Another successful turkey day behind me and already I look forward to creating the next amazing feast. This, of course, must be broken up with some healthier meal choices and trips to the gym. Personally I like to turn my attention toward simple and low fat dishes that still leave me satisfied and not running to the kitchen for a late night snack.
There are lots of great recipes that are also very good for you and this week I want to share one of my favorites with you. Sometimes when making this recipe I will use kale, collard greens, mustard greens, or what ever I have if the beets available don’t have greens attached. Cabbage is also a lovely addition to this soup. You can also add or replace a portion of the beets with other root vegetables such as parsnips, celery root, rutabagas, turnips, or any kind of potato. Remember recipes are only a rough guideline; you can always change out ingredients to suite your tastes or dietary restrictions or preferences. Enjoy!
Borscht with Sausage
1/2 pound lean turkey sausage, sliced 1/2 inch (you can use any kind of sausage you like)
1 pound beets, scrubbed and diced 1/2 inch
3-4 cups beet tops, chopped (you can substitute any kind of green or cabbage)
2 large carrots, peeled chopped 1/2 inch
2 ribs celery, chopped 1/2 inch
1 medium sweet onion, rough chopped 1/2 inch
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 quarts chicken or vegetable stock (recipe follows. You can use canned also)
2 sprigs chopped, fresh thyme
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh dill
Sour cream for garnish (plain yogurt of any kind also works)
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large soup pot over medium heat brown the sausage in the olive oil then remove the sausage from the pan and set it aside. Add garlic, onion, and a pinch of salt cook until the onions start turning translucent; about 3-5 minutes. Add beets, carrots, beet tops or greens/cabbage, celery, and stock (as much as needed to cover, you can always add more) and bring it up to a simmer. Continue to cook at a simmer until the vegetables are fork tender; about 20 minutes. Add in the cooked sausage, dill, thyme, and vinegar and cook an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with sour cream or plain yogurt and more fresh dill, if desired.
1 large chicken quartered (free-range organic) rinsed well * If you are making vegetable stock you can add 1 large turnip, in place of the chicken
2 carrots, cut in 2 inch segments (double for vegetable stock)
3 celery stalks, cut in 2 inch segments (double for vegetable stock)
2 large white onions quartered (add one large leek cleaned and rough chopped for vegetable stock)
3-4 cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and cover with approximately 3 quarts of cold water, or until the ingredients are just covered. Dimensions of the pot and the size of your chicken may effect this and so the amount of water needed to cover may vary. It is important that the ingredients are floating slightly. Bring the stock up to a gentle simmer over medium heat making sure not to boil it. As it cooks, skim the foam that rise to the surface with a large serving spoon or a shallow ladle. Add a little water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering. Simmer the stock until the chicken is cooked through (about 30 minutes) then turn it off and allow it to cool for an additional 15 minutes. Once the stock has cooled you can skin the fat and remaining impurities from the top.
Move the chicken carefully to a large flat container such as a casserole dish or cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, hand-shred the meat into a storage container for later use discarding the skin and bones.
Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot or large heat-proof container. You could strain the stock directly into your soup pot. If you are not using the stock immediately you should place the container in a sink full of ice water until it is cool enough to store in the fridge or freeze. I like to freeze mine in re-used plastic take-out containers that you get from many Thai and Pho restaurants. If you do this, you should only fill them about 2/3 as the liquid will expand as it freezes.
Eating healthy is a very important part of being a Foodie. It allows us to indulge on occasion and not have to worry about it. This week I have searched Brown Paper Tickets for some great events to help you be healthy and happy. Best wishes to you all until next time!
Saturday, December 1st
Paddles and Pairings – Wilmington, North Carolina
Tuesday, December 18th
Health Topics – Q & A – Santa Cruz, California
Friday, January 11th
Liquid Feast – New York, New York
Sunday, January 13th
Freestyle Swim Clinic with former WSU Swim Coach and Social at Boundary Bay – Bellingham, Washington
Tuesday January 15th
Knife Skills, Food Handling and Healthy Recipes Workshop – Mt. Holly, New Jersey
Wednesday, January 23rd
Healthy Starts: Breakfast Basics – San Francisco, California