Genius Kitchen: Over 100 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Make Your Brain Sharp
In 2010, my mother, Kathy, began to complain of brain fog. I didn’t think it was a big deal; she was fifty-eight, and I assumed her troubles were just a natural part of getting older. Many trips to many doctors’ offices later, we found out what was really going on: the beginnings of a rare form of dementia. It was incurable, progressive, and with symptoms akin to having both Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease at once.
In the months that followed, my mom began struggling to find her words or complete her thoughts. This wasn’t easy for a woman who always had something to say. Eventually, even basic tasks became a challenge. One night she got trapped in the bathroom because she’d forgotten how to use the door handle. A knot would form in my stomach every time I’d see her struggle.
One thing my mother always loved was food, and she relished cooking for the family, but her growing impairment soon made ordinary tasks like using a knife or tending to an open flame dangerous. That’s when I started to cook with her. She got to continue doing what she loved, and it helped make things feel normal when they were anything but.
A lifelong New Yorker and bon vivant, Mom also loved going out to eat, but her increasing fatigue made that hard as well. Still, I always tried to get her out of the house to have some fun. On one particular late summer night, we had gone to dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. It was busy but not loud, and the waitstaff was welcoming and kind to my mom.
I had spent the past few years studying nutrition, and I’d seize any opportunity to share my love for healthy eating with my mom—even when dining out. Whether or not she cared—I’d get an eye roll regardless—my mom was always happy to indulge me as we ate. On this night, however, something was off. She was quiet and had no appetite. In fact, she didn’t eat a thing. I was worried.
The next day, I did what I had become so accustomed to doing: I took her to her doctor. Standing with her in the waiting room, I became suddenly aware of how decrepit she had gotten. She barely spoke and struggled to hold the saliva in her mouth. I took a tissue from the reception desk and gently wiped her lips. I held her hand as we walked into the doctor’s office. He performed a routine exam and found nothing out of the ordinary.
Some days later, I was in Los Angeles for work when my brother called me. My mother’s condition worsened while I was away, and he had taken her to the emergency room. Scared that something serious was in motion, I flew home and joined them, more anxious than I could ever remember being. I arrived at the hospital just as they had completed an MRI of her abdomen. The attending physicians gathered around me and my two brothers, who had left work early to be there.
Pancreatic cancer, they said.
As the doctors gave us the prognosis, I was in disbelief. How could this be? We—she—had already been through so much.
The following months were filled with every emotion a person can have: stress, anger, frustration, guilt, and, yes, even joy. Each moment with my mom during those last few months was at once beautiful and sad. We would try to feed her nourishing foods with what little appetite she had, but in the end, we sought to bring her joy with her favorite treats: strawberry shortcake pastries from Veniero’s, a local New York baker.
When she could no longer feed herself, my brothers and I would each take turns, grateful for those remaining moments with her.
MY FOOD PHILOSOPHY
When my mom first became sick, I set out to learn as much as I could about the role food plays in our health. Since then, I’ve been invited to share my findings at conferences in my home country and abroad. I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to academic literature as well as teach healthcare professionals (including doctors!) about nutrition.1 And I’ve published two books, Genius Foods and The Genius Life, which thousands around the world have used to achieve greater health and vitality.
I discovered that many of the chronic diseases people struggle with today—type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and dementia—begin years, if not decades, before signs and symptoms. In that time, what we eat (and how we live our lives) can influence our fate. But I also learned that food is a profound gift. In our busy world as we rush from obligation to obligation, we often forget to slow down and appreciate the meal in front of us. In this book, I will celebrate the act of eating in the hope that it brings joy and good health to your life.
My mother raised me to appreciate a wide variety of flavors. She enjoyed simple, no-frills cooking, but she also loved exposing me to new and daring cuisines from all over the world. On top of that, I’ve lived in New York, Miami (where I attended college), and Los Angeles, three of the world’s great cultural melting pots. As a result, my recipes are designed to make a statement to your taste buds with bold and exciting, internationally influenced flavors and textures.
Though I began to cook when my mother could no longer cook herself, I realized that culinary literacy (like health literacy) had become yet another aspect of life that we had outsourced. I became passionate about creating healthy food that is delicious and easy to make, and have since had the privilege to learn from chefs all around the world, some of whom I’ve interviewed on my podcast, The Genius Life. And, having a teacher like my mom didn’t hurt, either.
Most of my recipes will include low-starch vegetables, but I’ve also made use of some of my favorite tubers, like sweet potatoes, and even the occasional legume (white beans, for example). My dishes are lower in carbohydrates than more “mainstream” cookbooks, while offering you the freedom to increase or decrease the carbohydrate content to suit your needs. (When it comes to eating for good health, there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet.) All are nutrient-dense, gluten-free, and devoid of empty calories from added sugars and refined grains.
You’ll also see me place the focus on nutrients like protein and fiber, important components of healthy, nourishing food. Eating like a “genius” means allowing your hunger mechanisms to naturally calibrate so that you feel genuinely satisfied once you’ve had enough. When you eat foods that are truly good for your body, they satiate innate hunger mechanisms in a way that fast food and packaged snacks just can’t—and you’ll discover why in the pages to come.
I wrote this book to be not just your new favorite cookbook, but a resource for your kitchen. In Part One, I’m going to do a deep dive into the science of healthy eating, breaking apart individual food components including cooking oils, dairy, fish, eggs, and even salt so that you can know how to leverage each food type for your best health yet. Then I’ll go into my methodology for optimal cooking practices, as well as how to optimize your digestion. Part Two is where you’ll find my recipes—a blend of main dishes, smaller dishes, and desserts.
My hope is that by reading this book—and enjoying my dishes with your friends and loved ones—you’ll see food in a new way; able to bring joy and pleasure into your life without guilt. And you’ll discover that you can eat foods that help you get fit and healthy without feeling like you’re compromising on taste or giving up your favorite foods to do so.
Food is an intrinsic part of who we are; it is how we communicate, experience pleasure, show love and affection, bond with friends, and nourish ourselves. As I learned with my mom, our ability to appreciate food doesn’t last forever. That’s why each mouthful should be a celebration, and I’m grateful you’ve chosen to celebrate with me. Now let’s get cooking.
Part One: How to Eat Like a Genius
Chapter 1: Stocking Your Genius Kitchen
The Vinny Gambini
Get Fizzy Wit’ It Sugar-Free Soda
Chapter 2: Creating Genius Habits
Part Two: Recipes for a Genius Life
Chapter 3: Breaking the Fast
The World’s Best Blueberry Smoothie That Actually Tastes Like Blueberries
Beef Breakfast Sausage Patties
Grain-Free Blueberry Orange Pancakes with Coconut Cream
“Cheesy” Baked Eggs with Broccoli
Herb and Avocado Scrambled Eggs
Olive Oil–Poached Salmon “Benedict”
Easy Olive Oil Hollandaise
Perfect Poached Eggs
Crispy Salmon Skin “Bacon” and Eggs
Baked Eggs in Sweet Potato “Boats” with Herb Relish
Chapter 4: Small Bites
Grain-Free Greens Fritters with Avocado Dipping Sauce
Romaine and Broccoli with Sesame Caesar Dressing
Watercress, Avocado, and Grilled Fruit Salad with Toasted Almond Dressing
Baked Almond “Breaded” Artichoke Hearts with Herb and Kale Pesto
Miso Coconut Simmered Veggies
Lemon, Lentil, and Broccoli Soup with Apricots and Pomegranate
Vegan Carrot Noodle Mac and “Cheese”
Shrimp, Blueberry, and Arugula Salad
Zucchini Noodles with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Chile Flakes
Broccoli-Based Greek-Style Salad with Oregano Dressing
Kelp Noodles with Brazil Nut Pesto
Roasted Broccoli with Shallots and Dried Fish
Mustard and Miso Broccoli
Simple Bone Broth
Spiced Chickpea and Broccoli Stew with Turmeric and Mint
Broccoli “Falafel” with Creamy Avocado Sauce
Broccoli Walnut Bisque
Broccoli “Latkes” with Blueberry Applesauce
Fish Sauce Caramel–Glazed Beef Spring Rolls
Blackberry, Avocado, and Basil Salad
Beef Meatball, Garlic, and Greens Soup
Spicy Sesame Broccoli Slaw
Garlic and Curry Snacking Almonds
Avocado and Ginger Chicken Spring Rolls
Avocado, Fennel, Pomegranate, and Winter Citrus Salad
Zucchini and Carrot Noodles with Herbed Avocado “Pesto”
“Cheesy” Kale Salad
Charred Eggplant with Chiles and Avocado
Broccoli “Rice” with Pomegranate and Fresh Herbs
Lemongrass, Mint, and Basil Roasted Broccoli
Crispy Broccoli Hot “Wings”
Junk-Free, Dairy-Free Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Garlicky Chard with Dried Blueberries
Israeli-Style Pickled Cabbage
Kale, Arugula, and Parsley Tabouli Salad
Kale, Garlic, and White Bean Soup with Orange Zest
Shrimp and Roasted Veggie Salad
Olive Oil Mashed Celery Root
Olive Oil–Poached Carrots and Carrot Sauce
Seared Salmon Ceviche in Endive Cups
Chapter 5: Mains
Bacalao with Sweet Potatoes, Onions, Peppers, and Leafy Greens
Simmered Ginger Salmon with Daikon Radish and Greens
Olive and Olive Oil–Braised Chicken and Greens with Orange and Fennel
Bone Broth Beef Stew with Purple Sweet Potatoes
Ghee-Seared Beef Liver
Insanely Crispy Gluten-Free Buffalo Chicken Wings
Olive Oil Lamb Chops with Olives and Artichoke Hearts
Garlicky Olive Oil Shrimp
Coconut Braised Chicken Thighs with Mustard Greens and Cauliflower
Calo Verde (Portuguese-Style Greens and Sausage Stew)
Braised Chicken with Artichokes, Fennel, and Kale
The Perfect Steak
“Pattyless” Jamaican Beef Patty
Simple Burger Patty
Lemongrass Salmon Banh Mi Bowl
Spice-Rubbed Salmon with Almond Basil Pesto
Miso Sesame Roasted Salmon with Broccoli, Garlic, and Cabbage
Braised Lamb with Broccoli Salsa in Butter Lettuce “Tortillas”
Salmon, Bok Choy, and Herbs in Coconut Broth
Japanese-Style Beef, Sweet Potato, Miso, and Mushroom Stew
Lamb Tagine with Apricots, Sweet Potatoes, and Artichokes
Better Brain Bowl
Fennel Braised Salmon
Olive Oil–Poached Salmon
Za’atar Salmon Burgers
Coconut Curried Eggs
Brisket Chili, Mole Style
Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken and Broccoli with Red Onions and Figs
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Sweet Potatoes, and Broccoli
Cocoa-Rubbed Beef Loin with Blueberry–Red Wine Sauce
Simply Grilled Steak with Charred Kale Salad
Mushroom Broth with Greens and Ramen-Style Eggs
Salmon and Shrimp Stew with Pumpkin and Coconut
Seared Scallops with Fennel Herb Salad and Creamy Almond Sauce
Braised Beef and Sweet Potatoes with Cauliflower “Polenta”
Chapter 6: Accoutrements
Whipped Black Garlic and Olive Oil Dipping Sauce
Savory Blueberry Balsamic Sauce
Almond “Peanut” Butter
Chapter 7: Desserts
Almond Olive Oil Cake
Avocado Chocolate Truffles
Actually Healthy Hot Chocolate
Sugar-Free Olive Oil Ice Cream
Chocolate Almond Smoothie
Chocolate Coconut Balls
Dairy-Free Blueberry Ice Cream
Chocolate Blueberry Clusters
Chocolate Coconut Cookies with Dried Blueberry “Chips”
Chocolate Avocado Pudding Three Ways
No-Sugar Almond “Granola”
Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Flourless Sugar-Free Blueberry Lemon Tart with Almond Crust
About the Author
Also by Max Lugavere
About the Publisher
|Download Ebook||Read Now||File Type||Upload Date|
|Epub||March 30, 2022|
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