A Healthy Meal Plan a Man Can Get Behind

Four top chefs dish on clean (but delicious!) eating

By The Editors

A Healthy Meal Plan a Man Can Get Behind
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19 January 2016

You can’t eat foie gras nightly. Nor steaks. Nor steaks covered in foie gras.

Well, at least if you want to live to tell about it.

So in the spirit of that whole “New Year, New You” credo, we hit up four of our favorite health-conscious chefs for recipes that any man can manage. From açai bowls to a homemade sushi salad to L.A.’s best south-of-the-border soup, here are your marching orders.

The Ultimate Acai Bowl
Courtesy of Beaming Cafe

This signature organic açai bowl is loaded with superfoods, protein and essential vitamins. It includes Beaming’s plant-based Superfood Protein Blend and unlike most açai bowls, they use unsweetened homemade almond milk instead of apple juice to keep sugar intake low and your energy high. If you can’t find it at your local health food store, make your own by blending one cup of nuts (almonds, cashews) with two cups of water, then strain through a cheesecloth.

1 packet frozen açai (preferably unsweetened)
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp coconut butter
1/2 cup banana
1/2 cup blueberries
2-3 tablespoons Beaming Organic Raw Plant Based Superfood Protein Blend (with or without Greens)

Blend açai packet, almond milk, protein powder and coconut butter on a low setting until smooth. Add banana and blueberries and blend on high speed until smooth. Add sliced banana and berries of choice on top, a drizzle of raw organic honey and your favorite granola. Pro tip: throw a superfood topper like hemp seed, bee pollen, raw cacao or coconut flakes on there for an extra boost.
Gracias Madre Pozole
Courtesy of Chef Chandra Gilbert, Gracias Madre

Next up is a bowl of Pozole from Gracias Madre, a vegan restaurant in San Francisco and Los Angeles that’ll make even the most staunch red-meat enthusiast go weak at the knees. The hominy tastes like corn but it’s actually a bean, so if you add a side of steamed brown rice, you’ll have all the protein you need but none of the cholesterol, fat and carcinogens that attend more meat-positive dishes.

4 large dried ancho chiles (2 ounces), wiped clean and stemmed
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tsp agave
1/8 tsp ground cloves
6 cups water, divided
1 29-ounce can organic white hominy (also labeled pozole and mote blanco), rinsed and drained
Freshly ground black pepper

Accompaniments: Shredded cabbage, julienned radishes, avocado, cilantro, chopped onion, additional dried oregano (preferably Mexican) and lime wedges

Slit chiles open and remove seeds and veins. Heat a flat griddle or dry heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat until hot, then toast the chiles, opened flat, two at a time. Press them down and turn using a pair of tongs until fragrant and the insides change color (about 1 minute). Put chiles in a bowl with cold water to cover and let soak until soft, about 20 minutes.

While chiles are soaking, cook onion in oil in a 5-6 quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden (15 to 20 minutes). Transfer chiles with tongs to a blender (discard soaking water) and add garlic, cider vinegar, cumin, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, agave, cloves and 1 cup water. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add chili purée to pot and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add remaining 5 cups water, hominy,  and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until hominy is tender (about 20 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve the stew, surround it with small bowls of the accompaniments and let the guests garnish their servings as they wish.

Note: Like all stews, the flavor of pozole improves as it stands. It will be even better if made a day ahead of serving.

Sashimi Salad with Soy and Orange
Courtesy of Chef Curtis Stone, Maude

Super-healthy and light on the loins, this salad brings it. Ask your local market for sushi-grade salmon — it’s pretty easy to find these days and the freshness will be guaranteed. Once you have the salmon, the hard work is done.

Make-ahead: The vinaigrette and orange segments can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead, covered separately and refrigerated. Let the vinaigrette stand at room temperature for 15 minutes and re-whisk before using.

4 oranges
1 lime
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
6 cups mâche (lamb’s lettuce) leaves
2 cups frisée lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
7 ounces sushi-grade salmon, skin removed
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

To prepare the dressing:

Grate the zest of 1 orange and the lime into a large bowl. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice from the grated orange and 2 tablespoons of juice from the grated lime into the bowl (you may need a second lime to get the 2 tablespoons of juice). Whisk in the soy sauce and oil. Set the dressing aside. Segment the remaining 3 oranges.

To prepare the salad:

Use a sharp knife to slice the rind and pith from the remaining oranges. Working over a mixing bowl, cut between the membranes to free the orange segments, letting them drop into the bowl. Pour any juice into a cup and reserve it for later use. Add the mache, frisée and cucumbers to the orange segments.

Using a large sharp knife, cut the salmon into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Add the salmon to the bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss gently to coat. Allow the flavors to settle for at least 2 minutes.

Divide the salad among 4 serving plates. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve.

Chindian Chicken Soup
Courtesy of Chef Akasha Richmond, Sāmbār

Last up: an “Chindian” Chicken Soup by Chef Akasha Richmond at Sāmbār. This one’s ideal for a Sunday dinner that won’t have you groaning come Monday morning.

For the broth:
1 1/2 quarts homemade or packaged chicken broth
2 medium onions, skin on, cut into quarters
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, smashed and sliced
1-inch piece fresh turmeric, grated on a fine microplane grater
2 pieces star anise
2 cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp whole black pepper
2 cardamom pods, lightly smashed
1/2 cup sliced carrots
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

To finish the soup:
1 cup chopped fresh bok choy or green cabbage
6-8 ounces cooked chicken, dark or white meat, shredded (leftover roasted chicken is ideal)
1 1/2 cups cooked white basmati or brown rice (optional)
1/2 cup bean sprouts
2 green onions, sliced into thin rings
1 red fresno chile, sliced into thin rings
Sriracha or Chinese chile sauce
Fresh mint and cilantro leaves

Place the onion and ginger on an oiled baking sheet. Brush the onion and ginger lightly with oil. Place under the broiler and “char” on each side (5-8 minutes a side). Place the chicken stock in a stock pan and add the onions, ginger and turmeric. Tie the star anise, cloves, coriander seeds, black pepper and cardamom in a spice bag or cheesecloth and place in pot. Bring the stock to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes.

Remove the onions, ginger and spice bag. Add the carrots and cook 10 more minutes. Season the stock with salt and pepper. Add the bok choy, chicken and rice to the stock, just to heat through. If the rice is omitted, use a larger amount of chicken. Serve in bowls and garnish with bean sprouts, green onion, chile, hot sauce, limes, fresh mint and cilantro.

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