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FOOD GLORIA'S FOOD - April 2016 - Kansas City

Kitchen Therapy

Help is here for those baffled by cooking healthy and happy

By Gloria Gale


Give me a real soda pop and my whole body lights up. The culprit: sugar. I’ll admit it—I’m a recovering sugar addict.


Ponder this.


A trio of scientists at the University of Bordeaux reported, “When rats were allowed to choose mutually-exclusively between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, the large majority of animals (94%) preferred the sweet taste of saccharin. The same preference was also observed with sucrose, a natural sugar. The findings further suggest sweetened water may surpass cocaine reward–one of the most addictive and harmful substances currently known. Sweet sensations evoked by sugar-sweetened foods and drinks are probably one of the most precocious, frequent, and intense sensory pleasures of modern humans.”*


Every time you grocery shop, your intentions may be admirable…eat whole foods, avoid pre-packaged convenience foods, and stay away from sugar. Then, your resolve dissolves…poof.


“It’s not just you, it’s all of us,” says Randy Evans, Dietician/Nutritionist with KU Medical Center’s Integrative Medicine Department. 


Evans, along with health care team dietician, Leigh Wagner, wants to show people the value of eating whole foods.


Kitchen Therapy to the Rescue

Instead of crashing with a bag of chips and a coke, consider attending a smart, well-paced, and nutritionally informative class at the Healing Foods Kitchen at KUMED’s Integrative Medicine Department. 

Here’s where good taste and a bounty of information come together in hands-on demonstrations designed to show you the way to cooking healthfully.

According to the Healing Foods Kitchen guidelines, participants will discover how to prepare foods that support specific health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diet-related conditions. In addition, people will confidently use skills to create healthy cooking techniques.  Information is great, but you have to know how to prepare whole, minimally-processed foods. Plus, class participants get to taste the food, collect the recipes, and learn that cooking can be simple and enjoyable.

Wagner addresses the issue of the picky eaters, “You have to teach yourself to try something differently.  Realize, we’re all big kids. It takes kids 30 times to try a food they normally avoid. You’re not going to like everything, but if you eat well 80 percent of the time, you’re going in the right direction.  If you hate cauliflower, we show you how to make it differently than the way you’re used to.” This simple, healthy, and functional way to cook is the message Evans and Wagner deliver.

I attended a class and learned to de-mystify the art of cooking and how to dump the sugar.  If I can do it, you can too.

Call 913-945-7624 for registration and information.


Cumin - Crusted Salmon


2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

¾ teaspoon sea salt

4 5-ounces fresh Alaskan salmon fillets, skin on



1. Preheat oven to 425̊ F.

2. Sprinkle cumin seeds, cardamom, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt over the meaty sides of the salmon. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Coat with grapeseed oil or nonstick cooking spray. Add the salmon, seasoned sides down; cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Turn the fillets over; place the skillet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is opaque in the center.

3. For spicier flavor, add 1 teaspoon chipotle hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco


Recipe adapted by Leigh Wagner from Chef MD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine by John La Puma


* (Citation: Lenoir M, Serre F, Cantin L, Ahmed SH (2007) Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward. PLoS ONE 2(8): e698. 


Kansas City writer, producer, and photostylist Gloria Gale is a sleuth when it comes to discovering interesting features for the media.


As a native she's compiled a burgeoning collection of editorial features on food, travel and lifestyle for national and local magazines, books, individuals, and corporate clients. 


Most recently, Gloria profiled area restaurants as a columnist for 435 Magazine and was one of KCUR's Food Critics radio program. 


Want to know where to find the best tastes in town? Contact Gloria:

Evolving Magazine

Kansas City

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