appetizers

By Sandy Todd Webster
Sep 23, 2015

Here’s a taste of what’s cooking in the nutrition world:

Only in Portlandia? Step aside BLT
sandwich and make a wide berth for the
DLT—dulse, lettuce and tomato. Oregon State
University researchers have patented a new
strain of red marine algae that they describe as
a “super-food with twice the nutritional value of
kale.” It grows rapidly and is packed full of protein, but the real kicker is in the flavor: When cooked, dulse tastes like bacon. Not that pigs will be on the unemployment rolls anytime soon, but a number of Portland chefs are testing the fresh sea vegetable in recipes and have given its potential future in their culinary arsenals a thumbs-up.

As long as we’re on the subject of bacon, has anyone heard about or tried the Hypocrite Burger? This secret-menu-by-special-request-only creation served up by L.A.-based Fatburger seems like the perfect meal for the recently formed
“pegan” eating tribe (a peculiar mash-up of paleo and vegan eaters described in this column last month). Feast your taste receptors on a veggie burger gilded with two slices of bacon, but be sure to tell them to hold the cheese—pegans don’t do dairy.

Enhance your health glossary with the recently coined term psychobiotics—referring to probiotics that may have mental health benefits. Authors of a 2013 research review defined a psychobiotic as “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.” The review, published in Biological Psychiatry, included a study in which mood improved after subjects consumed probiotics; in another study, stress levels fell when probiotics were consumed. The review authors determined that “the intestinal microbial balance may alter the regulation of inflammatory responses and in so doing, may be involved in the modulation of mood and behavior.”

Historically, broccoli leaves have been used as a soil cleanser. Farmers would harvest their broccoli crowns and better stalks and then turn the leaves back into the ground
to fortify Mother Earth. When thinkers at Foxy Organics did a juice promotion in summer 2014 and discovered the greens were pretty tasty and versatile, they began harvesting and developing BroccoLeaf™. These supercharged leaves can be added to eggs, salads, juice concoctions and many other recipes, available on the company’s website: www.thebroccoleaf.com. Mainstream
distribution is being stepped up,
so look for the product in
a store near you or ask
your produce manager
to bring it in.

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Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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