Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Leave of Absence

Hey All!

I am up to my eyeballs in the NYU Dietetic Internship, and wanted to let you know to not expect to hear from me until I can fully reach the surface again (end of December?)! Until then - remember that you can do whatever it is you set your mind to, and go have a healthy day!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Plant vs Animal Protein while on a Low-Carb Diet

First off - let me just say that I'm not a fan of low-carb diets. First of all - it's a DIET... which means that most people are going to eat one way while they're on it and then as soon as they stop are going to eat whatever they want. And subsequently gain the weight back. Second, I think that whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods around and restricting them to me just seems silly. All of these foods are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals - making them nutrient-dense foods. Oatmeal, for example, is high in soluble fiber, helping people with high blood cholesterol and high fasting sugar.

That being said, a new study just came out that shows that people on a low-carb diet were better off eating plant-protein than animal-protein. A lot better. The study used data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals' Follow Up Study - 85,168 people - and followed them for 26 years (for women) or 20 years (for men).

What the researchers found was that the people on the low-carb diet had a 12% increase in risk of dying for any cause. However, those who reached to the animals for fat and protein had it worse. These folks were 23% more likely to die from any reason, 14% more likely to die from cardiovascular problems and 28% more likely to die from cancer, when compared to those who had more carbohydrates in their diet.

Those who looked to the plants for their fat (like avocado, flax seed oil) and protein (like lentils, tofu, chickpeas) were 20% LESS likely to die from any cause, and 23% less likely to die from cardiovascular problems, when compared to those who had more carbohydrates in their diet. And the more the people ate of the plant-proteins, the greater the protection.

OK, you're convinced. Now, how do you reach for vegetable proteins? Go for beans (lentils, kidney, pinto, black, adzuki, chickpeas (garbanzo)), tofu, edamame, tempeh, seitan, nuts (almonds, walnuts) and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame). And don't forget about quinoa - a seed that acts like a grain and is loaded with protein. Then go crazy. I love this Black Bean Dip Recipe (Whole Foods) or Spiced Lentil Tacos from Self Magazine. Search away - the websites of the NY Times, Whole Foods, Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine and Epicurious all have great recipes.

Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Worst Kids' Meal

Dear McDonald's, I'm not lovin' it!

The Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine just posted a list of the worst fast food kid's meals, and McDonald's topped the list. I wouldn't even recommend this meal to an adult, let alone a child. Their Mighty Kids Meal featuring a double cheeseburger, small french fries, and a 1% chocolate milk (8 oz) weighs in at 840 calories, 37 grams of fat, and 1460 mg of sodium. 14 grams of that fat is saturated (the bad kind) and there's also 1.5 grams of trans fat (we should all get zero of this).

What does that all mean? Well, aside from the fact that I'm vegan I would never touch this thing, it has more than twice the calories I normally eat in a meal, and way too much fat and sodium. For a 12-year old (who it seems like the "Mighty Kids Meal" is targeted to) who needs around 2000 calories (some do need more), this meal is 42% of how many calories they need in the day. What's worse is that it's more than half of the fat needs for the day, AND reaches how much total sodium they should have in a day. Oy.

Their "best" Mighty Kids Meal is the 6 piece Chicken McNuggets, with the Apple Dippers-Low Fat Caramel Dip, and the Apple Juice Box. This guy has 470 calories, 18 grams of fat (3.5 saturated, none trans), and 660 mg of sodium. I say... make a PB&J at home on whole wheat bread with no-sugar peanut butter, all-natural jelly, and have a whole apple with a glass of soy milk. Yum.

Want to check out the rest of the nutrition information at McDonald's? Click here.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Whole Foods to launch a vegan line!

I've admitted this before, but... I love Whole Foods. I walk into "my" Tribeca store, and my eyes light up at the sight of all the fresh produce. Although some stuff can get expensive, it is possible to stay within your budget - look for their 365 store brand, buy bulk, shop the sales, and use coupons. I just read an interview with CEO John Mackey in USA Today, and was excited to hear that they are producing a vegan line of foods in 2011! Although I much prefer people cook more and eat less processed food, there are times when we get too busy and have to pick up something that will cook quickly and that they don't have to think about. A lot of times, processed foods mean high salt, but fortunately, this new vegan line coming out is going to be low in salt, so keep your eyes open. For those nights that you do cook (hopefully most of the time!), check out Whole Foods recipes for some delicious ideas... my Quinoa Loaf is cooking right now!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jump on the Vegan Bandwagon!

I'm back! The curry project has faded away with the hot, humid NYC weather, but I hope you got some recipe ideas as well as an understanding of how easy it is to make a recipe healthier by just making a few simple changes.

Since the last recipe I've been thinking about what to focus on for future posts. Talking with one of my dear mentors, Jackie Mills, she reminded me about the plethora of research done on how helpful a vegan diet can be for a number of different conditions or as a preventative measure - weight management, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. Not to mention that your significantly reducing your carbon footprint. And you can feel pretty darn great with this lifestyle too.

Recently, I saw an article stating that 30,000 people have signed up for the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart Diet Plan presented by the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine, founded by one of my heroes, Dr. Neal Barnard. If you sign up - correction - when you sign up, starting September 6th for 21 days, you'll get an avalanche of support on making the switch to vegan. This includes celebrity tips, webcasts, daily tips, recipes, restaurants, and a community forum.
It's almost September. I love the back-to-school feel that gives us all a fresh start to some challenge we've been putting off. It's a time to take the leap into something new, great, and healthy. I'm signing up, are you? What are you waiting for? Click here for the link! As one of my amazing yoga teachers, Baron Baptiste, would joyfully remind me - "If not now, when?"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Makeover: Pineapple Curry of Mussels

Welcome to Thailand!

Pineapple Curry of Mussels sounds like it would be pretty healthy, right? We've got mussels instead of the higher fat meats that we've been seeing in the other recipes, and pineapples are good for you... However, this recipe is a wolf in sheep's clothing. There is SO much full-fat coconut milk and coconut cream in it, that it weighs in at 536 calories per serving and 38 grams of fat, 22 of which is saturated! Top that off with 1210 mg of sodium (about what you need in an entire day). YIKES!

Lesson learned: When you're going out to eat, you might want to avoid the dishes that are made with coconut milk - likely they are not using the light version like we are going to do.

The Makeover of the week transforms this Pineapple Curry of Mussels to a Pineapple Vegan Curry - much more healthy, and if you are a fan of pineapples like I am - wow, is it delicious.

The highlights per serving:
158 calories
4.5 g of fat (3 is saturated)
389 mg of sodium (I used a store-bought seitan. If you need to lower your sodium even more, you can use tofu or make your own seitan.)
and you still get 12.6 g of protein

Delicious and quick. Although, I did have to buy some extra ingredients to make this curry... I found them all at Whole Foods in the Asian foods section, or you can probably buy them at an Asian supermarket.

Pineapple Vegan Curry


  • 1 can LIGHT coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sucanat (This like a raw brown sugar with the molasses still in. It would be the equivalent of brown sugar if brown sugar wasn't just white sugar with brown food coloring.)
  • 2 tsp tamarind concentrate mixed with 1/4 c water
  • 1.5 cups finely chopped pineapple
  • 1 package seitan chopped (or you can use a package of firm tofu, chopped)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut in thirds, discarding the woody ends
  • 1 yellow squash, diced

(FYI about chilis - I'm not picky at all about chilis, probably because I don't know enough about them, but I'm happy to just pick whatever combination of spicy/medium-spice chilis are available. It seems to work for me!)
  • 1 tbsp kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 red fresco chilis
  • 1 serrano chili
  • 2.5 tbsp chopped galangal (bought it pre-minced at Whole Foods because they didn't have it fresh. If you can't find it, you can use ginger instead.)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp cilantro, chopped
  • 5 tbsp chopped lemongrass
  1. Put all the ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and mix until blended.
  2. In a saucepan on the stove, heat 1/4 c of the paste and 1/4 c of the coconut milk for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stir occasionally.
  3. Store the rest of the paste in the freezer for the next time you make this curry.
  4. Add the sucanat and tamarind water. Heat for 1 minute.
  5. Add the rest of the coconut milk, pineapple, seitan/tofu, asparagus, yellow squash. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Check occasionally and stir so it doesn't stick to the bottom.
  6. Take off the cover and cook for 2 more minutes.
  7. Enjoy!
PS - This isn't a very spicy curry. If you want it spicer, you can use hotter chilis, or more chilis, or more paste in the first step.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Makeover: Duck Breasts in Balinese Spices...

Pull out the spices! This recipe makeover uses the inspiration of a Bali dish, to make a healthier, vegan-ier option with tofu or seitan, kale, and green beans.

What is so fun about this project for me, is that it really shows how just by changing a couple ingredients and adding veggies, you can turn around just about any recipe to reduce the calories, increase the vitamins, minerals, and decrease the fat. AND it's still delicious. Not only that, but I think these vegan/vegetarian dishes are easier to make too... they take much less time and are likely less expensive. Does anyone know how much duck breasts with the skin cost?

Ok, so here's what you get and what you lose in this week's Vegan "Curry" in Balinese Spices...
  • 142 calories per serving... Not 404
  • 9 g fat per serving (4 g saturated fat)... Not 27 (16 g saturated)
  • No cholesterol... you get 120.5 mg with the duck version
  • 49 mg sodium... Not 516 mg (I cut out 1 teaspoon of salt)
  • 413% of your daily amount of vitamin A (Go Kale!)
  • 115% of your daily amount of vitamin C
  • 45% of your daily amount of calcium!!! (Go Kale!)... This is important, because people tend to believe that dairy is your only good source of calcium.
  • 22% of your daily amount of iron
  • 76% of your daily amount of manganese
Vegan "Curry" in Balinese Spices

  1. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  3. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  4. 3 tbsp lime juice
  5. 3 cloves
  6. 2 green cardamoms
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  9. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  10. 1 tsp chili powder
  11. 1" slice of ginger, minced
  12. 1 can LIGHT coconut milk
  13. 1 container of firm tofu or seitan
  14. ~4 cups string beans, cut in half with the ends taken off (~3 cups after cut)
  15. 1 large bunch of kale (mine probably made about 7 cups chopped, it was huge)
  16. 1 medium tomato, diced
  17. 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
  1. In a food processor or blender, blend chili powder and ingredients # 1 - 10 with 1/4 cup water.
  2. Add to a sauce pan, and add 1/4 c coconut milk.
  3. Cook for a couple minutes on medium heat, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom or burns.
  4. Add the tofu or seitan and remove from the heat.
  5. Let it sit there, while you tear the kale into chunks (size isn't important) and discard the stems. Also, cut the green beans now if you haven't already.
  6. Add the green beans and the rest of the coconut milk to the saucepan. Put it on medium heat and cover. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Cook for 5 minutes.
  7. When the green beans are almost done, add the kale, tomato, and sunflower seeds. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Serve with brown rice and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Makeover: Pakistani Ground Lamb and Kidney Curry...

...becomes Brussels Sprouts and Potato Curry!

Let me just say that this recipe is delicious, absolutely the best one so far!

The original recipe (hailing from Pakistan) was seeping with calories (561 per serving!), fat (43.6 per serving!), saturated fat (14.6 g per serving!), cholesterol (219 mg per serving!), and sodium (670 mg per serving!)... yes, I know that's a lot of exclamation points. But seriously, this thing is a heart attack waiting to happen.

Why? Well, the original recipe has 6 lamb's kidneys, 1/4 c sunflower oil, and 1.25 lb ground lamb. BUT... the new recipe has no meat, 1 tablespoon canola/sunflower oil, tofu or seitan, and carrots, petite Brussels sprouts, peas, and a sweet potato. Since you're bulking up the recipes with all these vegetables you end up making more too, so that also helps lower the calories.

What are the changes?
  • 140 calories per serving not 561
  • 6.4 g of fat not 43.6 (and this is using the firm tofu, which is higher in fat than the softer varieties)
  • .8 g of saturated fat not 14.6 (saturated fat is high in animal-based foods, including whole fat dairy and butter)
  • 0 cholesterol (exclusively found in animal-based foods)
  • 84 mg of sodium not 670

Of course, because you're adding all those veggies, you're also getting more vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants... all the stuff that helps keep us healthy for a longer period of time. For example, you get your entire day's need of vitamin A (high in sweet potato and carrots), and 75% of your vitamin C (high in Brussels sprouts).

Another benefit of cooking vegetarian / vegan (this recipe is vegan) is that it takes a lot less time to cook! The original recipe takes about 50 minutes to prepare, while my version takes about 25.

Brussels Sprouts and Potato Curry

1 tsp ground turmeric
1 T sunflower or canola oil
1 block firm tofu or seitan, cubed
1" ginger, diced as finely as possible
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1" pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1/4" pieces (peel can be on or off)
1 bag frozen petite Brussels sprouts (or 1 lb fresh)
3/4 c peas
1 c water
1 sweet potato, cubed into 1" pieces
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
2 T chopped cilantro, raw

1. Heat the oil in a medium-large sauce pan.
2. Add the ginger and turmeric. Heat for 30 seconds.
3. Add the tofu or seitan. Stir for 1 minute.
4. Add everything except the raw cilantro and peas.
5. Cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
6. Add peas and cook for 5 more minutes.
7. Taste the carrots and sweet potatoes to see that they are soft enough. Cook longer if needed.
8. Stir in the cilantro at the very end and enjoy! If you don't like cilantro, you can leave this ingredient out; it's delicious before adding it too.

Enjoy! You can eat this dish as is without any rice or bread. If you need the calories, go ahead and serve it with some basmati rice, or 100% whole grain bread.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wanna run? Or run better?

Is the summer sun inspiring you to get up and get moving? It is for me! I started jogging maybe 10 or so years ago, but about 5 years ago I killed my knees and it just hasn't been the same since. Every time I try to run, a few minutes into it, one or both knees start hurting. It stinks. So, since I am on a mission this summer to get into amazing physical shape (and I want to start doing fun races like the Warrior Dash), I really wanted to start running again. But to get the jogging-induced endorphin buzz without the pain, I figured I needed the perfect kicks. And since my old gym sneakers were stolen this week (at a yoga studio nonetheless!), I had a nice excuse for buying them. Enter: Asics.

Asics has this great technology: Asics Foot ID. It takes about 20 minutes, doesn't cost anything, and is like a fortune teller for your feet - telling you exactly the shape and size of your foot, your gait, and pronation tendencies. Here are the steps:
  • They put your foot in this little machine that measures your foot exactly - telling you the exact length, ball girth, arch height, wide/narrow, etc. It also shows you how straight your heel aligns with your achilles - basically, if you lean to the inside or outside of your ankle when you stand.
  • Then you get on the treadmill and go for a little jog with these special shoes.
  • Next, they play back a video of you jogging, and you see exactly how your foot lands - slow-motion and regular speed. It's AMAZING and really scary! I have such overpronation (almost severe in my left foot, and considerable in my right foot) that it was painful to watch!
  • The Asics Foot ID employee then calculates how you run with the data collected from the X-ray-type-thing and your jog, and determines what sneaker is best for you via the Asics database.
  • The proof is in the pudding. You put on those recommended sneaks (I tried on 2 pairs), and get back on the treadmill... and see a video of the difference. It was amazing how much straighter my foot was falling.
If you're looking to jog, do your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back a favor and get this analysis done to determine the best shoe for you. My first jog in them was amazing... I was completely free of knee pain!

Check out my personal Foot ID! You get to take this home with you... so cool.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Recipe Makeover: Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

...becomes Tofu Asparagus Curry!

The original Chicken Curry recipe hails from Sri Lanka, an island off the south-east coast of India. It was actually not too unhealthy, but I made some changes to make it healthier - less calories, less saturated fat, less sodium, and more vitamins and minerals. To do that I replaced chicken breast with firm tofu, cut the salt, and changed the regular coconut milk (which is so high in saturated fat!) to light coconut milk. And, of course, I piled on the veggies... added a bunch of asparagus and chopped kale. And this dish is vegan, so some chicken out there will love you for cooking this one instead of their version.

Just an FYI - even though I was able to cut out 210 calories and 7 grams of fat, this dish is still high in fat, so just be aware of that when thinking of how it fits into your day's diet. And keep that in mind the next time you order a dish with coconut milk at a restaurant... they are definitely not using the light version!

I'm curious to hear what you think about this recipe, so comment to let me know! Personally, I prefer the Seitan, Broccoli, Sweet Corn Curry from last week, but my boyfriend prefers this one. Check out how much healthier the Tofu Asparagus version is compared to the Chicken Curry!
Per serving, you cut out...
  • 210 calories
  • 7 grams of fat (5 of which are saturated fat)
  • 57.5 mg of cholesterol
  • 626 mg of sodium (yeah, you read that right!)
And you add on some more healthy stuff (percentages are % of how much you should get per day)...
  • ~130 mg more potassium
  • Vitamin A: 228% (yeah kale!)
  • Vitamin C: 77.6% (instead of 14.5%)
  • Calcium: 52% (instead of ~3.5%)
  • Copper: 27% (instead of 9%)
  • Folate: 37% (instead of 6.3%)
  • Iron: 19.7% (instead of 13.4%)
  • Manganese: 67.7% (instead of 24%)
I know you're just dying for the recipe now, right? So, without further ado...

Sri Lankan-inspired Tofu Asparagus Curry

3 Tbsp canola oil (or sunflower oil)
1-in piece of ginger, finely diced
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground garam masala
1 block firm tofu
1 lb asparagus, woody ends discarded, cut into 2" pieces
3 c kale, chopped
3/4 light coconut milk
2 tomatoes, chopped

1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add ginger and spices.
3. Stir for about 1 minute. (If the spices start to burn add a little water - this happened to me.)
4. Add tofu, asparagus, and kale and cook for 2 minutes. Stir as needed.
5. Add in 1.25 cups of water.
6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to low and add in coconut milk & tomatoes.
8. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes.
9. Serve with brown rice. Enjoy!

Makes 5 1-cup servings.
197.9 calories, 16.7 g fat, 3.6 g saturated fat, 31.1 mg sodium, 13.1 g carbohydrate, 14 g protein

Questions about the recipe, ingredients, or nutrition in general? Feel free to ask via a comment!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Halt on Chinese Organics

Back in February, I was taken aback when one of my yoga teachers sent me the link to an ABC video (posted on YouTube) that uncovered the reality of the organic frozen produce at Whole Foods that was grown in China. In a nutshell, the Chinese government (via the U.S. Organic Crop Improvement Association) was monitoring their own organic certification and the details were pretty secret. Taking China's history of deception into consideration - think: melamine in baby formula, lead in kids' toys, etc - I, and others, decided that it would be a good idea to avoid the "certified" organic, Grown in China items. Sadly, that means that I haven't been able to get frozen, organic edamame since. Some people thought that they should ban Whole Foods all together, but I didn't really see the necessity in that. I could be biased though; I love Whole Foods.

Why am I sharing all this now? Well, the good news is that this week the USDA decided to ban the Organic Crop Improvement Association from continuing their business in China. This is great news for those of us concerned about the organic standards and our exposure to synthetic chemicals used in industrial agriculture... and hopefully it means I can get organic frozen edamame again! If you want to read more about this, check out the New York Times article, or Marion Nestle's blog posting (an outstanding expert on food politics, and luckily one of my professors at NYU).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Makeover: Lamb & Sweet Corn Curry from North India

...becomes Seitan, Broccoli, and Sweet Corn Curry! The original recipe comes from Rajasthan, an area of North India. Inspired by this recipe, the new one comes from my apartment in Jersey City. :-)

Changes I made:
I made it for my wonderful, supportive boyfriend who is lacto-vegetarian (i.e. only dairy products + plant-based food) and also allergic to soy so I changed the lamb to seitan (wheat gluten). Everything else in the recipe was fine from a vegetarian point of view, but when I read 1/2 cup of ghee or corn oil I found myself gasping. Really? A half a cup? If you're using ghee, that's 1080 kcalories, 120 g of fat, and 72 g of saturated fat. The corn oil gets you down to 960 kcalories, 112 g of fat, and only 16 g of saturated fat, but still... do we really need to use that much? So, I decided to use 2 tablespoons of canola oil. I also didn't see the point in using canned corn, so I opted for frozen (although in hindsight I should have gone with fresh since it's starting to pop up at Whole Foods). I also felt like 1 tsp of salt was enough to bring out the flavors (instead of the 2 tsp they called for) because there are a TON of spices in this thing! - caradmom galore, cumin, cloves, bay leaves, lemon, cilantro, coriander, tumeric. I used nonfat yogurt instead of regular, a little less water (lamb would have to be cooked longer), and took out the onions and garlic. There's nothing wrong with the onion and garlic, we're just not fans of it in this household, so you'll see me doing that a lot.

I have to admit, when I added in the blended Poblano chiles, I thought that i was going to have to dump the finished product in the trash can - but I was wrong! And - check out how it changed per serving (I said it makes 7, which is about a cup)...
Kcalories: 470... 180.5
Fat: 27 g... 5.5 g
Saturated fat (that's the unhealthy one): 7 g... 0.4 g
Protein: 37 g... 14 g
Cholesterol: 106 mg... 1 mg
Sodium: 964 mg... 709 mg (This is more sodium than I would like, so I'd cut the salt in half again.)
You may think it's a bad thing that the protein went down, but actually most people (especially meat-eaters) eat far more protein than is required. Unfortunately, there's less niacin, zinc, iron, and selenium in the new recipe from taking out the lamb. But, because of the added veggies in the new recipe, there is more vitamin A, folate, fiber, and a lot more vitamin C.

What do you look out for in a recipe/meal? Calories? Fat? Sodium? Amount of veggies? Additives?

Seitan, Broccoli, and Sweet Corn Curry


1 whole package seitan (~1 cup), cut into 1-in pieces
4 poblano chiles, stem discarded
2 T canola oil
1.5 t cumin seeds
Seeds in 5 green cardamom pods
Seeds in 4 black cardamom pods
10 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 c water
1 lb frozen sweet corn
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T cilantro, chopped

10 oz plain, nonfat yogurt
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine the ingredients for the seitan coating in a bowl. Add seitan and cover the cubes completely.

2. Heat canola oil in a deep saucepan. Add cumin, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves.
3. After the spices start to snap, crackle and pop, and the seitan and all of the coating. Cook for 5 minutes.
4. Blend the chiles (include some seeds if you want it more spicy) in a blender or food processor. If you want to add onions and garlic to this, feel free.
5. Add the blended chiles to the saucepan and mix thoroughly. Cook for 5 minutes.
6. Add 2 cups water and cook until half of the liquid has evaporated.
7. Add the corn and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
8. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and cilantro.
Serve with some brown basmati rice and enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

International Curry Extravaganza Begins!

Welcome to the first post! About 7 years ago, I realized the incredible power that food has on our bodies. What we eat can determine whether we feel energized or lazy, can cause us to thrive in health or disintegrate from disease, and it can even be a declaration about how we choose to live in this world. For me, it was changing to a vegetarian diet that brought about this discovery. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to help people heal themselves with food and started the graduate program in clinical nutrition at NYU. I love it.

Who loves curries? I do! I do! About 5 years ago, I started cooking from The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar and fell in love with the spices. In ayurveda, the use of spices is one technique to help balance your body and mind. Last semester in Food Science & Technology, my professor Dr. Raghavan loved to talk about the healing aspects of curcumin (a component of the spice tumeric) and gave me the book Curry Cuisine: Fragrant dishes from India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia by a number of authors. Since a number of the dishes are not vegetarian and not necessarily healthy, I decided to make it my summer mission to use the recipes as inspiration in the creation of new, healthier, vegan/vegetarian ones.

Hope you enjoy! Tomorrow, we begin in North India - changing a Lamb and Sweet Corn Curry recipe to a Seitan, Broccoli and Sweet Corn Curry. Get your tumeric out and let's get going!