Sunday, October 11, 2009

ChefMD: John La Puma, MD

I just came across the website of Dr. John La Puma, also known as ChefMD. He is an internal medicine physician and a professionally trained chef who has a weekly show on Lifetime TV. He also has written a cookbook called ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine and has a comprehensive website featuring healthy recipes for the most common health conditions. Here is an excerpt from the website:
  • Use a full fat salad dressing, not a low-fat/no-fat dressing. A bit of healthy fat (avocado, walnuts, almonds, olives) in your salad lets you absorb 7 times more lutein than with a no or low-fat dressing. Lutein helps to prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over age 65.
  • Buy organic when it really matters: when the skin is thin. Over 80% of apples, pears, peaches, potatoes and berries sampled contain artificial chemical pesticides. On the thick side, less than 8 percent of avocados, mangos, pineapples and frozen sweet corn contain them—and onions contain none! Exposure to pesticides worsens asthma and damages the immune system.
  • Drink coffee and be happy, as long as you're drinking filtered coffee. Two cups of filtered coffee daily can reduce colon cancer by 25%, diabetes risk by 30%, gallstone risk by 40%, and liver cirrhosis risk by 80%. But espresso and French Press can raise your LDL cholesterol by 8% in a month, because the coffee's chemical cafestol stays inside.
I love a doc who touts the benefits of eating fat and drinking coffee! Check out his gluten-free quiz to see if you have symptoms that may warrant further testing for celiac disease, or just if you should avoid gluten. Reading the recipes on the site, I'm hoping he opens a chain of restaurants!
Gluten-free quiz

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ginger Snap Pear Tartin

There are pears galore in my backyard. Still picking them daily and letting them ripe off the tree, collecting untarnished fruit from the ground before the chickens dig in. Like apples, pears are members of the rose family and are a great source of Vitamin C (maybe this is why they are in season at the beginning of Fall—cold and flu season!) They are also full of fiber, which can lower cholesterol, protect against some cancers, and support good colon health. I've been enjoying pears with slices of cheese and in salads, but I've really wanted to make a quick and easy dessert with these fabulous Fall fruit.

Last Sunday I made a lovely gluten-y pear tartin for a friend. I drizzled it with a concoction of sliced almonds, sugar, butter, and sweetened condensed milk that was positively decadent. I'm now inspired to try this g-f version, rehashing my fav crust (from the Thanksgiving g-f cheesecake recipe):

Crushed gluten-free ginger snaps, pecans, butter, mix well and press into tart pan. Peel and slice pears, drizzle with lemon juice, cinnamon, dash of sweetener of choice (sugar/maple syrup/honey), arrange on crust in pan. Bake at 325-350° for...long enough to not burn the crust or pears. Melt butter and sugar in saucepan, stir in sweetened condensed milk. Add nuts (let's add pecans to match the crust), keep stirring, then drizzle on baked tart.

Okay, that's a rough draft. Sounds yum, right? Will work on the final version with guesstimated measurements and get back to you.

What's your favorite way to enjoy pears?