Recipes where science and art intersect

Posted: June 05, 2008

Meals that promote good health don't have to taste like twigs and cardboard, claims Dr. John La Puma, who combined his expertise as a physician and a gourmet cook in the new book, "Chef MD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine."

Try a few of these recipes at home, keeping in mind that the ingredients have been specifically chosen and combined for their health benefits.

SPICY GAZPACHO WITH CRAB

1 cup each, 1/4-inch diced

unpeeled cucumber, yellow or orange bell pepper and seeded ripe, organic tomato

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 cup organic tomato juice

1/2 cup bottled clam juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 cup canned, drained crabmeat

Salt and freshly ground

black pepper

Optional garnishes: chopped fresh basil, finely diced

avocado

In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, onion, tomato and clam juices, vinegar, oil and hot pepper sauce. Mix well.

Transfer about half the mixture to a blender or food processor. Puree until fairly smooth, return to the bowl. Stir in the crabmeat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 or up to 8 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh basil or avocado, if desired. Makes 4 1/4 cups.

SAFFRON SCALLOP, SHRIMP AND CHICKPEA PAELLA

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

8 large sea scallops, patted dry (about 8 ounces)

12 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen (8 ounces)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 14.5-ounce can organic,

fire-roasted, diced or crushed tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed

1/2 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce

1 8.8-ounce package, cooked brown rice

1 15-ounce can organic, no-salt-

added chickpeas, drained

Heat a large, deep, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Spread 1 teaspoon oil over sea scallops. Place oiled sides down in a single layer in hot pan; sear for 1 to 2 minutes per side or just until opaque in center.

Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Reduce heat under skillet to medium. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, shrimp and garlic. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque. Add to bowl with scallops.

Add tomatoes, saffron and hot-pepper sauce to skillet; mix well. Add rice and chickpeas; simmer 5 minutes. Stir scallops and shrimp with any accumulated juices back into skillet. Heat through, about 1 minute. Serves 4.

STEEL-CUT OAT PUDDING WITH DARK CHOCOLATE AND LIME

1 1/4 cups low-fat soy milk

3/4 cup canned light coconut milk

1/3 cup quick-cooking, steel-cut oats

2 tablespoons muscovado sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped

3/4 teaspoon finely grated lime peel

In a medium saucepan, combine soy milk, coconut milk and oats. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes. (Mixture will be thin.)

Remove from heat; stir in sugar and lime juice. Let stand in saucepan, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Transfer to bowls; top with chocolate and lime peel. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled. Serves 4.

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