I like to make kale a world traveler; in other books I’ve managed to stamp its passport with Asian, Latin American, and Mediterranean flavorprints. This time I’ve booked kale’s passage to Thailand, in whose cuisine coconut, ginger, and lime can often be found. Coconut milk helps increase the bioavailability of kale’s fat-soluble vitamins, while coconut’s sweetness and the brightness of the lime help eliminate kale’s natural bitterness. I’ve taken kale so many places I’m amazed I don’t have Customs showing up at my front door. But if they do, I’ll just make them this dish and they’ll go away satisfied.
Scallops are an awesome brain food, full of the omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, which reduces plaque formations in the brain linked to cognitive decline. However, they’re a bit temperamental on the stove. They cook mighty fast, and can turn from tender to eraser-tough in a flash. Pay attention, and you’ll get a plateful of bliss. Here, they’re seasoned with curry and a little coconut and lime, which play beautifully off the scallops’ silky taste.
This is the dollop that’s always front and center in my refrigerator. The combination of fresh parsley and mint, blended with lemon, olive oil, and sea salt is a perfect drizzle to amp up the yum for chicken, lamb, fish, or vegetables. I’ve been known to scrape the jar, just to capture the last few drops. Parsley gets a brain boost from the phytochemical quercetin, which helps protect brain cells from free radical damage, while mint helps with focus and concentration.
Maybe it’s because, at heart, I’m a soup maker, but I take making stock very seriously. I think most cooks feel that way. There’s a confidence one gets in making one’s own stock rather than buying the boxed version. (Organic chicken stock will do in a pinch, but give me my own heady concoction any day.) I get to control the ingredients and, as with this chicken stock, get the taste exactly the way I want. A big plus is that it freezes well for storage. This stock, along with Classic Magic Mineral Broth, is the base for nearly every soup in this book, so it has to be spot on, and it is. Bone broths are some of the world’s oldest healing foods, and with good reason; the calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in chicken bones are great for brain health, while the amino acid glycine has calming and other mental health benefits.
Gone are the days when asparagus was boiled until it resembled a gray Seattle drizzle. Here we roast asparagus until it becomes sweet and caramelized in a way that’s hard to believe until it’s tried. Asparagus is full of antioxidants that help in DNA synthesis and repair. In this soup, it’s paired with the nerve-protective benefits of pistachio as part of the minty, creamy topping. This is some serious yum in a bowl.