April WGN Segment

Spring is finally here and thank goodness for that!  Leave thoughts of snow behind and embrace the longer days and fresh produce of spring.  This season is filled with celebrations and Centered Chef will showcase spring-inspired recipes for your next get-together.  Join Chef Ryan Hutmacher and Chef Sara Haas RD, LDN on WGN Lunchbreak and learn how to make Spinach and Caramelized Onion Frittata, Minted Pea Soup and Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steak Salad with Ponzu Dressing.

Caramelized Onion and Spinach Frittata

Makes 4 servings

1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup yellow onion, julienned
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onions, medium dice
1 cup red bell pepper, medium dice
6 cups (6 ounces) baby spinach
1/2 tsp dried oregano
16 egg whites, well-beaten, seasoned before cooking
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade


  1. To make caramelized onions: Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they are tender and beginning to brown. Stir in the thyme and red wine vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. For the frittata:  Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a large oven-proof non-stick pan, sauté the onions and peppers in oil until tender. Add the spinach and wilt; make sure to let excess moisture evaporate. Add the oregano and stir to combine everything well. Remove ingredients from the pan and reserve. Wipe out the pan, reheat and cover generously with pan spray, and add the egg whites. Quickly add the onions and pepper mixture.  Push down to equally distribute into the egg whites, but do not stir. Top with the crumbled goat cheese. Finish in the oven until the egg whites are completely cooked.
  3. Garnish with basil chiffonade and serve.

Minted Pea Soup

Makes 4 servings

2 Tbs olive oil
1 leek, cleaned well, white and pale green parts only, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 sprig thyme
1 lb fresh shelled peas (about 3 1/2 cups) or 1 (12 oz) package frozen peas
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt, preferably Greek-style


  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and onion and cook until softened and nearly translucent, about 5-8 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent browning.  Adjust heat if necessary.
  2. Add the thyme sprig and stock to the saucepan and bring up to a boil.  Add the peas and reduce heat to a simmer.  Allow to cook for about 8-10 minutes or until peas are tender.  (If using frozen peas, cook until just heated through, about 3-4 minutes.) Once cooked, remove from heat and add the salt, pepper and mint.
  3. Take the soup off of the heat and allow to cool slightly* until warm to the touch.  Remove the thyme sprig.   Place the cooled soup in a blender (or process with a hand mixer) and pulse until pureed.  Return to the soup to the pot, reheat if necessary.
  4. Before serving, whisk in the yogurt and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steak Salad with Ponzu Dressing

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
4 (6 ounce) tuna steaks
Ponzu Dressing
2 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, light, packed
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp Tamari
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
Salt, to taste
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds, white and black combined or white only
4 oz arugula


  1. To marinate tuna: In a large zip-top bag, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil and fresh ginger, seal the bag and give a good shake to mix the ingredients.  Add tuna steaks, turning within bag to coat, and marinate in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  2. To prepare ponzu dressing: In a separate bowl add the brown sugar, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, Tamari, sesame oil, crushed red pepper, garlic and ginger.  Whisk well and reserve.
  3. To prepare tuna: Place the sesame seeds on a plate.  Remove tuna steaks from marinade bag; coat the steaks in sesame seeds on all sides, pressing the seeds into the steak so they’ll stick.
  4. Heat pan over medium high heat.  Add oil and let it heat until it shimmers.  Sear the tuna on each side, about 2-3 minutes.  Set aside.
  5. To serve: Plate tuna on top of bed of arugula and drizzle with ponzu dressing.
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Chef Ryan Speaks at ANA Event

As an expert on healthy lifestyle, Chef Ryan Hutmacher, founder of Centered Chef Food Studios, can be seen here speaking on the implications of anti-inflammatory foods and cooking techniques.  Chef Ryan spoke alongside renowned nutrition expert, Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, CHN, on the topic entitled Put out the Fire: Reducing Inflammation wtih Food, at a conference earlier this year hosted on behalf of the American Nutrition Association.  For the full length video, contact http://americannutritionassociation.org.

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