Basic Risotto with Seasonal Variations

Risotto is the perfect canvas for seasonal produce. And, it’s easy to make once you’ve got the routine down. In the spring, make Asparagus & Morel Risotto. In summer, stir in arugula & cooked shrimp. For the fall, add cooked butternut squash & rosemary. In winter, serve Raddiccio & Pancetta Risotto.

_Be creative.

Basmati Pilaf with Cashews and Raisins

From “Better Eating for Life, Step Nine: Put Protein in its Place”

Serves 4

  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 3 Tbs. cashews, chopped
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed with cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups water, boiling
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
    2 scallions, sliced thin

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Swiss Chard and Quinoa

Peppers_bell.jpg

From Better Eating For Life, Step One: Eat Whole Grains

Serves 4

  • 5 large red bell peppers
  • ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 10 ounces Swiss Chard or other fresh greens, shredded (8 cups)
  • ¼ cup chopped
  • fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Berry Fruity High-Calcium Bread Pudding

From Better Eating For Life, Step Seven: Got Calcium?”

Serves 8

  • 4 slices 100% whole-wheat bread, cut into
  • 1/4-inch cubes, divided
  • 2 cups blueberries, divided (Other fresh, frozen or drained, chopped, canned fruit can also be used. If using frozen fruit, let thaw in refrigerator or microwave lightly to defrost.)
  • 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese, divided
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 6 large egg whites or 3/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 cup low fat blueberry yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Best Bean Nachos

From Better Eating for Life, Step Six: Nibble Your Way to Great Nutrition

Serves 4 (2 large nachos per serving)

  • 2 large low-fat flour tortillas, cut into quarters
  • 1 15-oz. can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned no salt tomatoes, drained or
  • 1 cup fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Black Bean Soup with Mango Salsa

3 teaspoons olive oil
4 bacon slices, diced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups broth
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rice, cooked

Mango Salsa
1 mango, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
sour cream, optional

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon, onion and garlic; saute until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.

Black Olive Jam Clafoutis

Clafoutis aux olives noires confites

Clafoutis is a tender batter cake from the French Limousin countryside traditionally prepared with very dark cherries.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Black-eyed Pea and Cabbage Slaw

Black-eyed peas are a traditional New Year’s food, signifying good luck. Try this recipe instead of the more typical Hoppin’ John for your New Year’s Day buffet.

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 parsley sprigs plus 1 cup minced parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup drained bottled horseradish
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • a 2 1/2- to 3-pound cabbage, coarsely grated (about 10 cups)
  • 6 carrots, coarsely grated (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced scallion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

Bleu Cheese Waldorf Salad

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup grated yellow onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
2 cups diced sweet red apples, such as Fireside
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup walnut pieces, broken
1 head butter lettuce, cored and leaves separated

Blissful Grilled Bananas

Grilled bananas are the perfect accompaniment to the tropical flavors of Coconut Bliss. Try this recipe with Vanilla Island, Dark Chocolate, Naked Coconut or Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge….

2 bananas (slightly under-ripe)
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs freshly ground cinnamon
2 tbs honey
Coconut Bliss (ice “cream”), for serving
Rum, Bourbon, or Chocolate Sauce, for drizzling

Get the fire going on the grill.

Meanwhile, slice the bananas lengthwise, in their skins.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.