Comfort Food Made Healthy
Chef Shannon Rivera
As temperatures start to cool, ailment we settle into comfort food season – a time where we crave warm, discount hearty food reminiscent of home. Usually this cuisine carries a negative connotation when it comes to health, but C2 Restaurant in the InterContinental Suites Hotel Cleveland makes it possible to indulge in your favorite comfort foods without guilt.
C2 offers a number of Go! Foods menu items approved by the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Go! Foods contain less saturated and trans fats, sugar and sodium, which will leave you feeling great about what you’re eating. Plus, C2’s Mediterranean-inspired menu is made with fresh and healthy produce — some of which is picked from our very own vegetable and herb garden
For the fall and winter, we take hearty helpings of fresh carrot, onion, garlic, spinach, rosemary and cannellini beans and simmer into a warm, savory Tuscan White Bean Soup that is filling, yet surprisingly good for you. You can prepare this soup in larger batches at home, then freeze and store. When you’re ready to eat, just heat and top with fresh, shaved parmesan for a warm and welcoming weeknight meal.
Remember that there are tons of great cool-weather vegetables to incorporate into your fall diet including carrots, winter squash, greens and even cauliflower. They say comfort food is good for the soul; by using fresh produce and reducing additives like sugar and sodium – whether it’s here at C2 or in your own home – it’s also good for your health.
Shannon Rivera is the chef at C2 Restaurant at the InterContinental Suites Hotel in Cleveland. About C2: C2 is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers complimentary valet parking. For reservations, contact C2 at 216-707-4054, or visit http://www.c2restaurant.com.
TUSCAN WHITE BEAN SOUP
From C2 Chef Shannon Rivera (recipe adapted for home use)
Yield: 4 Servings
Total time: 45 Minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup water
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
1-2 fresh thyme sprigs
8 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved
- Heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add water, vegetable broth, rosemary, cannellini beans and thyme. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat. Simmer 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and carrot; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrot is tender. Stir in red pepper, black pepper, salt and vinegar.
- Ladle hot soup into bowls. Top with fresh, shaved Parmesan.