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Thai-Glazed Fruit + Vegetable Grill (serves 4)

Soapstone Griddle Indoor Electric Cooktop Curry

Soapstone Griddle Indoor Electric Cooktop Curry

I adapted this long ago from a recipe by Celia Brooks Brown. Her cookbook, New Vegetarian (Ryland Peters & Small 2001), is a wonderful intro to vegetarian cooking that pleases the palate of vegans (with some egg + dairy substitutions) and omnivores alike. This is nice served with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli.


1 large mango, peeled, seeded + cut into 8 chunks

1 pineapple, peeled, cored + cut into 16 pieces

1 red onion, cut into 8 chunks

2 small zucchini, cut into 8 slices

2 limes, cut into 8 slices

8 shitaki mushrooms, stems removed

1 red bell pepper, seeded + cut into 8 pieces

4 Serrano chiles, halved

8 long metal or bamboo skewers (remember to pre-soak the wood skewers for at least 30 minutes)


Thread skewers with the fruit and vegetables. Place in a large casserole dish and brush generously with barbecue sauce. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.


Place skewers on a preheated stove top griddle and cook, turning occasionally and basting with barbeque sauce. You want the fruit and vegetables slightly tender and lightly charred for best flavor.


Thai Barbecue Sauce


1/3 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup tomato puree

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 piece fresh ginger (about 1”), peeled + coarsely chopped

1 whole lime, ends discarded and rest of lime (including peel) coarsely chopped

1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced

2 large cloves garlic

3 Tablespoons coconut oil

1-2 bird’s eye chiles (or other chile 50,000-100,000 Scoville heat units)


Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Portobello Stacks + Asparagus Grill (serves 4)

Soapstone Griddle Indoor Electric Cooktop Mushroom

Soapstone Griddle Indoor Electric Cooktop Mushroom

This is a nice combo that is quick + easy served with a side salad! Substitute long, slender green beans for the asparagus and serve with mashed potatoes for a heartier meal!

Portobello Stacks

4 large Portobello mushroom caps, stems removed

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 Tablespoons virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar

4 thin slices red onion

4 thick slices tomato

1 handful fresh basil, chopped

Salt + pepper


Place mushroom caps on a plate stem side up. Spread chopped garlic evenly over the mushroom caps. Pour a tablespoon of oil and a teaspoon of vinegar evenly over each mushroom cap. Place a slice of onion on each mushroom cap then top off with a slice of tomato. Sprinkle the tomato toppers with basil, salt + pepper.


Cook Portobello Stacks on a preheated stove top griddle without turning for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.



2 pounds asparagus, trim ends

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt + pepper


Coat preheated stove top griddle with olive oil. Grill asparagus until crispy tender (about 5 minutes depending upon thickness). Toss in a dish with lemon juice and season with salt + pepper.

Crabby Patty Cakes (serves 4)

Soapstone Griddle Indoor Electric Cooktop Vegetarian Crab Cakes or Veggie Burger

Soapstone Griddle Indoor Electric Cooktop Vegetarian Crab Cakes or Veggie Burger


This is a vegan recipe I developed as an alternative to Crab Cakes! If you are vegetarian you can substitute an egg for the flax seed meal/water mixture in the main recipe and use mayonnaise instead of a non-dairy/egg free replacement like Vegenaise (my personal favorite) as a base for the Tartar Sauce.


2 1/2 cups grated daikon radish

1 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 fresh jalapeno pepper, deseeded + minced

1/2 red onion, minced

½ sweet red pepper, minced

½ bunch parsley, finely chopped

3 Tablespoons flax seed meal mixed with 1/3 cup water, let sit for 10 minutes

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dulce flakes

1 teaspoon paprika

Coconut oil for grilling


Place the daikon radish in a large bowl with the salt and cover with water. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain the daikon radish and stir in garlic, jalapeno, onion, sweet pepper, parsley, flax seed mixture, breadcrumbs, pepper, dulce flakes and paprika. Mix well. Form into 8 small round patties.


Coat flat griddle with oil and preheat over medium heat. Grill patties until firm and nicely brown, 3-5 min per side. Serve with tartar sauce as a condiment. Some sides that go well with this are corn-on-the-cob (yummy with salt, pepper + fresh squeezed lime juice) and cole slaw!


Tartar Sauce


1 cup Vegenaise

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup onion, minced

¼ cup capers OR 1 Tablespoon minced spicy dill pickles


Put ingredients into a jar with tight fitting lid and shake until well mixed.

Are You Cooking the Health Out of Your Food?

Richard E. Collins, MD
South Denver Cardiology Associates

Inflammation is the body’s natural, temporary, healing response to infection or injury. But if the process fails to shut down when it should, inflammation becomes chronic — and tissues are injured by excess white blood cells and DNA-damaging free radicals.

Result: Elevated risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and other diseases.

Bottom Line/Women’s Health asked Richard E. Collins, MD, “the cooking cardiologist,” how to prevent chronic inflammation.

His advice: Follow a diet that is rich in immune-strengthening nutrients… and use cooking techniques that neither destroy food’s disease-fighting nutrients nor add inflammatory properties to it.


Deeply colored plant foods generally are rich in antioxidants that help combat inflammation by neutralizing free radicals.

Examples: Healthful flavonoids are prevalent in deep yellow to purple produce… carotenoids are found in yellow, orange, red and green vegetables.

Exceptions: Despite their light hue, garlic and onions are powerful antioxidants.

Unfortunately, these nutrients are easily lost.

For instance: Boiling or poaching vegetables causes nutrients to leach into the cooking water — and get tossed out when that potful of water is discarded. The high heat of frying causes a reaction between carbohydrates and amino acids, creating carcinogenic chemicals called acrylamides. And even when healthful food-preparation techniques are used, overcooking destroys nutrients. Better…

Microwave. This uses minimal water and preserves flavor (so you won’t be tempted to add butter or salt). Slightly moisten vegetables with water, cover and microwave just until crisp-tender.

Stir-fry. In a preheated wok or sauté pan, cook vegetables over medium-high heat for a minute or two in a bit of low-sodium soy sauce.

Steam. This beats boiling, but because steam envelops the food, some nutrients leach out. To “recycle” them, pour that bit of water from the steamer into any soup or sauce.

Stew. Nutrients that leach from the vegetables aren’t lost because they stay in the stew sauce.

Roast. Set your oven to 350°F or lower to protect vegetables’ nutrients and minimize acrylamides.


When beef, pork, poultry or fish is roasted at 400°F or higher, grilled, broiled or fried, it triggers a chemical reaction that creates inflammatory heterocyclic amines (HCAs) — especially when food is exposed to direct flame and/or smoke. At least 17 HCAs are known carcinogens, linked to cancer of the breast, stomach, colon and/or pancreas.

Safest: Roast meat, poultry and fish at 350°F. Avoid overcooking — well-done meats may promote cancer. Also, be sure to avoid undercooking to prevent food poisoning.

If you love to grill: Buy a soapstone grilling stone, one-and-a-quarter inches thick and cut to half the size of your grill. (Stones are sold Sparq USA, 888-500-1905, Place it on your grilling rack, then put your food on top of it. Soapstone heats well, doesn’t dry out food and gives the flavor of grilling without exposing food to direct flames or smoke.

If you eat bacon: To minimize HCAs, cook bacon in the microwave and take care not to burn it.


Do you cringe when the Food Network chefs sauté in unrefined extra-virgin olive oil? You should. This oil has a very low smoke point (the temperature at which a particular oil turns to smoke) of about 325°F — and when oil smokes, nutrients degrade and free radicals form.

Best: Sauté or stir-fry with refined canola oil, which has a high smoke point. Or use tea seed cooking oil (not tea tree oil) — its smoke point is about 485°F.

Try: Emerald Harvest ( or Republic of Tea (800-298-4832,

Rule of thumb: If cooking oil starts to smoke, throw it out. Use a laser thermometer (sold at kitchenware stores) to instantly see oil temperature — so you’ll know when to turn down the heat.

Bottom Line/Women’s Health interviewed Richard E. Collins, MD, director of wellness at South Denver Cardiology Associates in Littleton, Colorado. He is board-certified in cardiology and internal medicine, has performed more than 500 cooking demonstrations nationwide and is author of The Cooking Cardiologist (Advanced Research) and Cooking with Heart (South Denver Cardiology Associates).

How to Reduce the Risk of Cancer from Grilled Meats

Herbal Fixes Block Carcinogens in Grilled Meats

J. Scott Smith, PhD
Kansas State University
August 21, 2008

A mericans love their grilled meat, and so the discovery a few years ago that grilling creates carcinogens dismayed untold numbers of people. But worry no more, there are some easy solutions — scientifically validated and tasty, too. Common spices — rosemary, but also other members of the mint family including basil, oregano, sage, savory, marjoram and thyme — can be used to reduce or block the formation of cancer-causing substances.

The carcinogens formed in grilled meat are called heterocyclic amines, or HCAs. Scientists at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, have been studying HCAs, hoping to find ways to reduce or eliminate them so people can continue to enjoy this summertime favorite. J. Scott Smith, PhD, professor of food chemistry and toxicology and head of the project, told me that the process of grilling creates HCAs in all meats, including beef, pork, chicken and fish. His team found that rosemary can reduce the formation of HCAs by at least 30% and sometimes completely. Sprinkling fresh rosemary directly on uncooked chicken or fish or marinating it in, say, olive oil with rosemary, does protect against HCA formation.

For those who don’t like the texture of fresh rosemary, Dr. Smith offers a few other solutions. One is to brush the meat with rosemary powder extract or capsules, sold in health stores or available on-line (for example, or If using capsules, open one up and then just brush a small amount of the powder onto meat.

The other way to achieve this protective effect is to use any of the other mint-family herbs listed above in a marinade. It is best to let the meat sit in the marinade for 30 minutes to an hour, he says, but even a few minutes will help… just a little bit of herbal antioxidants applied to the surface has a happily strong protective effect.

Soapstone Griddle

Sparq’s founders LOVE to grill, and you can imagine our dismay when discovered that grilling over an open flame carries HUGE risks of cancer.

There is staggering research that finds; Grilling meat directly over an open flame can increase your risk of CANCER by 50% – 70%.

We love grilling too much AND our health too much to accept this type of risk.  Enter Soapstone Griddle, over the last 3 years we did our homework and came up with a product that would afford us the best of both worlds, our health and our grill.

Grilling Meat | Cancer Risk | Soapstone GriddleDid you know the lifestyle factors of diet and tobacco-use together account for approximately 70% of all human cancer, with diet by itself accounting for 35%-45% of human cancer (Goodherham et al., 1996)?
In other words, approximately 80,000 per one million people are estimated to get cancer from diet related causes.




Points we found in our research to reduce the risk of cancer from grilled foods;

  1. The American Cancer Society recommends to avoid fat dripping onto the hot coals or open flame which causes smoke and flare-ups that can contain carcinogens.1
  2. 2.The National Cancer Institute recommends avoiding direct exposure of meat to an open flame or a hot metal surface which causes charring and carcinogen mutation.2
  3. 3.The NCI also recommends avoiding prolonged cooking of meat at high temperatures (over 300ºF).3
  4. 4.Research published by MSNBC and other science journals recommend using a homemade marinade (avoid thick commercially available marinades).4

Features we built into our Soapstone Griddle;

  1. Using a Griddle will remove your meat from an open flame or a hot metal surface (As recommended by the National Cancer Institute).
  2. Using our Soapstone Griddle will prevent flare-ups from dripping fat (As recommended by the American Cancer Society).
  3. Soapstone’s temperature qualities allow you to cook at lower temperatures and achieve the same results in the same amount of time (As recommended by the National Cancer Institute).
  4. Our Soapstone Griddle’s groove design will naturally self-baste creating a moist, organic marinade while melting away unwanted fat (As recommended by science journals and reported by major news outlets).



Gooderham, N. J., Murray, S., Lynch, A.M., Yadollahi-Farsani, M., Bratt, C., Rich, K.J., Ahao, K, Murray, B.P., Bhadresa, S., Crosbie, S.J., Boobis, A.R., & Davies, D.S. (1996). Heterocyclis amines: Evaluation of their role in diet associated human cancer. British Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 42, 91-98.

“Pancreatic cancer risk: associations with meat-derived carcinogen intake.” Presented at the April 18-22, 2009 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Meeting in Denver, CO. First author: Kristin Anderson, PhD, associate professor and cancer epidemiologist with the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center.



(2) Knize MG, Felton JS. Formation and human risk of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines formed from natural precursors in meat. Nutrition Reviews 2005; 63(5):158–165.

(3) Jägerstad M, Skog K. Genotoxicity of heat-processed foods. Mutation Research 2005; 574(1–2):156–172.