from gardening. “We have a good work ethic in our family,” remarks Bone, who lives in New York City and Crawford, Colorado. “We are of the mentality that physical work is satisfying, even when it is hard.” From her father’s family, Bone has

learned to break a meal into small cours- es and to eat heavier during the day and lighter at night because this helps main- tain a healthy weight, according to many studies including one published in the UK journal Diabetologia. One Great Dish: Dress up pasta with a

comprise many small, highly flavored, col- orful, plant-based dishes served with rice. Tey yield a pleasant aroma and sensation of fullness without overdoing it, says Iyer. One Great Dish: A vegetable/legume

curry such as tamata chana dal, or smoky yellow split peas is simple to make. Iyer cooks dried, yellow, split peas with pota- toes and turmeric, then dry-fries dried chilis and spices, and purées them in a blender for a no-fat, vegan and gluten-free dish. In Iyer’s view, “Te epitome of com- fort food is a bowl of dal and rice.”

Garden-to-Table Italian Ingredients. Tere’s American-Italian, as in pizza with pepperoni and double cheese, and then there’s real Italian dishes dating back to the Etruscans. Healthy Italian starts with the love of growing things. Whatever grows in the garden is best, served simply with extra virgin olive oil; a recent Temple University study found it preserves memory and wards off Alzheimer’s. Eugenia Giobbi Bone, co-author of

Italian Family Dining: Recipes, Menus, and Memories of Meals with a Great American Food Family, says, “My palate was formed with the flavors of homegrown foods. Cook- ing in central Italy is all about bringing out the flavor of a few very fresh, well-grown ingredients. Tat means primarily seasonal eating, with lots of vegetables and little meat in summer, the opposite in winter. Tere isn’t a lot of fuss to the culinary style, which instead depends on interesting, but simple combinations of foods and techniques.” Practice. Italian families’ view of healthful garden-to-table includes the exercise attained

28 NA Triangle

seasonal vegetable sauce, such as caponata, an eggplant and tomato mixture, or include primavera via spring vegetables and basil, or arrabbiata, featuring tomatoes and red pepper flakes.

Lebanese Ingredients. “So much about Lebanese cuisine is ‘on trend’ with our tart and sour flavors from lemon, sumac and pomegranate molasses, a wide array of vegetarian and veg- an dishes, plus a tradition of pickling, called mouneh, and yogurt and cheese-making,” says food blogger Maureen Abood, author of Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh and Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen. “Lebanese cuisine is extraordinarily

healthy, fitting squarely into the Mediter- ranean diet.” Abood lives in East Lansing, Michigan, where she loves to use summer cherries and berries in her Lebanese-in- spired dishes. According to Abood, another reason why Lebanese food is so popular is that Lebanese immigrants to the U.S. now outnumber the native population of their mother country. Practice. Gathering to share food is a

hallmark of Lebanese hospitality. “Te Leb- anese style of eating includes maza; many small shared plates of remarkable variety,” says Abood. “Food as medicine” is also a Lebanese practice, according to a study in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. One Great Dish: “Many of my favor-

ite Lebanese dishes are plant-based,” says Abood. “We love to stuff everything from cabbage to summer squash to grape leaves with vegetarian fillings, and cook them in a garlic or tomato broth. Every week, we make and eat mujaddara, a lentil and rice or bulgur

pilaf with deeply caramelized onions.” Pair with any Lebanese salad, such as one she makes with sweet cherries and walnuts for “a perfectly healthy and crazy-delicious meal.”

Vietnamese Ingredients. Vietnamese cooking emphasiz- es fresh herbs and leafy greens, green papaya, seafood, rice and condiments. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that green or unripe papaya contains more healthy carotenoids (lutein, beta-carotene and lycopene) than tomatoes or carrots. Practice. Te preferred style of Viet-

namese cooking is steaming or simmering, using less fat. It also encourages communal eating, with each diner dipping an ingredient into a cooking pot. Cooked foods are ac- companied by fresh salad greens, including herbs served as whole leaves. One Great Dish: Vietnamese hot pot

is a favorite of Andrea Nguyen, whose Vietnamese family emigrated to California. Nguyen, author of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Fla- vors, blogs about food at VietWorldKitchen. com and now lives near San Francisco, California. “Tis is a slow, cook-it-yourself kind of meal. Set it up, relax with some organic wine or beer and enjoy. Flavors develop and the hot pot transforms as you eat,” she says. “At the end, you’ll slurp up the remaining broth and noodles.” See French Bonus: While croissants and

triple-crème brie might not seem part of an ideal diet, rediscover two healthy practices from the French: Eat less and eat togeth- er. Ongoing studies at Cornell University show that we eat less if offered less. When researcher Paul Rozin, Ph.D., a psychology professor with the University of Pennsylva- nia, compared portions in Paris, France, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Philly por- tions were 25 percent larger. It’s also reflected in the two countries’ cookbook recipes. Rozin further found that French diners

spent more time eating those smaller portions—perhaps explaining the French paradox: Most French eat rich foods and drink wine, yet don’t get fat. Judith Fertig writes award-winning

cookbooks plus foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS (


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