Springfield chefs Michael Higgins (Maldaner’s Restaurant) and Augie Mrozowski (Augie’s Front Burner and American Harvest Eatery) served up healthy, seasonal and affordable dishes Sept. 13 to nearly 150 community members during Memorial’s “Healthy Eating on a Budget” program, co-sponsored by Memorial Medical Center and Friends of Memorial. Below are some of recipes they shared:
Chef Higgins’ dishes centered on the versatile and affordable winter squash, particularly butternut squash. His butternut squash soup, quinoa with grapes and squash, and black bean and squash salad created a colorful spread.
Winter Squash Soup – Ingredients
Please note: this soup can be used with almost any type of winter squash.
- 1 medium to large butternut squash (about 3.5 pounds), halved and seeded
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter or vegetable oil
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 4 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- Bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, croutons or baked squash seeds.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake the squash on an oiled baking sheet for one hour or until squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Let cool, then scoop pulp from the squash skins, discarding skins.
In a soup pot, melt butter (or heat oil) over medium-low heat. Add in onions, ginger, bay leaves and thyme. Stir until tender but not browned – about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the squash, along with 4 cups of stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and breaking up the squash with a spoon, for about 20 minutes. Puree until smooth. Return to the pot and stir in 2 cups of stock and 1 ½ tsp salt. Heat through.
Chef Augie’s dishes — Couscous with a Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette and Healthy Egg Pie — featured low-fat, nutrient-rich ingredients that are easily accessible and big on flavor. Augie said he cooks with couscous frequently because of its versatility.
Couscous with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette – Ingredients
- 1 cup uncooked couscous
- 1 ¼ cup chicken broth
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 8 green onions, chopped
- 1 small cucumber, diced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro or mint, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
Bring broth to boil in large sauce pan. Stir in couscous. Cover pan, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, cucumber and cilantro or mint. Toss to coat. Fluff couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add vegetable mixture and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Healthy Egg Pie – Ingredients:
- 1 frozen pastry shell such as Wholly Wholesome brand
- 2 ½ tsp olive oil, divided
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 (5-ounce) package prewashed baby spinach
- ½ tsp salt, divided
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 (4-ounce) package assorted mushrooms
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
- 1 cup plain soy milk or milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 375. Bake pastry shell in pie or quiche pan for 10-12 minutes or until browned. Remove shell from over, set aside. Leave oven on.
Heat 1¼ tsp oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add shallots. Add spinach and cook 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Add ¼ tsp salt and a dash of pepper. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Using the same pan, heat the remaining oil and cook mushrooms for about 6 minutes or until browned on both sides. Remove from heat. Season with remaining ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup Parmesan over bottom of pastry crust. Top with spinach and mushrooms. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk or soy milk with egg and egg whites. Pour into shell. Top with remaining Parmesan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until top is firm and golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve.
Chef Augie prepares his Healthy Egg Pie