By Sandy Katz
What a thrill to find the greatest health resort in the world in spectacular Las Vegas! This health-oriented oasis balanced my glitzy funzy over-the-top glutinous trip to Las Vegas where I attended a conference that centered around eating, drinking and being merry. Learning some tricks –of-the-trade as a travel photo/journalist was my mission at the Venetian Convention Center. Did I ever so enjoy every morsel of the many culinary offerings of all the restaurants who participated in the conference of International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association.
Canyon Ranch Spa Club in Venetian/Palazzo Hotel Las Vegas embodies the world-renowned Canyon Ranch philosophy with a rich array of enticing, healthy pleasures. Here I found serenity while basking in world-class pampering restoring my spirit and relaxing my body reducing stress.
While in Las Vegas treat yourself to Canyon Ranch Spa Club Day Passport. Here you can work out in sparkling fitness center on state-of-the-art equipment, join in complimentary fitness and mind-body classes and totally relax and refresh with Aquavana experience, a unique collection of European-style thermal cabins and aquatherapy environments.
How about the joy and relaxation of experiencing a massage: Canyon Ranch massage with stones, aromatherapy and choice of several more.
The highlight of my Canyon Ranch experience was the cooking demonstration at Canyon Ranch Grill.
For more than 30 years, Canyon Ranch has been world-renowned as a leader in the healthy gourmet cuisine movement. The Canyon Ranch kitchens are legendary for continued innovation, quality and freshness of ingredients and quite simply, for great cooking.
Executive Chef, James Boyer, Canyon Ranch Spa Club at Venetian/Palazzo is responsible for both the Canyon Ranch Grill and Canyon Ranch Café’ overseeing all aspects of food and beverage at the largest spa in North America. In 2004, AOL awarded Canyon Ranch Spa Club “Best Health Food in Las Vegas.”
Chef Boyer is a natural teacher as demonstrated by the cooking class I attended. In his entertaining fashion he incorporates valuable lessons into each cooking demonstration with tips on healthy eating, portion control, cooking with fresh ingredients and creating uncomplicated but flavorful dishes such as Quinoa Salad.
Canyon Ranch Quinoa Salad
2/3 cup dry red quinoa
1/2 pound diced butternut squash, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2/3 cup chopped Chanterelle mushrooms
2-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly chopped parsley
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 medium leek, white part only, diced, rinsed and cleaned
1 ounce Manchego cheese, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer.
On baking sheet lightly sprayed with canola oil, evenly spread butternut squash and roast in oven for 20 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Cool slightly.
In a medium saucepan, saute shallots, diced leeks and garlic in olive oil until lightly carmelized. Add mushrooms and cook until most of the moisture is released. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Add parsley, quinoa, salt and pepper and reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes or until quinoa begins to pop open. Add extra vegetable stock if needed. Mix diced squash with quinoa.
Evenly divide quinoa mixture among 5 plates. Top with thinly sliced manchego cheese.
Makes 5 servings, each containing approxiately:
23 gm. carbohydrate
4 gr. fat
6 mg. cholestrol
6 gr. protein
68 mg. sodium
2 gm. fiber
Quinoa is a whole grain and has a mild nutty flavor. It is great as a pilaf side dish and as an alternative to hot breakfast cereal. Available varieties of quinoa include red, black, and standard tan color.
Sandy Katz is a Travel Journalist/Photographer with a degree in Psychology from Boston University. Her “Travelin’ Sandy” column has appeared in Charleston’s “Free Time,” Lowcountry’s Original Entertainment Newspaper since 1990(Print Circ 60,000). She has covered more than 1,000 destinations worldwide. Sandy has been a theater and musical reviewer for “Post and Courier” newspaper in Charleston during Spoleto Festival USA since 1984 and contributed several travel articles (Print circ. 250,000). Contributing writer for “Mature Life Features Syndicate,” covering 50 newspapers (circ. 1.7 million). This feeds into www.FOREVERYOUNGNEWS.COM, a website for Canadian Seniors (Print Circ. 1.5 million). Sandy has covered destinations from USA to Hong Kong.