Spring Asparagus Risotto
By: Leah Scott
- 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup shallots, chopped
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 oz dry white wine
- 3/4 lb thin asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, cut 2-inches long
- 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
- salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest for garnish
In a large saucepan, heat broth over medium-high heat. When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and maintain over low heat, taste for salt and adjust as needed.
In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and add the shallots; sauté 3-4 minute. Add the rice; mix well so the rice is coated throughout and saute until the rice is slightly translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.
Add a ladleful of the simmering stock; stir and wait until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful stirring gently and almost constantly.
Continue this process until the rice is creamy, tender to the bite, but slightly firm in the center. Add the asparagus along with the last ladle of broth and continue cooking 5 minutes, total time should be about 25-30 minutes from the time you started. When all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Serve immediately and top with fresh cracked pepper, lemon zest, and extra grated cheese if desired.
Makes over 4 cups.
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 generous cup as a main • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 255 • Fat: 4 g • Protein: 9 g • Carb: 43 g • Fiber: 2 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 630 mg
By: Colleen Bunker Lac
Spring Soup with Poached Eggs
As spring approaches many of us are thinking about giving our bodies a little tune-up. For most people, simply eliminating all processed foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine for a week or so allows for a gentle detox. For a deeper cleanse, you can also eliminate grains and dairy. Just by cleaning up your diet in this way, you give your digestive system, especially your liver, a much needed break and an opportunity to gently release accumulated toxins. Focusing on simple, whole foods and drinking lots of good water with lemon for 1-2 weeks is a good is way to prep your body for a more intensive detox with fewer dramatic side effects. Ideally, if you leave processed foods, sugar and trans-fats out of your diet year round, the need for a more intensive cleanse isn’t needed. I found the following recipe on a wonderful blog called The Ancestral Chef. It has only 3 ingredients and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- 2 eggs
- 32 oz (1 quart) chicken broth
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- salt to taste
Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Turn down the heat and poach the 2 eggs in the broth for 5 minutes (for a slightly-runny egg).
Remove the eggs and place each into a bowl.
Add the chopped romaine lettuce into the broth and cook for a few minutes until slightly wilted.
Ladle the broth with the lettuce into the bowls.
Nettle and Parsley Pesto
By: Leah Scott
- 2 cups fresh nettle leaves
- 1 bunch of Italian parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Stinging nettles are abundant in our part of the world and host many health benefits. They are particularly useful in reducing inflammation and alleviating allergy symptoms, arthritis and skin complaints such as eczema. As an iron-rich green, they are an optimal blood builder. Foraging nettles is tricky due to the stinging quality, but wear gloves and gather the younger leaves on your next wander through the woods or along the banks of the Columbia. The leaves must be blanched prior to use and the water can double as a nourishing tea to sip!
First blanch the nettles for a few minutes in a rolling boil, strain and allow leaves to dry thoroughly. In a food processor, add garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Alternate adding nettles and parsley in pulses with pine nuts and cheese (if you choose) until the pesto comes together in a paste with some texture still. Add salt and pepper to taste.
GREEN BEANS, CRISPY PANCETTA MUSHROOMS AND SHALLOTS
- Kosher salt
- 1-1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 2-1/2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta (five or six 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick slices)
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 medium cremini mushrooms, trimmed, halved if large, and very thinly sliced
- 2 medium-large shallots, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup very thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
- 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes and water and set aside. Fill a 6- or 7-quart pot two-thirds full of well-salted water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the beans uncovered until tender to the bite, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain, transfer to the bowl of ice water, and let sit until cooled, about 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Put the pancetta in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and cook over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and coarsely crumble. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Add 2 Tbs. of the olive oil to the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring frequently, until both are nicely browned and shrunken, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Stir to combine.
Return the pan to medium heat, add the green beans and toss to combine and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a warm serving platter and garnish with the pancetta.
Make Ahead Tips
The beans can be boiled and refrigerated up to 6 hours ahead. The remaining ingredients can also be prepped up to 6 hours ahead and held in the refrigerator. An hour before finishing, remove the beans from the refrigerator to come to room temperature.
WILD RICE AND CHANTERELLE SALAD WITH DRIED FRUIT, GOAT CHEESE AND WALNUTS
8 cups water
2 cups wild rice
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 bay leaf
12 sprigs thyme
4 teaspoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 pounds chanterelle or portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and cracked
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and cracked
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mixed dried fruits, such as cherries, cranberries, raisins, chopped figs, or chopped apricots
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 pound stemmed arugula or watercress
8 ounces fresh white goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
To prepare the rice: Wash the rice under cold water for 2 minutes. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add the salt, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the washed rice to the boiling water and simmer for 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain the rice and remove the bay leaf and thyme; let cool. (This can be done 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated.) You should have 7 cups cooked rice.
In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed or canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from heat, drain well, and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, fennel, cumin, thyme, and pepper and season with salt. Add the dried fruits.
In a salad bowl, combine the cooled wild rice, cooked mushrooms, and walnuts. Toss with the vinaigrette and fruits.
Apple, Sausage, and Parsnip Stuffing with Fresh Sage
- 1 1 1/2-pound loaf sliced sourdough bread with crust, cubed
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 1/2 pounds hot Italian sausages, casings removed
- 6 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, divided
- 3 pounds Pippin or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cubed
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, cubed
- 3/4 cup packed fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake bread cubes on 2 large rimmed baking sheets until lightly toasted, about 20 minutes.
- Sauté sausages in very large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking into pieces with spoon, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl; add bread.
- Add onions and celery to same skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes; transfer to bowl with bread. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes; mix apples into stuffing. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add parsnips and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes; mix into stuffing. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet. Add sage and sauté until dark green, about 2 minutes. Mix sage and butter into stuffing. Season with salt and pepper.
- Butter 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Stuff turkey. Transfer remaining stuffing to prepared dish; drizzle with 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover with foil. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake stuffing covered until heated through, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
PORCINI MUSHROOM TURKEY WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms*
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 14- to 16-pound turkey, rinsed, patted dry inside and out; neck, heart, and gizzard reserved for Turkey Stock
- 10 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
- 6 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups Turkey stock or water
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups turkey stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons water
- 5 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
For mushroom butter:
- Place porcini in small bowl; add 1 cup boiling water. Let stand until softened, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Chop mushrooms. Transfer half of chopped mushrooms (about 1/3 cup) to small bowl; reserve for gravy.
- Chop garlic finely in processor. Add butter and next 6 ingredients, then remaining porcini. Blend to coarse paste. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Transfer to bowl. Cover and chill mushroom butter, reserved chopped porcini, and mushroom liquid separately. TRUE GRIT: When using the porcini soaking liquid, pour it off slowly so that any grit or sediment at the bottom remains in the bowl.
Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 325°F. Sprinkle main turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Spread with 2 tablespoons mushroom butter. Starting at neck end of turkey, carefully slide hand between skin and meat of breast, thighs, and upper drumsticks to loosen skin. Spread mushroom butter over thighs and drumsticks, then over breast meat under skin. Fill main cavity with herb sprigs. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Tuck wing tips under.
Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Rub outside of turkey all over with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups stock into pan. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, about 3 hours. Tilt turkey so juices from main cavity run into pan. Transfer turkey to platter. Tent very loosely with foil; let rest at least 30 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees). Reserve pan.
Scrape juices and browned bits from reserved roasting pan into large glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat, reserving 3 tablespoons.
Heat reserved 3 tablespoons fat in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crimini mushrooms, garlic, and shallot. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl and set aside. Add wine to skillet. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 3 minutes. Add reserved 1/3 cup chopped porcini mushrooms, reserved mushroom soaking liquid (leaving any sediment behind), 2 cups stock, and degreased pan juices. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to reduce slightly, about 10 minutes.
Add cream and crimini mushrooms to skillet. Mix 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch in small bowl until smooth. Whisk into gravy. Continue to simmer until reduced to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Mix in parsley and mint. Season gravy to taste with salt and pepper.
Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
These oatmeal pancakes are packed with protein and fiber. The cinnamon gives this recipe a warming element and the local honey is a good way to boost your immune system during the changing of the seasons.
Makes 2- 3 servings
- 1 c. old fashioned oats
- 1/2 c. fat-free cottage cheese
- 8 egg whites
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Heat griddle to medium high heat and coat with coconut oil. Combine all ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until a smooth batter forms. Pour or scoop batter onto griddle in round pancake-like circles. Let cook until tops of the pancakes begin to bubble and then flip and let cook until they’re no longer doughy in the middle and slightly brown on both sides. Top with local honey, nutmeg, or fresh fruit.
Buckwheat Crepes with Pears, Arugula, Hazelnuts and Balsamic Caramel Sauce
By: Christine Stecker
Crepes are one of my favorite meals to have with a gathering, as all the fillings are really the best part and they accommodate the savory and sweet eaters alike. Buckwheat is an excellent flour to use for added protein, fiber, magnesium and B vitamins. In fact it’s a seed rather than a grain making it gluten free and low-glycemic. Buckwheat has a nutty and hearty quality that I like in baking but it can be quite dense, which is why I love it in this crepe recipe, as it gives the crepes a sturdiness that allows robust flavors in the filling without losing the container. I highly recommend these with lox and cream cheese or prosciutto and blue cheese, or for a savory meets sweet as in this a pear, arugula, toasted hazelnut and a balsamic caramel syrup filling.
Yield: 6 large crepes
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3/4 cup milk or milk substitute
- 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup white flour or gluten free substitute
- 1/2-1 cup water
Whisk wet ingredients together, add dry ingredients in thirds. Mix thoroughly, batter should be thick and sticky. Then add small amounts of water until the batter reaches a thinner pourable consistency. Refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 48 hours before cooking.
Balsamic caramel sauce:
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
Add lemon zest and balsamic in a small pot on medium low heat for 5 minutes, add sugar and keep slightly above simmering for 10 minutes stirring continuously. Add butter and stir until fully incorporated. Finally, add a bit of water if necessary to pour like syrup.
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- 2 pears, sliced thinly
- 2 cups arugula or spinach