Micro Nutrients and Baseball

John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST -  Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth: “My whole life has always been, you got to kind of get to know me. But usually first impressions are not my strong suit.”: Photo: John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST

Very excited to read this in a Washington Post piece on the National’s Jayson Werth.

The numerous ideas that stuck became tangible symbols of Werth’s off-field impact. In the clubhouse kitchen, no longer does a cook make whatever players ask for. A chef trained in nutrition informs players how much sodium, fat or Vitamin A they should be eating.

“We’ve gone from probably the worst food in the league to the best food,” Werth said. “It’s more about nutrition. If you owned a racehorse, on the way to the race, would you stop at a fast-food restaurant and expect that horse to win?”


Werth told the Nationals about Robert Pastore, who describes himself on his Web site as a “biochemical detective.” Pastore analyzes a patient’s blood to determine what nutrients a person has in abundance or lacks. Based on his findings, he prescribes a diet intended to correct those imbalances and, ultimately, prevent injury.

In an age where professional athletes make millions promoting junk food through endorsements (I read that a local pro athlete has attributed his mid season turn around to kool-aid) …it is so refreshing not only to read about how Werth made the Nationals change their food culture but also to shift their medical approach from treatment to prevention. Micronutrients are so important not only to pro-athletes but also to our everyday functions as average people.

Friends for Dinner Friday June 22

Six of us had dinner at our house on Friday night– it was hot outside we dined under a ceiling fan– I cooked nearly everything on the outdoor wood burning grill to keep the inside temperature down– grabbed ingredients at the Penn Quarter Farmers market in about 5 minutes and later figured out what went with what– lots of small dishes driven by the herbs in my garden and ingredients– so much good food to choose from this time of year including first corn okra and apricots of the season– had food on the table when friends arrived so there would be no jumping up and down just a relaxed visit... For me, a perfect summer night!

Dinner: Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, Tomato with Peach and Basil, Corn with Leek Sorrel and Okra, Giant White Lima Beans with Green Tomatoes and Garlic Chives, Baby Collards with New Potato and Rosemary, Rhubarb Ketchup,  Small Cucumbers with Salad Burnet and Mint, Eggplant with Beets Beet Greens and Onion, Maiitake Mushrooms, Spelt Bread

Dessert: Macadamia Coconut Macaroons, Tiny Lavender Cakes with Rose and Pistachio, Gooseberries, Black Raspberries, Watermelon, Apricot, Coconut Cream, Bittersweet Chocolate

(Tissot) Cremant du Jura Brut, (Henri Jouan) Bourgogne Pase-Tout-Grain 2009


Looking for something else on the internet last week I came across a pair of Honeyberry bushes for sale...  I learned that the Honeyberry is a variety of honeysuckle that bears sweet fruit and can be grown in our area.

Unfamiliar with them I needed them for our garden.  The two plants arrived in the mail and are planted.  I do not expect them to bear fruit until next summer but I am quite anxious!

Verjus Restaurant, Paris, Vegan Dinner

Martin-Lane and I are vegan vegetarians– we eat very well.  Paris is no exception we have our favorite bakeries, street food, markets, cous cous restaurant, Vietnamese food, falafel... My preference is to eat meals inspired by the freshest seasonal market ingredients, many restaurants in Paris that cook this way are not able to accommodate vegans.  Of course there are exceptions on previous trips we have had memorable meals at Arpege, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and le violin d'Ingres to name a few.  On our trip last week we enjoyed a thoughtful and delicious seven course meal at Verjus.  I cannot recall each dish but the meal included– smoked broccoli, roasted potato with truffle salt and radish sprout, celery root dumplings with dan dan sauce, tofu made by a friend of the chef, cranberry beans, salsify...  Everything we saw at the farmers market and more!

At the end of the meal I asked how often they cook vegan meals and was told this was their first one!  I recommend both the restaurant and wine bar downstairs to both vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Kitchen Experiment, Young Coconut Curry

Most days I eat at least one young coconut.  John has been curious about making a curry sauce using both the water and meat from a young coconut, the idea being that it would be cleaner tasting and the spices more prominent without a traditional coconut milk base. For dinner one night last week he prepared a coconut curry sauce by blending the water and meat of a young coconut in a high speed blender.  The coconut mixture was gently heated and he wisked in a small amount of coconut butter.  Added, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, whole tumeric, cumin seeds and let the seasonings flavor the coconut while maintaing the temperature at 125 degrees for about 20 minutes.  We strained the sauce before serving over potatoes, salsify, black rice and spinach.

Kitchen Experiment, Pigs Foot

For as long as I have known him I have heard John talk about a dish that he ate in the UK more than 2 decades ago prepared by Marco Pierre White.  Yesterday he cooked a dish that was loosely based on that dish and a recipe by Pierre Koffmann.  There were many steps including careful butchering, a 24 hour stock and slow cooking the stuffed pigs foot.  He filled the pigs trotter with olive oil mashed potatoes, it looked fantastic and I am told it was delicious.

Home Restaurant March 3, 2012

Photo Kate Headley













At open Home Restaurants it is a joy to bring people together to share a meal and enjoy conversation with other guests they have just met.  Consistently we have found that guests who choose to dine with us are open to the experience and make fast friends with the other diners.  Last night was no exception, conversation was steady, intense and animated.  When guests left many exchanged contact information and I guess that many conversations will continue long past the duration of the dinner– We had a good night!  Thanks to everyone who joined us last night.


White Sturgeon Caviar, Sweet Potato/ Celery, Celery Root, Celery Seed/ Shad Roe, Sorrel/ Flat Iron, Caramelized Onion/ Oregon Black Truffle, Potato/ Parsnip, Fermented Grains, Chives/ Radish, Parsley, Sesame

(Ch. L'Eperonniere) Rose de Loire 2010Bay Leaf Lemon Vodka Cocktail


Guinea Hen, Dashi, Leek, Carrot, Giant White Lima Beams, Crinkle Cress– 48 Hour Farm Bread  (La Sauvageonne) Coteaux du Languedoc "Les Ruffes" 2009

Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Pickled Baby Turnip, Pickled Baby Beet, Black Rice, Pea Shoots, Black Walnuts– Spelt Olive Oil Bread  (Thevenet) St. Veran 'Clos de l'Ermitage' V.V. 2009

Rockfish, Salsify, Scorzonera, Rhubarb, Baby Kale– Cornmeal Herb Roll  (Jean Marc Pillot) Bourgogne Rouge 'Les Grands Terres' 2008

Rush Creek Reserve Cheese and Cracker

Sauterne Olive Oil Cake, Mandarin Oranges, Frozen Sesame and Dates  (Eudald) 'Familia' Brut Cava NV

Cookies: Black Tea Savi Seed Oatmeal Crisps, Cornmeal Rosemary Walnut Drops, Chocolate Cake with Hickory Nuts and Coconut, Salty Macadamia Nut Chocolate Biscotti

Take Home: Chocolate, Fig and Red Walnut Bread

Michael Pollan's Short Stop-Motion Animation Film

I have been a fan of Michael Pollan's for awhile now.  When I first read Omnivores Dilemma I said he articulated much of what I believe much better than I have ever been able to.  Since then I have continued to follow his writing, have had the opportunity to see him speak... I came across this film through a link from GRACE, an amazing organization that in addition to making the Meatrix is doing all sorts of thoughtful work in the space where food, ecology, technology and health intersect...

Had to share–

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/35444471]

Super Immunity Class, #2

Early this year I taught a class with Davina of Nutrition Groove that was inspired by Joel Fuhrmans book Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free.  Essentially he purports that diet is integrally linked to your body's ability to fight off illness of all sorts from the common cold to cancer.  I am a believer. We had such a good response to the first class that we taught another one yesterday.  Both the talking and cooking were based on Dr Fuhrman's acronym GOMBBS, greens, onions, mushrooms, berries, beans, seeds. The recipes from the classes can be found on the Super Immunity Post on my blog.

In addition to cooking and lots of solid nutrition information from Davina we talked a lot about how each of us needs to incorporate healthy eating into our daily practice in a way that works for us as individuals.  There is no one way to eat– each of us has different requirements based on our individual biological needs, living situation, daily routine, seasonal changes and work demands...  Regardless what your diet is at the moment there is great information to be gleaned from Dr. Fuhrman's studies and insights– and potentially shifts in your everyday eating.

California White Sturgeon Caviar with Salsify

We recently started getting caviar from California... initially we were skeptical since traditionally the only caviar we served was from wild sturgeon of the Caspian or Black Seas.  However wild sturgeon, once plentiful in many places in the world are now threatened by overfishing, loss of habitat and pollution.  In fact, the sturgeon of the Caspian Sea are nearly extinct.  In response sturgeon are now farmed raised in many parts of the world, some farms are sustainable and others are not.  The California caviar from the Sacramento area we are getting is said to come from a perfected sustainable aquaculture environment.  The taste and texture are of this Osetra-like caviar is phenomenal.  We served the caviar with a long time favorite pairing of ours, roasted salsify.  In the past we have topped it with creme fraiche but this time with fermented grains and wild chives from our neighbors front yard.

Holiday Cooking Class, Bread Sticks

Someone from last weeks cooking class organized a group for a cooking class yesterday which included both adults and off from school kids...  We are having fun with these classes and are open to doing more of them in the future. We baked bread, made spreads and then enjoyed eating our labors... Special requests included bread sticks and chocolate bread.  Below is a bread stick recipe, we made them a little too thick yesterday I think the key is to roll them as thin as a pencil.

Rosemary Bread Sticks

2 teaspoons fresh compressed yeast

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup whole wheat flour (substituting this for 00 flour would result in a lighter breadstick but I like the whole wheat for both taste and nutrition reasons)

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, could substitute other herbs, seeds, minced garlic...

In a medium sized bowl combine the yeast, water and oil.  Mix in the flours, salt and rosemary and knead until dough is very smooth.

Prepare a baking pan by spraying with oil and sprinkling with cornmeal.  Roll out long thin bread sticks and cook in a 375 degree oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Eat hot or very crispy at room temperature.

Oranges, Kate Headley

Kate Headley's wedding photographs are all over my blog, weddings blogs, Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine and other local and national wedding publications.  At the moment she is less know for her editorial work.  Recently she launched an editorial section to her blog separate from the wedding section, check it out– We were fortunate to enjoy Kate's company for a casual lunch a few weeks ago–  she came with camera in hand so in addition to a visit we got photos.  Enjoying this  series of orange images... and enjoying eating lots of citrus which is at it's best right now!