Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Leaning" into the New Year Lunch

What a fun lunch today at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont West. More than a dozen of us gathered to talk about “Leaning” into the New Year. Leaning into accepting change, eating better, and taking good care of ourselves, our families and friends.

Wonderful Angela Buttimer led the class through a Mindfulness exercise and then they joined Sous Chef Lea, Lydia and me for a healthy delicious lunch.

The theme of the morning was carried throughout the meal – with a big crunchy salad and seasonal dressing, meaty mushroom bruschetta, curried chicken salad on sweet potato rounds instead of bread, and just a sweet bite of dried fruit for dessert. Hope you enjoy the recipes as much as we enjoyed our lunch!

Winter Greens Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

About 15 Cups of Chopped or Sliced Greens, like Kale, Curly Endive, Radicchio, Napa Cabbage, Purple Cabbage, Bok Choy
½ Cup Chopped Green Onions
½ Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans
4 Cups Chopped Roasted Radishes*
1 Head Thinly Sliced Fennel
Juice of 3 Meyer Lemons
1 TB Coarse Grained Dijon Mustard
1 Large Garlic Clove , grated
1 TB Honey
¾  Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper to Taste

Step One
Toss the Greens, Green Onions, Pecans, Radishes and Fennel together in a large bowl.

Step Two
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, honey together. Whisk in the olive oil and taste for salt and pepper. Toss with the salad and enjoy!

*To toast the radishes, chop them into quarters and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 425F oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden.

Mushroom Bruschetta

2 LBs Baby Bella Mushrooms*, cleaned and sliced
3 TB Olive Oil
1 Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
2 Garlic Cloves, grated
1 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 TB Chopped Parsley
8 – 12 thin slices Rustic Whole Wheat Bread, toasted

Step One
Sauté the mushrooms in the olive oil, salt and pepper until the mushrooms give up their liquid and begin to brown. Add in the garlic and cook and stir until aromatic. Add in the thyme and remove the pan from the heat.

Step Two
Heap the mushrooms on the toasts and sprinkle with parsley.

*You can use any kind of mushrooms that appeal to you. If you can find Shitake or Maiitake mushrooms – they are not only full of flavor – but super food as well.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with 
Curried Chicken Salad

2 Large Sweet Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into Slices about ½” Thick
1 TB Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Roasted and Chopped
½ Cup *Chopped Green Onions – Green Parts Only
¼ Cup Light Mayonnaise
¼ Cup Greek Yogurt
1 Tsp Garam Masala (or Curry Powder)
½ Tsp Cumin
¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper (or To Taste)
Zest and Juice of a Lemon
¼ Cup Sliced Almonds, Toasted
½ Cup Dried Fruit, (Golden Raisins, Cranberries, Apricots), Chopped
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley

Step One Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the Sweet Potatoes with the oil. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and salt and pepper to taste. Bake until tender and lightly browned, about  20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Step Two While the sweet potatoes are cooking, make the chicken salad by combining the chicken, green onions, mayo, yogurt, garam masala, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step Three Place several sweet potato slices on a plate and top with a dollop of chicken salad on each one. Garnish with the almonds, dried fruit and parsley.

Apricot Cherry Bites

3 Cups Dried Apricots
1 Cup Dried Cherries
2 Cups Chopped Toasted Pecans or Almonds

Whiz the apricots and cherries together in the food processor. Place the nuts on a large flat plate. Spray your hands with non-stick spray and roll the fruit into 1” balls. Roll the balls in the chopped nuts.

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