With all the flavors, but only half the calories, this delicious take on a classic favorite is perfect for every cheese connoisseur
When I was in my 20s, I had exactly one dish I knew how to make well: fondue. I delighted in impressing my friends with my sophisticated—if severely limited—cooking skills. After all, fondue was just coming into vogue at the time, and was considered très cosmopolitan. But regular fondue (especially the junk I used to make) was all about the cheese—and not necessarily very good cheese.
Fast forward several decades, and we have Chef Jeanette’s modern, urbane take on this now-classic dish. It’s extremely flavorful, lighter on the cheese, and spiked with protein from ground turkey and antioxidants from the tasty tomato sauce (see “Featured Nutrient,” below, for more information). And she even decided to use mozzarella cheese as one of the “dippers,” rather than as an ingredient, so you can control the amount of cheese you consume (clever!).
Use crudités and whole-grain bread for dipping. You’ll never miss the processed carbs; you’ll revel in the rich taste; and your body will thank you for the added nutrients!
Notes from the Clean Food Coach
To save time, you can use two 15-oz. cans of high-quality pizza sauce in place of the homemade (crushed tomatoes through red pepper flakes in the ingredient list). For an even richer flavor, add two well-crumbled 4-oz. links of Italian chicken sausage to the turkey.
If you’d like to serve this fondue more traditionally, transfer the cooked fondue sauce to a slow cooker, set to low, and let everyone dip from a warmed communal “pot.”
Featured Nutrient: Lycopene
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant made famous by the Harvard “pizza study,” which showed that men who ate at least 10 servings per week of tomato-based foods significantly decreased their risk of prostate cancer. The reason? Lycopene.
According to Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, who led the study, the benefits of lycopene-rich tomatoes came from several forms: sauces, juices, and even pizza. Like all carotenoids, lycopene is better absorbed with fat (think: the oil in pizza or spaghetti sauce). It’s also better absorbed from cooked tomatoes, rather than raw.
In addition to prostate cancer, lycopene may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. And one study showed that it may also help reduce cholesterol oxidation.
To boost your intake of this key nutrient, definitely add more tomato-based foods to your diet, but also consider lycopene supplements. One of best-researched supplement forms is Lyc-O-Mato, which also includes several other phytonutrients (plant chemicals with health benefits).
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ½ lb. leanest ground turkey
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 Tbs. dried parsley
- 2 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. palm sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz. mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 cups baby carrots
- ½ loaf whole grain or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- In large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add turkey, onion, and garlic, and cook about 8 minutes, or until meat is cooked though with no pink remaining.
- Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, basil, oregano, palm sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan. Stir well to mix, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve in bowls with mozzarella, carrots, and bread on the side for dipping.