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Tuscan White Bean Stew
- 2 cups (about 1 pound) dried cannellini or other white beans. Rinsed, soaked overnight and drained
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, plus 6 sprigs
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, quartered
- 1 slice whole-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Over medium heat, warm olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and sauté for one-minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes to infuse garlic flavor before discarding.
- Return pan to medium heat and add bread cubes. Next, sauté for three to five minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.
- Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- In a pot, combine white beans, water, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce to low heat, cover partially and simmer for 60 to 75 minutes until beans are tender.
- Drain beans and save 1/2 cup of the liquid. Discard bay leaf. Place cooked beans into a large bowl and save cooking pot for later use.
- In a small bowl, combine the liquid and 1/2 cup of cooked beans. Mash with a fork to form a paste. Stir the bean paste into the cooked beans. Return the pot to stovetop and add olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat.
- Next, stir in onion and carrots, then sauté until carrots are tender and crisp, or about six to seven minutes. Add garlic and cook until softened, about one minute.
- Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, chopped rosemary, bean mixture and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to low heat. Simmer until the stew is heated, about five minutes.
- Ladle stew into bowls and sprinkle with croutons. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and serve immediately.
Greek Style Stuffed Peppers
- 1-pound lean ground beef
- 1 package of frozen chopped spinach (10 ounce), thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated, about 2 cups
- 1 small onion, minced, about 1 cup
- ½ cup bulgur
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, cored and ribs removed
- 2 cans of low-sodium stewed tomatoes (14.5 ounces), finely chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine beef, spinach, zucchini, onion, bulgur, egg, oregano, salt and a small amount of pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Place halved pepper face-up in 9x13-inch baking dish. Fill each pepper with meat mixture. Pour tomatoes over peppers and sprinkle with the feta cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until the mixture is completely cooked and peppers are tender.
Healthy Sicilian Cauliflower Rice
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 large head of cauliflower, separated into 1-inch florets
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds or shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 small cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Zest of ½ lemon
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- Soak raisins in warm water until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside
- Trim cauliflower florets, cutting away as much stem as possible. In three batches, divide florets into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once warmed, add onions and stir to coat. Continue cooking the onions (about six minutes), stirring frequently, until edges are golden and the onions have softened.
- Add in almonds, raisins, capers, garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Stir until almonds are golden, about 3 minutes. Add cauliflower to skillet and combine mixture.
- Next, add 1 teaspoon salt and continue to cook (about 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently, until the cauliflower has softened.
- Spoon cauliflower into a large serving bowl, garnish with parsley and season to taste with salt. Serve warm.