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1/17 Mediterranean Diet
Recipe of the Month

Welcome to Recipe of the Month, a feature of the Bergen County Department of Health Service. Each month, a new healthy recipe is introduced.  Preparation for most is quick and easy enough for a weekday dinner!  Healthy eating can be fun and delicious!

Be sure to visit the archives of features from previous weeks

The month of January we are highlighting recipes that fit in the Mediterranean Diet

This heart-healthy diet is a healthy eating plan based on typical foods and recipes of Mediterranean-style cooking. Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease and been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s as well as cardiovascular diseases.  
Learn more about the Mediterranean diet here: 

January 2017-  Navy Bean and Escarole Stew with Feta and Olives

Navy BeanIngredients:
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, divided
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dried navy beans, soaked overnight, drained
  • 8 ounces feta, preferably in brine, brine reserved, cheese crumbled
  • 4 large sprigs basil, plus leaves for serving
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted, torn
  • 1 head of escarole, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 (1-inch–thick) slices country-style bread

  • Slice 1 garlic clove in half crosswise and set aside; smash remaining garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife.
  • Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Cook smashed garlic, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add onion and fennel and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and fennel and onion are browned around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Add lemon zest, rosemary, and 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until rosemary is very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add bay leaves, beans, feta brine (if using; anywhere between 1/2–1 cup is fine), a couple generous pinches of salt, and 8 cups water and bring to a simmer. Partially cover pot, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer stew until beans are creamy and tender all the way through, 60–70 minutes.
  • Add basil sprigs and olives to stew, then add escarole in batches, letting wilt slightly before adding more; simmer just until escarole is tender, about 3 minutes. (If stew is too thick, add more water to reach desired consistency.) Stir in lemon juice; taste and season with more salt if needed. Pluck out bay leaves; partially cover pot and keep stew warm over low while you make the toast.
  • Heat broiler. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. oil total over both sides of bread and place on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Broil until bread is golden and toasted, about 2 minutes per side. Let cool slightly, then rub with the cut sides of reserved garlic clove.
  • To serve, slice toast in half and divide among shallow bowls; ladle stew over. Top with feta, basil leaves, and more red pepper flakes and drizzle with oil.

Yields: Approximately 8 

Nutrition:(Per serving)
Calories- 361
Carbohydrates- 44 g
Fat- 13 g
Protein- 21 g
Sodium- 385 mg
Fiber- 10 g
Find the original recipe here: 

January 2017- Cauliflower "Couscous" with Dried Fruit and Almonds

Rice Cous Cous

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced dried apricots

  • Toast almonds in a large dry skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out skillet.
  • Meanwhile, working in batches if needed, pulse cauliflower in a food processor fitted with blade, or grate using the largest holes of a box grater until rice-like in texture (you should have about 4 cups).
  • Whisk broth and honey together in a small bowl.
  • Heat oil in same skillet over medium-high. Add cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately add cauliflower and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until cauliflower is softened, 3–5 minutes. Add broth mixture, currants, and apricots; stir to combine. Cover and continue to cook until just tender, 3–5 minutes more.
  • Transfer cauliflower mixture to a serving platter and stir in half of almonds. Top with remaining almonds before serving.

Yields: 6-8

Nutrition:(Per serving) 
Calories- 162
Carbohydrates- 23 g 
Fat- 7 g 
Protein- 5 g 
Sodium- 315 mg 
Fiber- 5 g 

Find the original recipe here: