YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Chef Ira’s Fresh Strawberries

My dad had a long and successful career in the perfume business, but he once confided to me that if he had it all to do over again, he would have become a cook. To tell the truth, I think that’s exactly what he did.

My dad is a great cook. A master in the kitchen, his wonderful recipes always demonstrate respect for flavor, texture, seasonings, and most of all the food itself. You might find him making a perfect omelette for two at 7 in the morning, or an exquisite lunch for five a few hours later. He’s just as happy making a celebration dinner for a dozen or twice that number. I like to work by his side, serving as his sous chef, learning as I go, and following his instructions on how exactly to cut the vegetables.

Here’s a little treat of a recipe he sent me once:

1. Juice 4 lemons, and then juice 2-3 oranges. Mix together the juices.
2. Sweeten with a few tablespoons of strawberry jam (preferably Trappist Monk brand).
3. Add in a quart of washed, chopped strawberries (green heads removed), and mix well.

Serve for dessert (in small stemmed glasses) as is, or spoon over yogurt or ice cream or scrambled eggs or anything else your heart desires. Bon appetit!



What Happens in December Stays in December

This month, a lot of people weigh more than they did in October. The problem is so widespread that, especially in people who are working to lose, I make it a point to applaud their efforts even if they have simply maintained their weight at the same number over the last few months. That’s because December is the time of year when people eat the most entertainment [read: sugar and white flour]. Continue reading


Laurel Gallucci’s Insanely Wonderful Chocolate Cake That Changed Everything

From time to time I post a dessert recipe, but it’s usually something tame, like apple slices. Just kidding. But seriously, I don’t post a lot of dessert recipes.

This recipe, on the other hand, breaks the mold. It is, by far, the most decadent thing I’ve ever posted on YHIOYP. Even if you never make it yourself, you have to appreciate the talent and passion of a woman who figured out how to make a cake like this. I thought it would be the perfect thing for anyone who is inspired to make something spectacular for the holidays. Continue reading


Black Stockings in Vegas

I presented two talks at a conference on Preventive Medicine in Las Vegas a couple of years ago, and awoke the first morning to discover that my black tights had not made it into the suitcase. This did not jive with my plans to present myself as a black-tights-wearing professional. Ugh. Shortly thereafter, at approximately 6 o’clock in the morning, I left my hotel room in search of a new pair of black tights. Continue reading



Roasted Sweet Potato Celebration

If you’re looking for something really beautiful to bring to your table any time this month, try this. The colors are warm and gorgeous, and they make a nice impression served in a large wide dish. The recipe works as a side dish as well as a main dish, especially if you add tofu. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Cranberry-Ginger Relish After Thanksgiving

Since I go absolutely ga-ga over cranberries, and I absolutely adore ginger, I consider this a perfect recipe! Eat this cranberry-ginger relish straight off your fork, or drop a heaping spoonful into a bowl of squash soup or a cup of plain yogurt. And it’s a perfect choice for slathering onto a slice of leftover turkey that could use a little more moisture.

Continue reading


Thanksgiving Gratitude

Many years ago, when I was eleven years old, my parents bought a Corning Cooktop stove, a fancy new appliance whose coils remained white when they were hot. You just had to take it on faith — or not. No matter how long I stared at that new stovetop, I could not convince myself that the white coils were hot. And that is why I still remember clearly, so many years later, the perfectly oval burn on the tip of my right index finger. I only touched it once, but that was all it took. I couldn’t take anyone else’s word for it. I needed to see for myself. Continue reading


The Magic of Peanut Butter

This week is short and sweet. I want to say that it recently occurred to me that peanut butter is like the trifecta of good nutrition. There is plenty of fiber from the peanuts. There’s loads of nourishing fat, with a variety of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fatty acids. And there is a ton of protein. So if you want to eat something nourishing, but you’re not in the mood to cook, think peanut butter.  Continue reading