Every health benefit, every recipe, every detail of food history can be found in Dave Grotto’s book. Dave Grotto is a registered dietician, nutritionist and founder of Nutrition House call.

Thank you to Jenna at Kid’s Appeal /Kids’ Nutrient class in Houston Texas for pointing me in the direction of this great book.

In his introduction Dave talks about eating optimally. Optimal eating can be defined as including health supporting foods in your diet as often as possible. His prescription for a healthy diet is a list of foods you can eat. He does not talk about what not to eat in this book. Dave’s book is a list of things you should eat plus chef inspired recipes which equals a diet that is sustainable.

With today’s  economic concerns we find our customers cooking at home more often, eating less restaurant meals, and using less convenience foods for daily sustenance.

In order to eat optimally, we need know what foods support our body’s systems and organ function. That’s where Dave’s book comes in. The book is organized alphabetically for easy reference. The 101 “foods” contain fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, spices, beverages, legumes and dairy items. The book also has an appendix for sample meal plans and a phytochemical and nutrients appendix. This is a handy reference if you want to determine which foods increase bone density, improve heart function/prevent coronary heart disease, or maintain a healthy digestive tract. If you or a loved one has a health need you can focus first on incorporating foods that could help relieve constipation or prevent a heart-attack. 

Once you know what foods are great for your body and will promote the energy you need to fulfill parenting, professional and personal goals, you need to know how to make those foods tasty. Dave includes a recipe for each of the 101 foods. What’s more, is that many of the foods in his book are great eaten in their raw form, which means you don’t need to be a cook to get these foods into your family’s diet. When optimal eating becomes a way of life for you, you may even become inspired to learn preparation techniques for some of the foods that require cooking!

Dave’s book is a great resource for:

  • A home cook to know which foods should be a part of optimal eating.
  • Anyone wanting to slow down the effects of aging such as macular degeneration, bone density loss and memory loss.
  • Anyone who hates dieting that wants to lose or maintain weight; busy yourself with eating as many foods-that-could-save-your-life as you can and forget about what you can’t eat.
  • Anyone who wants to prevent heart disease, cancer, digestive problems, diabetes than have to treat it.
  • Anyone suffering from illness or disease that wants to add dietary solutions to other medical treatments.
  • Foodies obsessed with know why whole grains, eggs or blueberries are so good for us.

Dave’s most popular food video is on Raspberries.

A recent national survey of 1500 consumers had the respondents rank thirteen fruits in order of preference. Raspberries came in second, just behind strawberries. Consumers reported that they like the unique sweet-tart taste of raspberries.

The USDA conducted a review of the top 100 antioxidant foods and raspberries came in 10th overall! This study was published in the June 9, 2004 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

For more information on raspberries and 100 other amazing foods, pick up a copy today of “101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.”

Salads make for quick, healthy meals — with no recipes required.

Just give the produce a quick rinse; slice, dice, toss fruits, vegetables, low-fat cheese, a handful of toasted nuts with some salad greens and a light raspberry or ginger vinaigrette, along with a whole-grain roll, and you have a meal in minutes.

Try bean or whole-grain salads, such as wheat-berry and tabouli.

Flavor your salads with herbs from the garden so you can go light on the dressing. And when adding meats or fish to your salad, think of them as an accessory to the greens, vegetables, and grains. 

Raspberry Habanero Goat Cheese Puffs


  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 1/2  pkg. (17.3 oz. ) frozen puff pastry sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  • 1  egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4  cup  sliced almonds, divided
  • 1  tsp.  Finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 4 oz.  goat cheese
  • 4  oz. Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4  cup  Raspberry Habanero Sauce, divided~ The Pampered Chef sells an exceptional one **


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper. Lightly sprinkle Cutting Board with flour. Unfold pastry onto cutting board and roll into a 101/2-in. square Prick pastry with pastry tool; brush with egg using a Basting Brush.
  2. Cut out 16 pastry circles. Place circles on Cookie Sheet; bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer parchment and puffs to Cooling Rack; cool completely. Gently press centers of puffs using fingertip to make wells.
  3. Meanwhile, Microwave almonds on HIGH 60-90 seconds or until lightly toasted, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside 1 tbsp.  of the almonds. Finely chop remaining almonds & rosemary. Combine chopped almonds, rosemary, goat cheese and cream cheese; mix well.
  4. Using a pastry bag, or baggy witch you’ll then cut the corner off; fill with goat cheese mixture. Reserve 1 tbsp.  of the sauce for garnish. Spoon remaining sauce evenly into puffs; pipe filling over sauce. Garnish puffs with reserved sauce and almonds.

Yield: 16 servings

Nutrients per serving: (1 puff): Calories 70, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 3 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 65 mg, Fiber 0 g

**: Cook’s Tip: If desired, 1/4 cup  seedless raspberry jam combined with 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper can be substituted for the Raspberry Habanero Sauce.

Best of Cooking, Denise

  Denise Murray, now a 15-year resident of Forest Park. (Lived on the North shore of Chicago for 3 years prior, and a Southwestern before that) comes to us with over 33 years working in Food Service....