Author: Doctor's Orders

Daikon Radish

Daikon History The word Daikon comes from two Japanese words: “Dai” which means “large”, and “kon” which means “root”. Daikon is a root vegetable native to the Mediterranean and brought to China for cultivation around 500 B.C.  The roots are usually oblong or cylindrical in shape, and have been grown up to 40-50lb large. In Japan, more daikon is produced than any other vegetable. Daikon is a member of the Brassicaceae or mustard family, which explains the slight kick you get you indulge in some. Cultural info and Health/Nutritive Value: Daikon has been used for centuries as a natural diuretic and “cleansing” agent. In China, the Daikon root is boiled into a tea to help with digestion. Chinese herbalists boiled Daikon with seaweed to purge the body of dairy build-up (makes sense something would be needed for this since most Asians are lactose intolerant)  and toxins. Daikon radish is low in calories and high in enzymes that help to digest fat and starch, while also providing high amounts of vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, and phosphorus. It’s …

New Purpose, New Approach

Hi all. It’s been a while. Been busy lately working on some projects and running my Food as Medicine course at my medical school, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. But even so, I think about food and this blog constantly. After considerable thought and experience with my course(and some insightful advice from my girlfriend), I’ve discovered what the purpose of this blog is and will be beyond what I initially set out to accomplish. Aside from offering healthy and healthful recipes, which can be found all throughout the interwebs, with most posts I make I want to put the spotlight on individual ingredients, the protagonists and supporting cast members of every comestible that so pleases your palette. I will choose a food, spice, herb, etc, whether familiar or wholly foreign to me, and begin by exploring its storied history, sharing a personal or historical anecdote. Then I’ll discuss it’s “flavor profile”, along with what other ingredients go well with this one, and what foods this ingredient can really shine in. Here I will link to the recipe …

Soup For You: Butternut Squash Curry

This soup is rich and heartwarming, ideal for when Winter storms, with names like “Thor,” interrupt our high hopes for thawing weather in the coming weeks. I’ve been told it has a lot of complex “layers” of flavor.  This soup’s veritable heat will will certainly get you hot and bothered. Make it this weekend and decide for yourself. Ingredients: 2- medium to large butternut squashes, cut lengthwise into 1 cm thick slices 2 tbsp- ginger, minced 5-7- garlic cloves, minced 2-3- shallots, diced 2 inch piece- lemongrass (optional, but adds nice flavor if available) 2-3 oz/80-100g diced up S&B Japanese Golden Curry mix or make your own with curry powder, brown sugar, salt 1 tbsp- fish sauce (or soy if making vegan) 2 cans- coconut milk, normal or light 2-3 cubes- chicken or beef stock (or 2 tsp vegetable stock powder) 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or Asian black vinegar Sea Salt- to taste 1-2 tsp- crushed black pepper 1-2 tsp paprika, smoked if available 1 tsp- ground cumin 1 tsp- cayenne, chipotle pepper or aji amarillo, …

Pass the Salt Please

“Pass the salt, please.” Instantly I’m handed way more salt than my body could possibly handle, and I shake some on my dinner to my palette’s delight. My passionate salting makes me especially clumsy, and I drop the salt shaker onto the table, freeing a collection of brilliant white grains.  “Quickly over the shoulder,” my grandma blurts out in concerned Russian. She’s referring to the superstition that spilling salt is bad luck and welcomes lies, treachery, darkness. This superstition, originates from the Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, in which Judas, the original traitor, is seen knocking over the salt cellar with his elbow. It is believed, for inexplicable reasons, that when one spills salt, a flick of salt over the left shoulder is supposed to blind the devil lurking behind you. And so I oblige, after all why tempt forces I cannot reason with, as in my grandma’s anxiety regarding this matter? In any case, it’s just a little salt. not like it’s valuable. Salt is cheap and widely available. We often take for granted salt’s availability and low …

Avocados, a worthy obsession?

Some months ago, it seemed I was on an avocado kick. I thought it was just a phase. But my fascination with this delicious fruit (yep, don’t be fooled by it’s cool green color, the pit makes this classification) has not lessened.For example, I was recently blown away when I learned that avocados are not just fruit but also berries, since they are fleshy fruits that come from a single flower with a single ovary. In this post I’ll be talking about why you should be eating more avocados, and tips for how to make the most of this superfood. The Why: They’re DELICIOUS:  I have yet to meet a person who dislikes the taste of avocados. They’re buttery and rich, and play nice with other ingredients, whether savory, salty or sweet to create delectable snacks, meals, or desserts. They’re 70% mono- and polyunsaturated fats (good plant fats). The vast majority of these fats are monounsaturated fats, which tend to be the healthiest. These fats increase HDL (“good” cholesterol) and tend to remove LDL (“bad” cholesterol) from arterial …

A Tasting Menu Anniversary Dinner and Blog Kickoff

Hello to anyone beginning to follow me on this new journey of culinary experimentation, dietary exploration and musings, photoblogging and ultimately, self-discovery. I’m all too thrilled to begin sharing some of my own personal insights about preparing delicious meals, enjoying food fully, making mealtime an opportunity to feel creative, healthy, connected. In the end, it’s about making food that is healing to your body and mind. That which might warm your spirit and invigorate your efforts in the world, whatever they may be. My first post might give people a skewed idea about what my future posts will be like. I’m presenting a very ambitious meal I made several weeks ago for my girlfriend Melanie in celebration of our 1 year anniversary since we originally met at Sweet Revenge. I prepared an 8 course tasting menu inspired by some of our favorite meals from the last year together. This is by no means the “norm” for me, in that elaborate and multi-course meals are a rarity for me. But it brought me such intense pleasure planning and …