Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fresh Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad

There's little better in this world than fresh sweet corn and tomatoes at the end of the summer. This is a recipe I posted two years ago. I made it again recently and its wonderful.

Fresh Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad

Serves 4
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. olive oil
1 t. balsamic vinegar
¼ t. sea salt
¼ t. black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

½ C. uncooked whole wheat orzo
¼ C. red onion, diced
1 C. tomato, diced
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off
½ C. cucumber, diced
Italian flat-leaf parsley

Cook the orzo according to directions. While the pasta is cooking make the dressing by whisking together the ingredients. Drain the pasta and put it into a bowl. Spoon a little of the dressing over the pasta, stir to coat and set aside to cool. Prepare the vegetables. When the orzo is cool, mix the orzo, vegetables and remaining dressing together. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Forks Over Knives


If you follow my blog, you know that  two years ago my Uncle Gene encouraged me to read Dr. Esselstyn's book, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.” That was the beginning for me. My uncle has often contributed important articles to this blog that have taught me a lot, but from his first recommendation alone, many things in my life have changed. I've become more conscious about what I eat and the result is I've changed my health in impressive ways, and so can you.

Today, many people are dealing with health issues unnecessarily. Young children are being diagnosed with diabetes and obesity. We hear a lot about heart disease and stoke and the operations or medications that treat them. And still, knowing we can cure obesity, "the incidence of diabetes alone has risen by a third since 1990, and treatment costs $100 billion a year." I'm thankful for modern medicine, but if we can avoid or lessen some health issues simply by changing what we eat, I'm thankful for that too.

In the documentary, Forks Over Knives, the research and practical experiences of Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn are explained. These doctors demonstrate that a whole foods, plant based diet can control and even reverse some diseases. Dr. Campbell, a nutritional scientist at Cornell University and author of "The China Study", and Dr. Esselstyn, a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, discovered that diets high in animal proteins and processed foods are detrimental to our health. Their research showed that heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some cancers could be prevented and sometimes reversed with diet alone. 

I saw Forks Over Knives with one of my beautiful daughters at a theater not too long ago, and I understand that the DVD will be available for purchase beginning August 30th. It's something you should see in addition to reading their work. You can order the DVD on Amazon, but if you would like a chance to win a copy of it along with the books, "The China Study," and "Forks Over Knives Companion Book," go to the blog post:  and enter the contest. The deadline is September 2nd.

Good luck and good health.

The quote was taken from the forward of, "Eat To Live," and written by Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Avocado Sweet Corn Salad

This is a recipe I dreamed up two summers ago. And now with the tomatoes and corn just coming in, I made it again and thought it deserved a repeat performance. The avocado dressing is wonderfully flavorful on top of the vegetables.

Avocado Sweet Corn Salad

Can be made quickly
Serves 4

1 avocado
3 T fresh lemon juice
½ C. peeled and diced cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 t. sea salt
1/8 t. pepper

8 C. loosely pack lettuce – chopped romaine and mixed baby greens
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 large tomato, cut into large bite size pieces
½ sweet pepper (I used an orange pepper), cut into bite size pieces
1/4 C. sweet onion, sliced and cut into bite size pieces
1 cucumber – (use the remaining cucumber from the dressing) peeled, seeded and cut into bite size pieces

To make the dressing, cut and scoop out the avocado putting it into a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until blended and smooth. Put the salad ingredients into a large bowl and pour the dressing over the salad. Gently toss to mix the dressing with the vegetables and serve.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tomato Asparagus Pasta

I made the bruschetta recipe below, but it was just my husband and myself eating, so I ended up with about half of the tomatoes. That's how this recipe came about.

Making both the bruschetta and this pasta recipe for the same night would be perfect for two! And there's no need to double any part of it.

10 oz. of cherry tomatoes
1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 t. fresh rosemary, finely minced
1/8 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. sea salt

The night before (although it doesn't need to be) mix together the olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, rosemary, crushed red pepper and sea salt in a bowl large enough to hold the oil mixture and all of the tomatoes. Slice each cherry tomato in half the length of the fruit and add them to the olive oil marinade. Cover and set aside.

Pesto -
1/8 C pine nuts
1/8 C chopped walnuts
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 C packed basil leaves
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor or blender, add nuts, chopped garlic, basil leaves (ripping them into smaller pieces) and sea salt. Pulse. Add the olive oil while the processor is running to make a smooth paste. 

Asparagus -
1 bunch fresh asparagus
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and trim the asparagus. Lay the spears out onto a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss coating the asparagus completely. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes.

Angel Hair Pasta -
1/2 pound whole wheat angel hair pasta
Salt and pepper
Pine nuts for garnish
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Near the end of the cook time, add two tablespoons of pasta water to the pesto sauce and stir to combine. Drain the pasta and add it to the pesto sauce. Stir in the asparagus and tomatoes. Salt and pepper the dish to taste. Serve using pine nuts as a garnish.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Bruschetta is an antipasto from central Italy whose origin dates to at least the 15th century. It consists of roasted bread usually rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. But there are many variations on this starter, much more than we're used to seeing, including toppings of beans and cured meats. Mine is the more traditional bruschetta. It's a great recipe for entertaining when you don't have a lot of time because so much of it can be done in advance, and it tastes better if you do!


1 baguette
10 oz. of cherry tomatoes
1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 t. fresh rosemary, finely minced
1/8 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. sea salt

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
extra basil leaves for garnish

The night before (although it doesn't need to be) mix together the olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, rosemary, crushed red pepper and sea salt in a bowl large enough to hold the oil mixture and all of the tomatoes. Slice each cherry tomato in half the length of the fruit and add them to the olive oil marinade. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

Put the balsamic in small sauce pan and heat over a low setting until reduced to a thick syrup. This can also be done in advance.

When ready to serve, slice the baguette in to thin rounds. Grill the rounds if you can. The flavor is so much better. If you can't grill, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lay the rounds out on a cookie sheet. Toast the bread in the oven checking every few minutes so it doesn't get too dark.

Lay the grilled or toasted bread out onto a serving plate. Spoon the tomatoes and some of the olive oil over the top. Drizzle the reduced balsamic over or near the bruschetta. Add the whole basil leaves. Serve!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pomegranate Martini

My family was in town visiting and we decided to go out for dinner. As you know, eating out can sometimes be a challenge for a vegan but when the waiter zooms in for the drink order I always know what I'm getting. I order my usual, Corona with a lime and glass. My youngest daughter commented on it calling it my "signature drink." Well, this started a discussion about "signature drinks." Apparently we all have them (or so she says) and mine is boring. And yes, I suppose it is. I would love to have some beautiful, exotic drink as my "signature," but alas, I don't.

A few weeks before that (while at a restaurant) the subject of cocktails and health came up. Can a cocktail be healthy was the question. As we sat gazing up at the waiter we all smiled, chuckled and shook our heads. Then, one of us (I won't say who) ordered a pomegranate martini commenting that maybe the goodness of the pomegranate juice would cancel out the alcohol. Well, let me tell you, when the drink came it was beautiful to look at and apparently delicious, and yes, it was enjoyed guilt free. So much for the original question...

It's these two stories that gave me direction for my most recent recipe. In all honesty, I can't drink a martini. And believe me, I've tried. There were many made before I hit on this, and I would love to have it as my "signature drink," but it will not be that. However, it's delicious and pretty to look at. And for those of you that like martinis, try away. Is it healthy? Well, that's a different post all together. For now, just enjoy.

Pomegranate Martini
Serves 1

1 oz. vodka
1 oz. Pama, a pomegranate liqueur
1 oz. pomegranate juice
1/4 t. fresh lemon juice
lemon peel twist

Begin by chilling the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine the all the liquid ingredients with plenty of ice. Cover and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass and garnish with a lemon twist. Serve.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chickpeas and dumplins

I have a dear friend that is exceedingly conscience about what she eats... and for good reasons. She was diagnosed with asthma years ago and just recently followed the idea that food allergies may have some connection to her asthma attacks. She had allergy testing done, and as it turned out she was allergic to MANY foods. She's been vegan for about two years, but since her visit to the allergist her diet has seen even more changes and so has her health. One of the best? Her asthma has disappeared! 

I told you this story for two reasons. First, I think its interesting... I wonder how many of us suffer symptoms as a result of food allergies without any knowledge of it. Second, she has become a passionate cook with an enthusiasm for blogs!! Over the months she has sent me many recipes that she has made to rave reviews. The following recipe is one of them and I wanted to share it with you. It's really wonderful. The original posting is from the blog: Peas and Thank You. You can find it at: 
And to all of you that have health issues you're actively working on by changing your diet, I wish you the best.

Chickpeas and dumplins


  • Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • For the chickpea stew base:
  • 1 c. onion, chopped
  • 1 c. celery, chopped
  • 1 c. carrots, chopped
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 3/4 t. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 4 c. vegetable stock
  • One 14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • For the dumplings:
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c. unbleached organic flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy or organic milk
  • 1 T. vegan margarine (i.e. Earth Balance), melted


Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Just like Grandma used to make. Only nobody died.

Spritz your pan with cooking spray or oil and place over medium high heat.
Add onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until slightly softened and starting to brown.
Add garlic, salt, curry, oregano, rosemary and basil and sauté for an additional minute, until aromatic.
Carefully pour in vegetable stock, chickpeas and vinegar and bring to a low boil.
Put the cornstarch in a small bowl and remove a ladleful of the hot broth from the stew base and add it to the bowl. Whisk to remove any lumps.
Pour the slurry back into the pan, while stirring vigorously. Return to a boil and then lower heat to low.
Meanwhile for dumplings, in a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oregano and basil.
Add milk and melted margarine, and stir until a dough just forms. Do not overmix.
Plop dough by heaping spoonful on top of stew until dough is gone.
Cover with lid and allow to “bake” over low for 15-17 minutes.
As much as you may want to lift the lid to peek at these, don’t do it.
Serve while hot and slightly doughy.