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Street Food Mexican Style

 Street food has become a favorite way to satisfy one’s hunger for special types of cuisine. It’s been documented in a recent film called Chef that tells the story of the gourmet chef who cooks across the country from Miami to L.A. in a food truck. This interest in food trucks and mobile food delivery has been around a while, but seems to be growing in neighborhoods across the U.S. In fact, exotic food of all kinds has become accessible to the public thirst to taste something different and delicious. Food celebrities who cook for us on TV have stimulated … Continue reading Street Food Mexican Style

A Vegetable Harvest Medley—Italian Style

Harvest season has arrived. But it’s not a happy time for everyone. In fact some of us find this time of year too unsettling and off putting. Is it the end of warm weather and sunshine that depresses us? Certainly it’s a time of change that leaves some people feeling blue and off balance. Nonetheless, I for one enjoy the Fall and all that it brings us…with or without constant sunshine. I love eating the multiplicity of produce and vegetables that are virtually countless and wonderful tasting. Each Fall season I am happiest when I discover new ways to prepare … Continue reading A Vegetable Harvest Medley—Italian Style

Creamy Cold Cauliflower Soup with Curry & Greek Yogurt

Growing up in Des Moines Iowa has left indelible memories. Warm weather reminds me of detasseling corn, tomatoes you can only dream about eating, fields of watermelon, summer baseball, swimming in sand pits with cold springs which made warm summer days bearable, drive-in movies and eating Eastern European specialties. It wasn’t Brooklyn but it wasn’t merely cornbread and BBQ either—dishes I also came to adore. Friends are often surprised about this biographical fact of my background suggesting I have changed since moving away from the cornfields of Iowa. Perhaps, but these memories can be warm and comforting as well. Of … Continue reading Creamy Cold Cauliflower Soup with Curry & Greek Yogurt

The Thrill of Blue Fishing

A summertime fishing challenge and equally a culinary delight Headboats are 50-60 foot fishing vessels that carry 20-40 men and women who pay a captain to catch fish. Rods and reels and bait are provided along with radar to find your fish of choice. My brother and I enjoyed these outings off the Montauk and Connecticut shores. If the conditions are right, you can land several fish in a couple of hours. Summertime brings schools of bluefish and stripers (striped bass) to the Eastern shores that challenge the best of us. We always enjoyed fishing for these species because of … Continue reading The Thrill of Blue Fishing

Grilling vs Smoking Saltwater Fish

Grilling and Smoking Fish are two cooking methods that create wonderful flavors and delicious meals. But they are distinct and unique from one another. Knowing the differences will enhance your cooking skills and delight your families and friends. Lightly smoking your fish will require no more time than a few minutes to achieve at a low temperature of 200F- 225F for no more than 5-10 minutes. Smoke with alder or apple wood placed on top of white coals. Even less time is needed when you poach or braise your fish beforehand in a Court Bouillon followed by a few minutes … Continue reading Grilling vs Smoking Saltwater Fish

Organic Eating And Growing With Italian & Mexican Chiles

The other day I overheard two shoppers at Whole Foods having a friendly disagreement about the value of conventional vs. organic eating and growing. I learned that food grown organically has a certified organic label. Who knew? The label guarantees the food to be free of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, antibiotics and GMOs. So much to know but as the saying goes “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware.” Other questions concern why organic costs so much more than conventional foods even though sales are growing by about 20 percent a year, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. Still this isn’t enough. … Continue reading Organic Eating And Growing With Italian & Mexican Chiles

Mole: The Delicious Mexican Sauce

Mole is as old as antiquity. Today this wonderful sauce continues to be as popular as ever. Moles are found across Mexico but especially in the marketplaces of Mexico City, the capital, and Oaxaca where historic pre-Aztec ruins are visited by tourists. Not surprisingly Oaxaca is the home of modern day moles which satisfy even the most discerning food critic. The Town of Oaxaca, which was part of the Zapotec civilization, who spoke the language of Nahuati, is located in this area of southern Mexico. In fact, mole is a Nahuatl word that simply means “mixture.” But not necessarily one … Continue reading Mole: The Delicious Mexican Sauce

Summer Time Fitness While Eating Well

 It’s getting to be that time of year again when the sun shines like you kind of remember it did many months ago, and winter attire has been put away.  Summer has arrived but there is still time to get ready  for that August vacation.  In fact I hear many folks still  thinking about shedding a few pounds so we can get into those slacks we bought on sale after Christmas—and the idea of starting a few exercises feels good and maybe even helps the waistline. Where do we begin? Here’s a few popular diet books and some habits that … Continue reading Summer Time Fitness While Eating Well

Green Beans – Healthy Casserole or Easy Saute

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables and are enjoyed throughout the world. They are made up of small seeds in long pods. Because beans are harvested while still young, the green pods are tender and edible. They are available with a peak season of May to October. Green beans grow on vines or bushes. If you are buying them, look for green beans that are loose rather than in packages so you can pick the freshest ones. They should be crisp and bright green, without blemishes or signs of wilting. Although they taste best if eaten right away, … Continue reading Green Beans – Healthy Casserole or Easy Saute

New Study on Exercise and Mental Health – Amazing Findings!

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS , NY Times Blog: APRIL 7, 2016           April 7, 2016 More people are living longer these days, but the good news comes shadowed by the possible increase in cases of age-related mental decline. By some estimates, the global incidence of dementia will more than triple in the next 35 years. That grim prospect is what makes a study published in March in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease so encouraging: It turns out that regular walking, cycling, swimming, dancing and even gardening may substantially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Exercise has long been … Continue reading New Study on Exercise and Mental Health – Amazing Findings!

Eggplant Rollatini With Quinoa Or Spinach

India is the birthplace of eggplant. But seldom do we see Indian varieties. In fact, many people assume that eggplant, which is actually a fruit and not a vegetable, comes from the English who originally thought of eggplant as having an ornamental virtue rather than a culinary one. Perhaps the bitterness of eggplant may have compounded these biases further, which is why cookbooks will tell you to use salt to draw the bitter acid out of the eggplant, which can be washed away after an hour of salting. But by the 18th century, eggplant had been developed that was less … Continue reading Eggplant Rollatini With Quinoa Or Spinach

Check out Apple’s Weekly News Up Dates – Eg. A Meaty Issue in China

Recently I began to receive news articles published by Apple, about   popular subjects.  Many  are worth the price of admission — which is free.   See Apple News <>I particularly liked the one on China titled — A “Meaty Issue” China is enlisting celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Cameron to push people to eat less meat. If the campaign works, it could have a surprisingly large effect on global warming.     Updated by Brad Plumer on June 21, 2016, 9:20 a.m. ET Plummer tells us that the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines remained fairly muted on the topic after fierce … Continue reading Check out Apple’s Weekly News Up Dates – Eg. A Meaty Issue in China

The Popularity of Salads Year Round

Salads have become one of life’s special meals year-round. Winter, spring, summer and fall, they have taken on their own personality. Eaten raw, roasted, baked or boiled, cold or hot, salads have become the healthy, quick and easy replacement meal for working adults. Although children can learn to love salads before they are called such a thing as an “adult.” I remember I did.If you haven’t tried salads as a satisfying meal by themselves or with a cup of soup, give it a go. You won’t be disappointed. Just add your favorite vinaigrette to some greens and vegetables, and voilá—a … Continue reading The Popularity of Salads Year Round

The Ancient and Forever Popular Hot Dog

I remember the joy of discovering gourmet sausages on Rush Street in Chicago, working at Consolidated Freightways, the summer before my senior year in college. No one had ever heard of eating hotdogs with sliced tomatoes, coleslaw, caramelized onions and BBQ onions; or, the pleasure of eating a thick, Braunschweiger German sausage which is a blend of pork meat and pork liver almost like a pate slathered with mustard. Sausages are considered among the oldest forms of processed food, that go back as far as 9th-century B.C. Frankfurt, Germany, is traditionally credited with originating these hot dogs. Others say the … Continue reading The Ancient and Forever Popular Hot Dog

Seafood Paella for Father’s Day

Eating with my father was often an enjoyable process.  Sunday night we would charcoal steaks on our grill. Weekend breakfasts often included waffles or sometimes kippers and herring with sautéed onions. And the local delicatessen sold delicious corned beef sandwiches on bagels with mustard that we all enjoyed. When I got older my dad often invited me to join him on business trips that often included memorable meals. Years later when I began to travel on business my father joined me as I did with him. One of our favorite trips was to Barcelona, located along the Mediterranean Sea, and … Continue reading Seafood Paella for Father’s Day

The Popularity of Spaghetti Bolognese

Date: May 9, 2016   Spaghetti Bolognese is an Italian meat-based sauce or ragù, which is said to come from Bologna, that wonderful city of food located in Emilia Romagna. Curiously, spaghetti Bolognese is very popular outside of Italy, but is said to have never existed in Bologna itself. Meat-based ragù, not meat balls, was always served in Bologna with local egg pasta like tagliatelle or lasagne. Spaghetti bolognese, on the other hand, is usually eaten with a wheat pasta or gluten-free pastas. When the war ended, it’s possible that American and British soldiers who returned to Italy as tourists … Continue reading The Popularity of Spaghetti Bolognese

Mother’s Day Chocolate Cake

It’s a time to remember and to celebrate the mothers in our lives. It’s always fun to make a special meal or to eat at a special restaurant when the weather is starting to turn warm and temperate. Mother’s Day in the United States was given birth by Anna Jarvis of West Virginia in the early 1900s. It was conceived as a day to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children. With the collaboration of the department store owner John Wanamaker, who held a Mother’s Day event, the holiday was off and running. Jarvis started a letter-writing campaign promoting … Continue reading Mother’s Day Chocolate Cake

Borscht, The Wonderful Roasted Beet Soup

Borscht is usually a beet soup that is a part of many religious holidays and cultural traditions from Eastern Europe. When I used to visit New York City with my father I loved eating the exotic flavors found in “kosher cafes” that followed Jewish law not to mix dairy products and meat.  Most people think of Kosher as being a Jewish tradition but actually Islamic kitchens follow several dietary traditions as well called Halal which are similar to kosher rules. For example, both traditions do not eat pork or shell fish among other differences. Back in the day when kosher … Continue reading Borscht, The Wonderful Roasted Beet Soup

The Extraordinary Seafood Reuben Sandwich

Reuben sandwiches have always been a favorite of mine, especially during the season of St. Patrick’s Day when cabbage and pastrami are easily found in grocery stores. Meatless alternatives have become an option many enjoy. Consider cooking your Reuben with fish caught in the chilly waters off Massachusetts and New York such as striped bass, flounder, tuna, cod, haddock, halibut, or  crab caught a bit further South. I love Soft Shell crab but cod is more accessible in the waters of the  Northeast and Alaska, flown in frozen. All seafood should give a briny scent of the sea as they … Continue reading The Extraordinary Seafood Reuben Sandwich

Green Is The Color Of St. Patrick’s Day

Visiting family in Chicago during St. Patrick’s Day shocked me when I saw the Chicago River, which winds along Wacker Drive, to be as green as a four leaf clover. Other cities across America celebrate the holiday with the color green as well. Parades, hats, banners and clothing of all types are green as the Emerald Isle in tribute to St. Patrick’s Day. Joining friends at local pubs on this special day is a time to enjoy a beer and a sandwich that are also bright green. I am generally OK with these menu choices but find myself less enchanted … Continue reading Green Is The Color Of St. Patrick’s Day

The Best Crockpot Chicken Soup—Jewish Penicillin

Virtually everyone likes chicken soup, especially with egg noodles, matzo balls or elbow macaroni. It’s nice and warm and filling during the colder months of the year while it satisfies our taste buds even during the spring and summertlme. Chicken soup is also said to be a healing dish that soothes our aches and pains, and clears our stuffy nose during cold season and the flu. Some even swear that this “Jewish penicillin” raises our resistance and our immune system to illness of all kinds. All I can say for sure is that it’s certainly delicious in all its many … Continue reading The Best Crockpot Chicken Soup—Jewish Penicillin

It’s Leap Year Again, The Season For Gumbo Soup

Every four years we celebrate Leap Year, the 29th of February. While this day amazingly has been around since 45 BC, many of us think of it as a recent event. In fact it’s an ancient invention that was added to the calendar to keep it in line with the seasons of the year. Still, many Americans in the 1930s associated Leap Year with a made-up event called Sadie Hawkins Day. Created by the cartoonist Al Capp ,the day celebrated where women and girls could marry their favorite partner by catching them in an annual race held in the small … Continue reading It’s Leap Year Again, The Season For Gumbo Soup

A Meal With Chinese Dumplings—Vegan And Shrimp

Dumplings go by different names depending on their country of  origin. In China they are called jiaozis; in Japan, shumai or gyoza; in the United States, wontons or pot stickers; Latinos call them empanadas, pierogies are Polish; kreplach are Jewish; and raviol are Italian. All of these dumplings are readily available in the United States or you can make your own. The rules are open-ended. The stuffing is dependent on one’s culture and the creativity of the chef. Eating them is extraordinary, and preparing them is almost more enjoyable. In New York City, Chinatown dumplings are special. We discovered our … Continue reading A Meal With Chinese Dumplings—Vegan And Shrimp

The Delicious Spiny & Maine Lobsters- Asian Style

 It’s fun to think about warm weather when March comes around even if we can’t travel to Florida or the Islands. Sunshine makes me think of warm seas and briny chowder. I can almost feel the sand beneath my feet while eating the delicious Spiny lobster that is found in waters throughout the Caribbean and surrounding Florida and Australia. Contrary to popular belief these beauties are not closely related to the Maine lobster. Yet they are similar in appearance in that they have a hard bony shell and tails that are wonderful to eat. But it’s easy to tell them … Continue reading The Delicious Spiny & Maine Lobsters- Asian Style

Cooking With The Fiery Datil Pepper, St. Augustine, Fla.

  When I think of peppers or chiles I think of warm summer—even tropical climates. I imagine splashing waves, hammocks, sea breezes, steel drums, seafood, dark, lovely ladies and handsome men with a lightness in their walk and a song in their heart that make cold winds disappear, at least in my imagination. This is also the time of year when many of us are fortunate enough to visit such warm weather places like St. Augustine FL, and try the fiery yet fruity datil pepper. Datils are similar in strength to habaneros or Scotch Bonnets, but have a sweeter flavor. … Continue reading Cooking With The Fiery Datil Pepper, St. Augustine, Fla.

Chef Alan Zox, Ph.D cooks, writes and teaches about healthy, flavorful food.