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Preteen cooking challenge winner's pasta salad recipe

by Lisa Fuller Magee

Posted on January 12, 2014 at 12:16 AM

Updated Sunday, Jan 12 at 12:20 AM

PHOENIX -- As Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona sifts through the entries for its ninth annual kids' cooking challenge, last year's winner is sharing his recipe.

Raphael Marsella, 12, entered the "Walk On!" cooking challenge after seeing it advertised on TV.

"I always like to help my mom while she's cooking," he said. "It's just fun, instead of sitting and watching TV while my mom's doing all the work."

Blue Cross Blue Shield is accepting submissions for this year's competition until Jan. 22.

Contest applicants must be between 9 and 12 years old to enter.

Blue Cross Blue Shield will choose five recipes based on nutrition, taste and originality. The five recipes will be presented to panel of judges at a public event Feb. 1 and posted online at for a public vote.

Each finalist will win a prize, but the grand prize winner will receive a bike.

For a recipe to be considered, it must:

-Be an original recipe for a hot or cold side dish
-Include at least one fruit or vegetable
-Be able to be cooked within 20 minutes (not including prep time)

Raphael's Cold Chicken Pasta Salad (serves six)

1 pound of pasta penne
2 cooked chicken breasts
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 cucumber cubed
1 tomato cubed
1/2 cup of feta cheese crumbles
2 tsp. of garlic powder
2 tsp. of dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta al dente with salt. While pasta is cooking, cube the chicken, cut cucumbers and tomatoes, crumble the feta cheese and set aside. When pasta is done, drain and put in a large bowl. Add chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese. Add some olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix all together and put in individual container.