SCTK: Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

Good ol’ fashioned oats are always on a shelf in my pantry—right next to thepeanut butter. Oats and peanut butter are a classic combination that I never tire of, throw in a banana and I’m done for. At Wednesday’s Test Kitchen, we mixed things up and made breakfast as a late night snack.  If you want to taste just how wonderful these were, whip up a batch yourself! They were a breeze to prepare.

With midterms and assignments on our minds we’re often in a tizzy to get to class on time in the mornings (at least I am) and sometimes we skip out on breakfast. But these breakfast bars are the perfect solution. You can make a batch and wrap individual bars to take with you—grab and go style.

Better yet, they’ll keep you full until lunchtime. The oatmeal’s fiber in combination with the peanut butter’s protein and healthy fats will make sure of it. This recipe called for just 3 tablespoons of honey, making this a low sugar breakfast item—perfect for the new proposed dietary guidelines that recommend a maximum of 10% of our daily calories come from added sugars. Applesauce also lends some sweetness, but its real role was to act as a binder of the ingredients. That’s why we only needed one egg for the whole dish.

Just half a banana was put into the batter, but I know I would’ve liked to have a little more. In fact, if you have the option, I would consider mixing in the entire banana or adding some fresh slices on top because when the bars had no banana they tasted a bit bland.

20150225_223525_resized

 

Happy baking, stay energized, and remember your brain needs nutritious foods to ace those mid-terms!

Sargent Choice
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Recipe from Well Plated by Erin

Yield: 8 bars

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ cups non-fat milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
3 tablespoons honey or agave
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ large banana quartered and diced (taste testers recommend a whole banana)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl, combine the milk, honey, peanut butter, applesauce, egg and vanilla.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be very wet. Fold in the diced banana, then pour into the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until thickened and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan, cut into bars, and serve.

Note:
Storage: Once cooled, bars can be wrapped individually in plastic and kept in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen in a zip-top bag for up to 4 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours before serving. For a larger yield, increase the ingredient quantities by 1.5 and bakes in a 9×13 inch pan for 25-30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts per serving:

Calories 220
Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Protein 9 g
Carbohydrate 38 g
Fiber 4 g
Sodium 170 g

SCTK: Indian Chickpea and Sweet Potato Kaftas

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

We heralded in the Chinese New Year last week with a cross-cultural inspired feast. Indian koftas, sugar cookies, spicy rice noodles, and dumplings were all in abundance. We settled in, drinking tea and munching on Karen’s adorable and delicious whale-shaped sugar cookies, and learned about the traditions of the Chinese New Year from a native Chinese student, Jasper Zhao. In China, this is the mecca of all holidays. Businesses and restaurants shut down while millions of people travel to their hometowns to celebrate with their families. It’s a 3-day event filled with family, food, and fireworks. Different areas of China celebrate with different foods, and Jasper said his family goes all out on the dumplings (so we did too!).

Along with the dumplings, our kaftas recipe was an absolute hit with everybody. Typically koftas are prepared somewhat like meatballs with lamb, beef, pork, or chicken with some added spices. However, in India, they are generally vegetarian given that many people abstain from meat for religious reasons. In place of meat, we used chickpeas and subsequently, they resembled falafels, but were more moist and robust in flavor. Once rolled into balls or patties, they are often fried and put into a rich and creamy sauce. To lighten ours up, we took our koftas on a Mediterranean vacation and whipped up some spruced up Tzatiki sauce that was to die for. Fresh herbs mixed in with dried fruits and nuts made a luscious combination. Our kaftas just couldn’t resist this nutritious dip.

We all groaned when 11 o’clock rolled around and saw it was snowing again. Although, Karen’s apartment located on the 23rd floor of StuVi2 has floor to ceiling windows that overlook the city and Charles River, making the site quite stunning. Before we left, Jasper had one more treat left for us—White Rabbit candies. They are a traditional Chinese milk-candy often eaten during the Chinese New Year. It was just great, almost like a vanilla flavored tootsie roll. According to the Chinese zodiac it is the year of the sheep, goat, or ram (I guess it depends on who you ask), and I wish you all good fortune, health, and longevity.

kofta

 

Sargent Choice Chickpea and Sweet Potato Koftas

Adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven

Yield: About 16 2 ½-inch patties

 

INGREDIENTS:
Koftas
1 medium-sized sweet potato or yam (3/4 lb)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large clove garlic
2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoon lightly toasted cumin seeds
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil for sautéing

Mediterranean Yogurt:
1 medium clove garlic
1/3 cup parsley
1/3 cup cilantro
1/3 cup fresh dill
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
3 or 4 dried apricots (a soft, tart variety)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups non-fat yogurt (regular or Greek)
½ teaspoon salt
Directions for Sweet Potato Koftas:

  1. Peel and dice the sweet potato or yam, and cook it in boiling water until soft (about 10 minutes). Drain well. You should have about 1 ½ cups of cooked sweet potato. Transfer to a food processor.
  2. Add all the other ingredients, except the flour, peas, and oil. Puree until fairly smooth. The mixture will be very thick. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Stir in the flour until thoroughly incorporated, then gently stir in the peas. Form into patties. To make them really uniform and professional looking, use a ¼-cup-capacity ice cream scoop or a ¼-cup measure to scoop up portions of the mixture, then pat each one down until is about ½-inch think and 2 ½-inches in diameter.
  4. Place a skillet over medium heat and add a little bit of oil. When the oil is hot, add the patties, and saute for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and heated through.

Directions for Mediterranean Yogurt:

  1. Place the garlic, all the herbs, the dried fruit, and the walnuts in a food processor, and pulse until it forms a paste.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon juice and yogurt.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Koftas (each)

Calories 60
Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrate 9 g
Fiber 2 g
Sodium 160 mg


Mediterranean Yogurt (2 tablespoons)

Calories 45
Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrate 5 g
Fiber 1 g
Sodium 85 g

 

SCTK: Brown Rice Bowl with Lemongrass, Tofu, and Cashews

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

Another cold night and another warm meal with excellent company. At this week’s Test Kitchen, we made a delicious rice bowl filled with the cutest baby bok choy. The finished dish was so green and vibrant in stark contrast to the white and 50 shades of grey color scheme we’ve seen so much lately. Why couldn’t Phil have seen his shadow on the 2nd?! I was ready for spring weeks ago.

Bok choy, or Chinese cabbage, is part of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables. Can you imagine what fun family reunions the Brassicaceae’s must have? Everyone would be there—broccoli, radishes, cauliflower—I mean come on, pass the dip! Bok choy is a hearty cabbage that prefers cooler temperatures, making them the perfect mid-winter veggie to turn to (lucky for us with this unyielding cold).

Tackling the tofu is the first step to this one-bowl-meal. Be sure to squeeze as much liquid out of it as possible so that it can soak up more soy-sauce and cook faster. It will be ready for the bok choy mix when the edges are browned. Instead of mixing the rice in with everything else, we just piled the veggie-tofu mixture on top of some rice. The bok choy paired beautifully with the ginger, lemongrass, and lime juice, and the toasted cashews added the perfect crunch. It was delecta-bowl.

Sargent Choice
Brown Rice Bowl with Lemongrass, Tofu, and Cashews

Recipe modified from the kitchn

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

8 ounces extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons grated lemongrass (white part only)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
4 cups Bok Choy, chopped, approximately 2-inch pieces
3 cups cooked brown rice (Basmati preferred)
¼ cup cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

Directions

  1. Cook brown rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse and drain tofu. Place between paper towels (or clean kitchen towels) and press out liquid.
  3. Cut tofu into ½-inch cubes and toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce.
  4. Lightly oil a baking sheet and spread the tofu cubes evenly on the sheet. Bake tofu for 15 minutes and flip over. Continue baking for about 10-15 minutes more until tofu is toasted and chewy. Remove from the oven.
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are beginning to soften and turn translucent. Add Bok Choy and cook until stalks are tender-crisp and leaves are wilted (~3 minutes).
  6. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce and lime juice and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add rice and tofu and stir to combine and heat through. Remove from heat, stir in cashews and cilantro, and serve.

Nutrition Facts per serving

Calories 350
Fat 15g
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Protein 11g
Carbohydrate 43g
Fiber 4g
Sodium 480mg

Test Kitchen: Honey Ginger Tofu Stir-Fry

By Caroline Booth, Graduate Nutrition Student

Last night’s Test Kitchen was a wonder. Karen Jacobs generously held her open ours in spite of BU’s closure for an amazing night of bones and food. Dr. Jonathan Bethard, a BU professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology gave us an enthralling talk about his career and current endeavors in the world of biological anthropology (he’s doing research near Dracula’s home in Romania). We didn’t even start cooking until half way through the night because we were too busy asking questions and examining real human bones from a Romanian medieval church’s excavation site!

Dr. Bethard explained how a skeleton’s teeth reveal many secrets about that person’s diet and where he or she grew up. Even more telling are the tartar pieces that can be found between the teeth and, in his skeleton’s case, remained intact from sometime between the 14th and 16th centuries—talk about needing a check up with the dentist. However, in today’s world of forensic anthropology it becomes much more difficult to identify where a person lived because people consume foods from all over the world. For instance, our honey ginger tofu and vegetable stir-fry was comprised of ingredients that came from all over, not just the Boston area.

When we got around to making this dish, it was ready in a breeze. The colors of the carrots and broccoli were so vibrant and inviting, along with the honey ginger sauce that smelled incredibly appetizing. All of us were overjoyed to warm up with such a comforting meal in the midst of a blizzard outside (that we soon had to combat on our journeys home). At the end of the night we had no leftovers to spare, but had many stories to tell. If you’re looking for a hearty pick-me-up in this cold, snowy winter I would suggest giving this recipe a chance. Share it with good company, and you’ll feel instantly satisfied.
GINGERTOFU
Sargent Choice
Honey Ginger Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

Recipe modified from Pinch of Yum

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients for the Stir Fry:
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil
14 ounces extra firm tofu
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
2 cups shredded carrots
3 green onions, minced

Ingredients for the Stir Fry Sauce:
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons honey
⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil

Directions
Rice:  Cook the rice according to package directions.

Sauce: Puree all of the sauce ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Set aside. Tofu:  Cut the tofu into ½-inch slices and press with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  Wait a few moments and press again. Cut the tofu slices into small cubes, approximately ½-inch.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is shiny, add the tofu and about ¼ cup of the stir fry sauce (CAREFUL – the oil and sauce will spatter a bit). Pan-fry the tofu until golden brown.  Remove the tofu from the pan and drain on paper towel lined plate.

Veggies:  Return the pan to the heat and add the broccoli florets with ¼ cup stir fry sauce.  When the broccoli is bright green and almost tender crisp, add the carrots and cook for an addition minute or two. Return the tofu to the pan.  Arrange the veggies and tofu over the cooked rice, and cover with more sauce to taste. Sprinkle with the green onions.

Nutrition Facts
(⅓ cup rice with 1 cup tofu and veggies in sauce)

Calories 330
Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Protein 11 g
Carbohydrate 40 g
Fiber 5 g
Sodium 610 mg

 

 

 

 

Healthy Cooking on a Budget: Quinoa and Vegetable Pilaf

By Emma Balek, Sargent Choice Nutrition Center Practicum Student & Senior Dietetics Student
and Sarah Butler Mazerall, MBA, MS, RD, LDN, SCNC Registered Dietitian

Recently in the SCNC’s Healthy Cooking on a Budget Class we took on the challenge of making a one dish wonder that gives us all the grains and vegetables we need in a meal all from one pan. To boot, this recipe contains several different veggies giving us a nutrition boost from all those different colors. Pair it with a serving of lean meat, beans or tofu and you’ve got a balanced meal! If you’re looking for a way to add more flavor to grains, this recipe is a great way to do so!

To make the recipe we started with the quinoa, since it takes the longest time to cook. First, you should rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer to remove the bitter residue on the grain. Next, we added the quinoa, vegetable broth and thyme to a covered saucepan on high heat (the vegetable broth and thyme are the flavor powerhouses!) Once the water was boiling, the heat was reduced to a simmer and left to cook for about 20 minutes. Make sure you still have a lid covering your pot during this time.

rinsed quinoa

While waiting for the quinoa to cook, we began preparing the veggies.  First, we chopped the onion and minced the garlic.  Garlic can be minced with a knife, but owning a garlic press is helpful, especially if you plan to cook with garlic a lot.  During our class the instructor, Sarah Mazerall, showed a great resource on the Kitchn.com that walks you through the differences between mincing and chopping. Here at the SCNC we love the folks behind the Kitchn because their blog is filled with incredibly helpful resources for beginner chefs.

As we learned in class, onion, garlic, and herbs are often referred to as “flavor enhancers” because they add complexity to the dish without relying sodium. Once the onion and garlic were prepared Sarah turned began to heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Sarah added only a small amount of onion and garlic to the pan at first so she could test the temperature of the oil in the pan. You will know the oil is at the right temperature for sautéing onions and garlic when you hear the onion and garlic start to sizzle. At that point you can add the rest of the onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring frequently until the onion softens, about 3-4 minutes.

Next, add the carrots and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally and covering the skillet, if necessary, to prevent sticking. We added the carrots before the bell peppers and peas because carrots take longer to cook. Next we stirred in the tomato and black pepper, covered the pan, and removed from the heat.

quinoa_veg

Once the quinoa was finished cooking we added the vegetable mixture to the quinoa. The final result was pleasing not only to the eye, but to the palate as well!

Sargent Choice Quinoa & Vegetable Pilaf
Serves: 4
quinoa_veg

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 tomato, diced
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Grated Parmesan, low-fat Cheddar, or low-fat Feta Cheese (optional)

Preparation

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (rinsing removes the residue of the grain’s bitter coating).  In a covered saucepan on high heat, bring the quinoa, broth, and thyme to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered until all the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Cover and set aside.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes, until softened.  Add the carrots and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally and covering the skillet, if necessary, to prevent sticking.  Add the bell pepper and peas and sauté just until they are hot, a couple of minutes.  Stir in the tomato and black pepper, cover, and remove from the heat.
  3. When both the quinoa and vegetables are done, combine them.  Add salt to taste.  Serve topped with cheese if you would like.

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 260
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Protein: 9 g
Carbohydrates: 43 g
Fiber: 7 g

Now all we need is a protein to make this dish complete. Looking for inspiration? Check out a few of our recipes here:

  1. Simple Pan Seared Salmon
  2. Garlic Chicken
  3. Lemon Herb Tofu

Inspired to Cook Quinoa More Often? Check out our other recipes featuring Quinoa on our blog:

  1. Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
  2. Quinoa Cakes with Black Bean Salad
  3. Quinoa Risotto with Arugula and Parmesan
  4. Kale & Quinoa Salad

Notes:

  • Recipe modified from Moosewood Restaurant’s cookbook, Simple Suppers, Fresh Ideas for the Weeknight Table. Sarah Mazerall consistently raves to her classes about the Moosewood Restaurant’s cookbook series. Sarah discovered her mother’s copies of Moosewood Restaurant’s cookbooks while she was in college and gives credit to the authors of these cookbooks for teaching her the fundamentals of cooking through their detailed recipe procedure explanations. Note that all of their cookbooks feature Pesco-Vegetarian recipes (featuring fish, egg and dairy containing recipes but no poultry, pork or beef recipes.)
  • Recipe analysis was preformed assuming that no cheese is added to the recipe
  • Don’t like quinoa? Try substituting whole wheat couscous or brown rice in place of the quinoa. Just be sure to modify the broth in the recipe according to the amount of liquid you need to add to the uncooked grain. Additionally, you will need to modify the cooking time of the grain.
  • To make this gluten free make sure to choose a gluten free vegetable broth.

Test Kitchen: Brown Rice Sushi

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

At the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen we’re all about pampering our food.  During our last Test Kitchen, goers were massaging the well-deserving kale, and this week we were fanning brown rice like royalty.  I could nearly hear the granules singing, “I’m so fancy.” What exactly were we doing fawning over our beloved rice, you wonder? Well, we were prepping it for its fabulous, sticky role in sushi! Warm rice doesn’t stick to its partners very well (we all need some personal space when we get a little heated). But once the white rice vinegar is mixed in, I dare you to try and pick out one granule—you’ll come back with your fingers covered in a sticky mess.

Rolling the sushi was a lot of fun. We had a Japanese native show us exactly how it’s done. Here are a couple of her tips: take the nori (that’s the sheet of seaweed) and place the shiny side down so that you will be putting the contents on the rough side. The lines ingrained on the surface of the nori should be perpendicular to your body to facilitate the rolling.  This sea vegetable is a great source of iron, which is the most common nutrient deficiency seen around the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  So stop igNORIng it and get some on your plate!

Cutting the rolls and seeing the cross-sectioned pieces felt like such an accomplishment. We included a spectrum of bright colors from avocados, cucumbers, carrots, cooked sweet potatoes, and even pickled daikon radishes, which provided some yellow and were fantastic as a component in this sushi. Dip the pieces in low-sodium soy sauce, a touch of wasabi, and yum! A delicious circle of fun filled with oodles of good-for-you nutrients. sushi_3

Sargent Choice Vegetarian Brown Rice Sushi
Yield 2 servings, 6 rolls each

Ingredients
2/3 cup dry short-grain brown rice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
2 (8 ¼ by 7 ¼ – inch) sheets roasted nori (dried layer)
½ Kirby cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
½ medium carrot, cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
½ small California avocado, peeled and cut into thin slices
¾ ounces radish sprouts, roots trimmed
6 ounces firm tofu, cut into several long pieces

Directions

  1. Prepare brown rice as directed with 1 teaspoon soy sauce.
  2. While rice is standing, stir together vinegar and remaining teaspoon soy sauce.
  3. Transfer rice to a wide, nonmetal bowl and sprinkle with vinegar mixture. Toss gently with a large spoon to combine. Cool rice, tossing occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir together wasabi and teaspoon of water to form a stiff paste. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
  5. Arrange 1 sheet of nori shiny side down on a sushi mat lengthwise. With damp fingers, gently press half the rice onto the nori with a 1 ¾–inch border on the farthest edge.
  6. Starting 1-inch from the side nearest you, arrange half the cucumber matchsticks, carrot matchsticks, avocado slices, and tofu pieces in an even strip horizontally across the rice (You may need to cut pieces to fit). Repeat with half the radish sprouts, letting some sprout tops to extend beyond the edge.
  7. Roll the bottom edge of mat toward the top edge while holding the filling in place and pressing firmly. Continue rolling to the top and press firmly to seal roll. Let stand for 5 minutes with the seam down and cut crosswise into 6 pieces with a wet knife.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 with the second sheet of nori.
1 Serving
Calories 250
Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Protein 12 g
Carbohydrates 28 g
Fiber 6 g

Test Kitchen: Kale & Quinoa Salad

By Jay Patruno, Sargent Choice Ambassador & Freshman Dietetics Student

Nothing is better on a hot summer day than a refreshing salad. So on a muggy October evening a salad turned out to be the best snack. Sargent Choice’s kale and quinoa salad with citrus dressing is a simple, fun recipe that is sure to always be a crowd pleaser.

With two components to be created, the salad and dressing, this recipe was perfect for a big group to collaborate on. While some people worked on toasting the quinoa, massaging (yes, massaging!) the kale, and chopping walnuts and dates others squeezed citrus fruits and whisked together a sweet and sour dressing.

The sweet aroma of caramelized onions filled the room while the quinoa received a quick rinse and then a toast alongside garlic before we added more water to begin the cooking process. At the same time as these cooked, the other ingredients were chopped, sliced, squeezed, and stirred. But nothing was more unexpected than having to massage the leafy, green kale leaves.

When kale isn’t cooked it can have a rather bitter taste when raw. To avoid this, an R.A. shared an interesting fact with the group; if you massage the kale leaves it relieves the vegetable of its bitterness and even gives it a darker, more vibrant color. Who would have thought food needs some tension relief too? Sure enough once the kale was massaged and sliced into strips, its flavor was more crisp and fresh than we had experienced in prior kale dishes.

The finished product was nothing but a visual pleasure, with the deep green of the massaged kale leaves and the red quinoa mixed together. All in one bite you get a little bit of a taste of the sweet dates, the tangy dressing, the savory onions, and the complementary textures of the soft quinoa with the crunchy walnuts and crisp kale. It’s impossible to only have one serving!

Sargent Choice Kale & Quinoa Salad with Dates, Walnuts & Citrus Dressing
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients for the Salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion dicedKale & Quinoa Salad with Citrus Dressing
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ cup red quinoa, pre-rinsed
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bunch lacinato kale (¾-1 lb, with stems)
½ heaping cup whole dates
½ cup toasted walnuts

Ingredients for the Dressing:
1 clementine or mandarin orange
½ lime, juiced
2 teaspoons maple syrup
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sprinkle lightly with ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has darkened to a toasty brown and smells caramelized – about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.  You should have about ½ cup of cooked onions.
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Add it and the garlic to a 2-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat and sauté for about a minute both to dry the grain and toast it lightly. Add one cup water and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and turn the heat to low; cook for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat but leave the lid on for an additional 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
  3. While the onions are caramelizing and the quinoa is cooking, slice off the middy bottoms of the kale stems and massage with fingers until leaves turn darker green color and wilt to relieve them of their bitterness. Then rinse the massaged leaves and slice of into fine ribbons.
  4. Pit the dates and slice them into quarters.  Roughly chop the walnuts (into 3 or 4 pieces each).
  5. Make the dressing: Peel and then juice the clementine or mandarin orange, save the pulp/innards and chop up and add to the dressing. Roll the limes against a hard surface to increase juices, then cut and juice. Whisk the juices together (you should have about ¼ cup total of juice, or a little less). Whisk in the maple syrup and olive oil.  The dressing will be emulsified but still thin.  Stir about 2 tablespoons of the dressing into the quinoa after it finishes cooking.
  6. Assemble the salad; Toss the kale with all of the still-warm quinoa and the caramelized onions.  Toss with half the dressing and taste.  Add the remaining dressing if desired, then toss with the dates and walnuts. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Notes:
-
The salad keeps well; it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
-Lacinato kale is also called dinosaur, Tuscan or black kale.  Do not use curly kale in this recipe.

 

Per serving
Calories 300
Fat 18 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Protein 6.5 g
Carbohydrates 35 g
Fiber 5 g

 

 

Test Kitchen: Banana Pancakes

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

October exams stressing you out? No need! I’ve got the remedy. Put on Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes” and take his advice: pretend it’s the weekend and start flipping pancakes. Sargent Choice has got you covered with worry-free banana pancakes that take a hearty twist on the classic. Instead of cutting slices of banana into the batter, the batter is made up of mashed bananas. Once you combine that with whole-wheat flour—BOOM—it’s cake in a pan.

We ate our pancakes with defrosted berries (strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, to be precise). When our Test Kitchen leader Karen Jacobs whipped out unsweetened cinnamon applesauce to go on top, I went to the flipside (a.k.a. pancake heaven).  If you’re feeling really wild, you might throw in a few chocolate chips for a decadent bite. Peanut butter or almond butter would also be fabulous toppers and make for a satisfying treat.

Fire up the skillet at your next pancake breakfast (or whenever) and throw this recipe on.  You’ll see that you don’t actually need that all-purpose flour because brown is the new white! These are just as delicious, and they’ll actually fill you up, help you keep a steady blood sugar, and keep you full until your next meal. Brain food has never been so smart. So get your short stack stat and then you can ace those tests.  Order’s up!

Sargent Choice Banana Pancakes
Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

Yield: 10 pancakes

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1¾ cup 1% milk
2 ripe bananas mashed

Maple syrup for servingphoto(12)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Make a well (hole) in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the honey, eggs, milk, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Whisk together thoroughly, but do not over mix.
  3. Gently fold the mashed bananas into the batter with a spatula.
  4. Heat a griddle or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick spray until it is well coated. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, ladle batter on to griddle.
  5. When the pancakes have begun brown on the bottom, flip them over to cook the other side.
  6. Serve warm with maple syrup and a side of fruit. Other serving suggestions: Peanut butter, applesauce, plain non-fat or low-fat yogurt and fruit.photo(13)

Leftover pancakes can be frozen.

1 pancake
Calories 160
Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Protein 6 g
Carbohydrates 27 g
Fiber 3 g

Navigating the Fall Farmer’s Market

Goodbye summer produce…hello winter squash!

Depending on your location, you’ve probably seen a shift in the available produce over the last few weeks. The abundance of tomatoes and summer squash have been replaced with all sorts of different vegetables. Some are familiar favorites while others may send you to google wondering what to do with them. We thought this resource from The Kitchn was really great in showcasing the newest fall line of vegetables!

12 Fall Vegetables You Should Know how to Cook

On the BU Campus?
Stop by the Farmer’s Market Cooking Class happening Thursday, Oct 9th @ 5pm in the GSU. Sabrina Pashtan, BU Dining Services Sustainability Coordinator and trained chef/food blogger will be using this weeks CSA box contents to make a Spicy Butternut Squash Soup. Did we mention its also Sargent Choice approved?!

Check out Sabrina’s food blog www.saborina.com for the recipe!

 

Test Kitchen: Tofu Taco Tuesday

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

Tofu taco Tuesdays, anyone? I know it’s the month of ghosts and ghouls, but don’t let the tofu scare you away. These things were deliciously taco-licious. At Wednesday night’s Test Kitchen we had our first rendezvous of the season with tofu, and we were lucky enough to have a short presentation about what it is and how it’s made.

Here’s what I learned:
The process of producing tofu starts by adding heat and water to soybeans. Then the liquid is separated from the solids and voila soymilk! From here, tofu is made much in the same way that cheese is made from milk. The extracted soymilk is coagulated, creating the firm texture. Typically tofu is packaged in water to preserve its form and freshness. It’s important to both drain and press the tofu to extract as much of this liquid as possible, as removing excess water allows the tofu to absorb more flavors, and to brown faster.

As this dish was cooking on the stove, the smells emanating were incredible—garlic, onions, cumin and more. We could not wait to assemble our tacos! But first, a Test Kitchen-goer and Mexico native advised us to take the time to warm the tortillas in a skillet, and boy was she right. The warm tortillas made the perfect base as we piled on the tofu, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and cheese. We also added some tang to this recipe by topping off our tacos with fat-free plain Greek yogurt. If you have some on hand, we definitely recommend you add a dollop of it in there!

You will be amazed at how flavorful and satisfying this dish is. I even had it for dinner the next night—they’re genuinely that good. Try this recipe out on your next taco night and discover the power of tofu.

taco

Sargent Choice Tofu Tacos
Makes 10 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 (16 ounce) package of tofu, crumbled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chili powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
½ lime, juiced
½ cup crushed tomatoes
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
10 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
¼ cup salsa

DIRECTIONS

  1. Over medium heat stir fry tofu, oil, garlic, in a large skillet for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin, salt, lime juice, and crushed tomatoes to the skillet and stir. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in cilantro. Cook for another 30 seconds. Spoon mixture into serving bowl
  4. Spoon the tofu mixture into taco shells.
  5. Top the mixture with lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and salsa.

 

NUTRITION FACTS: Serving 1 Taco

Calories 180
Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Protein 11 g
Carbohydrate 18 g
Fiber 3 g
Sodium 280 mg