Dandelion Greens with Jerusalem Artichoke for the Microbiome

F.O.O.D. Focus on the Organic Difference

vol. 16 June 7, 2019

Profile and recipe from Ana Maria Moise, MS, CNS, LDN
Compiled by Christy Bassett for The Organic Food Guide and NOFA/Mass

Ana Maria Moise is a clinical nutritionist with expertise in functional foods as preventative and therapeutic medicine. She counsels patients on dietary strategies for treating gastrointestinal disorders, eating disorders, metabolic disorders, heart disease, autoimmune conditions, and other chronic illnesses.

She is the author of The Gut Microbiome: Exploring the Connection between Microbes, Diet, and Health, published in 2017. She is committed to translating current medical research, making it more accessible to the general public. She leads workshops on nutrition and gastrointestinal health, plant-based diets, and a mindful eating approach to weight management.

She practices at 52 Center Street in Northampton, MA and 306 High Street in Greenfield, MA. 

Find more information at or register to attend her NOFA/Mass event “Cultivate a Healthy Microbiome” on June 13, 2019.

What is your interest/career in the food system?

Practicing nutrition in a clinical setting provides a wonderful opportunity to integrate knowledge of local nutrient-dense foods. The modern diet is often devoid of biodiversity. Incorporating more complex plant foods in the diet improves health and promotes longevity. My fascination with local and specifically indigenous plant foods stems from the understanding that whole plants promote gut health and, in turn, helps prevent disease. Increasing our diversity of whole plant foods, as we see in more traditional diets, supports the diversity of microbes living within the gut. These gut microbes are a key component to managing inflammation in the body and reducing the risk of chronic disease. 

Why do you love local, organic food?

When I moved to Western Massachusetts, I quickly developed an interest in indigenous cultures and medical anthropology. As I learned about chronic diseases typically seen only in modern Western cultures, I became interested in the role of diet and lifestyle in the development of these so called “diseases of civilization”. Traditional cultures that subsist on locally grown foods tend to have much lower rates of metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, cancer as well as neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinson’s. Research points to the importance of local plant foods within these traditional diets because they contain complex carbohydrates that serve as prebiotics – foods that feed our probiotic microbes. The modern Western diet is lacking in diversity of complex plant foods and researchers believe this is starving gut microbes, lowering their diversity, and thus promoting a disease-state within the body. Integrating local produce and increasing the variety of local plants in one’s diet is a wonderful way to increase prebiotics and improve gut health.  

Are there any native local foods that you recommend for promoting gut health?

Prebiotics are found in a variety of whole plant foods including beans, legumes, onion, garlic, dandelion greens, as well as tubers like jicama and Jerusalem artichoke. Tubers are underground vegetables that are still seen as stables in modern-day hunter-gatherer diets. The Jerusalem artichoke, or Sunchoke, is a native North American tuber and was part of the indigenous diet. 

The Jerusalem artichoke, or Sunchoke, is a native North American tuber and was part of the indigenous diet.

Dandelion greens with Jerusalem Artichoke for the Microbiome


  • 2 cups organic dandelion greens
  • 1 medium organic Jerusalem artichoke
  • 1 medium organic radish
  • 1 Tbs chopped organic green onion
  • 1 Tbs chopped organic green garlic
  • ¼ cup organic bean sprouts
  • Salad dressing of choice


Rinse and chop all vegetables.  Toss and enjoy!

Turkey & Sunchoke Pot Pie with Crunchy Sweet Potato Crust

Turkey & Sunchoke Pot Pie with Crunchy Sweet Potato Crust

F.O.O.D. Focus on the Organic Difference
vol. 6  11/23/18

By Christy Bassett for The Organic Food Guide and NOFA/Mass

I was first introduced to sunchokes by accident.  Well, actually, it was more a matter of them being thrust on me than a gentle discovery.  In the early days of my local food crush, I saw an ad for someone selling horseradish root from their backyard garden.  Being new to gardening and having a few empty beds to fill, I made the hour drive to pick some up.

When I arrived at the suburban neighborhood, I was surprised to see a man standing in his driveway, digging along his white picket fence, dividing tubers in the two-foot section of soil between pavement and plastic.  He waved me in, greeted me with a gritty grip, and handed me a box of horseradish.  As I stood there making small talk with him, I was in awe of how much food he was growing in his tiny lot and how much joy he seemed to take in gardening.  His neighbors clearly did not share the same interest; their landscaped lawns trimmed short and lined with annuals blooms.

But the plot was not only productive, it was truly beautiful.  Tall yellow flowers shaded the place we were standing and created an extra layer of privacy between his house and the next.  I asked about these plants, guessing they were a type of sunflower meant for decoration only.  It was then that the man pointed to the basket of tubers he had been collecting from the ground beneath these towering blossoms.

photo courtesy Laura Davis of Long Life Farm, Hopkinton, MA

“Every had a Jerusalem artichoke?” he asked.  I hadn’t.  And these didn’t look anything like the artichokes I had seen in the store.  “Here, take some!  I have more than I know what to do with and nobody else in my family eats them.”

“Should I plant them or eat them?” I wondered.

“Both- plenty there to have a taste and save some too.”  He handed me the basket and turned away to continue his work.

Sunchokes are a thin-skinned tuber with a nutty taste and crisp texture.

And with that, I was the bewildered new owner of 5 lbs. of Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes) that I had no clue how to handle.  The planting story is one to tell for another day, but after a bit of research, I discovered that preparing them for eating can be a bit tricky too.  You see, sunchokes have another charming nickname that the man neglected to tell me.  Fartichokes.

As it turns out, sunchokes have a high amount of a polysaccharide called “inulin” in them.  Inulin has actually gained some popularity as a prebiotic supplement to improve gut health.  Read more about the health benefits of inulin here.  But the problem with it is that the human body cannot digest inulin, and when eaten in large amounts, the bacteria in the lower intestine breaks it down, producing methane in the process.  Resulting in an uncomfortable and embarrassing side effect.

Not to worry, dear friends, there is a solution.  Just boil your sunchokes in an acid solution (like lemon juice or vinegar) to break down the inulin into digestible fructose and glucose.  No more school yard name calling for these underappreciated roots.  And then you can use them as a replacement for starchy potatoes in this tasty comfort food favorite.

This grain free sweet potato crust provides just the right amount of crunch to compliment the savory filling.


For the pot pie:
4 cups cooked, shredded, pasture raised organic turkey
2 cups chopped organic carrots
2 cups chopped organic sunchokes
1 cup organic lemon juice
1 cup water
1 small organic leek
4 cups organic turkey stock
2 Tbs arrowroot powder dissolved in ½ cup water
2 tsp organic garlic powder
2 tsp sea salt

For the crust:
3 medium organic sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 pasture raised organic egg
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp rep pepper flakes
Organic parmesan cheese for dusting, if desired

Eat fresh out of the oven to enjoy this crispy texture and moist gravy.


For the filling

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Combine 2 cups lemon juice with 1 cup water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and add chopped sunchokes.  Cover with a lid and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add chopped carrots (it’s okay if they are not completely submerged in lemon juice solution), replace the lid and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Strain sunchokes and carrots through a wire mesh colander and allow to cool.  Discard lemon juice.  (This makes a tasty treat for your chickens if you soak their feed in it overnight!)
  • While sunchokes and carrots are cooking, heat turkey stock in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, then add arrowroot powder/water solution and bring to a boil again to thicken.  Simmer until it reaches a gravy-like consistency and season with garlic powder and sea salt.
  • Add cooked turkey, sunchokes, carrots and leeks to a large bowl.  Stir to combine, then lay in a 9×13” baking dish in an even layer.
  • Pour gravy over the meat and vegetables evenly.

For the crust

  • Place shredded sweet potato in a clean lint-free towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  Add the dried sweet potato shreds to a large bowl.
  • Whisk the egg with sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Add to bowl with sweet potato and mix well.
  • Spread the sweet potato and egg mixture over the filling in an even layer.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Turn up the temperature to 450 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until top is browned and crunchy.