Ocala Style January '19

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TA B L E

THE CHEF’S KITCHEN

Food Ideas For A Fresh & Healthy Start By CHEF RANDAL WHITE Photography by JOHN JERNIGAN

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he new year has arrived, and you are searching for that perfect dish—healthy enough to make you forget about those holiday indulgences yet satisfying enough to fill the comfort-food gap left by sweet potato casseroles and Christmas cookies. You want food that makes you feel good about yourself and your way of living, but facing a bowl of greens for supper is not going to cut it. You want more. What if you didn’t have to skimp on flavor in lieu of healthy eating? What if you could grab your ingredients from your local farmers market, support your local community by doing so and have a filling meal that’s easy to prepare and nutritious, too? Try these simple recipes for feel-good food to satisfy your hunger without the guilt.

Green Papaya Soup: A Hearty Winter’s Stew Shorter days and cooler weather make you crave heavier comfort food, and this Green Papaya Soup is hearty enough to be considered a stew and can be served as a main entrée. The beauty of this versatile, gluten-free dish is you can change it up to suit your tastes. You can substitute the papaya for any other hard squash, like acorn squash, butternut squash or chaoite. For a vegetarian option, leave out the chicken and trade the chicken stock for vegetable stock. Green papaya is just unripe papaya, and you can find it at your supermarket or the farmers market. Choose the hard ones. They are good for making slaws as well. Wash your hands well after dealing with the papaya skin, as the oils on this fruit’s skin can cause redness and itchiness in some people. Use a knife to cut the skin from the papaya. To de-seed papaya, cut long-wise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

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