Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Carrot and Beet Salad, Oven Roasted Ratatouille, Cherry Rhubarb Pie
I don’t know if you remember one of your parents telling you incessantly “Eat your vegetables” when you were struggling with your dinner at the family table. Or my favorite: “French fries is not a breakfast food!”.
Even better, now, it is not just “Eat your vegetables!” that is making a comeback, but like the almighty peacock, it’s a multicolored array of rainbow-hewed vegetables, all more enticing than the next. Nowadays, going to the farmer’s market is all about reproducing the color palette of the early impressionists. But, unlike the peacock, this display of colors also reveals a whole pharmacology that puts our modern medicine to shame.
Just like it is, in my opinion, ridiculous to strip wheat from the germ and all the vitamins, minerals and fiber it contains, to mill it, bleach it, refine it, then ooops…. enrich it, add vitamins D and E and calcium and sell it as a better product than the original, just because a few people have built their business on these intermediary steps, just like this, was I saying, I sincerely believe that nature has intended its pharmacology to be ingested as is, and not pulverized, edulcorated, freeze dried, compacted and spit back in the form of a capsule to take morning, noon and night.
In addition to the huge health effects of eating brightly colored vegetables and fruits, I think that the first appetite-inducing contact we have with our food is through our sense of vision which is strongly titillated by color. Just like kids, we love visual stimulation, bright overly contrasted spills of colors and it brings joy to our hearts before we even make sense of what the drawing represents. As adults, we must bring this childlike joy back into our plates and challenge Mother Nature into feeding us the most beautiful symphony for the eyes.
But let us not forget the healing powers of consuming these heavily colored gems. For the sake of simplicity, here are the rough drafts of these benefits:
Blue and Purple Foods – Rich in antioxidants that protect from cell damage. They may help reduce risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
Red Foods – contain lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of cancer.
Orange and Yellow Foods – help maintain healthy mucous membranes and eyes. They also can lower the risk of heart attack.
Green Foods – contain lutein and indoles that protect eyes and also protect against cancer.
White Foods – protect against stomach cancer and heart disease and can help to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Click on “Continue Reading” for the Recipes
Photo: Claude Monet. Irises in Monet’s garden, Giverny (1900)
- 2 small heads of red beets
- 4 carrots
- 2 red onions
- 2 green onions
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 4 cups lettuce, washed and chopped
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 1-2-3 dressing (recipe follows)
Using a food processor, grate the carrots and the beets. Place in a large salad bowl. In the same food processor, chop the cilantro finely. Add to the beet/carrot mixture.
Chop the red onions and green onions and add to the bowl.
In a small skillet, place the pine nuts and slowly roast them until they become fragrant, watching carefully so they do not burn. Let them cook before adding them to the salad.
Chop the hard-boiled eggs and add to the salad.
Add 1/4 cup dressing and toss, mixing all vegetables and salad.
1-2-3 Dressing: In a mason jar with screw-on lid, place 1/3 cup Dijon mustard, 2/3 cups red wine vinegar and 1 cup (3/3) olive oil. Screw on lid and shake until completely emulsified. Use what needed for this salad and refrigerate the rest. Shake well before using.
- 1 large eggplant, 1/2 inch dice
- 2 zucchini, 1/2 inch dice
- 2 yellow squash, 1/2 inch dice
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 red peppers, 1/2 inch dice
- 2 yellow peppers 1/2 inch dice
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 10 large basil leaves, chiffonade
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil as needed
Place the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red and yellow peppers in a large mixing bowl. Lightly coat with olive oil and salt and pepper and toss until everything is covered with oil.
Place onto a baking sheet and place into a 400 degree oven and roasted for 30 to 45 minutes, until all of the vegetables are golden brown and caramelized. While the vegetables are roasting, place the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large skillet, place 2 Tbsp olive oil and heat for 2 minutes, add the onion and garlic and cook until golden brown. Add the balsamic vinegar, agave and basil and let cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
When the vegetables come out of the oven, place them in the skillet with the onions and balsamic, add the basil and pine nuts and toss together.
Adjust the salt and pepper and serve warm or cold.
This is what I call a “sloppy pie”. Once you cut into it, the juices and the fruit spills out and makes for a messy delicious dish, similar to a cobbler. Top with your favorite vanilla ice-cream or whipping cream for extra indulgence.
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and cut in quarters
- 6 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 4″ long pieces
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup agave
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 2 large pieces of pie dough, cold (recipe follows)
Place in a large saucepan together the cherries, the rhubarb, the water, the agave and the vanilla bean. Cook down the fruit for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to thicken. Stir occasionally at first, then more frequently after 5 minutes to keep the fruit from burning.
Once thick, pour the fruit out onto a cookie sheet on plate to cool completely. Remove vanilla bean.
Place the first layer of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a fork, dock the pastry all over.
Spoon the fruit over this bottom layer, leaving 1″ of space all around the edges.
Cover with second piece of pastry. Seal the edges any way you like. Slit the top in any pattern you desire.
Wisk one egg with a touch of milk or cream. Brush onto top pastry.
Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown. Let the pie cool 10 minutes before serving.
Food Processor Pie Dough
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp agave syrup
- 2 stick butter
- 2 egg yolk
- 4 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour and butter in food processor using the pulse button until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk and milk and pulse until dough forms a ball. Remove from the bowl of the food processor.
Form into two balls and wrap in plastic. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
When ready to roll, remove from freezer and plastic and roll out on a lightly floured surface.
This quantity will be enough for a 2-crust pie. For single crust pie, divide quantities in half and follow the same instructions.