Healthy Recipes

Our recipes this month are perfect for Fall entertaining, they make wonderfully colorful dishes for Halloween - and they are healthy! White Bean and Sausage Stew in Pumpkin Bowls is hearty and decorative, served in pumpkins. Lentil and Bulgur Pilaf with Green and Yellow Squash suitable as a side dish or as a meal, all in itself.

White Bean and Sausage Stew in Pumpkin Bowls

Yield: 12 servings

2 cups dried navy beans
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1-teaspoon whole peppercorns
5 cups homemade or low-sodium pre-packaged chicken stock
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
12 of the 1 to 2 pound sugar pumpkins, washed and dried (Sugar pumpkins are the uniformly, smaller pumpkins that are commonly found in natural groceries or high-end supermarkets.)
1/2-cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound turkey sausage, casings discarded, coarsely chopped
3 red pearl onions, peeled
14 small red fingerling or new potatoes, halved lengthwise
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 large leeks (white and pale-green parts only), thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed well
1 stalk celery, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dices
1/2 pound white button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 cup fresh shelled, or thawed, frozen baby peas
1/4-cup flour of choice
1 1/4 cups whole milk of choice
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped, fresh sage
1-tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

  1. Put beans into a medium bowl; cover with cold water by 2 inches. Refrigerate 8 hours (up to overnight). Drain beans and transfer to a large stockpot.
  2. Make bouquet garni: Place bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and the peppercorns on a square of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle with kitchen twine. Add stock, onion, and bouquet garni to the pot with beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Discard bouquet garni.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a keyhole saw, cut out the tops of pumpkins, and reserve. Remove seeds. Rub inside of each pumpkin with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place pumpkins and tops right side up on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 25 minutes. Remove tops; let cool completely on a wire rack, and reserve for garnish. Turn pumpkins upside down, and bake until flesh is tender but firm, about 25 minutes more. Let cool completely on rack.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add sausage. Cook, stirring, until sausage is browned, about 7 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the pearl onions, potatoes, carrots, leeks, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 12 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and peas. Stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add milk; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in beans, reserved cooking liquid, sage, thyme leaves, and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer; cook until thick, about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide the stew among pumpkin shells. Place on baking sheets, and bake until pumpkins are soft, about 15 minutes. Garnish with pumpkin tops.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 636 cal, Carbohydrates: 98 g, Dietary Fiber: 22 g, Fat: 19 g, Protein: 27 g, Sugars: 36 g


Lentil and Bulgur Pilaf with Green and Yellow Squash

Yield: 6 servings

4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups brown lentils, rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2-teaspoon ground allspice
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4-cup coarse bulgur
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or dill

  1. Combine broth, lentils, onion, bay leaf, salt, allspice and pepper in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Add bulgur and cook until the lentils and bulgur are tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove the pilaf from the heat, discard the bay leaf and stir in lemon juice.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, squash, garlic and lemon zest; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and cilantro (or dill). Season with pepper. Stir into the pilaf. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 258 cal, Carbohydrates: 41 g, Dietary Fiber: 16 g, Fat: 4 g, Protein: 16 g, Sugars: 5 g


Posted October 2009 | Permanent Link

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