Adzuki-Butternut Squash Curry

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2011 08:30 Written by Flax Wednesday, 15 June 2011 01:35

This is a dish that I prepared with my Nutrition Workshop.  The focus of this dish is to strengthen the Kidneys and nourish our Jing


  • Olive oil
  • 2 small leeks, chopped
  • 1″ ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 green chilli pepper
  • 4 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup adzuki beans
  • 1 butternut squash, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp arame (or any other type of seaweed)
  • curry powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 liters water

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan.  Saute the leeks, ginger, garlic and spices.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer for one hour.

Serve hot on a bed of brown rice.

Serves 8.


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Grilled Vegetables

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 December 2010 12:15 Written by Flax Wednesday, 22 December 2010 12:15

As you might have understood by now, one of my goals in life is to encourage people to eat more vegetables. Why do I care if you eat enough vegetables? Because I believe that the path to wellness starts with good nutrition. And, the first step to good nutrition is eating enough vegetables.
The major problem with today’s eating culture is, that most people do not eat enough vegetables. Vegetables should be 60% of your diet. By having a diet that is based on vegetables, you are constantly reminding your body that it is alive.
While the subject is complicated and it involves biochemistry and ph levels of the blood, the way I see it is; when you eat things that are alive, your body knows that it is alive, when you eat things that are dead, your body thinks that it is dead. Slightly graphic, but you get the picture.
I am not vegan, vegetarian, fruitivore, or macrobiotic. Nor do I follow any of those fad diets that pop up every few months. I just believe that we need to eat vegetables. (Seaweed being the ideal vegetable, but that is a different blog.) An adults’ food triangle should be 60% vegetables, 30% grains and 10% protein (this includes animal and vegetable proteins). The top 1% should be fats and sweets. For all of you who are counting, I am aware that the sum is 101%. The top 1% doesn’t count as nutrition, it is your bonus points for being good.
Animal products should remain a luxury, something added to a meal to give it flavor and richness. They should never be the foundation of the diet. Consider the fact, that it is only because of enormous subsidies to farmers that dairy, meat and fowl are affordable on a daily basis. Perhaps we are better off eating the way G-d intended, instead of being influenced by political lobbies and crooked politicians.
Anyway, I apologize for the rant, back to the subject. The way I encourage eating more vegetables is that I make them delicious and beautiful. Vegetables come in three basic colors and flavors. Orange vegetables which are sweet. Green vegetables which are salty and bitter. White vegetables which are pungent and usually either bitter or sweet. Each type of vegetable strengthens a different organ and eating a variety of different color vegetables means that you are eating a balanced diet. Also understanding the flavors of the vegetables means that you can easily interchange between them, freeing you from needing to follow a recipe.
One method I use to encourage vegetable eating is that I serve them first. This is a dish that I serve for shabbat lunch as an appetizer. A type of anti-pasti if you will. While I list ingredients here, feel free to change them as you wish, using whatever you find in the market.


1 leek, sliced into 4″ pieces.
2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 4.
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into rounds.
5 shallots, peeled and halved.
1 head cauliflower, broken into large pieces.
2 fennel, quartered.
1 celeriac, peeled and sliced.
1 box button mushrooms, bottom of stem removed.
olive oil
5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed.
salt and pepper.

Put the vegetables in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Mix well. Lie the vegetables flat, in a single layer, on an oven proof pan. Broil on medium setting until they begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Flip and brown the other side as well (optional).

Arrange on a serving platter.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Note: Since this dish does not have a dark green leafy vegetables, it should be served along with steamed broccoli or a lettuce salad.


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Leek Platter, Topped with Shallot and Sage

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 10:26 Written by Flax Thursday, 2 December 2010 04:52

leeks, shallots and sage

This dish was extremely difficult to teach. Try saying shallot and sage ten times fast. Now you understand.  Other then being a tongue twister, this dish is simplicity itself.  It is also very quick, it requires only five minutes of prep time, and ten minutes of cooking time. 

This recipe call for leeks and shallots, both of which are members of the onion family. The onion family, which also includes garlic, chives, and scallions, is well known for its medicinal value. Onions promote warmth and expel coldness. They are the most commonly used cure for the common cold, flu, or sinus infection.  Members of the onion family also have the highest sulfur content of any food.  Sulfur functions as a cleansing agent in the body. It purifies the blood and removes toxins from the body. Onions also help with our metabolism and cleanse the arteries.  Onions are also pungent in flavor and are used to clear the lungs. Those of you who have ever cut an onion need no further explanation. Interestingly enough, the older the onion, the stronger the smell. 

While everyone knows the onion to be a remedy for the common cold, the herb sage, used medicinally since ancient times, is an even more powerful healer. The word sage comes from the Latin root for salvation.  It is a commonly found ingredient in herbal remedies for headaches, infections, as well as female maladies.   It’s cousin, clary sage, is now becoming very popular due to the discovery that it is high in Omega 3 oils.

You don’t need to be sick however to enjoy this dish.  The leek platter, served cold, makes a wonderfully refreshing side dish for a hot summer day.     


  • 5 leeks
  • 6 shallots, peeled and diced
  • 6 sage leaves, chopped fine
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Trim the leeks and cut into 4″ pieces (6 cm) .   Simmer in lightly salted water for ten minutes. 

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the shallots for 5 minutes being careful not to burn them.  Add the sage and remove from the flame. 

Drain the leeks and then arrange them on a platter.  Top with the shallots and sage. 

Serve hot or cold. 

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.  

Serving Suggestion:  Serve this dish alongside a platter of Grilled Asparagus.  The two platters share similar colors and lengths and will balance each other.


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