A Crash Course in Vinegar

  • By Jengyu Lai
  • 28 Oct, 2016

Written by Kayley Gamm, RDN

Last night, we had a really fun class with the Community CHIP program. Chef Eric, from Hy-Vee Barlow, gave us a lesson on cooking with different types of vinegar. We tried many different varieties of vinegars: red wine, white wine, balsamic, etc. Today I will share some of the recipes he showed us.
The first dish Chef Eric prepared was a grilled romaine and pineapple salad with a raspberry balsamic reduction.

For the reduction:
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
½ cup raspberries

For the salad:
1 head of hearts of romaine, halved
Pineapple, cut into 4 inch slices
Handful of walnuts (optional)

1. In a small skillet on high heat, add the white balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then add the raspberries. Cook until mixture has been reduced by ½.
2. In the meantime, spray the romaine on all sides with a light coat of cooking spray, place on heated grill or skillet along with the pineapple pieces.
3. Grill for about 5-7 minutes, or until slightly wilted with nice grill marks.
4. Cut pineapple into 1 inch pieces. Place romaine on plate, top with the grilled pineapple. Drizzle the raspberry balsamic reduction over the top and sprinkle with walnuts.

The next recipe Chef Eric shared with us was a salad of marinated Portobello mushrooms and a white wine vinegar and apple reduction.

1 Portobello mushroom, sliced into ½ inch slices
½ summer squash, sliced lengthwise
¼ red onion, sliced into rings
Garlic, salt and pepper- to taste
Various cut up vegetables- red pepper, asparagus, tomato, etc.

Marinate the Portobello mushroom in balsamic vinegar for about 2 hours
Marinate the zucchini and red onion in red wine vinegar and garlic for about 1 hour

Place vegetables on grill or in a skillet and sprinkle with pepper, salt and garlic as desired. Cook for about 7-10 min or until tender to the bite.

For the white wine reduction:
Heat ¼ cup white wine vinegar and the zest of ½ an orange in a small skillet over high heat for about 1 minute. Add a few slices of apple, 2 tsp of maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne or ancho chili powder. Sauté and let the apples caramelize for about 3-5 min.

To serve, place vegetables on a bed of mixed greens and top with the apple and vinegar reduction.

 We also learned how to make fruit based salad dressing; these dressings are basically a smoothie for your salad and a great way to freshen up greens.

Strawberry Pineapple Dressing:
1 cup pineapple
2 cups strawberries
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup water
2 tsp maple syrup (if needed, based on desired sweetness)

Blend all ingredients in blender to desired consistency.

Creamy Fruit Dressing
Make Strawberry Pineapple dressing as seen above. Add ½ cup unsweetened almond milk and a handful of blueberries. Blend in blender for a creamier dressing.

Pineapple Mint Dressing:
1 cup pineapple
1 tbsp fresh mint
Juice of ½ lime
2-4 tsp white balsamic vinegar

Blend all ingredients in blender to desired consistency.

All dressings can be made with fresh or frozen fruits and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. Try mixing it up and trying new fruit combinations, anything goes with these recipes!

Finally, Chef Eric made a quick balsamic reduction to pour over grilled veggies:

½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
Fresh herbs to taste- rosemary, mint, basil, etc.

Heat a small skillet over high heat. Add the balsamic, syrup and herbs and cook until liquid has been reduced by half.

Drizzle over vegetables, pastas, fruit, etc.
This reduction can be kept in a squirt bottle in the fridge for up to 3 days.

News / Blogs

By Jengyu Lai 31 Aug, 2017

Healthcare costs in the U.S. are on the rise. It is estimated that 70-80% of healthcare costs are due to chronic disease, and the main reason for a trip to the doctor.


Exactly what is chronic disease and what can you do about it? Chronic diseases are conditions that cannot be prevented or cured by vaccinations or medications, nor do they go away on their own.


Common chronic diseases:

●    Elevated cholesterol

●    Type 2 diabetes

●    Hypertension

●    Obesity

●    Coronary heart disease

●    High blood pressure

●    Osteoporosis

●    Arthritis

●    Fatigue


However, living significantly longer and increasing quality of life is a reality, even for those with these chronic diseases. Modifications in lifestyle will lessen and potentially eliminate chronic conditions, and therefore increase quality of life and reduce medical expenses. You have the power to take charge of your health. This is lifestyle medicine.


Lifestyle modifications include:

●    Plant-based, whole food diet and nutrition

●    Physical activity

●    Stress reduction

●    Family/social support network


Through this evidence-based research, you can change the course of your health. With simple, fun, and flexible adaptations, the lifestyle medicine approach is a whole new way of living.


For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at

507-218-3095, visit our website at www.RochesterClinic.com , or e-mail to Health@RochesterClinic.com .


We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!

By Jengyu Lai 03 Jul, 2017

Whether you’ve fully adopted a plant-based diet or are simply dipping your toes in the water, there’s no doubt that wholesome food is at the center of one’s wellbeing.


Here we’ve rounded up five of our favorite cookbooks that are chock full of nourishing recipes and nutrition tips that are sure to assist in your healthy eating goals:


1.         Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook

If you watched the Forks Over Knives documentary (read more about it here , along with the rest of our top documentary picks), you know what FOK is all about – the concept that degenerative diseases afflicting so much of the U.S. today can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. This cookbook features 300+ plant-based recipes which place fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in the lime light.


2.         The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes

This cookbook came to fruition thanks to The China Study; a book touting one of the most comprehensive nutrition studies ever conducted which reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health and can halt or even reverse many diseases. The China Study Cookbook shares 120+ plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes that promote optimal health.


3.         The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: The Official Companion Cookbook to the Breakthrough Film

PlantPure Nation, yet another noteworthy documentary created by the same producers as Forks Over Knives, provides this trusty companion cookbook boasting 150+ plant-centric recipes. It’s also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.


4.         Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes

Inspire healthful, plant-based eating among the whole family with this must-have cookbook from Dreena Burton. From delicious school lunches to appetizing on-the-go snacks, this book supplies more than 100 kid-tested and approved recipes and serves as an excellent reference for parents raising young ones on a whole food, vegan diet.


5.         Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Don’t let the risqué title of this one deter you. Author and cancer survivor Kris Carr attributes her triumph over cancer to her lifestyle changes, most especially her diet. After embracing a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods, she soon discovered the transformative power of nutrition and felt better than she ever had. This cookbook offers 150+ recipes that includes everything from fresh-pressed juices to delectable desserts.


Also recommended: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, But I Could Never Go Vegan


What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Share on our Facebook page !

By Jengyu Lai 28 Jun, 2017
Knee pain is hindering your daily enjoyment. It hurts to sit; it hurts to stand. And exercise is out of the question. You have tried injections and knee braces but nothing is working. What do you do? Now is the time to call Rochester Clinic.

You will receive a thorough assessment from one of our physicians. Our goal is to stop the pain, find the root cause, treat the cause, and maintain a pain free state. Rochester Clinic and your healthcare team will look at your diet, physical activity, medications, and health conditions including injury, disease, and weight. We take a conservative approach to healthcare before suggesting surgical interventions. We have an on-site clinical laboratory, Digital x-ray, and biomechanics laboratory for the best assessments and diagnostics.

Simple changes in lifestyle choices may alleviate much of your pain. You will learn exercises to strengthen weak muscles, increase flexibility, and safe options for weight management to reduce pressure on your joints. Interesting fact: The foods you eat can help or hinder joint inflammations.

The structure of your foot and knee may also be a cause for your pain. High arches, flat feet, pronation or supination of the foot will affect the pressure and development of the knee. Something as simple as the right footwear or custom orthotics would provide pain relief.

We have the tools to help you be on your way to living a healthy, active, and pain free day!

For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at  507-218-3095, visit our website at www.RochesterClinic.com , or e-mail to Health@RochesterClinic.com.

We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!

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