Saturday, April 25, 2009


The medicinal and culinary applications of ginger are boundless.

Ginger Tahini Dressing

2-3 tablespoons raw sesame tahini
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin or cooking sake
1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
2-3 teaspoons fresh ginger (grated or minced)
1/2-1 clove of garlic, crushed
Crushed black pepper and sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and whisk together in a mixing bowl. Serve on your favorite fresh salad greens.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4-5 persons
Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe.

Ginger Honey Carrots
2 large carrots, cut diagonally
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons unrefined extra virgin olive oil
Pinch sea salt
Pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

Coat carrots with honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Saute minced ginger in pan until light brown. Add carrots and steam sauté until soft, approximately 20 minutes.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1-2
Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe.


Another food that I was exposed to during my excursion to the Hawaiian Islands was coconuts. Coconuts are ubiquitous in Hawaii. One day on a walk to nearby beach, my friend and I came upon some coconuts that had dropped to the ground. The structure of coconuts is fascinating. The "meat" itself is found in an inner shell, the one with the brown, furry exterior. This brown shell is encased in a tough, light brown, outer shell. You literally need a machete to get through the 2 shells and access the coconut. Today I had thought about writing about coconuts because I prepared chicken in a coconut curry sauce last night, but when I started to think more about the coconut, it occurred to me that there are many more issues to think about beyond the culinary applications of the coconut such as its health effects.

The health effects of coconuts are controversial. This is largely due to its saturated fat content. Saturated fat has been largely associated with cardiovascular disease and weight gain; however, coconuts contain some constituents that have health-promoting effects such as lauric acid and stearic acid.
A recent study demonstrated that these constituents in coconut oil increased HDL levels, the "good" cholesterol. Coconut also contains specials fats, medium chain triglycerides, that easier to digest because they don't require bile for absorption. Coconut has a low-allergen potential and coconut-based milks and butter are great substitutions for those with dairy allergies.

I love coconut because it is such as versatile food. The oil is wonderful in cookies. The milk can be used for many purposes: the base of a smoothie, for sauces, in soups and stews. The meat can be shredded into baked products, and sprinkled on top of grains, custards and puddings.

Coconut curry chicken with plum wine
1 tablespoon extra virgin unrefined olive oil or canola oil
4-5 organic, pastured chicken thighs
1 can whole coconut milk
1 cup plain rice milk
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon raw honey or agave nectar
¼ cup plum wine (can substitute cooking sake or mirin)
½ tablespoon fish sauce
1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
Lime to taste

Heat sauté pan to medium-high, then add olive oil. Brown chicken thighs on both sides. Add coconut milk, rice milk, curry powder and stir. Then add honey and plum wine. Cover pot, turn heat to low and let chicken simmer for 20 minutes. Top off with fish sauce before serving. Garnish with cilantro and lime.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-5 empty stomachs
Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Optimal Diet

One of my friends recently asked me to share what I thought were characteristics of the optimal diet. Of course as a nutrition student, all I do is think about food as it relates to health, however, I've never actually written these things down.

1) Eat foods in their most whole form
Whenever possible, don't eat anything out of a box

2) Eat foods that come from the earth
Support your local farmers and your local economy

3) Lastly, eat food, not food products

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I recently returned from a vacation in Hawaii. This was my first excursion to the Hawaiian Islands. My friend from school invited me to spend time at her mother's house on the island of Molokai. Molokai is one of the smaller, more underdeveloped Hawaiian islands. It is a lot less touristic than places like Maui, Oahu and the Big Island. During my stay on Molokai, I consumed an abundance of exotic fruits, mostly papayas. Before visiting Molokai, I had never tasted papayas as sweet and as rich as the ones I ate while I was there. I ate at least 1-2 per day, usually at breakfast topped with a few squeezes of lime juice.
Papayas are superstars in terms of their nutrient density. They are loaded with potassium, almost twice the amount you would assimilate from a banana. They are high in folate, beta-carotene and vitamin C, and provide a natural source of digestive enzymes, papain. I was lucky enough to bring back a box of 7 to the Northwest. I've been devouring them over the past few weeks. Today, it was #5 of 7 and I did something a bit more creative:

Papaya, coconut and lime smoothie
1 cup fresh papaya
1 large banana
¾ cup coconut water
½ cup plain rice milk
½ tablespoon lime juice
Optional: Sub pineapple juice for rice milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until thick. For thicker smoothie reduce liquid ingredients. For thinner consistency, increase amounts of liquid ingredients. Serve in your favorite glass with a straw.
Preparation time: 3 minutes
Makes 1-2 servings
Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Introducing: The Rutabaga

Rutabagas are sweet, starchy root vegetables. They are the sibling of the turnip although they have yellow flesh. When you visit the grocery, it's hard to discern between them, they're almost twin siblings. Their sweetness is their most appealing attribute. They're not quite as sweet as a yam but are definitely sweeter than your average white potato. I started to incorporate rutabaga into my diet during my Chinese Medicine nutrition class at Bastyr. I knew they existed but had never cooked with them. According to Chinese Medicine, rutabagas have a warming nature and are good for promoting digestive Qi (pronounced chi) or energy. They are perfect in the winter time like most root vegetables, roasted, sauteed, stewed and in soups. Kids love them too.

Rutabaga and kale saute
Rutabaga pairs deliciously with kale. Try this quick and easy saute for a nutrient dense side dish that you can serve with chicken, fish, rice and other grains.

1 tablespoon unrefined extra-virgin olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 large rutabaga, chopped
1.5 cup kale, chopped
2.5 tablespoons cooking sake or mirin (Japanese rice wine)
Optional: 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari

Peel the skin off rutabaga with a carrot peeler and chop into thin rectangular pieces (1/8 inch thick) to accelerate cooking time. Bring saucepan to medium heat, then add olive oil. Saute 3/4 of green onions (save some for garnish) until soft and glistening. Add rutabaga and saute until brown and soft. Combine kale with rutabaga and add cooking sake. After vegetables absorb sake, reduce heat to low and remove from heat. Serve warm, with a splash of tamari and garnished with green onions.

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Makes 1-2 servings
Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe.

Monday, April 13, 2009

For the love of Seaweed

Tonight I unearthed my stash of dried Nori which I gathered by hand on the shores of Lopez Island last summer. Last July, I ventured out to Lopez with some of my schoolmates on a trip that was coordinated by Jennifer Adler, a Nutritionist and Natural Foods Chef in Seattle. While on Lopez, we kayaked out to an ancient kelp bed and hand harvested bull-whip kelp. We also gathered Nori, Bladderwrack, Turkish Towel, sea lettuces and other rare varieties on the shores of some local beaches. The mineral content of seaweed is comparable to that of blood. It is one of the most minerally dense foods on the planet, which is why people from Asian cultures consume it daily. If you don’t have access to the shores of Lopez Island, I would recommend picking up some dried nori sheets at an Asian grocery like Uwajimaya, or at a natural food store. Instead of using them to roll sushi, they can be crushed and torn and thrown into rice and other grains, stir-fries, scrambled eggs, soups and stews. Like all sea vegetables, Nori is naturally salty and imparts a lovely rich flavor to most foods. Enjoy the following recipe:

Quinoa Saute with Leeks, Nori and Raw Cashews

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water
1 tablespoon unrefined extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium leek
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon ginger, chopped
¾ cup celery and leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
½ cup dried nori or 2 dried nori sheets, crushed or torn
¼ cup raw cashews, crushed
Sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
Optional: ½ cup beans (soy, aduki, black)

Combine water and quinoa in covered pot. After water comes to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and cool.
Heat saucepan to medium-high heat, then add olive oil. Saute garlic, ginger and leek until leek is soft and glistening. Remove from heat. Combine quinoa with leek sauté. Add celery, sesame oil and tamari and mix until quinoa is coated. Sprinkle crushed Nori over mixture. Top with cashews and mix again.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Makes 2-3 servings

Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe. Inspiration from my dear friend Sonja Max.

Breakfast Rice
1 cup basmati brown rice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin unrefined olive oil
1 medium leek
3-4 shittake mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 Nori sheets, crushed or torn
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon black or white sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw cashews
Optional: add 1 cup of coarsely chopped kale

Combine rice and water in pot, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all of the water has absorbed. Do not stir or agitate rice during cooking. Tilt pot gently to a 45-degree angle to see whether water has been absorbed. Let rice cool for 10 minutes.

Heat sauté pan to medium-high, add olive oil. Sauté leek until soft and glistening then add mushrooms. Add rice to vegetable saute and stir. Add nori and stir. Coat mixture with sesame oil and soy sauce. Top with sesame seeds and cashews. Serve warm with a cup of ginger tea.
Prep time: Approximately 35 minutes
Serves: 3 adults, kids or other hungry humans
Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe. Inspiration from Sharon Gray, L.Ac. and Katherine Oldfield, ND of West Seattle Natural Medicine.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What are Nourishing Foods?

Food is much more than fuel for the body; it is nourishment. Nourishing foods are usually "whole foods". Whole foods are foods as they are found in nature. They have abundant flavors and ingredients that nature intended. They are free of artificial flavors and colors, chemicals and preservatives which are used to prolong the shelf life of processed foods. Because whole foods have been minimally processed, they are more nutrient-dense and contain essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

A nourishing diet is one that is balanced and contains a variety of whole grains, legumes, colorful vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices. And for some, it might also include lean meats, wild seafood, eggs and dairy products. It may also contain "recreational foods" such as treats and alcohol in moderation.