Health Benefits of Indian food First, besides being fantastically delicious – Indian food is healthy.  In fact, it is so healthy that one of the main spices is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, fights free radicals, fights infections, has been studied and proven to fight the onset of Alzheimer’s and cancer and more!  What is this super spice? Turmeric!  First, turmeric is actually a gorgeous looking root.  It comes in a rusty orange type color (you can buy your fresh root at Whole Foods, H-Mart and other places around town).   In addition, turmeric has a mild yummy taste and a gorgeous color (as with a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables – if there is a gorgeous color – the fruit or vegetable will have a lot of antioxidants and be good for you – think watermelon, red peppers, etc). Weirdly enough, to be most…

One way to perfect a dish is to showcase all 5 “tastes” – salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami (which refers to a type of fermented taste).  When you use all 5 tastes this sometimes makes for a delicious “symphony” of flavors, but if the dish is out of balance the flavors could quickly turn into a muddled cacophony instead. I put this recipe together while I was trying to make a very fancy fish course.  I was trying to impress a few special Shabbos guests, and it turned out I was low on fish – I had one can of anchovies in the house.  You might ask, how can you  make 1 can of anchovies stretch for 8 people?  Make it into a dressing!  We had apples and avocados – and then I garnished it with some very thin julienned red pepper and…

We took a quick trip to Indiana for the first days of Sukkot to visit our friends from Israel.  It is 645 miles from where we live.  And unfortunately, all the words I know to “Gary, Indiana” are “Gary, Indiana, Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana, My home sweet home.”  And well, after about 10 miles of that, I had to try to find other things to sing…. The country is beautiful – the leaves are changing, they’re further along then our leaves were, so we saw lots of oranges, reds, greens and yellows.  When we crossed into Indiana, a big sign proclaims:  “Indiana – childhood home of Lincoln.”  Really?  Come on! Indiana.  I feel disappointed.  I think your state motto could be something stronger -Surely someone famous was born in Indiana – all you got is that Lincoln’s parents carpet bagged through your state?  (I…

Thank you so much to Elisheva Rabinowitz for the opportunity to write this article about some New Year appropriate salads.  Since, we are coming to the New Year and apples are on my mind, we’ll look at a few salad recipes. First of all, you can always add diced apples to whatever salad you would like.  And you say, what?  my apples always turn brown when I do this.  Well, before you add the apples to a salad, put them in a zip lock bag, and add some lemon juice (a squeeze from half a lemon – if you have no lemon, you can use a teaspoon of vinegar to the same end) – shake.  Then you can add the apples without fear from the color brown…  The acidity from the lemon will stop the oxidation process that turns the apple brown (if I…

First of all, tortillas are from Aztecs – who knew.  The Spanish conquistadors (in 1519) changed their name to tortilla (from the Nahuatil tlaxcalli) – apparently from the word torta and meaning “small cake”.   Also, in an interesting side note – the reason tortillas have lemon (besides being tasty – I thought that was the only reason) – is that lemon is added to the corn prior to grinding to help remove the husk.  At any rate, with our over 100 degree days in Baltimore – no cook wraps and smoothies make a nice change of pace, taking a little of the heat off (you can always add hot sauce to bring more heat, if you want) and these recipes are (relatively) healthy.  Cabbage and Avocado Wrap: 4 Tomato Tortillas (or whatever tortillas you have) 2 cups bagged cabbage (sliced thin with carrots)…

For Shabbos, we made a number of new dishes – and we tried some new plating ideas and we actually photographed some of them.   I started off with trying a new technique (for me) for the rib eye steak from Bryan Voltaggio.  I made a dry rub of fennel seeds, coriander and black sesame seeds with salt and pepper and applied it to the rib eye steak.    I picked the black sesame seeds, because I thought it would look nice on the meat.  I had never used fennel seeds before on meat and the fennel imparted a beautiful subtle flavor.   I took one pound of rib eye, trimmed off all the excess fat I could, and cut it into a rectangular block.  I seasoned the block with salt and pepper, then I took a tablespoon each of fennel seed (which I…