“To have health and wellness,” says Marco Canora, “the best thing you can do is cook for yourself, because you control the fats and salts and you are cooking with whole foods.” These days, health and wellness are of central importance to Canora, the New York City chef who owns Hearth restaurant and five wine bars, all under the Terroir umbrella. But until a few years ago, that wasn’t the case.
Here is a cake worth adding to your repertoire — it’s super-fast to put together, pleases many dietary requirements (it’s free of gluten and dairy) and can either be dressed up or down depending on how you serve it.
1. Help Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Cabbage is part of the cruciferous veggie family, along with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. According to a 2012 meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Urology, people who ate more vegetables from the cabbage family were found to have a lower risk of prostate cancer. Additional studies have also found that eating foods from the cruciferous group may reduce the risk of stomach, mouth, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.
As a nutrition professional who works with food, there are many unhealthy items that, truth be told, make my skin crawl. (Those bowls made out of bacon?! I’m a bacon fan, but come on!) And I’m not alone. I polled registered dietitians from across the country to see what foods drive them bonkers. Some of answers are to be expected (deep-fried carnival foods were never going to win any nutritional awards from this crowd). But on the other end of the spectrum: Foods everyone seems to think are more virtuous than they really are (sorry, organic snack chips). Here, dietitians reveal all.
Order this classic dish at a restaurant, and you’re likely in for a 900-calorie meal. Opt for the frozen variety, and you won’t do much better, at around 700 calories a pop. (With both options, sodium could be double the recommended daily amount.) In other words: There are plenty of great reasons to make your own chicken pot pie!
Greens that taste amazing? You better be-leaf it! These healthy, delicious sides will upgrade any main dish, assuming they don’t steal the show first. Consider these takes on spinach, collards and kale the healthiest way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Creamed Spinach (above)
Okay, the term “creamed” is used lightly here, in every sense: Instead of actual cream, a blend of low-fat milk and evaporated milk makes for a rich spinach dish that’s just as satisfying as the original. Enjoy it alongside a seared top round for a guilt-free take on a steakhouse fave.
Kale may get all the glory these days, but collard greens are just as nutrient-dense as those other scene-stealing leafy divas. Give collards a little love by braising them with onions and broth for a bit, then enjoy the meltingly tender result alongside baked chicken or pork tenderloin. (Kale better watch its back.) Read more
In this week’s news: time-warping with sprouted grains and hemp brownies; tracking down the four-leaf clover of kale; and betting the farm on farm-to-table real estate.
Sprouted Grains Hit the Big Time
Boomers might cop an eye roll when they hear of restaurant chain Panera Bread’s new launch. Come May, the Saint Louis-based company plans to roll out a line of sprouted-grain bagels made with rye, spelt and oat groats. Sprouts, all too familiar to those who lived through the 1970s, are grain seeds that have been soaked in water until they germinate. This results in a more nutrient-dense, higher protein food. Thanks to trendy grains like quinoa, sprouted versions have been making a comeback as protein-rich power foods (Au Bon Pain recently featured a sprouted grain roll on its menu), which is exactly how Panera plans to market it. The effort hasn’t been without its hiccups: An early version of the flax bagel made from whole seeds had to be reworked with a ground variety as consumers complained it tasted fishy.
For those on low-sodium diets, here’s a tasty trick: Grab some citrus. Just like a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange will perk up any ingredient from leafy greens to proteins, not to mention grab the attention of your taste buds. And while you might not expect it, these fruits are at their best and brightest during winter, so now is still the perfect time to play with their tangy flash of flavor.
At the multiple Middle Eastern eateries Einat Admony owns in lower Manhattan — the restaurant Balaboosta as well as the Taïm falafel franchise — the chef pays homage to her upbringing with remarkable care. Not only does she skillfully prepare honest renditions of the fresh and flavorful cooking she grew up eating, but Admony makes sure her dishes are nourishing too. “I treat my customers the way I treat my kids,” she says, “which means giving them good proteins, whole grains and keeping a vegetable focus.”