Cool as a cucumber!

Cool as a cucumber!

My friends, cucumbers have changed! When I was growing up, cucumbers were fat and stubby with waxy skins and big, blah seeds. They were relegated to three uses: a garnish on the plate, sliced in a salad, or finely sliced in little tea sandwiches with butter on white bread. Honestly not a major player, nothing spectacular. The texture was unexciting, the seeds were annoying, the skin was bitter. Meh.
 

Foods to take when you travel

Foods to take when you travel

Traveling this summer? When it comes to food, I suggest you be prepared! 

My dear friend and her husband came to visit us in California last month. She was 26 weeks pregnant and traveling from the east coast, a LONG travel day. She had planned ahead and ordered a special meal for the plane… which turned out to be disgusting, virtually inedible. Oh, dear! She asked the flight attendant if she could rustle her up a cheese plate. To which the attendant flatly said, no. We don’t have any extras. My friend said, I’m a pregnant woman! Get me a cheese plate!!!  You do not want to mess with a hungry pregnant woman!!!!  Startled, the flight attendant rummaged through the food cabinet, and wouldn’t you know, she found one. 
 

It’s about the joy! 

It’s about the joy! 

One of the challenges of creativity is knowing when you have to shift gears and change. Getting into a groove can be wonderfully productive… but then it can get stale. As a creative chef, author and educator in the food world, I’ve been passionate about food and health for decades, and my focus has been on translating the science to the plate.

Soups… for summer!

Soups… for summer!

The last thing people think of when it’s boiling hot outside is soup! We have this notion that soup is a warm, nourishing hug. So true! But it’s even more. Soup can also be that deliciously chilled, tastebud-thrilling tonic we need in midsummer. It’s like that quick dive into the swimming pool — bracing, flavor-packed, nutrition-full.

Salads sublime!

Salads sublime!

What, I ask you, could be more sublime for summer than salads?

I have a history with salads. When I was growing up, my father was called the Condiment King, because he manufactured salad dressings and mayonnaise. Our fridge was always filled with sample jars of the latest dressings, so we were very on trend salad-wise. My father truly loved salads. He had his Sunday salad, his Thursday salad, his Saturday salad, and they were all different. In other words, salad was a BIG thing in our house!
 

Strengthen your body and mind: women and Alzheimer’s

Strengthen your body and mind: women and Alzheimer’s

Did you know that two-thirds of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are women? And that we don’t know why? Maria Shriver founded The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement™, a global alliance, to help find out. This month I participated in her annual Move for Minds event, a day focused on the mind/body connection and raising funds to wipe out Alzheimer’s. As Maria says, “Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis. That’s why we must be at the heart of the solution.”
 

With homage and love: the remarkable Fredi Kronenberg

With homage and love: the remarkable Fredi Kronenberg

There are some people who, for various reasons, assume monumental importance in our lives. Fredi Kronenberg was one of those for me. Like everyone who knew her and her work, I was a HUGE admirer.  A consummate researcher, she was a champion of integrative medicine and the food as medicine movement, especially for women’s health issues and those dealing with cancer. She was also my very dear friend.

The art of cooking: in my kitchen with painter Nicholas Wilton 

The art of cooking: in my kitchen with painter Nicholas Wilton 

As many of you know, art is a big factor in my life. Whether composing a gloriously vibrant plate of food or a painting in my studio, the process seems the same to me: a playground for curiosity, an openness to inspiration, and a love and respect for the materials I’m working with.

Cooking with Izzy

Cooking with Izzy

My friend Andrew Faulkner, a painter, digital artist, and printmaker, works down the road from me, but I met him on an island in the middle of the Pacific at a painting retreat! While on retreat, he expressed a desire to eat in a healthier manner. Not surprisingly. People often share such aspirations with me, perhaps even make them up on the spot when they hear what I do. But Andrew seemed in earnest. 
 

A paean to potatoes

A paean to potatoes

I'm delighted to share this delicious post from our archives — one of my all-time favorites, as you will imagine since I am a self-proclaimed spud slut! There! I said it. No truer words. And I may be a bit counter-culture by championing potatoes, but hear me out, and learn that yes! Potatoes can be a marvelous, and especially delectable, part of a healthy diet.

Did you know that potatoes are a dream food?

They are soul-satisfying, comforting, scintillatingly delicious, and full of extraordinarily healthful properties. So why do people dis them? What’s not to like? 

Good food is memory: the extraordinary Paula Wolfert

Good food is memory: the extraordinary Paula Wolfert

It’s no secret that I am an avid cookbook collector, and that I am deeply beholden to the exceptional cooks that have gone before me. Back in the day before food television was busy creating celebrity chefs, there were a group of amazing women cookbook authors, scholarly ambassadors, who brought food from afar to our shores. Julia Child introduced us to French cuisine, Alice Waters brought us fresh, farm-to-table cooking, and Paula Wolfert shared Mediterranean cuisine.

Carb Control!

Carb Control!

When I say “carbohydrates,” do you picture bread, bagels, pasta and pastries? Well, yes. But that’s not the WHOLE picture. See the gorgeous plant foods above? These have carbohydrates in them, too, what are called COMPLEX carbohydrates. I want to be clear as a bell that the effects of simple vs. complex carbohydrates on the body are totally different.