Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

Art Grotto
(That’s my almost 94-year-old dad enjoying one of his favorite purple beverages in moderation!)
David Grotto, RDN

I know you may be thinking that “seeing “red” was your only color choice when it comes to making smarter dietary choices to support heart health. Not so fast!

Though red is a wonderful color, there are more colors in the rainbow when it comes to doing what’s best for your ticker. Many of the foods that I recommend and feature in The Best Things You Can Eat for heart health actually come in red, white, tan, orange, green and even purple! Turning purple is a lot more fun and easier than holding your breath. That’s why I’m thrilled to be working with the folks at Welch’s to share the grape news about heart health.

Polyphenols are a group of plant nutrients that, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, may play a role in heart health by supporting healthy blood vessels. You’ll find polyphenols especially in purple variety foods such as grapes (think wine and 100% grape juice), cabbage, potatoes, eggplant and even non purple foods such as tea, onions and even nuts. In fact, berries (including grapes!) are a delicious way to get your daily dose of purple, and they deliver polyphenols (specifically anthocyanins) not found in many other colors of fruit.

Purple potatoes. This variety hails from South America and is rich in potassium, vitamin C in addition to polyphenols. By the way, leave the skin on. Like grapes, you’ll find polyphenols in the skins! Roast in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum!

Eggplant. Hard to believe that there was a time that this lovely vegetable was once thought to cause insanity and leprosy! Amazing! But the good news is you’ll find potassium, folate magnesium fiber and many other additional healthy nutrients in eggplant.

Purple Cabbage. Cabbage belongs to the family of veggies called Brassicas. This stinky but yummy veggie contains a healthy amount of fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanins. Glucosinolates, another group of plant nutrients found in cabbage, may help support a healthy immune system, too!

Wine. I see the debate brewing already. “Come on Dave … wine is not a food, it’s a beverage.” Well, hold onto your grapes of wrath! Red, purple, blue and black varieties of grapes are all used to make red wine. What distinguishes red versus white wine is that red varieties are allowed to have the skin and the seeds come in contact with the grape juice as it ferments. The health benefit may be due to a group of plant nutrients called polyphenols, which are abundant in red wine varieties. As with all alcoholic beverages, wine is beneficial for your health only in moderation.

Concord Grapes. And for those who are not wine lovers or choose not to drink alcoholic beverages, dark purple Concord grapes and 100% grape juice possess many of the same polyphenols as those found in red wine. Thanks to the Concord grape, 100% grape juice helps support a healthy heart. An 8 ounce glass of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes supplies 250 mg of polyphenols, provides an excellent source of vitamin C and counts as two servings of fruit.

Here’s a twist on the traditional tuna fish salad sandwich to include some tasty polyphenols and other healthy ingredients. Enjoy!

Grapes of Wrap
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes

¾ cup Purple grapes, quartered
2 cans Tuna or chicken, drained
½ cup Celery, chopped coarse
1/3 cup Purple/red Onion, chopped coarse
1 teaspoon Dill, chopped fine
¼ cup Canola oil mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Black pepper
2 teaspoons Honey
1 teaspoon Fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Welch’s 100% Grape Juice concentrate (defrosted)
¼ teaspoon Toasted sesame oil (optional)
½ teaspoon Dry mustard powder
6 Whole-wheat tortillas

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spread some of the salad on a whole-wheat tortilla. Garnish with lettuce and tomato, hold together with a toothpick and serve.

Nutrition Highlights
Calories: 195; Total Fat: 4.5g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 460mg; Total Carbs: 27g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 6g; Protein: 18g

Yes that’s me. And yes, that’s a eyeliner mustache on my lip. And no…that’s not my wife but Emily, a lovely Kenmore Live Studio employee who has a great sense of humor and helped me with the promo video you just watched. Trust me…I won’t give up my day job! 🙂

A bit on a more serious note, in my book, 101 Optimal Life Foods, I discuss the real health challenges that many of my patients are experiencing that get in the way of “living”. Most of those challenges may be considered “quality of life” challenges but in fact can be an “early warning detection system” for bigger troubles a-brewing!

Many of the guys I see who experience erectile dysfunction have the beginnings of heart disease. Many women I see who are having trouble getting pregnant have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which is also linked to life-threatening metabolic syndrome and heart disease. So as I say in this video, “What’s good for the heart is good for every other part!” Choosing the right foods along with physical activity and proper rest can help treat these problems WITHOUT medications!

Come join me at Kenmore Live Studio located at 678 N Wells Street in Chicago on December 11th at 7pm for a fun evening filled with tasty tips and facts on how to bring romance back into your relationships and fix the plumbing at the same time. It’s FREE!! No reservations needed but come early to grab a good seat. Here’s one of the recipes I will be preparing and serving that evening. Enjoy and hope to see you there!

Rosemary Nuts

Featured in 101 Optimal Life Foods

Servings: 28-30 portions (approx 1/4 cup portions)


2 lbs. assorted nuts, roasted; but not salted
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary needles; finely chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/3 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted


Pour nuts one-layer thick on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 oven for 14 minutes.

Mix all other ingredients into the melted butter in a bowl big enough to hold the nuts, and keep warm.  Nuts should also be warm when they are added to the butter mixture. Gently re-heat either one until if they cool before combining.

Pour warm nuts into the bowl, and with two wooden spoons, mix thoroughly, coating nuts with the butter.  Let the nuts dry and cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

Nutrition Profile

290 Calories, 16g Fat, 2.5g Sat Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 260 mg Sodium, 7g Carbs, 3g Fiber, 5g Protein

My Cooking Classes at Dorothy Lane Market School of Cooking in Dayton, Ohio    

I recently was interviewed by a journalist who asked me, “Do you have any regrets about the two books you wrote?” My response was “Yes! Not having pictures of the recipes!” So I thought I’d share a few with you today.    

What has been so cool about writing these two books of mine are the fantastic recipes that are featured in them. In fact, they are soooooooooo good that I double-dare the most worldly foodie to find tastier, healthy recipes that can make taste buds jump for joy like these recipes can!

Participants who attended my cooking demo this past Tuesday and Wednesday night at the Dorothy Lane Market School of Cooking agreed – the recipes are über delicious. And let me clarify, it wasn’t really my cooking demo. In fact, I didn’t cook a darn thing. It was these two wonderful chefs (Chef Elizabeth Wiley from the Meadowlark Restaurant and Chef Carrie Walters from the Dorothy Lane Market School of Cooking pictured below) and their able assistants who made my latest book, 101 Optimal Life Foods come alive on all the plates that evening. 

 Why were the following dishes so special? I literally gave each of these chefs a list of ingredients to use for their recipes in the book and said to them “Make something that tastes amazing”.  And everyone agreed that evening that great taste and good health lived as one in those recipes. Here’s a sampling of the dishes we featured and the corresponding page numbers in the book.





 Gazpacho with garlic croutons, creme fraiche, local veggies and a hint of Tabasco! (page 276)    

Boy… this soup is so easy to make, fun to eat, and so refreshing. One bowl is only a 130 calories and meets most of your veggie requirements for the day! 



 Asparagus-Sesame Stir Fry (page 362)    Such a wonderful dish. The key is to not overcook the asparagus – leave it fairly crispy. This is a fave recommendation to my patients who have digestive complaints. Asparagus contains inulin which promotes friendly bacteria in the gut. Perfect for IBS sufferers. 



Chicken Thighs with Red Wine, Prunes and Garlic (page 323) Only 3 grams of saturated fat per serving!    

See that white stuff that looks like whipped potatoes on the top left of the plate? Yes, the stuff that is sopping up that delish wine-prune-garlic gravy. That’s not whipped taters at all – it’s creamy mashed cauliflower. It was a recipe by Chef Walters that was dreamt up the first day of the class. Let me tell you, it was EXCELLENT and a huge hit with the class. It is not featured in my book. But it is your lucky day – Chef Walters just sent me the recipe – here it is! 




“Optimal” Cauliflower  

by Chef Elizabeth Wiley and Chef Carrie Walters  


1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets  

2 T olive oil  

2 garlic cloves, minced  

¼ C chicken or vegetable Stock  

4 T Greek yogurt  

2 t balsamic vinegar  

Salt and pepper to taste  


In a large pot of boiling water, cook florets until tender about 8 minutes. Drain well and return to pot. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan and briefly sauté the garlic until fragrant but not brown and remove from heat. Mash or process the cauliflower with the olive oil, chicken stock and yogurt until desired consistency is reached. We like it with some texture. Add the balsamic vinegar and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Enjoy!  


Beanie Greenie Brownie (page 309)    

This was a dessert that was submitted by Deb Schiff of Altered Plates. This is one of the best brownies I have ever had and contains carob NOT cocoa. Nothing wrong with cocoa  – it’s in my book – but this recipe is perfect for those who may have a sensitivity\allergy to cocoa. Besides, carob is wonderful for the digestive tract. And if you don’t want to use carob, swap it out for cocoa powder and chocolate chips.  

Lastly, we ended our exhausting two-day cooking demo and lecture at Dorothy Lane Market School of Cooking with our own song “Pans on the Ground”. Enjoy!  




Ask the Guyatitian     

David, for about 10 years, all different friends of mine have been swearing by these drinks. Genesis, Noni, Goji, Xango, Limu, and MonaVie, Z Radical Health Juices. *My nail guy swears by Monavie, others Limu, and Xango. Just inquiring what you think about these drinks? I look forward to hearing from you. Do any of your patients ever talk about using these drinks? I would like your feedback.     



Coming from a guy who wrote about 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life, not one of them, in my opinion, were so fantastic that they were $30+ bucks a pop! Unfortunately, many of these superfood drinks don’t contain enough of the good stuff to warrant the often outrageous price tag that goes with them.     

That said, some of my patients swear by them. There may be positive research on some of the featured ingredients (notice I did NOT say MAIN ingredients), rare is it that the actual formula is featured in the actual research. Bottom line. Save your money and eat the real deal. Can’t find some of the more exotic superfruit at your local grocery store, then turn to the ol’ standby superfruits such as Strawberries, Cherries, Blueberries, etc, which have substantially more research behind them than the bottled stuff does. And heck, its cheaper and tastes better. Hope that helps!!     

The Guyatitian