The Foodie Physician

Physician, Recipe Developer, Chef & Board Certified Foodie

Reading with the Doc: "Cooking Well: Anti-Aging" Giveaway

I recently announced the release of my second book Cooking Well: Anti-Aging and now it's time to celebrate with a giveaway.  I’ll be sending signed copies to two lucky winners!  To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below.  All comments are appreciated, but if you have any anti-aging tips, I’d love to hear them!

Two winners will be randomly chosen from all the commenters below.  The limit is one comment per person and entrants must have a US mailing address to which the book can be sent.  The entry deadline is Saturday December 27th at 11:59 pm EST.  I’ll announce the winners on my blog on Sunday December 28th, so be sure to check back in then.  If you’re chosen, I’ll need you to email your address to so I can send you the book

Good luck!

If you would like to purchase a copy now, click one of the following links. Thanks for your support!

And if you love Greek yogurt, check out my first book The Greek Yogurt Diet here!

Dining with the Doc: Spaghetti Bolognese

Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of slowly simmered meat sauce tossed with pasta and freshly grated cheese?  This version, which uses turkey, is lighter in calories without sacrificing any of the rich flavor. 

Disclaimer: I received free samples of wine from Francis Ford Coppola Winery but I was not financially compensated in any way.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

A few weeks ago I mentioned my love for Instagram.  Well that love grew a little bit deeper when the wonderful people from Francis Ford Coppola Winery reached out to me after seeing my Instagram account to ask if I would like to sample some bottles of wine.  After thinking long and hard for a nanosecond, my answer was "Yes, Yes, Yes"!  Right before Thanksgiving, I received these four beautiful bottles in the mail:

With my family in town for the holiday, the Sophia Blanc de Blancs and the Gia Frizzanta were gone in a flash (both were deliciously fresh and vibrant), but to their dismay, I showed some self control and put aside the Diamond Collection Claret and Director’s Cut Chardonnay for future cooking projects.  I knew almost immediately that I wanted to make a Bolognese, the only question was whether to use the red or the white wine.  For me, Spaghetti Bolognese is the ultimate comfort food.  Bolognese is a traditional meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. Classically it’s made with ground beef, pork, tomatoes and red wine.  I decided to switch it up a little and make a lighter version using ground turkey and white wine.

First, sauté finely chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil.  To make your prep easier, use a food processor to chop all the vegetables.  Then add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Stir in the tomato paste.  Next, add some milk.  This may seem a bit unusual but milk is a traditional ingredient in bolognese sauce and adds creaminess.  Then, add your wine.  

The wine you choose is very important because as it cooks, the flavors will concentrate and it will impact the taste of the finished sauce.  I decided to go nontraditional and use a white wine.  I wanted something luscious and full-bodied and since I was using turkey, I figured a white would pair nicely with it.  The Director's Cut 2012 Chardonnay worked beautifully in the sauce.  A complex wine with intense spice aromatics and well-balanced fruit flavors, it added depth of flavor to the sauce with hints of allspice, pears and tropical fruit.

Finally, add your crushed tomatoes and herbs and simmer away.  I recommend simmering the sauce for at least 30 minutes but the longer you cook it, the better it gets.  

When ready to serve, toss the drained pasta in the pot of sauce to coat all of the strands.  Use a little pasta water as needed to get the sauce to the right consistency.  Top it with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and fresh herbs and dinner is served!  To make it even better, serve it with a glass of Director's Cut Chardonnay on the side.  Bon appétit!

Spaghetti Bolognese
Makes 8 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt, divided
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup milk (I used low fat)
1 cup white wine (I used Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut 2012 Chardonnay
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1 pound whole wheat or multigrain spaghetti 
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley or basil for serving

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and pepper flakes and sauté until vegetables are softened but not browned. Add the turkey and season with ½ teaspoon salt.  Break the meat up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once it is browned, stir in the tomato paste.  Add the milk and simmer a few minutes until it is completely reduced.  Add the wine and cook another minute or two.  Stir in the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. 

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over low heat.  Simmer uncovered, on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, at least 30 minutes until the sauce is thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.  While the sauce is cooking, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the spaghetti, reserving about a cup of the pasta water.

Add the spaghetti to the pot with the sauce and toss to combine. Add some of the reserved cooking water as needed to coat all of the pasta. Garnish with cheese and fresh parsley or basil.

One serving: Calories 460; Fat 11.5g (Sat 3.1g); Protein 26.7g; Carb 56.2g; Fiber 4.8g; Sodium 518mg

What's your favorite type of wine?  Leave a comment below and let me know!

Dining with the Doc: Holiday Almond Raisin Clusters

Simple, delicious, wholesome and nutritious.  Serve these Holiday Almond Raisin Clusters at your holiday table and watch them disappear!

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Eating healthy this holiday season doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself!  California Raisins are a great way to add natural sweetness to your savory or sweet dishes while also adding a boost of nutrition.  They’re also a great choice for wholesome and healthy on-the-go snacking.   California Raisins are fat-free and cholesterol-free and they’re packed with several important nutrients.  One quarter cup serving supplies 9% of your daily fiber and potassium, and 6% of your daily iron.  Plus, they’re naturally sweet so when you incorporate them in your recipes, you can significantly cut down on the amount of additional sugar.

For this Recipe Redux challenge, we were asked to create a holiday recipe featuring California Raisins that’s both delicious and includes extra nutrition for a little less indulgent of a holiday.  My Holiday Almond Raisin Clusters definitely fit the bill!  These scrumptious morsels will satisfy any sweet tooth and they’re healthy.  Plus, they have a total of five ingredients- it doesn’t get much easier than that!  These nutty clusters are made with sliced almonds and California Raisins held together by a mixture of egg white and a touch of coconut palm sugar.  For the perfect finishing touch, I brush on the thinnest layer of dark chocolate.  These cookies are also gluten-free! 

Because the natural sweetness of the California Raisins shines through, I use only a small amount of sugar- ¼ cup for a whole batch of cookies.  I like to use coconut palm sugar, which is a natural, unrefined sugar that’s made from dehydrated sap of the coconut palm tree.  It has a rich, almost molasses-like flavor and can be substituted for granulated sugar in most recipes. 

Almonds are one of the most nutrient-dense foods and provide heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that have positive health benefits.  Dark chocolate adds rich flavor as well as powerful plant nutrients called flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.  Not all chocolate is created equal so be sure to use dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) as it has the highest concentration of these powerful compounds.

Holiday Almond Raisin Clusters
Makes 18 cookies

1 large egg white, room temperature
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
1 ¾ cups sliced almonds
2/3 cup California Raisins
2 ounces (1/4 cup) dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Whisk the egg white in a bowl until frothy.  Add the sugar and whisk until incorporated.  Add the almonds and raisins to the bowl and stir everything together making sure all of the almonds and raisins are coated with the egg mixture. 

Spoon clusters of the mixture (about 1 ½ tablespoons each) onto the prepared baking sheets.  Form them into small mounds with your hands.  The clusters won’t stick together but they will once they’re baked. 

Bake in the oven, one tray at a time, 18-20 minutes until set.  Remove from oven and let the clusters cool completely on the baking sheets.  When they’re completely cool, carefully lift the clusters from the baking sheets with a spatula.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread a thin layer of chocolate over the bottom of each cluster.  Lay each cluster down on a plate (chocolate side up) and refrigerate until chocolate is firm.  Flip the clusters right side up before serving.   

One cookie: Calories 94; Fat 5.4g (Sat 1.1g); Protein 2.5g; Carb 9.6g; Fiber 1.6g; Sodium 4mg

For more information about all-natural, no-sugar added California raisins and for recipe inspiration, please visit, or get social with us at, or

Click the links below for more great California Raisins recipes from my fellow Recipe Reduxers!



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