Winning Formula for Great Health

Let’s face it: We all hope to live a long, healthy life and while there are no surefire guarantees, there are a few ways we can improve our chances. Accordingly, we consulted with one of the most quoted and highly- respected experts in the field: Dr. Walter Willett, Chairman of Nutrition of the Harvard School of Public Health and author of the best-selling “Eat Drink and Be Healthy” .

Walter not only gave us some great tips, he introduced us to the newly-released “ HSPH Healthy Eating Plate”, a VAST improvement over the USDA Plate, which according to Walter, has some SERIOUS flaws. The HSPH Eating Plate is not only more explicit, it defines the best foods that correspond to each portion of the plate and corrects a number of “errors” of the USDA Plate. (Once again, as with the USDA Pyramid, concessions were made to the dairy industry as well as other mega, agri-business conglomerates.)

To make it even more accessible, I selected a few easy and delicious recipes from my new book, Simple Asian Meals that correspond to each section of the HSPH plate so you can recreate the meal in your home. (Feel free to use the recipes as a base for inspiration, substituting seasonal vegetables and other whole grains. Walter not only approved, but he gave the dishes a big “thumb’s up”. So here’s wishing you a healthy, happy, and pleasurable meal or two.

Enjoy!

Nina

Best Ever Asian Fish Chowder with Basil

Asians cooks have a wonderful way with “chowder” and seafood soups. While we New Englanders may envision a heavy, cream-based dish, Asian versions usually start with a light chicken or seafood broth. This not only makes the dish light, yet nurturing, but allows the fresh flavors of the seafood to come through. This delightful Asian Fish Chowder with Fresh Basil is no different.

Inspired by my love of the classic Vietnamese “pho” soup, I borrowed certain elements that make the soup so enticing (the combination of fresh herbs and tender cooked vegetables ). I also streamlined the process and used local ingredients so that it would be an easy meal-in-one dinner that you can make really quickly.

Variations: Use this recipe as a base for inspiration, substituting other vegetables like bok choy, Swiss chard, or kale, and use any firm-fleshed fish or other type of seafood- even shrimp or squid. For seasonings, if you don’t have fish sauce on hand, use soy sauce and add other fresh herbs such as cilantro or fresh dill.

All You Need to KNow About Asian Noodles (Part II)

Welcome to the extensive world of Asian Noodles ( Part 2)! In Part 1, we explored the main varieties of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai noodles. Here I introduce the delightful and diverse brands of Japanese noodles-including soba, udon, somen, and ramen.

As I discovered on my many trips to Japan when I was researching recipes for my different books , ( especially “Asian Noodles”), the noodle dishes there are delicious, satisfying, and a meal by themselves. I especially love the nutty flavor of buckwheat soba noodles and use them in many soup, salad, and stir fried entrees.

These days, even your local, well-stocked supermarket carries a decent supply of Asian noodles so any cook can easily prepare a quick meal. Try some of the recipes below: There’s a dish for any occasion: Stir- Fried Spunky Ramen with Assorted Vegetables, Cinnamon Beef Noodles ( especially warming for the raw, spring weather, Scallion – Ginger Soba ( one of our family favorites), and a delicate Shrimp & Pea Shoot Soup.

All About Asian Noodles (Part I)

For their pasta issue, the newly revived Gourmet, at Gourmet.com and on a GourmetLive App asked me to write about my favorite Asian noodles and I was thrilled! One of my favorite dishes from my student days living in Taiwan many years ago was Cinnamon Beef Noodles and it became my surefire remedy to chase away homesickness. (BTW, there is a newly updated and GREAT recipe for Cinnamon Beef Noodles in my new book, Simple Asian Meals).

Later, when I wrote book Asian Noodles, I became an Asian noodle-holic and I spent about four years traveling all over Asia for my research. I spent even more time in Japan because I became addicted to soba and udon.

I decided it would be particularly useful to do an accompanying video and the topic is so popular that I couldn’t resist reposting the video with a variety of Asian noodle recipes.

Gourmet Live – An Asian Noodle Glossary

How to Make Tofu Taste Good (Part II)

Although tofu is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, many do not like its flavor and texture. SOLUTION: Once you’ve pressed the tofu to remove the excess liquid, you can cut it into slices and pan-fry in a little oil until it’s crisp and golden brown. Then you can use it in a:

Stir-fry
Salad
Braise

In this video, we use pan-fried tofu in a Vegetarian Noodle Salad with a Spicy Tahini Dressing (The flavor is similar to my Spicy Peanut Dressing.). The dish is a delicious meal by itself. Then I use pressed, uncooked tofu, skewer it between red onions, orange or yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, and drizzle it with a vibrant ginger teriyaki sauce. Once grilled it too becomes an excellent, satisfying entrée that will satisfy even the most ardent carnivore.

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.

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