Gadget: 60 Second Salad Maker

Made with BPA-free cutting board material, the salad maker is specially designed with slits you can run a knife through to dice you veggies up. You can then rotate the chamber and continue dicing. Once all your greens and veggies are cut up, give it a shake and serve your salad.

Watch video at You Tube (2:03 minutes) . . . . .

Seared Beef Steak Served with Mashed Potato and Cannelline Bean


2-3/4 1b potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup (single or pouring) cream
sea salt and cracked black pepper
14 oz can cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
4 x 5 oz beef eye fillet steaks
olive oil, for brushing

Rosemary Oil

1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp rosemary leaves


  1. To make the rosemary oil, cook all the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat for 3 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Cook the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water until soft. Drain, return to the pan and mash with the cream, salt and pepper.
  3. Return the saucepan to a low heat, fold in the cannellini beans and mash roughly with a fork. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium—high heat. Brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking.
  5. To serve, divide the mash among plates, top with the steak and drizzle with the rosemary oil.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Donna Hay

Sakura Afternoon Tea

Celebrating Cherry Blossom in Japan

The Menu

First Drink

Carrots and ginger detox smoothie

Savory Snacks

  • Vegetable sticks with plum and tofu healthy dip
  • Spring cabbage and new onion quiche
  • Salmon and mustard sandwich with homemade brioche
  • Scones plain/mugwort with red wine jam/honey spring flowers and nuts /cream cheese

Jewel Stand

  • Cherry and pistachio macaroons
  • Grapefruit brulee
  • Cherry jelly
  • Strawberry Mont Blanc
  • Green tea and lime cake
  • Black sesame and golden sesame cannoli

Petit Fours

  • Cookies
  • Pound cake

Everyone Should Cook with MSG, Says Food Scientist

Gus Lubin wrote . . . . . .

Food scientist Steve Witherly uses monosodium glutamate all the time in his home cooking — typically in what he refers to as a “supersalt” mixture featuring nine parts salt, one part MSG, and a bit of disodium inosinate or disodium guanylate.

“I use it a lot,” he told Business Insider. “I like to encourage my kids to eat a little healthier, so I’ll sprinkle a little supersalt in there. That stuff is really powerful. For example, I had a whole-wheat pizza — and my kids hate whole wheat — so I put a little supersalt in the tomato sauce, and they sucked that whole thing down.

“Broccoli is tremendous if you add butter, garlic, and supersalt,” he said. “Most savory dishes, most meat dishes, a little bit helps.”

Witherly’s popcorn — seasoned with Parmesan, garlic powder or white pepper, and supersalt — is so good, he says, that visitors often ask, unprompted, “Why is your popcorn so much better than mine?”

To many people, cooking with MSG and other strange chemicals sounds frightening. But according to Witherly, the author of “Why Humans Like Junk Food,” the stuff is perfectly safe.

Believe it or not, most scientists agree on this point. Take it from the American Chemical Society, which says, “MSG can temporarily affect a select few when consumed in huge quantities on an empty stomach, but it’s perfectly safe for the vast majority of people.”

MSG’s bad reputation comes from a few early studies, including a 1968 report on “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” that blamed MSG for making people feel sick. In the decades since, however, there has been little support for the claim that MSG has prevalent negative effects. That sick feeling you get after stuffing your face with bad Chinese food could have to do with other ingredients or simply the act of overeating unhealthy food.

“MSG is pretty darn safe,” Witherly said. “We had research at UC Davis, when I was there, where we drank tumblers of it at about 25 grams, and nothing happened.”

(Consuming more than 3 grams on an empty stomach has been shown to have unpleasant, though not serious, side effects for a small set of people.)

MSG might even promote healthy eating, the food scientist hypothesizes, by not only making kale more delicious but also letting you get away with using less salt.

Made correctly, MSG is a compound of naturally occurring glutamate and sodium. Glutamates in “free” forms, including MSG, serve as flavor-enhancers. Free glutamates are found in high levels in many flavor-enhancers: tomatoes (140 mg/100 g), sardines (280 mg/100 g), soy sauce (782-1,264 mg/100 g), Parmesan cheese (1,200 mg/100 g), Marmite (1,960 mg/100 g), and seaweed and kelp (1,378-3,190 mg/100 g).

Witherly is a fan of the natural sources of MSG, too. “If you want to make something taste good, put Parmesan on anything,” he said. “The Italians have known this for about 2,000 years.”

As for disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, they’re forms of five-prime nucleotides, which are found in breast milk and mushrooms, appear not to be dangerous, and serve as powerful flavor-enhancers when paired with MSG.

Witherly says you can find potent mixtures of salt, MSG, and five-prime nucleotides at Japanese and Korean grocery stores. (Ajinomoto is the major brand in Japan; in Korea, the stuff is often called soup base.) Or you can make it yourself — ideally at the “magic number” of nine parts salt, one part MSG, and 0.1 part five-prime nucleotide.

“You will get a pleasure blast like you can’t believe,” Witherly said.

According to the food scientist, this formula or something like it is used by the likes of Frito-Lay. Doritos ingredients include salt, MSG, disodium inosinate, and disodium guanylate.

If you want to get that effect “the old-fashioned way,” you can — you just have to work harder.

“You can make supersalt yourself by getting soy sauce and adding mushroom and bonito flakes and all this other stuff,” Witherly said. “But [for] a really easy way to boost food, just a pinch of supersalt and you’re good.”

Source: Business Insider

Here are some of the foods with natural glutamate (amount per 100 g of food), according to a review of studies by the Australia/New Zealand Food Board and the Umami Information Center:

Kelp: 230–3380 mg

Seaweed: 550–1350 mg

Marmite 1960 mg

Vegemite: 1431 mg

Fish sauce: 727–1383 mg

Soy sauce: 400–1700 mg

Parmesan cheese: 1200–1680 mg

Roquefort cheese: 1280 mg

Dried shiitake mushrooms: 1060 mg

Oyster sauce: 900 mg

Miso: 200–700 mg

Green tea: 220–670 mg

Anchovies: 630 mg

Salted squid: 620 mg

Cured ham: 340 mg

Emmental cheese: 310 mg

Sardines: 10–280 mg

Grape juice: 258 mg

Kimchi: 240 mg

Cheddar cheese: 180 mg

Tomatoes: 140–250 mg

Clams: 210 mg

Peas: 200 mg

Potatoes: 30–180 mg

Scallops: 140–159 mg

Squid: 20–146 mg

Shimeji mushrooms: 140 mg

Oysters: 40–150 mg

Corn: 70–130 mg

Source: Umami Information Center

New Type of PET Imaging Identifies Primary and Metastatic Prostate Cancer

In the featured article from the February 2017 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, researchers document the first-in-human application of a new imaging agent to help find prostate cancer in both early and advanced stages and plan treatment. The study indicates that the new agent—a PET radiotracer—is both safe and effective.

The new agent is a gallium-68 (Ga-68)-labeled peptide BBN-RGD agent that targets both gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) and integrin αvβ3. Dual-receptor targeting provides advantages over single-receptor targeting by allowing tumor contrast when either or both receptor types are expressed, improving binding affinity and increasing the number of effective receptors.

Approximately one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. In 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 161,000 new prostate cancer cases in the United States and around 27,000 deaths from the disease. “Although treatable at the early stage, prostate cancer is prone to metastasis,” explain the team of authors, led by Xiaoyuan Chen, senior investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine at the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. “An effective and specific imaging method of detecting both primary and metastatic lesions is thus of critical importance to manage patients with prostate cancer.”

This study included 13 patients with prostate cancer (four newly diagnosed and nine post-therapy) and five healthy volunteers. Ga-68-BBN-RGD PET/CT detected 20 bone lesions in seven patients either with primary prostate cancer or after radical prostatectomy. The patients with bone metastases did not necessarily have an elevated prostate specific antigen level. “This result is better than bone scanning with MDP,” Chen notes, referring to the most common radiotracer used today. “MDP bone scans are sensitive but lack specificity because localized skeletal accumulation of Tc-99m-MDP can also be observed in the case of trauma and infection.” No adverse side effects were found during the whole procedure and two-week follow-up, demonstrating the safety of Ga-68-BBN-RGD.

“Compounds capable of targeting more than one biomarker have the ability of binding to both early and metastatic stages of prostate cancer, creating the possibility for a more prompt and accurate diagnostic profile for both primary and the metastatic tumors,” explains Chen.

Looking ahead, Chen says, “Ga-68-BBN-RGD could play an additive role in staging and detecting prostate cancer and provide guidance for internal radiation therapy using the same peptide labeled with therapeutic radionuclides.” He points out that larger-scale clinical investigations are warranted.

Source: Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

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