Monthly Archives: February 2013

Anti-Inflammation foods

VeggiebuDSC_3136Wintertime is body stress. Muscles hurt, (…or was it from snow shoveling?), the skin feels dry and food allergies tax our system more than usual, which manifests as inflammation in different areas of the body. Some foods such as sugar for example, can directly cause inflammation. Continue reading

Asian Spring

Marry Italian ‘prima vera’ with Asian sesame pasta, and you will get an Asian inspired dish that provides you with some fresh greens. Rice or buckwheat noodles give it an authentic Asian feel, but whole wheat linguine also works well. Snowpeas and scallions are just lighly sauteed and blended into the pasta with a sesame or spicey sauce. If available, you may also try fresh fava beans. See recipe 


BavDSC_3137What is a German potato salad? If you think it is a potato-mayonnaise salad, (which in South America btw. is referred to as ‘Russian Salad’), you may limit yourself. Finns add frozen green peas to that blend, others add eggs. However, Germans know at least 20 different ways of making a potato salad and as I wrote before, there are complete cook books about potato recipes.
Most potato salads contain animal products such as eggs in mayonnaise, cream or bacon bits, however there are also a healthier kinds with less fat. My winter favorite, Bavarian potato salad for example, has a warm marinade blended into cooked and sliced potatoes.  don’t like too pale potatoes, so I produced something like home fries with dressing, which in winter is the perfect warm side dish with carrots and peas and maybe a field roast sausage or roast. See Recipe

Broth, bouillons and stock

Broth cubes are so ‘modern convenience’, they add a quick flavor to sauces, soups and stews. Did you know they have been around for more than a hundred years? In Northern Europe, the Maggi company built an empire with the soup extract, elsewhere did Oxo and others; Lovage is sometimes called ‘Maggikraut’ in Germany, because of its telltale scent. Continue reading

Warming Valentine hugs

CocoaDSC_3131.1Hot Chocolate is a warm hug. Cocoa or Cacao? Most likely you grew up with Nesquick or Swiss Miss – Sugary, chalky, milk powdery mixes with a faint hint of chocolate. Then as a grown up, maybe in New York, you will discover drinking real chocolate.                                                                                                                                            The word and idea of drinking cacao came from Mexican ancestors. Ancient graves unearthed, bore symbols and vessels identified with cacao consumption.  Continue reading

Mardi Gras

There is nothing traditional except color. I must admit, this is a wacky and not very festive combination, but despite the looks it is really tasty. The real recipe of the bake is with white or savoy cabbage, white beans and potatoes. However if you like a stronger taste with more character, try red cabbage and juicy black beans which also won’t discolor. Serve with quinoa burgers and tartar sauce. Cabbage blend recipe
The quinoa burgers or croquettes are quite tasty with tartar sauce. The recipe is adjusted to be non crumbly as the original German recipe was more like granola. Quinoa burger recipe

Artisanal food

Whole wheat, artisanal pasta can be bought in bulk. As a package designer, I should be ashamed, but I love bulk from a NYC Co-op or from our local WF. This particular rough shaped whole wheat rigatoni for example feels very country like. Today I tested a quicky recipe for a vegan ‘Alfredo’, which compliments the taste of the pasta well. Home made pastas may also go well with following recipe. Different than the traditional ‘double trouble’ butter and cheese sauce, this cheesy sauce is a cold blend, poured over the hot al dente pasta and blended with blanched spinach. You may just chop the spinach and blend it in raw, but I like to blanch to remove some oxalic acid and make it more tender. The rather wintery recipe relies on dried herbs, but by all means, add fresh minced garlic if you have time… a very quick and satisfying dish. See recipe

Bars and Balls

PowerDSC_3128Some time during the 80’s, there were aerobics, and then there was the advent of power bars. I remember the first ‘Muesli Bars’ sold before my time in college. We ate several ones during breaks, convinced they were healthy and got quite addicted. Then we noticed weight gain as the contents were just a tad nicer as in regular candies. Today, there are so many different bars; bars for athletes, for meal replacement and weight loss programs and Vitamins, even once a ‘Snooze bar’. Most of the commercial ones taste stale, rancid or sticky. But when you find out how easy you can make them fresh, there is really no reason to put up with ‘saw dust and sugar’. The ones I made, were handy when we skipped breakfast today before the snow storm and are a great snack during meetings. Just be aware that it is very concentrated food, a small bite would be more than double the size of nuts and fruits to eat. See recipe

Cabbage flowers

Early Arab scientists wrote about Cauliflower in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 16th century, the French introduced ‘Chouxfleurs’. Cultivars were developed in Germany, France and Asia. Italian versions include the original white, the Romanescu and the colored varieties, also broccoli cultivars.
When I grew up in Northern Europe, cauliflower was popular. Today, broccoli might have taken it’s place. There are great in Indian dishes like Aloo Gobi, but also a soup of cauliflower and potato is a quick and warming dish, that might even work in leftover cauliflower. See Recipe

Inflammation remedy

Recently I was researching anti inflammatory foods. Sugar, alcohol, red meat and dairy apparently increase inflammation. So do very refined white wheat products. But what food products are anti-inflammatory? Some remedies are turmeric (ginger) and aloe gel. You may also try cinnamon. Continue reading