A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Food as Medicine


Variety is the spice of life, in the kitchen and the clinic.

Spicebox Kitchen
By Linda Shiue ’93 MD’98
Hachette, 2021

After a decade in primary care in the Bay Area, Shiue was experiencing burnout when a cooking class turned her career around. The workshop, led by a Culinary Institute of America chef at a continuing medical education conference, inspired her to teach her patients to cook.

“I was hooked,” Shiue writes in the introduction to her new cookbook. “I began teaching cooking classes on a regular basis, and felt as exhilarated as my students were.” She gave her patients plant-based recipes along with their prescriptions. She attended culinary school and began to practice culinary medicine, “a low-cost, accessible, and culturally adaptable intervention,” she writes, that can address lifestyle-related conditions.

Spicebox Kitchen is a collection of recipes from four regions that are meaningful to Shiue: California, Asia, Trinidad, and the Mediterranean and Middle East. She stresses cooking and eating for pleasure as much as for health; her mostly plant-based recipes are full of flavor, no calorie counts in sight.

In an email, Shiue—now the director of culinary medicine for Kaiser Permanente San Francisco—said she chose her Salade Niçoise to share with Medicine@Brown readers because it’s a satisfying meal, plus “for busy people, the different components can be prepared in extra quantities for meal prep, to be mixed and matched into other salads and sandwiches. It can also be enjoyed without the egg and fish for a vegan option.” Bon appetit!

Serves 6

1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt
1⁄3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
2 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

First, make garlic paste by sprinkling minced garlic with salt, then using edge of a chef’s knife to mash into a paste. Place garlic paste in a jar, add remaining dressing ingredients, including pepper to taste, and shake until well combined.

4 large eggs
1 pound small new potatoes, boiled until tender, 13 to 15 minutes
8 ounces haricots verts or green beans, trimmed and blanched
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup black Niçoise or Kalamata olives
8 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
8 salt-packed anchovies, rinsed and drained (from a 2-ounce can)
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
2 (4-ounce) cans high-quality oil-packed tuna, drained
1/2 small head radicchio, sliced in bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)

Boil the eggs. My foolproof method for cooking a hard-boiled egg that’s easy to peel and has a perfectly yellow yolk: Place room-temperature eggs in a pot with enough cold water to cover them about an inch, bring water to a boil over high heat, then remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes exactly. After 10 minutes, drain hot water and replace it with cold or ice water to stop cooking process, then let cool completely before peeling and slicing in half lengthwise.

Toss potatoes and haricots verts with enough vinaigrette to coat. Arrange them beautifully on a platter along with the other ingredients, including eggs, placing contrasting colors next to each other. Drizzle additional vinaigrette over entire salad and finish with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.


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