Cooking Smart to Outsmart Alzheimer’s and Dementia

The following scrumptious summer recipes are packed with brain-boosting ingredients that can help you outsmart Alzheimer’s and dementia. They’re simple to prepare and use easily available ingredients, so they’re perfect for those hot summer days when you don’t feel like cooking heavy, time-consuming meals. As an added bonus, these delicious dishes are perfect for the Nine Days as they’re meat-free. But don’t just save them for summertime—they’re so good for you, you’ll want to make them all year round!

Daniella’s Halibut, Grapefruit and Spinach Salad

(Pareve)
Adapted from The Silver Platter by Daniella Silver
and Norene Gilletz (ArtScroll/Mesorah)
Yields 4 main dish or 8 appetizer servings

Fresh, clean colors and perfectly balanced flavors make this a company-worthy starter salad. The tartness of the grapefruit, smoothed by the drizzle of honey in the dressing, adds a bright citrus aroma.

halibut grapefruit and spinach salad

Halibut, Grapefruit and Spinach Salad. Photos: EyeCandyTO

Fish:
4 halibut, tilapia or sole fillets
 (about 8 oz/250 g each)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Salad:
6 cups baby spinach
or arugula leaves
2 pink grapefruits, supremed (see Norene’s Notes)
Dressing:
1/4 cup grapefruit juice (preferably fresh)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place fish onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Let cool.
3. Salad: In a large bowl, combine spinach with grapefruit segments.
4. Dressing: Combine dressing ingredients in a glass jar; seal tightly and shake well.
5. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to combine. Add halibut and mix gently, breaking fish into chunks.

Norene’s Notes:
How to supreme grapefruit: Cut a slice from the top and bottom of each grapefruit so it will be easier to peel. Slice off the peel and pith by following the curve of the fruit. Cut grapefruit into segments, removing flesh and discarding membrane and seeds. Do this over a bowl to catch the juice.
Salmon, Mango & Spinach Salad: Instead of halibut, use salmon. Instead of grapefruit, substitute 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into thin strips. Use mango juice instead of grapefruit juice. Add 2 sliced baby cucumbers and 1 avocado, diced.

Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

(Pareve)
Adapted from The Silver Platter by Daniella Silver
and Norene Gilletz (ArtScroll/Mesorah)
Yields 8 servings

Roasted sweet potatoes bring hearty texture to this fresh kale salad while keeping things light and simple. Tossed with a salty-sweet dressing and topped with a touch of tart cranberry flavor, this salad makes a colorful side dish.

Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries

Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries

Salad:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch kale (about 1 lb/500 g)
1 cup dried cranberries
Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Spread sweet potatoes on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Roast uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
Let cool.
4. Wash and dry kale. Remove and discard tough stalks and center veins. Massage kale with your fingertips for about 5 minutes, until leaves are wilted. Chop into bite-sized pieces and place into a large serving bowl. Cover and chill.
5. Dressing: Combine dressing ingredients in a glass jar; seal tightly and shake well. Refrigerate.
6. Add sweet potatoes and cranberries to kale; toss with dressing just before serving.

Norene’s Notes:
The darker the flesh, the sweeter and moister the sweet potatoes will be. They are delicious baked, boiled, steamed, grilled or roasted.
Because of their lower glycemic index, sweet potatoes are a carb-friendly choice for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.
Brain-Booster Variation: Replace dried cranberries with pomegranate arils.

Norene’s Balsamic Baked Salmon

(Pareve)
From The New Food Processor Bible
by Norene Gilletz (Whitecap)
Yields 4 servings

This simple and popular salmon recipe comes from my book, The New Food Processor Bible (Whitecap) and was then included in A Ta’am to Remember: Recipes & Recollections from the Terraces of Baycrest

2 large onions, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 salmon fillets (about 2 lb/1 kg)
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
salt, pepper and dried basil to taste

1. Place onions and mushrooms on a sprayed foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place salmon on top.
2. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and honey over salmon, onions and mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper and basil. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F.
4. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Salmon will be nicely browned on the outside, but still juicy inside. Onions and mushrooms should be tender and golden. Serve immediately.

Norene’s Notes:
Timesaver: Cooking fish and vegetables together in one pan saves time and cleanup.
This recipe is also excellent with halibut, sea bass, or black cod.
Salmon is an excellent source of protein and is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s good for heart health and brain function, so try to eat fish at least twice a week.
This recipe reheats well and keeps up to two days in the refrigerator. However, if frozen, the vegetables become soggy.

Norene’s Sesame Broccoli or Cauliflower

(Pareve)
Adapted from A Ta’am to Remember: Recipes & Recollections from the Terraces of Baycrest
Yields 4 servings

There’s always fresh broccoli in my refrigerator and this is one of the easiest ways to make it. You can also make it with cauliflower or a combination of the two. So versatile!

1 large broccoli or 1 medium cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lbs/750 g)
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
1 tsp Oriental sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut broccoli or cauliflower into florets and trim off tough stems. Rinse well.
2. Place in a medium saucepan or vegetable steamer. Cover and steam (or microwave covered on High with 2 Tbsp water) for 5-6 minutes until tender-crisp.
3. Meanwhile, place sesame seeds in a small pan and toast on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Set aside.
4. Drain broccoli or cauliflower. Combine with soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Top with toasted sesame seeds.

Norene’s Notes
Green vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and green beans do not require a long cooking time. If cooked more than 7 minutes, they won’t retain their bright green color.
Can be reheated briefly in the microwave. Do not freeze.

Freda Brown’s Green Pea Mock Chopped Liver

(Pareve)
Adapted from A Ta’am to Remember: Recipes & Recollections from the Terraces of Baycrest
Yields about 2 1/2 cups

2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
3 hard-boiled eggs (Omega-3 eggs are a great choice)
1 can (14 oz/398 ml) green peas, drained
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion and sauté until well browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. In a food processor, process eggs with quick on/off turns until coarsely chopped. Add sautéed onions, green peas, walnuts, salt and pepper. Process with several quick on/offs until desired texture is reached.
3. Transfer mixture to a covered container and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Serve chilled. Do not freeze.

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. Visit her web site at www.gourmania.com or e-mail her at goodfood@gourmania.com.

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This article was featured in the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Action.
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