Friday, December 25, 2009

Health for Life cooking in January 2010: Quick & Easy, Low in Fat, and High in Nutrients

I consider myself extremely diligent when it comes to my diet, and since I've been eating a plant based diet for so long, I'm really not even tempted by the unhealthy foods that come before me every now and again. However, it seems that I'm weakened just a bit during the holidays, so I'm always glad when it's all over and I can get back to my normal routine and be done with all the unhealthy goodies. And I'm sure that many feel the same way, thus, New Years resolutions are in full swing.

That is why the theme for my January Health for Life cooking classes is "Quick & Easy, Low in Fat, and High in Nutrients." Quick & Easy" because most people just starting out on a plant based diet don't want complicated recipes calling for unfamiliar ingredients that are hard to find. "Low in fat" because at the beginning of a new year, everyone seems to be interested in losing a few pounds. And "high in nutrients" because high nutrient foods increase your body's ability to remove toxins (and the holiday "gunk") which will assist in the weight loss.

So the menu for January will include 4 quick and easy, low fat, high nutrients dishes. Creamy Butternut Bisque, Lemony Quinuo, Spicy Spinach and Chic Peas over brown rice, and to satisfy the kid in all of us, Eazy Cheezy Potatoes. I decided to by-pass the dessert this month since we've all probably had plenty of them over the last few weeks.

I've been excited to do the Butternut Bisque ever since I visited a vegetarian restaurant in Canoga Park California during the Healthy Lifestyle Expo which I attended with my friends from the Vegetarian Society of Utah last October. ( The restaurant is called Follow Your Heart ( and the food was fabulous! I ordered their Pumpkin Bisque and it was so good I had to see if I could come up with something similar. The recipe I came up with is made with butternut squash, which I like better then pumpkin, and it's a little bit easier to work with. Baking the squash at a low temperature until very soft intensifies the delicious sweet flavors of the squash, and blending it with some soy milk and the right amount of seasonings makes this soup heavenly! It's creamy, delicious, and very satisfying on it's own!

If you need a little something to go along with the soup, a nice companion to the Butternut Bisque is Lemony Quinoa. I made the soup and the quinoa while my brother was visiting for Christmas and he mixed the quinoa right in with the soup. Quinoa is considered a "pseudo grain" because it is actually a seed. Pseudo grains don't contain gluten, which makes them easily digestible, alkaline-forming, and suitable for those with an intolerance to gluten. It's 20% protein, high in lysine and is a good source of iron, potassium and B vitamins. It has a light, fluffy texture and a mild earthy taste. It can be cooked like you would cook rice or sprouted and eaten raw. It takes about 20 minutes to cook which is just enough time to chop up the veggies and toss the remaining ingredients together. For class, I'll be serving this dish warm but it would be delicious cold as well.

The Spicy Spinach and Chic Pea recipe comes from Dr. Joel Fuhrmans web site ( and it had many great reviews. The recipe calls for garam masala which is a spice combination popular in India that can be found at any grocery store. This plus a small amount of green chilies added to the tomatoes, chick-peas, and spinach brings great flavor and an excellent combination and large amount of phyto nutrients. Serve it over brown rice and you have a perfect quick and easy meal.

Your kids are going the love the Eazy Cheezy Potatoes! The "cheez" sauce is made with cauliflower and carrots which will up the nutrient level of the other wise low nutrient potatoes. Add frozen peas and carrots to increase the nutritional level higher and/or add steamed broccoli to increase it even higher! Or for the really picky eater who wont eat any vegetables, leave the visible veggies out and the cauliflower and carrot based sauce will still provide a healthy meal. For my Christmas dinner, I served broccoli with this "cheez" sauce, and my 28 yo daughter, who lives on burgers, burritos, and mac-n-cheese, said "the cheese sauce is pretty good!" That's a great accomplishment if I can get her to eat anything healthy.

And there you have it! Health for Life cooking to start the year off right! Hope to see you at class! For more information, contact April at

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Health for Life cooking in November

Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread Stuffing, Broccoli w/Red Lentil Cheez Sauce & Cranapple Relish

Tis the season for holiday cooking! And for the standard American this means lots of processed white flour, sugar, and fat which equals weight gain. OK, so what's the big deal? You can just work it off in January right? If that was all there was to worry about I would say "tank up!" That's what I used to do! Unfortunately with that holiday splurging comes weakened immune systems which brings on colds and flues (as in the dreaded "swine flu"), re-visiting past addictions that are easily triggered, and my most dreaded one....lowered energy levels and just feeling lousy! No way, no thank you!!

Fortunately, when you are eating a nutrient dense diet, you lose the desire for those unhealthy high fat foods. However, because family traditions are important and you don't want to be a total party pooper, go ahead and fix your family favorites but just make sure they are Health for Life style.
In this months Health for Life cooking class I will show you how to do just that. I'm going to start off with my favorite stuffing recipe that I've made for my family for several years. Last Christmas my very picky hard-to-please Italian uncle who always has something to say about the way I eat, complimented me on it. I was excited! I think that was a first from him. Anyway, this stuffing recipe comes from one of my favorite restaurant cookbooks, Real Food Daily. It is made with home made corn bread which is what really makes it great. Added to the cornbread is a mixture of onion, carrots, and celery in a tasty broth seasoned with a Holiday Seasoning mix that you can make yourself. Then it's baked to least that's always my hope. Cooking stuffing is a lot like cooking a turkey in that you are always a little concerned whether it will be too moist or too dry.
The potatoes for the Mashed Potatoes are mashed with a gravy made with cashews and a chicken style broth seasoning that makes them a crowd pleaser. They always disappear at my house!
With these two high starch dishes I have to include a high nutrient side dish of steamed broccoli topped with my favorite red lentil cheez sauce. (gotta get in those beans and greens!) I included this dish in my Christmas dinner last year and even the kids ate it.
I'm very excited about my new addition to the holiday meal; Cranapple Relish. This is a very healthy alternative to traditional cranberry sauce that is very high in sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup. This salad/relish is a perfect combination of apples, cranberries, dates, and walnuts that taste like a dessert. I've had it every morning for breakfast since I came up with it a week ago. It's simply delicious! And simple to make!
And then what's Thanksgiving (or Christmas) without Pumpkin Pie. (Sorry, not pictured) There is no milk, eggs, or tofu in this Pumpkin Pie. And there are no processed sugars! And the crust is not the traditional flour and oil crust. It's made with oats and is flaky and delicious. Top it with Cashew or Walnut Cream and you have the perfect dessert to top off your Thanksgiving Feast!
And there you have it! Health for Life cooking for your holiday feast! I look forward to seeing you in class!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Health for Life Cooking in October

Veggie Pizza, Caesars Salad, Rustic Italian Soup & Vanilla Ice Cream w/ chocolate syrup

With fall settling in, it's time to crank up the oven. I try to keep the oven off during the hot summer months to save on electricity, so when it starts getting cool, I'm ready for some oven baked goodness. And one of my favorites is pizza! In fact it's usually what's for dinner on Halloween. Not that I'm a Halloween fan and need a reason to "party." To be honest, I really don't like this so called "holiday" where kids get dressed up in scary costumes and go door to door asking for candy, which in my opinion, they get for breakfast, lunch, and dinner these days. But I guess I'm not a complete scrooge when I still have an urge to do something fun. So home made pizza it is!

Since my days of downing a whole small little Caesars Pizza in one meal are gone, thank goodness (!!!) I've discovered that pizza really can be a healthy food and when you make it Health for Life style and include a big green salad and healthy soup, you fill up pretty quick and couldn't possibly eat the whole thing! I start off with a 100% freshly ground whole wheat flour for the crust. This crust is so fast and simple to make and has no oil! I top the crust with a quick and easy home made tomato sauce, and than add toppings of choice. I'm pretty traditional and usually stick with onion, peppers, mushrooms and olives, but for class I'm going to add some sun-dried tomatoes and spinach to make it extra tasty and nutritious. Top it all with sesame parmesan and you have a pizza fit for a vegan king!

Even though my pizza is quite healthy, it's still low on the anti-oxidant scale. Therefore, I always include a nice big green salad with the meal. For class it's going to be a Caesars Salad made with a creamy Caesar's type dressing. This dressing does contain cashews but could easily be made with sunflower seeds or other seeds which are less allergenic.

Along with the salad comes a nice warm Rustic Italian Soup. This recipe comes from my favorite southern California restaurant cook book, Real Food Daily. It's a tomato based soup with kale, white beans, and lots of garlic to keep the vampires away!! (and, unfortunately, my hubby) It's perfect for a cold Halloween evening.

And for it ever to cold for ice cream? I don't think so. What better way to top off a pizza party then with ice cream! I'll be demonstrating the basic vanilla cashew ice cream that I've done for years that many of you have seen and tasted, but many have not. Maybe I'll add on a topping of some sort. The possibilities are endless!!
And there you have it! Health for Life cooking in October! I hope you will join me for dinner!

Dr. Fuhrmans wife Lisa shared her healthy Halloween tips on Dr. Fuhrmans blog. I thought it was worth sharing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Health for Life Cooking in September

As much as I love summer, I also love to see the signs of fall coming. It's great when it cools down just enough to where you can really enjoy a picnic in the park....or in your back yard which is where I often go. I have fond memories of family picnics at a local park in California where I grew up. We would get together with my favorite cousin and her family and it was always a great time! One of the best parts of the outing was the food! Kentucky Fried Chicken (and my favorite part was that "extra crispy" greasy skin) potato salad, pork and beans, chips, and what ever dessert there was. I didn't care. As long as there was sugar involved.

Those days of fried chicken and sugar are long gone since switching to a whole foods plant based diet almost 20 years ago. But the picnic with the family doesn't have to be. And you can enjoy some delicious picnic foods that aren't loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol.

And that is what Health for Life cooking will be focused on for the month of September. I'm going to set aside my high nutrient focus, just this once, to share with you 3 of my favorite picnic dishes; Potato Salad, BBQ'd Lentils, and Chic'n Strips w/Sweet Mustard Dip. To make up for the lack of high nutrients foods in our picnic meal, it would be good to start your day off with a high nutrient smoothie. Since peaches are in season, I have been making a Peaches and Greens smoothie that is fabulous and I'm very excited to share it with you! (Smoothie is not pictured)
My potato salad that I will be demonstrating is made with red potatoes, which are higher in nutritional value then the white russets. The dressing is made with cashews and sunflower seeds, blended with some lemon juice, vinegar, and seasonings for a delicious creamy almost like mayo dressing. The BBQ sauce for the lentils will be made in my Vita Mix in just minutes, with two of the best, most nutritious sweeteners. And the Chic'n strips...well these are going to be a surprise! There's no chicken in these little guys and they are really delicious dipped in this simple sweet mustard sauce that would also be great for a salad dressing. (For those with nut allergies, the Chic'n Strips have walnuts which you can omit from this recipe). And I'm sure you can guess what the Peaches and Greens smoothie is made with. I add a couple extra goodies to make this creamy and delicious. It's a great way to start your day.
And that's Health for Life in September. If the weather is nice, we just might make it a real picnic and take it to my back yard. Hope to see YOU at one of my classes!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health for Life Cooking in August

Raw Zucchini Pasta w/ Almost Raw Marinara

Hoppin' John Salad

Jicama & Pepper Salad
w/ Snap Peas & Corn

I'm excited to be back in the kitchen! And I'm excited to share with you some of my most favorite summer time dishes. With the temperatures up in the triple digits, I prefer to keep my meals simple and use a lot of raw vegetables. Not only do raw fruits and vegetables contain live enzymes, they also have a high water content. Because of this, these foods are very easy to digest and they help keep our body well hydrated during these hot summer months. In his lecture on the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii web site ( John Westerdahl Ph.D indicates that the water in the cells of plant foods is a great source of water for us because it gets absorbed into our cells more efficiently. That makes a lot of sense! Plant foods in general are what our body craves!
One dish that I'm really excited about is a Raw Zucchini Pasta (picture above) made with my favorite new kitchen gadget, the *Spiral Slicer. I top this with an almost Raw Marinara made with garden fresh tomatoes and spices. The reason it's not completely raw is because I can't find sun dried tomatoes, at a reasonable cost, that aren't packed in oil or that don't have sulfur dioxide as a preservative.

I find tomato paste works very well in giving this sauce a rich flavor like the sun dried tomatoes would. And, if you heat the sauce just a bit, you hardly know it's not real spaghetti. One of the reasons I'm so excited about this dish is because I don't normally like zucchini. But because it's so nutritious, I've tried and tried to find ways to make it good. And this so far is the best!!

Another dish that I'll be demonstrating is a Hopin' John salad (pictured above). This is NOT a raw salad but more of a grain based salad using cooked brown rice and black eyed peas. The grains and beans together make a great hearty meal for the finicky man in your life, and when you pile this on a bed of romaine lettuce and garnish with garden fresh tomatoes, it adds the powerful anti-oxidants and phyochemicals that would normally be missing from this salad alone.

The third dish that I will be demonstrating is a Jicama & Sweet Pepper Salad w/Snap Peas and Corn (picture above). I've been making different versions of this salad for years and just love it! Because it's completely raw and contains a lot of high water content veggies, it's perfect for lunch when you don't want to eat something heavy that will take a lot of energy to digest. I need my energy for work during the day, not for digesting a heavy meal. With all the sweet veggies in this salad and the sweet vinegar dressing, you're sweet tooth will be satisfied and you wont want (or need) that late afternoon high sugar snack.

Are your kids asking for money for the ice cream truck or are they begging you to stop for a Shaved Ice after swimming? Instead, offer to make them a home made icy cool refreshing treat. Frozen Cherry's will be the fruit in this Lemon Cherry Slush (no picture yet) but any frozen fruit will work.

So there you have it! Whether you are into raw foods or not, this class will teach you how to make three delicious summertime dishes and will also give you ideas to incorporate into other traditional favorites that will help make the transition to a plant based diet satisfying and enjoyable. I look forward to seeing you at class!
*When I purchased my Spiral Slicer I bought 3 of them to get free shipping. The two remaining are available for purchase at my cost of $20. First come first serve!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

I love ice cream!!! And it was the last to go when I eliminated dairy products from my diet. Once I discovered vegan ice cream options though, there was no turning back. There are several excellent options on the market, including one of my favorites, Soy Delicious. However, even though they are healthier then their dairy based counterparts, they are far from health promoting. They are high in processed sugars and extracted oils, which I have eliminated from my diet, other then the occasional treat or dinner out.
This home made ice cream treat that I came up with years ago has long been a favorite of mine and my husbands, as well as my, at that time, teenage daughter. And I recently made it for my 8 year old cub scouts and one of them liked it so much that he told about it at the next pack meeting.
If you have the frozen bananas on hand, it is so quick and easy. You can have soft serve ice cream in minutes. Here is how to make it:
Peel and slice spotted bananas and freeze in zip lock bags for at least 24 hours. I like to keep these on hand for smoothies as well. Add desired amount of frozen banana slices to a food processor and process with a bit of water, soy, or almond milk until smooth and creamy. You will need to stop the food processor a few times and use a fork to break up the chunks. Add cocoa powder to taste and serve. If you would like it sweeter, add a bit of agave nectar or other liquid sweetener in stead of the water.
There is another great home made ice cream option that I love to make but it takes a bit longer and it's best if you have an ice cream maker. It's called Cashew Ice Cream and the recipe can be found on the Vegetarian Society of Utah web site at Go to the recipe link and find many more recipes as well.
Best of health to you! April

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vegetarian Society of Utah Food Demo

Myself and two friends from the Vegetarian Society of Utah ( did a food demo for the VSU library program this month. The event was a huge success! It was standing room only with 90+ in attendance. It was a lot of fun and everyone seemed to really enjoy the demo along with the free samples.

Here is the recipe that I demonstrated along with a picture. This is one of my favorite summer time salads served with some home made corn tortillas. The chips are made with my favorite corn tortillas, Food For Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas. They make great chips as well as soft tacos. Cut each round into 8 wedges and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until crisp.

Texas Caviar

2 cups raw corn
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
2 - 3 tomatillos chopped (optional)
1 small red onion, chopped
4 jalepenos seeded and chopped
4 or 5 roma tomatoes chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
2 - 3 limes juiced
½ - 1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
1 - 2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup rice vinegar w/ 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1 large avocado diced
2 cups (or 2 cans drained and rinsed) black beans
Combine everything but the beans and mix well. Gently fold in beans. Gently mix. Let chill before serving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Best of health to you! April

Sunday, May 17, 2009

International Quinoa Salad

I've really missed doing cooking classes this month and sharing with you the fun of plant based nutrition, so I decided to post one of my favorite summer time recipes.

International Quinoa Salad is a cool and light, easy to prepare one dish meal that is low in fat and high in protein. I've been educating myself lately about the best quality plant based protein sources and quinoa is one of them with 20 percent protein. Quinoa is considered a "pseudo grain" because it is actually a seed. Pseudo grains don't contain gluten, which makes them easily digestible, alkaline-forming, and suitable for those with an intolerance to gluten. It's high in lysine and is a good source of iron, potassium and B vitamins. It has a light, fluffy texture and a mild earthy taste. It can be cooked like you would cook rice or sprouted and eaten raw. It takes about 20 minutes to cook which is just enough time to chop up the veggies and toss the remaining ingredients together.

Originally this recipe called for a tablespoon or two of olive oil but because any kind of oil will damage the inner lining of your arteries, I leave it out and instead add the avocado in its place. That way, not only are you getting the oil from the avocado, but you are also getting all the vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, photochemicals that nature provided in that whole plant food. Besides, I LOVE avocado and as far as I'm concerned, it can go with anything! I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do!

International Quinoa Salad

1 1/2 - 2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 clove garlic minced
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 small cucumber chopped
1 cup corn
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion (I like using red onion)
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (if using canned, drain and rinse well)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup lime juice
1 avocado diced
salt to taste

Bring water to boil over high heat. Turn down to low and add quinoa. Cook about 20 minutes or until tender. Remove lid and fluff with fork and let cool.
While quinoa is cooking, combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Mix in cooled quinoa with vegetables, and mix lightly.
If there is no time to cool, mix in the quinoa while it's still warm. This makes a nice warm salad as well.

I'm hoping to resume my cooking classes the latter part of June so I hope to see you there!
Best of health,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Health for Life Cooking in April

Spring into summer healthier and leaner with Health for Life Cooking! Plant foods are your greatest tool to achieve optimal health and your ideal weight! They are naturally low in calorie, high in fiber, and rich in the essential nutrients that are critical for optimal health.
On the menu for this month is Not Meat Loaf, Steamed Asparagus w/ Roasted Garlic Sauce, White Bean Potato Soup, and Raw Berry Pie w/a nut crust. The Not Meat Loaf is a favorite of mine that reminds me of the traditional meat loaf that many of us grew up with. I love it the way I loved meat loaf as a kid....with ketchup. And I will have some home-made ketchup for you to try along with the recipe. It is simple to through together but takes about 45 minutes to cook. The foundation of this loaf is tofu and oats with some veggies, seasonings and sauces added to make it tasty. The garlic sauce on the asparagus (which is in season this time of year) is made with pine nuts and roasted garlic with just a touch of lemon juice. The White Bean Potato soup is a rich creamy hearty soup that could be classified as one of those "comfort foods." And to top off the meal.....Raw Berry Pie. This pie is so healthy, you could eat it for breakfast! No processed sugars are used and the crust in this picture was made with almonds but could be made with pecans, walnuts, or even seeds for those who have allergies to tree nuts. And there you have it! I look forward to having you for dinner!
Best of health,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nutrient Rich and Delicious!

I had a VSU friend and one of my cooking class attendees e-mail me about the abundance of kale that she had growing in her green house, and she asked for some recipes using kale. I don't have a lot of recipes but I DO use it a lot. Mainly in my morning smoothie and I'll add it to soups and other dishes when I can. It's one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet! High in protein, calcium and many cancer fighting phytochemicals! And it's delicious! AND it grows good here in St. George. In fact my fall crop lasted through the winter. There were only a couple of months where I didn't cut it because it just wasn't growing. But as soon as it warmed up a bit, it came out of dormancy and I think the freeze made it sweeter. It was so delicious! Anyway, back to the reason for this post. I've recently discovered beans and greens! And this dish that I made tonight for dinner was so yummy I just had to post the recipe. Besides the sweet potato that baked for an hour, it took only 10 minutes to make this meal. In the past I've used garbanzo beans and kale together but I had some left over black beans from last nights "Oscars Tacos" so I used them with the kale instead. Black beans are one of the most nutrient rich beans, and along with this kale, and then the sweet! Oh yes, and the avocado mixed in increased the uptake of nutrients into your body. As for nutrients, it doesn't get a whole lot better then this. So, for Marilee, and anyone else who is interested, here is the recipe.

Kale w/Black Beans and Avocado

1/2 cup water w/ 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos - love this stuff!
1 large clove garlic
1/2 bunch of kale chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder (next time I'll use 1 tsp)
1 cup black beans
1/4 avocado mashed

Cook garlic in water over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add kale, cover and cook for 3 - 5 minutes. Check for tenderness. Add seasonings and black beans and cook another minute. Mix in mashed avocado and serve. (the sweet potato has some avocado mixed in as well)

I just fed myself tonight but if I was feeding my husband, I would have doubled the recipe. However, I've cooked a whole bunch of kale and have eaten it all myself so the amount you make just depends on how weird you are!

BTW, when I use garbanzo beans, the seasonings are cumin, coriander, garam masala, and I use about 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds that have been ground to powder instead of the avocado.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think.

Best of health to you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cancer and the wonderful world of cruciferous vegetables

Cancer is a killer! It took both of my parents and so I guess that's why I have a huge interest in the research on cancer and a plant based diet. The incredible evidence on the power of plant foods, especially green cruciferous vegetables, on cancer is amazing to me! And more research continues to surface all the time. Like this one published in Reuters on the benefits of broccoli. The article states "What broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer developing and switching off other ones that help it spread." BROCCOLI! Who would imagine! This should be on the front page of every news paper in this country and announced on every news broadcast. Unless you are interested in the subject and looking for it, you probably aren't going to hear it. I get a lot of this kind of information from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's blog. Those of you that know me and have come to my cooking classes, know that I'm a huge fan of Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his Eat to Live/ Eat for Health diet style which is a diet loaded with these high nutrient anti-cancer foods. He seems to be right up to date of all the latest research and he has helped thousands of his patients over come major illnesses with nutrition alone. And I've met some of them. Here are a couple of his posts that have to do with cancer and cruciferous vegetables.

In this second link it states that cruciferous vegetables "halt the growth of breast cancer cells."
That means they stop the growth. Wouldn't every women with cancer want to know this? If I had cancer I would be eating the stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Come to think of it, I do eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Fruit smoothie with 3 oz of kale for breakfast, big green salad for lunch with about a cup of steamed either broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts, and I usually try to have some with dinner. I feel protected! Not only that but I'm slowing down the aging process. Fruits and veggies are great for complexion, nails, hair, eyes, and everything!! If I could only get it to change the silver colored stuff in my hair. Oh, you mean I can do that myself? Nah! Too much stress, money, and time involved.

OK, so here is the recipe I'm using right now for my fruit smoothie:

2 Oranges (oranges are in peak season and wonderful!)
1/2 cup water
3 - 4 ounces of kale, collards, or bok choy (all cruciferous veggies)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen mixed berries (buy from Costco)
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds

Blend this up in a high powered Vita Mix or Blend Tec until smooth. When you blend these vegetables the beneficial chemical compounds in the plant are so much more absorbable then when you chew because most of us really don't chew very well. Your body will absorb 90% of these incredible cancer fighting nutrients. So load up on these nutrient packed foods and take control of your health! No one else can.
Best of health to you!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Health for Life in March

Increasing the consumption of whole plant foods including vegetables, legumes, fruits, raw nuts and seeds and whole grains, and decreasing the consumption of animal products, offers a profound increase in longevity due to the life-extending phyto-chemicals that a plant-based diet offers!

Here is what's cookin' at Health for Life cooking for the month of March. Vegetable Tacos w/ fresh guacamole, Spicy Southwest Corn, Wheat Berry Chili, and Citrus Delight. While visiting my home town of Redlands California, my cousin and I had dinner at a great place called Oscars Cafe'. Any place that makes an effort to cater to the growing veggie crowd, and especially if they provide a healthy vegan entree, is a "great place" in my opinion. These veggie tacos stuffed with onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and black beans were not only high in nutrients but also very delicious. After thoroughly enjoying this meal I knew I needed to take it home to my kitchen and give it a try! The Spicy Southwest Corn is a simple dish that I've been making for years. My teenage daughter loved it served with black bean enchiladas. The Wheat Berry Chili has got to be my favorite chili. Wanting to incorporate more whole wheat berries into my diet, I decided to add them to chili to provide a hearty meaty texture. And that it does! With Oranges in peek season, I wanted to make a citrus fruit drink to top off the meal. This smooth and creamy Orange Delight is a perfect way to cool down the palate after a spicy (but not too spicy) meal.

Here is a great article that tells us why it's so important to Eat for Health instead of depending on multi vitamins to keep us healthy. See you in March!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 18th Health for Life cooking class

The theme for my Health for Life cooking class for the month of February was "Keep Your Heart Healthy for Life." Studies show that a plant based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds is the most effective cholesterol-lowering dietary approach in medical history! Wow! That is exciting news since heart disease is the #1 killer in our country. It just doesn't have to happen. We can dramatically reduce our risk! That is why I'm so excited to teach others how to prepare delicious meals that will help you to become heart attack proof! Speaking of "Heart Attack Proof," be sure and visit and learn more about this from Dr. Caldwell Essylstine, the director of preventive cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic.

OK, back to my class....I was excited about the menu for this months class. I prepared a special menu in honor of Valentines Day which included Eggplant Lasagna Roll-Up w/ a home made marinara sauce, Stuffed Mushrooms, Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette w/ a basic romaine salad, and Raw Fudge made with both carob and cocoa powder.

My first class was Tuesday February 3rd with four in attendance and my second class was last night, February 18th, with 3 in attendance. It took me about 70 minutes to prepare the four menu items and then we all sat down for a feast! It was very yummy if I do say so myself and the three wonderful ladies who attended seemed to enjoy it as well. They all took left-overs home. That is always a good sign! Thanks so much for coming Kathleen, Kim, and Lisa.

Stay tuned for next months menu that I will be posting soon. I'm hoping to include some pictures to entice you just a bit!

Best of Health! April

100% Plant Based 100% Nutritious 100% Delicious

Health for Life cooking will demonstrate how to incorporate the wonderful plant foods that nature provides into delicious meals that are rich in phyto-nutrients, protein, calcium, and taste! Processed flours and sugars are rarely used and processed oils are never used! To purchase my cookbooks and find out when my next cooking classes are, visit