2 and saute for a few more minutes. Add the feta cheese and black pepper. Place 7 phyllo sheets in a buttered 10"x17"x2" baking pan, brushing each leaf with melted clarified butter. Add the spinach mixture from step 3, spread into a thick layer then add remaining phyllo sheets, again brushing each leaf with butter. Cut into 3"x 3" pieces with a sharp knife. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Tip: Clarified butter is butter minus the milk fat and water. To make it simply melt unsalted butter over low heat. When white foam starts to appear, skim off with a spoon and discard. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, strain through a fine sieve. When working with phyllo pastry always ensure that it is covered with a wax piece of paper followed by a damp towel to keep it moist. It dries out quickly!


Bok Choy with Ginger Vinaigrette


  • 1 lb. bok choy
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 glove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, fined chopped or grated

Separate bok choy leaves and rinse under cold water to clean. Place in steamer or double broiler and steam until stalks begin to turn translucent and are soft when pierced. Combine vinegar, mustard, soy, etc., mix well. After bok choy is steamed you have two options: Chop bok choy into bite sized pieces while still warm and pour the ginger vinaigrette over. Or plunge steamed bok choy into cold water to crisp it back up. Drain and cool. Then chop and pour ginger vinaigrette over.


Cherry Grilled Sweet Pepper Salad


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups pitted sweet cherries
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 each yellow and red sweet peppers, halved & seeded

Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper; mix well. Reserve about 3 Tbsp dressing for peppers. Toss cherries and onion in remaining dressing.

Brush peppers with dressing and cook on lightly oiled grill over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes. Turn and brush peppers with dressing halfway through grilling. Place in paper or plastic bag and close tightly; let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from bag and peel off skin. Slice peppers into 1/2-inch strips and mix with cherry mixture.


Lady Bug Apple Treats


  • 2 red apples
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 8 thin pretzel sticks

Slice apples in half from top to bottom, and scoop out the cores using a knife or melon baller. If you have an apple corer, core them first, then slice. Place each apple half flat side down on a small plate. Dab peanut butter onto the back of the "Lady Bug", then stick raisins onto the dabs for spots. Use this method to make eyes too. Stick one end of each pretzel stick into a raisin, then press the other end into the apples to make antennae. "Red apples are decorated to look like lady bugs. This is a quick, fun and healthy snack that kids will enjoy making and eating. For once kids can play with their food."


Yummy Pumpkin Soup


  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 3 Tbsp chicken soup mix

Cut the pumpkin, carrot and onion into cubes. Add the garlic. Cook in water with soup mix for 1 1/2 hours until the pumpkin is soft. In a food processor or blender, blend the vegetables from the soup with a bit of the liquid from the soup. Return to the soup pot. Add salt and pepper according to taste. Heat before serving.


Asian Salad


  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-10 oz. bag of shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tangerine, divided into sections
  • 1/2 cup non-fat oriental style salad dressing
  • black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cabbage, mushrooms, carrot, cilantro, cucumber, and dressing. Toss well. Top with green onions and tangerine sections.


Vegetable Barley Soup


  • 5 or 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 leeks cut into round slices
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 5 celery sticks, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of dried pearl barley
  • 2 heads of swiss chard (or similar green leaf such as leaf beet or a couple of handfuls of spinach), chopped
  • enough water to cover
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place all the vegetables except the chard in a large pot with the barley. Cover well with water, simmer until everything is cooked. Add the chard and salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.