Recipe Redo Blog

Traditional Recipes Redone…Healthier

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Bobby Benjamin Executive Chef of La Coop: Bistro à Vins

As executive chef of La Coop: Bistro à Vins, Bobby Benjamin offers a menu of French comfort food that pays homage to classic Gallic traditions while utilizing humble recipes and techniques that create soul-satisfying flavor.

As a native of Rhode Island, Benjamin was exposed to some of the nation’s best seafood and the art of cooking at a young age. He quickly made cooking part of his daily routine and at the age of 13 secured his first job in the restaurant industry. Although he was first relegated to the dishwashing station, he was promoted to the line when he was only 14, and he has been cooking ever since.

Armed with the knowledge of culinary basics including sauces, stocks and soups, Benjamin enrolled in Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies in Louisville, Ky., where he would refine and expand his skills. He graduated with a degree in the culinary arts in 2003. Benjamin subsequently worked with and held stage positions for such renowned chefs as Sean Brock, Wolfgang Puck and Gino Angelini before returning to Louisville to work at The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel. As chef de cuisine at the Oakroom, Benjamin and his culinary team maintained the restaurant’s coveted AAA Five Diamond status.

Benjamin was selected to lead the establishment of La Coop: Bistro à Vins in Louisville’s vibrant East Market arts district in 2012.

Chef Bobby Benjamin’s Recipes:

Corn Pudding

Green Smoothie

Blackberry Cobbler

Hot Browns

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Kentucky Hot Brown

A Hot Brown Sandwich is a hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It is a variation of traditional Welsh rarebit and was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923. It was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late-night suppers.

Executive Chef Bobby Benjamin of La Coop in Louisville KY gives this traditional recipe a redo.

Entrée: Kentucky Hot Browns
Prep: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T flour
  • 8 ounces nonfat milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 T Swiss cheese
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted and cut into fourths
  • 3 slices turkey bacon
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 ounces spinach
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms
  • 4 ounces smoked turkey breast, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Then add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Slowly whisk in the milk, and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for five minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Add the mustard and cheese; season to taste.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan. Remove the bacon from the pan. Chop it and set it aside. Cook the mushrooms in the same pan for two minutes over medium heat. Then add the spinach and cook for another two minutes.
  4. Spray an 8X10-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place the toast in the dish in a single layer and then layer on the meats and spinach-mushroom mixture. Pour on the cheese sauce and then sprinkle on the chopped bacon and tomatoes. Bake for 15 minutes.

Hot Brown Nutritional Value (per serving):
Calories: 76g
Total Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 9mg
Sodium: 148mg
Total Carbohydrates: 6mg
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Protein: 7g

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Corn Pudding

Side Dish: Corn Pudding

Corn pudding (also referred to as baked corn) is a classic southern comfort food. There are many variations although this recipe is healthier version of the southern classic.

Corn pudding can be served year round, however it often makes an appearance at the Thanksgiving or Easter dinner table.

Executive Chef Bobby Benjamin of La Coop in Louisville KY gives the traditional recipe a redo.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 24 Servings


  • 2 T sugarImage
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 cup egg replacer (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 cups frozen corn, thawed or fresh (20 less calories)
  • 1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
  • 4 oz. shredded white cheddar cheese

Directions :

  • In a mixing bowl combine sugar, milk, egg replacer, butter and salt. Stir in the frozen corn, cream-style corn and cheese.
  • Pour mixture into a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place baking dish in oven. Bake uncovered at 375°F for 50-55 minutes.

Corn Pudding Nutritional Value (per serving):
Calories: 98
Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 8 mg
Sodium: 201 mg
Carbohydrate: 17 g
Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 4g

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Blackberry Cobbler

Cobblers originated in the early British American colonies. English settlers were unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together. When fully cooked, the surface has the appearance of a cobbled street. The name may also derive from the fact that the ingredients are “cobbled” together. This particular recipe has received a health make-over from Executive Chef Bobby Benjamin of La Coop in Louisville KY.

Dessert: Blackberry Cobbler
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: approximately 20 minutes (until golden brown)
Yields: 4 servings


  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 oz. St. Germaine
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3T whole-wheat flour
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. local honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg


  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Coat four 4oz. ramekins with cooking spray
  3. Combine berries, St. Germaine and vanilla in a bowl; toss well.
  4. In separate bowl combine remaining ingredients. Mix until moist and crumbly.
  5. Add berry-mixture to ramekins. Spread crumble onto the fruit mixture.
  6. Place the ramekins in the oven and bake the cobblers for approx. 20 minutes. (or until golden brown.)

Blackberry Cobbler Nutritional Value (per serving):
Total fat: 5g
Carbohydrates: 27g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 3g

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Go! Kentucky


Series Set to Air on PBS Stations Nationwide in 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentuckians, prepare to inspire the nation’s health transformation! The jokes about being a state made up of obese, sedentary people are ending soon. The pilot episode of the national health and wellness series The Journey into Wellbeing will be shot entirely in Kentucky in mid-October. To be carried on PBS stations nationwide, a panel of Bluegrass-based experts will be featured alongside health explorer Debra K. as she educates America that the Bluegrass State is much more than horses, hillbilly hoedowns and hot browns… it’s HEALTHY!

As The Journey into Wellbeing’s Host and Executive Producer, Debra K. will travel to all 50 states and has selected the Bluegrass state to begin her Journey, “After spending 20 years in Kentucky and raising both my children here, I hold a special place in my heart for all things in the Bluegrass. As I’ve explored what the state has to

offer over the past few months, I am so proud of all the creative wellness initiatives across the Commonwealth. I believe every state has hidden gems of well-being and Kentucky felt like a great place to start.”

A top-notch line-up of Kentucky’s top wellness pros will share their tips for enriching lives of Kentuckians as well as all Americans. Segments to include:

  • Bobby Benjamin, Executive Chef, La Coop, Louisville. Chef Benjamin will teach Debra K. to redo traditional recipes in a healthier fashion
  • Lena D. Edwards, MD, FAARM, Balance Health & Wellness Center, Lexington. Dr. Edwards will provide Debra K. with her initial health assessment and offer tips to viewers on beginning their own healthy journey
  • Frontier Nursing University, Hyden. Debra K. treks off to Eastern Kentucky to explore the oldest and largest midwifery school in the nation
  • Molly Galbraith, Fitness Expert, J&M Strength & Conditioning, Lexington. Molly puts Debra K. through her paces and assigns a fitness grade, while offering simple tips for beginning a fitness journey
  • Janey Newton and Maggie Keith, Founder and Co-owners, Foxhollow Farm, Crestwood. Debra K. learns about bio-dynamic farming and the journey Foxhollow’s leaders have taken to create a profitable organic farm
  • Eric Stephenson, Owner of imassage, Inc. and national presenter, will offer Debra K. and viewers alike great selfcare techniques on common ailments such as back, neck andshoulder pain

Debra K. adds, “From hiking at Natural Bridge, to redoing recipes in Louisville, and organic farming in Oldham County, we’ll present Kentucky’s wellness options in a positive, educational light that encourages viewers to begin their own health journey.” Described as one part Rachael Ray, one part Ellen DeGeneres, Debra K. is a former Fortune 250 marketing and sales leader, author of the soon-to-be-released text “Success from the Start”, executive director of the Destination Spa Group, and founder of the wellness education company imassage. “I’m an overworked, pudgy insomniac!” laughs Debra K. “I’m at that point in life where I recognize what I’ve been doing isn’t good enough anymore; I’m sure many of you feel the same. I invite you to join me as we travel and uncover the secrets to living an energetic, vibrant life!”

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Kentucky Energizer: Green Apple and Pear

Created by Chef Bobby Benjamin of La Coop Bistro

Prep Time: 5 minutesgreen-smoothie1

Yields: 2 servings


  • 1 banana
  • 1 C vanilla yogurt
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 C spinach leaves
  • 1 C kale
  • 1 pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 bunch chervil (or mint)


  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender. Add a splash of water.
  2. Puree until smooth consistency is reached.
  3. Serve chilled.

Green Smoothie Nutritional Value (per serving):

Carbohydrates : 29g        Calories : 60           Vitamin C : 40%

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Spicy Tuna Tacos

This Recipe was created by Stéphane Beaucamp, Executive Chef of Lake Austin Spa Resort


  • 8 oz Yellowfin tuna, diced
  • 2 tbsp Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbs Scallion, minced
  • ½ tsp Dark roasted sesame oil
  • 1 Avocado, mashed
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp Ground cumin
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup Jicama, peeled and shredded
  • 1 tbsp Red onion, fine diced
  • 1/8 bunch Cilantro, chopped
  • Taro root, peeled and sliced
  • Grapeseed oil (to fry the Taro Root)
  • Microgreens or micro cilantro (presentation)


  • Dice the tuna and reserve in the fridge
  • Mix well, vegenaise, sriracha, sesame oil, scallion and alt and pepper to taste and reserve it in the fridge
  • Mashed avocado pulp with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Mixed shredded jicama, diced red onion, chopped cilantro with olive oil and salt and pepper
  • Peel the taro root, sliced it thin and cut it with a round cookie cutter, place it in a taco shell holder and fry it in hot grape seed oil until crispy, let it rest for 10 minutes and remove the taro taco shell from the taco holder
  • Mixed tuna with the vegenaise – shriracha mix

To Serve:
Spoon some avocado puree on the plate, place the taro root taco shell on the avocado, add in the bottom of the shell the jicama slaw, then add the spicy tuna tartar mix and top it with microgreens and serve