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Beth Dooley talks healthier eating

The James Beard Award winning author shows how to add more good for you foods to daily eating.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — We all need a boost this time of year so it’s great to try and figure out how to get more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plant based proteins into our diets. In fact, many of these foods are locally produced. James Beard Award winning cookbook author and Chef, Beth Dooley breaks it all down.

Blue Foods! Pantone has declared Classic Blue the color of the year and blue is also the color of health!

Elderberries and blueberries, two of the healthiest fruits because they are packed with antioxidants (immune system boosters, show to support brain function), loaded with vitamin c … plus, absolutely delicious!!!! And flowers!!! For teas and smoothies.

Blue sweet potatoes (a Japanese variety that grows in Minnesota and Wisconsin)

Local Whole Grains! 

The local Artisan Grain movement is a natural extension of the local food movement. If you’re interested in sourcing local foods for flavor and nutrition AND sustainability, then it makes sense to work more whole grains into your diet. Barley, oats, rye, buckwheat are also shown to be especially great heart healthy foods.

Legumes & Beans!

It’s not about cutting out meat … it’s about eating the BEST meat — that is meat from grass fed animals that is hight in Omega 3s (heart healthy) and CLA (great for brain function) … AND about sourcing protein from plants!!! — Black beans, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas — terrific in soups, stews, pilafs, curries, etc.

Fresh Flours

Freshly milled flour from local grains — heritage wheat, rye, corn, and oats — tastes better and because it’s fresh, contains more of the nutrients. Find these at the local coops in the bulk section.

VEGGIE CURRY STEW

Serves 4 to 6

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic. minced

1 tablespoons good curry powder, or more to taste

1 can (15 ounces) canned coconut milk

1 small sweet potato, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 cups cooked or canned chick peas, rinsed

½ teaspoon hot sauce, i.e. Siracha, or more to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice or more to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Chopped fresh mint for garnish

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium and sauté in the onion, ginger, and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a minute or two, then stir in the coconut milk and the sweet potatoes. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, crushing a few of them lightly with the back of a fork. Continue simmering until the liquid thickens and reaches the desired consistency. Season to taste with hot sauce, lime juice and salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped mint and cilantro before serving.