What’s Cookin’ at Rouse?

Sooooooo…it’s confession time.  We, the employees of the Rouse Center, are NOT perfectly healthy eaters.  I personally have a love of chocolate and eat chocolate every day.  No joke.  I have a sign in my kitchen at home that says, “I’d give up chocolate, but I’m no quitter!”  I take not quitting very seriously.

Now we’re not the worst eaters in the world either and I’m a big believer in moderation.  I love my fruits, veggies, and protein shakes, but I definitely don’t pass up delicious bread (hello, Wegmans!) or an amazing dessert when it’s offered to me.

I teamed up with Roxy, our Membership Director, and we’re bringing a few healthy recipes to you this month that we enjoy.  They are also a few more that you can whip up when you feel like indulging (in moderation 😊).  Enjoy!

Roxy came to the Rouse Center from Lifetime Fitness and was able to get some great recipes from them.  Here are three of her favorites:

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Cilantro

Makes 2 servings

Prep time: 20 minutes

2 cups cubed watermelon

1 tbs. chopped mint leaves

½ tbs. chopped cilantro

1 tbs. lime juice (freshly squeezed is best)

½ tsp. lime zest

½ tbs. algae oil (you may substitute olive oil)

¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

¼ tsp. fresh ground sea salt

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine watermelon, mint, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, algae oil, and black pepper together in a mixing bowl and gently toss. Mix in salt just prior to serving. Top with crumbled feta cheese.

Berry, Berry Delicious Spinach Salad with a Cayenne Vinaigrette Dressing

Makes 2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Salad Ingredients:

4 cups fresh spinach

½ cup raspberries / and or blackberries

½ cup blueberries

½ cup cherry tomatoes

¼ cup skinned and julienned jicama

¼ cup almond slices

¼ cup goat cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

¼ cup algae oil (olive may be substituted)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp fresh ground sea salt

¼ tsp of fresh black pepper

For Salad: Combine fresh spinach, all berries, cherry tomatoes, and jicama together in a mixing bowl and gently toss. Top with almond slices and goat cheese.

For Dressing: combine all ingredients and stir well. Top salad with desired amount of dressing.

Poached Salmon

Makes 2 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

3 cups cold water

1 tbs lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)

½ medium onion cut into quarters

½ stalk celery cut into 2-inch chunks

½ carrot cut into 2-inch chunks

1 bay leaf

5 peppercorns

2 sprigs parsley

Dash of fresh ground sea salt

2 6-oz. salmon filets

In a medium sauce pan large enough to have salmon lay in a single layer, combine water, lemon juice, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley and a dash of sea salt. Add the salmon to the poaching liquid so that it just covers the fish. Place pan on the burner and turn heat to a medium setting. The liquid should begin to just quiver. Do not bring to a boil. The proper poaching temperature should be between 160 – 180 degrees F. Once the liquid just begins to quiver, cover, and cook salmon approximately 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the salmon reads 115 degrees F. Place onto a plate and let the salmon rest for 5 minutes. Place on a plate, garnish with a lemon wheel, and serve with Berry, Berry Delicious Salad.

Paleo Chili

Fall weather is coming and I love chili on a crisp, cool fall day.  I got this recipe from a former coworker, Theresa Aberg.  It is my all-time favorite chili recipe!  It’s so easy to make and is healthy and delicious. – Kristen

1 ½ pounds ground beef

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons oil

1 ½ cups onion, diced, about 1 large onion

½ cup chopped celery, about 1 stalk

1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and diced, about 4 medium carrots

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

4 cups zucchinis, diced, about 2-3 medium zucchinis

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes

In your seasoned skillet or 5-6 quart large cast iron pot, brown beef and garlic. Cook over medium heat until beef is thoroughly cooked and browned. Drain off excess fat, set aside.

Add oil, onions, celery, carrots, and seasonings to the skillet and cook until translucent over medium-high heat, about 5-7 minutes. Once onions are golden and veggies are midway cooked, add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, making sure you stir everything well.

Add cooked beef, tomato puree/sauce, and tomatoes into the pot and stir well. Bring everything to a boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Check on the amazing mixture every so often and stir. Serve immediately.

This is a very thick chili recipe. Add up to 1 cup of additional liquid (tomato sauce or water) to thin out the sauce if you prefer.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Prep time: 15 minutes

*This is one of my family’s FAVORITE quick breads and it’s perfect for fall.  I do adjust this recipe by substituting half of the vegetable oil with unsweetened applesauce and I don’t use the full 3 cups of sugar because it’s a LOT of sugar!  I cut it down to about 2 ¼ cups and it comes out just fine.  I also usually throw in a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips! – Kristen

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups white sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.  Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake

* I don’t have time to bake a cake from scratch very often, but when I do, this is my go-to recipe!  It comes out perfect every time! – Kristen

  1. For cake:
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup boiling water
  2. For “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting:
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. Make the cake:
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
    2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed of an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Pour batter into prepared pans.
    3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting.
  4. Make the “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting:
    1. Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
    2. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

One-Pan (Sheet) Cake Variation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost.



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