Ever wonder what Dr. Oz’s family eats at home? If you think it’s a steady diet of kale, Brussels sprouts, and ancient grains, then you’re in for a surprise. Lisa Oz, his wife, has a new book out, The Oz Family Kitchen, which debunks this myth while giving you some tremendous, tasty and healthy recipes.
The Oz family is eclectic. Their dinner table accommodates meat-eaters, vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten free and dairy free diets. Find something just for you in this great book.
Helene Lerner: How do you prepare a meal when you have so many different eating habits at your table?
Lisa: Most people start with a protein main course and have vegetable sides. Our main course is usually either veggies or pasta, and then we build on top of that and have sides of grilled shrimp, chicken, tofu or beans.
Helene: Lisa, when did you become a vegetarian?
Lisa: When I was 15 years old. My mother decided to become a vegetarian and decided that the whole family would too. She said if we wanted to eat meat, then we could outside the house.
Helene: What are some of your favorite dishes from the book?
Lisa: My favorite dish is the “Penne with Quick Tomato and Basil Sauce,” it only takes 10 minutes to make. My husband’s favorite is the “Almost German Chocolate Cake” with nuts and coconut. We make it once every year for his birthday. Our first daughter, Daphne, loves the “Glazed Acorn Squash with Savory Seeds” dish.
Helene: When you’re not feeling your best self, what would you suggest eating to get yourself back on track?
Lisa: I recommend the “Green Juice,” which is full of juiced vegetables and apples. It’s very energizing, without the false energy of a caffeine kick.
Helene: What’s your opinion of snacking? Is it healthy?
Lisa: People think snacks are throwaway foods, but they’re a good way to nourish your body throughout the day. They also keep your blood sugar at an even level. Try snacks high in fiber to keep you full longer, like kale and nuts.
Helene: How did you create all these recipes?
Lisa: When traveling abroad, I like to taste different dishes and try to recreate the flavors. My biggest passion is my spice collection. You open up a whole world when you experiment with so many different flavors.
Helene: Do you believe you are what you eat?
Lisa: I believe it’s more than just calories, but I do think when food is fresher, unprocessed, and whole, it energizes our body in better ways. I personally feel that what I eat affects the way I feel.
Helene: How can people start eating healthier?
Lisa: Instead of thinking change has to be huge, pick one small thing and stick to it. Then you gain a sense of accomplishment and can take another small step. For example, if you want to eat less meat, don’t commit to being a vegetarian tomorrow. Instead, pick one meal a day to forgo animal products. It’s not a huge change and it’s easy.
Try this great recipe!
Almost German Chocolate Cake
Dark Chocolate Cake
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup natural or Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups organic sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1/5 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Two 14-ounce cans non-GMO condensed milk
6 large egg yolks
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (8 ounces)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
To make the cake: Whisk the boiling water and cocoa together in a medium bowl to dissolve the cocoa. Refrigerate, whisking often, until the mixture has cooled completely.
Whisk the yogurt, milk, and vinegar together in a glass measuring cup, and set aside at room temperature while the cocoa mixture is cooling.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter two 9-inch pans and line the bottoms with wax or parchment paper. Dust the sides of the pans with flour and tap out the excess flour.
Beat the butter in a medium bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue mixing until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, followed by the vanilla and the cooled cocoa mixture.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in another medium bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with two additions of the yogurt mixture, mixing just until combined after each addition. Scrape the batter into the cake pans and smooth the top.
Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of each pan. Invert the pans onto the rack to unmold the cakes. Flip the cakes, right side up, and let cool completely.
To make the icing: Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the condensed milk and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is simmering. Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Gradually beat in about a cup of the hot condensed milk mixture, and pour this back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture returns to a simmer and thickens. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the coconut, pecans, vanilla, and salt. Let the icing cool for a few minutes until it is thick enough to spread.
Place a cake layer, flat side facing up, on a serving plate. Spread it with about 3/4 cup of the icing. Top with a second cake layer, face side down. Spread the top, and then the sides, with the remaining icing. Let the icing cool completely. (The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.) Slice and serve.
Recipe reprinted from THE OZ FAMILY KITCHEN Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Oz. Published by Harmony Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.