The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho

Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho

Rebecca Katz, Chef, Author and Food As Medicine (FAM) Executive Chef, demoed this recipe in her kitchen on stage at the end of FAM last year. It’s become a staple in our summer menus. We thought you’d like it, too!

Some folks like shots of tequila. Well, my choice of a shot is much, much healthier. Take this Mediterranean gazpacho. It makes a hit of V-8 look like amateur hour. The great part about gazpacho is it’s really a vegetable orgy; cucumbers, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, fennel, garlic. At this point readers often scream, imagining they’ll look like a bunch of nine-fingered piano players after all that veggie chopping. Believe me, I know—at culinary school, gazpacho prep is the equivalent of Ninja Knife Skills Boot Camp, where teachers walk around the kitchen with (I’m not kidding) rulers to make sure each veggie is uniformly diced. That’s nuts, and unnecessary; here we toss everything–veggies, spices, herbs, oil–all into Vinny the Vita Mix, add a little olive oil and shazam! It’s party time. I took this to an Independence Day dinner and poured out the cheer into shot glasses topped with a little avocado cream. You know you’re doing something right when everyone corners you for the recipe (I’m an easy touch on that one). This is like a drinking a Virgin Mary. No hangovers. Promise.

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Fresh Cherry Salsa

Cherries– Kewpie dolls with a message

I wanted to create a fast versatile recipe that gives sweet cherries a little sass and attitude. This inflammation fighting salsa is lively and fresh whether it’s loaded into a fish taco, spooned over cooked sweet potato, mingled with cabbage and turned into a slaw, or eaten by the spoonful while wondering what to do next. Enjoy fresh cherries while in season….they will be gone in a blink!

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Spring has sprung as nature’s magic unfolds before our eyes. Winter’s barren land is now a carpet of flowers and greens. Shopping at the farmer’s market puts the freshest veggies of the season on your plate but how else can you connect to nature’s rhythm? Sprouting edible seeds! Seeds carry almost everything needed to form into a plant. With a little water, the seed is awakened and life springs into action. Eating sprouted seeds is a way to capture the essence of spring and a plethora of nutrients.

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Strawberry, Fennel and Arugula Salad

Variety isn’t just the spice of life; it’s the one thing that will keep you from falling into a food rut. Salad lovers often tell me they get bored with the same old thing. The danger, of course, is this disenchantment can lead them away from the greens their bodies really need. Enter this salad and the idea of eating seasonally. It’s not just a catch phrase. Each season brings new foods just hitting their peak; in this case strawberries and arugula were just taking their first walks of the spring down the runway. In addition to their incredibly sweet taste, strawberries fight inflammation and tumor growth. Here you’ve got a fresh salad that feels like Pop Rocks going off in your mouth: Strawberries, mint, a lemony balsamic vinaigrette, a topping of sliced almonds. You want variety? This is the salad equivalent of Secret Santa: Lots of surprises, and every one of them a gift.
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So Easy It's Crazy: Sunshine Tomato Soup

The other evening, I made myself a cup of delicious raw tomato soup in about 30 seconds. To replicate this soup, it will be necessary to have on hand:

One huge, truly ripe, exquisitely delicious, organic tomato (I used a sunshine yellow heirloom.)
A splash of very good, extra virgin olive oil
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger root

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Plain & Simple: Brown Rice

I’m often asked how to make a good pot of brown rice– neither hard nor mushy, but just chewy enough. Classic brown rice.

That’s easy.

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Quick & Dee-licious: Roasted Asparagus with Arugula & Hazelnuts

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.

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On a Chilly Winter Night: Lentil Soup

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.

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Make Magic Mineral Broth!

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  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!

In Farm Markets Now: Cranberry Beans

September 28, 2010Jo CooperFood As Medicine0

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.


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