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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Healthy Holiday Salad: Kale with Pecans and Cranberries


This green and red kale salad looks a lot like Christmas. Thinly sliced kale, dried cranberries, raw pecans, and shaved red onion make a festive mix of flavors, colors, and textures. Packed with fiber, antioxidants, and the good kind of fat, this salad is a healthy addition to any meal, whether you're celebrating a holiday or not.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp


This hot and sour soup makes a light and flavorful appetizer or a satisfying main course. Full of immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger, garlic, onion, chili pepper, shitaake mushrooms, and turmeric, it also makes a nutritious meal for anyone under the weather.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Apricot Walnut Stuffing


This savory stuffing starts like most: with apple, celery, and onion sauteed in butter and seasoned with sage and thyme. But it also has a hint of tart sweetness from small bits of dried apricot, and walnuts add texture as well as healthy fat. I used sprouted whole grain bread but if you prefer a whole grain stuffing or a gluten-free version you could substitute brown and/or wild rice.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Savory Seasoning Salt


This seasoning salt makes me think of a walk in the woods. Rosemary gives it a pine-like aroma, dried lobster mushrooms add some earthiness, and a bit of ghost pepper adds a mysterious heat so small that later you'll wonder if it was really ever there.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

2-Ingredient Halloween Treats


Make this colorful Halloween candy with only two ingredients: dried peaches and dark chocolate. It's naturally sweet because there's no added sugar. And it's a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Home-Made Harissa: An Anti-Inflammatory Condiment


Harissa is a spice paste from North Africa made with peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and cumin. You can buy it in well-stocked grocery stores but it's easy and inexpensive to make yourself. Built around some basic ingredients, recipes for harissa can vary from region to region or even family to family. In mine you'll find a bit of turmeric and black pepper to maximize the antioxidant and anti-cancer benefits inherent in this healthy condiment.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Simple But Stunning Fall Salad


This simple yet stunning salad highlights the best of the changing seasons. It features fall fruits, dark leafy greens, hazelnuts, and goat cheese with fresh herbs.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Preserving Your Summer Harvest

My trip to visit family in Minnesota this summer was well spent. We fit in a little bit of everything: hiking, canoeing, wine tasting, cooking, and relaxing with family and friends. To my good fortune, my sister Jennifer sent me home with dried versions of her garden's bounty and I will savor them all winter long.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Blackened Wild Salmon with Lime Yogurt Sauce

Blackening meat with spices is a healthy alternative to charring, which creates cancer-causing compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These carcinogens are most concentrated in charred meats but can also be found in well-done meats, smoked meats, cigarette smoke, air pollution, and unvented fires.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Chocolate Ice Pops


These home-made ice pops are dairy-free and full of antioxidant-rich cocoa powder. It's important to eat plenty of foods high in antioxidants, especially during the summer to counteract the oxidizing effects of the sun. Some antioxidants, like the flavonols found in cocoa powder, have also been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and cancer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

2-Ingredient Summer Dessert

This simple summer dessert is as easy as it is elegant. Because there are only two ingredients, quality matters. Use the best berries you can find, preferably organic because they're #4 on EWG's Dirty Dozen list. If you have berries that are under-ripe, this is a good way to sweeten them up a bit.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Broccoli Stem Salad with Lemongrass Vinaigrette


Don't throw away your  broccoli stems! The centers are tender and full of flavor. They're the stars of this dish, which turned  into a rainbow of colors, textures, and flavors. I often cook broccoli stems along with the florets, but this time I used only the stems and saved the tops for another meal. Along with other crunchy vegetables and chopped peanuts, this salad is light but filling.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Oyster Mushrooms Sautéed with Fresh Herbs


When I have a special ingredient, I like to serve it without a lot of fuss. Just something simple, to savor the unique flavor instead of covering it up. In this dish I sauté oyster mushrooms with some basic aromatic ingredients that play a good supporting role.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mediterranean Braised Chicken


This slow-simmered chicken dish boasts flavors of Spain and Italy. Capers, olives, and sherry vinegar make it a bit sour; a touch of honey adds a little sweetness; and a roasted red pepper adds a subtle hint of smoke in this well-balanced one-pot meal.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Indian-Style Scrambled Eggs


These Indian-inspired scrambled eggs make a quick and healthy meal. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner because they contain everything a meal should have -- protein, healthy fat, and fiber-rich vegetables -- as well as a good dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Greek Lentil Salad with Spring Onions


This flavorful dish is full of ingredients you might find in a Greek salad: feta cheese, tomatoes, oregano, and Kalamata olives. Cucumbers are usually part of the mix but because they aren't in season yet, I substituted spring onions. And because it's also too early for fresh local tomatoes, I used sun-dried ones soaked in olive oil. You can serve this salad as a side dish or as a main course, topped with grilled calamari, shrimp, or wild salmon.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Colored Easter Eggs You'll Really Want to Eat


Forget synthetic dyes and artificial food coloring. These eggs are colored naturally with a beet-balsamic vinaigrette, which also makes them taste good. The purple they soak up on the outside is a stunning contrast to the bright yellow yolk inside.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Easter Candy for Grown-Ups: Dark Chocolate Rum Balls


These DIY dark chocolate truffles will melt in your mouth. Unlike other rum balls full of sugar and corn syrup, they have no added sweeteners and it takes only a few ingredients to put them together.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cheesy Cauliflower


This cup of cheesy goodness brings me back to my childhood, when winters were for sledding and macaroni and cheese was my favorite food. This recipes gives it a grown-up twist with a made-from-scratch spicy aged cheddar cheese sauce. I substituted cauliflower for pasta because, let's be honest, pasta is really just a vehicle for the cheese. So why not use cauliflower? Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and sulfur-containing compounds like isothiocyanates and indoles that help our bodies detoxify. Strange as it seems, you'll never miss the pasta. And your kids will finally eat their veggies.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blood Orange Salad with Arugula and Walnuts


This light little salad packs a flavorful punch. The curious and complex flavors come from sweet and sour blood oranges, bitter and spicy arugula, creamy walnuts, sharp red onion, salty olives, and savory blue cheese. This salad is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Because blue cheese and walnuts add protein and healthy fat, this dish could be a complete meal.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

An Ode to Bone Broth

Bone broth has been revered as both food and medicine since ancient times. The nutrients and protein in bone broth are particularly well absorbed and they support the growth and repair of connective tissues in the body including bones, joints, blood vessels, and skin. The gelatin acts as a digestive aid and the amino acids support the body's natural detoxification mechanisms.

Bone broth can be consumed regularly as a winter tonic or used as a healthy and flavorful base for soups, stews, and sauces. It’s always been popular with gourmet chefs, serious home cooks, and grandmas, but now bone broth is trending. Even New Yorkers can be spotted sipping it on the street from to-go cups instead of coffee.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chocolate Honey


I usually drink my espresso unsweetened, with a splash of cream, but on special rare occasions I stir in a spoonful of chocolate honey to make my own version of a mocha. But this delicious sauce isn't just for coffee. Chocolate honey makes a nice addition to any Valentine's Day dessert. Drizzle it over a fresh fruit platter. Or coconut ice cream. Or bananas sautéed in butter with or without a splash of rum. Or pumpkin custard. Or your loved one.

This simple chocolate sauce contains only 3 ingredients -- cocoa powder, honey, and cinnamon -- so it's free of sugars, syrups, flavoring, and other additives. The cinnamon adds a bit of warmth as well as some health benefits.  It's been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, improve blood sugar control, and promote detoxification.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ginger Coconut Soup for Colds and Flu


This soup is delicious, whether you're sick or not. Many of the ingredients -- including ginger, onion, mushrooms, garlic, chili pepper, bone broth, and fermented foods -- add flavor as well as health benefits, boosting immunity and helping the body fight off viruses that cause colds and flu.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ginger Lemon Sore Throat Pops


These spicy-sweet ice cold pops are the perfect thing for sore throats. They're easy to make and besides water, you only need three ingredients: ginger, lemon, and honey.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Méranie's Martinique Vinaigrette


Travel always inspires my cooking. Inevitably, all vacations come to an end, which is always bittersweet for me. I feel sad that it's over but excited to cook again in my own kitchen and inspired to create dishes like the ones I loved while I was there. My recent travels to visit my husband's family in Martinique were no different.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Tofu with Ginger, Peanuts, and Scallion


Shake off heavy holiday meals in favor of this light but delicious meatless dish. It really does have it all: protein, healthy fat, leafy greens, and anti-inflammatory spices that enhance the body's natural detoxification mechanisms. By itself, tofu doesn't have a lot of flavor, but when you combine it with ginger, garlic, peanuts, scallion, and cilantro, it becomes irresistible. Even skeptical carnivores will ask for more.