I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve gotten WAY more into cooking than I used to be. Now that I pay more attention to the nutritional value of I eat, I pay more attention to the flavor too! That’s why, when I discovered a wellness center (Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY) that offered (mostly) plant-based cooking classes, I was so excited to have the opportunity to learn how to cook delicious food that was healthy too. As luck would have it, they had a “Healthy Spin on Thanksgiving” class that I thought was the perfect introduction to the holiday season and would give me some healthy alternatives to some of the food I know will be served that is not very good for me :) ESPECIALLY since I’ll be going through treatment! Must be on my best behavior or Santa might give bad scan results for Xmas. NO THANK YOU.
Back to happier topics: FOOD! This is what we made and ate during our class: white bean and roasted garlic dip, kale and cranberry herbed tart, fish “en papilote”, ginger mashed sweet potatoes, savory wild rice, fall fruit crisp. Doesn’t that sound AMAZING? And fancy? :) Here is a picture of everything except the dip and dessert…
YES, it was as delicious as it looks :)
Want to try a recipe or two? Yes? I knew you would!
Since you might be going to a party (or 10) this holiday season, you might also be asked to bring a side dish or a dip… with that in mind here is the recipe for the dip we made. Delicious + Nutritious + LID approved = SCORE!
White Bean and Roasted Garlic Dip (makes 2 cups)
1 head garlic
1 tbs rosemary leaves roughly chopped
2 tbs parsley
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
3-4 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 cups cooked cannelloni beans, skins removed (not sure how to do that)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (aka EVOO)
salt (kosher if on LID) and black pepper to taste
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut off the stem top of the garlic head to expose the very top of the garlic cloves, leaving the head intact. Place garlic in alumninum foil and drizzle with a few tbs of water and wrap it up. Place the garlic in the oven and cook for 45 minutes until soft and tender. Let it cool for a few minutes.
Free the roasted garlic from its skin and place in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add into the food processor all ingredients except salt and pepper and puree till smooth. Taste the dip, then season with salt and pepper.
It’s hard to choose from the other recipes which I think you’d like best, but since it’s the most unique, I’ll put the recipe here for the kale tart. I’d compare it to a spinach quiche - a healthier version of course. It does have egg in it, which I’d like to find a substitute for……… but it’s too good not to share anyway! And it’s fairly easy.
Kale and Cranberry Herbed Tart (serves 8)
3 cups coarsely chopped kale
1 tbs thinly sliced shallots
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 large eggs, whisked
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pine nuts
One 9-inch crust:
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (had never had this before, loved it!)
1/2 tsp sea salt (if on the LID, sub for kosher)
1 tbs minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil (I might cut this in half for mine)
1 tbs water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, rosemary. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and water. Stir wet ingredients into almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Press the dough into a 9 inch tart pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling.
In a large pot with a steamer basket, wilt the kale over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until bright green.
Place the kale, shallots, salt in a food processor and pulse till well blended. Transfer kale mixture to a bowl and stir in the eggs, cranberries, and pine nuts. Pour the mixture into the crust (don’t be scared if it looks runny, it will dry out as you cook it).
Bake 15-20 minutes, until browned around the edges and cooked through. Let the tart cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then serve.
Here is our “teacher/chef” starting to serve the food after our class - notice the tart in the middle (and the empty tray because so many of us - like me - had seconds!)
If you’re lucky I might get inspired to post the rest of the recipes eventually… for now try your hand at those two because they are DELICIOUS :)