Health & Spirit

Healthful foods to get you over those post-holiday blues

Daniel Neman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Health & Fitness

2 pounds raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon fine salt

4 slices multigrain bread, toasted, for serving

2 to 4 large leaves lettuce

1. In a large, shallow bowl, combine the scallions, capers, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.

2. Fill a large pot with 3 quarts of water and bring it to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the coarse salt and the shrimp, and cook just until the shrimp are pink, about 30 seconds. Drain and immediately transfer to the marinade. At this point, you can serve or refrigerate overnight.

3. Mix together the lemon zest and fine salt in a spice blender or use a mortar and pestle.

4. Cover each piece of toast with lettuce. Drain the shrimp and portion out over each of the lettuce-covered pieces of toast. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest salt -- you will have some of the lemon zest salt left over.

Per serving: 476 calories; 31 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 283 mg cholesterol; 34 g protein; 16 g carbohydrate; 2 g sugar; 2 g fiber; 2,610 mg sodium; 161 mg calcium

Adapted from "Salad as a Meal," by Patricia Wells


Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 scallions, finely chopped

4 rocotillo chile peppers, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped

1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of all visible fat

1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups water

Salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil and paprika in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, scallions and chile or bell peppers. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft but not brown. Increase the heat to high and stir in the tomatoes and vinegar. Cook for 3 minutes, or until most of the tomato juices have evaporated.

2. Add the chicken and water to cover. Season with salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is very tender when tested with a knife. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and let cool. Increase the heat to high and boil the cooking liquid until only 1 cup remains.

3. Using 2 forks, pull the chicken along the grain of the meat into fine shreds. Place the chicken in a medium saucepan and strain the cooking liquid on top. Simmer 5 minutes, or until the chicken has absorbed most of the cooking liquid. Season with more salt and black pepper, if desired.

Per serving: 182 calories; 6 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 26 g protein; 3 g carbohydrate; 2 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 103 mg sodium; 21 mg calcium

Recipe from "Healthy Latin Cooking," by Steven Raichlen


Yield: 4 servings

2 large or 4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into \-inch strips

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

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1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Place the potatoes in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Drain well and blot dry with paper towels.

3. In a nonstick roasting pan, toss together the potatoes, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. Bake 25 minutes, turning occasionally, or until golden brown.

Per serving: 204 calories; 4 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 4 g protein; 3 g carbohydrate; 1 g sugar; 4 g fiber; 302 mg sodium; 26 mg calcium

Recipe from "Healthy Latin Cooking," by Steven Raichlen


Yield: 4 servings

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean beef, such as tenderloin or sirloin

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup nonfat yogurt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cognac

1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large or 2 small onions, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar


3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallions, for garnish

1. Trim any fat or sinew off the meat and cut into thin strips, about \-inch wide. Place the meat in a mixing bowl with the garlic, cardamom and a generous amount of black pepper, and marinate for 15 minutes. Combine the yogurt, mustard, cognac and flour in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Cook the onions over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they turn a deep golden brown, stirring often. Add the sugar after 10 minutes to help the onions brown.

3. Just before serving, season the beef with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high, add the beef to the onions, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, or until cooked to taste. Stir in the yogurt mixture and bring to a boil. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the beef with the chives, and serve at once.

Per serving: 319 calories; 11 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 90 mg cholesterol; 38 g protein; 11 g carbohydrate; 7 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 163 mg sodium; 161 mg calcium

Adapted from "Bold & Healthy Flavors," by Steven Raichlen

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