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Eat well and live long

Dr. Mao uncovers the secrets of longevity

Created date

February 26th, 2013
Secrets of Longevity Cookbook: Eat to Thrive, Live Long, and Be Healthy

If there is a recipe for longevity, Dr. Mao Shing Ni has made it his life’s mission to find it. Mao traveled to Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Bama Country, China; and other world longevity capitals, interviewing over 100 centenarians and uncovering the secret ingredients of a long and healthy life. His findings appear in Dr. Mao’s Secrets of Longevity Cookbook: Eat to Thrive, Live Long, and Be Healthy (Andrews McMeel Publishing).

More than a cookbook, Secrets of Longevity offers weekly menus and lists of what to stock your pantry with and recommends healthful, toxin-free cookware and utensils. The book focuses on ten key habits of centenarians and offers guidelines for cooks looking to reach specific goals. From weight loss to heart health to boosting immunity or enhancing brain function, Mao has a recipe for whatever ails you. And before you decide that anything that’s good for you can’t possibly be delicious, consider baked salmon with lemon and mango salsa, grapefruit salad, or his delicious guacamole with kale chips.

Guacamole with kale chips

Serves 4

A caterer friend of mine from the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe shared these kale chips with guacamole, and I was so taken with their delicious taste. Kale is such a healthy green vegetable, but I frankly never liked kale until I tried this recipe. —Dr. Mao


  • Kale chips
  • 1 bunch kale, woody stems removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Guacamole
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 tblsp dried goji berries, soaked in cold water for one hour, drained, and patted dry
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pickled ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • Juice of one lemon


1. To make the chips, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Pat the kale pieces dry and spread them evenly in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the kale and sprinkle the salt and pepper over the top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until slightly browned and crisp but not burnt. Immediately remove them from the oven and let them cool on the pan.

3. To make the guacamole, cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add the celery, goji berries, paprika, ginger, scallions, and lemon juice, and mash together until completely mixed.

4. Serve with kale chips.