Eat Well, Be Happy – Episode 216

Episode 216

with Debra Stark & Roxanne Bispham:

  • Scallop grapefruit seviche
  • Flounder in mustard sauce
  • Smoked tuna sunflower balls

Eat Well, Be Happy – Episode 215

Episode 215

with Debra Stark & Roxanne Bispham.

  • Zucchini yellow squash quiche
  • Rhubarb compote with mascarpone
  • Almost like Ratner’s soup

Eat Well, Be Happy – Episode 214

Episode 214

with Debra Stark & Robin Johnston.

  • Savory meatballs with harissa
  • Split pea puree
  • Quick green salad
  • Rhubarb Apple Squares

Almost-like-Ratner’s Summer Soup

ratners soup

We all have fond memories of special food. When my family made the trek each summer to NYC, we always ate in Ratner’s, a famous Jewish deli founded in 1905 (it closed in 2002) that served only dairy foods. In its heyday, Ratner’s served Sunday brunch to 1,200 people each week, and patrons included Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Jackie Mason, Elia Kazan, Walter Matthau, Groucho Marx, Robert Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller… and even the occasional mafia member. My favorite dish from Ratner’s? Their cold vegetable soup made with sour cream. This is my version from those childhood memories.

I have all these herbs growing in my garden. If you don’t, of course you can use dried herbs, but about a third the quantity called for. Can’t do dairy? There are dairy alternatives that work just fine.

Yes, we made this on Eat Well Be Happy, our cooking show. The crew loved this soup. Do use ONLY organic or grass-fed dairy products. It’s so important.

Fiber for Weight Loss

Actually, fiber is for a lot of things. That title was just to get your attention.

Of all the changes we have wreaked on traditional diets over the last hundred years, our drastic reduction in fiber intake might very well be the most significant[1].  Not only have we turned away from fiber-rich plant foods, but the plant foods we do eat are often “refined” to remove their natural fiber, leaving us with bland, malleable white bread, white rice, and white pasta.  We even refine our vegetables, removing the nutritious peels from carrots and cucumbers, and foregoing fresh tomatoes for bottled tomato sauce (made without tomato skins and seeds) ladled over white pasta.

What is fiber anyways?  And why is it so important?  Simply put, fiber is the stuff in plant food we can’t digest.  Since it isn’t digested, it isn’t absorbed.  Instead, it acts as a broom, sweeping out the intestines; feeds the “friendly,” probiotic bacteria in the gut; and helps regulate how we absorb nutrients.  All that might sound relatively abstract.  To put it in clearer terms, fiber lowers the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease; helps keeps us regular; supports the immune system; and yes, plays a major role in weight loss as well.