Young Valley chef creates award-winning healthy dish

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

PHOENIX -- A Valley 4th grader is cooking up a little local fame! Isabella Buoscio, a student at Imagine Rosefield Elementary School, is the winner of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield 2015 “Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge.”

Arizona kids from age nine through 12 submitted their best recipes for a healthy side dish recipes. The recipes were required to be original, include one or more fruit and/or vegetable and be prepared in less than 20 minutes.

Isabella, a Surprise resident, beat out all the other contestants with her "Fruity Kale Salad” recipe. As a prize, Isabella received a new bike to help her stay active and have fun while doing it.

"I am so excited about winning this contest, doing something I love, and that people get to try my healthy salad," said Isabella.

The young chef joined us on Thursday's Good Morning Arizona to show us how to make that winning recipe.

Myrna Collins of Blue Cross talked about the goal of the contest. "The contest was to encourage family quality time, and to encourage these healthy habits early on.

Recipe submissions underwent a three-part scoring process. First, a nutrition specialist reviewed all the recipe submissions and chose the top five finalists based on each recipe's level of nutrition. The top five finalists participated in a public event at U.S. Airways Center prior to a Phoenix Suns home game where game attendees voted for their favorite recipe. For the third part of the scoring process, videos of contestants discussing what makes their recipe so good were posted online for a public vote. The recipe that received the most points total from all three scoring categories was declared the winner.

"This year's contestants did a great job of making really flavorful dishes that were all healthy. That really impressed us," said Tara Cosentino, health promotion executive, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. "And not only did we have an array of flavor, but two of our contestants were vegetarian, showing that kids care about their food choices. I'm proud of all of our contestants and am excited to have such good examples for my kids."

This year's other finalists included:

-Archana Ram - a sixth-grader from Chandler, Ariz. who entered her recipe for "Chinese Spaghetti"

-Emma Freireich - a sixth-grader from Chandler, Ariz. who entered her recipe for "Tropical Broccoli"

-Liam Atwood - a third-grader from Chandler, Ariz. who entered his recipe for "Liam's Rainbow Pasta Salad"

-Josiah Guynes - a fifth-grader from Peoria, Ariz. who entered his recipe for "World's Best Brussels Sprouts"

The Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge is part of the 10th annual Walk On! Challenge, a free month-long health and fitness challenge held each year in February. With childhood obesity rates reaching epidemic proportions, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona designed this program to motivate fourth and fifth-grade students across Arizona to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines for now and in the future. The Kids Cooking Challenge is a way to extend the Walk On! message outside the classroom.

For more information about Walk On!, visit www.walkonaz.com.

RECIPE by: Isabella Buoscio

4th Grade

Imagine Rosefield Elementary School

FRUITY KALE SALAD

4 cups of washed kale, chopped,

stems removed

4 apples (pink lady), diced

1 cup dried cherries

1 cup grapes cut in half

1 cup cashews

1/2 small lemon squeezed

Directions:

1. Put kale in large bowl.

2. Add 2 diced apples, 3/4 cup of

cherries, 1 cup of halved grapes,

1/2 cup of cashews and lemon juice.

3. Set aside.

Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. In a blender add 2 diced apples, 1/2 cup

cashews, 1 tbsp mustard, 1/4 cup dried

cherries, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar,

1/2 cup water and black pepper.

2. Blend together until smooth. If too thick add

a little more water.

3. Add to prepared salad, mix and chill until cool.

4. Serve.