Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New Measure Weight Loss Class

Friday, March 26th, 2010


The Raw Food Advantage

 Weight-loss Key #3: Eat more nutrient-dense raw fruits, vegetables, soaked and sprouted nuts, as well as grains and legumes, soaked and cooked.


Green Smoothie

The best calcium supplement available!

1 cup fresh pineapple

large handful fresh parsley

6 strawberries, fresh or frozen

pineapple juice or water, enough to blend

Blend until smooth.


Raw Butternut Squash Soup                                                                  Makes 1 quart. 

 You won’t believe how colorful, vibrant and delicious this soup is!

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

1 mango, peeled and cubed

2 cups orange juice

¾ cup coconut milk

½ cup water

2 tablespoons raw honey or 5 dates

dash of salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately with a dollop of coconut milk.


Kale Salad                                                                                                    Makes 8 cups.

Colorful and calcium-rich, this salad keeps well in the refrigerator for several days, and the raw kale is surprisingly tender.

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos

1/3 cup water

½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 large clove, pressed

1 teaspoon onion powder

7 cups fresh, raw kale, finely chopped

4 scallions, chopped

1/3 cup raw, soaked or sprouted sunflower seeds

½ cup red bell pepper, diced

  1. Combine first five ingredients in a jar and shake to make the dressing.
  2. Toss kale, olives and scallions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to mix. Allow to marinate about an hour or overnight.
  3. Just before serving, add the sunflower seeds and red bell pepper.

Ranch Dressing                              Makes about 1½ cups.

 Fresh lemon juice is best when it comes to salad dressings, especially this one.

¼ cup raw sunflower seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds (or tahini)

¼ cup tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons fresh onion in chunks

1 large clove garlic

¾ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup water

½ teaspoon dill weed, dried or fresh

2 teaspoons parsley flakes, or fresh

  1. Soak sunflower and sesame seeds overnight. Drain water.
  2. Combine all ingredients except dill weed and parsley flakes in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Add herbs and blend again for about 5 seconds. Will thicken when refrigerated.


Sprouted Lentils

Soluble fiber of lentils increases 300% in 3-4 days in sprouted seeds, compared to the dried seed. (Soluble fiber helps lower LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and regulates insulin levels.) Lentil sprouts also contain Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, B15, B17, C, K, choline, folic acid, inositol, boron, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulphur and zinc.

1½ cups dry lentils (3 cups sprouts)

1 medium onion, chopped

½ red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves fresh garlic, pressed

1½ tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos (or to taste)

2 teaspoons olive oil

  1. Soak lentils in water overnight. Allow to sprout for 3-4 days, rinsing twice a day.
  2. Steam onion, bell pepper and garlic in small amount of water for 2 minutes.
  3. Add sprouted lentils and Bragg’s and steam, covered for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add olive oil, toss and serve. 

Happy Fudge 

Loaded with both omega-3 and omega-6, this fudge will give your mood a boost!

2 cups soaked walnuts

½ cup soft dates

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

6 tablespoons carob powder

2 tablespoons raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup chopped walnuts for garnish

  1. Place in food processor all ingredients except walnuts for garnish, and process until smooth.
  2. Press into small casserole dish or roll into balls. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and press them into the fudge.
  3. Refrigerate for a couple hours to allow fudge to become firm if desired.

 Note: soak walnuts 12 to 24 hours to release enzyme inhibitors so that they will be easier to digest and promote health.

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New Measure Weight Loss Class – Keys to Weight Loss

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Key #2:  Whole Plant Foods Simply Prepared + EXERCISE

 Cheesy Bean Burritos

 Whole wheat tortillas

Refried beans, homemade or canned

Brown rice (optional)

Healthy Melty Cheese Sauce

Toppings: chopped spring onions, lettuce, tomatoes, green and/or red bell pepper, olives, salsa


Tofutti Sour Cream (optional)

Warm tortillas by wrapping in foil and placing in a 350o oven for 10 minutes. Heat the refried beans and assemble burritos according to your preference!


Healthy Melty Cheese                                       Makes 3 cups.

This sauce so closely resembles a melted cheese sauce, you can fool anybody. Considering it is very low in fat and cholesterol free, it can be enjoyed often.

 ¼ cup rinsed, raw cashews

4-ounce jar pimiento, drained

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 tablespoons tahini

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1¼ teaspoons salt

2½ cups water

  1. Bring 1½ cups of the water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Liquefy the remaining ingredients including the remaining 1 cup of water in the blender until smooth.
  3. Pour blended mixture into boiling water and continue cooking until thick.
  4. Serve immediately over broccoli, pasta, baked potato, toast, or use in a casserole.

 Split Pea Soup                                                              Makes 6 cups.

This high-fiber soup has almost no fat, yet is flavorful and satisfying. Enjoy it any time of the year.

2 cups dry split peas

7½ cups water

1 large onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 large carrot, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 clove garlic, pressed (opt.)

2 teaspoons salt

  1. Sort and wash split peas. Cook the peas, onion and bay leaf with water in large sauce pan for about 45 minutes Bring to a boil on high, then reduce heat and cover.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer ½ hour more or until vegetables are tender.

Mom’s Chili                                       Makes 6 servings.

More time could be invested by using all fresh ingredients and cooking the beans from scratch, or you can make this version in 10 minutes, and it’s good!

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup diced green pepper

1 cup vegeburger or cooked lentils

26.5-ounce can non-chunky style spaghetti sauce

16-ounce can dark red kidney beans

14.5-ounce diced tomatoes with juice

½ tablespoon “No Alarm” Chili Powder

½ cup water

  1. Steam onion and green pepper in small amount of water in a large saucepan.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Serve over brown rice, over a baked potato or in a bowl with whole wheat bread or crackers.

 Sweet & Sour SoyCurls                                         Makes 8 servings.

Preparation of this tasty dish is quick and easy as no pre-hydrating is necessary. In a matter of minutes, dinner will be on the table!

1 tablespoon olive oil or water

1 onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, sliced in 1-inch slices

8-ounce package SoyCurls (approx. 4½ cups)

2 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce

1½ tablespoons brown sugar or Sucanat

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

  1. Add oil or water to skillet and sauté onion and bell pepper.
  2. Add SoyCurls and the 3½ cups water and simmer for 10 minutes,
  3.  Add seasonings and stir well. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve over Baked Brown Rice.

 Baked Brown Rice                                     Makes 16 servings.

3 cups brown rice

6 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

  1. Place all ingredients in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.
  2. Cover and bake at 350o for 1½ hours.





Carob Fudge Sauce                                Makes 1½ cups.

 Roma is an instant grain beverage which taste much like coffee. Adding it to this recipe makes the fudge sauce taste much like its look-alike, the much loved chocolate sauce. You’ll be amazed.  

3 tablespoons carob powder

¾ cup water

½ cup dates

1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon powdered coffee substitute (Roma or Caffix)

  1. Heat carob powder, water and dates until dates are soft and carob mixture is glossy.
  2. Combine this mixture with remaining ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Store in refrigerator. Freezes well.


Strawberry Topping                                      Makes 1½ cups.

An excellent breakfast spread or topping for Tofu Cheesecake, garnished with fresh sliced strawberries. Easy to whip up, this topping can be enjoyed year round, as frozen berries work well.

2½ cups fresh or frozen strawberries

½ cup pitted dates or dried pineapple

  1. Thaw strawberries if frozen. Purée the berries in a blender.
  2. If dates are not soft, place in small amount of water and steam in the microwave or on the stove.
  3. Combine with strawberries in the blender and blend smooth. Chill to thicken. Keep refrigerated.


Barbara Watson Paille




New Measure Weight Loss Class – Keys to Weight Loss – #1

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Key #1 Jumpstart your day with a high-fiber breakfast!

Maple Walnut Granola                                                     

Makes 27 servings.

Rich but delicious, a little of this granola goes a long way. A great topping for pudding or smoothies.

1 cup pitted dates

1 banana

1/3 cup turbinado sugar

1/4 cup water

½ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons maple extract

1½ teaspoons salt

7 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups unsweetened chipped coconut

2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1. Heat dates, bananas in the water in a saucepan until dates are soft. Place in the blender with oil, vanilla and maple extracts, and salt. Blend until smooth.

2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, and pour in the blended mixture. Using plastic gloves, mix with your hands until the dry ingredients are well coated. Mixture should hold together when you squeeze a handful together.

3. Spread out on two cookie sheets covered with parchment paper or sprayed with oil.

4. Bake overnight at 125 degrees or with the oven setting on “warm”, or for 2 hours at 225o, stirring every 30 minutes.


Crockpot Cereal                                                                                                 

Makes 8 servings.

Using 2 or 3 of a variety of grains will provide a more balanced nutrient profile Try wheat berries, amaranth, quinoa, barley, millet, brown rice or kamut for a great nutrient package and a welcomed change from oats.

1 cup whole grain

3½ cups water

½ teaspoon salt

1. Choose one to three whole grains and combine with water and salt in a mini-crockpot (one quart). Cook overnight on low. One-quart crockpots have only one setting.

2. Add dried fruit after cooking if desired.

3. Serve with soy or nut milk, fresh fruit, granola, ground flaxseed, and or applesauce.

Cook’s Tip: Double or triple recipe for larger crockpot.

Baked Oatmeal                                                                                                   

Makes 12 servings.

This no-fuss recipe can be made the night before and baked just before breakfast. I like to add a cup of blueberries for a fruity punch of antioxidants!

3 cups rolled oats

¾ cup raisins or chopped dates

½ cup coconut, unsweetened

1 teaspoon salt

4½ cups hot water

1. Mix all ingredients in oil-sprayed 13 x 9-inch pan.

2. Bake uncovered at 350o about 1 hour.

Scrambled Tofu                                                                                                                             

 Makes 4 servings.

Serve Oven Roasted Potatoes, Scrambled Tofu and sliced tomatoes for a savory breakfast treat that provides a great nutritional foundation for a productive day!

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

14 ounces fresh, firm tofu

¼ cup rinsed, raw cashews

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

¼ teaspoon turmeric ½ teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder

½ cup water

1. Crumble tofu into fine pieces in a non-stick skillet. A potato masher works well for this. Sprinkle with parsley and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Heat in the skillet about 10 minutes until dry.

2. Blend the remaining ingredients, including the remaining ¾ teaspoon of salt, in a blender until smooth. Pour the blended mixture over tofu in skillet and scramble over medium heat until desired consistency.

Another great way to serve granola!

Carob Pudding                                                                                                                   

Makes 4 servings.

Garnish with a few nuts or granola on top for a little crunch or layer in a parfait glass with whipped topping for a beautiful presentation.

3/4 cup hot water

1/2 cup dates

2 tablespoons carob powder

1 tablespoon peanut butter

2 teaspoons powdered coffee substitute

1/8 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup hot cooked millet

1 tablespoon coconut

1. Soften dates by heating them together with the warer.

2. Combine with remaining ingredients in blender and blend smooth.

3. Serve warm or chilled. Pudding will thicken as it cools.

Coconut Whipped Cream                                                                                           

Makes 12 servings.

Absolutely the best vegan whipped cream yet! Be sure to make this at least several hours ahead of time, then fluff with a whisk to produce a light and creamy whipped cream.

13.5-ounce can coconut milk

½ of 12.3-ounce package silken tofu, extra-firm

2½ tablespoons turbinado sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 dashes salt

2 teaspoons Instant Clear Gel

1. Blend first four ingredients smooth in blender, then while still blending, sprinkle in Instant Clear Gel.

2. Chill to thicken.

Stir briefly before serving.

Morning Exercises

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Is your health worth 30 minutes a day? Benefits include burning more calories, lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, helping you to sleep better, warding off more colds and flu, reducing stress, improving balance and flexibility and generally improving your health and losing weight! So, let’s get moving!

Stretch and warm-up:

1. Neck stretches: Head side to side, then circles down, circles overhead

2. Shoulders: Forward, back, up and down

3. Stretch hands to the sky, then to the floor; turn to each side and stretch

4. Side to side leg stretches; cross feet and touch toes; reverse feet and repeat

5. Arm circles out to the side, small then bigger; reverse


1. Using hand towel, grasp and pull in opposite directions up and down in front of you, sets of 10, then switch arms; over head side to side and behind head; rest in between

2. Push-outs: Door frame or dresser, 3 sets of 10, rest in between

3. Standing leg lifts, to the side, front, back, 10 each; total of 60

4. Squats standing behind and holding on to chair, 3 sets of 8;

5. Using hand weights, lift with thumbs together up/down 10x, rest, repeat

6. Raise 8# weight overhead and down behind head; lift 6x; rest, repeat

7. Swing free! Face front from waist down; swing arms side/side shoulder ht.

8. Crunches: on floor; 10, rest, total of 30; OR crunches while standing

9. On stomach, lift head and feet flexing everything. Let go. Repeat 6x

10. On all fours, left knee to nose, then extend, 6x; reverse; repeat faster

11. Cat stretch, curled with head down then flat with head up

12. Sit up, Indian style, feet together; bend forward and stretch 4x

13. Same position, extend legs to each side, grab knee, pull down chest 6x

14. Breathe deeply, arm over to toe like a ballerina, sit up and over again, 6x; sit up tall, stretch, open arms and relax . . .

Aerobic, 20-30 minutes; Combine with Stretching  or Alternate Days

1. Lunges with hand weights, 2 sets of 10, rest between

2. Go for a brisk walk, gently jog in place or on a rebounder or walk on a porch with hand weights

3. Go up and down on step, inside, or better yet, outside in the sunshine!

9 Things Overweight People Have in Common

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

1. They are breakfast skimpers or skippers

Skipping a meal to lose  weight sounds like a good idea. After all, consuming fewer calories is the idea, and why not start first thing in the morning? But, in actuality, breakfast skimpers are more prone to gain weight that those who take time to “break the fast” with a substantial morning meal. So, as for what overweight people have in common, skipping breakfast is at the top of the list. Let’s take a look at the other eight.

2. Eat and chew too fast; take big bites

3. Don’t drink enough water each day

4. Get little, if any exercise

5. Like refined and sweet foods

6. Use fermented products like vinegar, mustard, pickles, & cheese

7. Use salt freely

8. Like caffeine drinks like coffee, tea, and colas; also like to indulge in chocolate

9. Are nibblers; constantly eating

So, before I really step on anyone’s toes and address the chocolate issue, let’s get back to breakfast. Many don’t realize its importance, but a healthy breakfast has a host of benefits. 

A 10 year study of adults and children showed that people who eat breakfast are less irritable, more efficient, more energetic and have better test scores. Research has also linked healthy breakfasts with less chronic disease, increased longevity, better health and weight loss!

Why would eating breakfast help one shed extra pounds? Number one, it helps to reve up the metabolism, and you will actually burn more calories rather than holding onto them as when in a fasting mode. Eating breakfast controls weight by preventing mid-morning hunger and promoting regular meals. When coupled with drinking adequate water, it stops the urge to snack between meals.

So, why not jump start your day with breakfast! Some people just can’t face food in the morning. The likely reason is a heavy evening meal or late-night snack the night before. Others may say there’s just not enough time for breakfast, so they may grab a cup of coffee and a donut. Try eating light in the evening, even skipping supper and drinking herb tea if you’re really serious about losing weight.

What is a healthy breakfast? Cultures may vary, but a good breakfast consists of 1/3 to ½ of daily calories You may have heard the wise saying,” Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper.”

What does a healthy breakfast look like?

2-3  Servings of Fresh Fruit

Whole Grains, perhaps beans or tofu, soymilk or nut milk

A few Nuts and ground flaxseed

Dried Fruit

Here are some more specific suggestions, recipes for which can be found in my cookbook at :            

  • Granola                                  
  • Whole Grain Pancakes
  • Cooked Whole Grains       
  • French Toast
  • Scrambled Tofu                   
  • Beans over Toast                                                                      

A donut and even juice will not do! Low fiber and sugary foods quickly get in the bloodstream, then quickly drops giving you headaches, shakes, hunger, irritability and no energy.

High fiber foods are more slowly absorbed and there is a steady release of nutrients into the blood stream, giving you energy throughout the morning. You will be much better equipped to make healthy choices throughtout the day!

So, when it comes to breakfast, bon appetit!

10 Simple Steps for Permanent Weight Loss

Monday, February 1st, 2010


This simple plan works.

It’s not a diet, but rather a lifestyle. It’s not complicated, but it can be enhanced with innumerable tasty recipes that consist of the basic foods I have listed here. Many have the desire to eat a plant-based diet and to lose weight, but are unable to accomplish it, I believe, for two reasons.

First, they generally don’t eat enough at a meal and are hungry. A plan like that doesn’t last long! And secondly, they choose a plan that requires a lot of cooking and soon find that it doesn’t fit their busy schedule. With under 10 basic recipes, this plan can be full of variety and flavor. The recipes are simple, using a slow cooker or baking in the oven overnight. Simple recipes for all foods listed below are in my book, The Total Vegetarian Cookbook. Some recipes are posted on this website, .

There are many reasons a plant-based diet is the healthiest and will achieve lasting weight loss, and I will be presenting information relative to that on this blog in coming days. Bon appétit!

 1. Lemon water upon rising, 2-4 glasses, 45 minutes before breakfast

2. Quiet time of prayer, reading and meditation while you drink your water

3. Stretch and walk outdoors, 20 minutes, build up to 45-60 minutes

4. Whole grain breakfast consisting of fresh fruit, cooked cereal, granola, ground flaxseed, soymilk or nut milk, and 6 walnut halves or almonds

5. Water, 4 glasses, start 1 hour after breakfast

6. No snacking

7. Plant-based lunch, 5 hours after breakfast, consisting of a large salad, any kind of beans and brown rice or quinoa, steamed broccoli, squash, or leafy greens, whole grain bread or crackers. If you feel you must have some kind of dessert, have a couple walnut-stuffed dates or a few raisins and nuts or granola.

8. Water, 3 glasses, start 1 hour after lunch

9. One piece of fruit for supper 5-6 hours after lunch, but 3 hours before retiring. Skipping supper will result in better digestion, more refreshing sleep and faster weight loss. Herb tea sweetened with stevia is an excellent choice for the evening.

10. Strength training with simple hand weights sometime during the day

Keep smiling, have fun and look forward to what you are gaining by the pounds you’re losing!
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Weight Loss Made Easy . . .

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

It’s January 31. You decided not to make a resolution you knew you’d break. Or maybe you made the weight-loss resolution and here it is January 31 and you haven’t met with much success.  So, here you are searching for an easy way to lose weight. Well, you’ve found it!

You want easy, you want permanent, you certainly want a healthy way to lose weight, correct? It’s a matter of a few changes, and losing a pound a week. That’s 4 pounds a month. (Sound slow?) That’s 48 pounds in a year! Or just the 10-30 pounds to achieve your ideal weight. Sound unbelievable? It’s very doable, even for you.

Currently, I am teaching two weight loss classes; one in Crossville, TN at  Mountain Air Natural Foods and the other right here in Deer Lodge. It’s supposed to be going on right now but we were snowed out, so here I am telling you all about how it’s done rather than teaching the class!

First of all, let’s start with a few startling stats about obesity, its prevalence, its personal health risk and some of the financial costs involved.

America is dangerously overweight!  There are  3.8 million people in the U.S. who weigh over 300 pounds, and 400,000 (mostly men) weighing over 400 pounds!  Statistics show that the average weight of an American adult female is now an unprecedented 163 pounds!  A whopping 63% of Americans are overweight and almost one-third of the population is clinically obese.

Obesity Increases Risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol (2x higher)
  • Hypertension (6x higher)
  • Diabetes (3x higher)
  • Cancers
  • Gout
  • Kidney and gall bladder disease
  • Abdominal hernias
  • Respiratory problems
  • Varicose veins
  • Accidents
  • Pregnancy and childbirth complications
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems

What about the price tag?

  • 300,000 deaths each year in America are linked to obesity
  • $70 Billion each year are spent by the US Health System for weight related problems
  • Americans spend $1 billion to 2 billion per year on weight-loss programs

What are some reasons for our overweight population?

  • Appetite masters people, thus no control of appetite
  • High-fat, low-fiber fast foods
  • No regular meal times
  • Snacking
  • Drinking calorie-rich beverages
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Social pressure
  • Advertising
  • Lack of correct information       
  • More people eating out
  • Less time spent in the kitchen
  • Poor childhood eating habits linger in adulthood

Special thanks to Wellness Secrets for sharing some of this information.

See tomorrow’s post: 10 Simple Steps for Permanent Weight Loss


It’s Monday!

Monday, September 14th, 2009

And we’re enjoying the ease and the anticipation of our favorite meal: Red Beans and Rice. Why easy?  Because the beans were cooking while we were sleeping!  And my husband, René, is the one who put the beans in the crockpot.  It’s that easy!

As for the rice, I measured out 2 cups of brown rice into a casserole dish last night. This morning I added 5 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt, covered the baking dish with foil and baked the rice at 350o for 1 hour.  Adding the salad I tossed last night, lunch was ready to go to work with my husband when he was.

So, “Red Beans & Rice on Monday” continues to be a tradition in this household, just as it was in René’s back in New Orleans. Even without the ham hock or sausage, this vegan version of Southern comfort food is still his favorite meal, and a really healthy one, too. Red beans, aka kidney beans, are themselves full of flavor, low in fat,  fiber-filled, and a good source of protein.  Naturally cholesterol-free, they are high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, as well as, in iron.  Add whole grain brown rice, and you’ve got a nutritient-packed powerhouse!  Happy Monday!

Crockpot Red Beans
Crockpot Red Beans














Crockpot Beans

As demonstrated in program 2 of the StepFast Lifestyle Series, using the crockpot to cook beans is the absolute simplest way to prepare them. Split peas and lentils cook quickly and are best cooked on top of the stove; I use the crockpot for all other legumes. Add a little seasoning and serve them as they are, or incorporate them into your favorite recipes.

3 cups dry beans

9 cups water

1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1.  Sort beans on a dry dish towel, removing shriveled or discolored beans, as well as any foreign matter (rocks, etc.).

2.  Wash beans in colander and place them with water and bay leaves in a crockpot. Cook on high overnight or for 5 hours.

3.  Add salt and other seasonings after beans are cooked.

 Makes 8 cups.

Nutritional analysis per ½ cup:   Calories 118, Protein 8 g, Carbohydrates 21 g, Fiber 5 g, Fat .5 g, Sodium 298 mg

 Lots more recipes at

‘Tis the Season . . . Zucchini Season!

Monday, August 17th, 2009

A friend told me about a church congregation which during the months of July and August always made sure their car doors were locked while in church service, lest they return to their cars to find bags of zucchini deposited on the back seat!

Though sometimes dismayed about what to do with the plethora of  these  beautiful green squash that we are blessed with this time of year, let us not infer anything disparaging about them since it is a great tasting, low-fat, high-fiber food. Only 18 calories per cup, other nutrients in zucchini include vitamins A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and folate. They can be eaten raw or cooked, sweet or savory and in many, many recipes.

I’ve learned from experience that the ones we grow ourselves have the most flavor. They afford great rewards for the novice gardener because it’s hard not to grow zucchini! A big key to producing flavorful zucchini is to pick them when they are about 6 or 7 inches long.  If one sneaks up on you and turns into a baseball bat, recycle it.

A tender, thinly sliced zucchini makes a nice addition to a salad; or cut into thicker slices or wedges for a veggie platter. The quickest way to cook them is to slice into rounds and lightly steam them. Toss with a little olive oil and salt, or just skip the oil. Another delicious way to prepare them is to cut into chunks and roast them with onions and other veggies if desired. Toss with oil, salt, and a little rosemary and roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

A typical ingredient in minestrone soup is sliced zucchini, and a pasta-free lasagna can be made with long, flat  zucchini slices. Zucchini casseroles, zucchini bread, zucchini patties, zucchini muffins, waffles, even cookies are other ways of incorporating this bountiful squash into your diet. One of our favorite vegan casseroles is layered potatoes with zucchini smothered in Healthy Melty Cheese and baked for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. But to satisfy that sweet tooth with a high-fiber, tasty treat, try these vegan zucchini muffins. The blend of pineapple and zucchini works really well. Amazingly light, they are made with 100% whole wheat flour. These are very well received, and a great way to eat a vegetable! There are other vegan breads and muffins in my cookbook. Check it out at .

Zucchini Muffins

1 cup crushed pineapple, with juice

½ cup light olive oil

¾ cup Sucanat or turbinato sugar

½ cup soymilk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon stevia powder (scant) OR and additional 1/2 cup sugar

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped dates

1 cup walnuts, chopped

2½ cups whole wheat flour 

1 tablespoon Rumford baking powder or 2½ tablespoons Ener-G baking powder

½ teaspoon coriander

scant ¼ teaspoon cardamom

dash of cinnamon if desired

             Preheat oven to 350o.

  1. Mix first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Grate zucchini and squeeze out juice. Add zucchini, chopped dates and walnuts to bowl and mix.

  3. Combine flour, baking powder, coriander and cardamom in a separate bowl. Stir with a whisk to mix.

  4. Fold flour mixture into wet ingredients mixing well. Form muffins in muffin tin with ice cream scoop.

  5. Bake 40 minutes until lightly browned.


A Good Time to Start

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

There’s no time like the present to eat more fruits and veggies, because it’s summer! The cantaloupe we had for breakfast was outstanding.

Do you ever smell or taste a food and immediately, you’re back in your childhood kitchen, or in my case today, the “breakfast room.” (I never really understood why it was called that, because we ate every meal there unless we had company.) One bite of that luscious melon, which was absolutely perfect in flavor and texture, and with no effort at all, my thoughts went to that most pleasant room with the aqua and white trellis wallpaper. Further, it conjured up memories of the more care-free times of summer, when it seemed everyone in the family was more relaxed and the warm temperatures invited us outside.

Marcel Proust, the French writer, first articulated this experience, describing it as a kind of flashback when you suddenly recall an event or experience in your past, triggered by a particular aroma. Food may not be the only thing to trigger a Proustian experience; it could be the smell of a certain brand of perfume, of cherry pipe tobacco or even of tar shampoo, (another big one for me!)

But, since we’re talking about food on this blog, think about if you have ever had a Proustian food experience. Often, my husband will taste my vegan version of an asparagus or broccoli soup and immediately start talking about seafood bisque and trips to Grand Isle, Louisiana! Here’s the recipe for that vegan broccoli soup. To return to the website click here:

TV 20 Broc copy










Broccoli Soup

Tahini and nutritional yeast flakes provide a cheesy flavor without any dairy products in this flavorful cream soup. Try cauliflower, asparagus or celery instead of broccoli.

3 cups, fresh broccoli, chopped

½ cup chopped, steamed onions or 2 tablespoons dry onion flakes

5½ cups unsweetened soymilk or nut milk

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove pressed

1 tablespoon tahini

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cornstarch 

  1. Place broccoli and onions in steamer and steam until tender.

  2. Heat 4 cups milk, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic powder, tahini and salt, in a medium saucepan, but do not boil.

  3. Mix cornstarch with remaining 1½ cups milk. Add to heated milk and cook on low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

  4. Add steamed broccoli and onion to thickened soup. Serve hot. 

Makes 8 servings. 

Nutritional analysis per 1 cup: Calories 130, Protein 8 g, Carbohydrates 16 g, Fiber 3 g, Fat 5g, Sodium 320 mg  

Looking forward to hearing about your Proustian experiences, a flash from your past!