Category Archives: BLACK Cuisine

All food related topics that highlight the culinary genius within the Black community.

10 Foods To Boost Male Health

Healthy eating is essential for both men and women. Whereas a woman may turn to consuming a salad, the average African American male would more likely scarf down a burger and fries combo, minus the bacon topping as his way of promoting nutritious eating.  Traditionally, an African diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables.  The native African people generally have a lower risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Today however, the African American diet is much different and tends to include deep fried, fatty and fast foods.

According to Marcellus A. Walker and Kenneth B. Singleton, in their book, “Natural Health for African Americans,” that the typical African American diet can lead to inflammation, poor blood sugar control, cancer and heart disease. There are healthy foods included in the African American diet and eating more of these and less of the unhealthy ones will have benefits for you.  Both men and women generally require the same basic nutrients for optimal health, but there are some nutrients which boost men’s health in particular.

Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, notes that any food that is good for the cardiovascular system is also good for erectile function in men.

“Nutrients that are good for the heart improve circulation to all parts of the body, and these same nutrients provide a layer of protection against cancer and other chronic diseases,” says Gerbstadt, a Florida-based doctor and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Key nutrients are also critical for maintaining immune function, preventing bone loss, muscle loss, and oxidative damage from the environment.  Having a healthy lifestyle, which consists of not smoking and engaging in regular physical activity is pertinent to ones health.

According to WebMD Column Expert, Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, here are The Top 10 Foods that Boost Men’s Health:


Food for Men No. 1: Oysters

“Research shows that adequate zinc may protect against cellular damage that leads to prostate cancer,” says Grotto. “Sexual functioning of the male reproductive system, including increased sperm counts, is also enhanced with zinc.”

Take caution when considering eating uncooked oysters. An infection called Vibrio vulnificus is associated with the consumption of raw oysters. People with liver disease, heavy alcohol use, and chronic illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic renal failure are at increased risk.

You can also get your daily recommended dose of 11 milligrams a day by eating other shellfish, lean beef, lean pork, or legumes.

Food for Men No. 2: Bananas

Bananas are a great portable source of quick energy and are rich in potassium, which is needed to regulate nerves, heartbeat and, especially, blood pressure. Diets rich in potassium and magnesium (which is also found in bananas) can reduce the risk of stroke.

As a super source of vitamin B-6, bananas can also aid your immune system, help form red blood cells, ensure a well-functioning nervous system, and assist protein metabolism. So enjoy a banana each day, at breakfast on your whole grain-cereal or before your workout at the gym.

Not a banana fan? Orange juice, milk, tomato products, and beans are other good sources of dietary potassium.

Food for Men No. 3: Fatty Fish

These polyunsaturated fats are the preferred form of fats in your diet for many reasons. They can benefit the heart, circulation, and immune system and reduce the risk for prostate cancer, among other things.

“Omega-3 fatty acids are potent anti-inflammatory foods that can help lower triglyceride [blood fat] levels, reduce aches and pains in athletes, and offer relief with certain kinds of arthritis,” says Bauer. 

Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring) are the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that everyone eat fish twice weekly.

You can also get omega-3s in plant-based foods, like flaxseed, walnuts, soy, canola oil, and fortified products such as eggs. But there are other good reasons to eat fish. 

“Fatty fish are also a good source of vitamin D, a nutrient that tends to be deficient in our diets and [which] in adequate supply can help prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and bone disease,” says Bauer.

Food for Men No. 4: Broccoli

While virtually all vegetables deserve a place on the super foods list, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are helpful in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. It’s loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and a phytochemical called sulphoraphane, which may have anticancer (prostate and colon) properties. 

A recent Harvard study found that participants who had five servings a week of cruciferious vegetables were half as likely as others to develop bladder cancer, a cancer that affects two to three times as many men as women. This super-nutritious green vegetable may also help lower levels of homocycteine, an amino acid associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Don’t care for broccoli? Go for other cruciferous choices like cabbage, bok choy, shredded broccoli slaw, cabbage, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts. 

And did you ever wonder where the term “cruciferous” originates? “It is not because they are crunchy vegetables, but when the buds from this group of vegetables sprouts, their leaves form a cross like a crucifix,”says Denver dietitian Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD.

Food for Men No. 5: Brazil Nuts

These large nuts from Brazil are packed with magnesium and selenium, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease and cancer and protect prostate health. (Bauer, however, notes that the studies showing reduction in cancer have been primarily in people whose diets were deficient in selenium, not in those who were already getting enough.)

Selenium also helps lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and reduces the incidence of blood clots and heart disease.

Grotto recommends adults get 55 micrograms of selenium daily from Brazil nuts, dry-roasted nuts, turkey, tuna, or shellfish. Indeed, you can get your daily dose of selenium in just one Brazil nut. In fact, Bauer cautions limiting yourself to no more than two Brazil nuts per day because “they are so loaded and concentrated with selenium that you don’t want to overdose.”

Food for Men No. 6: Whole Grains

Most men get enough carbs in their diets, but they tend to be the wrong kind, experts say. 

“A diet rich in whole grains provides fiber, vitamins, minerals – all the co-factors for heart health, building muscles, and keeping waistlines small,” says Gerbstadt.

She suggests trying whole grain pasta or quinoa, a trendy, not-so-whole-grain-tasting grain that’s rich in lutein for prostate health.

Oatmeal and barley are rich in soluble fiber, full of B vitamins that can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and are also good for the prostate. Suzanne Farrell, RD, owner of Cherry Creek Nutrition in Denver, recommends getting 10-25 grams of soluble fiber a day from oatmeal or other sources of soluble fiber such as apples, pears, and beans.

When buying grain products, look for those whose labels say they have at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.

To avoid digestive problems, increase your fiber intake gradually, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Food for Men No. 7: Plant Stanols

Stanols are naturally occurring substances in fruits and vegetables that have been shown to lower mildly elevated blood cholesterol levels. Manufacturers are now adding concentrated versions of them to products like margarine, yogurt, orange juice, and granola bars.

“Men should regularly include a total of 2 grams of plant stanols, taken in two doses with meals, to help inhibit absorption of cholesterol in the intestine,” says Farrell.

Plant stanols are added to a variety of products including orange juice, margarine, dark chocolate, granola bars, cheese, bread, soy products, and more. Plant stanols can safely be used with cholesterol-lowering medication.

Food for Men No 8: Soybeans

Soy is rich in isoflavones, which protect prostate health and have been shown to lower prostate cancer risk, says Gerbstadt. The latest research continues to strengthen the fact that isoflavones found in soy foods are beneficial for both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer in men.

And according to one study, “eating 25 grams or about 1 ounce of soy protein a day can help decrease cholesterol,” Farrell says.

The FDA has approved a health claim for food labels that says having 25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Try to eat a few servings a day of soy products, such as soy nuts, soy milk, soy cheese, veggie burgers, tofu, or edamame.

Food for Men No 9: Berries or Cherries

The violet, blue, and red colors in all kinds of berries and cherries are responsible for the healthy properties of these fruits. These little jewels are chock-full of the health-protecting flavonoid, anthocyanin.   

“Berries contain over 4,000 different compounds that have antioxidant properties beyond vitamin C, so make sure you include these delicious and low-calorie fruits to help meet your 5+ servings of fruits each day,” says Gerbstadt.

Adding berries to the diet may even help slow the decline in brain function that can occur with aging.

“Large studies show the more produce you eat the better, but specifically berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and cherries) can enhance brain function and keep your brain healthy,” says Bauer.

Food for Men No 10: Red-Orange Vegetables

Vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants that help preserve healthy skin cells and prevent oxidation from the sun. 

“Vitamin C is involved in collagen production,” says Bauer. “Beta-carotene converts to the active form of vitamin A, which helps to repair epithelial or skin cells.”

She recommends getting these nutrients from red bell peppers (just one has 300% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C), carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.

But for that matter, just about any vegetable should be on the list of top foods for men (and women). Dark, leafy greens and any nutrient-rich vegetable can help reduce the risk of enlarged prostates, according to a recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Men whose diets are high in nutrients found in vegetables — like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and potassium – were found to be less likely to develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate.


Written by: Lexine Emille



Posted by on November 29, 2012 in BLACK Cuisine, Culture, Education, Health


BLACK Cuisine: Maple Pumpkin Pie

Halloween is just around the corner and you’ve come to the conclusion you want to join the festivities and have an upscale adult Halloween party.Invitations mailed..check, purchased your nurse costume..check, decorations are set up..check. Everything is in place but the food!! What will you do?? You’re in luck! Here’s a recipe that will Boo your party Goons,Goblins and make your party a hit.

This Recipe calls for:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Chopped pecans, optional


  • In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; beat until smooth. Line a 9-in. pie plate with pastry; trim and flute edges. Pour filling into crust.
  • Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°. Bake 45-50 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and top of pie is set (cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning if necessary). Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight or until set.
  • In a small bowl, beat the cream, confectioners’ sugar, syrup and pumpkin pie spice until stiff peaks form. Pipe or dollop onto pie. Sprinkle with pecans if desired.

Yield: 8 servings.

Courtesy of Taste of Home October/November 2007 issue

*If you have a book,recipe,business in the culinary industry, you ‘d like us to feature please send ALL inquires to* 

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 24, 2012 in BLACK Cuisine


Tags: , , , , ,

BLACK Cuisine: Restaurant Secrets Putting Your Health at Risk

When you’re dining out, the last thing on your mind is the safety of your food. But after learning these industry secrets, it might become the first thing you consider. Learn what you can do to ensure that your dining experience is just as safe as it is delicious.


Secret: You’re More at Risk for Food Poisoning After 8 p.m.

Although it can feel sophisticated to dine out later, the closer you get to closing time, the more likely you are to get a compromised meal because the ingredients were prepped hours before, giving bacteria plenty of time to multiply. Additionally, the kitchen may not be in ideal condition as your meal is prepared. The fryers have accumulated the build-up of an entire night’s service, plus the oil isn’t fresh anymore. Instead of making your food crispy, the grease just soaks into your food. Plus, the kitchen is in cleanup mode, so your dish could be being prepared next to a station that’s getting cleaned, risking contamination from the spray solution.

If you’re going to dine late, try to order something that’s grilled, broiled or boiled. You want to get something that’s cooked (as opposed to something served raw, like salad) so there’s a greater chance of killing off any dangerous bacteria.

Secret: Menus Can Be Dirtier Than Toilet Seats

Menus are rarely properly cleaned, and every person who comes through a restaurant touches them. A recent test by The Dr. Oz Show uncovered 7 out of 7 sample menus from restaurants in the New York City area were covered in bacteria, including fecal bacteria like E.coli and pneumonia-causing streptococcus.

Grip the menu by the top corners instead of holding it by the bottom. Most people hold the menu by the lower half, so you’ll be minimizing your exposure to bacteria.

Secret: If the Music Is Loud, You’re Going to Overeat

The louder the tunes, the more energy you’ll feel—meaning you’ll eat and leave quicker, resulting in a higher profit for the restaurant. The problem is that because you’re eating so quickly, you don’t have time to realize you’re full. Often, this results in over-ordering and overeating.

Don’t give your full order up front; instead, order each course separately. When you control the experience, you’ll eat slower and eat less.

Secret: Always Pack the Leftovers Yourself

When you give your half-finished dinner to your server to have it boxed up, remember, there’s no special “leftover boxing-up station.” Your plate is left in the kitchen next to dirty dishes and garbage. Your roll could land on the floor and then could be put back on your plate. Additionally, you have no idea how your food will get into your leftover container; it could be with someone’s bare hands that have just wiped down a table.

Always ask for the to-go container yourself and pack your leftovers at the table.

Courtesy of


Tags: , , , , , ,

BLACK Cuisine:Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops



  • 4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook pork chops in 1 tablespoon butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Remove chops and keep warm. Add the apples, pecans, brown sugar mixture and remaining butter to the pan; cook and stir until apples are tender. Serve with chops. 
  • Yield: 4 servings.
  • Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
  • Nutritional Facts 1 pork chop with 2/3 cup apples equals 316 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 232 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 22 g protein.
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 3, 2012 in BLACK Cuisine


BLACK Cuisine: Jerk Pork Sliders with Mango Avocado Salsa

Grilling season has arrived and cooking inside a hot kitchen isn’t an option? Well I’ve found a nontraditional recipe that is easy to prepare, both savory and refreshing from the normal burger and hot dogs.

Jerk Pork Loin

Recipe Ingredients:

3lb pork loin, trimmed

2 ½ tbsp Jerk Seasoning + 1 tbsp set aside

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

¼ cup coarse brown sugar

Juice of 1 lime

Place garlic, cilantro, brown sugar, juice of lime, jerk seasoning (except 1 tbsp of jerk seasoning) in a small bowl, mix then rub all over the pork loin. Place in a large Ziploc bag and place in the fridge, allow to marinate overnight. Remove from fridge 1 hour prior to grilling so that the pork can come to room temperature. Remove pork from marinade and rub with the reserved tablespoon of jerk seasoning.

Over medium direct heat, grill for 40 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, turning a few times. Remove from grill then allow the pork to sit for 15 minutes before slicing.

To make the sliders, thinly slice the pork loin then place on burger buns that have been buttered and grilled until slightly charred. Top with a heaping tablespoon of mango salsa, and then serve.

Mango and Avocado Salsa

1 ripe but firm mango, peeled and diced

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced

2 tbsp or ¼ of a medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 ½ tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

½ tsp salt

Pinch of black pepper

Juice of 1 lime

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine, making sure not to crush the avocado. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Leave a comment

Posted by on August 22, 2012 in BLACK Cuisine


Tags: , , , , ,

BLACK Cuisine: Les Ambassades

A couple of Sundays ago two colleagues, a neighborhood friend, myself and three children age ranging from 3 to 11 arrived at Les Ambassades in Harlem, and boy was it a full house…. inside and out that is. We didn’t have a reservation or thought of making one, heck it’s a boulangerie!!!

The versatile, largely Senegalese kitchen crew slings recipes from France, North and West Africa, Vietnam, the Caribbean, and Italy, not to mention all-American omelettes, salads, and meat dishes.
Upon arrival we waited for what seemed to be an eternity to be seated. Waiting gave us the opportunity to scope the place out. The restaurant would’ve been cozy had it not been for so many tables in such tight quarters. As you enter to your left, an assortment of pastries is seen through a glass bar and behind the counter are the waiters and waitresses uniformed in black tee’s and black slacks, hustling through the many orders they had to ring up. The decor is warm and inviting with shades of oranges and browns. Paintings adorned the whole place beautifully.

Finally seated, adjacent to a large flat screen t.v slightly above the entrance door was a soccer game which took the attentions of both the employees and guests alike in place took longer to receive a menu. We were greeted by this young lady who was very polite and pleasant ready to take our orders. We ordered Grilled Salmon with Fried Plantains $13.50(with cucumbers & onion salsa served with warm potatoes & basmati rice(optional)) Grilled Tilapia with Fried Plantains $12.50, Hamburger Alibaba $9.oo ( grilled beef, melted cheese, fried egg, side of french fries served on a burger bun. with a side of french fries),Steak Au Poivre (Sirloin) $12.50, Sizzling Garlic Shrimp (served with rice) $12.50. All dishes I felt were proportionality sized with the price. The only negative, which turned out not to be a negative, was that my Salmon dish was underseasoned but with the combinations of salsa and plantains, gave the salmon the flavor it was lacking.

Everything we had was very good to the eyes, taste buds and our pockets which made our Sunday brunch a delight.

So if you like Senegalese cuisine or if you are unfamiliar and want to try something different here in Harlem check out Les Ambassades. Not recommended for small children or even large groups because seats are limited.
2200 8th Ave
(between 118th St & 119th St)
New York, NY 10026


Mon-Thu, 7am-2am; Fri, 7am-3am; Sat-Sun, 8am-3am


  • Breakfast
  • Brunch – Weekend
  • BYOB
  • Delivery
  • Great Desserts
  • Late-Night Dining
  • Lunch
  • Outdoor Dining
  • Smoking Area
  • Take-Out
  • Catering

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Remembering the “Queen of Soul Food” Sylvia Woods

Sylvia Woods, a New York City icon not only in the culinary world but to the Harlem community died Thursday afternoon at her Mount Vernon home, She was 86 and had been battling Alzheimer’s disease, family members said in a statement.

She died just as Mayor Bloomberg was paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of Sylvia’s at a gala reception at Gracie Mansion.
“We lost a legend today,” the mayor said.

Upon hearing the news, the Rev. Al Sharpton offered fond memories of the owner’s historical location. “Sylvia’s has been more than a restaurant, it has been a meeting place for black America,” he said.

Sylvia trained to become a beautician in New York and also ran a beauty shop in South Carolina. With a loan from her mother. Woods and late husband,Herbert deemed it fit to start their own restaurant business in 1962; which started as a 36 seat lunch counter. During the early 1990s the business expanded and now seats up to 450 people. It also has a catering business. Sylvia came out with her own line of soul food products ranging from sauces to cook books that are sold nationally.

“Ms. Woods was surrounded by a host of family and loved ones,” the statement from her family read. “The family is thankful for your prayers.”

In lieu of flowers, the family said it would appreciate donations to the Sylvia and Herbert Woods Scholarship Endowment Foundation,  in which the family created in 2001  which provides scholarships to Harlem children.

Funeral arrangements are still being finalized.

Our Prayers goes out to the Woods family.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Courtesy of Wikipedia and


Posted by on July 19, 2012 in BLACK Cuisine, Culinary


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,