Monday, September 14, 2009


Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah is famous for its food, rated among the "Top Spa Cuisine" in Destination Spas by Conde Nast in 2007.

I was there a number of years ago and can confirm that rating. No one ever felt deprived. Satisfied, yes. Deprived, no.

You can go to their web site,, click on "recipe of the month" and pull up a whole list of options.

I had several favorites but most contained ingredients that are hard to find in your average grocery store. Here is one that doesn't.

Vegetarian Chili

1/2 eggplant, peeled and diced                  1/4 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced                                        1/3 tsp garlic, minced
3/4 green bell pepper, minced                   14 oz. canned tomatoes
10 oz. red ripe tomatoes                            2 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/3 tsp cumin powder                             1 1/3 tsp oregano powder
1 1/3 tsp basil powder                               2/3 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt                                     2/3 tsp fennel seed
3 1/2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped fine         1/2 cup pinto or anasazi beans, cooked
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, canned                1 3/4 tsp fresh dill, chopped
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Peel and dice eggplant. Place in a sieve or perforated pan and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let stand for 1 hour and dry.
Preheat a soup pot and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom.
Saute eggplant, onions, garlic and green pepper until tender.
Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently.
The yield is about 6 cups or 12 servings of 1/2 cup for a total of 47 calories.

Few of us would be satisfied with such a small portion but here's the trick. Steam a cored red pepper per person. Cut off the top, scoop in 1/2 cup of the veggie chili and the combination will be plenty. Especially if you serve with a few low cal crackers or chips and a big low-cal salad then follow with a low-cal dessert.

If only we all had a spa chef in the kitchen .....

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