The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cook Notes

M-J's Japanese Ginger Jar

Posted on April 7, 2016 at 1:45 PM

M-J stores candied ginger in this antique jar made in Japan for export.

M-J's Daikon and Lettuce Salad

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 2:10 PM


Fuji Apple and Brown Rice Salad

Posted on November 4, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Chopped Fuji Apples, Shredded Lettuce and Room-Temperature Brown Rice,  Dressed with Organic Sesame Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar

Baked Fruit, a Simple Dessert

Posted on October 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Baked Pears, Baked Apples Macrobiotic-Style

A simple recipe, inspired by macrobiotic cookbook author Aveline Kushi, for baked fruit desserts: cut the cores from apples and pears, fill the apples with cinnamon and brown rice syrup, and insert finely-chopped ginger root and brown rice syrup into the pears. Bake the fruits in a covered dish or pot for an hour or longer, at a medium-hot temperature. The fruits will be soft enough to eat with a fork or spoon and without removing the skins. I used a six-quart Le Creuset stockpot, with a thin layer of sesame oil to prevent sticking on the bottom, to bake these apples and pears.

©M-J de Mesterton 2012

Elegant Fried Tofu

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Marinated in Soy Sauce or Miso, Dusted with Soy Flour, then Fried in Safflower and Sesame OIls, This Tofu Makes an Hors d'Oeuvre or a Meal

©M-J de Mesterton 2012

Elegant Bowl on Platter

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:25 AM
A Noritake antique bowl atop a California platter is an elegant serving presentation for crudites and dip. ©M-J de Mesterton, Elegant Decorating

Elegant Miso Soup

Posted on February 14, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Turmeric in Okinawan Diet

Posted on February 11, 2010 at 4:34 PM

 Turmeric in the Okinawa Program


The 2001 book, The Okinawa Program by Bradley J. Willcox, M.D., D. CraigWillcox, Ph. D., and Makoto Suzuki, M.D., is based upon the25-year-long Okinawa Centenarian Study. It is one of my favorite diet and health books.Turmeric has recently garnered respect and much publicity as a medicinal plant from the ginger family. The qualities of turmeric are not news to the famously long-living people of Okinawa, as related on page 149: Excerpt: Ucchin, or Turmeric M-J’s pronunciation note: TER-mer-ick (Curcuma longa, Jiang Huang, Curcuma, Indian saffron, Ukon, Valerian) Ucchin,commonly known in North America as turmeric, is one of the Okinawans’ favorite herbs (as it is in India), and claims a multitude of health benefits. It’s known as ukon to the Japanese….


Folkloric Claims

Turmeric is from the ginger family. The stalk of the plant is the part most commonly used in both herbal and traditional medicine, and is the part that provides the distinctive yellow-orange powder that adds flavor and color to curry. It was probably brought to Okinawa centuries ago from India, which had active trade relations with the Ryukyu Kingdom (as Okinawa was formerly known). In Ayurvedic medicine…turmeric is thought to strengthen the immune system, relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, improve digestion, relieve gas, killl parasites and worms, alleviate menstrual problems, dissolve gallstones, and relieve other ailments. The Okinawans are in full accord with these claims, and highly prize their turmeric. Excerpt, page 150 Turmeric possesses significant antioxidant properties, comparable to those of vitamins E or C, which is probably why it proves powerful against cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research has reported somedegree of inhibition for cancers of the GI tract, including oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancers. And, there is further evidence for its effectiveness against breast and skin cancers. ~~M-J de Mesterton, August 2009