For a healthy lifestyle, cooking at home is the key to success

Cooking at home is a good idea for many reasons. It’s less expensive, and in these tough financial times that’s  something no one can argue with. It’s also a great way to bring the family together — not only at the table but also in the kitchen.

moskowitzBut perhaps one of the best arguments for cooking at home is that it’s a fabulous way to support a healthy lifestyle, since when you’re doing the cooking you can control the quality and quantity of the ingredients you use.

On Sunday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., I will be at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco doing a healthy cooking demonstration at the fifth annual Healthy Living Fair. Also in attendance will be Benefit cosmetics with beauty giveaways and representatives from the JCCSF fitness center. There will be  mini-lectures and demonstrations galore — all about healthy living. I invite you to come and learn!

But getting back to the kitchen …

Mango-salmon summer rolls are one of those magical dishes that impresses everyone. They make a perfect appetizer served alongside cold sparkling wine or Champagne, but sometimes I have them by themselves for dinner.

Another great option is a light, filling vegetable–udon noodle soup. Udon noodles are available in most major grocery stores near the tofu.


Vegetable–Udon Noodle Soup

Serves 2-4

3 Tbs. miso paste

3 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 small piece ginger, peeled and minced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1⁄4 cup nori seaweed, snipped

6 oz. tofu, cubed

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced

2 7-oz. packages udon noodles (or 14 oz. loose udon noodles)

2 scallions, sliced

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped 

Fill a medium-size pot with 10 cups water. Whisk in miso paste and soy sauce until you have a rich, dark broth. Bring to a light boil and add ginger, garlic and nori. Add the tofu. Taste and add more soy sauce if necessary. Stir in mushrooms and noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Add scallions and cilantro and remove from heat.

Ladle into bowls and serve with Asian chili sauce.


Mango-Salmon Summer Rolls

Makes 8

1 tsp. olive or vegetable oil

1 4 oz. fillet of salmon

8 rice paper spring roll wrappers

1 small bunch fresh mint

4 scallions, snipped into 2-inch pieces

1⁄2 avocado, sliced into 2-inch x 1⁄4-inch pieces

1⁄2 mango, sliced into matchsticks

2 carrots, shredded

Heat oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Sear salmon for 2-3 minutes on each sides (I prefer it a little bit rare in the middle). Remove salmon from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Slice salmon into 8 strips. Set aside.

Wet a rice paper wrapper under the tap. Shake gently to remove excess water. Set on a clean, dry surface and allow to soften for 1 minute. Once soft and flexible, layer with (in this order) mint, scallions, salmon, avocado, mango and carrots. Be sure to lay everything in the same direction. Remember, less is more. Don’t overload your spring roll or it will tear. To roll up, fold in the top and bottom ends and roll up so it looks like a tiny burrito. Repeat with remaining rice paper wrappers.

Serve sliced in half on the bias with hoisin or peanut sauce.

Gabi Moskowitz is the clergy assistant at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, a caterer and cooking teacher. Her columns alternate with those of Louise Fiszer. Follow her adventures in and out of the kitchen in her blog,


Gabi Moskowitz
Gabi Moskowitz

Gabi Moskowitz is the co-author of “Hot Mess Kitchen” and the co-producer of “Young & Hungry,” a Freeform comedy currently in its fifth season. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Evan. She can be reached at