Sweet and Spicy Candied Pistachios | What I Made on The Taste

Candied Pistachios | The TasteSweet. Spicy. Salty. Down-right addictive. Candied nuts are the perfect cocktail nibble or crunchy garnish and often appear in some form on my holiday menu. I generally use pecans and have a bowl out on the bar for people to munch while mixing a cocktail. (And usually add bourbon to the recipe, if we’re being honest.) Yet pistachios are smaller and, for this reason, the better complement to the dish I was preparing on the holiday challenge for The Taste. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, whatever nut you choose, I hope this treat becomes your next holiday favorite.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups pistachios, shelled, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

Toast pistachios at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes, until deepened in color and fragrant. (Alternatively, begin with unsalted and toasted pistachio nutmeats.) Mix together all spices in a small bowl. Taste. It should have a pleasant flavor (as good as dried spices can taste, that is). Adjust accordingly, keeping in mind that the spices will become diluted once they’re cooked. But also note that I love spicy food, and it definitely comes through in this recipe. If you don’t like heat, use less white pepper or omit it completely—and certainly don’t add cayenne. Toss the pistachios with the spices; some will end up pooled at the bottom of the bowl, which is fine.

Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, then whisk in honey. It will become bubbly and thick. Mix in spiced pistachios until fully coated and cook a few minutes. Grease a cookie pan lightly with cooking spray and spread the nut mixture into an even layer. Cook for about 5 minutes then remove from the oven. Some of the mixture will have melted off the nuts a bit; just retoss, it’s no big deal.) Let sit until fully cooled and set. Alternatively, if you’re in a rush (kind of like I was), then place the pan into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or the freezer, even, to allow the nuts to fully set. Use your fingers to break the pieces into individual nuts or small nut clusters; use a paper towel to blot them If they’re a bit greasy.

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Candied Nuts | The TasteNuts still suffer from a bad reputation in some circles given they are what we nutrition people refer to as “energy dense.” In other words, they’re high in calories for the amount you’re eating. In about a 1/4 cup serving you’re going to get around 170 calories. That said, they’re very small, and if you take the time to shell them yourself you’ll feel more satiated since it gives your body a chance to say “Hey! I’m full!” (This is an important part of weight management, but I’ll not digress.) And pistachios are filled with heart-healthy unsaturated fats and minerals like copper, manganese, and phosphorous. They make a terrific afternoon snack, perfect with a piece of fruit.

Of course, there are even more delicious calories in candied nuts since they’ve got the added butter and sugar. Which is why I only make them for special occasions or cocktail parties and consume small portions—while enjoying, mindfully, every single last bite.

And I’m going to go ahead and say that you should, too.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Sesame Seared Tuna with Radish Salad and Satay Sauce | What I Made on The Taste

Seared Tuna | The TasteNormally I don’t drag one story and recipe out for three blog posts, so please forgive me. However, if I tried to cover the “why” as well as the various “whats” in one post, well, let’s just say you would have stopped reading long ago. Plus, the health and sustainability messages about tuna are relevant no matter what its preparation, and both the radish salad and the satay sauce can be used in dishes well beyond this one. It was simply too many things to cover in one article, trust me.

So, today, we’ll just get right to the seared Neothunnus with a few “exciting” cooking photos that bring everything together and be done with it.

And, of course, you can use this tuna in a whole bunch of other ways, too.

Like, say, slicing it up after it’s gorgeously crusty and rare and eating it right then and there.

* * * * *

Ingredients

Directions

1. Mix the satay sauce by following the directions here. You’ll want to do this first to allow the flavors to come together. Try not to keep eating it out of the bowl with a spoon.

2. Prepare the radish salad as discussed here. Note that for this particular dish I used only Daikon for aesthetic purposes—the dish is black and white and red all over—and omitted the sesame seeds in the salad for obvious reasons.

Satay Sauce and Radish Salad | The Taste

3. Jumble the black and white sesame seeds together with your fingers on a plate. Season the tuna with salt and pepper (or crushed black peppercorns if that kind of thing enthralls you). Press each side of the tuna into the sesame seed mixture, coating fully.

Sesame-Crusted Tuna

4. Sear the tuna. Heat the peanut oil to high heat. As soon as it smokes—worry not, peanut oil has a high smoke point—place the tuna in the pan. It will sizzle and cook very, very quickly. You do not want it to overcook: seared tuna is best served rare. It will take about 2 minutes per side. The seeds will deepen in color and you’ll see the outer edge turn color.

Seared Tuna in the Pan | The Taste

5. Plate the dish. Let the fish rest a few minutes then create an artful mound of radish salad, place the fish atop it, and fleck with lime zest.

Tuna with Satay Sauce | The Taste

I couldn’t figure out an attractive way to get the sauce involved in the plating, ergo it’s on the side. What I also discovered in remaking the dish and tasting my test pieces with the radish salad is that, ironically, it really doesn’t even need it.

Do understand that this is a huge statement for me given I could drown a happy death in a vat of peanut sauce.

Use it, don’t use it. Yet know that this beauty shines on its own abed this sprightly mix of radishes, scallions, and cilantro, perhaps with an extra drizzle of the salad dressing if you like things saucy.

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And that, as they say, is a wrap.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Simple Radish Salad with Southeast Asian Flavors

Radish Salad PKWay | The TasteRadishes. I love them, root to leaf, and it is one of the vegetables I munch on all year long. My radish horizons have been greatly expanded in recent years. Beyond the traditional red (globe) radish, they also come in purple, black, white, French breakfast, and watermelon varieties, with varying heat. And lucky me! I can get most of these all year long from the seasonal and winter markets here in Boston. Thinly slice a selection and serve with herb butter on crostini and you’ve got a fabulous French-insprired treat, a favorite at my home. Or sauté up the leaves to include in a glorious winter-themed dish like seared scallops, radish greens, and winter squash purée.

Truth be told, today’s salad grew out of a garnish, of all things. I had prepared a sesame-crusted tuna with satay sauce for the “Under the Sea” challenge on The Taste and needed acid and crunch to balance the dish. This mixture definitely fit the bill. Yet it’s so simple and satisfying that I developed this recipe starring the glorious Raphanus sativus.

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Ingredients

  • 1 Daikon radish, sliced in batons
  • 5 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced in batons
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, rough chop
  • 1 tablespoon Nam Pla (Asian fish sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • White sesame seeds, toasted (garnish)
  • Lime zest (garnish)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Very little to do here, friends. In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, brown sugar, and water. Taste. Add the radishes, scallions, and cilantro. Toss and retaste. You’ve now got a deliciously light salad that can also be used as a base for fish (or whatever). For a dressing with a bit more body, simply include a teaspoon or two of peanut or sesame oil and a squeeze of lime juice or rice vinegar. If you do add oil and acid, just whisk them in to suit your own palate. It’s your salad, after all.

Spoon artfully on a plate to serve. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and zest with fresh lime. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Radish Salad PK Way | The Taste

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Quick. Easy. Pretty. Crunchy. Flavorful.

Another win for radishes.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Sesame-Crusted Tuna with Satay Sauce and Radishes | What I Made on The Taste (and Why)

This is the first part of a three-part series on this dish. For the recipe itself, click here.

What happens when you sear up a gorgeous piece of tuna with black pepper, Fleur de Sel, and sesame seeds and serve it with satay sauce and a crunchy radish garnish? This. This bite of deliciousness right here, which sorta looks like my spoon for the “Under the Sea” challenge on The Taste.

So why did I make this dish? For starters, the logistics of the competition were paramount considerations, which involve timing and strategy. Is it circa 1998, as Chef Marcus Samuelson claimed? Perhaps. Whatever. The name of the game is to stay in the game, so I didn’t want to take big risks with one of my more inventive dishes, like, say, seared scallops with Moroccan spices and red lentils or swordfish with tomato tamarind sauce and coconut chutney. Seared tuna is also extremely quick to cook: a crispy crust with a rare center and it’s done. My Asian-inspired peanut sauce is, frankly, awesome—and takes experience to prepare with its many ingredients. I began making my own after eating a lot of bad Thai takeout, drawing on skills I learned in a cooking class in Thailand using traditional seasonings like Nam Pla. Finally, my crisp radish salad with its flavorful dressing brought in a creative element, a burst of acidity that perfectly balanced the richness of the fish and sauce. In fact when I remade this dish for today’s post, I found it didn’t even need the satay sauce at all. If I had to do it again on primetime I’d leave it off and focus on the radishes. Then again, I’m a radish fiend. 

Beyond all that, tuna is one seriously nutritious fish, a protein powerhouse that’s packed with essential omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA that have anti-inflammatory actions critical for heart- and brain health. And most people, including pregnant women and children, don’t consume the recommended levels for optimal development and disease prevention. Tuna is also an amazing source of selenium and vitamins B-3, B-12, B-6, and D; B-12 is particularly important since many adults are at risk of deficiency, especially those over 50 years of age. For all these reasons and more, most people would benefit from increasing their consumption of seafood.

On the other hand, tuna is high on the food chain and can be contaminated with methylmercury. Other species suffer from dwindling populations due to severe over-fishing, and bycatch compromises other sea life. And there are a whole bunch of different species of tuna that vary on these factors.

Foods for HealthIt gets to be a lot, I know, but there is good science to guide you. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch has a great app that informs decision-making when standing at the fishmonger’s counter—yes, I’m that personand the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fishwatch is also quite informative; a recent article in National Geographic summarizes the myriad tuna issues. If you’re interested in this kind of farm-to-fork thinking when making food choices please subscribe to my blog. You might also enjoy my recent book, National Geographic Foods for Healthcurrently on sale at local bookstores and here.

And just for the record, the other elements I included in the dish, like radishes, sesame seeds, and peanut butter, are pretty darn healthful, too.

So. Cooking and Eating the PK Way. Better for you, better for the planet, and unbelievably tasty when dishes like sesame-crusted tuna with satay sauce and radishes are on the menu.

What else can I tell you, really?

Seared Tuna and Satay Sauce | The Taste

Oh, right.

The recipe.

It’s coming soon. Please stay posted!

And thanks for reading.

Update: Here’s the recipe!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Getting Retro with Waldorf Salad: A Modern Take on the Classic

Waldorf SaladSome of my readers may not be familiar with this dish, which is decidedly old-school. In fact, Waldorf salad was created at the turn of the twentieth century. It was particularly popular in the early 1900s, even getting a shout-out in Cole Porter’s classic song “You’re the Top” from Anything Goes (1934) alongside Shakespeare and Mickey Mouse. Waldorf salad also played a starring role in one of the episodes of the 1979 British sitcom Fawlty Towers

Perhaps due to its tasty simplicity featuring common ingredients like apples and walnuts, it continues to be passed down the generations. And why not? There’s nothing not to like about this classic, and it’s a fine way to celebrate all those crisp autumn apples of varying colors and flavors. Just select a few varieties that make you happy—leave that pretty skin loaded with fiber and phytonutrients on, please—and add a few more ingredients for a dish that can be made in less than ten minutes. My recipe modernizes the salad with additional vegetables and herbs to give it a nutrition and flavor boost, and there’s plenty of room for you to play, too, to create your own perfect Waldorf salad fit for twenty-first century families.

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Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • Hakurei turnips (sweet salad turnips)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (approximately from 1/3 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon scallions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, rough chop
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon raisins (I prefer golden)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pecans, toasted, rough chop
  • 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2  teaspoon agave nectar (or honey) (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions and Notes

Chop the unpeeled apples and turnips into bite-sized chunks and toss with freshly squeezed lemon juice. (I generally choose one sweet and one tart apple; use whatever you want.) Stir in scallions, celery, parsley, mayonnaise, yogurt, raisins, and nuts. Add a shake of vinegar and small squirt of agave, season with freshly ground pepper and a few pinches of salt, and mix. Taste and adjust: final amounts of vinegar, lemon juice, and agave (if using) will be dictated by how sweet or tart the apples you selected were as well as your own preferences. Personally, I enjoy a salad with tang so I often squeeze in a bit more lemon juice. Garnish with lemon zest, a few nuts, or a scatter of parsley and scallions, as desired.

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Sure, you can just toss some apples together with yogurt and nuts perhaps like you would with any fruit for a simple snack or dessert. But putting a few additional ingredients together creates something … special. I include scrumptious turnips because they’re always at my farmers market this time of year. This small and sweet variety is perfect in any kind of autumn salad and has the same texture as a very crisp apple with none of the bitterness of its larger counterpart. Perfect complement.

There are so many other options to keep things interesting and suit your taste. Swap red or yellow onion for scallions; switch pistachios or walnuts for pecans; add kale, broccoli, or cauliflower for color and texture; or toss in and handful of grapes, as those keeping with the traditional recipe are wont to do. And you could ditch the mayo if you prefer and just use yogurt, perhaps with crème fraiche or sour cream for tang. I often include a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, too.

A small bowl of Waldorf salad makes a super breakfast, snack, or dessert, but with all of these vegetables I find it also makes a really nice light lunch when served atop a bed of greens. Peppery arugula is perfect (as pictured) but anything works, really, from sweet spinach to pretty red leaf lettuce; choose whatever you have on hand.

Modern Waldorf Salad

Here’s to the classics!

There’s a reason they’re still around, and getting creative makes them a fun and worthwhile addition to your meal-time repertoire, even now.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. 

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Autumn Harvest Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette (Video)

Autumn Harvest SaladAutumn abounds with hearty greens, lively herbs, crisp apples and pears, and squashes of all shapes and sizes. Here in Boston we’re also lucky enough to be seeing the final crop of sweet tomatoes and summer corn. It truly is a cornucopia of goodness at the local farmers’ markets, which makes for terrific eating that’s good for you and the planet, too.

Today’s salad features roasted butternut squash, rosemary onions, and dried cranberries. The salad sings with a zesty maple Dijon vinaigrette. Watch the video of me whipping it up at the Boston Local Food Festival and learn more about why salad dressing and nuts are so nutritious.

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Ingredients

  • 6 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 large onion, large chop (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, rough mince
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, split, or more
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (reduced sugar if possible)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4-6 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive, canola, or grape seed)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chive blossoms, minced, or regular chives
  • Mixed lettuces, about 8 cups (arugula, mustard greens, kale, etc.)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

Roast the squash. Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Remove the peel and seeds from the squash and cut into fork-friendly chunks. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of EVOO, season with salt and pepper, and mix to coat, using more if needed. Spread squash onto a baking sheet and roast about 20 minutes, tossing once, until softened. Don’t overcook, since you want the squash to retain its shape and have a pleasing texture for the salad. (Note: extra squash works fantastically in roasted butternut squash soup.)

Roast the onions. Chop the onion—yellow, white, or Vidalia all work well—into large pieces. Give the fresh rosemary a rough mince. Drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil, add rosemary, season with salt and pepper, and toss together; use more oil if needed. (Like the squash, the onions should be lightly coated, but not greasy or dripping.) Spread onions onto a baking sheet and roast at the same time as the squash, about 12 minutes, tossing half-way through. Onions should be somewhat browned, soft, and translucent. (Caramelized onions are a great way to go, too.)

Make the dressing. While the vegetables are roasting, whisk Dijon, vinegar, and garlic together in a small bowl then stream in the oil until emulsified. I recommend adding about 4 tablespoons of oil and go from there; some people like a dressing with more vinegary zing while others prefer a milder taste. You can’t go back, so tasting is key before adding it all! Whisk in fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put it together. When vegetables have cooled somewhat to warm or room temperature, you are ready to plate your salad. On a large serving platter, create a bed of greens that makes you happy. I encourage you to go for dark green and red for the greatest nutrition; the bitter crunch of kale or mustard greens works wonderfully to provide texture and contrast to the sweetness of the squash and cranberries. Spoon the squash over the greens then scatter with the roasted onions and dried cranberries. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and top with minced chive blossoms; regular chives work fine if you can’t find them. Let people serve themselves, and pass additional vinaigrette around the table.

Options. For a heartier salad, include nuts and seeds of your choosing, like toasted walnuts or spicy-sweet pumpkin seeds; a whole grain like quinoa, farro, or brown rice; or cooked beans. Crumbled goat or blue cheese also work really well. Less is more, so don’t add all of these at the same time, but with tasty toppings like these you can make this salad over and over again, adding new elements to suit your mood to keep things fun and interesting.

Serves 6-8 people, fewer if consuming as a stand-alone “big salad for supper.”

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This video was remixed from my cooking demo at the Boston Local Food Festival, where I made three other salads featuring health- and planet-friendly ingredients like pear and arugula with walnut vinaigrette. For more delectable recipes of all kinds, please visit my recipe page.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. Thanks for reading!

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book, Foods for Health, was published in September 2014 and can be purchased here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

 

A Kale Tale: How I Fell in Love with the Headless Crucifer

Have you ever eaten kale, the headless crucifer? If you haven’t (or if you have and hated it), I beg you to keep reading, because I’ve had nothing short of a revelation and I’m down-right giddy about sharing it with you. Following is my kale tale.

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad: Who Knew?

It was an article in Bon Appétit by Molly Wizenberg that really got me thinking more seriously about this hearty vegetable. Kale never appeared on the family dinner table when I was a child, and my culinary endeavors as an adult were limited to soups, braising, and sautéing. Cooking seemed important to tame some of the bitterness that kale can have; the thought of eating kale raw had simply never occurred to me. Yes, me. The Nutrition Doctor.

Kale and Brussels sprouts salad, day 1: marcona almonds and pecorino cheese.

Well, you can imagine my skepticism when I stumbled across a recipe for kale and Brussels sprouts salad. Cooked kale was one thing, sure. But raw (I scoffed)? Who could possibly like that? Yet, glancing at the gargantuan head of kale I had just purchased from the farmers’ market, I quashed my negativity and decided to give it a shot. The dish did call for Brussels sprouts, almonds, pecorino, and a lively mustard vinaigrette, after all. How bad could it be?

And if you’re into health, kale is among the most nutritious veggies out there. I’ll bet you already knew that given its prominence as the “it” vegetable for the past several years (though cauliflower has given it a run for its money in 2014). For the record, the sensationalism of “super foods” is pretty silly: most nutrition scientists like me encourage consuming a wide variety of deeply colored vegetables to get a diverse array of nutrients rather than overdosing on just one thing. Keeps your plate more interesting, too; no need for a three-course meal featuring kale and only kale.

Anyway, kale (like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and so forth) is a cruciferous vegetable that has been associated with lowered blood cholesterol and decreased risk of some cancers. These effects are due in part to vitamins A, C, and K and minerals manganese and copper as well as bioactive components like flavonoids and glucosinolates that have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Kale is also a reasonable source of calcium, important for you non-dairy drinking folks. The nuts and olive oil in the salad are great sources of healthy monounsaturated fats; almonds are a rich source of many minerals, vitamin E, and fiber and nuts in general have been shown to lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

Let’s face it: this salad is nothing short of a nutritional powerhouse.

As importantly, the bitterness of the kale coupled with the caramelized sweetness of the Brussels sprouts alongside the crunch of the almonds and the zing of the Dijon dressing creates a veritable party on the palate. The salad perfectly demonstrates the Healthy Hedonism philosophy that is Cooking and Eating the P.K. Way. I’m not saying it’s pumpkin whoopie pies with maple buttercream or anything—come on, that’s just sheer hedonism and I love it. But as far as salad goes, it rocked my world.

Kale and Brussels sprouts salad, day 2: roasted almonds, red onions, and cheese-free.

In fact, I ditched using the kale in a soup as planned and made it three times. In a row. I swapped caramelized Brussels sprouts for raw grated, since I love them and had some in the fridge. I also happen to think it looks prettier and provides a better contrast of textures and flavors. I’ll probably start getting creative by adding legumes or other proteins—garbanzos? white beans? grilled tofu? salmon?—to turn it into a stand-alone “big salad” main course. And, for the record, I’ve made the salad with and without cheese (right) and it’s great either way, so go ahead and go vegan on this one if you’re into that kind of thing, or if you just want to shave calories.

So that’s how I fell in love with raw kale. Something I never really considered much during the first several decades of my life has now become a go-to salad ingredient following inspiration from my local farmers’ market—there are many varieties of kale to enjoy—and a little encouragement from Bon Appétit. My story reminds us yet again of the importance of always being open to new things: new vegetables, new dishes, new salads, new spices, new ways of cooking and eating. Welcome all of it, and embrace it fully. And I hope I will continue to be of assistance and inspiration to you on your delicious journey towards better health.

After all, we’re in it together: you, me, and our new BFF, kale.

* * *

This article was written today in honor of National Kale Day, which apparently is a thing. It was excerpted from the original post and edited following its original publication on my blog in 2011. For many more kale-inspired recipes, salads, soups, and beyond, please visit my recipe page.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. Thanks for reading!

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health was just published and can be purchased here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

From Farm to Fork, Why What You Eat Matters: Foods for Health Now On Sale!

I am excited to announce that my first book is now on sale here and will be available in stores around the country on September 9, 2014!

Foods for Health

Foods for Health is science-based (of course!) and filled with great food porn—and even includes a few of my very own photos like the one here. It’s a gorgeous, coffee-table type book that highlights 148 foods and explains the health and environmental impacts of each in a user-friendly fashion. I can’t wait until my cookbooks are published to help you bring salubrious and sustainable eating to your plate in delectable ways. Until then, peruse hundreds of recipes right here on my blog and keep checking back with The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen for fabulous dishes that will make you swoon.

I hope you’ll understand that I won’t have much time to write in the upcoming weeks with the beginning of the semester and book tour activities. (By the way, you can still register for From Farm to Fork: Why What You Eat Matters if you like, and it’s offered online so you don’t need to be in Boston.) In the meanwhile, I hope you pick up a copy of Foods for Health for your collection. Thank you for your support!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, check out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book comes out on September 9, 2014.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Artichoke Hummus: Super Easy, and Ready in Five Minutes

Artichoke HummusAh, hummus. Never really cared for it, truth be told. Like so many store-bought products, the flavor and quality varies greatly. (That’s my polite way of saying that it often sucks.) There are exceptions to this rule, like a particular brand at Trader Joe’s that I’ve been calling “crack hummus” because if it’s on hand, I can’t get enough.

That said, hummus is so easy to make at home, and I’ve come to prefer the fresher flavor and less homogeneous texture of my own recipe. I love beginning with dried beans—they’re not just for kindergarten art projects, you know—though my desire to eat hummus doesn’t always coincide with the extra time needed to start completely from scratch. Fortunately, both chick peas (garbanzo beans) and artichokes are handily found on the supermarket shelves, making this version of hummus even quicker to whip up at home. And I’m talking about five minutes here, folks, so grab yourself a no-salt added can of each and a few kitchen staples and let’s get cooking.

* * * * *

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chick peas, drained (save liquid)
  • 2 cups artichoke hearts, drained (save liquid)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Juice from 1/4 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

For more information on how to make hummus, you can watch this five-minute video. Basically, all you need to do is put everything together in the food processor, taste, and adjust the seasoning to suit your palate. Note that for the liquid you can use either the artichoke water or garbanzo liquid from the cans, assuming there was no salt added, or just use water. Start with the lower amounts of ingredients in the recipe and go from there; I often find myself adding a bit more lemon juice or water and an extra drizzle or two of olive oil.

* * * * *

Note that while this hummus can be eaten immediately, the garlicky flavor that I adore really comes out once it’s hung out in the fridge for a while. Then it’s even better. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and give it a crack of pepper and serve with your favorite veggies for a scrumptious treat you can feel good about. And if you like this recipe, be sure to check out my other favorite kind of hummus, roasted red pepper. Either makes a fabulous sandwich, too.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book comes out on September 9, 2014.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

For the Love of Strawberries: P.K.’s Recipe Round-Up

Strawberry Cartons

Just as the weather is heating up on the East Coast, so, too is the local bounty. Things start slowly here in New England but we’re finally seeing some serious vegetables and fruits at our farmers’ markets. And there’s no happier day for me than when strawberries appear on the stands. I adore summer strawberries and love to feature them on salads and in cocktails—and making strawberry ice cream (or gelato) is an annual tradition that simply must happen. Forget about the hard and flavorless pink variant you find off-season; you simply can’t beat a local summer strawberry, juicy and sweet. Check out the photos and find the links to the recipes at the bottom of the page.

Sure, strawberries are low in calories at only 46 calories per cup. And they’re a vitamin C powerhouse; rich in fiber and manganese; and loaded in phytonutrients (plant chemicals) like anthyocyanins and phenolic acids that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Good stuff, sure, but I eat them because they’re awesome.

Or drink them, as the case may be.

Enjoy the sweet taste of summer!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. Thanks for reading!

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. 

Strawberry Cartons

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.