Photos by Jennifer Ward Barber
For the column “To Your Health” in Issue 7, (subscribe now!) Ben Greenfield writes about how eating “clean” can help make you a fitter, faster triathlete. Not sure how to get started? Here are four of our favorite recipes free of common allgergy tripggers like dairy, soy, gluten, shellfish, and peanuts. We can’t guarantee they’ll help you break your PR, but they sure are tasty.
Grass-Fed Beef with Quinoa, Roasted Sweet Potato
Featured in the magazine, this super-simple meal covers all the basics: protein, whole grains, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Serves two.
2 six-ounce grass-fed/organic steaks
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup quinoa, kale, or Swiss chard, washed and cut into strips
3 cups washed spinach
1/2 cup washed, quartered cherry tomatoes
sea salt 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1. Prehead the oven to 400 degrees F. Poke holes with a fork in the potatoes. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, or until wrinkly and soft. (Alternatively, make “fries” by slicing the potatoes into strips, tossing them in olive oil and spices, and broiling them for 20 mintues, turning once.)
2. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the quinoa: rinse the grains in a few changes of cold water, and then bring to a boil with 2 cups of water and the 3 cups of greens. Reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly and fluff with a fork. Toss in tomato quarters.
3. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Sear on a hot cast iron pan until cooked to your liking. Tent with foil and rest for 5 minutes. Serve all together.
Indonesian Beef Wraps
These delicious, coconut-infused lettuce wraps are served at the Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse, N.Y. The recipe yields eight generous servings.
2 Tbsp olive, coconut or peanut oil
2 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 3 large cloves)
1 cup diced yellow onions
½ T fresh ginger, grated
2½ lbs organic ground beef or bison
1 cup low-sodium beef stock
1 cup water
3/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce if you can tolerate soy)
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp nutmeg, ground
1 tsp coriander, ground
¾ tsp cardamom (fresh ground from seed)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ a lemon’s worth fresh juice
1. Heat the oil over medium in a large heavy pot. Cook onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the grated ginger and mix in. Add the beef and incorporate, cooking until browned.
3. Add the next seven ingredients (stock through pepper) and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes.
4. Add all but the last two ingredients, stir, and continue simmering until the stew had come to a thick consistency.
5. Remove from heat and mix in the cilantro and lemon juice.
6. To serve, mix with two cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice, and serve with Bibb lettuce leaves.
Spaghetti Squash “Nests” with Moroccan Spices
This recipe, originally from Gourmet magazine, combines the pasta-like qualities of this squash variety with the exotic spices of Morocco. Serves four.
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
1/4 cup French lentils, well rinsed (blackish with flecks, and smaller than brown lentils)
4 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallot cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro, Thompson raisins, cashews, plain yogurt (if you’re not dairy-sensitive), cracked pepper.
1. Choose your method of cooking the squash. Microwave: Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for six to seven minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for five minutes. Oven: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, cut squash in half, remove seeds, and lightly brush with butter or olive oil. Cook flesh side up until flesh is soft and begins to brown, one to one and a half hours in total. When the squash is done, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin.
2. Meanwhile, combine the lentils with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and two cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well, set aside.
3. When the squash and lentils are done, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a small heavy saucepan. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in all the spices and salt and remove from heat.
4. Toss the strands of squash with the spiced olive oil and arrange into nests. Fill the middle with the lentils, and garnish at the table.
Smoky Sweet Potato Soup
Give this soup an hour of your time, and it’ll reward you with silky, smoky, sweet-tart bursts of flavor. Serves six. From Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook.
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (for the chipotle puree)
6 cups (1 1/2 liters) vegetable stock
3 large sweet potatoes
2 whole garlic bulbs (for roasting)
4 medium tomatoes
2 red peppers (OR the equivalent in jarred roasted red peppers)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp minced fresh sage
2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp ancho chile powder (or good ol’ chili flakes)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
1. Make the chipotle puree by pureeing the contents of the chiles in adobo sauce. Store in the fridge for later. (*See what else you can use this puree for below*).
2. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF. Using a fork, poke a few holes in each sweet potato. Place on a foil-lined baking tray and roast until soft and collapsed, 45 minutes to an hour.
3. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, cut just the tops off the whole garlic bulbs, until you can see the flesh. Place them on a square of foil, drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil, and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Wrap the foil up around the bulbs and gather at the top. Place this packet in with the potatoes. (It’ll be ready in about the same time. When it’s slightly browned on top, remove, unwrap, cool, and squeeze into a bowl.)
4. Heat vegetable oil in large soup pot. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add the fresh minced garlic, spices, and herbs, and cook until the garlic turns golden. Stir in the sweet potatoes, the roasted garlic pulp, and the peeled red peppers and tomatoes. Add the stock and 2 teaspoons of the chipotle chile puree. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minute.s
5. Puree the soup until smooth. Whisk in maple syrup and lime juice and season to taste with salt, pepper, and more chipotle puree if desired. Serve hot with any of the following garnishes: chopped roasted pecans, fried sage leaves, corn tortilla chips.
*Try adding your chipotle puree to the following: beaten eggs before scrambling, softened butter for corn on the cob, stirred into cornbread batter, mayonnaise (for sandwiches), mac and cheese, mashed into hummus.