A good recipe can help you cook your way to one’s heart. Someone also once told me that the key to a happy life, is a happy wife. So, for this Valentine’s Day, I decided to put the two together and share this idea for your special holiday planning this week. h/t to Mark Bittman of the NYT for this inspired meal.
Black miso cod, miso soup, salad, rice, and chocolate ganache covered strawberries for the ever-coveted dessert.
This is a great recipe for someone who is not an experienced hand in the kitchen. It’s amazing, and tastes like the most complicated and delicate dish ever prepared. But, as it turns out, is really easy!
- Combine 1 cup of miso paste with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of sake and simmer in a small sauce pain. You can bring it to a boil but then let it cool.
- Lay out your Chilean Sea Bass or Black Cod (they are very similar) in 6-8oz pieces.
- Fire up your broiler. Place the rack 4-6 inches from the top.
- Generously coat the fish in the miso sauce.
- Broil until done, typically about 5 minutes per 1/2″ of thickness.
- Remove from the oven, plate and enjoy!
Pair it with some miso soup (also easy to make):
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon of dashi.
- Add 1/3 cup of red or white miso paste and stir.
- Add 6-8 oz of shiitake mushrooms and you’ve got a simple and flavorful miso soup in about 10 minutes.
I’d consider a simple tossed salad with Japanese style ginger dressing.
Lastly no Japanese meal is complete without a bowl of steamed rice! Any Japanese short grain will do, I usually choose Calrose.
Finish it off with chocolate covered strawberries, with fresh ganache:
- Destem and wash large, fresh strawberries
- Melt 8 oz of dark chocolate chips in a small pan inside of a larger one filled with water
- Slowly and steadily stir in ½ cup of heavy cream until fully mixed.
- Dip the strawberries and leave them to cool on some wax paper in the refrigerator.
*If you don’t mind a little corn syrup you could add a splash to the chocolate mixture (just a splash) and it will give the ganache a nice shine. But this is optional. Make as many as you’ll think you’ll eat.
Voila – simple to make, decadent and romantic Valentine’s dinner!
– Sam Spillman, DC
Inflammation can strike at any time. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful, especially for new injuries and certain inflammatory-based pathologies. However, our bodies experience new episodes of inflammation (both beneficial and detrimental) all the time. So, using natural remedies is a safer way to decrease those frequent bouts of non-beneficial inflammation.
Here are a few natural remedies to try before you reach for a pill.
- Exercise: Even just 20 minutes of exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects on the body’s systems.
- Add powerful anti-inflammatory spices to meals: Give turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger a try. Turmeric can be sprinkled on variety of foods, cinnamon can be a great addition to your oatmeal or tea in the morning, and ginger brings a nice twist to a smoothie.
- Reduce red meat consumption: Recent studies show red meat can actually bring on inflammatory effects on the body. Chicken, salmon, and other foods high in Omega 3’s can be great options to prevent inflammation and get the protein you need.
- Eat more foods with anti-inflammatory properties: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes are your friends. Be sure to include multiple servings of these throughout the day to allow your body to be at its best.
Remember, your body is your greatest asset. Take good care of it, and it will take care of you for years to come!
Bryan Esherick PT, DPT
Healthy School Lunch
Don’t sacrifice healthy for easy. Try these quick lunch tips to help you save time during hectic schedules while packing all the nutrition your kids need. Good nutrition is important for growing minds and growing bodies. A good lunch can be a part of better athletic AND academic performance for your children. Cafeteria school lunches tend to be focused around limiting costs for the school and not necessarily the healthiest options for kids. But making lunch can be a time consuming part of the day, on top of being just one. more. thing.
Try these quick lunch tips to help you AND the kids!
- Buy fresh produce. Sunday night prep can be 30 minutes: wash, peel and cut all carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, etc. and store in large ziplock bags for the week for a quick grab-and-pack.
- Create your own lunchables. Sliced cheese/ham and crackers in a reusable container, grapes and carrots in another, hummus and pretzels for non-meat eaters, and you’re set! You can use peanut butter (or almond, cashew) for some added protein.
- Avoid sweet drinks. My kids would finish a juice pouch and eat nothing else. Keep juice and sweet treats at home as an after-school-treat. They’ll look forward to that! High blood sugar will cause a crash when they had back into class.
- Provide ample food storage. Having sandwich and snack size reusable containers on hand makes packing a lunch so much easier for little ones.
- Pack a note. Wouldn’t you want a note from Mom/Dad? (I would!) A silly joke or a ‘have a crazy day!’ can help your child (or spouse!) get through the rest of the day.
Enjoy healthy and happy lunching!
If you have more questions about a healthy diet, please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected]
My grandfather was a farmer in the heart of Cornell chicken country. He raised dairy cows, chickens, and corn in upstate New York and when he retired, he continued farming the most delicious corn – and even became adept at growing brussels sprouts – on the few acres behind his house.
Back in the day, Cornell chicken was widely popularized by Cornell University’s poultry science and agricultural program as an inexpensive protein alternative to beef. And Cornell’s very own Robert C. Baker actually invented the barbecue recipe now famous in Cornell chicken recipes – like the one my grandfather perfected. However, Baker’s real claim to fame was his invention of the chicken nugget, which he actually invented while at Penn State but only gained appreciation after he joined the faculty at Cornell. He would travel all over the country sharing his love of poultry and demonstrations of his recipes.
At one point, Cornell had approached my grandfather inviting him to be one of their instructors at the agricultural school but his love of farming kept his focus. I must say I’m glad it did because my grandfather’s Cornell chicken recipe is a summer classic, and brings back some of my fondest childhood memories.
This Fourth of July I’ll be grilling up a batch of my grandfather’s signature summer fare, complete with corn-on-the-cob for the side – though I’ll be getting my corn from the local farmer’s market. Give it try!
What you’ll need:
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 3 tbsps salt
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning
What to do:
- In a bowl, beat the egg and whisk in oil followed by the vinegar and then the seasonings.
- Marinate whole chicken, or chicken pieces, for 24 hours.
- Throw it on grill and cook to an internal temperature of 165 F.