YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Joe Gardewin’s Ginseng Chicken Salad

My friend Joe recently invented a recipe that he calls “Ginseng Chicken Salad.” It all started with a recipe called Korean-style Ginseng Chicken, from Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen,* which he says is by far the best Korean cookbook he has, and I think that’s saying a lot (!). He especially likes it because the recipes are very similar to recipes his wife used to make. If you don’t happen to have a copy of Joe’s special cookbook, which I do not, you can use the leftovers from a boiled or roasted chicken recipe. I am proud to share this recipe here with you. He’s invented something good.

1 cup leftover chicken, shredded
2 small (pickling) cucumbers cut on the diagonal into half-inch slices
1-3 fingerling chilis cut on the diagonal into ¼-inch slices (optional, if you like heat)
4 green onions cut on the diagonal into half-inch slices
3/4 cup micro greens
½ cup fresh cilantro (including the flavorful stems, chopped)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. New Mexico chili pepper powder (mild)
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil**

Mix together the salt, chili powder, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the shredded chicken and coat well with seasoning. Add cucumbers, chilis, green onions, and cilantro. Mix well. Add micro greens and sesame oil, toss gently once more, and divide evenly among two plates.

*written by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall
**Note from Joe: “Buy good sesame oil. I use Kadoya, which I buy at Park-to-Shop (Asian store). Good sesame oil is thick, and its soft, nutty, rich fragrance perfumes your kitchen.”



YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Spinach & Chickpea Curry

Let this list of spices inspire you! Sure, you can reach for the curry powder in the spice cabinet, but wait! Don’t! You are not going to believe the difference between THAT and THIS. It’s diamonds vs. paste. Top shelf vs. moonshine. Everything you’ve ever wanted vs. anything you’ve ever settled for. You will be so grateful, and your tastebuds will, too. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Homemade Pickles!

When I arrived home from work the other evening, what did I find in the kitchen but a few jars of beautiful green pickles! These came straight from my daughter’s kitchen garden, which has continued to supply a happy and endless bounty of gorgeous, crunchy, green cucumbers over the past few weeks. If you would like to make these pickles but you don’t happen to have your own homegrown supply, just stop by the supermarket and pick up a package or two of small pickling cucumbers. You will be so glad you did! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Three Delicious Salad Dressings

Have you ever noticed how so many different cuisines include a dish that pairs some type of greens with some type of fat? Whether it’s lettuce and olive oil, cabbage and mayonnaise (cole slaw), sauteed greens + pignola nuts, spinach with bacon dressing, or deep-sea fatty fish and seaweed (sushi), parsley salad with tahini dressing, you are apt to find green leaves combined with fats over and over again. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: End-of-Vacation Salad

This recipe reminds me of a tiny little funky restaurant that I once stopped in on my way home from southern Florida, headed home to the Great Lakes.

It was so refreshing and delicious to feel the different textures and flavors of this inspired salad in my mouth after having taken the trouble to uncurl myself from the back of an SUV where I’d sat, folded and crumpled, in a tiny little corner under an ever-shifting pile of boxes, suitcases and children, all of us trying hard not to think about the fact that we had come to the end of a long and happy vacation.

We had been driving all day. Maybe we were in Tennessee, or it might have been West Virginia. A college town clearly on break. It was almost sundown and the streets were mostly empty. Continue reading