I’m often asked how to make a good pot of brown rice– neither hard nor mushy, but just chewy enough. Classic brown rice.
If you are ready for some fresh spring asparagus that is crisp, lemony and divine—and can be on the table in a snap—our Food As Medicine Executive Chef Rebecca Katz’s recipe is just the thing. Ummmm good.
I love PCRM (Physicians Committe for Responsible Medicine), especially because they generously offer so much cooking education free to the public through the Cancer Project, their diabetes education network, their 21-day vegan kickstart programs, etc… and the recipes are often terrific.
Case in point: this lentil soup recipe from the Cancer Project, perfect for a cold winter’s night with the wind howling, as it has often been here on the East Coast this winter.
A reminder for those of you who know about it, and an epiphany for those of you who don’t: Magic Mineral Broth!
Food As Medicine Executive Chef & faculty member Rebecca Katz, MA, first published the recipe for this potent potion in her cookbook One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends– and has since generously offered it on her website rebeccakatz.com. She calls it her “Rosetta stone of soup”.
This time of year, with colds and flu swirling about, I feel naked without it. And that’s a simple problem to fix– a trip to the farm market or grocery store for a sack full of everything on the list, a few minutes to wash and chop, and several hours of cozy reading time while the broth simmers and the kitchen fills with a healthy, rich aroma– and you’re good to go. One recipe makes quite a lot of broth– see photo of results in the slide show– most of which I freeze for those moments when you need a mineral-rich broth to pick you right up. My kind of health insurance
Thank you, Rebecca!
A seasonal delight you won’t want to miss: cranberry beans, with their burgundy and white shells. I spotted them at my farmer’s market on Saturday, and rhapsodized over their appearance all day before cooking them that evening. Flat out gorgeous!
I was inspired to create a combination of fresh green beans and cranberry beans by David Tanis in this delightful episode of Alice Water’s In the Green Kitchen video series, each of which features a simple standout dish. David spends half the year in Berkeley as head chef at Chez Panisse and the other half in Paris. Oooh, nice! I love watching him in this video, serenely topping and tailing green beans, the very essence of relaxed mindfulness.
Alas, the cranberry beans turn grayish in cooking, but I still found the final dish a pretty picture. And my friends, the taste! One of those deeply satisfying kinds.
Method: cook the cranberry beans in the shell in boiling, lightly salted water for 20 minutes. During the last 4 minutes, throw in the green beens, which have been topped and tailed and cut into reasonably bite-sized lengths. Drain everything. Shell the cranberry beans and toss them all on a platter (the better to admire), sprinkle with a little high quality olive oil and some sea salt– I used some fleur de sel. Just a little. Sheer delight with corn and sweet potatoes fresh from the farm market!
Learn more about cranberry beans on this nice site called The Heart of New England, which has lots of nice food ideas.
My colleague Klara Royal is SO busy preparing for our Mind-Body Medicine professional training program coming up October 2 – 6 here in the Washington, DC area that I wanted to make lunch for her as a special treat. What to cook? Easy– our old favorite, greens & beans.
We first learned this from Food As Medicine faculty member John Bagnulo, PhD, MPH, organic farmer and teacher extraordinaire. It’s as simple as can be, and there’s something about the combination of kale and beans that radiates energy. Cheap, easy, nutritious and delicious. A winner!
Ingredients: one bunch kale, 1 can cannellini beans, one extra-large or several small cloves garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, Bragg’s or tamari to taste.
Method: Wash and tear kale into bite-sized pieces. If you’ve never cooked kale before, you will be SHOCKED at how much it cooks down! Rinse beans. Peel and chop garlic.
Warm a small heavy pot and pour in about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Give that a minute to warm, then briefly sauté chopped garlic. Add beans, stir, and cover. Meanwhile, warm a large pan (I use a chef’s pan, a sort of flat- bottomed wok, at home, but anything will do), add a little olive oil, and throw in the kale. Add about one cup water, stir and cover. Check on the beans. Stir a little and smash a few, so there are some whole and some smashed (makes for a nice texture at the end). Stir the kale a few more times– I leave the beans to brown/crisp a little on the bottom for some crunch–and in about 5 – 7 minutes you are all done. The greens should be bright, emerald green and still chewy, but not tough.
Serve the kale in a flat bowl or plate, top with the cooked beans and a spritz of Bragg’s or Tamari to taste. Experience suggests that if you are making this at work, your colleagues will start drifting into the kitchen and making “mmmmm” noises right about when the garlic really starts to sizzle. No problem– teach them how to make it, too. Also works with family members.
Serves 2. Or one, if like Klara’s husband you LOVE kale.
Bingo! When both your 22-year old AND 15-year old sons scarf down a dish, you know you’ve got something.
Last night I made the Hoppin’ John salad recipe from the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s (PCRM’s) 21-day Vegan Kickstart program, and I’m here to tell you it’s a winner. Easy, filling, nourishing food– just the kind of thing I look for in a family week-night recipe.
It’s a rice salad with black-eyed peas (why don’t I use these more?), chopped scallions, celery, parsley and chopped tomatoes, with a garlicky, lemony dressing.
The 21-day kickstart started Monday, but it’s not too late to join. Each week, you’ll receive menus and recipes– and that’s why I joined, for the infusion of new, tried and true recipes. One does get tired of ones own cooking from time to time.
I admit it: I’m hooked on green smoothies. But if you have to have a vice, hey.
For me (and everyone’s different, which is pretty wonderful), green smoothies are the perfect start to a day. They taste like liquid sunshine, and make me feel strong and energized all morning.
Here are a week’s worth of photos and recipes to get you started. You’ll note the occasional profusion of jars– a sign that my whole family is hopping on board this smoothie thing. My oldest son (he who does not like vegetables) is up to one quart a day. And if you are getting the idea they are delicious, you are absolutely correct.
Recipes below. A couple of basics: vary your greens, so you don’t O.D. on too much oxalic acid in spinach, for instance. All plants have protective devices– too much is too much. Rotate with kale, parsley, romaine lettuce, chard, and so on. Too thick? Add more water. Or, you can add coconut water, like our faculty member Derek Neal did in our previous post (see ‘smoothies’). For convenience and cost savings, organic frozen fruit is a great option. Freeze bananas that are getting too soft, to add to future smoothies. Add ripe avocados for delectable smoothness. You get the idea.
1. Kale & Cantaloupe (Monday)
1/2 organic cantaloupe, kale (ribs removed), water
2. Pinneapple & Spinach (Tuesday)
1/2 fresh pineapple, spinach, handful of parsley, water
3. Peach Raspberry (Wednesday)
Frozen peaches, 1/4 pint raspberries, banana. small head of lettuce & some mint leaves for zin
4. Blueberry Fig (Thursday)
4 Brown Turkey figs, 1/4 pint blueberries, banana, lacinato (aka dino) kale (ribs removed), water
5. Alex’s Minty Mango (Friday)
Frozen or fresh mango, spinach, mint leaves, water
6. Parsley Passion (Saturday)
1/2 bunch parsley, 1/2 cucumber, peeled, 1 apple, 1/2 ripe banana, 1 cup water
7. Strawberry Nectarine (Sunday)
Nectarine, handful of strawberries, banana, frozen pineapple, lacinato kale
More resources: I highly recommend Victoria Boutenko’s books Green for Life and The Green Smoothie Revolution along with her family’s terrific blog (see ‘favorite sites’) for zillions of recipes, how to introduce smoothies to babies and children, and more.
This was one of the most popular dishes at Food As Medicine 2010– perhaps because it’s such a glorious eye-full?
In her book The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, from whence this recipe cometh, Rebecca Katz says, “…I set out to create the most colorful salad I could, using purple beets, orange carrots, and fresh mint. If I’d had a vegetable crisper instead of a box of crayons as a kid, this salad would have been the result.”
And not only beautiful, but brimming with antioxidants. We all know we’re supposed to be tracking those down and including them in our diets like crazy, right? Turns out, as Rebecca says, “Generally speaking, the right way to go is to cast a wide net instead of focusing on a single antioxidant.”
This is one stunning combo. As you see, the Capital Hilton kitchen did the colors side-by-side, and they are equally gorgeous tossed, with the green flecks of mint dancing amidst the shredded orange and burgundy. A great choice if you are looking for that wow factor for a healthy lunch or dinner dish. And beets and carrots are in season, in local farm markets (at least in the mid-Atlantic region), right now.
Photographs of Food As Medicine 2010 by Erin Goldstein
Shredded Carrot and Beet Salad
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup peeled and shredded carrot
1 cup peeled and shredded red beet
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Whisk the orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, ginger, and salt together
until thoroughly combined. Put the carrots in a mixing bowl, drizzle
with half of the dressing, and toss until evenly coated. Place the carrots
on one side of a shallow serving bowl. Put the beets in the mixing
bowl, drizzle with the remaining dressing, and toss until evenly
coated. Place the beets in the serving bowl next to the carrots for a
beautiful contrast of red and orange. Top with the chopped mint before
From Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Celestial Arts, 2009.
Rebecca is a core faculty member and our Executive Chef for Food As Medicine, and designs all our food for the program. OMG. Eating like this for 4 days is SUCH a treat!
Thank you for sharing, Rebecca!
Searching for something so easy to make, so healthy, and so delicious you can’t believe it’s not under lock and key?
Here you go: Arran’s guacamole. In 5 minutes, you can have it on the table. He wanted me to make a video to show you how quick it is, but I’m not that adept– yet. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, here is a quick slide show to prove the point and entice you. Chop, chop, and you’re done.
He makes it in a molacajete, a large mortar and pestle dating back several thousand years to Mesoamerica. Its rough stone surface makes smooshing up the avocados a snap, and it makes a truly beautiful serving container, too.
2 ripe avocados
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sea salt & cumin, to taste
Optional: finely diced tomato, chopped cilantro
¡ A su salud !