Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: There are delicious ways of cutting carbs

I recently stumbled onto a lecture on PBS by Dr. David Perlmutter, based on his new book, Grain Brain, where he describes how and why gluten and carbohydrates (especially processed foods and sugar) are potential root causes of major degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, depression, ADHD, chronic headaches, heart and other conditions and how, by changing our diets, we can reverse the damage done.

Research shows the brain thrives on a fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet, the opposite to what has been heavily promoted since the 1980s. So how do we switch our mind sets and diets to believe that, “Fats are our friends.”

We can start by consciously cutting carbs (except for complex carbs such as fruits and veggies) and sugars and adding foods rich in omega-3 like oily fish, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.

Spinach & Feta  Quinoa Salad

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth (can substitute chicken broth or water)

¼ cup parsley, chopped

¼ cup dill, chopped

Salt and pepper

Juice & zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup crumbled feta

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add spinach and cook until it wilts,  2-4 minutes.

Add quinoa, broth, parsley and dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and zest, and mix in the feta. Serve immediately.

Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas

8  6-inch corn tortillas

Canola cooking spray

1 - 6- to 7-ounce can boneless, skinless wild salmon, drained

1 avocado, diced

2 Tbsp. minced pickled jalapeños, plus 2 Tbsp. pickling juice from the jar, divided

2 cups coleslaw mix  or shredded cabbage

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 - 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed

3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

2 Tbsp. prepared salsa

2 scallions, chopped

Salt and lime juice, optional

Lime wedges

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375 F.

Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

Combine salmon, avocado and jalapeños in a bowl.

Combine cabbage, cilantro and pickling juice in another bowl.

Process black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions in food processor until smooth. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on High until hot, about 2 minutes.

To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture and some salmon mixture; add sprinkle of salt and lime juice if desired, and top with the cabbage salad. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.


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