Clean Eating Bison Stroganoff and Fish Fritters

Clean Eating Magazine is a great source of inspiration for healthy versions of recipes, however I wish they had more of their recipes and reviews online.

Cooking Light, another food magazine, has all of their recipes listed on their website in an easy to use recipe finder. Their readers are very active in reviewing those recipes, making it a great source for finding opinions and suggestions.

If you visit the Clean Eating recipe finder, you’ll notice that they only have select recipes available, and their readers are not as active in reviewing. I’m not sure if CE worries that if they post all their recipes people won’t buy their magazine? I do not find that to be true! I read the magazines, but also like to be able to look up recipes online. For example, if I am leaving work I might want to do a quick search for a recipe for dinner so that I can stop at the market on the way home. More often than not, I cannot find the recipes I am looking for and end up frustrated.

I think that CE can learn a lot from CL in the way they share their entire database of recipes, and the way they display the reviews right on the page (not behind a tab). I also dislike how CE lets you rate a recipe but not review it. I firmly believe in constructive criticism, and when I just see a rating of 1 star (or 4 stars), I want to know WHY someone rated it as such. With no written reviews, it is hard to know what went wrong, or what was great about it.

I hope that CE focuses more on enhancing their online recipe database and presentation. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to review any Clean Eating recipes that I make, right here on my blog. Hopefully this will help a few people out there who are curious about a recipe and like do read reviews as much as I do.

Let’s get started with a few recent meals.

Bison (Beef) Stroganoff  – Clean Eating October 2011

Clean Eating Bison Stroganoff

I made the bison stroganoff recipe using beef tenderloin instead. This was delicious! With beef, baby portobello mushrooms, red onion, garlic and fresh baby spinach – this was a nutritious spin on a classic comfort food. The cream sauce was made from 3 simple ingredients: nonfat plain Greek yogurt, evaporated milk and dijon mustard. Mr. Nine made a side of cottage cheese protein mashed potatoes to go along with it and to soak up any extra sauce.

One thing that surprised me, and I should have known since this was a “stroganoff” dish, was that the picture in the magazine does not look like the real thing!

CE Bison Stroganoff Magazine Photo

In the photo you can see all the pretty colors of the ingredients, and the food stylist “hid” the cream sauce in little dollops along the edge of the plate. In the recipe instructions you add the cream sauce to the entire skillet of ingredients, mix it all together and heat 2 minutes so it is all incorporated like a traditional stroganoff.

They did this so that the recipe photo would look more colorful, and look healthier (covering something in cream, even if it IS greek yogurt) tends to scare most healthy eaters away. Regardless, I wish that their photography was more honest.

While this recipe was delicious, despite the photograph issue, I am not sure if this would reheat well for leftovers. It has greek yogurt in it, and the recipe warns not to overheat or it will curdle. I heated the sauce very gently and had no problems with curdling, but I am imaging that if you reheated it in the microwave the next day, it may cause some sauce separation issues. Has anyone made this? Did you try heating it up the next day? How was it?

Unfortunately this recipe is not published online in their recipe finder. Bison Stroganoff can be found in the October 2011 issue. This is not to be confused with the Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff, which is an entirely different recipe.

Onto the next recipe…

Fish Fritters with Red Pepper & Malt Vinegar Dipping Sauce – November/December 2010

CE Fish Fritters

Next up was the Fish Fritters which are basically tilapia and broccoli fish cakes. Unlike the stroganoff, I thought that the real fish fritters looked better than the magazine photo! Look at all that green!

While not difficult to make, I found that this recipe created a lot of dirty dishes and a mess of the kitchen. My food processor is small, so I had to chop the broccoli, jalapeno and fish in 3 batches. I ended up with little bits of broccoli everywhere. I also used my Kitchen-Aid standmixer to beat the egg whites (they need to triple in volume). And then I used my Vitamix for the sauce, so I ended up with lots of dishes to wash. I was surprised at what a HUGE batch this made! In fact, after making a dozen fritters (the recipe says it yields 12, 4 to a serving) I still had a lot of mixture leftover and I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to make perfectly portioned fritters.

I thought that these were good, but not great. I liked them enough to eat them, but not enough to make them again. Don’t leave off the sauce, it MAKES this dish. Without the sauce I am not sure I would have enjoyed them at all. The sauce is pretty neat, just throw roasted red peppers from a jar, malt vinegar and greek yogurt into a blender for a few seconds. The flavor tasted very much like buffalo sauce! I would definitely make the sauce again, just to use on a topping for something else.

Here are the fish cakes with the sauce.

CE Fish Fritters with Sauce

Since my kitchen was a mess, and it took awhile to fry these fritters up in multiple batches, I kept the side dish easy and just heated up some frozen whole wheat pierogis. Not the side I wanted to pair with this dish, but it did the job.

Now check out CE’s official photo for this recipe.

CE Red Pepper and Malt Vinegar Dipping Sauce

Mine were so much more green! These look a little blah, not as vivid as real life. However, the magazine photo shows the sauce as being MUCH lighter in color and much creamier looking which does not seem achievable with the recipe measurements. The recipe for the sauce is as follows:

  • 1/2 cup jarred sliced roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon nonfat Greek-style yogurt

You do the math, 1 measly tablespoon of yogurt is not enough in proportion to make the sauce look creamy or to lighten it to the degree that their photo shows. I wonder if this is a recipe error? I thought the sauce tasted good as written, but it was definitely on the watery side and had a STRONG tang like buffalo sauce. I almost wonder if they flip-flopped the measurements on the vinegar and yogurt…

Unfortunately this recipe is not published online in their recipe finder. Fish Fritters can be found in the November/December 2010 issue.

And while not a CE recipe (although it does follow that criteria!), I wanted to share this one by new fitness guru Natalie Hodson. 🙂

Blueberry Protein Pancakes – Natalie Hodson December 2011

Natalie Hodson Blueberry Protein Pancakes

If you are not familiar with protein pancakes, they are simply a way to prepare egg whites in a way that is sweet not savory. There are lots of recipes for these floating around out there, but most include egg whites, oats, cinnamon, almond milk and fruit.

Natalie is a girl who did the Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer and saw AWESOME results and was featured on the website. She has started a Facebook page where she shares recipes and tips on food and lifting.

Here is the recipe for her Blueberry Protein Pancakes that are shown in the photo above.

Natalie says she uses a blender to mix these, but that you can also use a bowl. My Vitamix was dirty so I just used a bowl and the mixture was VERY watery (and I only used 1/4 of the milk). I knew that the batter wouldn’t stay together in the pan so I just used a large skillet and dumped the whole mixture right in. The egg white & oat mixture filled the bottom of the pan and I let it set up 75% before I used the spatula to cut this into 4 easy-to-flip segments. So while my pancakes were not round and pretty, they ended up just fine. They are topped with unsweetened natural applesauce, cinnamon and more fresh blueberries.

Now the word “pancake” can be misleading to someone who has never made this sort of thing. These do not taste like traditional pancakes, they are very eggy and healthy tasting. I personally like that, but Mr. Nine is not a fan and would prefer regular pancakes so I only make these pancakes for myself. This particular recipe is also not very sweet. If you like sweet things, you may want to add another packet of Truvia. Also very important, DO NOT LEAVE THE BLUEBERRIES OUT! They make this particular recipe. The few bites I had without any berry were downright blah. The berries add sweetness and flavor and are necessary in my opinion.

Next time I think I’ll use the Vitamix to break down the oats to thicken the batter, and I’d also add some banana.

Have you ever made protein pancakes? What are your thoughts on them? If a cooking magazine published all of their recipes online, would you still subscribe to it (paper or digital)?

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