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All the taste, none of the guilt

Monday, Jul. 28 | By Hannah Dellinger
Scrumptious healthy cherry cobbler.
Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Hannah Dellinger
It’s burger season. Cookouts mean buns, macaroni salad, coleslaw and apple pie. Tons of sugar, carbs and tempting treats are constantly paraded in front of you while you’re trying to maintain that beach bod that you worked so hard for before the heat came. Fauquier Friday has got your back with some healthy, all-natural, dairy-free, low-calorie and paleo-friendly takes on classic summer cook out eats.

Plantain bison burger
Here is a healthy take on the traditional burger. Instead of white bread buns filled with nothing but empty calories, try a delicious plantain bun. Instead of fatty hormone-filled beef burgers, try some flavorful lean bison burgers.

What you need:
For the buns:
A muffin tin
Seven to eight ounces of plantains, peeled
Two eggs
One tablespoon coconut oil
For the burgers:
Two pounds of ground bison
Spices of your choice

Cooking directions:
For the buns:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Peel your plantains and place them in the food processor.
Add the eggs and the coconut oil and blend until smooth.
Pour the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
Let the buns cool, and then take them out of the muffin tins and cut in half so that they are bun-shaped.

For the burger:
Mix in the seasoning to the raw bison meat in a large bowl.
Set your grill to 400 degrees.
Grill the patties, turning once until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, about 20 minutes.
Put the burger on your plantain buns and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Cheese-less spinach-artichoke dip
Everyone loves spinach and artichoke dip, but not everyone can enjoy dairy products. Try cutting out the fatty cheese and using cashew cream instead. You can make this tastely appetizer healthier by using cucumbers or other veggies to dip instead of chips or bread.

What you need:
Two 10 ounce boxes of frozen, chopped spinach
Two 14 ounce cans or jars of artichoke hearts
One tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
One small onion, diced
Two garlic cloves, minced
One and a half teaspoons of sea salt
One-teaspoon onion powder
One-half teaspoon garlic powder
One-half teaspoon black pepper
One-fourth teaspoon cayenne pepper
One tablespoon lemon juice
One cup raw cashews
One cup filtered water
Cucumbers or other dipping veggies

Cooking instructions:
Rinse the cashews and put in a covered bowl with the filtered water over night.
Drain the cashews, rinse and put in a food processor with one cup of filtered water.
Process on high for a few minutes, scraping the sides to make sure it blends evenly.
Once you have a creamy texture the cream is ready.
Defrost the spinach and drain the excess water.
Drain and chop the artichokes.
Sauté the onions in the olive oil until translucent, and then add the minced garlic, cooking for another minute.
Stir in the chopped artichokes, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne until all the ingredients are heated.
Add in the spinach and lemon juice and stir thoroughly.
Stir in the cashew cream.
Slice up your cucumber or other veggies to dip.

Scrumptious healthy cherry cobbler
Who ever said that dessert has to be unhealthy? Use the natural deliciousness of fruits to indulge your sweet tooth. Try cooking cobblers with healthy coconut and almond flour for more filling nutrients in your dish.

What you need:
For the filling:
Three cups of cherries, pitted and sliced
two teaspoons of almond extract
One-third cup of unsweetened coconut milk

For the topping:
One-fourth cup of chia seeds
One-fourth cup of almond flour
One-fourth cup of coconut flour
Two tablespoons of coconut oil
One tablespoon of water
One teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch of salt

Cooking directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the cherries, almond extract and coconut milk.
In another bowl combine all of the topping ingredients and mix well.
Pour the cherry filling into one large oven proof baking dish. 
Top the filling with the crumble mixture and bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool before serving.
Fauquier photo Cheese-less spinach-artichoke dip.
Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Hannah Dellinger

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