The Feed Zone

Feed Zone Table Recipe: Chilled Soba with Spicy Red Beans & Poached Eggs

Chef Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim have returned to the kitchen to champion dinner, the most social meal of the day. In their third cookbook, Feed Zone Table, Biju and Allen offer over 100 all-new recipes to bring friends and family to the table in a way that nourishes life and sport.

Try Chilled Soba with Spicy Red Beans & Poached Eggs from Feed Zone Table! I like to enjoy this dish on a hot summer afternoon, however you could also serve it hot any time of the year. Many of these ingredients you’ll already have on hand.

Republished with permission of VeloPress from Feed Zone Table. Please contact us to republish this recipe.

Chilled Soba Noodles from Feed Zone Table by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim

Serves 4

2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans or 2 cups cooked beans
½ pound bok choy or napa cabbage leaves, rolled lengthwise and thinly sliced (chiffonade)
2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus additional to taste
1 tablespoon chili paste (Sambal, p. 196), plus additional to taste
2 cups cooked and chilled soba noodles
4 cups hot or cold vegetable stock
drizzle of sesame oil
juice from 1 lemon

To poach the eggs, fill a shallow medium saucepan, halfway with water and add salt. Bring to a rolling boil and then crack the eggs into a small bowl one at a time and gently slide them into the boiling water. Cook for 5–6 minutes, or until the eggs are fully white. Drain with a slotted spoon and set aside.

If using canned beans, drain and rinse them. Combine the beans and vegetables in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the soy sauce and chili paste. Pour the dressing over the beans and vegetables just before serving to keep them from wilting.

To assemble, divide the noodles into individual bowls. Sprinkle the dressed beans and vegetables on top of the noodles. Add one poached egg to each bowl. Pour in as much stock as you’d like, either cold or warm. To finish, drizzle with a small amount of sesame oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, adding additional soy sauce or chili paste to taste.

You can make dinnertime better right now. Inspire your dinnertime with family-style meals from Feed Zone Table.

Feed Zone Table Feed Zone Table includes more than 100 all-new recipes to inspire family-style dinners in a way that nourishes life and sport.

VeloPress
Skratch Labs
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
local booksellers

Complete footnotes and references for studies cited above are available in the print edition of Feed Zone Table.

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Feed Zone Table Recipe: Cauliflower & Corn Chowder with Red Pepper Oil

Chef Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim have returned to the kitchen to champion dinner, the most social meal of the day. In their third cookbook, Feed Zone Table, Biju and Allen offer over 100 all-new recipes to bring friends and family to the table in a way that nourishes life and sport.

Try Cauliflower & Corn Chowder with Red Pepper Oil from Feed Zone Table! This is a light soup that pairs well with a hearty chopped salad or roasted chicken. Be sure to use all of the tender parts of the cauliflower, stalk included.

Republished with permission of VeloPress from Feed Zone Table. Please contact us to republish this recipe.

Cauliflower & Corn Chowder with Red Pepper Oil Feed Zone Table by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim

Serves 6

1 quart chicken stock
1 pound cauliflower (1 large head), coarsely chopped
2 ears fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob (or 2 cups frozen corn), divided
1 cup plain yogurt, divided

RED PEPPER OIL
1 red bell pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt to taste

ON TOP
2 tablespoons farmer or feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil (optional)
coarsely ground black pepper to taste

TO MAKE THE RED PEPPER OIL: Blanch the bell pepper in salted boiling water for no more than 1 minute. The skin will be wrinkled. Run the pepper under cold water, then peel off the skin and remove the stem and seeds. Place the pepper in a blender with the olive oil and purée. Season to taste with coarse salt and set aside.

TO MAKE THE CHOWDER: In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil and simmer the cauliflower for about 10 minutes, or until fork tender.

While the cauliflower is cooking, char the corn in a dry sauté pan over medium-high heat, stirring to keep it from blackening. Set aside.

Transfer the cooked cauliflower and chicken stock into a food processor and purée until smooth. Return the cauliflower mixture to the pot and fold in half the corn and half the yogurt. Cook for another minute or two over low heat to warm throughout.

Pour chowder into individual bowls and top with remaining corn, a spoonful of yogurt, and a drizzle of red pepper oil. Garnish with fresh crumbled cheese and fresh chopped herbs, if using. Finish with coarsely ground black pepper.

You can make dinnertime better right now. Inspire your dinnertime with family-style meals from Feed Zone Table.

Feed Zone Table Feed Zone Table includes more than 100 all-new recipes to inspire family-style dinners in a way that nourishes life and sport.

VeloPress
Skratch Labs
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
local booksellers

Complete footnotes and references for studies cited above are available in the print edition of Feed Zone Table.

Feed Zone Table Recipe: Almond Cornbread with Grilled Stone Fruit

Chef Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim have returned to the kitchen to champion dinner, the most social meal of the day. In their third cookbook, Feed Zone Table, Biju and Allen offer over 100 all-new recipes to bring friends and family to the table in a way that nourishes life and sport.

Try Almond Cornbread with Grilled Stone Fruit from Feed Zone Table! This is a delicious gluten-free cornbread that you can serve as a great dessert or hearty side to your meal. Dense with healthy fats and protein, almond meal is a fantastic gluten-free flour that is easy to work with and yields a rich, moist cornbread or cake that doesn’t feel heavy. Corn flour will give you a smoother texture than cornmeal. 

Republished with permission of VeloPress from Feed Zone Table. Please contact us to republish this recipe.

Serves 8

Feed Zone Table by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim recipe

ALMOND CORNBREAD

2 cups almond meal
2 cups fine-ground cornmeal
4 eggs
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

GRILLED STONEFRUIT

8 pieces stone fruit (peaches, apricots, or nectarines)
olive oil
sprinkle of coarse sugar

ON TOP
plain Greek yogurt
honey
cinnamon

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend all the ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be thick and smooth. Let rest for 30 minutes if you have the time.

Pour the cornbread batter into a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet (a 9 × 13–inch baking dish also works) and bake for 60 minutes, or until the center is set.

With about 10 minutes to go on the cornbread, heat the grill to high. Cut the fruit in half, remove the pit, and brush the flesh with olive oil. Add a sprinkle of sugar. Grill the fruit cut-side down for 3–5 minutes or just long enough to warm the fruit and make some lovely grill marks.

Serve up the grilled stone fruit alongside your almond cornbread. With a spoonful of Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and a hit of cinnamon, this makes a fantastic dessert.

Invite some friends over for drinks and dessert! Inspire your dinnertime with more family-style meals from Feed Zone Table.

Feed Zone Table Feed Zone Table includes more than 100 all-new recipes to inspire family-style dinners in a way that nourishes life and sport.

VeloPress
Skratch Labs
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
local booksellers

Complete footnotes and references for studies cited above are available in the print edition of Feed Zone Table.

Feed Zone Table Recipe: Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bolognese

Chef Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim have returned to the kitchen to champion dinner, the most social meal of the day. In their third cookbook, Feed Zone Table, Biju and Allen offer over 100 all-new recipes to bring friends and family to the table in a way that nourishes life and sport.

Try Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bolognese from Feed Zone Table! Professional cycling teams are served plenty of boiled chicken and overcooked spaghetti when they are traveling from race to race and eating hotel fare. At the 2015 Tour of California, Mark Cavendish requested that we make him some Bolognese. Our team made him a special batch, and he went on to win that day’s stage . . . just saying.

Republished with permission of VeloPress from Feed Zone Table. Please contact us to republish this recipe.

Mac & Cheese Bolognese from Feed Zone Table by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim

Serves 6

8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni or curly noodles
1 cup minced bacon
1 pound ground beef
½ cup minced onion
½ cup finely diced carrots
½ cup minced celery
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole milk
1 large tomato, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, basil, or a mixture)
coarse salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare the pasta as directed on the package. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Brown the bacon in a heavy pot over medium-high heat until crisp. Add the ground beef and continue to cook until browned. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook until the carrots are tender, about 5–6 minutes. Drain any excess fat from the pan.

Add the tomato paste and use a wooden spoon to fully incorporate it, scraping the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the white wine, cooking about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid and let the flavors meld. Turn the heat off and quickly stir in the milk until well combined.

Finish with the diced tomato and fresh herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss with pasta and garnish with Parmesan.

You can make dinnertime better right now. Inspire your dinnertime with family-style meals from Feed Zone Table.

Feed Zone Table Feed Zone Table includes more than 100 all-new recipes to inspire family-style dinners in a way that nourishes life and sport.

VeloPress
Skratch Labs
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
local booksellers

Complete footnotes and references for studies cited above are available in the print edition of Feed Zone Table.

Social Eating and the French Paradox Explained?

By Dr. Allen Lim

Adapted with permission of VeloPress from Feed Zone Table by chef Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim.

We mentioned in this earlier post that one way to understand differences in social eating is by asking those who have little choice in how dinner is served—our children. We showed that Americans have a lot of room for improvement at the dinner table, but that the British are perhaps in even worse shape.

One culture that’s getting it right, though, is the French. The French excel as a nation when it comes to creating consistent and structured meal patterns. A five-year study on French eating patterns found:

  • 97% of the children ate breakfast.
  • 100% had lunch, with most (67 percent) having lunch at home and the rest (33 percent) in their school cafeteria.
  • 88% had a traditional snack after school.
  • And 99% had dinner, almost always at home with all family members (87 percent).

Compared to data from the United States, the French statistics are utopian, especially if we believe that family meals are important to our children’s health and well-being.

Though it’s hard to argue against the benefits of family meals for children, how this relates to the greater public health is another question.

Feed Zone Table by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim

The Heart Speaks Truth

Most studies show that physical inactivity, diabetes, smoking, obesity, hypertension, family history, and a high-fat diet are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The “French paradox” is the observation that the French have extremely low rates of cardiovascular disease despite a high intake of dietary cholesterol and fat.

There are reports that place the total fat consumption of the French in the range of 38–40 percent of total caloric intake, with saturated fat in the realm of 15 percent.50 Despite this high fat consumption, the World Health Organization reports that from 2000 to 2007, the average age-standardized mortality rate in France from heart disease was 8.3 per 100,000. This is second only to Japan, which had a mortality rate from heart disease of 6.4 per 100,000 from 2000 to 2009. In contrast, from 2000 to 2005, the United States had a mortality rate from heart disease of 26.4 per 100,000—a death rate more than three times higher than the French and four times higher than the Japanese.51

There are many explanations for the French paradox which include

  • the possibility of underreporting deaths related to cardiovascular disease,
  • a higher polyphenol intake from red wine, which may be pro­tective to the heart,
  • a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables,
  • more consistent physical activity (i.e., not sitting all day),
  • and a more holistic attitude about food that emphasizes higher quality, more diverse foods, and sharing meals.53

 

Feed Zone Table FZT_600x400_quotes_shift gearsAlthough all of these factors are important and likely play a role in explaining the French paradox, it’s the cultural differences in our attitudes about food and its role in community that I find most interesting. I write more about this in the Introduction to Feed Zone Table.

What’s fascinating is that the differences in cardiovascular disease between the French and Americans aren’t explained by what we eat, especially with respect to total fat and saturated fat. It’s likely that the differences in our cultural attitudes about food play a more important role in this health disparity because they directly shape how we eat.

If there’s one single or culminating behavior that best explains the French paradox, it’s simply that the French eat less than Americans do. In French restaurants, portion sizes are smaller, as are individually wrapped portions of food in French supermarkets. Even French cookbooks list a higher serving number for a given amount of food.

Of note, not only do the French eat less than Americans do, they also take much longer to eat, relishing in the experience rather than just trying to get on with their day.55 How is it that the French eat less but take longer to eat? The simple answer is that the French eat together.56

Eating Alone & Quickly

FZT-Healthy-Diets-BehaviorsIn fact, as studies on French and American family meal frequency and structure clearly demonstrate, the French eat together in orders of magnitude more than Americans do. I can’t help but think that this is a critical though rarely discussed explanation for why Americans die from heart attacks at a rate three times higher than the French. Rarely does someone just linger over a small meal by themselves.

Given the countless factors that are responsible for cardiovascular disease, it may seem far-fetched that one behavior—eating together—may be a key to preventing cardiovascular disease. Certainly the people we eat with can reinforce both negative and positive behaviors.57 So just coming together isn’t enough. Still, France isn’t the only place in the world where the combination of eating with family and a positive social dynamic is linked with a diet-health paradox. Japan’s food culture includes a lot of fast-food eating, but those restaurants are filled with families sharing food and conversation instead of people eating alone and quickly.

What We Eat May Matter Less than How We Eat

What diet-health paradoxes in places like France and Japan demonstrate is that it’s not solely about what one eats when it comes to a society’s health. It’s also about how we eat and who we eat with—that we need both people and food to be fully satiated.

Inspire your dinnertime with family-style meals from Feed Zone Table. Feed Zone Table Feed Zone Table includes more than 100 all-new recipes to inspire family-style dinners in a way that nourishes life and sport.

VeloPress
Skratch Labs
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
local booksellers

Complete footnotes and references for studies cited above are available in the print edition of Feed Zone Table.