Food for Health

Some like it hot (breakfast, that is)

After graduating from college, I spent the latter half of 2015 as a residential volunteer, serving in the kitchen of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Woodstock, N.Y.

This experience was quite interesting because, for one, living at the monastery was very different from my previous years in college. 

But more relevant to this article (and to the job I’d been assigned), I’m not a cook.

Baby carrots: 24kt or fool’s gold?

Spuds: Mash ’em, gnash ’em, yum


Celeriac is a bizarre little vegetable that, honestly, doesn’t have a lot to offer. There’s some potassium. There’s some vitamin C. Shrug.

But they’re just so wonderfully weird looking that I love to buy and cook with them. And they do taste good, sort of a slightly more tart, zesty and creamy version of a potato.

A grand, great year for grapes

My general feeling about green seedless grapes is that they’re fine but not really worth the effort it takes to wash them. And then they get wrinkly too quickly.

This year is the exception. The green seedless grapes have been huge and sweet and crunchy. They’re easier to wash because they’re so big. And they don’t get wrinkly because they’re not lasting more than about 30 hours after I buy them.

Fighting the common cold and eating foods you like

Doctors don’t seem to support the theory that an increase in vitamin C will help fight the common cold and the flu. Of course if you’re actually worried about getting sick this winter, contact your doctor or the Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association and get a flu shot (see story, this page).

All hail the magical kale


This is where we discuss the fact that I’m probably not as healthy an eater as you think I am. I mean, here I am writing a column about healthy eating when the truth is that I will never, ever drink a kale smoothie.

But perhaps that’s why you enjoy this column (if you do): It offers comfort to know that I’m not going to try and talk you into drinking a cup full of bitter, green juice.

Black raspberry, or what?

One of the highlights of summer for me is picking berries, especially raspberries. As a kid I remember finding it difficult to put the raspberries in my bucket, rather than eating them.

How to beet the summer

Beets do not look like much from the outside, but once you cut into them you find a spectacular magenta root with lighter color rings. I cannot say that there are many other vegetables such as this in New England.

Although beet greens are also edible, I have never been fond of them. It’s not the way they taste; it’s the texture. They’re too slimey when they’re sauteed. I feel the same way about sauteed spinach. 

Ginger — for the cure or candied

Ginger is one of those “roots” that your grandparents always tell you have the power to cure a stomach ache or motion sickness. Apparently there is something to that. Although raw ginger is not much to talk about taste-wise (I find it a little bitter and spicy), the health benefits are incredible.

For the love of coconut, but mostly the oil

When there are eight different kinds of coconut oil on the shelves at Target in Torrington, you know something is up. Forgive me for not remembering all the different variations but they were basically refined or unrefined, organic or not. This is just in the cooking department, by the way; I believe there are even more coconut oil products in the beauty department.