Monday, October 21, 2013

This recipe was created for a lunch hiking trip where I hosted Adventure Club participants on a 5 mile hike through Chippewa Hills in Ossineke.  It was a perfect day, the colors were beautiful and the sun was out.  Adventure clubs were always fun, a little nerve racking and always delicious.  You would not expect cooking out in nature to be described as gourmet, ever, but really, for a wrap these are pretty much spot on.  Roasted root vegetables offer a complex base, wine simmered pears give tang and tart, caramelized onions show off their sweet side and heady blue cheese gives that amazing umami flavor essential for delish food.  Take these little wraps with you on your next adventure.  The list of ingredients is longer, but don't let that be a deterrent. These wraps can be made ahead of time (even frozen), wrapped in foil and reheated, perhaps on a camp grill like we did back in the woods for a day of adventure.  Enjoy.

Ro0t Vegetable Roll-Ups
-1 small rutabaga, diced
-1 small butternut squash, diced
-3 large carrots, peeled and diced
-1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
-1 large sweet onion, chopped
-2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
-4 TBSP olive oil
-4 TBSP good balsamic vinegar

-4 Bosc pears, peeled
-1 bottle of dark red wine (a blend or table red are my favorites to use)
-1 sprinkle or nutmeg

-2 large sweet onions, sliced into rings
-2 TBSP olive oil
-1 TBSP raw sugar
-salt and pepper

-4 to 6 oz of blue cheese crumbled, goat cheese or sharp cheddar (your choice)
-8, 8-inch whole wheat tortilla shells

Heat oven to 400.  Mix all root vegetables, onion, garlic, olive oil and balsamicvinegar in a roaster.  Add 1/4 cup of cold water and salt and pepper to taste into pot and roast uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes until tender.

Peel Bosc pears and place standing into a sauce pot with the wine, 1 cup of water and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until liquid is evaporated.

Place sliced onions, olive oil, raw sugar and a pinch of salt in a saute pan.  Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low and cook partially covered until caramelized.

Combine all room temperature ingredients into a tortilla, wrap up in foil and place on the grill or under your broiler.  Heat on both sides for three to five minutes and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The cabbage family is a large and diverse group of super healthful vegetables. In any supermarket you'll find arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, greens, bok choy, radishes and turnips. They have been favorites of people since the beginning of agriculture and unlike most of our produce; crucifers have virtually remained the same since our ancestors were picking them. They might not taste extremely sweet and maybe to some a little bitter, but really, that's a good thing. The more bitter a vegetable, the more glucosinalolates are present. Glusosinolates are the building blocks of our bodies cancer fighting cells, but they can also taste bitter or even spicy.

Brussels spouts, of all the crucifer vegetables, have been found to have the highest levels of these cancer fighting compounds. Even though they are one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet, we are not eating them. On average, adults in the United States manage to eat only half a cup of Brussels sprouts each year. We eat 250 times more white potatoes! With my recipe this week, I plan to change that. I don't love the traditionally steamed Brussels sprout. However, with a little slicing, amazing dressing and Parmesan cheese...these sprouts turn out delicious. I pair them with other crucifers, red cabbage and baby greens like kale and bok choy in this quick and easy fall salad. 
Unlike onions that become sweeter when you cook them, cabbages become more bitter the longer they cook.  For my recipe this week, I decided...why not leave them raw to maximize their sweetness. Paired with nutty crushed sesame seeds (tahini), salty miso, crunchy almonds and parmesan cheese, this dish packs not just a nutritional punch but a flavor burst too! Honestly, after my first bite, I said, "Wow, that's one of the best things I've ever eaten!" My fiancĂ© said I frequently exclaim this, but friends, really, this stuff is just as good tasting as it is good for you. Enjoy! 

Brussel Sprout and Baby Greens Salad with 
Tahini-Maple Dressing
-1/4 cup tahini
-2 TBSP rice vinegar
-2 tsp white miso
-2 tsp maple syrup
-pinch of red pepper flakes
-1/4 cup water
-1 TBSP minced shallot
-1 small garlic clove, finely grated
-dash of sea salt
-1 container of mixed baby greens (bok choy, kale, etc)
-12 brussel sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
-1 cup of red cabbage, shredded with a knife or box grater
-1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
-1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

Chop the baby greens and cabbage into small, bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Chop off and discard the stem end of the brussels sprouts and any discolored outer leaves.  Slice the sprouts as thin as possible, then use your fingers to break up any clumps.  Add the sprouts to the bowl.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, vinegar, miso, maple syrup, shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Whisk in the water until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix well.

In a small pan over medium heat, toast the almond, stirring frequently, until fragrant and turning golden (this will take less than five minutes so watch carefully).  Add the toasted almonds and parmesan shavings to the salad and toss.  Serve immediately.  As a main, serves 2 and as a side, serves 4.
Kelly Bowlin
Kelly Bowlin
Administration Director & BAC Foodie :) 
Bay Athletic Club
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