Welcome to Dr. Ellouise's Blog About Being Healthy Even If You're Poor!

Because of the comments people have made about the URL of this site, I have moved it to one that is less offensive. The new site is: http://www.notwealthybuthealthy.blogspot.com

This site will remain so you can get the old recipes, but the new site will be used from now on.

Today is Thanksgiving, have a wonderful one with lots of family, friends, food and FUN!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Red Bell Peppers, Celery, Onions and Zucchini over Brown Rice

Brown Rice
Put distilled water into base of rice steamer (I use Black & Decker's Handy Steamer).  I use distilled water because it doesn't leave a residue in the steamer base.

Put two cups brown rice into bowl of the rice steamer and put it into the larger bowl with the catch bowl underneath.
Add 4 cups of distilled water (I use distilled because it's the purest)
Steam for at least 1 hour and check to see if the rice is soft.  If not, you will probably need to add more water to the base.

Red Bell Peppers
Lawry's seasoned salt
Olive Oil

Chop up the veggies and put into a stainless baking pan.  Sprinkle basil, Lawry's and Parsley over top.  Drizzle oil over top. Put into a 450 oven and bake until the veggies are soft, gently turning occasionally. 

Put the veggies over the rice.  Add Tamari sauce or Soy sauce or any oriental sauce that you like.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do You Have the "Protein Monster" in Your Head? Read on!

I know some of you were cringing as you read yesterday's recipe (steamed potatoes and carrots)!  You were saying, "Yikes!  Where's the Meat!"  I have responded to that below:

When I owned my vegetarian school, one of the first questions I got from prospective clients was: "Well, then how will my child get his/her protein if s/he eats vegetarian?"  I, too, wondered about this before reading nearly 300 boooks for my Masters' Thesis.  I, too, had the "protein monster" in my head and thought if I didn't eat meat I had to at least eat lots of dairy products!  These attitudes came as a result of my "nutritional education" in the public schools.  But, the reality is just the opposite!  Actually, because of the extensive advertising (that same "nutritional education" mentioned above), Americans are suffereing a myriad of illnesses caused by the over-proteining of America.

An article by Debra Blake Weisenthal entitled "Shattering the Myth of Protein" states: "If you are getting enough calories, just about no matter what you're eating, you're also getting sufficient protein." So, our worry about getting enough protein is not only not necessary but is actually detrimental to our health.

In "Fat Burning Foods", the authors state: "The trouble is, most people consume too much meat and cheese and not enough potatoes and break.  You need only about an ounce of protein for every 18 pounds of ideal body weight.  In other words, a 126 pound woman needs only about 7 ounces a day."

Dr. Pritikin, famed expert on nutrition, agrees and says: "Vegetarians always ask about getting enough protein.  But I don't know any nutrition expert that can plan a diet of natural foods resulting in a protein deficiency, so long as you're not deficient in calories.  You need only 6% of total calories in protein....and it's practically impossible to get below 9% in ordinary diets."

John Robbins, in Diet for a New America, wrote about research that actually lowers that percentage to between 3% and 5%.  And, he adds, "a potato has 13% protein"!

Another issue for many people is that of "combining foods" to get a "complete" protein.  This is a myth which came about because of some studies done on rats in the 1940's.  Rats, which differ from humans in many ways, also have different nutritional needs.  Not surprisingly, once research was conducted on people, the results were quite different and they resulted in a change in the way proteins are rated.  The current standard for humans is known as the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS).  Using the PDCAAS scale, soy protein receives a top rating.  Unfortunately, the Meat and Dairy Council still sites the old, inaccurate studies when convincing the public that get "protein" is very hard as a vegetarian but very easy with their products. 

In Francis Moore Lappe's 20 year anniversary edition of "Diet for a Small Planet", she bemoans the way most people have accepted the 1940's study over the more recent studies.  Her original book, with the incorrect study in it, is what made the "combining" strategy so popular.  There's certainly nothing wrong with combing beans with a grain (almost every culture has some variation of beans and rice) but it's not really necessary! 

So, relax!  And have some comfort food for dinner once in a while without feeling guilty.  I did....and it was yummy!

Comfort Food on a Cold Night

Last night, I had steamed potatoes and carrots for dinner (we received lots of carrots and potatoes at the food bank), .  I just love them and they are very easy to make if you have a steamer.  My favorite steamer is Black & Decker Handy Steamer/Rice Cooker.  I use it for both veggies and for rice.  There's not really a recipe but I'll put down what I did.

Wash potatoes and carrots with fruit and vegetable rinse. Cut them into smallish pieces and put into steamer basket (not the rice cooker part).  Put water into bottom of steamer and put the drip pan on top and then the steamer basket on top of that.

Put the timer onto 45 minutes and plug it into the socket.

When the potatoes and carrots are soft, take them out of the steamer basket and put them onto a plate.  My favorite margerine is Earth Balance and I put that on top and salt and pepper them. 

Yum!  Great comfort food!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tofu Pumpkin Pie with Tofu Whipped Cream

Last week, we received both Tofu and Canned Pumpkin and I remembered that I had made Tofu Pumpkin Pie for my school.  I originally found it on the MoriNu Tofu package and adjusted it to fit our needs.  I used to make it for breakfast (lots of protein in the Tofu and, of course, the Pumpkin has many nutrients.  The students in my school thought they were really getting away with something when we had "pudding" for breakfast!  Here it is:

Tofu Pumpkin Pie
3 packages Mori Nu silken lite Tofu (asceptic packaging)
1 1/2 cups honey
4 cups canned, pumpking
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs pumpkin pie spice

Blend tofu in food processor until smooth.  Add honey, pumpkin, vanilla extract and pmpking pie spice.  Blend well.  Pour into individual little pie shells or a 9" pie shell.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for approximately 1 hour for the large pie shell and for less time for the small pie shells.  Filling will be soft, but will firm up as it chills.  Chill and serve.  This can also be used as a pudding (without the pie shells).  Just put it into custard cups instead of the pie shells.

Tofu Whipped Cream
(from Fresh from a Vegetarian Kitchen by Meridith McCarty)
We never actually made this but it would be festive for a family dinner.

1 lb tofu, fresh
1/3 Cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbs vanilla extract
Sea salt - a few grains
2 Tbs to 1/2 Cup water, only if necessary to blend

Absolutely fresh tofu is a neccasity her or hte flavor will be chalky.  Blend ingredients until creamy smooth.  I usually do not boil the tofu for this topping, as boing tends to make it firm up.  If you do boil tofu ahead, store "cream" in blender an whip it up again just before serving.  For large amounts, mix all ingredients except water, then add it gradually until desired consistency is reached.  Less will be needed.  Use as a more healthy altrnative to dairy whipped cream on pumpkin pie, cobblers, etc.  Be creative!

stuffed winter squash, Thanksgiving winter squash recipe

This recipe is not totally from our Food Bank but most of it was available (except the dried apricots).

Stuffed Winter Squash
Makes 6 servings
Golden squash halves, mounded with stuffing and topped with apricot sauce make a visual feast worthy of any holiday meal. Use any of the smaller varieties of winter squash, including acorn squash, delicata, sweet dumpling, or kabocha.

3 medium winter squash
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 1/2 pound)
1 cup sliced celery (2 large stalks)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
4 cups whole-wheat bread cubes
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 water or vegetable broth, if needed
2 cups apricot nectar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Steam until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat 1/2 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and celery. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in parsley, bread cubes, apricots, sage, marjoram, thyme, and black pepper. The mixture should be moist enough to hold together, but not wet. If it is too dry, add a small amount of water or vegetable broth.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide stuffing mixture evenly among squash halves and bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix apricot nectar with ginger, coriander, cinnamon, maple syrup, cornstarch, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until clear and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Make a depression in the top of the stuffing on each squash. Fill with apricot sauce. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

(From Vegetarians of  Washington's November Newsletter)

Bran Muffin with Fig Pieces

Yesterday at the Food Bank, I received a little package of Honey Bran muffin mix.  I also received a small package of fig pieces.  I put them together and made muffins.  Yummy!  I did use Almond Milk that I had gotten from my church's Food Bank instead of the dairy milk because I'm allergic to dairy.

Info on the Squash We Received Yesterday

Winter squashes are readily available at this time of year.  They are nutritionally dense, supplying beta carotene, iron, and riboflavin, but best of all they provide endless options for creating tasty, satisfying meals. The best cooking method for almost any winter squash is to cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and then steam it or bake it in the oven.  The flesh will then be soft and easy to scrape out or cut, to be used in a wide variety of delicious recipes.

Acorn (which is the one we received yesterday), butternut and kabocha squash can be cut in half and filled with a delicious stuffing to provide the perfect centerpiece to any holiday table. The green and yellow striped delicata squash has sweet yellow flesh and a soft skin which can be eaten, eliminating the need for peeling. Spaghetti squash can be separated into spaghetti-like strands, making it an interesting addition to stews. And most familiar of all is pumpkin (baked, steamed or from a can), used in soups, stews, pies and even cookies!

(This info from Vegetarians of Washington November Newsletter)

Variation on Fried Green Tomatoes

Yesterday at the Food Bank, we got rice and as many red bell peppers as we wanted. I immediately thought about a variation on the Fried Green Tomatoes recipe.

Just do the recipe but add the bell peppers and then put it over rice!  I'm going to make it today.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mom's Zucchini Bread

My mother never liked to cook and so I don't have many recipes from her.  This is one of only two recipes I have gotten from her.   It has sugar and honey in it so it isn't totally healthy but I thought I would include it since we got a bunch of zucchini today at the Food Bank.

Mom's Zucchini Bread

3 eggs (or egg replacere to equal 3 eggs)
1 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup honey
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (or the whole wheat flour, already ground, that we got last week)
3 Tablespoons wheat gluten (only needed with the fresh ground whole wheat flour - it helps it to rise)
2 Cups zucchini --grated

Beat eggs (or reconstituted egg replacer).  Add brown sugar,  honey, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, whole wheat flour, gluten and zucchini.  Mix well.  Oil and flour 4 small loaf pans or spray with lecithin spray). 

Fill pans with equal amounts of dough.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. 

1. add one cup walnuts or pecans
2. Add 1 cup dates
3. Add 1 cup raisins
4. Add 1 cup shredded carrots

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chipotle Hummus? Oh Yeah!

See my other blog for why you should be eating more chick peas: http://www.drellouiseshealthcorner.blogspot.com/

I love hummus and have just made up a new recipe by adding chipotle to it. YUM! And, you know, jalapenos are actually good for you! Thank heavens because I eat a lot of them. :)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
5 level Tablespoons tahini paste
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 can (15 oz) of chick peas (garbanzos) strained-reserve the juice
(if you want to you can cook up dried garbanzos in distilled water and then put in 2 cups of them instead of the can)
2 heaping Tablespoons of chipotle in adobe sauce
1 Tablespoon of the adobe sauce
Put a little of the garbanzo juice in the bottom of a VitaMix and then the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth, use extra juice if it is too dry. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dr. Ellouise's Famous Home Fries

Each week, at the Food Bank, I get potatoes, onions, carrots and celery.  When I owned my school, one of the favorite breakfasts was my Home Fries and so I decided to use my Food Bank items to make Home Fries for my friends who were coming for lunch.  Here it is (remember you can adjust it according to what you have or what you got at the Food Bank):

I have an 12X21 stainless baking pan which I use.  I fill it to the top with potatoes (diced small) and then add the other ingredients on top.  The volume cooks down.  All of my veggies are wash with Fruit and Vegetable Rinse before I use them.  I don't peel the potatoes and carrots because so many vitamins are hiding just under the skin.  Left overs can be frozen and then added to potato soup or split pea soup.

Potatoes (not peeled, diced small) 
Carrots (not peeled, diced small)
Celery (diced)
Butternut squash (peeled and diced small)
Zuchhini (diced small)
Bell peppers (whatever color you like or whatever color you got at the Food Bank)
Pepper to taste
Basil to taste
Non-MSG Seasoned Salt - I like Lawry's the best

Diced the potatoes first and put into the pan.  Fill all the way to the top of the pan.  Dice and add the rest of the ingredients on top.  Don't worry about how high it gets, it will cook down after a short while.  Add seasonings on top of the ingredients.  Drizzle olive oil on top of everything (sometimes, it's too dry after baking for a while and so I add a bit more olive oil).

Bake in 450 oven, gently turning occasionally.  Try to turn it like hash browns, without making it all smashed, one spatula at a time.

Serve with catsup or salsa on the side.

Leftovers can be frozen and then added to soups. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cold Vegan Pizza? YUM!

I've always liked cold pizza but I wasn't all that sure about having the vegan pizza that I made on Sunday as my lunches this week because it would be cold (I don't microwave because it kills the lifeforce of the food). 

However, yesterday and today I had cold pizza from Sunday and it actually was very good!  In fact, I think I liked it better cold than when it was hot.  In trying to analyze that, I'm thinking that it's becuase Vegan Cheese does not melt in the same way that dairy cheese melts.  So biting into a hot pizza slice with not very melted cheese is not incredibly wonderful.  However, when it's cold, and one is not expecting it to be melty, then it tastes just fine! 

I'm hoping to have time to try that carrot/apple soup recipe this week since I got so many carrots at the food bank last week. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Pizza and the Spinach Salad

The pizza crust was the one I got at the Food Bank and it was "multi-grain" and very thick.  I like thin crust so that part wasn't my favorite.  The rest of it tasted great. 

However, those who are hooked on dairy cheese probably wouldn't have liked how the Vegan Cheese didn't melt.  But, it tasted just fine. 

I made a spinach salad to go with it, here's the recipe (all ingredients I got at the Food Bank on Saturday, except for the salad dressing from my friend and the raw sunflower seeds that I had in the freezer):

Baby spinach
Carrots - diced very small
Cauliflower - cut in small pieces
Celery - diced
Grape tomatoes
Raw sunflower seeds (last Spring I had the money to buy 10 pounds and I put it into the freezer)
Girard's Raspberry dressing (my friend bought it with food stamps)

Put the spinach on individual salad plates.  Slice and dice carrots, cauliflower and celery and put on top.  Put grape tomatoes and sunflower seed on top.  Add raisins to the top.  Put the dressing on the side so each person can choose how much and what kind to use.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Song of the Day! And a Pizza Recipe!

This song is to the tune of "Loch Lohman" and it's about the ingredients I received (and those donated by a friend) yesterday at the Food Bank.  My friend is out raking leaves while I'm inside making the pizza from our combined ingredients. 

Song: You bring the tomato paste

You bring the tomato paste and I'll bring the pizza crust
And, we'll make a pizza together.

Together we'll share our food bank bounty, and we will make a pizza together!

You bring the soy cheese and I'll bring the pineapples
And we'll make a pizza together.


You bring the Gimme Lean and I'll bring the olives
And we'll make a pizza together.


You bring the cherry juice and I'll bring the bell peppers
And we'll make a pizza together.


Pizza Recipe: (fairly freely adapted from the 1960 Betty Crocker Cookbook)
2 Pizza crusts received from Food Bank
1 1lb can tomatoes, drained (reserving at least 1/2 cup liquid) and then diced
1 6oz can of tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs crushed oregano
1 Tbs basil
1/4 cup soy cheese, grated (actually, it doesn't grate very well, so I cut it into small squares)
Gimme Lean non-meat sausage (cooked)
Fresh pineapple (cut into small squares)
1 small can sliced olives
1 can artichoke hearts
1 Bell pepper (whatever color they are giving out at the Food Bank) sliced very thin

Place pizza crust on cookie sheet or pizza pan.
Heat a frying pan and, when hot, add a little olive oil.
Break Gimme Lean into little pieces and brown in a frying pan.  If necessary, add a bit more oil to make it not stick.
Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/2 cup juice. 
Dice tomatoes and place on crusts; sprinkle with with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover with the cheese and drizzle with olive oil (only 1 TBS per crust). 
Sprinkle with non-meat sausage, pineapple, olives, bell peppers.
Combine tomato paste, reserved tomato juice, garlic, and herbs. 
Spread over sausage, tomato, pineapple, olive mixture.
Drizzle with olive oil (only 1 TBS per crust).
Scatter more soy cheese on top.

Bake in very hot oven (450) for 20 minutes or until crust is done and veggies are soft.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes

Today at the Food Bank, we received green tomatoes.  Many people were saying, "what would you do with that?"  I knew exactly what to do with it----make Fried Green Tomatoes!  Here's my recipe:

Green tomatoes - the ones that will never ripen because it's too late in the season --diced
Onions - diced very small
Potatoes - unpeeled and diced
Zucchini - unpeeled and diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Basil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Be sure to wash the veggies with Fruit and Vegetable Rinse before dicing.  Remove the cores of the tomatoes and dice.  Dice the onions, potatoes and zucchini.  Heat a stainless frying pan and then add olive oil and the diced ingredients.  Add basil to taste. Fry all of it up until everything is soft.   Salt and pepper to taste.

Top with salsa, if desired.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Carrot and Apple Soup

Last week, at the Food Bank, I got a lot of carrots and apples.  Then, this week, I found this recipe & it looks like it would taste really good.  It's from "The American Institute for Cancer Research", http://www.aicr.org/

Carrot and Apple Soup

1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped very fine
1 lb carrots, cubed (leave the peels on for more nutrients tha hide just under the peel)
1 GrannySmith apple , cored and chopped (leave the peel on for more nutrients)
3 cups non-chicken broth (McKay's makes a great tasting one)
Soy milk, Almond milk or Rice Dream (not the flavored ones)
3 TBs minced mint for garnish

1. Heat oil in medium Dutch oven or large suacepan on medium-high until hot.  Saute onion and leek until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
2. MIx in carrots and apple.  Tightly cover pot, reduce heat, and cook gently  until vegetabls give up most of their juices, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add broth.  Cover an cook until carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes.
3. Let soup sit, uncovered, about 20 minutes, to cool slightly.  Puree soup in a blender or food processor, if necessary in two bathces.  This makes it a smoother soup.  If soup is too thick, add the milk as desired.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Served garnished with mint.

I'm wondering if this would make a good crockpot recipe.....I'll have to do some experiementing and get back to you!

The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15!

Following are two lists, the Dirty Dozen (the 12 fruits and veggies that have the most pesticides) and the Clean 15 (the 15 with the least pesticides). Taken from the Environmental Working Group.  Download the EWG's shopper's guide app for your smart phone at http://www.foodnews.org/

DIRTY DOZEN (whenever possible, shop for organic versions of these foods) If you are getting food at the food bank, be very sure to use a fruuit and vegetable rinse when using these foods.
Sweet Bell Peppers
Kale and collard greens

Sweet Corn
Sweet peas
Kiwi fruit
Sweet Potatoes

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spinach Salad--YUM!

Last week, when I came home from my Sylvan job, I found 4 bags of groceries on my porch!  What a blessing!  It had spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and celery in it (among other things).  I decided to make spinach salads for this week.  I put the spinach and other ingredients into plastic containers. 

Here's my recipe:

Carrots - diced
Tomatoes - diced and put into little container separately
Cucumbers - diced and put into little container separately
Raw sunflower seeds (in teeny containter)
Raisins  (in teeny container)
Raw almonds (in teensy container)
Dressing of your choice (my favorites are Annies Gingerly and Paul Newman's)

Put the spinach, carrots, celery (and any other fresh vegetables that you have-like cauliflower) into the plastic container.  Then put the teeny containers of sunflower seeds, raisins and almonds into the corners of the salald container.  Put the tomatoes into one little container and the cucumbers into another.

I put them all together on the weekend and then I can just grab the whole thing each morning so it's really quick.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Potatoes Are Plentiful at the Food Bank and They are NOT Fattening!

Each week I get a bag of potatoes.  Many people have the mistaken idea that potatoes are fattening. They're really not......as long as you don't add the calories from sour cream, cheddar cheese, mounds of butter and etc.

The other misconception is that potatoes have no protein.  Since the late 40's, when the meat and dairy council began their advertising campaigns (disguised as "nutritional education"), Americans have been brainwashed to think that the only way to get protein is to eat a half-pounder with bacon and cheese.  However, scientific studies (not the ones sponsored by the meat and dairy council) show that we only need between 3% and 5% of our calories to be protein daily.  Now here's the kicker---potatoes have 13% protein! 

So, the trick is to eat them in ways that are healthy, without the additional fat from animal products!  My next post will be my Home Fries Recipe.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cabbage, Potato, Carrot, Celery and Onion Soup

Last week, I got all the ingredients above and put them together for a soup.  I used some Chef Bonneau's vegetarian "pork" gravy for the soup.  I put it into the crock pot in the morning and it was ready when I came home from work at the Auburn Sylvan.  It was really good.  There was no real recipe but here are the ingredients:

Cabbage (cut into small wedges)
Chef Bonneau's "Pork" gravy

Put some water into a crockpot and add the Chef Bonneau's.  Use a whisk to blend. 
Dice the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions and put them into a crockpot in that order.
Put the cabbage wedges on top and drip a little bit of the gravy over them so they don't dry out.

Cook on high for at least 6 hours.


Monday, October 24, 2011

The Chili Project!

The chili was wonderful!  It took a while to cook and drain the beans 3 times.  While they were cooking, I put together the other ingredients and put them into my crockpot. When the beans were finished, I added them and then put them into the crockpot.  Since they were now ready except for blending the flavors, I went for a walk.  Probably not the wisest thing I've ever done because, since the car accident in July, my hips don't work correctly and I was really sore after the walk.  But, it felt good to be outside and I appreciated the walk.  And, there was no rain so that was special too.  When I got home, I ate some chili.  YUM! Actually, it was so good that I didn't add bread or even a salad, I just ate the chili.  Lots of protein from the beans, and the tomatoes provided the licopene.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

God Provides! Chili Recipe

All week long, I've been craving chili but, I didn't have the ingredients.  One of the ingredients that makes it taste so good is bell peppers but I rarely get that at the Food Bank.  Yesterday, when I went to the food bank, they had onions, bell peppers and tomatoes!  Wow!  God really provides.....not just what we need but, also, what we want!  Here's my chili recipe:

1 large package Adzuki, small red or kidney beans (Adzuki beans have the highest protein ratio)
2 large cans of diced tomatoes or Fire Roasted tomatoes (dice them)
2 large bell peppers (diced)
1 large onion (diced very fine)
2 Tbs chili powder (add more or less according to your taste)

I soak the beans overnight to remove some of the bean sugars.  In the morning, dump the beans into a collander and then rinse.  Put back into the pot and put enough distilled water to cover them plus about 2" more. Bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and boil for one hour.  Repeat this process 2 more times (this removes most of the bean sugars so it lessens the "bean" effect).

Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and chili powder into a large crockpot and turn on high (or, if you don't have a crockpot, just put them into another pot and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium).  

When the beans have been cooked the three times, combine the beans with the tomato mixture.  If using the crockpot, cook on high for at least 5 hours.  If using the stovetop method, cook on low for at least an hour. 

Taste to be sure the flavors have blended before serving.  If not, just cook a little longer.

Yummy Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup!

This yummy soup is a great tummy warmer!  (adapted from The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook)
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 4 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sweet or smoked paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
6 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth (McKay's has a non-chicken broth that is delicious)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained (15 oz can)
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occassionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stire in sweet potato, garlic, paprika, turmeric, oregano,m ginger, bay leaf, sea salt, pepper and cayenne (if desired).  Stir and cook for about 1 minute to blend ingredients and start to soften the garlic.  Stir in the broth, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and copk, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Seasson to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Servings: 8
Calories: 20
Protein: 9g
Carbohydrate: 32g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g
total Sugars: 6 g
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 263 mg

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tips on Being Healthy Even If You are Poor

I make choices to NOT do some activities that are common to Americans today. 

I rarely:
1. Get a latte or other costly caffeine jolts
2. Eat out
3. Go to the movies (I get movies from the library)
4. Join a gym (walking is very healthy and doesn't cost anything)
5. Do much of anything that costs anything like going to baseball games or concerts

Admittedly, these choices limit my social interactions but, currently, I have so many part time jobs that I don't have much time to be social anyway.

What I do:
1. Join in on church activities which don't cost anything
2. Each week, I lead worship for Pierce County Christian Singles
3. Keep up with my friends via my cell phone either by texting or by calling
4. Keep up with my friends via email
5. Walk, walk, walk
6. Keep my brain active by learning new skills or information (for the last 8 years, this has been in the form of adding new jobs in which I had to learn new skills).
7. Although I try to be as regular as I can regarding taking care of my home, I am very flexible regarding my schedule so "changes" don't throw me off.
8. I get my books from the library and read about 2 or 3 a week

Friday, October 7, 2011

Food Bank Soup

When going to the Food Bank, the fresh veggies are usually on their last legs.  So, the trick is to see what you have, figure out what to do with it and get it cooked up right away. 

I went to the food bank and this is what I got:
Wax beans, rice, white beans, carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions and canned corn.  I washed the wax beans, carrots, celery, onions and mushrooms. I cut the veggies into small pieces.  I used a large pot with water and vegetable boullion, brought it to a boil and then added the rice.  After a few minutes, I added the veggies and cooked until they were slightly cooked. 

I let the soup cool and then put the soup into individual containers and into the freezer.  I labeled it with the name and date.  It made enough for about 15 meals.  By freezing it, I was able to take one out at a time and, therefore, had varied meals.