Side Dish for May 3, 2012

Market, book offer a DASH of health

The Thursday Red Stick Farmers Market moves this week from its Perkins Road spot to a new location just off Kenilworth Parkway on the Pennington Biomedical Research Center campus. This should be a good fit — Pennington promotes public health by encouraging people to eat fresh produce and Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance, which sponsors the three Red Stick Farmers Markets, brings locally grown produce to shoppers.

Plus, Pennington plans to have a booth at the market promoting its DASH Diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. In January, U.S. News and World Report’s annual “Best Diets” roundup named it the No. 1 best overall diet.

A new book about the DASH Diet arrived about the same time I learned of the market’s move. “The DASH Diet for Weight Loss: Lose Weight and Keep It Off — the Healthy Way — with America’s Most Respected Diet” by Dr. Thomas J. Moore with Megan C. Murphy and Mark Jenkins (Free Press, hardcover, $26) offers an eating plan which not only helps keep weight off, but also lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of cancer and diabetes.

Moore, now professor of medicine and associate provost at Boston University School of Medicine, was chairman of the overall DASH study. His research team at Harvard Medical School worked with four other research teams, including the one from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in the original DASH research studies.

He writes in the 395-page book that the diet is easy to understand and you can shop at the same stores as you’ve always done. He explains the science of weight loss and how to determine an unhealthy weight.

The book also looks at what and how much you should eat based on height, age and activity level. The authors don’t recommend calorie levels below 1,200 or above 2,600. They discuss salt intake; food tracking; meal planning; exercise; how to conquer emotional eating, going grocery shopping; and dining out.

A major portion of the book is taken up with seven-day meal plans for both meat eaters and vegetarians.

However, it is disappointing it includes only 26 pages of recipes and no photographs of completed dishes — a major drawback for a book trying to encourage people to follow a healthful diet.

Advocate-tested recipe

Lemon Caper Vinaigrette

Makes about 16 (1-tablespoon) servings. Recipe is from “The DASH Diet for Weight Loss: Lose Weight and Keep It Off — the Healthy Way — with America’s Most Respected Diet” by Dr. Thomas J. Moore with Megan C. Murphy and Mark Jenkins.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup flaxseed oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

4 tsps. lemon juice

1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained

Freshly ground pepper

1. Combine the olive and flaxseed oils, vinegar, lemon juice and capers in a blender. Blend until pureed. Add pepper to taste and blend again.

2. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a tightly capped jar and shake.

3. Toss 1 tablespoon with each serving of the salad of your choice. Store any remaining dressing in a covered jar in the fridge and shake well before each use.

DASH servings per 1 tablespoon: 1 added fat, 60 calories.