Tag Archives: cabbage

Miso Slaw


Out of both frustration and desperation, I recently returned to focusing on self-care. I knew I hadn’t been taking good care of myself for almost a year, but I always had an excuse as to why I couldn’t make time for it. As most of my readers know, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism last spring, and it’s been a long journey trying to heal my thyroid. I tried a few different medications, but they caused me to gain weight. I also noticed that my hair started falling out, and I was having increased sensitivity to heat. I stopped taking the meds and am now focusing on my diet and detoxing my liver. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about the thyroid, and just health and wellness in general. It’s an area I’ve always been interested in, but have become even more so recently. One of the things I’ve learned is that the liver is a major player when it comes to so many ailments in our bodies. One of its main functions is to detoxify chemicals and metabolize fats. If the liver stops being able to function, it directly affects the thyroid. One of the biggest reasons for our livers becoming toxic is due to a poor diet. According to the American Liver Foundation, up to 25% of people in the U.S. are living with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

So, I am focusing on my diet.

I’ve had a lot of time to ponder my life ever since my sister died. While I’m on this earth, I want to be healthy, without pain and ailments, strong, anxiety-free, and able to foster a quiet mind.

After just a few days of cutting out sugar (and most carbs other than veggies and fruit), I started to feel much calmer than I had in several months. My sugar cravings disappeared almost immediately. I’ve also started taking supplements that help detoxify the liver and support the thyroid. I read about dandelion root being a great herb to detox the liver, and I found this delicious roasted dandelion root tea that has a nice, nutty flavor to it.

I started going to therapy again as well. I forgot how helpful it can be to pinpoint habits and behaviors. My therapist diffuses essential oils in her office and I find it so calming during my sessions. I’ve always liked the smell of essential oils, but never put it together that they are the essence of plants that help calm the mind and enhance mood.

My goal for next month is to get back into my yoga practice.

Next step, move to Vermont….ok, maybe I won’t go THAT extreme.

Who doesn’t love coleslaw? It’s the perfect summer side dish. You can make it creamy using mayonnaise, or you can keep it lighter going the oil & vinegar route. Either way, I love it. A few years ago, one of my co-workers shared her recipe for miso slaw, which turns your standard coleslaw into one with an Asian flavor profile. I added the mushrooms myself, and you can go ahead and add as many other vegetables as you’d like. Go crazy with the additions to this!

Miso Slaw

Yield: 6-8 servings

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. white miso*
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, chopped
8 cups shredded cabbage

  1. In a large bowl, mix together sesame seeds, vinegar, miso, sugar, ginger, and salt.
  2. With a whisk, slowly incorporate sesame oil and olive oil into mixture.
  3. Add mushrooms and cabbage to bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate. Serve chilled.

*You can substitute soy sauce if white miso is hard to find where you live.

Wasabi Salmon with Bok Choy, Green Cabbage, and Shiitakes

DSC_4627Life is a mixed bag.  We will all have our fair share of joy as well as pain and suffering in our lifetimes, but our perception of the world is key.  The universe is never at one time or another conspiring against us or working in our favor, although it can appear that way at times.  It’s simply how we choose to see things.  Labels are powerful, and as we go throughout our day we assign labels, and therefore meaning, to things.  Someone criticized your work.  What kind of significance are you going to give that?  You can either start beating yourself up because you know the criticism is accurate, or you can decide to let the criticism float away like a balloon because you know the criticism is simply a reflection of that person’s view of the world.
DSC_4605My husband left for Switzerland a few nights ago.  The last time he went on a trip was when my intense depressive episode hit.  I promised myself that I would do everything in my power to not let that happen again.  It’s extremely helpful for me to stay busy when I am alone.  Right after he left Tuesday night, I immediately washed the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, paid bills, and organized some files simply so as to avoid watching television and feeling sad.  It worked!  I went to bed that night determined to enjoy my solo time while he is away.  I will pretend to be a tourist this weekend in NYC!  I will go to the Met!  I will get a manicure!  Maybe I’ll even get a facial!
DSC_4615
My positive outlook was cut a bit short yesterday.  I woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I decided to skip the gym and told myself doing laundry was more important.  I felt like a zombie at work, but really made an effort to display a cheerful attitude and focused on doing a good job.  By the time I got home, my brain was swirling with lots of useless thoughts.  I told myself that I did my best to make the day a productive and favorable one despite the fact that I was exhausted.  I really wanted to medicate myself with a carb-heavy dinner but I knew it was only a short-term solution to numbing the pain.  I opted for some hard-boiled eggs, dried figs and Manchego cheese, and an apple with peanut butter instead.  After dinner, I immediately felt more relaxed knowing that the day was almost over and that I did the best I could with where I was mentally.  Tomorrow will be a fresh start, and getting a good night’s sleep will fire up those neurons.
DSC_4607I love everything about this dish.  I haven’t had salmon in a while, and it was a nice way to be reminded of how much I enjoy it.  I love pairing asian flavors with salmon.  Something about the fattiness of the fish marries nicely with the umami and spices found in Asian cuisine.  I couldn’t find baby bok choy at my local market so I used the larger size.  The wasabi mayo packs a nice punch, so use it conservatively if your eyes tend to water when you take a big bite like I mistakenly did.
DSC_4622Wasabi Salmon with Bok Choy, Green Cabbage, and Shiitakes
Adapted from Bon Appétit 

Yield:  4 servings

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish paste)
1 1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
4 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 lb. baby bok choy, halved
2 cups (packed) finely shredded green cabbage (about 5 oz.)
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced if large
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Heat a large rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise and wasabi in a small bowl.  Stir in half of ginger and half of garlic; set aside.
3.  Season fish all over with salt and pepper.  Place bok choy, cabbage, and mushrooms in a large bowl.  Drizzle with oil and add remaining ginger and garlic.  Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.
4.  Scatter vegetables across one side of baking sheet.  Arrange salmon on other side.  Roast , stirring vegetables occasionally, until salmon is coked through, 12-15 minutes.
5.  Divide vegetables among plates; top with salmon.  Serve wasabi mayonnaise alongside.