Fresh + Light: 2

The Delicious Side of Eating Well

Healthy and delicious—it’s not always easy to achieve both in one meal, but when it’s done right it benefits both body and palate. With a wealth of healthy options available, eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing on taste anymore, and introducing the best nutrients into your diet will bring huge and important payoffs. It’s really pretty simple, and we hear it every day: Good nutrition is a vital part of staying healthy and when combined with physical activity, reaching a healthy weight can reduce risks of chronic health issues like heart disease and cancer as well as help promote overall good health. Who can argue against taking those few extra steps to choose healthy if it means feeling better and maybe even living longer?

We asked White Maple Café’s chef Gabriel Luengas to prepare a couple of heart-healthy meals and pack them with flavor. White Maple, in downtown Ridgewood, serves contemporary bistro cuisine and has always been dedicated to serving sustainable ingredients that are locally sourced when possible, says owner Ryan Brining.

“Our Chef Gabriel does a phenomenal job of making all of our menu items full of taste with both vegetarian and numerous other healthy options.”

How about homemade maple granola with Greek yogurt and local honey? Or a house-made veggie burger? Chef Gabriel prepared two dishes bursting with flavor and healthy ingredients like kale (fiber, vitamins), beans (protein, antioxidants) and fresh vegetables (you name it), and salmon is a no-brainer for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Highlighting the tastes of good food is a specialty at the White Maple Café, and the proof is in the dish.



HARVEST SALAD GOAL: Getting your vitamins and nutrients

ALASKAN SOCKEYE SALMON GOAL: Keeping your heart healthy  

Harvest Salad with Chili-Maple Vinaigrette


1 cup roasted seasonal vegetables (recipe below)

2 tablespoon cooked beans (scarlet runner, pinto, kidney and black-eyed peas; recipe below)

1/2 cup cooked quinoa (follow product directions)

1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons Chili-Maple Vinaigrette (recipe below)

1/2 bunch romaine lettuce

1/2 bunch Tuscan kale, midribs removed

Roasted seasonal vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red peppers


1. Chop broccoli and cauliflower into small florets, halve Brussels sprouts and dice red peppers into large sizes.

2. Separately toss all vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper and spread evenly on three sheet pans (broccoli and cauliflower together, red peppers and Brussels sprouts alone)

3. Roast at 500 F (broccoli and cauliflower for 15 minutes, Brussels sprouts for 10 minutes, red peppers for 7 minutes) then let cool.



1. Soak 1 pound dried beans (scarlet runner, pinto, kidney and black-eyed peas) overnight.

2. Simmer beans for 1 hour with 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 2 sprigs rosemary and 1 bay leaf.

3. Let cool in cooking liquid, then remove bay leaf and rosemary.


1. Chop romaine and kale and place in large bowl.

2. Add all remaining ingredients and toss until combined.

Chili-Maple Vinaigrette


1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup cider vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic


1. Whisk all ingredients until combined.

Panko-Crusted Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon


1/2 pound fingerling potatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 6-8-ounce Alaskan Sockeye salmon fillets, skin on

4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup panko

1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over potatoes, season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and coat evenly.

3. Roast potatoes for 20 minutes until slightly crispy on the outside.

4. While potatoes are cooking, place salmon fillets, skin side down, on a board and brush the tops with 1 teaspoon each of Dijon mustard.

5. Press the panko thickly on top of the mustard on each salmon fillet. The mustard will help the panko adhere.

6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add fillets, skin side down, and sear for 4-5 minutes.

7. While salmon is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season asparagus with salt and pepper and add to pan when hot, cooking for 5-6 minutes or until tender.

8. Turn salmon fillets and cook about 3 minutes more, until still slightly pink in the center, then plate the salmon, asparagus and potatoes.

9. Add remaining 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard to a small pan with the heavy cream over medium-high heat. Stir and cook for 3 minutes until thick and combined, then drizzle over salmon fillets.

47 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood, 201.447.1953,