Search This Blog

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Beaujolais-Braised Cabbage with Cranberries


This slow-cooked, sweet and sour cabbage has such a silky texture. Red wine and cranberries add a tart and fruity flavor, which is balanced by a touch of honey and a splash of vinegar. This dish is especially festive during the holidays.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bone Broth Gravy


Bone broth gravy is rich, flavorful, and nutritious. Unlike other gravies, this one is thickened with roasted onions, which gives it a creamy texture and a complex, slightly sweet flavor. I make this gravy to go with braised bone-in meats that make their own bone broth.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pecans


This colorful salad makes a healthy holiday side dish. It's full of antioxidants and fiber from the cranberries and kale, and healthy fats from the pecans and anchovies.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cranberry Raspberry Sauce


Because cranberry sauce has so many possibilities, it's one of my favorite foods to reinvent every Thanksgiving. This time I added raspberries and sweetened it only with dates, which is a first. For many people, cranberry sauce usually requires large amounts of sugar to be palatable, but this recipe calls only for four dates and it's not only palatable it's absolutely delicious. This is truly a whole foods recipe with no added sweetener. It keeps well in the fridge so make it now and it will be ready when you are.

A little bit of liquid is required to cook the cranberries, and I used cognac. There are plenty of other good options, including orange juice, cranberry juice, brandy, port, or red wine, like a fruity Beaujolias Nouveau (the new vintage just came out). You could even use water.

I like my sauce chunky, so I dried and ground the dates before adding them, to be sure that tiny pieces would end up in each and every bite, giving it a consistent flavor. If you prefer a smooth sauce and plan to puree it at the end, don't bother. Just chop up the pitted dates and throw them in with the cranberries. 

Yield: 1 ⅔ cups

4 dates, halved and pitted
8 ounces fresh cranberries, about 2 heaping cups
1/4 cup cognac
1/2 cup thawed frozen raspberries and their juices 
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the dates on a baking sheet or oven-proof dish, cut-side up. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the dates and allow then to cool completely. You can do this step in advance, whenever you have the oven on.
  2. Pulse the baked, cooled dates in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Avoid processing them too much or they will form a sticky paste that will be hard to scrape out. 
  3. Add the cranberries, cognac, and finely chopped dates to a sauce pan and cover. Warm the mixture over low heat, occasionally stirring or shaking the pan to make sure the berries aren't sticking to the bottom. Cook the mixture until the cranberries burst open and form a sauce, about 30 minutes. If the mixture starts to stick, add some juice from the raspberries or a splash of water, just enough to counter any dryness. 
  4. Once the cranberries have broken down into a sauce, remove it from the heat and stir in the raspberries. Allow it to cool to room temperature, or cool it slightly if you want to serve it warm. Before you do, taste it for seasoning and make any adjustments. (You can add a pinch of sea salt but I found it unnecessary.) Serve the sauce immediately or transfer to an air-tight glass container and store it in the fridge for future use.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Portabellas Stuffed with Spinach, Sausage, and Peppers


Stuffing vegetables is an easy way to incorporate inexpensive cuts of pasture-raised meat into your diet. It's also a good way to make meat more of a condiment than a main ingredient in plant-based diets. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower


Romanesco cauliflower is both beautiful and healthy. Show off its striking twists and twirls by simply roasting it in wedges. Roasting cauliflower gives it a delicious, nutty flavor. If you don't have Romanesco cauliflower, use any variety you have.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lavender Salt


Autumn is the season to dry fresh herbs that won't last the winter, like lavender flowers. You can savor them all winter long with this unusual condiment. Use it as a finishing salt for lamb, chicken, scallops, roasted vegetables, fresh fruit, and chocolate desserts. Incorporate it into French-style vinaigrettes and dishes that contain lemon, which pairs so well with lavender.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sweet and Sour BBQ Tofu Lettuce Wraps


Looking for a new take-along lunch? This meal is light and healthy but also filling. And it travels well.

Serve it one night as an appetizer alongside a pile of fresh lettuce leaves. Each person can spoon some of the tofu mixture onto a lettuce leaf, then wrap it up and eat it. Take the leftovers for lunch the following day. Pack the lettuce leaves and tofu mixture separately, and re-heat the tofu mixture or eat it cold. Either way it's a winner.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Easy Grain-Free Apple Crumble


This recipe was inspired by a recent apple-picking trip in the Hudson Valley.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Healthy Halloween Fudge Bites


This fudge only has two ingredients -- 72% dark chocolate and coconut milk -- and two toppings -- dried peaches and raw walnuts. There's no added sugar, corn syrup, butter, cream, or sweetened condensed milk, so, eaten in moderation, it's a healthy treat. It's also easy to make and kids can help.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Curried Peas with Tomatoes and Tofu


This dish was inspired by Curry Made's recipe for Indian Spiced Peas with Tomatoes and Dill. It contains some of the same flavors you'd find in an Indian curry -- like coriander, cumin, garlic, and chili pepper -- as well as the fresh flavors of dill, cilantro, and sweet cherry tomatoes.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Endive Salad with Octopus and Feta


Bitter leafy green vegetables are in season now and they are so good for us. They're on my list of the top 12 detox foods and good sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Curly endive -- also known as frisée -- adds structure to this dish, supporting dense chunks of octopus, feta cheese, olives, and cherry tomatoes.  Serve this colorful salad as a colorful starter or a light but filling main dish.

Cooking octopus and making it tender is easy if you have a pressure cooker (directions below). As an alternative You may be able to find cooked octopus sliced into rounds at your local grocer or fish monger.

For maximum flavor, I marinated the octopus in lime juice, minced red onion, and minced fresh chili peppers. This step is optional but it does add flavor, so do it if you can.

  • 2 cups chopped cooked octopus (see cooking note below)
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground peppercorn
  • 1 cup cubed feta cheese
  • 1 cup halved, pitted Kalamata olives (or other olives)
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 organic lemon
  • Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

  1. Cook the octopus for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker according to manufacturer instructions, then transfer the octopus to a plate to cool. 
  2. Once the octopus is cool enough to handle, use a sharp kitchen shears to cut off the legs. Cut each leg into bite-size pieces. Cut the head off the octopus and cut that into bite-size pieces as well. Trim as much tender meat as you can from the middle part, avoiding the hard beak in the center. Discard the beak or save it for making seafood broth. Reserve 2 cups of chopped octopus for this salad.
  3. If you're cooking the octopus ahead of time, marinate the bite-sized pieces in lime juice and any other aromatics like minced red onion and fresh chili pepper.
  4. To make the salad, add the tomatoes to a large bowl and season them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the feta, olives, scallions, cilantro, and dill. If your lemon is organic, zest it into the bowl. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze some of the juice over the salad mixture. Drizzle some olive oil over as well. Toss everything together, then taste it for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments. 
  5. Serve immediately. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Marinated Corn Salad


Make this colorful and flavorful salad while fresh sweet corn is still in season. I don't eat a lot of grains or starchy foods, but fresh sweet corn is hard to resist, so I enjoy it in moderation when I find it at the farmers market.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Back To School Bars


Feed these home-made protein bars to kids for breakfast on the go, pack them into school lunches, and hand them out as a healthy snack.

They're a healthy alternative to store-bought granola bars full of sugar, corn syrup, inflammatory fats, preservatives, and processed grains. In fact, these bars don't have any grains at all so they're naturally gluten-free. They don't contain any added sweeteners but they are full of protein, fiber, healthy fat, and antioxidants.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Home-Made Ancho Steak Sauce


Making your own steak sauce from whole food ingredients is easy. If you're not a steak eater, serve it as a dipping sauce for grilled vegetables or brush a bit onto skewers of freshly grilled chicken, shrimp, or scallops. Freeze what you don't use within a few days and thaw it this winter to serve as a condiment with roasted meats.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stuffed Peppers With Grassfed Beef and Artichoke Hearts


Bell peppers are in season, so take advantage of your local harvest and make this healthy dish. If you don't have peppers or don't like them, try stuffing seeded zucchini or portobello mushroom caps instead.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pickled Beet Salad


Serve this easy make-ahead salad as an appetizer or side dish with heavier foods like grilled meats. It travels well on picnics inside a sealed glass container or wide-mouth jar.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Green Tea Affogato


Traditional Italian affogato is a shot of espresso poured over ice cream, but I made mine with green tea. I used matcha, the antioxidant powerhouse, because it has more body and a brighter color than steeped green tea. In cold weather I use hot tea, but in hot weather I use room temperature tea so the ice cream doesn't melt too fast.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Anju's Coriander Chutney


Recently I made a new friend and she makes the most delicious coriander chutney I've ever tasted. Fortunately, Anju graciously agreed to share her recipe.

Ingredients you may not have like powdered green mango (amchoor/amchur) and asafoetida can be found in spice stores like Kalustyan's and Indian stores like Patel Brothers, which also sells products online. But don't let a missing ingredient (or a few) stop you from making this condiment. Your finished product may not have the same profile, but it will still be good.

You can serve this chutney as a side dish or condiment with almost anything: vegetables, scrambled eggs, tofu, tempeh, meat, fish, or seafood.

Note: Cilantro chutney traditionally contains asafetida, the gum resin of a plant which helps break down compounds in beans and cruciferous vegetables that can be difficult to digest. Some brands of asafetida contain small amounts of wheat flour, so if you are strictly avoiding gluten, be sure to use gluten-free asafetida or omit it from your chutney.

1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
1 piece of ginger, washed and chopped
1 or 2 green chilli peppers, washed and chopped
1 tomato, washed and chopped
Pinch turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds

1 tablespoon ground cumin seeds
2 to 3 tablespoons of powdered green mango (amchoor/amchur)
Pinch asafoetida
Salt to taste

  1. Add the cilantro, ginger, chili peppers, and tomato to a blender with a little bit of water. 
  2. Purée until smooth.
  3. Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, powdered green mango, asafoetida, and salt.
  4. Blend again into a smooth, thick paste. 
  5. Add water as needed.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cilantro Roots and Ginger Skins

Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs and I always eat the leaves as well as the stalks. But I had never considered eating the roots until I heard Bal Arneson talk about it on her show The Spice Goddess. She said that the roots of the cilantro plant are the most flavorful part. She also said that because the skin of ginger root contains much of the flavor, she never peels it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tempeh Burgers with Ginger and Scallion


These home-made veggie patties are made from tempeh, so they are a good source of protein. The only additives here are ginger, scallion, turmeric, celery, and a pinch of sea salt. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

DIY Fermented Foods

"Humans did not invent or create fermentation; it would be more accurate to state that fermentation created us."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Vietnamese Salad With Calamari


This colorful salad is light but filling and perfect for summer. The calamari are cooked quickly -- so they stay tender and juicy -- then dressed with sour lime juice, savory fish sauce, a touch of honey for sweetness, and the brights flavors of mint and cilantro -- so they are incredibly flavorful as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Coconut Lime Smoothie Pops


I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm not that big on smoothies. I usually prefer to chew my food. But sometimes smoothies are good options. Like when you need breakfast on the run. When your digestive system needs a rest. When you need to incorporate liquid or powdered supplements or an extra handful of greens into your daily routine. When you need a quick protein-filled snack. Or when you're doing a detox.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dark Chocolate Roulade with Raspberry Cream


For Father's Day I'll be serving my dad this light and fluffy dessert. It does require a few steps but none are too difficult and it's certainly worth the trouble for a special occasion.

Because the chocolate cake is really just a large, flat souffle made of egg whites and dark chocolate, there isn't any flour and this dish is gluten-free. There is also no added sugar. The filling is composed of cream and raspberries, which makes it just sweet enough and unbelievably light.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Chicken Primavera Lettuce Wraps


These lettuce cups make a light but filling lunch, a colorful appetizer, or a healthy snack.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Japanese-Style Coleslaw


On my recent trip to Japan, I noticed two big trends in salads. First, ginger sesame dressing was by far the most popular salad dressing. And, second, finely shredded raw cabbage was everywhere: mixed into salads, served as a side dish, used as a garnish. As soon as I came home I came up with my own version of the delicious dressing, and it seemed only natural to eat it with a cabbage-based salad.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Japanese-Style Ginger Sesame Dressing


On my recent trip to Japan I encountered the most delicious dressing. It was a bit thicker than a vinaigrette, creamy and complex, featuring ginger and sesame prominently in the flavor profile. Almost every restaurant I visited served some version of this dressing and it was included with every prepared salad I bought for train rides and picnics. This is my attempt to recreate it.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Raspberry Fudge Brownies with Urfa Biber


This Mother's Day, treat mom to something special, like these fruity and fudgey brownies. They have a bit of heat because I added some urfa biber, a dried Turkish chili pepper. Spicy, sweet and smokey, it pairs as well with dark chocolate as it does with raspberries.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spicy Pork Meatballs With Lemongrass, Lime, and Cilantro


These spicy little meatballs are full of Thai flavors: lemongrass, scallions, lime, peanuts, mint, cilantro, and more.

I like to dip them in sauce and wrap them in lettuce leaves. They could be served as an appetizer, alone or speared onto cucumber rounds, on top of a salad, or in a soup with tender leafy greens.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Moroccan Lamb Chili


If chili were made in Morocco, it would likely taste like this. With ground lamb instead of ground beef. With staples like tomatoes, peppers, cumin, and smoked paprika. And with some surprises like eggplant, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom. This version is a bit lighter than traditional chili. It's also delicious and healthy.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Making Matcha


Green tea is good for detoxification, and matcha is especially good.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Homemade Veggie Burgers


Veggie burgers are easy to make at home and much healthier than store-bought patties full of processed soy and additives like maltodextrin, caramel color, hydrolyzed protein, modified vegetable gum, guar gum, and xanthan gum.

These burgers are full of everything a good meal should contain: protein, healthy fat, fiber, and lots of flavor.  They're made from raw walnuts, cooked chickpeas, aromatic vegetables, and spices. Unlike other recipes, this one doesn't contain any grains, bread crumbs, flour, or starchy binders, which makes them detox-friendly.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Meatball Shop Cookbook

Making meatballs is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the cheapest cuts of grass-fed and pasture-raised meats. While steaks and roasts from grass-fed and pasture-raised animals can be prohibitively expensive, ground meat is much more affordable. Made into fun and flavorful balls served with delicious sauces, they'll be the highlight of any meal or party.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baked Stuffed Clams


Clams are one of the best bargains at the seafood market: inexpensive, widely available, low on the toxicity scale, and very versatile.

This elegant appetizer is an easy way to prepare them. There are a few steps involved - cooking the clams, making the stuffing, and then baking them - but none are difficult and the first two can be done in advance so you can pop them in the oven whenever you want.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Stuffed Calamari with Artichokes and Capers


When I made this for dinner recently, my husband thought it was stuffed pasta. It did have a similar texture - soft and tender but sturdy enough to hold the filling. Other cooking methods can render squid tough and rubbery, but simmering it slowly in tomato sauce makes it turn out succulent every time.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Greatest American Healers

I’ll speaking about prediabetes and detoxification at the upcoming Mondo Well event, “Greatest American Healers,” on March 30th at the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan.

This event "highlights the very best integrative physicians from around New York City and introduces them and their inspirational message to those who value their life and understand the importance of laying the foundations for extreme wellness."

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Slow-Braised Pork Butt With Ancho Orange Sauce


This braised, pulled pork is succulent and flavorful. It's also full of aromatic and anti-inflammatory spices like cumin, coriander, fennel, and chili peppers.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Wild Salmon Chowder


This salmon chowder is detox-friendly and full of flavor. It contains some of the usual suspects, like onion, celery, thyme, and cream. But instead of starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, I used veggies high in fiber like red bell pepper and mushrooms.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wild Salmon Poached with Lemon and Herbs


Because fish is so delicate, it's well-suited to gentle cooking methods like poaching. Other cooking methods like grilling or roasting can make fish dry, but slowly simmering it in a flavorful liquid produces tender, juicy, succulent results every time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

DIY Fire Cider Winter Tonic


Fire cider* is a spicy vinegar-based tonic used to promote good health during winter months. This folk remedy has a long tradition of varied uses which include
  • Clearing congestion
  • Fighting infections
  • Improving digestion
  • Curing hangovers
  • Increasing circulation

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Steak Saint Agur


Grass-fed beef is worth going out of your way to find because it's health benefits are huge. (Find grass-fed beef at your local farmer's market.) It contains healthy fats in their natural form and ratio, and it's free of the pesticides and drugs found in conventional beef.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dark Chocolate Coconut Fudge


Most fudge recipes call for sugar, corn syrup, cream, and butter. I don't have anything against organic, grass-fed cream and butter, but none of these ingredients are really necessary. All you really need is good quality dark chocolate and coconut milk. You could certainly use cream instead of coconut milk, but I wanted to make a dairy-free version for my patients who don't tolerate dairy products.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract


If you can find good vanilla beans, it's easy to make your own vanilla extract. It's usually healthier too, as store-bought vanilla extracts can contain sugar, corn syrup, and caramel coloring.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Vegetables For Breakfast


Vegetables aren't just for dinner; they should be a big part of every meal. A good strategy for incorporating more of them into your diet is to eat some for breakfast.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Braised Lamb Shanks with Curried Vegetable Hash


I love cooking lamb shanks low and slow until they're fall-apart-tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I usually braise them with red wine or Moroccan spices, so I was intrigued by Molly Stevens' recipe for Lamb Shanks Braised with Lentils and Curry in her cookbook, All About Braising. I'm glad I tried it because it made me think of lamb in a whole new way. This is my take on her recipe.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Burma: Rivers of Flavor for inspiration to cook healthy meals in the New Year?

Naomi Duguid's Burma: Rivers of Flavor cookbook introduces readers to simple cuisine with complex flavors from the country now known as Myanmar. I didn't have the opportunity to visit during my recent trip to southeast Asia, but Duguid took me there through her recipes, photographs, and stories gathered from her many visits to this historically secluded country.