Food Is Not Your Enemy


Soba Noodle Soup

Here’s another great recipe from Daphne Miller’s book “The Jungle Effect.” This is a healthy and delicious recipe from Okinawa, where people hardly ever get breast or prostate cancer, and routinely live robust lives into their 90s. I really love this book–and if you sign on as my client, it will likely end up in your hands as one of the 12 gifts I give during your six-month program

Serves 4.

6 cups cold water

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 quarter-sized piece fresh ginger

1/4 cup dried fish flakes (Bonito flakes are the most common)

Option: Either 1 pound meaty pork ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces, OR chopped bone-in chicken parts OR 8 dried shiitake mushrooms (I’ve always used the mushrooms)

1 1/3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet sake or mirin

1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon if not using sake)

One 8-oz. package soba noodles

Condiments:

2 sheets nori, cut into confetti-sized strips using sharp scissors

4 scallions, sliced in 1/2 inch lengths on a sharp diagonal

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

1 small daikon radish, peeled and grated, or 2 tablespoons dried daikon

One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 teaspoons wasabi powder mixed with enough warm water to form a soft paste

For the broth: Fill a pot with the cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, the ginger, the fish flakes, and the ribs or chicken or mushrooms and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, occasionally skimming the fat off the top if using meat.

Mix in the brown sugar, sake or mirin, rice vinegar, and the remainder of the soy sauce.

For the noodles: Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the soba to the desired doneness–about 5 minutes. Drain.

To serve: Evenly distribute the soba in four bowls. Pour the broth over the noodles, and then garnish with the nori, scallions, sesame seeds, daikon, ginger, and meat or mushrooms. Allow each diner to add their own wasabi as desired.



Lentil Stew With Greens

This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s a Cretan dish, and comes from an eye-opening book called “The Jungle Effect” by Daphne Miller. Miller is a doctor who researched how the healthiest people in the world eat, and this dish is part of a cuisine eaten by a people who, until the recent influx of American fast food restaurants onto their island, essentially never got heart disease. This is the kind of food that’s at the heart of the Mediterranean diet (as opposed to the unlimited pasta bowl from the Olive Garden). I use kale when I cook this.

1 cup small dark lentils

8 cups chicken stock (or use water)

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium potato, peeled and sliced paper thin

1 cup sliced carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 pound (1 packed quart) leafy greens (such as spinach, dandelion, arugula, kale, beet greens, or a mix)

1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Plain yogurt and lemon wedges for garnish

Wash the lentils. Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with stock (or water) and salt. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam on top. Add the potato and carrots, partially cover, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and slowly brown the onions. While the onion is browning, wash, stem, and chop the greens. Add the parsley and garlic to the skillet and saute for a minute or two, then stir in the greens and allow them to wilt, covered.

Scrape the contents of the skillet, including the oil, into the saucepan with lentils. Combine all ingredients, then continue cooking covered for another 20 minutes, or until thick and soupy. Garnish with a drizzle of yogurt and serve with a lemon wedge. Serves 4-6.

Variation: For a thicker soup, use less broth/water and mash some of the lentils and potatoes.