5 healthy recipes that are doctor-approved

While we were out filming our story on the growing movement to put teaching kitchens in primary care doctors’ offices to teach patients how to cook healthier meals, we picked up some great recipes and healthy food knowledge that didn’t make it into our broadcast story.

Below you see our intrepid cameraman, Jason Lelchuk, capturing Chef Lars Kronmark’s slicing skills at the Culinary Institute of America’s Napa Valley Campus. Chef Lars is preparing some salmon, which was one of my favorite recipes from the conference. The recipe for salmon tagine from the Healthy Kitchen’s Healthy Lives’ stockpile is just one of more than 300 recipes that were circulating as health care professionals learned how to make healthy, delicious meals from top notch chefs. The recipe below is easy to make, full of healthy veggies, fennel, onions, olive oil and more — and it’s absolutely delicious.

Tagine Of Salmon With Preserved Lemons And Caper Berries

Serves 8

• 8 salmon steaks, 5 oz. each

For herb mixture:
• 1 cup parsley, flat leaf, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
• 2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 1-1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
• 2 lemons, juiced
• 1-1/2 tablespoon hot paprika
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon cumin seed, freshly ground

For vegetable bed:
• 12 oz onion, very thinly sliced-
• 8 oz. fennel, very thinly sliced
• 4 ribs celery, very thinly sliced
• 2 pounds plum tomatoes, large chop no seeds
• 2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
• 1/3 cup caper berries
• 2 preserved lemons, rinsed
• black pepper, coarsely ground
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 3/4 cup water, saffron infused

1. Prepare herb mixture (chermoula) by combining all ingredients. Rub mixture on fish and set aside to marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Combine vegetables for bed, toss, season and toss again. Place veggies on bottom of casserole. Drizzle with olive oil and saffron infused water. Place fish on top of vegetable bed cover and cook at 425 degrees, until fish is cooked (about 25 minutes).
3. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, serve with the vegetables and resulting broth.

A graduate of Healthy Kitchen’s Healthy Lives, primary care doctor Nicole Farmer, in the picture below, showed patients how to build a more nutritious breakfast at the Casey Health Institute in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Farmer convinced Casey Health Institute to build the kitchen where she now teaches.

Dr. Nicole Farmer in the Physician’s Kitchen at the Casey Health Institute in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Dr. Nicole Farmer in the Physician’s Kitchen at the Casey Health Institute in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Farmer brings her patients into the Physician’s Kitchen to teach them about healthy ingredients they can buy and cook. Farmer cooks with her patients and drills down on some of the science behind those healthy choices. When we were there, she was focusing on building a more nutritious breakfast.

The lesson of the day was swapping out highly processed grains, like the white flour that goes into pancakes for whole grains that are more nutritious alternatives, such as buckwheat and steel cut oats. Those whole grains contain far more nutrients than their highly processed cousin, white flour.

Losses of Vitamins“These are unrefined grains, just as they are in nature and nothings been stripped out of them. The refined grains have been stripped of quite a few nutrients,” said Farmer, explaining to her class why those whole grains are so much more beneficial.

Farmer went on to explain that whole grains have a protective outer coating that contains bran, endosperm and what’s called a germ. These components are packed with minerals and vitamins in high concentrations. But processed grains are stripped of the bran and the germ, leaving behind the “white” grain or endosperm and many of the whole grains nutrients.

The table shows you the consequences of processing a whole grain and what percentage of minerals and vitamins are lost when you take away the bran and germ in refined flour.

Besides the loss in nutrients that occurs when grains are highly processed, Farmer explained to her class that all the good things those grains do for your body go out the window, too.

Keeping your blood sugars in check is one, which helps regulate blood pressure.

“The whole grains don’t spike your blood sugar, like processed grains do and because they don’t raise your blood sugar your blood is less sticky and travels through your heart easier, which keeps your blood pressure lower,” said Farmer. In essence, more sugar will make your bloody stickier and thicker making it harder for the heart to pump.

So at this point you might be saying, “Why am I eating all these carbs for breakfast when many diets tell you to avoid carbs all together? Farmer says you might want to think twice about eliminating carbs. She says as long as you focus on eating good carbs or whole grains and not bad carbs or processed grains, you’ll be taking in nutrients like magnesium and Vitamin B2 that are hard to find in other foods. In addition, you lose the regulating of blood sugar and blood pressure, without carbs. Going grain-free Farmer says, “…can actually cause nutritional deficiencies.”

The patients got to watch Farmer make some delicious breakfast dishes and they all feasted on buckwheat pancakes with toppings like yogurt and fresh fruits, and a whole grain called millet that was combined with lemon curd. Below are the recipes.

Soaked Grain Pancakes

Makes 6-8 pancakes
Prep time: 15 minutes plus 8 hrs soaking time
Cook time: 20 minutes

• 2/3 cup steel cut oats
• 1/3 cup toasted buckwheat groats
• 1 ¼ cups “milk” (cows milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk)
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 2 tablespoons sucanat or other minimally refined dry sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
• 2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil for the pan

Combine oats, buckwheat, and milk in medium sized bowl or blender (do not blend yet!). Cover and let soak, refrigerated, 8 hours or overnight.

Add eggs, salt, sucanat, baking powder, nutmeg, and blend until smooth. Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Lightly grease with butter or coconut oil. Pour about 1/3rd cup batter onto pan and cook for about 2 minutes on either side (edges set, bubbles burst). Add butter or oil to pan in between pancakes if needed. Serve hot. Hold in 200 degree oven to keep warm if needed before serving.

To make vegan pancakes: use a non-dairy milk, omit eggs, add 1 tablespoon oil to batter, and add either 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder and ¼ cup of water OR ½ ripe banana. Blend and cook as above.

Recipe adapted by Ronit Gourarie from The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood.


Millet Porridge with Lemon Curd and Sunflower Seeds

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins

• 1/2 cup uncooked millet
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1/4 cup lemon curd
• 2-3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Add millet to a pot over medium heat. Swirl for 2-3 minutes, letting millet lightly toast. Add water, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let millet cook until water is absorbed, 25-30 minutes*. Stir the millet occasionally as it cooks.

Once millet is done, remove from heat and stir in the milk. Add more or less milk depending on the texture you desire. Divide into 2 bowls (or eat as one large serving) and swirl in the lemon curd and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Notes: *While stirring, I always check the consistency starting after about 15 minutes and add water as needed. My “simmer” on my stove top isn’t always a simmer.

One more breakfast bonus from the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Ed Brown cooks what he calls a “plant forward” breakfast where veggies play a big role and the bacon is made from trumpet mushrooms. Chef Brown shared these two recipes: Lentil Pancakes with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and French Feta, plus Green Onion and Cheddar Waffles with Spinach, Egg and Trumpet Royale “bacon”:

Greens, Grains and Lentil Pancakes with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and French Feta

Makes 6 portions

• 9 roasted Roma tomatoes
• 3 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp. Garlic clove, minced
• 1 tsp. Shallot, minced
• 1 Tbsp. Basil, chopped
• 1 tsp.Thyme, chopped
• Salt as needed
• Ground black pepper as needed

Greens, Grains and Lentil Pancakes
• 3 Tbsp. + additional extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ lb. Spinach leaves, triple washed
• 1 cup All-purpose flour
• 1 Tbsp. Baking powder
• 1 tsp. Sugar
• 2 tsp. Salt
• ½ cup Plain Greek yogurt
• 2/3 cup Milk
• 2 ea. Eggs
• 1 bu. Green onions, chopped
• 1 bu. Dill, chopped
• ¾ cup. Farro, cooked
• ¼ cup Lentils, cooked
• ¼ bu. Parsley, chopped
• ½ bu. Tarragon, chopped
• 1 tsp. Lemon zest
• 8 oz. French feta
• Microgreens as needed
• Smoked or plain sea salt as needed

1. For the Roasted Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 275°F.
2. Remove the cores from the tomatoes and cut into halves lengthwise.
3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, shallots, basil, and thyme.
4. Add the tomatoes to the bowl, toss gently to coat evenly, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Arrange in a single layer skin side down on a rack over a sheet pan.
6. Oven-dry the tomatoes in the preheated oven until the tomatoes are dried and lightly browned, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
7. For the Greens, Grains, and Lentil Pancakes: Heat a large sauté pan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spinach leaves, and toss for 30 seconds until the spinach wilts.
8. Remove to a colander and allow to drain for 5 minutes. Squeeze excess moisture from the spinach and chop.
9. In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
10. In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, milk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped spinach, green onions, dill, farro, lentils, parsley, tarragon, and lemon zest.
11. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, and mix until just combined..
12. Heat a nonstick pan, and add a small amount of olive oil. Make the pancakes by scooping ¼ cup amounts into the pan and cooking on medium heat until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook on the other side, about 3 minutes per side, so that both sides are a nice, even golden brown. Keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.
13. To Serve: Place 2 warm Pancakes on each plate. Top with the roasted tomatoes and juice, crumbled French Feta and a good pinch of microgreens. Finish with a sprinkle of smoked or plain sea salt. Serve immediately. Source: Adam Busby, as presented at the Menus of Change® Leadership Summit. Copyright The Culinary Institute of America 2016. All rights reserved.