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!

Nourishing Breakfast Ideas for Kids and the Parents Who Love Them

A while back, a good friend of mine, an elementary school teacher at a small school north of Detroit, says “The kids are bouncing off the walls by 9:30.” It occurs to me that maybe their blood sugars are falling, though 9:30 a.m. is pretty early for that. Then he says that a snack usually helps get them back on track. Yeh, I think, it’s probably their blood sugars. Continue reading


I’ve been making this salad for breakfast, yes breakfast, for months now. I know it’s a bit unconventional in the U.S. to eat salad for breakfast (though not in Europe and the Middle East), but it’s such a great way to start the day. Its success is built on simplicity. My strategy remains similar, week in and week out. It is never quite the same, and always delicious. Thank you to Alice Waters for teaching me to eat simply. This salad makes one single serving, but is infinitely flexible if you’d like to invite a friend or an army to your table to share a meal. Continue reading