Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Portobello-Buffalo Burgers

Oh give me a meat...
That is healthy to eat...
That's as 'green' as it's lean on my plate...
Where seldom's injested
Corn or some drug not tested
And after, I don't gain no weight.

Ok, guys. But seriously. I am so glad that Oprah did her special today on the movie Food, Inc. and interviewed Michael Pollen, author of Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. If you haven't watched the movie or read the books, the point is this: We need to start paying attention to what we are eating, what we are putting into our bodies, and where it is coming from. Michael's major point is that we can start 'casting our votes' on what we want in our grocery stores (and eventually, over time, drive prices down) by buying smarter choices. It's especially important to buy meat and dairy from organic farms...and even better, from local farmers at your farmer's market if available. Buffalo is a great choice for burger or taco night because it tastes just like beef, is very lean, and is typically raised in more favorable conditions than most of the beef available at supermarkets. Look for labels like "Certified Organic,"" Raised with No Antibiotics" (or something to that affect), and "Hormone-Free."

OK, blah blah blah. Are your eyes glazing over, Foodies?! Well, let me tell you--this burger may be healthy and is also incredibly delicious. My husband was licking the spatula! It has a tender texture and is packed with flavor from sauteed mushrooms, shallot, and garlic in the meat. If you're serving this with the Roasted Tomatoes, make sure to start them early! If desired, a little shaving of parmesan cheese gives this a nice tangy kick. (not shown)

1 portobello mushroom, gills scraped off, and chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lb to 1 1/2 lb ground buffalo (use extra-lean beef if you can't find buffalo, aka bison)
salt and pepper
olive oil spray
4 buns, if desired

1. In a non-stick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sautee for 5 minutes, or until translucent and tender. Add portabello and cook until brown on edges and shrunken in size, another 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Remove lid and let cool completely.

2. When mushroom mixture is cool, add to the buffalo and mix gently with hands. Using your hands, score an X in the meat to measure four equal sections. Form each section into a patty.

3. Heat same skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. When pan is hot, add patties and let cook 5 minutes. Flip and cook to desired doneness.

4. Serve on buns with roasted tomatoes.

Serves 4.

Printable version here.

Note to Jean: A Fish Lake Favorite. :)

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Have you ever abstained from sugar for a few days? Try it--you'll notice the natural sweetness in vegetables like never before. Slow-roasting tomatoes brings the sweetness to a whole new level--these wrinkly and salty jewels are like little bombs of melty candy. They do take a little time, but there is next to no prep work. I served them tonight over portabello-buffalo burgers (instead of sugar-packed ketchup), but they would also be delicious stuffed in a chicken breast, in an omelette, or chopped and mixed with brown rice or quinoa as a show-stopping side dish.

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch italian seasoning
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil then sprinkle with italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Lay on a lined baking sheet.

3. Roast in the oven for one and a half hours. (1 1/2)

Printable version here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chicken, Bean, and Artichoke Chili

Today is the 1-Year Anniversary of the first blog post on Sex and the Souffle, the original food blog which is now a part of Haute Health. It was a Grilled Vegetable Chili, so today I've decided to give you a chili recipe that is a little more polished, attractive, and appealing...much like the blogs themselves! Enjoy!!!

2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. dark chicken meat, ground
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
A few grinds of fresh nutmeg (or about 1/8 teaspoon)
salt and pepper.
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped roughly
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup tomatillo salsa
1 cup beer
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup creme fraiche or low-fat sour cream (optional)

1. Put a large saucepan over medium heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add onions, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and cook for two minutes, stirring often.

2. Add garlic, cook for one minute, stirring often.

3. Add the chicken, cumin, oregano, nutmeg, another pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook until no longer pink, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the garbanzo beans, cannelini beans, and artichoke hearts. Stir. Add chicken broth, salsa, and beer. Stir together and add one last pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir.

5. Bring to a boil. When the broth is boiling, reduce heat to low, stir, and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Test for seasoning. Adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with chopped cilantro and a dollop of creme fraiche.

Serves 4.

Printable version here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Healthy Minestrone

Happy New Year! If eating healthy is part of your New Years Resolution list, try making this soup this week. It's filling and delicious so it doesn't feel like diet food, but it's super healthy, loaded with vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. One of my most favorite meals is soup and salad--especially for dinner, when you really don't need a large meal. Try a bowl of this with a nice side salad. Pretty soon, you'll forget why you were eating all those burgers, fries, and pizza when eating this way makes you feel so good. New Year, New You!

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 leeks, washed well and sliced into half moons (use only tender parts)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon MSG-free chicken bouillon
1/2 Tablespoon dry Italian seasoning, rubbed in palm to release oils
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Put a large pot over medium heat. Add oil and let heat for about 30 seconds. Add shallot, leeks, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir occasionally, cooking until shallots are translucent and leeks are limp. Add garlic, stirring occasionally, for about 30 seconds. (Make sure the garlic doesn't brown--if it starts to, just jump to the next step.)

2. Add carrots and cook for 1 minutes. Add the celery and green beans, cook for 30 seconds. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the broth, the bouillon, and the Italian seasoning. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the broth has reached a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and add beans. Let simmer 10 minutes. Add the macaroni and simmer until pasta is al dente (look at pasta packaging for time amounts). Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

3. (Optional) With a microplane or fine grater, grate a little bit of parmesan cheese over the hot soup. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8.

Printable version here.