A new year ushers in many changes. One of the places that is the most prevalent is in the kitchen. Many families find themselves looking to start with a clean slate, gravitating toward healthier options.
It is something that Tanya Sergey understands. The owner of A Moveable Feast in Brunswick said she often hears customers and friends talk about making dietary changes once the new year arrives.
"I think the New Year has always been the imaginary start line for better habits. And that is the key word right there — 'habit.' Like learning a language or a new skill, the habit of eating better requires understanding and dedication," she said.
When it comes to cooking, Sergey said it takes some time to plan and rearrange one's old patterns.
"It's getting over that first hump that makes people nervous. And truthfully, many people don't know how to prepare food for themselves that is delicious and healthy. I love helping people get a start to forming those habits," she said.
Her restaurant focuses on providing healthy and flavorful fare for her customers. That is what she also tries to impress on those who ask for suggestions on how to prepare better food for their households. One way she enjoys doing that is by using healthier ingredients rather than creams and butter to cut calories without sacrificing flavor.
"We try to provide food for life — menu options that can be eaten every day, and we do have customers that come every day to enjoy our regular menu or daily specials. For example, we have handmade soups, abundant salads, lean proteins and many gluten free options," she said.
"While some of our specials are going to appeal to the cream and butter lovers of the world, we try to offer wonderful, tasty and bright menu options that don’t make you feel that you have settled on the healthy offering. By using fresh herbs, handmade broths and exotic spices, I try to limit the fat and calories going into a dish, without sacrificing flavor."
One of her most popular dishes is called the Powermix Salad. It mixes a number of different ingredients that bring different tastes and textures but is also packed with nutrition.
"It's actually a hot saute. I start with olive oil in a hot pan with red onions, halved grape tomatoes and artichoke hearts. To that I add shredded kale, cabbage, radicchio, and brussels sprouts," she said.
"When soft, but not wilted, I add a handful of cooked quinoa. When removed from the heat it is topped with turkey bacon and feta, and then served with a side our house citrus vinaigrette. This dish is so versatile and flavorful — it can be served with shredded chicken, a fried egg, vegetarian or vegan."
Topping it with honey-broiled salmon is actually Sergey's favorite way to serve the meal.
"I eat this salad every day, and so do several of my customers. It is loaded with fiber, vitamins and protein. It makes you feel so good, refreshed and satisfied," she said.
Olive oil (enough to coat a frying pan)
Halved grape tomatoes
Option of cooked turkey bacon, fried egg, chicken or salmon
Saute the onions, tomatoes, artichokes, kale, cabbage, radicchio and Brussels sprouts to the point of softness but not wilted. Add in a cup of cooked quinoa. When removed from the heat, top with turkey bacon and feta and then served with a side citrus vinaigrette.