Category Archives: Healthy Plate

Get your Mojo on!

Garlic, red-pepper flakes, and citrus give this Cuban mojo a little kick. Adding molasses to the marinade gives the pork a rich bronze hue and adds wonderful flavor to the tenderloin. This can also be made with chicken thighs. Wedges of orange and pineapple make for a colorful presentation. Marinate the pork overnight for maximum flavor. Serve with polenta or rice and beans for a complete meal.

Serves 6 to 8  

Marinade
2 tablespoons olive oil, more for grill
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 tablespoons molasses (preferably dark)

2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds total), cut into 1 ½ -inch cubes *

1 large orange, preferably seedless, cut into 16 wedges
½ fresh pineapple cut into large chunks or 1 ½ cups canned or frozen pineapple chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Extra orange wedges and pineapple chunks for garnish

In a zip-lock bag, combine oil, garlic, red-pepper flakes, mint, oregano, orange juice, lime juice, and molasses. Seal the bag and shake the ingredients to blend. Add the pork and toss with the marinade. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Heat a grill to medium heat (about 375 degrees). Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Thread pork, orange, and pineapple chunks onto skewers, reserving leftover marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Grill kebabs (with the cover closed) 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium. Keep an eye on the kebabs so they don’t burn.

Heat the reserved marinade to a boil. Drizzle over kebabs or pass with the kebabs, if desired. Garnish platter with extra orange and pineapple.

*Cut the pork tenderloin into 2-inch slices and cut each slice in half to make cubes.

 

A recipe by Beth Hillson
Serves 6 

Comfort food meets gluten free with this thick and hearty potage.  Perfect for a winter feast and for feeding a crowd of hungry visitors, this soup is chockfull of vegetables, gluten-free pasta and white cannellini beans.  Serve with gluten-free rolls or biscuits.  Cook the pasta separately and add to the soup just before serving to prevent it from soaking up all the liquids.  Top with parmesan cheese. For more comfort foods, see my article in Gluten Free & More, Feb/Mar 2017.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 slices turkey bacon, chopped
2 cups finely chopped leeks (about 1 large leek)
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 large diced, unpeeled zucchini (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon freeze dried or fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1, 28 -ounce can tomatoes, drained and chopped
6 cups gluten-free chicken broth, more as needed to thin out the soup
1 cup frozen green peas
1, 15 -ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked gluten free elbow pasta
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, for garnish 

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the turkey bacon and cook until pieces begin to brown, about 2 minutes.  Add leeks and cook until leeks are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the celery, carrot, and potato, and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste; cook1 minute. 

Add the tomatoes and the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in the peas and beans and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, about 10 minutes.  Divide pasta into 6 bowls and ladle soup over the pasta.  Top with parmesan and chopped basil. Serve. 

 

Recipe from Beth Hillson

This healthy, flavorful gluten free meal will be a hit with your family as it’s been with mine.  The recipe is made with cooked millet, a nutrient-dense gluten-free grain that is high in fiber and protein.  It adds a nutty, wholesome taste to this recipe, but you can pick another gluten-free grain if you wish. Quinoa, sorghum or brown rice will work.  Store leftover cooked grain in the freezer.

Serves 4 to 6  

6 bell peppers, any color
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ pound lean ground turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Turkey Millet Stuffed Peppers¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1, 15-ounce can petit diced tomatoes, drained
4 ounces baby spinach
4 large crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)
1 cup cooked millet, whole grain sorghum or brown rice
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 2 tablespoons for topping
Vegetable broth 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Cut the tops off the peppers. Remove and discard the stems, chop the tops; set aside. Scoop out the seeds and as much of the membrane as you can. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of the peppers so they stay upright in the pan.  Place the peppers cut-side up in a baking dish just large enough to hold them.Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent.  Add the turkey and cook, breaking up the lumps, until the meat is cooked through and just beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain any liquid that accumulates as the turkey cooks.  Season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.  Transfer to a medium bowl.

Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the spinach and mushrooms and cook until spinach begins to wilt.  Combine with turkey mixture.  Fold in millet and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.   

Add additional salt and pepper as needed. 

Fill the peppers with the turkey and millet mixture and top each with a sprinkle of the remaining cheese. Pour a small amount of vegetable stock into the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the peppers are soft about another 15 minutes.

Recipe From Beth Hillson

Makes 9 to 12 Pattieschickpea quinoa patties

Here’s a delicious way to enjoy leftover quinoa. Chickpeas and sweet potato boost the nutritional profile and add flavor and texture. Enjoy these for lunch, dinner or a wholesome snack. You can also serve these on gluten-free rolls or hamburger buns and garnish with lettuce and tomato slices.

Patties will keep 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Red Pepper Mayonnaise can be made ahead and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

1 cup cooked black and white quinoa
1 cup sweet potato puree or pumpkin puree
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed, drained and mashed
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 teaspoons crushed ginger
¼ cup quinoa flour
4 scallions, green part removed, white part chopped
2 large eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-1½ cups gluten-free panko crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil, more as needed
Red Pepper Mayonnaise (Below)

To make the patties, place quinoa, sweet potato puree, mashed chickpeas, garlic, ginger, quinoa flour, chopped scallions, eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix together until well combined.

Spread panko crumbs over a medium plate.

Scoop out a heaping 1/4 cup of quinoa mixture and pat into a patty about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Dredge in panko crumbs on both sides. Repeat with remaining quinoa mixture.

Place olive oil in a heavy skillet and heat over medium heat. Sauté patties in olive oil, about 2 minutes a side. Remove from pan and let cool. (Patties can be refrigerated at this point and baked later.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Set patties on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Place in preheated oven and bake 10 minutes. Serve warm with Red Pepper Mayonnaise.

Red Pepper Mayonnaise

Makes 1¼ cups

¾ cup packed jarred roasted red peppers, without liquid
½ cup lite mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

Place roasted red peppers, mayonnaise, honey and cayenne pepper (if using) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Blend until smooth.

Recipe by Beth Hillson
Serves 6

Gluten-Free whole-grain sorghum is a newcomer to our great grain choices.  A powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and fiber, sorghum is rich in B vitamins and minerals, it promotes digestion, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol. Whole-grain sorghum takes an hour to cook. Pearled sorghum contains fewer nutrients and less fiber but cooks in less time (about 40 minutes). Either way, prepare sorghum a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use. Add delicious veggies like corn, tomatoes and kale and you’ve got a full meal.   

This recipe is part of my Healthy Plate Project, a wellness program to make life healthier one meal at a time.

sorghum bowl with corn and tomatoes

3 cups water
1 cup uncooked sorghum or pearled sorghum
½ teaspoon salt
6 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar, optional
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2-3 cups lightly sautéed chopped kale or baby kale
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels* 

Combine water, sorghum, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour or until. tender. Drain; cool.

Combine olive oil, tarragon, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Whisk well . Add cooked sorghum, kale, tomatoes, and corn kernels; toss.

*Grill corn on the cob.  Cool and scrape the kernels off the cob.  

Recipe from Beth Hillson

 Kale has been the darling of the super food movement for several years.  High in nutrients and fiber, filling and versatile, kale is one of my favorites, too.  This year, we planted kale in the garden.  The plants produce delicate leaves that are not woody like some of the more mature kale you buy in supermarkets.  However, you’ll want to make this year round so buy the mature stalks in the produce section and trim the woody stems from the leaves before preparing.  It’s best if you can buy organic kale.  The convention version is one of the Dirty Dozen, meaning it is a sponge for pesticides. 

This recipe is part of my Healthy Plate Project, a wellness program to make life healthier one meal at a time. 

Check out my crop of homegrown kale.   kale gardenThe Salad
Serves 6

3 red or golden beets, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Sea salt, as needed
2 bunches curly kale (about 10 cups)
3 peaches, cut in slices or frozen peach slices, thawed
2 large plum tomatoes, cut into slices from top to bottom
6 – 8 ounces feta or goat cheese
1/3 cup pistachios kale and roasted beet salad

The Dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  On one baking sheet, toss the beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and roast for 20- 25 minutes.  Remove and cool.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.  On the other baking sheet, toss the peaches and tomatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and salt.  Bake 20 minutes.  Remove and cool. 

Cut and stem the kale.  Toss the pieces with olive oil and salt and spread over cookie sheet.  Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. 

Make the dressing:  Whisk together all of the ingredients. 

Gently mix together the roasted beets, kale, peaches and tomatoes.  Toss with feta cheese and the dressing.  Top with nuts and serve.