Levy Restaurants

Joe Nader's Fall Harvest Quinoa and Lentil Salad


The chef: Joe Nader, 42, executive chef for Levy Restaurants at Ford Field

Inspiration for the dish: To offset the many heavy dishes served on this holiday, Nader created a “healthy dish that tastes really good but still envelops the seasonal aspect of Thanksgiving.”

With its rainbow of vegetables and alternative grains like quinoa, this salad fits the bill and is perfect for vegetarian and meat-eating guests alike. Plus, it’s a beautiful dish.

“It looks like fall — with the reds, oranges, greens, browns — on a plate,” Nader says.

One twist, Nader points out, is that he uses raw sweet potato. Cutting it into small dice or thinly slicing it adds lots of crunch to the salad.

And the mint may seem odd, but it’s Nader’s way of adding another layer of fresh flavor. This brightens up the dish, he says, while retaining its flavor profile.

Nader will serve it in the Hall of Legends at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day when the Lions play the Green Bay Packers.

His tips: Make this salad more colorful by using a mix of quinoa (regular or red) as well as a blend of different-colored lentils. Also, it can be made ahead of time.

“It’s so easy to make and holds really well,” he says. “And because the grains are hearty, it stands up and doesn’t get soggy.”

Fall Harvest Quinoa and Lentil Salad
Serves: 12 / Preparation time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

1½ cups quinoa 
5 cups water 
1½ cups lentils 
½ cup green onion 
½ cup diced red pepper 
2 tablespoons diced red onion 
½ cup mix of sliced orange and white carrots 
½ cup diced sweet potatoes 
½ cup cooked butternut squash, diced 
½ cup fresh corn off cob 
6 tablespoons orange juice 
2 tablespoons lime juice 
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
1 clove minced garlic 
2 tablespoons chopped mint 
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Rinse quinoa several times and drain well. In two separate pots, bring 2½ cups water to a boil. Add the quinoa to one and cook 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, fluff with fork and let cool. Add lentils to the other and cook al dente, drain and cool.

Meanwhile, chop the green onions, red pepper, red onion, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash into ¼-inch dice. In a large pot, quick-steam the squash, and if desired the sweet potatoes, carrots and corn until just crisp tender. Remove from the pot and cool. In a small bowl combine the orange juice, lime juice and balsamic vinegar.

Just before serving, place the cooled quinoa and lentils in a serving dish. Add the juice mixture and toss to coat; fold in all vegetables, garlic and mint. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper just before serving.

From Joe Nader, executive chef, Levy Restaurants, Ford Field. Not tested. Nutrition information not available.

Blackhawks Steak Sandwich


Take a tip from Chef Arcomone at the United Center and serve up hearty steak sandwiches topped with this dynamite flavored butter for the next home game!


For the sandwich:

Steak Butter

1/2 diced yellow onion
1/2 Tbs pureed garlic
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs tomato paste
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 oz orange juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/2 oz red wine vinegar
1/4 Tbs Kosher salt
1/4 Tbs table grind pepper
1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup A-1 sauce
1 lb butter

In a medium sauce pot, over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onions and garlic until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and slowly simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. When cool, you can mix steak sauce and butter.

Spread on your favorite bread and top with fresh grilled steak, lettuce and tomato!

Read more: http://wgntv.com/2013/09/25/lunchbreak-steak-sandwich/#ixzz2gn4ZoBVQ

Wrigley Field's Chicago Chopped Relish


With the All-Star Game going on, Wrigley Field's Executive Chef David Burns took a break  to show fans how to make a simple Chicago Chopped Relish.  

See Chef David demonstrate his delicious recipe here, or check out the recipe below. 

Chicago Chopped Relish

1 cup vine ripe tomatoes, small diced
1 cup white onions, small diced
1 cup neon relish
1 cup cucumbers, peeled and small diced
1/2 cup sport peppers, chopped

Mix all of these toppings in a bowl.

Ravinia Latin Grain Salad


Chef Matthew Ford of brings this easy to make salad from Ravinia to your kitchen! 

Latin Grain Salad with cumin-lime vinaigrette

½ cup quinoa, cooked

½ cup brown rice, cooked

¼ cup black beans, rinsed well

½ red bell pepper, small dice

½ red onion, small dice

2 ears of corn, blistered on grill and kernels cut from the ear

2 Tbsp parsley, chives, green onion or cilantro chopped for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, add enough dressing to just coat.  This salad is great served immediately or refrigerated overnight and served the next day.

Cumin-lime vinaigrette:

5 limes, juiced

1½ Tbsp cumin

1 clove garlic, minced

4 oz olive oil

Kosher salt and Ground Black pepper to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until well incorporated.  

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks!


Toast the Stanley Cup winners with a tall glass of Green Juice the players use to fuel the action on the ice created by United Center Chef Mike Arcomone!

Chicago Blackhawks Green Juice Recipe 

(Adapted from Dr. Oz's Green Drink)

Method: Combine all ingredients in juicer.

Yield: Each recipe makes 2 gallons.

Green Juice #1

3 pineapples, peeled and cored
1 1/2 carrots
3/4 cups spinach
2 1/2 bunches parsley
3 bunches kale
6 tbsp honey
1 lime, juice only
3 cucumbers
1 1/2 bottles mineral water

Green Juice #2
5 bananas, peeled
3 pineapples, peeled and cored
1 1/2 carrots
3/4 cups spinach
3 bunches parsley
3 bunches kale
6 tbsp honey
1 lime, juice only
3 cucumbers
1 1/2 bottles mineral water

Green Juice #3
3/4 cups spinach
4 cucumbers
1/4 head celery
3 bunches parsley
1/2 small bunch mint
2 carrots
4 apples, cored and seeded
1 lime, juice only
1 lemon, juice only
2 pineapples, peeled and cored
1 1/2 bottles mineral water

The Flavor of Tradition


Chef JoJo of Churchill Downs welcomes spectators from around the world with the very best flavors of Kentucky. Do Derby Day right and welcome friends with the classic flavors of the historic racetrack.

Roast Chicken with Black Pepper Honey Pan Gravy and Edamame Succotash
Serves 4

2 cups – shelled edamame
1 1/3 cups – fresh corn
2/3 cup – diced canned tomatoes
2/3 cup – yellow pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
½ cup – country ham, julienned
1 cup – chicken stock

1 pound – boneless, skin-on chicken breasts (about 2)
1 cup – demi-glace (may be store bought)
½ tablespoon – black pepper
8 tablespoons – honey
6 tablespoons – vegetable oil, divided

Chef’s Notes:
Begin by making the succotash. In a medium pot, add the edamame, corn, tomatoes, yellow pepper, red onion, ham, and stock. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes to an hour, adding more chicken stock as needed.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pat the chicken breasts dry and liberally salting and peppering both sides. Then, heat four tablespoons of the oil in a large, oven proof sauté pan over medium high heat. Place the breasts in the pan skin side down and let crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook the other side for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Place the whole pan in the oven and let cook for about 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil and the black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the honey to the pan and stir, cooking until the honey begins to bubble. Add the demi-glace and stir. Remove from heat.

To serve, place one cup of succotash on each plate, top with chicken, and drizzle with the black pepper-honey gravy. Enjoy!


Classic Mint Julep:
1 Tbsp. Mint Syrup, 2 oz. Kentucky Bourbon

Notes: Make simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for 5 minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with 6-8 sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight.
Fill a julep cup with crushed ice, add 1 Tbsp. mint syrup and 2 oz. of Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

The Oaks Lily:
1 oz.  Vodka, 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix, 3 oz. Cranberry Juice, Splash of Triple Sec

Notes: Once the ingredients are mixed, serve in a tall glass with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.

Celebrate Earth Day 2013


We strive to have a positive impact on the world we share. Conserving our resources and reducing waste is an important piece of the puzzle and something we can do every day. Take the time to change your habits. Small changes can have a BIG impact!

Five Tips for Going Green

  1. Recycle all the paper, plastic, glass and metal products you can.
  2. At work, reduce what you print and when possible, set printers to double sided printing
  3. Bike, walk or ride your bike to work
  4. Turn off all unused lights, computers, stereos, televisions, etc.
  5. Take reuseable shopping bags to the grocery store


Dodger Stadium: Big Blue Burger


It is Opening Day for MLB and around the country fans are digging into delicious new dishes from our Levy chefs. Debuting at Dodger Stadium today is the Big Blue Burger. Re-create it at home - if you dare!


Serves 4


4 each handed shaped beef patties - 6 ounces each
4 each French bread burger buns
8 slices ripe tomato
1 each yellow onion - chopped
2 each fire roasted pasilla chile- skin / seeds removed, half per burger
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
2 each chipotle peppers- seed removed
1 teaspoon ground onion powder
1 teaspoon ground garlic power
1 teaspoon smoked salt
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Fine sea salt
Ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Begin by combining the mayonnaise, chipotle peppers, onion power, garlic powder, smoked salt, black pepper and lime juice to mixing bowl, blend together and adjust seasoning.

In a sauté pan, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Season the beef patties with salt and pepper.  Add beef patties to the pan, cook for 2 minutes, flip the burgers and add the chopped yellow onions.  Cook until the internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Add the one ounce of crumble bleu cheese and pasilla chile to each patty- one minute before proper doneness.  In another pan, begin to toast the inside of the burger buns. 

Assembly- Add the dressing to the bottom of the bun followed by the  tomato, beef patty with blue cheese, pasilla chile, caramelized onions, finish by smearing dressing on the top bun. 



Quick and Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage


A procrastinators recipe to the centerpiece for many St. Patrick’s Day Tables.

The Ingredients
3 – 5 lbs. Corned Beef Brisket**
10 – Small Red Potatoes [about 1lb.], cut into 4 wedges
6 – Carrots peeled and cut into 2” segments [about ½ lb.]
1 – Head of cabbage, cut into 8-12 small wedges [about 2lbs.]
1 – Onion, medium sized, peeled and cut into strips [about 4oz.]
2 – Stalks Celery, cut into 2” segments [about 4oz]
2 – Bay Leaves
1 – Cinnamon Stick, broken into pieces
½ tsp – Allspice, ground
3 – Quarts Water
1 – tsp Salt, kosher
½ – tsp Black Pepper
** Corned beef brisket may contain a small spice packet

The “How To”
Place the corned beef, black pepper, bay leaves, allspice and salt into a large 8-quart pot along with 3-quarts of water.
 Cover and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to low and cook, at a low simmer for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, add the cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and celery. Return to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes or until cabbage and potatoes are fully cooked. Remove the bay leaves and serve immediately.

The “What Do I Need” [Equipment]
Cutting Board
2 Gallon Stock pot or Crock Pot

NBA All Star Game at Toyota Center


The best players in the NBA headed to Houston for the NBA All-Star Game this past weekend, and fans attending the festivities got in on the action with the best in basketball dining.  We dished up the ultimate sports snacks and drinks, shining a spotlight on great local flavors.
Toyota Center Executive Chef Atanacio Zamora spent months crafting the All-Star Game menu, with a slam dunk coming from his spicy grilled chicken wings.  Chef tip – make the wings extra spicy or on the mild side by adjusting the amount of chipotle peppers and cumin.
Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings
16 chicken wings, de-jointed
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chipotle peppers, canned in adobo
2 tablespoons honey
½ cub green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Bamboo skewers for serving
Buttermilk Dip

In a food processor, add the vegetable oil, chipotle peppers, honey, green onions, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper and blend until just combined.
Using bamboo skewers, place 4 chicken wings on each skewer. Place the chicken wings in a plastic zipper bag and add the marinade. Refrigerate overnight.

Prepare a charcoal grill to medium-hot heat. Place chicken wings on the grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning and basting constantly with marinade. Serve chicken wings with buttermilk dip.

Buttermilk Dip
1 cup sour cream
½ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper

Combine all of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to taste. Chill and serve dip with spicy grilled chicken wings.

Dig In!

Levy will always stay as fresh as the ingredients we use in every dish we plate. Here you’ll see everything we’re doing to bring you what’s deliciously new in the world of Levy. Look in on culinary creations often, and try them out at home for yourself!

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