3 Healthy Recipes That Don’t Compromise on Taste
| September 30th, 2019
Photos courtesy Paul Tremain
Bon appétit! Here, gourmet fare that strikes a balance between gastronomy and well-being.
Paul Tremain, executive chef for Palisades on the Glen Retirement Community, makes healthy cuisine a priority for residents, but that doesn’t stop him from innovating and creating a restaurant-style atmosphere and menu.
Perhaps surprisingly, Tremain takes inspiration from his experiences with street food, makeshift kitchens and ethnic cuisine during his time living and backpacking across South East Asia for his current post.
Of course, he’s also worked in the kitchen of two boutique hotels and is no stranger to gourmet fare. He and his culinary team consult with the community’s director of care to ensure a balance is reached between gastronomy and well-being.
His diabetic-friendly and low-sodium dishes, like the ones featured here, never compromise on taste. Bon appétit!
1. MUSHROOM RISOTTO WITH FRIED LEEKS (pictured above)
4-5 cups (1 – 1.25 l) low-sodium chicken stock
½ cup (125 ml) arborio rice
½ white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 cup (250 ml) sliced crimini mushrooms
1 cup (250 ml) sliced oyster mushrooms
Salt and pepper
1 medium-sized leek
½ cup (125 ml) chopped Italian parsley
¼ cup (50 ml) all-purpose flour
1. In a small pot, bring the stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a straight-sided sauté pan and add the rice. Gently stir the rice to toast it, but do not allow it to burn.
2. Add the diced onion and continue to stir, adding the garlic once the onion is softened. Begin by ladling the stock over the rice gradually, stirring constantly. Allow each ladle of stock to be fully absorbed before adding another.
3. Meanwhile, in another sauté pan, sweat the mushrooms gently, seasoning with salt and pepper, until their moisture comes out and they start to colour slightly. Slice the white of the leek very finely and add it to the mushrooms until softened.
4. Take the light green part of the leek and slice it into long strips. Heat some more olive oil in a wide pan. Toss the leeks in a little of the flour to just coat them, then drop them carefully into the hot oil. Stir them to avoid sticking and burning. Once they are crisp, remove them with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
5. Once your rice is al dente (cooked but still a little firm to the bite), adjust the seasoning and add the mushrooms with any accumulated liquid. Stir together briefly. Turn the risotto out into a bowl and top with the crispy fried leeks.
2. CHICKEN BROCHETTE WITH ROASTED VEGETABLE COUSCOUS
3 cups (750 ml) low-sodium chicken stock
12 oz (372 g) boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
2 tsp (10 ml) oregano
1 tsp (5 ml) garlic
½ tsp (2 ml) turmeric
Salt and pepper
1 bell pepper
1 small Japanese eggplant
1 red onion
1 small green zucchini
1 cup (250 ml) dry couscous
2 cups (500 ml) red wine vinegar
1 tbsp (15 ml) pickling spice
1 small bunch fresh dill, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) Greek-style yogurt
1. In medium pot, bring the stock to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, prepare brochettes. Marinate chicken in olive oil, oregano, garlic and turmeric, adding salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Seed and cut pepper into large slices.
4. Slice eggplant in 1-inch thick rounds and half the onion into slices. Slice the rest of the onion thinly and reserve. Cut the zucchini into rounds.
5. Toss the vegetables in a little olive oil, with salt and pepper to taste, then place on baking sheet and roast in 350 oven.
6. Once stock has come to boil, add the couscous, stir and turn off the heat.
7. In another small pot, bring vinegar and pickling spice to a boil. Strain and pour over the reserved onion slices and let cool.
8. Skewer the chicken pieces on a metal or wooden skewer and grill until done. Mix together dill and yogurt. Season with pepper.
9. In a bowl, toss couscous with roasted vegetables and season to taste. Put couscous into a mould and turn out onto plate. Crisscross chicken skewers over top, then garnish with dill yogurt. Arrange pickled onion slices around the plate and serve.
3. RED SNAPPER STIR-FRY WITH PEANUT SAUCE:
Health note: Red snapper is a low-calorie, lean source of protein that is rich in selenium, vitamin A, potassium and omega-3 fatty acid.
1 lb (250 g) boneless red snapper, diced
2 tbsp (25 ml) soy sauce
½ tbsp (7 ml) chopped garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and julienned finely
1 red or yellow bell pepper
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 oz (30 g) snow peas
Canola or sunflower oil
¼ cup (25 ml) peanut butter
¼ cup (50 ml) hoisin sauce
½ cup (125 ml) gluten-free rice noodles
Bunch fresh cilantro
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1. Marinate fish pieces in half the soy sauce, half the garlic and half the ginger. Meanwhile, cook rice noodles for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water. Fluff with fork and keep warm.
2. Seed and julienne the pepper, and thinly slice the onion.
3. Trim the snow peas so that there are no strings on them.
4. Preheat a wok or deep sauté pan with some canola or sunflower oil. Saute onion and peppers with remaining garlic for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened but not browned.
5. Add fish pieces with their marinade and stir-fry over medium-high heat.
6. When fish is nearly cooked, add snow peas and remaining ginger, continuing to stir-fry.
7. Add peanut butter, remaining soy sauce and hoisin sauce, stirring well to combine. If sauce is too thick, add a little water to reach desired consistency.
8. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes to combine flavours. Add more soy to taste (if desired) and serve over noodles. Garnish with fresh cilantro, chopped scallions and fresh lime.