Summer Dining the Heart Healthy Way
Tampa, FL - The beginning of summer brings on thoughts of long, hot days and ways to stay cool. Nothing beats the heat like light, healthy meals and cool drinks.
Dr. Mike, practicing interventional cardiologist and chef, known to his fans as The Grassroots GourmetTM, has created an easy-to-prepare light summer meal that is as healthy as it is delicious.
"The key here is to use whatever you can get garden fresh; tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers and the like are all perfect." Dr. Mike explains. "Varying the ingredients as the summer yields differing bounty keeps the taste differing in subtly pleasing ways."
Eating fresh and natural foods is part of Dr. Mike’s Grassroots GourmetTM (GG) concept (and soon to be book titled The Grassroots Gourmet: Eating Well, Living Better) that is derived from his beliefs and studies as a physician and as a chef that we are what we eat. Grassroots Gourmet is his easy-to-follow guideline for navigating between deprivation and gastronomic gluttony and follows three basic principles, what Dr. Mike calls the Threefold Path of Be’s:
Dr. Mike has created a summer meal that follows The Grassroots Gourmet rule of using fresh, seasonal and natural ingredients. He also recommends topping off your meal with some summer fruits like mangos, peaches and strawberries to create a mélange of flavors.
Smoked Salmon and Fresh Garden Relish
Makes 6 servings; 200 Calories per serving; 13g Total Fat; 14g Total Carbohydrate
￼ "The baguette slices serve as automatic portion control for the smoked salmon and veggies. Salmon is a great source of lean protein and beneficial omega 3 and 6 fats. I prefer a wild salmon whenever possible. Some research has suggested that varying the diet and activity of native salmon can affect their fat content and overall composition. And there are few things as satisfying as the sweet and salty flavor of perfectly prepared wild salmon. We used some smoked salmon on fresh baguette, but you can use different types of bread, fish and preparations to keep things interesting all summer long!"
• 4oz smoked salmon (wild preferred)
• 1 baguette or other fresh bread, cut into six ∏ inch slices and toasted
• 2 garden fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
• ∏ red onion, diced
• 2 Tbs capers
• Juice of ∏ lemon
• 1 avocado, diced
• 2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
• 1 tsp salt
• ∏ tsp fresh ground black pepper
• π cup good quality olive oil
• Sour cream or crème fraiche to top (optional)
Slice and toast the baguette. Divide the salmon into six portions and place on the bread. Combine all the remaining ingredients except the sour cream in a small bowl. Top the salmon generously with the relish. Top with a small amount of sour cream, if desired.
Asian Inspired Cold Noodle Salad
Makes 4 servings; 380 Calories per serving; 4g Total Fat; 72g Total Carbohydrate
￼"As a student and devotee to Asian martial arts, I frequently go to Japan for training. Many of these trips occurred during the typhoon season. Much like hurricane season in the United States, the basic weather was hot, humid and sultry. Great relief was often found in a bowl of soba, or buckwheat noodles, served cold. Contrary to the name, buckwheat is not a cereal grain. It is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. Thus it is a great alternative to people who wish or need to avoid foods high in gluten. Like any diet rich in whole grains, diets rich in buckwheat are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids like rutin and minerals like magnesium. This is one of my favorite warm weather salads and pairs perfectly with any fish dish or as a meal alone."
• 1 package of soba noodles (I especially like the Roland organic soba)
• 2 cups of stock (You can use seafood, fish or chicken stock. The stock adds a layer of flavor to the cooled noodles, but you can use water as well to cook them)
• 2 Thinly sliced cucumber
• 7oz Tofu (extra firm) cut into π inch cubes
• Several slices of Daikon (Japanese radish)
• Toasted Nori seaweed strips (optional)
• Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
o 2 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar
o 2 Tbs Ponzu Sauce (you can use Soy Sauce instead)
o 2 Tbs Mirin (you can substitute a white wine in a pinch)
Heat the stock to boiling in a medium saucepan. Add the noodles and cook until slightly al dente, just like pasta. Drain and cool the noodles. Mix the dressing together and combine with the other ingredients. Top with seaweed and red pepper flakes if desired.
Recipes reprinted courtesy of Michael Fenster
Photos by Jennifer Fenster