By Dana Cowin
Updated March 31, 2015

For a very long while, I have cheerily made my favorite foods in a broad range of cuisines—French, Italian, Chinese, American—taking advantage of a world of incredible, newly available ingredients. I’m proud of my shopping forays through New York City, buying different kinds of greens in Chinatown or new varieties of pasta at Eataly. But when I started using a couple of healthy new cookbooks that include ingredients I’ve never tried before, like flaxseed and wild boar, I realized that I’ve been missing out. In this issue, we bring these ingredients to you in super-tantalizing dishes.

In “The 21st-Century Healthy Pantry,” we focus on three big categories: vegan, meat and grains. I’m particularly interested in the meat section, because Contributing Editor Andrew Zimmern has drilled into my head the need to go beyond the usual beef, chicken and pork. “If you eat one alternate protein a week,” he says, “it will have a staggering, immediate and lasting effect on repairing the massive damage our food system has endured over the last 25 years.” I’m especially excited to make the northern Thailand–inspired stir-fried goat with basil from chef Johnny Monis. That way, the earth and I can both get healthier at the same time.

As a DIY project, I’d also like to try my hand at sprouting beans, to see if they energize me as much as holistic chef Adina Niemerow promises in our story “Germination Nation.” Then I’ll graduate to yogurt, which dairy entrepreneur Ron Marks shows us how to make in The Gastronaut Files. I admit that I’m intimidated by the phrases “live, active bacteria” and “starter culture”—they don’t exactly sound delicious—but I can get over that. Certainly our photo of thick, creamy yogurt topped with a luscious mixed-berry conserve is an enticement.

I hope this issue inspires you to change your cooking routine, try something new and embrace the modern definition of a healthy pantry.

Where I’m Coming From: Rio de Janeiro Dispatch

CT Boucherie

Roving waiters at Claude Troisgros’s chic spot pass the most delicious vegetable side dishes to accompany hunks of divine Argentinean beef. Rua Dias Ferreira, 636; 011-55-21-2529-2329.

Aconchego Carioca

Sublime and authentic Brazilian dishes, like hefty pork ribs with sticky guava paste, plus an outstanding selection of global beer options. Rua Barão de Iguatemi, 388; 011-55-21-2273-1035.


A drive from downtown Rio in Guaratiba, Bira has fantastic ocean views and magnificent fish, like sea bass cooked in a black pot with olive oil and onions. Estrada da Vendinha, 68A; 011-55-21-2410-8304.

Contact Me

Twitter: Follow me @fwscout

Facebook: Become a fan at