The Origin of a Hot Wasabi Dressing

Hot foods are – hot. A trend I enjoy, it has me thinking beyond chile peppers and into exploring wasabi, which is seldom used as an ingredient. I love it because instead of sending burning heat down towards my belly, it shoots a head-clearing blast up my nose, opening up my sinuses just as spring overloads them with pollen.

While creating recipes for my latest book, The Power Greens Cookbook, which came out this month, I looked for ways to use wasabi and fell in love with it in salad dressings.

Wasabi Collage

wasabi root, in a powder and a paste

To make salads that work with wasabi-spiked dressings, I started by tasting wasabi together with various ingredients. The best vegetable pairings included tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. It went well with several kinds of fish, and shrimp, as well.

Featured Recipe: Baby Kale Tuna Salad with Wasabi Dressing

So what salad dressing ingredients does wasabi blend well with? Buttermilk, and yogurt, for starters.

Continue reading

Alcohol and Cancer Link Highlighted at Alcohol Policy Conference

AICR’s evidence clearly and consistently shows that alcohol is linked to increased risk for several different cancers, which is why I was eager to attend the 17th Annual Alcohol Policy Conference near Washington DC.

In a session focusing on the alcohol-cancer link, Robert Pezzolesi, of the New York Alcohol Policy Alliance, led off by citing an AICR survey on the relatively low level of US awareness (43%) of the link between alcohol and cancer risk (below).

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.50.24 AMLinda Bauld of Cancer Research UK spotlighted the problems facing the UK, which is experiencing historically high levels of alcohol consumption. She cited a very low level of awareness of the alcohol-cancer link (13%) in the UK. This was the unprompted figure, when respondents were asked to volunteer various cancer risks. But when respondents were specifically asked if alcohol was related to cancer – a methodology similar to AICR’s US survey – 53% were able to identify alcohol as a risk. Continue reading

Smoothies for Kids: Just Another Sugary Drink

They are colorful, squeezable and have the term fruit all over, but kid-friendly smoothies are often just another sugary drink, as a study published last month highlighted. That study found that these drinks in the United Kingdom often come with as much added sugars as soda, giving a young child half of the highest amount of added sugar recommended per day.

That can lead to unhealthy weight gain in children. And that weight gain can mean higher cancer risk when children become adults, because many cancers are now linked to obesity, including colorectal and postmenopausal breast.

In the US, the story on smoothies is much the same. Many of the baby and child-focused drinks are called smoothies but the first two ingredients are milk and sugar. After that, comes fruit purees or juices, which means there is more sugar added than fruit. And some smoothies are simply milk, sugar and flavors, with no fruit at all. In two familiar brands, added sugar alone contributes 40-50% of the calories.Sugar in kids drinks[1]

Continue reading