In This Issue:
Special Edition: Holiday Recipes
Green Onion Pancakes
Gordon’s Matzo Ball Soup
CHAD MORRIS, Ph.D., Director
What better way to treat both body and soul than enjoying culinary treats. During the holiday season, it is a tradition for our team to share holiday recipes that are not only delicious but personally meaningful. As I write this introduction, a light snow is falling in Colorado, and I find each recipe’s back story to be warming. We hope you enjoy these gastronomic gifts. We can’t wrap them up and put them under a Christmas tree, but you can easily put them in your own pots and pans. As we near the year’s end, we wish you the very best, and hope you are able to enjoy many a meal with family and friends (whether human or furry). Let the cooking and eating begin!
Registration is open for several BHWP trainings!
[WEBINAR] The Clinical Edge: Vaping, Juul, and Cessation: December 17, 2019
DIMENSIONS: Tobacco Free Program Advanced Techniques: January 8 – 9, 2020
Rocky Mountain Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training Program: May 11 – 14, 2020
CHRISTINE GARVER-APGAR, Ph.D., Research & Evaluation Director
As the days get shorter and my family and I finally surrender to the arrival of winter, we love this traditional, non-alcoholic spiced hot cider to perk us up and remind us that the holidays are just around the corner. I make it on the stove (although you could use a slow cooker), and it makes the whole house smell delicious. I like to serve wassail while we are decorating the house. This year, I might hold a steaming hot mug of wassail hostage from my teenager in exchange for her participation during “Family Holiday-themed Jigsaw Puzzle Night!” (Hey, I’m not above it.)
- 2 quarts apple cider
- 2 cups orange juice
- 4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
- ½ – ¾ cups lemon juice
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg or ½ teaspoon ground cloves (or a little of both)
- ¼ cup of honey
Simmer together 1-3 hours.
Try to use the apple cider that you buy in the produce section – the one that has all the sediment at the bottom. This drink is best if you let it simmer for at least an hour or longer, depending on how rich you like it. The longer it simmers, the more it will cook down, becoming increasingly rich and tart. After a couple of hours, a little of this goes a long way! You can easily make this into an alcoholic cocktail with the addition of your favorite liquor. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated.
Green Onion Pancakes
CINDY MORRIS, Psy.D., Clinical Director
As a young girl, I often set my intention to wake in the early hours to spend time alone with my father. On the weekdays, I kept him company as he prepared for work. On the weekends, I sat in the kitchen as he prepared our breakfast. In these quiet early hours when my mom and two sisters were still asleep, I was assured to have him all to myself. My father, a gentle and giving soul, who to this day speaks few words, expresses his love though action. Ever attentive to our needs, he prepared creative meals, grew fresh fruits and vegetables in our garden, and devised a solution to any problem. An engineer by trade, he loves to tinker. While aesthetics is not his strength, his focus is on function, often making things up as he goes along. And so, this is how it came to be that he created his version of the green onion pancake. Instead of making a dough, he developed a shortcut using flour tortillas. While you’ll never find this recipe in a Chinese cookbook, to this day, it a family favorite.
- 9 flour tortillas, 8”
- 1 ½ cups green onion, cut to ¼” pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt, fine
- 1 egg
- ½ cup of self-rising flour (or ½ cup all-purpose flour mixed with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon baking powder)
- Water, as needed
- 3 cups avocado oil (for frying)
Combine green onions, salt, egg, flour, and water together in a bowl until it forms a thick paste. Spread the green onion mixture on one side of a tortilla. Place a second tortilla on top and spread a second layer of green onion mixture. Place the third tortilla on top and press to adhere the tortillas with the green onion mixture sandwiched in between. Repeat this process with the rest of the tortillas. Makes three large pancakes.
Heat the cooking oil using medium high heat. When the oil is hot (375°F), place the pancake gently in the hot oil. Spin the pancake occasionally while frying for even color and heat. Using two tongs, turn the pancake over when the bottom side turns a golden brown. Remove the pancake when both sides are a golden brown. Place on a plate lined with paper towels and fry the other two pancakes. When done, cut pancakes into 8 pieces and enjoy! Dip into garlic chili and soy sauces, to taste.
Gordon’s Matzo Ball Soup
KATHIE GARRETT, M.A., Clinical Associate
Back in the 1970’s my husband worked briefly as a delivery person for a locally renowned kosher butcher. One of Gordon’s lifetime passions has been to reproduce from memory and experimentation his favorite dishes served at neighborhood eateries and community gatherings. Because we grew up in an East Coast city rich in ethnic diversity, my husband had many opportunities to expand his multicultural culinary intuitions and skills. While working for the kosher butcher, Gordon mastered two traditional Jewish meals that have continued to bloom perennially on our winter menu: slow cooked holiday brisket with potato latkes and matzo ball soup. Our annual Christmas Eve dinner has often included both, but it is with particular pleasure that I share this matzo ball soup recipe. It is guaranteed to cure the common cold, warm you to the tips of your toes, and bring a big smile to your face. Just as with all homemade chicken soup recipes, the first and most important ingredient in this soup is LOVE.
- 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 6 celery stalks, peeled and sliced
- 2 medium turnips, cubed
- 1 yellow onion, rinsed and quartered
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pinch cumin
- 2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 1 packet Manischewitz® Matzo Ball mix
- 8 cups chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cut carrots, celery, turnips, and onion on a metal sheet pan, toss with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, a pinch of cumin, and kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Roast in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until brown, mixing halfway to ensure even browning. When vegetables have finished roasting, remove from oven and set aside.
While vegetables are roasting, prepare matzo balls. With a fork, beat egg whites together in a medium glass bowl—tilt the bowl to one side and “pull” whites up and beat until frothy—then incorporate yolks. Beat together until light yellow and bubbly. Add remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and whip again until fully incorporated and bubbly. Add packet of matzo ball mix and stir just until combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Combine 6 cups chicken broth and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add cooked shredded chicken, bay leaves, and saffron threads. Remove matzo ball mix from the refrigerator, form into balls with hands about the size of a ping-pong ball, about 8. Drop into broth, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Uncover and add remaining 2 cups of chicken broth and roasted vegetables. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Before eating, remove bay leaves and add salt, pepper, parsley, and lemon juice to taste!
ASHLEY KAYSER, M.S., Research Associate
I am a fan of winter. Well, more specifically, I am a fan of snowstorms. I love how the city slows down (a little) when covered in a white security blanket, our fireplace returns to duty, and there’s nothing like the pure joy of an 8-year old dog unleashing her inner puppy at the sight of an unbroken field of freshly fallen snow. I recently injured my back (incidentally, from doing yardwork – guess what you don’t have to do in the winter?), coinciding with our first “real” snow. Not only could I not head out with the dog, I couldn’t even shuffle into the kitchen to indulge in another benefit of the colder weather: putting a comforting, warming pot of something on the stove. Now that I am vertical again, and we have another brief taste of winter in between 70-degree days, I am taking advantage by preparing a hearty minestrone soup. I like starting with dried beans as I think they have better flavor and texture. (Plus, it’s a great way to put that Instant Pot to use – no time? Pressure cook them!) The whole point of minestrone soup is to use up leftover or seasonal vegetables, so deploy whatever you have on hand or simply prefer. As is almost always the case (and especially with minestrone), modify as desired. Want a more intense flavor? Add some tomato paste with the aromatics. The pot of thyme you brought inside during that pre-freeze yardwork? Add a sprig while simmering.
- 1-1½ cups dried white beans such as Great Northern, picked over and rinsed
- 1/4 pound pancetta, prosciutto, or bacon, chopped (omit for vegetarian version)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or less, depending on meat used)
- 1 onion or leek, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4-5 cups chicken (or veggie) broth or stock
- ½ pound potatoes, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 28-ounce can tomatoes with liquid – if whole, crush with your hand
- Chunk of Parmesan rind, optional (don’t toss those Parmesan rinds – keep them in the freezer for just these occasions)
- 2 bay leaves
- Some combination of: zucchini, green beans, peas, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, and/or leafy greens – diced as required
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs such as parsley & basil, bread, and/or croutons as garnish
Soak beans in enough water to cover them by 2 inches overnight, or quick-soak them by bringing water to a boil and then resting. Drain and re-cover beans with water and simmer, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes, or until they are tender. (Or, skip all this and pre-cook in your Instant Pot).
In your soup pot of choice, sauté pork in oil over moderate heat, stirring until crisp. Add onion or leek, and cook, stirring, until softened. Add carrot, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes. Add beans, broth, potatoes, tomatoes and juices, Parmesan rind, bay leaves, and a large pinch of salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are softened, about 20 minutes. Begin to add your other vegetables in order necessary to cook through, adding more broth as necessary. (Be careful not to overcook at this point, as this soup can be even better as leftovers, but no one likes mushy vegetables). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the soup with grated Parmesan, fresh herbs of choice, and bread or croutons.
SHAWN SMITH, M.A., M.B.A., Web Development & Marketing Specialist
I’ve always loved cranberry sauce. It’s the underdog of the holiday meal, standing alone as the bright, acidic flavor to balance the many rich and savory tastes. So much time and effort go into the preparation and cooking of these other dishes that little thought is given to the lowly cranberry sauce, often downgraded to a store-bought tube of cranberry jelly that slowly ‘schloops’ its way out of its can.
You may ask, “How can I add another thing to my prep list? I’m at capacity!” No worries, my friend, as making your own homemade cranberry sauce could not be simpler. It involves a total of 3 ingredients, a single saucepan, and a mere 15 minutes of your time.
- 12 ounces (1 bag) fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
In a medium saucepan, add both the sugar and orange juice. Cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse the cranberries under cool water, and then add to the saucepan. Cook until the cranberries begin to pop (my favorite part), about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let mixture cool for 5 minutes. Pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate bowl at least 6 hours to allow the mix to properly thicken. Bon appétit!