Tag Archives: nutrition

Tumeric Latkes with Cinnamon Applesauce

by on November 22, 2015

latke tumeric applesauce pjcc


Turmeric and cumin are wonderful Indian spices that aid digestion, rev up the metabolism and help break down body fat. Couple that with the addition of cinnamon to the applesauce which helps regulate blood sugar and reduce cholesterol, and you have an delicious potato latke brimming with super nutrition.

Preparation time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes | Serves: 15 latkes


  • 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, grated small. Squeeze out extra liquid (see instructions below)
  • 3 medium carrots, grated small
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • ¼ cup matzo meal, potato starch or all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (or up to 1 teaspoon to taste)
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup Canola or grapeseed oil (for frying)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Place grated potatoes (peels and all) in a colander with a bowl or plate underneath. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt on potatoes and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes (the potatoes will release some liquid).
  3. Using a cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel, wring out excess moisture from the grated potatoes (make sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible)
  4. Add remaining ingredients (except the oil) to potatoes and mix to combine.
  5. Use a ¼ measuring cup to measure out latkes batter and use your hands to form into patties.
  6. Heat about 1/4 cup of oil in a non-stick skillet and drop about five latkes at a time. Cook at medium heat, 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  7. Place cooked latkes on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process two more times, using 1/4 cup of oil each time.
  8. Place latkes on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy




  • 2 pounds apples, peeled, quartered and cored (I prefer tart apples like Granny Smith)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1-2 tablespoons organic brown sugar or honey


  1. Cut apple quarters into small pieces. Put into a saucepan just large enough to hold them. Add cloves, water and sugar.
  2. Place pan over medium-high heat. When the apples start to steam, cover tightly and turn the heat down to low. Cook at a low simmer, stirring and turning the apples from time to time, until they are very soft.
  3. Mash lightly.
  4. Remove from the heat, let cool and transfer the applesauce to a container. Keep refrigerated for up to a week.


Jeannie Solomon is an accomplished and well-respected certified nutrition and wellness coach at the PJCC who focuses on holistic nutrition and whole-body wellness, providing the guidance needed to pursue a healthy, nutritious lifestyle.

Apple Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seed Recipe

by on October 17, 2015

pumpkin seed recipe fall

Nothing says fall like pumpkins and apples and all of the great foods you can make with them! Here is a simple recipe to make and enjoy.

Apple Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds


1 1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 cups raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas


1. Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.

2. In a large, heavy skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat.

3. Toast seeds in skillet, stirring often, until golden and beginning to pop, about 4 minutes.

4. Stir in spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant and nuts are coated well, about 1 minute longer. (Watch carefully to prevent burning.)

5. Immediately spread in an even layer on a baking sheet; let cool completely, stirring occasionally.

Note: To make it simple, buy an apple pie spice mix and add 2 Tablespoons or more to taste.

Check our other recipes from Jeannie…


Edible Schoolyard: Inspiration For A Lifetime

by on August 25, 2015


Bring something beautiful to the classroom. Bring a bouquet, set things up differently with a beautiful table cloth and a lovely basket of fruit. Prepare the classroom, the kitchen and the garden, so kids fall in love. –  Alice Waters /Founder, Edible Schoolyard Academy

I was filled with excitement as I made my way across the Bay Bridge to Berkeley, about to fulfill lifetime dream: attending the Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Academy (ESY). As a wellness/
nutrition coach for the PJCC, I was one of three given the incredible honor of representing the PJCC to help develop a nutrition and food awareness curriculum for local elementary schools. Our motivation came from California State Senator Jerry Hill D-San Mateo when he visited the PJCC’s Justice Garden. Impressed with our endeavor to promote food justice and education, the Senator expressed his support in helping the PJCC share our curriculum with local elementary schools. Garnering the tools for creating this curriculum was our goal at ESY.

Helping Healthy Habits Take Root
The Edible Schoolyard (ESY) program teaches youngsters how their choices about food affect their health, the environment, and their communities. Now in its 17th year, ESY is the brainchild of Alice Waters, the chef/proprietor of the Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. Waters is a passionate voice and pioneer in the culinary movement that supports cooking with only the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally. Housed at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, the abandoned teachers’ parking lot was once a neighborhood eyesore, but today is home to a lush and meandering one-acre garden and kitchen/classroom. Students are actively involved in every aspect of food’s life cycle, from planting a seed in the garden and preparing simple meals in the kitchen to using the food waste to produce rich compost to nourish the plants. These essential life skills are priceless and have made the ESY the model program for farm-to-table education. “Farm to school” is a term that defines school efforts to incorporate local and regionally produced foods into school cafeterias. In 2011-2012, a USCA survey of 13,000 public school districts showed that 44 percent across the country have such a program in place. This is exciting news, but in a country where child obesity is on the rise, we still have a long way to go.

Go Slow and Go Deep
ESY educates the educators: the more ambassadors on the front lines, the better to reach the children. At the academy alone, there were over 90 enthusiastic attendees from around the world. However, we were cautioned to “Go slow and go deep.” Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was the ESY. We should start small, in a corner of the playground or in a few gardening
pots outside a classroom. Let the kids get their hands dirty. Appeal to all their senses, with the taste, smell, sound and sight of fresh produce grown with care and prepared simply.

From ESY to the PJCC
I’m excited to bring my ESY education to the PJCC. When I spoke with Alice Waters, I asked if she had any additional advice as we begin introducing ESY concepts to our students. “I always say we need to work with kids in kindergarten through grade 12,” she replied. “But what I really mean is, get to them at age two. Start at this age and you have them for life.”

The PJCC is always on the lookout for ways to incorporate healthy habits into everyday life. We adopted the Discover CATCH program into our childrens’ programming. CATCH, an acronym for Coordinated Approach to Childhood Health, is an educational program created by University of Texas School of Public Health in response to the rising obesity epidemic in our country. CATCH uses a combination of kid’s nutrition and fitness activities as tools to teach children how to lead healthy and active lives. Recently, the Jewish Community Center Association adopted Discover CATCH, an expansion of CATCH that allows children to explore physical activity and nutrition through Jewish values, instilling healthy habits in children and their families for wellness their way.

Lentil, Parsley, and Mint Summer Salad

by on August 13, 2015

recipe lentil salad

This is one of my favorite salads to bring to a BBQ or picnic. With only 130 calories per ½ cup serving and 6 gr of protein, this dish will be the hit with friends and family, who will be thanking you for bringing something healthy while they ask you for the recipe.


  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon


  1. Place lentils in a large saucepan.
  2. Cover with water to 2 inches above lentils; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender. Drain well and rinse.
  4. Place lentils in a large bowl.
  5. Stir in onion and next 4 ingredients (through pepper).
  6. Add vinegar, oil and lemon juice; toss well.
  7. Serve at room temperature.

Beware Of Ants In Your Toilet!

by on May 5, 2015


A patient left a message for me which caught my attention. He wanted a blood sugar test for diabetes because there were ants in his toilet. When I spoke to him, he denied having some of the more typical signs of diabetes. His only concern was that there were ants in his toilet. I decided to order the test.

According to the CDC, 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and at least one-quarter of them don’t know it. An additional 86 million people (1 in 3 adults) have pre-diabetes. Without change in lifestyle, 15-30% of pre-diabetics will develop type 2 diabetes in five years.

Diabetes Basics
There are three main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when your body does not produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type (90-95% of diabetics), and this is when your body does not use insulin properly. Gestational diabetes occurs in 4% of pregnancies, and these women are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.

The typical symptoms of diabetes include feeling thirsty, frequent urination, fatigue, blurry vision, cuts or bruises that heal slowly, and tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. Many people with diabetes have no symptoms or mild ones that go unnoticed. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) does not list ants in the toilet as a warning sign.

Complications of Diabetes
The biggest risks of having diabetes are strokes and heart attacks, which with proper medication can be prevented. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to damage of many organs in the body, particularly the eyes, nerves, and kidneys. Last year I saw a young man for a check-up because his dentist noticed a severe gum problem which was going to require extraction of most of his teeth. I ordered a blood test which revealed he had diabetes. He had not realized that diabetes was the root cause of his dental woes.

Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, specifically cancer of liver, pancreas, endometrium, colon, breast, and bladder. The explanation for this is unclear. It could be due to shared risk factors such as obesity, diet, and inactivity, or because of something intrinsic about diabetes such as elevated insulin or blood sugar levels.

Diabetes and pre-diabetes are risk factors for Alzheimer’s dementia and other types of dementia.

The Numbers
The normal fasting glucose is less than 100 mg/dL. Pre-diabetes is defined by fasting sugar between 100-125 mg/dL. Diabetes is defined by fasting sugars of 126 mg/dL measured on two different days. Another way of diagnosing diabetes is the A1C test which measures the average glucose in your body over the past 2-3 months. A1C of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes. Normal A1C is usually less than 5.7%, and 5.7 – 6.4 is considered pre-diabetes depending on the lab reference range.

The mainstays of most type 2 diabetics are diet and exercise, but because it is so hard to change one’s habits, pharmaceutical companies are reaping enormous profits from a multitude of diabetic drugs. There are medicines which work on the pancreas, liver, gut hormones, and kidneys to lower sugar, and there is even inhaled insulin now. It takes more effort for people to make personal changes, but an Asian diabetic patient of mine was especially determined to rid herself of diabetes. Her blood sugar was so high when she was diagnosed that she needed to take insulin at least twice a day to keep her diabetes controlled. She decided to give up her routine of eating rice at every meal, the main staple of her diet. She went from minimal exercise to exercising three hours a day. When I saw her back in clinic two months later, she had been successfully able to discontinue her insulin entirely. (Warning: don’t attempt to stop your diabetic meds on your own without doctor’s supervision.) Most people cannot make these dramatic life style changes, but she serves as an example of what healthy lifestyle change can achieve.

Screening for Diabetes
The ADA recommends adults get screened for diabetes every three years. You should get tested more often if you are overweight and have other risks such as family history of diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, history of gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, or a racial background of African-American, Hispanic-American, Native-American, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander ancestry.

My patient who I mentioned in the beginning did not have any particular risk factor for diabetes, but I tested him anyway because normally there should not be any urinary sugar in the toilet to attract ants. The bad news was that his blood test did reveal he had diabetes. The good news was that he did not have to hire an exterminator since once his diabetes was controlled the ants had to find a different location to host their picnic. Hopefully early detection will prevent him from having any future complications or further ant invasions.

For further information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.

Jerry Saliman, MD is a volunteer internist at Samaritan House Medical Clinic in San Mateo. He retired from Kaiser South San Francisco after working there more than 30 years. While at Kaiser SSF, Dr. Saliman was also Chief of Patient Education. He received the 2012 “Lifetime Achievement Award” given by the Kaiser SSF Medical Staff.

Editing acknowledgement: Ellen Saliman

Neither the PJCC or our guest columnists provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please make your health care decisions in partnership with your health care provider.

Book Review – Jerusalem: A Cookbook

by on April 30, 2015

jerusalem cookbook

Food in Israel is unique and full of exciting flavors that have come together into a melting pot of centuries of influence from surrounding lands. Bringing the complexity of Jerusalem life to the dinner table, Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook is as much a social studies lesson as it is a culinary delight.

Though both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year, they come from opposite sides of the city. Tamimi is from the Muslim East Jerusalem and Ottolenghi from Jewish West Jerusalem. Both independently moved to London years ago and that’s where they met, working in the Continue reading

Wellness Coaching. What’s In It For Me?

by on January 6, 2015


As a wellness coach, I am asked this question on a regular basis. I like to respond by relating the coaching I do to that of any other coach: A coach is someone who can help you make specific improvements to your technique which will add value to your overall game.  A good coach does this by shining a new perspective on an activity or simply holding their pupil accountable to their goals. You use a running coach to improve your running skills and timing. And if you want Continue reading

Strategies For Reinventing Your Resolutions

by on December 31, 2014

new year resolutions

Making, and then breaking, the same promises every year can be exhausting. Jeannie   Solomon, PJCC Wellness Coach, uses helpful strategies to help clients stay on track. Here, she shares her “tools of the trade” to help you reinvent your resolutions and—ultimately—yourself.

Define Your Wellness
Relationships, sleep, exercise, work, and spirituality (to name a few) are all forces that can cause great joy as well as great stress, feeding our energy and vitality. To achieve long-term wellness, Continue reading

Olive Tapenade: Easy to Make & Delicious

by on December 17, 2014



1/2 pound pitted mixed olives
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 Tbl. capers
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 Tbl. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil


  • Thoroughly rinse the olives in cool water.
  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Process to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until mixture becomes a coarse paste, approximately 1-2 minutes total.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve!

Bon Appetit


For more on Olive Oil, listen to our Podcast with the California Olive Oil Council.

Olive Oil 411

by on November 13, 2014

Did you know that different oils have different heat thresholds? Are you unclear on the benefits of olive oil and other cooking oils?  This video will give you a brief info session on oils!

Interested in more information on Olive Oil? Join us November 20, 2014 for A World of Olive Oil: From the Middle East to Your Backyard at the PJCC with California Olive Oil Council educator, Nancy Ash to learn about olive oil and enjoy a tasting.

Homemade Honey & Oats Granola Bars

by on September 12, 2014


Healthy, Tasty, Portable.  What’s not to like?

Finding a snack that will provide you with energy and is easy to pack and carry isn’t always easy.  Granola Bars fit the bill but can be pricey. This recipe for homemade granola bars will be satisfying and easy on the pocket book!

And, an added bonus, oats are known to lower cholesterol levels, provide fiber in your diet, Continue reading

Guilt-Free Edamame “Guacamole” Recipe

by on June 27, 2014


Summertime barbeques, Superbowl parties, and taco tuesdays are all great excuses to serve some guacamole.  But, lets face it, we’ve all struggled with a little guilt over how many calories we are consuming chip by chip.  This Edamame “Guacamole” recipe is about half the calories of avocado guacamole and is higher in protein too. Delicious and healthy! You don’t need an excuse to serve this any day.

Edamame “Guacamole”
Half the calories and 3 times the amount of protein of guacamole made with avocados – 86.7 cal., 6.7 g protein Continue reading

How Do You Like Them Apps?

by on April 25, 2014


Compliment Your Fitness Routine With Online Apps

The marriage between technology and fitness isn’t new. Professional athletes have been using computer programs and data for decades to get into the best physical shape for their particular sport. It is only in the last decade or so that the rest of the population has been able to tap into some technologies that make it easier to get and stay fit!

Today even fitness novices like me can access some pretty incredible information with a simple application (app) download. You can tap into just about every type of fitness activity that you can think of from your smartphone or tablet. Continue reading

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake

by on April 3, 2014


This amazing dark chocolate cake has ground almonds in the batter and toasted almonds sprinkled on top, making rich in plant-based Omegas.


3 Tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder – 65% or higher
½ cup raw almonds
2 Tablespoons sugar
¾ cup date or maple crystal sugar (or regular sugar)
3 oz. dark chocolate, – 65:% or higher – coarsely chopped
½ cup Greek Yogurt
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
5 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Continue reading

Asparagus Season!

by on March 18, 2014


Asparagus has always been a delicacy to me. When I was young, my older sister found a large patch of asparagus growing wild in a wooded area behind the neighborhood grade school. Each spring she would forage her way through the pointy stalks, bringing home with her handfuls of this wonderful vegetable for us all to enjoy. For me, asparagus was a taste sensation that came only once a year and I savored each bite because I knew I what I was eating was special.

Continue reading

Fitness Tip: Brain Fuel

by on February 10, 2014


Eating to Support Brain Function

Research continues to show that adding specific foods to your diet can help support brain function, memory and cognitive skills. Who wouldn’t want that? The Journal of Neurology recently found that the Mediterranean Diet may reduce small-vessel damage to the brain. Try these healthy tips from the Mediterranean Diet not only for your body, but also your brain:

  • Majority of your diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Limit red meats and eat fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Use healthy fats like fish and olive oil. A recent study shows that Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and seafood boosts memory function by 15%
  • Try cooking with olive oil, canola or walnut oil instead of butter
  • Alternate your protein choices; nuts, nut butters and beans are great alternative sources of protein

By incorporating these healthy foods into your diet, you can begin to benefit from their positive effects on brain function. The Mediterranean diet is a great way to explore a healthy style of eating. Give it a try, what do you have to lose?

1. Welma Stonehouse, Cathryn A Conlon, John Podd, Stephen R. Hill, Anne M Minihane, Crystak Haskell, and David Kennedy. DHA supplementation improved both memory and reaction time in healthy young adults: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Butr May 2013 vol. 97 no. 5 1134-1143
2. WebMD
3. Tsivgoulis, G, et al. 2013. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of incident cognitive impairment. Neurology, 80 (18), 1684-1692.
4. Science Daily, March 2013

Note: The information presented here is not a substitute for medical advice. Consult a physician before starting any exercise. We suggest that you discontinue exercise immediately if you feel you’re exercising beyond your current abilities.

Pantry Makeover

by on January 28, 2014


It’s the beginning of the new year, and there is no better time to take stock of our belongings and reorganize! When it comes to the kitchen, there is no better place to get started then the pantry. This year, I challenged myself, and now I challenge you, to do out with the old and unhealthy, and bring in the new-nutritious.

Make your kitchen pantry work for you, not against you!

Kitchen pantries come in all shapes, but whether yours is a full sized closet or a combination of a bookshelf and a couple of small cabinets (like mine), the pantry is the soul of any kitchen. As fresh foods come and go out of the refrigerator and freezer, the pantry holds all the boxed, canned and bottled goods, whether they are spices, oils, pasta, sauces or soups, that add bulk

Continue reading

Is Kale The New Marsha?

by on January 21, 2014

Kale Grapefruit Salad Recipe

Seems like Kale is the Marsha Brady of the food world with everyone chanting “Ka-le, Ka-le, Ka-le”!  Just like Marsha, the obsession with it is completely justified. Kale has extraordinary nutrient value, is heartily available in the winter months, and is said to defend against cancer and high cholesterol.  Why not take this super food for a spin? Here is a delicious salad recipe that takes advantage of winter produce.

Delicious grapefruit is very low in calories, high in fiber, and an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C.
By Jeannie Solomon of the PJCC

Serves 2
1 large bunch of thinly sliced kale (stems removed)
2  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Continue reading