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AMUSE-BOUCHES FOR THE HEART

Local gala raises awareness through food.

WRITTEN BY ERIN MEYERING
PHOTO BY ASA GILMORE

ed note amuse bouches

Life is delicious. That’s the theme of this year’s Heart & Stroke Gala, an annual event designed to increase awareness about deadly heart diseases while also raising money for research and community education programs. The slogan also embodies the philosophy of the event’s hosts, the Reno affiliates of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association: Nutritious food is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

The 29th annual Heart & Stroke Gala will begin with a cocktail hour featuring heart-healthy appetizers prepared by specially selected Reno chefs, from restaurants such as SoDo, Centro, and BFF Café.

Following that, during dinner (catered by Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno), former Reno Mayor Bob Cashell and his wife, Nancy, will be honored for their dedication to building a healthy local community.

“We are delighted to be able to feature local chefs and healthy appetizers at this year’s AHA Heart & Stroke Gala,” says Phyllis Freyer, event chair. “It is a great way to make the cocktail hour fun for our guests and bring attention to local restaurants at the same time.”

Chef Christopher Cowell of BFF Café is no stranger to healthy food. The mission at the eatery is to provide fresh, nutritious meals that are customizable to anyone’s specific dietary needs. During the gala’s cocktail hour, Cowell and his team will serve bison sliders on cauliflower bread (recipe below).

Each year, heart disease and stroke kill more than 786,000 Americans. You can lower your risk for them by adhering to what the AHA calls Life’s Simple 7: Don’t smoke, be physically active, maintain a healthy body weight, eat a healthy diet, and control blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

The 2016 Heart & Stroke Gala will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7 in the downtown Reno Ballroom. To purchase a ticket or for details, visit http://www.Renoheartball.heart.org.

Like too many others, Erin Meyering has had someone close to her affected by heart disease and stroke. She believes food can be the best medicine and seeks to eat not only for flavor but also for her health.

Recipe

Bison Sliders with Cauliflower Bread

(courtesy of Christopher Cowell, chef, BFF Café in Reno. Serves 6 sliders)

For cauliflower bread

8 cups cauliflower, grated, steamed, excess water squeezed out

3 cups Parmesan cheese

3 cups mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients. Scoop onto sheet pans, flattening to round bun-like forms. Bake at 350 degrees F for 16 minutes with fan on low. Store extra pieces in refrigerator.

For bison patties

6 ounces Durham Ranch ground bison

3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

3 ounces mushrooms, sliced and caramelized

3 ounces baby spinach leaves

3 to 4 grape tomatoes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons balsamic reduction

To caramelize mushrooms, heat butter or vegetable oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent, soft, and dark caramel color.

Form ground bison into 6, 1-ounce patties. Pan sear patties to doneness (2 minutes for medium-rare, 5 minutes for well done). Just before done, top with blue cheese and caramelized mushrooms, cooking until cheese melts. Place on cauliflower buns and top with fresh spinach, sliced tomato, and drizzle of balsamic. Enjoy!

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