Saturday, September 22, 2012

Souper Meals #3: Daal with a Twist

A little Mediterranean, this delightful lentil soup is unique with its addition of green beans and sundried tomatoes. If you have a favorite daal recipe, just use that. If not, here's one I have enjoyed. It makes a huge pot, so reduce the amounts if you're only cooking for 1 or 2 and don't plan on freezing the extras.

1 c. red lentils
3 c. water
1 can (16 oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. turmeric
1 lb. fresh green beans, sauteed
2 c. sundried tomatoes

Simmer the lentils, water, tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices until lentils break down. (I put mine in a crock pot for about 4 hours). Remove bay leaf. Puree in batches in blender. Add beans and tomatoes. Lightly salt if needed.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Souper Meals #2: Bajio Soup

Easy, but filling, this hearty soup can be prepared in a flash.

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1 anaheim pepper, seeded & chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. (or more) vegetable broth
3 c. refried beans
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 c. fresh or frozen corn 
1 tsp. chili powder

Saute peppers, onion and garlic in a little bit of the broth. Combine with beans, tomatoes and remaining broth. Add more broth if you desire a thinner consistency. Stir in corn and seasoning. Heat through.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Souper Meals #1: Roasted Pepper Soup

Mmm! A rich, creamy soup that you can vary by adding sunflower seeds, black beans, fresh bell peppers, sprouts or other ingredients.

1 head cauliflower, steamed
4 roasted red bell peppers *
1 onion, sliced and carmelized**
3 cloves garlic, cooked with onions
2 c. vegetable broth
1/2 tsp each: marjoram, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sea salt
2 Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 Tb. soy alternative

Blend ingredients until smooth. Warm slightly. Garnish as desired.

*Broil 4-6" from heat, turning when skin blackens on one side. Peel under cool running water.
**Cook over low heat in a non-stick skillet with a little broth, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and sweet.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Super Salad #11: Sunchoke Delight

3 c. sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), thinly sliced
3 red apples, diced
2 carrots, grated
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 raw sunflower seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over medium-low heat

Toss sunchokes, apples, carrots, celery, raisins, and seeds with Orange-Ginger Vinaigrette, below. Serve on a bed of arugula.

Orange Ginger Vinaigrette
1 orange, peeled
2 Tb. rice vinegar
1 Tb. agave
1 Tb. fresh ginger, grated

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. 

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Super Salad #10: Hot Mediterranean Salad

1 eggplant, cubed
2 Tb. balsamic vinegar
2 Tb. Braggs liquid aminoes
1 tsp. Italian herbs
6-8 crimini mushrooms, sliced
¼ c. vegetable broth
¾ c. sundried tomatoes
1 head kale, chopped and lightly steamed

Toss eggplant in vinegar, Braggs and herbs. Roast in 350˚ oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms in broth until soft. Combine eggplant, mushrooms and tomatoes. Spoon onto steamed kale. Serve with Dr. Oz’s Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.

Dr. Oz’s Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
1 roasted red pepper
1 clove garlic
1 ½ Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 ½ Tb. water
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme

Combine in blender and whirl until smooth.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Super Salad #9: Inside-Out Enchilada

Enchilada Soup, below
Leafy greens of your choice
Grape tomatoes
Yellow bell pepper strips
Avocado slices
Cilantro, chopped
Lime juice

Spoon soup onto greens. Top with remaining ingredients.

Enchilada Soup
1 bell pepper, chopped (any color)
1 anaheim, jalapeno or serrano pepper, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 c. each: cooked pinto beans and  cooked black beans
1 Tb. cumin
¼ c. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
2 c. vegetable broth
10 oz. tomato paste
Juice of 1 lime

Saute peppers, carrot, garlic and onion until softened. In a big pot, combine vegetables, beans, spices, broth and tomato paste.  Simmer at least 20 minutes to combine flavors (may be left in a crock pot all afternoon). Add lime juice just before serving.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Super Salad #8: Pom-Pear Toss

2 pears, cored and diced
1 pomegranate seeds
1 red apple, cored and diced
1 c. cooked wild rice
Maple-Hazelnut Dressing, below
1 head red leaf, torn

Toss pears, pomegranate seeds, apple, rice and dressing. Serve atop red leaf.

Maple-Hazelnut Dressing
2/3 c. hazelnuts
½ c. non-dairy milk
¼ c. pure maple syrup
3-4 Tb. apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tb. golden flax, ground

Combine ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Super Salad #7: Strawberry Slaw

1 pkg. shredded cabbage
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled & quartered
1 c. sprouted raw sunflower seeds
1 c. Strawberry Tarragon Dressing, below
Sliced almonds
Rice crackers

Just before serving, toss cabbage, berries, seeds and dressing. Top with almonds. Serve with crackers.

Chef Del Sroufe’s Strawberry-Tarragon Dressing
(From Forks Over Knives)
2 c. fresh strawberries, hulled
1/8 of a purple onion
½ c. balsamic vinegar
¼ c. agave
½ Tb. dried tarragon
¼ tsp. salt

Puree in blender until smooth.

To your health and happiness,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Choco-Banana-Berry Crepe

Show here: Raw Mom Club's Berry Crazy Cepes
A special day warrants a special menu. Though not totally nutritarian if you make the traditional cooked crepe shell, this celebration meal is sure to please with chocolate and bananas inside, berries outside.

For the Crepe Shell:
You can try Raw Mom Club's version here or the traditional cooked type below:
1 c. all-purpose flour (or substitute part whole wheat, oat or rice flour)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. non-dairy milk
1 egg or egg substitute
1 Tb. coconut oil

Beat ingredients until smooth. Pour 1/4 c. batter into a heated, non-stick skillet. Rotate skillet until a thin film of batter covers the entire skillet bottom. Cook on medium-low heat until edges curl and bottom browns. Flip and continue cooking until browned on the other side.

For the Filling:
1 c. almond or cashew butter
1/2 c. non-dairy milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tb.cocoa powder
1 c. dates
 Bananas, split into half lengthwise

Process the nut butter, milk, vanilla, cocoa and dates in a high-powered blender or food processor until smooth, adding more milk if too thick. Spread a little on each crepe, set a banana half on the chocolate sauce, and roll up the crepe. Top with raspberry sauce.

For the Raspberry Topping:
2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
2/3 c. water
2 Tb. chia seeds
whole strawberries, raspberries, and/or blueberries

Process raspberries, water and chia seeds in food processor or blender until smooth. Add a little agave to sweeten if needed. Mix in additional whole berries. Spoon over crepes.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Super Salad #6: Mexicali Fiesta

4 c. cooked black beans
2 c. fresh or frozen corn, lightly sauteed
1 c. jicama, chopped
3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
1 each: red, yellow, orange, and green bell pepper
1 1/2 c. cooked millet
3 hearts romaine, chopped
Tomatillo-Avocado Dressing, below

Toss beans, corn, jicama, celery, bell peppers and millet. Spoon onto romaine and serve with dressing.

Tomatillo-Avocado Dressing
3 tomatillos, husked
½ c. cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
½ jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small avocado, peeled and pitted
4 green onions

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add a pinch of salt if needed.

To your health and happiness,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eskimo Cookies

 From my childhood, I've had a favorite no-bake refrigerator cookie. It was the first recipe my own children learned to make. But sugar and butter were the top two ingredients. Now, I'm presenting it in a nutritarian version.

1 c. almond butter
1 c. dates
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. almond milk
2-3 Tb. cocoa powder
2 c. old fashioned oats
unsweetened coconut flakes

Process first five ingredients in food processor until smooth. Add oats. Pulse to mix. Form balls. Roll in coconut. Refrigerate. Makes about 2 dozen.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Nutritarian Brain

It's NOT what you see that counts! Too often we focus on image - the before and after shots - when we embark on nutritional changes. But it's what's going on at a cellular level that really matters!

I recently attended a seminar on Food, Stress and the Brain that helped me see more clearly what we are really doing to our gray matter when we opt for "pizza, pop, and pop-tarts." Our three mechanisms for regulating appetite are rapidly thrown off-kilter when we indulge in high-fat, high-sugar, high-sodium foods.

  • The first mechanism, the homeostatic system, is like our car's fuel pump. Using hormones, it signals us to eat when we are low on nutrients and stop when we are full. Insulin and leptin play a vital role here as they carry feedback to the hypothalmus in the brain.Unfortunately, eating junk food not only causes insulin resistance, but also leptin resistance. Our bodies can be flooded with these hormones but be unresponsive. (Having high triglycerides actually impairs the transport of leptin) The brain, like a conscientious mother, can be screaming at her cell children to "clean up this mess," but the more cluttered the "home," the more they tend to tune her out. She increases her messages (i.e. sends out more leptin and insulin) and the cells resist even more.
  • The hedonistic system is all about pleasure. When we eat food, we feel good. As a survival mechanism, this system rewards us for nourishing ourselves and it punishes us when we starve. This mechanism is what keeps infants nursing when they are so weak and tiny. The key player here is dopamine. When a food is perceived as pleasurable, dopamine is released in the brain, encouraging us to keep eating until we are full. At that point, leptin and insulin kick in, shutting off dopamine. But new hyper-palatable foods full of MSG and artificial flavors and colors keep the dopamine response revved up and over-ride homeostatic cues that stop the drive to eat. (That is why you can't have just one Doritoes chip.)
  • The adrenal system operates not in response to food, but rather, in response to stress. But if we feed our stress with comfort foods, we will throw the hedonistic and homeostatic systems out of whack. See, when the adrenal glands release cortisol, they are trying to prepare the body for "fight or flight." Eating helps the body prepare. Therefore, cortisol is designed to increase the salience of comfort foods. But today's comfort foods contain too much sugar and bad fat. So they taste really good, but they don't nourish. In other words, they increase dopamine and contribute to leptin and insulin resistance, causes our body's appetite-regulating mechanisms to mal-function. In the meantime, cortisol triggers the storage of abdominal (visceral) fat and initiates systemic inflammation
 So what's the answer? A four-prong approach fits nicely with a nutritarian diet:
  • Stabilize blood sugars: By satisfying the human sweet tooth with fruits instead of refined sugars, we lower blood glucose and prevent or reverse insulin resistance.
  • Lower glycemic index: Raising our fiber intake through vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains and seeds, reduces storage of visceral fat, improves leptin receptivity and improves blood sugar stability.
  • Limit high-fat foods: Eating healthy omega 3's (such as those found in flax and chia seeds) preserves brain function, while consuming unhealthy fats (such as those in fast foods) triggers cravings and addictions.
  • Decrease cortisol-induced inflammation: Eating anti-oxidants (lots of colorful produce) may not relieve stress, but it can undo the damage stress causes.
So, don't just stay plant-strong for looks. Do it for your BRAIN.
To your health and happiness,

Super Salad #5: Jewelled Salad

5-6 clementines or mandarins, sectioned
½ purple onion, chopped
1 ½ c. cooked quinoa
2 avocados, sliced
1 c. chopped pecans
1 bag spring mix
1 head romaine

Toss and serve with Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Vinaigrette
½ c. orange juice concentrate
¼ c. agave
2 Tb. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ c. water
2 tsp. ground chia seeds
¼ tsp. oregano
2 Tb. alfalfa sprouts

Combine in blender and process until smooth.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Super Salad #4: Berry Luscious

4 oz. blueberry pomegranage juice concentrate
4 oz. water
1 Tb. cornstarch
1 c. blueberries
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 banana, sliced
1 Tb. chia seed, ground
½ c. cooked quinoa
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn

Bring juice concentrate, water and cornstarch to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in fruit, chia and quinoa. Spoon over lettuce. Top with nuts.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Super Salad #3: Cauli-Pepper Roast

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
4-5 bell peppers
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
¼ c. Braggs liquid aminoes
½ tsp. each: basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and oregano
1 bunch kale, cut into ribbons
Whole grain crackers or pita bread

Steam cauliflower just until soft. Meanwhile, broil bell peppers until blackened on all sides. Remove from broiler and peel off skin under cool running water. Cut of stem end and remove seeds. Slice into long strips.
Combine vinegar, liquid aminoes and spices in an airtight container. Add cauliflower and bell peppers. Stir to coat. Marinate at least 20 minutes (can be left overnight if refrigerated).  Spoon onto kale and top with walnuts. If desired, spoon into pita bread or serve with crackers.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Super Salad #2: Island Broccoli Slaw

 4 c. grated broccoli stalks (or bagged broccoli slaw)
¼ purple onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (red, green or orange)
2 stalks celery, chopped
8 oz. canned water chestnuts, drained
1 ½ c. fresh pineapple (or 29 oz. canned pineapple, drained)
¼ c. pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 ½ c. cooked red beans

Toss veggies, fruit, seeds & beans with dressing. Serve with Hurricane Dressing and Pineapple Rice.

Hurricane Dressing
10 oz. Simply Fruit orange marmalade
3 Tb. rice vinegar
¼ c. alfalfa sprouts
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine and blend in food processor or blender until smooth

Pineapple Rice
2 ½ c. water
½ tsp. salt
2 Tb. pineapple juice concentrate (may substitute orange)
1 c. brown jasmine rice

Bring water, salt and juice concentrate to a boil.  Add rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

To your health and happiness,

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feed Your Liver, Prevent Cancer

Did you know that eating broccoli sprouts, chlorophyll and grapefruit can reduce your chances of cancer dramatically? Studies have shown that individuals can reduce their risk up to 90% by eating these foods that help the liver function properly. (Ricci et al. 1999, Devanaboyina et al 1997, Dong et al 1989)

The liver removes substances from the body in a two-phase process. Partly-metabolized substances that have gone through the first phase but not the second are extremely carcinogenic. The liver works best when substances stay in phase one for a long time, then move through phase two rapidly and are are eliminated very quickly. Some foods help the liver do that well.

Broccoli sprouts are green powerhouses that contain a molecule called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) This molecule works on estrogen that has circulated in the body and is ready to be released. As estrogen is broken down at the end of phase one, it forms a metabolite (4HE) that is seriously implicated in breast cancer. When we eat broccoli sprouts, the I3C changes that metabolite to 2HE, which is not so dangerous.

Chlorophyll helps the liver prevent cancer, too, but in a different way. Rather than changing metabolites into something less harmful, this green miracle stops mutations by keeping the substances to be eliminated in phase one longer, where they can do no damage. It has been said that the chlorophyll contained in 2 cups of spinach can stop the carcinogenic effects of 1 grilled hamburger.

Grapefruit, and to a lesser degree, pomegranates, do their work by speeding up phase two and getting carcinogens eliminated speedily. Particularly, it is the bitter part of the grapefruit that works best.

So in a three-prong dietary approach that slows down phase one, changes metabolites, and speeds up phase two, cancer risk can be dramatically reduced.

Diet can also influence cancer by reducing inflammation. A general rule of thumb is that cancer grows in areas where there has been chronic inflammation for years. This inflammation may be a result of poorly managed injury, a high-glycemic diet with insulin excess, or viral infection such herpes or HPV. Foods that reduce inflammation are vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and essential fatty acids. Foods that contribute to inflammation are sugar and starchy foods, processed meats, transfats, additives and drugs.

To your healthy and happy liver,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Super Salad #1: Elegant Waldorf

For the Waldorf:
 5 Tb. orange juice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 slices purple onion
8 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
2 apples, chopped     
2 stalks celery, diced
¼ c. chopped pecans
2 c. cooked brown rice

Saute onion in orange juice and nutmeg until softened. Add Brussels sprouts and cook just until bright green. Remove from heat. Toss with apple, celery and pecans. Spoon onto rice. Top with Lemony Dressing.

Lemony Dressing
8 oz. soft tofu
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 c. maple syrup

Combine in blender and process until smooth.

To your health and happiness,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Super Salad Series

Coming Soon: Salad Saturdays! Check the blog every weekend for a new entree salad that's original and healthy. I already have 10 salads in the series and I can't wait to share them with you!

These nutrient-strong salads are one-dish meals, built from vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. They have no extracted fats, low sodium, no refined sugars and no animal products. They are chock-full of wholesome goodness you can eat guilt-free. Plus they are easy to make and relatively quick.

Enjoy them for everyday.  Use them for celebration meals. Surprise guests with your gourmet talent.  And while you’re enjoying them, feel your vitality mounting.  They are nutrient-heavy, fiber-rich and calorie-light.

To your health and happiness,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Feed Kidneys, Control Blood Pressure

Did you know that high blood pressure often begins in the kidneys? A hormone called renin, secreted by the kidneys, controls whether blood pressure rises or falls. And the amount of renin produced is tied to diet. The kidneys will secrete more renin if:
  • there is too much sodium in the diet
  • we are under stress
  • the body has inflammation
Luckily, what we eat has direct bearing on those three factors. The FDA's recommended daily allowance of sodium is only 1500 milligrams, an amount that is exceeded simply by eating a bowl of Cheerios and a grilled cheese sandwich. Many Americans get more than 8000 milligrams per day. But by eating the nutritarian way, we drastically reduce sodium levels without even touching the salt shaker. This is accomplished by filling up on fruits, vegetables and legumes (not canned), which have on average ten times less sodium than processed foods. If you miss the salty taste, you can add high-mineral foods to your cuisine, such as dried celery leaves or powdered sea vegetables (kelp, nori, etc.)

Though stress has more to do with emotional than physical health, diet can still impact it immensely. Magnesium can help the body relax, and foods that are high in magnesium include leafy greens, nuts, seeds and fruits!

Inflammation has also been correlated to what we eat. It has been shown that sugary and starchy foods, processed meats, food additives, oils and transfats all contribute to the release of prostaglandins that fuel the body's inflammatory response. Those foods that are anti-inflammatory are vegetables, fruits, nuts, omega-3 fats, and limited whole grains.

Many people notice their blood pressure dropping within a few weeks of becoming nutritarian as the kidneys stop producing so much renin. Blood pressure can also be reduced by consuming natural diuretics (such as parsley and bitter greens), by using vasodilators (cayenne, ginger, garlic), and by eating cholesterol-lowering phytosterols (found in berries, cruciferous vegetables, onions, nuts and seeds).

Keeping kidneys functioning normally and blood pressure within acceptable ranges are two more reasons to eat a healthy plant-based diet.

To your health and happiness,


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Radish and Fennel Salad

Looking for a change of pace in your daily salad? Want something besides a bed of leafy greens topped with the usual carrot shreds, tomatoes and cucumbers? Here's a refreshing salad that's really good for you, too, because radish and fennel are both high in Vitamin C, potassium and folate. Additionally, radish is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it offers cancer protection.  It improves digestion, too, and contributes to liver health. Fennel has anti-inflammatory properties and may also be instrumental in preventing cancer.

Here's how to make it:
1 bunch radishes, sliced (save the leaves!)
1 fennel bulb, grated (save the tops) - or use sliced cucumber instead
2-3 green onions, sliced
1/4 c. plain yogurt or kefir
Dill or parsley, optional, as an alternative to the fennel leaves.

Combine the radishes, fennel bulb and green onions. Finely chop the fennel leaves (or other herbs) and mix with the yogurt. Pour over vegetables and toss. Serve immediately on a bed of radish greens or refrigerate to let flavors blend more. Easy and quick!

To your health and happiness,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fiber and Bloating

Switching from the Standard American Diet to a plant-strong diet may unfortunately initiate bloating for many people as their fiber intake skyrockets. But nature is smarter than we are and has already provided remedies in every spice cupboard to relieve that uncomfortable full feeling AND accentuate the flavors of the foods we are eating.

The following spices, which are commonly used in bean dishes, are considered "carminitive" (gas-expelling):
  • black pepper
  • cayenne
  • cumin
  • fenugreek (an ingredient in many curries)
  • garlic
  • turmeric (see recipe for black beans and yellow rice below)
Additional carminitive spices that accent whole grains include:
  • anise
  • caraway
  • dill
  • fennel
A list of carminitives that can be used with fruits and vegetables contains:
  • cardamom
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • peppermint or spearmint
  • tarragon
Click here for a flavor profile of common spices.

You might enjoy this simple recipe for Black Beans and Yellow Rice:
1/4 fresh onion, chopped
2 c. vegetable broth
1 c. rice
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 cans (16 oz. each) black beans

Saute onion in a little of the vegetable broth until softened. Add rice, remaining broth and turmeric. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile heat beans. Spoon beans onto rice and top with salsa.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Defeating the Flu

If you have been following the nutritarian lifestyle for a while, you're probably not catching viruses like everyone else, in spite flu season being at its peak. A plant-strong diet full of anti-oxidants and fiber is a good shield against acute illness. But if you'd like to strengthen your immunity further, read on:

Our bodies are designed to be self-healing. To that end, we have five systems for eliminating toxins. These systems are the colon, the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the lymph nodes.

The body's first recourse when it is invaded is actually the colon. By eating a high-fiber diet of raw fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains, we not only keep indigestible food from stagnating, but we sweep out harmful micro-organisms, as well. But in case you do feel some chills and fever coming on, here are some things you can do to "activate" your colon:
1. Fast - Abstaining from food or drink allows the colon to clear itself. A water fast helps the body to cleanse itself further the way rinsing the laundry helps to wash away built-up dirt, scum and debris.
2. Use laxative herbs such as senna or cascara sagrada to further purge the colon.
3. Eliminate refined sugar but eat bitter foods like cruciferous vegetables, and bitter herbs such as fenugreek,  burdock and goldenseal. Sweet foods turn off digestion but bitter foods stimulate digestion and help move material through the colon.

Unfortunately, when the colon becomes overworked and overburdened, the skin must then work harder to keep the body clear. Rashes, acne, hives, itchiness, body odor, and even eczema can be signs that the skin is being taxed with more toxins that it can release. Have you ever had your skin break out just as you begin to feel sick? Opening the pores of the skin is a great way to bolster yourself against an impending illness. Try these tips to help your skin release toxins:
1. Cardiovascular exercise -  Sweat carries "nasties" out of the body. Some native Americans had a practice of going into a sweat lodge (like a sauna) to rid themselves of a fever. They knew that the body would carry the harmful organisms away through perspiration.
2. Reduce salt intake - Excess salt exacerbates skin conditions by decreasing perspiration.
3. Try skin brushing - Rubbing the skin with a dry brush carries away. dead skin cells, toxic wastes and dirt.
4. Open the pores with "diaphoretics" (perspiration-inducing herbal teas) such as ginger or yarrow. Or you can take a bath with 1 tablespoon ground ginger and 2 cups epsom salt added to the bath water.

It should be easy to understand that if the colon and skin are flooded with toxins, then an illness can settle in the lungs. How many times does a simple cold turn into bronchitis, or worse yet, pneumonia? But following the steps above can keep the lungs from being over-taxed. Additionally, we can open the lungs by:
1. Deep breathing - especially through a 30-60 minute session of cardiovascular exercise.
2. Drinking adequate water. Proper hydration helps break up phlegm.
3. Using "anti-catarrhal" or phlegm-reducing herbs, such as plantain or red clover.
4. Avoiding mucus-producing dairy and soy products.

Keeping the kidneys from bogging down is also important for beating winter illnesses.  This  requires the same strategies that have been mentioned above:
1. Proper hydration
2. Reduction of salt
3. Limiting sugar
We can also eat anti-oxidant rich fruit for energy and regeneration.
Activating the lymph system (which includes the spleen and tonsils) is quite dependent on diet. Foods that clog that lymphs include "chemical foods” (those with artificial preservatives, flavors, colors and stabilizers), fatty foods, and excessive animal proteins. Keep your lymphs healthy by eating:
1. Foods full of enzymes and acids, such as raw fruits.
2. Cranberries to help emulsify fat deposits in the lymph system.
3. Green vegetables because the chlorophyll boosts lymph health
4. Proper fats, like seeds, avocados, and nuts to ensure proper lymph functioning.
5. Immune-boosting herbs like echinacea, which is a lymph tonic.

Removing obstacles to good health helps the body become its own best physician.
To a flu-free and happy Spring,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

To Sweeten or Not To Sweeten?

According to Ayurvedic medicine, the taste of a food tells its purpose, and each taste has its place in balancing health. For example, bitter foods detoxify, while hot foods speed metabolism. Therefore, having sweet foods can be a benefit - to an extent.

Sweetness, according to the Ayurvedics, makes one feel comforted and contented. It can promote tissue growth, and is therefore beneficial to children, elderly or injured. We consider sweet foods to be nourishing and soothing. Most comfort foods are sweet.

But too much of a good thing can bring serious imbalances. The disorders of sweetness are heaviness, laziness, dullness, colds, obesity, excessive sleeping, cough, and diabetes. Scientifically, what happens with an overly-sweet diet is that the ingested sugars, which are sticky, begin to adhere to the proteins in our bodies. This is called glycation and is like being carmelized from the inside out. No wonder sugars cause a reduction in energy, immunity, metabolism and stamina!

If your purpose for being on this blog is to lose weight, reverse disease, ramp up energy or strengthen immunity, then you should be limiting your intake of sweet foods.

Most Americans eat way too many simple carbohydrates and high glycemic foods, even if they are limiting desserts and "cutting back on sugars." It is estimated that of the children being born today, half will develop diabetes during their lifetimes.

A visual clue that you may be pre-diabetic is whether you have belly fat. This is true because the more sugars you ingest, the more insulin you must secrete. Insulin is a hormone that also triggers fat deposits throughout the body core. While fat deposits on the face are a sign of thyroid imbalance, fat around the waistline is a sure indication of elevated insulin levels

Here's a another quick test you can do to determine whether you are eating too many sweets. Calculate your total fiber intake for an entire day. Compare that amount to the glycemic index (GI) of one meal.*  If your fiber is higher, you're probably okay. If your glycemic index is higher, then you need to replace your sweet foods with other tastes, such as sour, bitter, hot, or astringent.

Bitter foods are considered healing for many imbalances. They include leafy greens, which not only slow the release of sugar into the blood because of their fiber content, but also act as de-toxers. 

Sour foods, like citrus fruits, miso vinegar and fermented or cultured foods, increase enjoyment of a meal by stimulating salivation and increasing nutrient absorption. They retard a sugar rush.

Hot foods like chilies, mustard, garlic, onion and peppers, stimulate appetite and help cure obesity. They can improve circulation and purify the blood.

Astringent foods include cranberries, beans and pomegranates. These are anti-inflammatory and promote healing. Salty foods, such as sea vegetables, help retain moisture and act as anti-spasmodics.

We may have been conditioned to think that food is not good if it is not sweet, but we can re-condition ourselves to appreciate other tastes by including them more and more in our diet.

To a bitter, sour, hot, astringent, salty health,

*P.S. You can find fiber and GI calculators online. I used and

Monday, January 30, 2012


I'm not hosting a Superbowl party...
But if I were, I would serve Super Calzones!

To make them, you will need:
1 c. tomato sauce
1 Tb. Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
6 oz. can sliced olives
2 mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 c. spinach, finely chopped
1 Tb. nutritional yeast
1/4 c. Bocca crumbles (optional)
1/4 onion, chopped
whole wheat bread dough or tortillas

Mix everything but the dough or tortilla. Set aside. If using dough, roll into several rounds, 1/4" thick and 8" in diameter. Spoon about 1/3 c. filling onto each circle of dough or tortilla. Fold in half. Seal edges of dough by pressing with a fork. Seal tortilla by wetting perimeter of insides and sticking together. Prick to let steam escape. Bake at 400 degrees, 20 minutes for the dough, 5 minutes for the tortilla. Makes 6.

To your health and happiness,

Monday, January 23, 2012

White Bean Chili

It's snowing, and I'm in the mood for something that will really warm me up! Below is an adaptation of a recipe from Anitra Kerr at Simply Living Smart .

White Lightning Chili
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves, minced
1 bell or serrano or anaheim pepper, chopped
2 cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can veggie broth
2 cans chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp. salt, optional
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. non-dairy milk

Saute onion, garlic, and pepper in 2 Tb. of the broth. Add remaining ingredients except milk. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Add milk and serve.

To your health and happiness,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Is is Breakfast or is it Dessert?

I've been experimenting with fruit sauces. These were so delicious, I felt guilty eating them for breakfast!

Blueberry Quinoa
Fresh or frozen blueberries
Blueberry flavored agave, optional
Quinoa, cooked

Blend fruit with just enough liquid to make a pourable puree. Sweeten if desired. Spoon onto quinoa. Garnish with nuts or berries if desired.

Raspberry Bananas
Fresh or frozen raspberries
Water or juice (raspberry, cranberry or pomegranate)
Chia seeds, ground
Banana slices

Blend fruit with just enough liquid to make a puree. Add chia. Spoon onto banana slices. Garnish with nuts or berries if desired.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eating Healthy on a Budget, Part 4

How do you incorporate seeds, nuts and grains for less money?
  1. Group buys! 
  2. Avoid prepared products (do the cooking yourself)
Here's an example of how to save money on seeds. Online, a 1-pound bag of hemp seeds are advertised at a price of $3. But the shipping is $10. So I ending paying $13 a pound for these little treats. But by ordering in bulk (25 lbs.), the advertised price decreases to $2 per pound. Even with shipping, which is $28, I come out ahead. The price per pound is just over $3.

But what am I going to do with 25 pounds of hemp seed? Certainly not marijuana farming! I simply get 5 or 10 friends to split the order with me, and we're all happy.

As for grains, bulk is the answer here, too. It has been well-worth the learning curve to figure out how to sprout, grind, and bake wheat berries instead of running to the bakery for every pita, cracker, tortilla or loaf I use. Granted, now that I'm nutritarian, I don't eat a lot of bread products. Still, when I do, it's cheap! A  one-pound loaf of Great Harvest Bread runs around $4. But the wheat itself is only 30 cents a pound when I buy a 50-pound bag.

You might be wondering about nuts. They can often run more than $5 per pound. Well, have you priced prime rib lately? I related to this comment from VeganRican at Finding the Courage to Heal. "I no longer spend money on fast food restaurants, or on funding my very expensive junk food habit. Now that I'm eating real food, I no longer feel the need to binge or overeat. I eat less, and stay satisfied a lot longer. What I used to spend on Benadryl, Tums, Motrin, Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, Gas-X, and anti-inflammatory drugs, I now spend on fruits and veggies, with change left over. So, is it realistic? Absolutely. Anything worth having is worth working for."

Since you're going to be eating more grains, nuts and seeds, you might enjoy this easy, wholesome, energizing granola! It uses no oil, only a smidgeon of honey or agave and features sprouted buckwheat in place of the oats! You can customize it with whatever fruits and nuts you prefer.

Bucky's Granola (pictured above)
1/4 c. nut butter
1/4 c. agave
4 c. sprouted buckwheat
2 c. sprouted sunflower seeds
1-2 cups additional seeds and/or nuts
1 c. dried fruit

Melt together the nut butter and agave. Pour over buckwheat and sunflower sprouts. Toss to combine. Dehydrate on teflon trays for 8 hours at 115 degrees, turning with a spatula after four hours. Add nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

To your health and happiness,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sack Lunch for a Swimmer

My teen son, who swims 90 minutes each day and eats like a horse, has decided to quit eating meat and cheese. I have been challenged to provide him sack lunches that do not contain pizza or hot dogs! (He refuses to take containers of soup or salad that might pop open in his backpack.) So far, he has been a good sport about pita pockets, calzones and burritoes. Today he LOVED his wraps:
  • Tortilla
  • Red pepper hummus
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Bell pepper strips
  • Sliced black olives
  • Raw Sunflower seeds
I'd love to hear your brown bag ideas! What to you do for food "on the go"?
To your health and happiness,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Eating Healthy on a Budget, Part 3

"Doesn't it cost you a lot of money to eat nutritarian?"

This is a question I get asked frequently. Yes, I do spend more money on produce than my S.A.D. counterparts. BUT, I save a heap on meat and dairy, not to mention fast food! Overall, I think it costs me less to eat this way than when I was eating from the FDA food pyramid.

Since fruits can be the lion's share of the grocery bill, today's post focuses on ways to save at this level of the food pyramid.

Only buying fruits in season in my first technique. But when they are at their peak, I load up! This means freezing or drying what I cannot use immediately. Frozen fruits are great for smoothies, dressings, syrups and some dishes if they are served still frosty. Dried fruits can be rehydrated for recipes and sauces or used for snacking.

For bananas that are on sale: throw them in the freezer, peel and all! When you are ready to use one, drop it in a pan or bowl of hot water for about two minutes. The skin will thaw, but not the fruit. Slit open the bottom end of the banana and squeeze! The banana will slide right out.

I get fruits for free by offering to pick surplus fruit from neighbors, friends and elderly people. In a bumper year, many people have more than they can use and are happy to have someone take the extra. Even fruits that seem too small to bother with are great juiced, pureed, frozen or dried. When the word gets out that you are an avid fruit-picker, you can obtain summer jobs garden- and orchard-watching for families who are on vacation. Most people will let you keep whatever fruits ripen during their absence.

Buying in bulk can offer substantial discounts. For example, when a small box of berries is $4 at the grocery store, I can purchase a case for roughly $2.50 per pound. Bithell Farms is one of my favorite places to get fruit this way. A group of us order enough to send a truckload our way and we get the benefit of nearly-wholesale prices.

Coops and farmer's markets are another way to get less-than-retail prices. In my area, Bountiful Baskets offers roughly 30 lbs of produce each week for an order amount of just $15. Even though I can't order specific fruits (they obtain whatever is available at the best prices each week), the quality and quantity are fair enough to take my chances. I have been introduced to many new fruits this way, such as persimmons.

I get great satisfaction out of growing fruit. Last summer my raspberries produced so prolifically, that I was able to freeze twice as many as we ate, and we have been enjoying them all winter long. We also grew our own peaches, apples and strawberries. This year I am planting goji berries.

Finally, buying fruits and investing in your health is still cheaper than paying the doctor when your health fails from poor diet.

To your health and happiness,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hope for Veggie Haters

Eating predominantly vegetables makes sense if you like them. But what if you know you need them and just can't stomach them?  After all, the traditional paradigm is that vegetables are a cooked mass of mush beside your meat and potatoes. They are a manipulative tool used to get children to eat. (Finish your peas, then you can have ice cream!)

The suggestions below break the traditional view that vegetables are just for dinner and that they are generally soggy and unpalatable. These tips will rev up your energy and increase your appetite for vegetables.
  • Start by infusing banana-berry smoothies with small amounts of spinach. If you use mixed berries, the smoothie will be purple, not giving away its secret ingredient. You may not even notice the addition of the leafy green vegetable.
  • Incorporate sprouts into your life. Grains, legumes and seeds, when sprouted, are a more powerful source of enzymes than any other raw fruit or vegetable. They also have much higher protein and fiber content than their unsprouted counterparts. So try adding toasted buckwheat sprouts to granola, or alfalfa sprouts to smoothies (you'll never know they're there). I like to snack on sprouted raw sunflower seeds or add them to casseroles, soups, and salads. For a primer on sprouting, you can visit the Happy Herbivore Blog.
  • Focus on salads. Even if people don't like cooked vegetables, they will generally eat a salad with their meal. Feel you are in a salad rut? I've posted some suggestions to keep your salad fare "fresh."
  • Use a "secret" green. Blue-green algae and spirulina, two of the most potent greens on the earth, are readily available in powdered form from health food stores. This means you can sneak them into soups, salad dressings, "meat" patties, and even cooked cereals. It is common to find commercial smoothies with these two ingredients, and a homemade casserole can easily cover them. 
  • Focus on the Solanacea family at first, which includes peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos, because this family is the sweetest group of vegetables. In my opinion, there is nothing better than a fresh roasted red pepper. Cut in strips, it can be laid in a sandwich. Diced, it can be added to a salad. All that is required is to broil the sweet bell pepper until the skin is blackened. Then let it cool in a brown paper bag. Peel off the skin, remove the seeds and enjoy!
Before you know it, your body will be hungering for more nutrition, and you will be brave enough to try other vegetables, too.

To your health and happiness,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eating Healthy on a Budget, Part 2: The Hugh Maughn Gus Bean Pot

In Part 1, we focused on obtaining vegetables cheaply. In this part, we will look at saving money with beans and legumes, which are on the second tier of the Furhman food pyramid.

Okay, everyone knows beans are cheap, especially dried ones (as opposed to canned), but there's only so much  you can do with a bean, right? Chili, burritos, then what? Well, with a few good variations, you can cook beans once, and eat different recipes the rest of the week! For example, when I make Enchilada Soup (which uses pinto beans)  I serve the soup, then Enchilada Salad, Sweet Potato Enchilada Wraps, Spicy Rice and finally Enchilada Pa-Tada. A similar technique can be used for lentils, black beans and white beans, as well.

So, rather than dwell on the point of eating cheaply with beans, I will just give you twenty economical and tasty bean recipes:

1. Enchilada Soup (from an old magazine; I don't know the author)
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 anaheim chili, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 c. pinto beans, cooked
2 c. black beans, cooked
1 Tb. cumin
1 29-oz. can enchilada sauce*
2 tsp. salt
juice of 1 lime
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped

Saute onions, garlic, bell pepper, anaheim chili and carrot in a little water or broth. Add beans, enchilada sauce, cumin and salt. Add enough water to make it "soup-y." Simmer 1 hour. Add lime and cilantro just before serving.

*Note: you can make a healthier Enchilada Sauce by combining:
1/4 c. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
q tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tb. cornstarch
2 c. vegetable broth
10 oz. tomato paste

2. Enchilada Salad
Leafy greens, any type
Bell Peppers
Any other veggies you have on hand
Leftover enchilada soup

Toss greens and vegetables together. Warm soup. Ladle onto salad.

3. Sweet Potato Enchilada Wraps
Cooked yam or sweet potato, mashed (1 per wrap)
Whole wheat tortillas, 1 per person
Leftover enchilada soup, 1/4-1/2 cup per person
Leafy greens

Spread sweet potato on tortilla. Spoon warmed soup over potato. Top with greens. Roll and eat!

4. Spicy Rice
2 c. cooked brown rice
1 c. enchilada soup, warmed
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 c. leafy greens, finely chopped

Stir together rice, soup, jalapeno and greens. Top with salsa

5. Enchilada Pa-Tada
4 cooked potatoes, cubed
1/4 c. vegetable broth
2 c. enchildada soup, warmed
1 Tb. nutritional yeast
1/2 purple onion, sliced

Toss potatoes and broth together until potatoes are moistened. Broil in a roaster pan until evenly browned, turning occasionally. Top with soup. Sprinkle with yeast. Garnish with onion.

6. Lentil Joes (adapted from Mary McDougall)
1 c. onion, chopped
1 c. bell pepper, chopped
2 c. cooked lentils
1 Tb. chili powder
15 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 Tb tamari or Braggs
2 Tb. mustard
1 Tb. molasses
1 Tb. rice vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire
pepper to taste

Saute onions and pepper in liquid until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on whole wheat buns, rice or a bed of greens.

7. Lentil Tacos
1 c. cooked lentils
1 6-oz. can green chilies
1 Tb. taco seasoning
shredded cabbage
sliced tomato
sliced onion
taco shells

Combine lentils, chilies and seasoning. Heat through. Serve with cabbage, tomato, onion and taco shells.

8. Lentil Mac (by Kari Randleas)
1 small zucchini, sliced
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 c. lentils, cooked
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts
2 c. cooked whole wheat macaroni

Saute zucchini, mushrooms, garlic and onion in water or broth until soft. Combine with remaining ingredients. Pour into a glass baking dish. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

9. Lime-Curry Lentil and Quinoa Salad (adapted from Kari Randleas)
2 1/2 c. cooked lentils
1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa
1/3 c. green onions, finely chopped
lime-curry dressing:
  • 1 mango, peeled and pureed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tb. curry powder
  • 2 Tb. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • salt to taste
Combine all ingredients. Toss to coat. May be refrigerated up to 3 days.

10. Indian Lentils (adapted from Kari Randleas)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
3 c. cooked lentils
1 can coconut milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tb. curry powder
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds

Saute onions and garlic. Add lentils, milk, bay leaf, pepper, turmeric, curry, coriander and cumin seeds. Simmer 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Serve with pita bread.

11. Black Bean Burritos
2 c. cooked black beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt to taste
whole grain tortillas
enchilada sauce (above)

Simmer beans, garlic, onion and spices until flavors are blended. Spoon onto tortillas. Roll. Smother with sauce, lettuce and tomato. Add cilantro and lime if desired.

12. Caribbean Black Beans with Mango (adapted from Caldwell Esselstyn)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
4 c. cooked black beans
1 c. orange juice
2 ripe mangos, peeled and chopped
brown rice
pico de gallo

Stir-fry onions and garlic in broth or water for 5 minutes. Add spices and cook 5 minutes more. Sitr in beans and juice and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until somewhat thickened. Mash a few beans for thicker consistency. Add pepper and mango and serve over rice. Top with pico de gallo.

13. Black Bean Nachos or Tostadas
Tostada shells or low-salt low-fat corn chips
Black beans, cooked
Chopped jalapeno pepper
Chopped onion
Shredded greens
lime juice

Layer and eat!

14.  Black Bean Salad (adapted from Robyn Openshaw)
3 c. cooked black beans
1 1/2 c. frozen or fresh cut corn, stir-fried just until soft
2 roasted red peppers, diced
Tomatillo dressing:
  • 3 tomatillos, husked
  • 1/3 c. cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 green onions
Blend dressing ingredients. Toss with beans, corn, and roasted peppers. Serve over a bed of greens.

15. Hippie Burgers (adapted from Lindsay Nixon - the Happy Herbivore)
2 c. cooked black beans, mashed
2 Tb. tamari
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 c. mushrooms, chopped
1 c. quinoa, cooked
1 Tb. ground flax or chia seeds
1 Tb. Italian seasoning
3 Tb. whole wheat flour
2 Tb. catsup

Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Form patties. Grill on a non-stick griddle until brown on one side. Flip and continue cooking until brown on the other side.

16. Zuppa Tuscany
2 c. cooked white beans
2 c. vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
2 cooked potatoes, diced

Simmer beans, broth, onion, garlic, carrot and celery until vegetables are tender. Add spinach and potatoes and heat through. Stir in a little non-dairy milk if desired.

17. Mango Beans (from Caldwell B. Esselstyn)
2 c. cooked white beans
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1/2 red onion, sliced
juice of 1 lime
cilantro, chopped

Toss and serve on a bed of greens.

18. White Bean "Hummus" (printed in Forks over Knives by Chef Del Sroufe)
2 c. cooked white beans
4 tsp. white miso
1 roasted red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tb. fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
cayenne pepper

Puree in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Serve with veggies or pita.

19. White Bean Loaf (from Alan Goldhamer & Doug Lisle in Forks over Knives)
4 c. cooked beans (the original recipe uses garbanzos; I like white beans)
2 c. cooked brown rice
2 c. tomato sauce
1 Tb. dry mustard
1 c. grated carrots
juice of 1/2 lemon
onion or garlic powder, optional
Italian seasoning, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beans and rice. Add remaining ingredients. Press into loaf pan. Bake 30 minutes, covering the top with foil if it is browning too quickly.

20. Chili Macaroni (Adapted from Neal Barnard, Breaking the Food Seduction)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tb. Tamari or Braggs
2 c. cooked pink beans
2 c. cooked whole wheat macaroni

Saute onion, pepper, and celery in liquid until soft. Add seasonings and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add remaining ingredients and heat through.

To your health, happiness and prosperity,