Increase your protein consumption with these ingenious Quinoa Maki Rolls. CONNIE POST/STAFF

7 ways to ‘Cook Yourself Young’

Everything in the universe is getting older, including you and me.

Scientists haven’t figured out time travel yet, so we have to find other ways to turn back the clock.

I flash on the word “young,” so when I saw a copy of “Cook Yourself Young: Improve You Skin & Hair, Sleep Better, Look & Feel Younger with 100 Easy Recipes,” I hungrily picked it up. In her introduction, food and health expert Elizabeth Peyton-Jones shares her seven principles to cook yourself young:

1. Eat the new normal; drop addictive foods. Make eating health-promoting foods the way to eat every day, and ditch refined flour and sugar, salt, processed meats, dairy and foods labeled “low fat.”

2. Cook younger. Dehydrating, steaming, steam-frying and slow cooking are the best methods. Avoid barbecuing, broiling, boiling and microwaving.

3. Go nuts! Consume nuts, nut milk, nut yogurt, nut butters and nut cheese.

4. Get therapy with healing herbs and spices. Ten must-have herbs: basil, cinnamon, cilantro, cumin, fennel, ginger, lavender, parsley and rosemary.

5. Wash your insides every day. Drink 2 cups of water first thing in the morning and more throughout the day.

6. Eat 40 percent raw to alkalize, and sprout your protein. The body functions best when it’s slightly alkalized; meats, dairy, alcohol and processed foods are high in acid, so eating raw, alkalized food helps balance your body.

7. Youth your kitchen. Toss out plastic containers, cutting boards and bottles. Also avoid plastic wrap. Instead, use glass and natural materials, such as wood, straw and cheesecloth.

In addition to these principles, there are 100 meat- and sugar-free recipes. I want to try Thai Fish Curry, Barley Salad with Figs and Arugula, Turkish Stuffed Eggplants with Tzatziki and Spelt Flatbreads, and Cashew Souffle with Raspberries. But for starters, I was up for a new twist on California sushi rolls:


1 avocado

Juice of ½ lime

1/3 cup quinoa

2 teaspoons cidar vinegar

1 teaspoon wasabi paste, plus more to serve (optional)

4 nori sheets

1 red bell pepper, finely sliced

3/8-inch piece of gingerroot, peeled and finely sliced

2-inch piece of cucumber, sliced into matchsticks

1 small carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks

Gluten-free tamari, to serve (optional)


1. Peel and pit the avocado, finely slice the flesh and sprinkle with the lime juice, tossing gently to coat to prevent discoloration.

2. Cook the quinoa in boiling water for eight to 10 minutes, until softened but still with a little bite. Drain. Sprinkle over the vinegar, stir it in evenly (and add the wasabi if you want, though you can add it to the filling) and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

3. When the quinoa is completely cool, lay a sheet of nori out on a sushi rolling mat or cutting board with a long edge facing you. Sppon one-quarter of the quinoa onto the sheet and spread out, leaving a 3/4-inch gap along the edge furthest from you. Lay out one-quarter of the pepper, ginger, cucumber, carrot and avocado in a line across the center of the nori sheet (along its length) and spoon over ¼ teaspoon wasabi paste, if you didn’t mix it into the quinoa earlier.

4. Roll the sheet up tightly away from you, using the mat to help, to form a cylinder. Roll in plastic wrap and chill until required. Repeat with the reamining nori sheets and filling. Cut each into six equal rolls with a very sharp knife, to serve. Serve with a dish of tamari, or wasabi, or both, if you like, for dipping.

Our assessment: Quinoa is one of my very favorite grains, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy it is to use for making maki rolls. Quinoa is high in protein and contains necessary minerals like magnesium and copper. I didn’t mix wasabi into the quinoa, but served it on the side. After all, a little wasabi goes a long way. For rolling sushi rolls, I recommend Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Bamboo Sushi Mat and Paddle, available at Bed Bath & Beyond for $3.99.

From the book: “Cook Yourself Young: Improve your Skin & Hair, Sleep Better, Look & Feel Young with 100 Easy Recipes” by Elizabeth Peyton-Jones; 160 pages, $22.95. Published by Quadrill, 2016.

In her own words: “If you want to feel fresh, awake, vibrant, youthful, inspired and ready for new adventures, then look at what you eat. If you want to have clear, glowing skin, sparkling eyes, a lean physique, glossy hair, nails and a body that works seamlessly well, as well as stave off colds, flus and other bacterial illness, then your diet is fundamental.” — Elizabeth Peyton-Jones

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