Healthy Summer Recipe Swaps

by M. Linda Lee

 Jul 03, 2019 at 2:51 AM

Wellness is the self-proclaimed specialty of Executive Chef Bruce McIntosh at the Country Club of Asheville, so, naturally, he was our go-to when we wanted some suggestions for making classic summer recipes healthier. A native of California — where healthy cuisine is de rigueur — McIntosh moved to Asheville in 1981 and earned his executive chef certification at Asheville-Buncombe County Technical College. After years of working in different places around the country, he moved back to Asheville five years ago to work with McConnell Golf.

At the Country Club of Asheville, Chef and his team bring a cornucopia of healthy ideas to the table. Though McIntosh’s cooking style leans toward French cuisine, he swaps the heavy butter sauces for vegetable or fruit purées, and replaces butter and flour with cornstarch and arrowroot to thicken sauces. “For example, we recently ran a grilled salmon with a pineapple and mango salsa,” he notes. “We also do a pork chop with chimichurri sauce and avocado.”

In addition to accommodating vegetarian and vegan diners, the kitchen team also offers salt-free and gluten-free items. “We do a lot of brown and basmati rice, and a lot of steamed vegetables,” says Bruce. “And we serve all our entrées with three different vegetables, which we make fresh each day.”

“For collard greens, we use chicken stock that we make [from scratch] and we smoke turkey legs and use them instead of ham hocks.” Throw in some onion and vinegar, and you have a pot of tasty collards, without all the fat of the traditional Southern version.

Portion control is another big focus. For a recent children’s event, the chef whipped up 2oz burgers on little whole wheat buns. “If kids grow up with healthy food, they might turn that way when they get older,” he says.

To cut some calories from your summer fare, Bruce suggests substituting your favorite vinaigrette for mayonnaise when making potato salad. Or consider cauliflower as a stand-in for the potatoes (see recipe below). The same goes for coleslaw, which is just as good — maybe even better — with an Asian-inspired dressing of sesame oil and rice vinegar (see recipe below). Bon appétit!


Cauliflower Salad

Chef Bruce Suggests this easy substitute for summer potato salad. Serves 4. 

1 head raw cauliflower

1/4 cup chopped baby spinach

1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon

1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Cut cauliflower into small florets, and mix it with other ingredients in a bowl. Chill several hours before serving.


Chinese Slaw

Here's the chef's healthy hack on traditional coleslaw - minus the mayo. Serves 4. 

2 lbs. Napa or Savoy cabbage, shredded

2 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup shredded daikon radish

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Let mixture sit in the bowl for about 30 minutes, then drain off any water.

In a separate small bowl, mix together rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Pour dressing over slaw mix and serve. Slaw will keep up to four days.

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The Many Benefits of Massage

by Martha-Page Althaus

 Mar 22, 2019 at 2:30 PM

Massages are for more than just relaxation. They’re beneficial for all ages and there are no negative side effects. Rethink massage as total pampering, and reconsider it as a necessary step in taking care of your health. Natalie Veres, licensed massage and body therapist at Country Club of Asheville, shares four benefits of massage treatments

1) Stress Reduction

“We’re working harder and longer hours, sitting at desks all day long. We carry our stress and it can hurt. For pure relaxation purposes, consider a Swedish massage.”

2) Pain Relief

“Massage helps with back and nerve pain. If you’re recovering from surgery, massage helps rehabilitation and creates a healing response in the body to prohibit scar tissue build-up and stiff joints.”

3) Athletic Performance 

“It aids in flexibility with your golf or tennis swing. If you’ve been swinging the same way for years, throwing your body into that one hip, it creates lower back and hip pain. Repeating the same movement causes muscles to contract and tighten over time. But it’s completely treatable! A deep-tissue massage helps muscles to relax.”

4) A Better Night's Sleep 

“Massage has been proven to help with insomnia. It helps regulate serotonin and reduce cortisol levels.”

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Fitting in Fitness

by Jessie Ammons

 Dec 20, 2016 at 8:36 PM

Resourceful planning has yielded impressive improvements recently at four McConnell Golf Clubs. Thanks to ingenious use of clubhouse spaces, the Country Club of Asheville and Holston Hills Country Club have brand-new fitness centers; and Old North State Club has significantly renovated its center with Providence Country Club soon to follow suit. Here’s a look at how it came together in Asheville and nearby Knoxville.

In this mountain club of North Carolina, there was a lower-level room with a scenic view that no one could appreciate. “We had an old dining space that wasn’t used that often,” says Country Club of Asheville Club Manager Michael Methot about the spark of an idea. “We converted it – completely transformed it – into a fitness center.” Now, the 2,800-square-foot space is decked out with treadmills and resistance weight machines, a “one-stop- shop facility,” Methot says. What’s more, another spare room was outfitted with mirrors and a new floor to become an exercise studio. There, eight group fitness classes happen each week, and members often use it for stretching and personal exercise routines. “We had the facilities, they just weren’t fitness facilities,” Methot says. The center opened in October 2015. “We’ve been able to create a really great center for our members.”

Likewise, one of the first renovations made to the clubhouse at Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville was a similar extra space overhaul. With new flooring, lighting, and equipment, a former dining room has become that club’s state-of-the-art fitness center.

At both clubs, the new space has opened the door for exciting new programming. At Holston Hills, new activities director Katelyn Graham was brought on board to oversee an active group fitness class schedule and personal training sessions. At the Country Club of Asheville, a robust fitness class schedule has been so popular that they’re now offering unique activities like chair yoga and a multi-week dance class series. At both places, “we have a good mix of equipment and programs for everyone,” says Corporate Director of Member Activities and Wellness Natalie Clemens. Clemens was instrumental in both overhauls, but turned to each club for specific details. “We really took our members’ thoughts and inputs into consideration,” Methot says. “It’s another way to engage and offer them more.”

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