Healthy Cooking for the Holidays with Zipporah Lea Oksman

Last Editorial Review: 10/23/2003

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Zipporah Lea Oksman will give some creative ideas for using leftovers from WebMD's Healthier Holidays menu.

Oksman is an instructor at the New York Restaurant School and at NYU teaching Nutrition, Food Sanitation, and Vegetarian Cooking.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

WebMD Member Could I use apples instead of pears for the dessert? 

Zipporah Oksman Yes. With apples I would keep the skin of the apple and just open it slightly so the
skin will not crack. Depending on the temperature and the altitude, cook anywhere
from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Watch for the same softness with apples, but you'll
get there quicker due to the density of the fruit. 
WebMD Member What about calcium?  Would that be a concern for vegetarians?  Iron also? 
Zipporah Oksman Calcium can be gotten in kuzu, sesame seeds, vegetables such as parsley -- green
leafy vegetables. 
WebMD Member What should I keep on hand as a vegan? 

Zipporah Oksman Beans, dried, etc., rice, grains such as millet, lentils, chick peas, all kinds of
vinegars, oils, and spices. 

WebMD Member How do you prepare seitan? 
Zipporah Oksman Seitan can be prepared by using whole wheat flour. Rinse it well until you get the
gluten in your hand. You need a lot, because with 5 pounds, you end up with about
1/2 pound of gluten, which is the protein in the whole wheat. You can use that just
like any meat, flavor or roast it. Cook it the last minute before serving, because it
becomes tough. So prepare it last before you serve the meal. 
WebMD Member I would like to become vegan...what are my most pressing concerns? 
Zipporah Oksman Primarily not getting the B12 which is found in meat products or sauces that come
from animal products. You can look for whole grains, seasonal vegetables and
fruits, beans, whole bread, etc., at the grocery store. 

WebMD Member Is tofu a good substitute for meat products? 

Zipporah Oksman Yes, it would be a good substitute. A better one for the turkey could be seitan,
which is wheat gluten. It's the protein in whole wheat. It's also known as wheat
meat. You can find that in Asian stores and in health food stores, in the refrigerated
WebMD Member What do sobe noodles look like? 

Zipporah Oksman They look like fettuccini - flat pasta. They're not as long, they're darker. They are
found in the Japanese food section. 
WebMD Member Can I substitute for the non dairy thickener? 
Zipporah Oksman Kuzu or Kudzu -- it's not a dairy product; it's a root. It's a starch. I would not
recommend cornstarch because there are no nutrients. I'd rather use arrowroot
WebMD Member What other vitamins and minerals are found in miso? 
Zipporah Oksman Primarily the B vitamins and protein. Of course, the mineral is sodium. 

WebMD Member What's the shelf life of miso? 
Zipporah Oksman Anywhere from a month -- 3 weeks to a month. It has gone bad when it's very soft
and very dark. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
WebMD Member Can you explain miso in more detail? 
Zipporah Oksman Miso is used for sauces to make soups, and as a flavoring agent. It's high in salt. It
is a fermented soy product, it has a protein. Because it's not fully cooked it has
some of the B-12 that may be derived from a fermented product. 
WebMD Member What are sobe noodles 

Zipporah Oksman Noodles made out of buckwheat. 

WebMD Member What made you want to become a chef? 

Zipporah Oksman It's very simple. I love food and I became a nutritionist. I wanted to know not only
about the medical aspects of food, but also about food itself. 
WebMD Member How can you tell when the squash are done roasting? 

Zipporah Oksman They are soft. You press them, and they are very soft. 
WebMD Member Is it possible to find grapeseed oil in my local supermarket or can you suggest a

Zipporah Oksman Canola oil is a substitute. You can find grapeseed oil in your local supermarket,
depending on how well supplied they are. It is not difficult to find; you can also find
it in a gourmet specialty store.

WebMD Member Is fish oil or fish in general healthier than chicken or beef? 

Zipporah Oksman In general it is because it has a special fatty acid. Again, it depends on the type of
fish you get. The free range -- fished in the open sea, is better than farm grown
because the fish eats algae. It produces a fatty acid that has been found to have
many health benefits.

WebMD Member How would the sobe dish work cold

Zipporah Oksman Probably not bad at all. Use more sesame seeds and more parsley for flavoring,
but it should taste good.

WebMD Member What are some of the health benefits of fish oils? 

Zipporah Oksman If you're not allergic to it, it has been found to help some cardiovascular disease,
some patients with Alzheimer's, and for some inflammatory bowel syndrome.

WebMD Member What kind of greens do you like in a salad?
Zipporah Oksman Usually mixed greens which contain baby spinach, romaine lettuce, sometimes
watercress depending where it's coming from. I like the bitter greens like escarole. 

WebMD Member Does cooking greens drain all of their nutritional value? 

Zipporah Oksman If you don't overdo it, and use the juices from it, you really benefit from it. All
vegetables should be steamed for a few minutes, or poached, to get the most
nutritional value. They should be firm to the tooth, and the color should be
increasing in intensity. Shock it immediately in cold water so the cooking process
will stop. 

WebMD Member Where do you find the wraps and do they come in different flavors?

Zipporah Oksman You can find them in supermarkets, health stores or gourmet stores. They come in
sun-dried tomatoes, some have spinach. They make them with broccoli and all kinds
of herbs. 

WebMD Member What are your favorite dishes to prepare? 
Zipporah Oksman One of my favorites it lentil soup, it's quick. Also broccoli wraps with pasta. Baked
eggplant salad is good. Hearty soups with grains and vegetables, and bread -- I
bake my own bread. 

WebMD Member I have all this wonderful food when I go out but can't replicate it at home.  What
should I do? 
Zipporah Oksman Yes, just buy a very good cookbook. Some good ones are Field of Greens by
Annie Summerville. Another good one is called the Garden of Eden Cookbook, by
Wigdor. The Meatless Gourmet, by Hinmen, is good. The Healing with Whole
Foods by Pitchford is good. 

WebMD Moderator Thank you for being with us this evening Ms. Oksman. Any final comments?

Zipporah Oksman I enjoyed introducing the holistic approach - the healing approach. With food we
can heal and feel better. Our daily obsessions can turn into healthy food habits. Eat
healthy foods and enjoy them. For aspiring cooks, experiment with the foods that
made you feel good at home -- all ethnic groups -- bring it back to the present and
you'll find that you'll enjoy many of those simple foods. 

©1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors