Bison Borscht

Considered by the American Heart Association to be an extra-lean meat source,
bison (aka American Buffalo) has fewer calories, less fat and more protein than beef.

Bison Borscht
Serves 6

Ingredients

• 4 large beets
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 1/2 pounds ground bison
• 1 onion, thinly sliced
• 2 celery ribs, diced
• 2 carrots, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 15-oz can whole, peeled tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
• 32 ounces low sodium beef or chicken stock
• 2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• nonfat plain Greek yogurt for garnish
• chives, snipped, for garnish

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash beets and dry with paper towels. Place whole in large bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, spinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Place each beet on a square of aluminum foil, fold foil around beet, and seal. Place all 4 beets on baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Roast until tender, about 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes, then remove skins. Cut into quarters, and slice.
2. Meanwhile, in large soup pot over medium-high, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add bison and cook, stirring occasionally, until just browned, about 5 minutes. Remove bison from pot with slotted spoon and place on large plate covered with paper towel. Wipe bottom of pot to remove any fat, add remaining oil, then add onion, celery and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Return bison to pot, and add tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add cabbage and continue to simmer until softened, 30 minutes more.
3. Add beets and vinegar to pot and simmer for 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into individual bowls and top each with dollop of yogurt and chive snips. Serve warm.

Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: Serve with Crusty Whole Grain Bread

093014

Cheesy Chickpea Patties

Chickpeas are rich in folate, a water-soluble vitamin that is
essential for the proper development of red blood cells.
Cheesy Chickpea Patties
Serves 4
Ingredients

• 1 15-oz BPA-free can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed & drained
• 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
• 1 large egg, whisked
• 1/3 cup whole wheat panko
• 11/2 teaspoons dried oregano
• zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for garnish
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
Preparation
1. In medium bowl, use potato masher to mash together chickpeas, cheese, egg, panko, oregano and lemon zest. Mix in salt and pepper, to taste. Divide mix into 4 balls and flatten into 1/2″ patties.
2. In large skillet over medium, heat oil. Add patties and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Serve warm with lemon wedges.

 

 

Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: Serve with Watermelon Wedges and Green Salad

 
092914

Seared Honey-Coated Cod

Honey contains powerful antioxidants that provide antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Seared Honey-Coated Cod
Serves 4
Ingredients

• 4 cod fillets
• juice and zest of 1 fresh lime
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 1/2 tablespoons local honey
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup chickpea flour
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
• 4 lime wedges

Preparation
1. In large shallow dish, combine lime zest, lime juice, 1 tablespoon oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Add fish, cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. On large plate, combine flour, flaxseeds, salt and pepper. Remove fish from marinade (discard remaining marinade) and dredge both sides very lightly in flour mixture. In large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high. Cook fillets without disturbing until opaque and browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve warm with lime wedges.
Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: Serve with Roasted Cauliflower and Bulgur Salad (Monday’s Recipe of the Day)

 
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Cilantro Chicken with Salsa Fresca

Cilantro’s deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” while rising HDL or “good cholesterol” levels.
Cilantro Chicken with Salsa Fresca
Serves 4
Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
• 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
• 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
• 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
• 1 ripe avocado, chopped

Preparation
1. In large bowl, whisk together cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and oil. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Mist large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade (discard remaining marinade) and lightly season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.
2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, remaining lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Gently stir in avocado. Let sit while chicken cooks. To serve, place one piece of chicken on each of 4 plates and top each with large serving spoonful of salsa.

 

Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: Serve Over Brown Basmati Rice

 
092514

African Beet Pancakes

Beets contain special nutrients known as betalains from which they get their beautiful color. Beets can protect your heart, boost your brain, and supply you with a wealth of health-related benefits.
African Beet Pancakes
Serves 4
Ingredients

• 1 medium beet, scrubbed and stem removed
• 1 cup white whole wheat flour
• 1 cup skim milk
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
• fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• local honey, for drizzling

Preparation
1. In medium saucepan, place beet and water to cover. Gently boil until tender. Drain and cool for 10 minutes. Remove skin and cut into quarters. Add to food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
2. In medium bowl, combine flour, milk, egg and beet. Mix until smooth. In medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Pour scant 1/4 cup batter into pan, turning pan to coat entire bottom. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip to cook other side for 1-2 minutes. Remove to plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Sprinkle with lemon juice, a pinch of cinnamon, and drizzle with honey. Serve warm.
* Although this is called a pancake in South Africa, it is more similar to a French crepe. It is traditionally served rolled with fresh orange segments inside. However, anything can be rolled in these beautifully- colored pancakes, both savory and sweet. Try rolling scrambled eggs for breakfast or your favorite chicken salad for lunch.

Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: This Recipe Provides a Complete Breakfast or Dessert (see more serving suggestions above)

092414

Cauliflower-Bison Shepherd’s Pie

1 cup of cauliflower has almost as much vitamin C as an orange,
and nearly the same amount of potassium as a banana, with fewer calories.

Cauliflower-Bison Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 6

Ingredients

• 1 large cauliflower head, cut into florets
• 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 cup onion, chopped
• 2 medium carrots, diced
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1 pound ground bison
• 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
• 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 2 cups low sodium chicken broth

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring large pot of water to boil on stove. Add cauliflower, reduce heat to medium and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to large mixing bowl. To bowl, add sour cream and 1 tablespoon oil. Using potato masher, mash until smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium-high, heat remaining oil. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add bison and cook until just browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour, rosemary, thyme, and salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
3. Transfer bison mixture to 9-inch deep pie plate. Using wooden spoon, spread cauliflower mixture over top. Bake in preheated oven unitl top is golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: This Recipe Provides a Complete Meal

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Roasted Cauliflower Bulgur Salad

1 cup of cauliflower has almost as much vitamin C as an orange,
and nearly the same amount of potassium as a banana, with fewer calories.
Roasted Cauliflower Bulgur Salad
Serves 4
Ingredients

• 1 cup bulgur
• 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets and bite-size stem pieces
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon local honey
• sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bake until well-browned, about 40 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, prepare bulgur according to package directions. Cool slightly and fluff with fork. In large bowl, whisk together parsley, garlic, vinegar and mustard. Slowly drizzle in remaining oil. Add honey and a pinch of salt. Add bulgur and cauliflower and toss to combine, coating well. May be served warm, room temperature or chilled.

 

Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: This Recipe Provides a Complete Meatless Monday Meal

 
092214

Tilapia with Cauliflower Puree

1 cup of cauliflower has almost as much vitamin C as an orange,
and nearly the same amount of potassium as a banana, with fewer calories.
Tilapia with Cauliflower Puree
Serves 4
Ingredients

• 1 head cauliflower
• 1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
• 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
• 1 small shallot, finely diced
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation
1. Break cauliflower into small florets. Chop all but very bottom of stem. Place in saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Transfer cauliflower to blender or food processor. Puree, adding 1 tablespoon of reserved liquid at a time, as needed, until consistency is smooth and silky.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tilapia on baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven and cook until it flakes easily with a fork, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, to small saucepan, add cranberries and cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until plump, about 5 minutes. Drain and return to saucepan. Add maple syrup, remaining oil, shallot, salt and pepper. Divide cauliflower puree among 4 plates, spreading it out. Place 1 fillet on top, and spoon salsa over it. Serve immediately.

 
Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: This Recipe Provides a Complete Meal

091914

We Got the Beets!

beetsBeets have the unfortunate problem of appearing to many to be difficult to handle. They need to be prepared in advance of whatever recipe for which they will be used. You have to get the skin off, they take a while to become tender, and you need to be careful not to ruin your clothes in the process. Yes, beets stain. Betanin in beetroots is used commercially to color everything from tomato paste, to ice cream, to ink, and even hair. Although it will wash off your hands with soap and water, ladies, careful of those French manicures!

There are a variety of methods people use to cook beets. We put these nutrient power balls through the CHC test kitchen to determine which we liked the best. Whichever method is used, follow these basic guidelines:

  • If possible, choose beets that are all as uniform in size as possible.
  • Smaller beetroots cook more quickly, saving precious time.
  • Select smooth beets with as few blemishes as possible.
  • IMG_1941 If the greens are attached, they should look healthy and un-wilted. Save the greens to use in the same, or another dish. They can be cooked like spinach leaves.
  • IMG_1907Before using, remove all but 1″ of stems; leave most of root intact on the opposite end.
  • Gently scrub beets under cold water to remove dirt before cooking, being careful not to break the skin. While some people recommend peeling the skin before cooking, it is better not to. Removing skin from a cooked beet is incredibly quick and easy, and doesn’t waste any of the beetroot. It also helps keep the color, flavor and nutrients inside. (See skin removal process below)
  • If beets are large, halve or quarter them for faster cooking time.

For all cooking methods, prepare beets as above.

IMG_19101. Stove-Top Boiling: Place prepared beets in heavy duty saucepan. Completely cover with water, leaving at least 2″ on top for some bubbling. Bring just to boil, then turn down just slightly to prevent too much spurting. Cover and gently boil until beets are tender when pierced with tip of sharp knife. Although cooking times vary depending on size of beets, this method generally takes about 20 minutes. Drain immediately. Save nutrient rich beet water for soup! Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

2. Stove-Top Steaming: Place 2 inches of water at bottom of a steamer (or pot with steamer basket). Arrange beets in single layer in steamer basket and bring water to boil. Cover pot and boil, checking water level occasionally. Add more water, if necessary. Again, depending on size, steaming beets should take approximately 35-45 minutes. If you quarter small beets, they could take as little as 15 minutes to cool. They are done when tender when pierced with sharp knife tip. Remove from basket and cool for 5-10 minutes.

IMG_19123. Oven Roasting: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets in bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Wrap beets in aluminum foil, being sure to tightly seal. If beets are different sizes, wrap similarly-sized beets together in separate IMG_1944sheets. Place packets on rimmed baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on size, checking for doneness every 20 minutes, or so. When done, carefully open foil and let cool for several minutes.

IMG_19164. Microwaving: Pierce beets with a fork. Place prepared beets in a single layer in small, microwave-safe dish Add 2-4 tablespoons water. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Place in microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. Check water level and rotate the positions of the beets. Cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes and check for doneness. Allow beets to sit in dish for 1-2 minutes before removing.

Peeling the Skins: Now that your beets are cooked, peeling the skin is easy. Place beets on plate or cutting board and, using a paper towel, gently rub the skin off. That’s it! Your beets are ready to use in your recipe.

IMG_1918IMG_1919

 

 

 

 

Culinary Health Club Comments: Although any of these cooking methods will get the job done, they each have their pros and cons. Here’s how the CHC comes out on cooking beets ~

  • Stove-top boiling makes it easier to have eyes on the action and does not take too long. It also produces a nutrient-rich liquid which can be used in another dish.
  • Stove-top steaming keeps more of the nutrients in the beet and is, therefore, one of the healthiest ways to cook them.
  • Oven roasting retains the best flavors. If wrapped separately, different sizes can be cooked together and removed at different times to achieve desired doneness. The aluminum foil keeps the mess down. In addition to preserving maximum flavors, roasting also preserves color and nutrients.
  • Microwaving…well…. It is the fastest. We’ll give it that. But it is also the least reliable. Microwave temperatures vary greatly and a lot can go wrong very quickly. Beets can overcook before you know what’s happening. The water can evaporate and the beets can get scorched. If you have the time and patience (and beets!) to experiment with your own microwave, this could be an efficient method once the timing is perfected.

Cooked beets can save for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. The uncooked greens will save for only 1-2 days. Use them right away! Not an advanced planner? Too busy to cook beets? Try grating raw beets and adding to salads.

 

Buffalo Tacos with Quick-Pickled Cabbage

Considered by the American Heart Association to be an extra-lean meat source, bison (aka American Buffalo) has fewer calories, less fat and more protein than beef.
Buffalo Tacos with Quick-Pickled Cabbage
Serves 4 (2 tacos each)

Ingredients

• 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
• 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
• 1 cup green cabbage, finely shredded
• 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 pound ground bison
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 8 small whole wheat flour tortillas
• 1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced

Preparation
1. In medium bowl, combine vinegar, jalapeno, cabbage, onion and cilantro. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 60 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add bison, cumin, and paprika and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from heat.
3. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates. Drain the cabbage mixture and discard marinade. Equally distribute mixture among the 8 tortillas. Spoon 1/8 of bison mixture onto each one and top with diced tomatoes. Fold and serve warm.

 

Make It A Meal

CHC suggestion: Brown Rice Steamed with Diced Red Peppers
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