Mexican Rice

rice and beans
Most Mexican restaurant entree’s include rice and beans. The rice is a quintessential side dish which uses tomatoes and various herbs (garlic, cumin, cilantro) to lightly season the rice. Sometime, however, the rice includes jalapeno and can be quite spicy.

In our house Mexican rice is a more robust dish. We use herbs and spices liberally and it is much more than a side dish. We use it for breakfast rice and eggs, we add black or pinto beans and use it as an entree, we stuff it into green peppers and have been known to just sit down and eat it all by its self.

My grandkids asked me for my recipe recently and I realized I had never written down. I promised to do it. So Lauren and Kaitlyn, this is for you! Continue reading

Posted in additive-free food, diary-free food, gluten-free food, Mexican, plant based diet, rice, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Leave a comment


mortonsLike most American kids, I grew up using Morton’s salt. My mother, a nurse in her former life, stressed that the reason we used it was to be sure we got our iodine. To further imprint the lesson we were shown gross pictures of people with goiters due to lack of iodine in science classes.

sea salt
Then I grew up and discovered the amazing tastes of sea salt. I started experimenting with it in cooking, on salads, on various foods and snacks. I loved it. The variety in tastes made me very happy!  Gradually the Morton’s salt disappeared from our house. Continue reading

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Stir Fry with Ginger Sauce

Stir_frySummer is here and the garden is starting to produce veggies. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to do with them.

A favorite simple solution is stir fry.  Stir fry uses most available vegetables. In fact I use almost anything except tomatoes and beets in it. Just add protein with tofu or nuts and to punch up the flavor use very simple ginger sauce. Continue reading

Posted in additive-free food, Asian, diary-free food, fresh veggies, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Leave a comment

Talking About Tofu

TofuThere are foods that make my mouth water. Tofu is not one of them!

I have never looked at tofu and thought “yummy!” Mostly it is a vaguely gelatinous food with no color and very little taste. Turns out that because of the texture, color and taste, tofu can be easily transformed into a tasty source of protein.

Much of the tofu in the USA is genetically modified so it is important to look for non-gmo organic tofu. I personally like sprouted varieties the best. Continue reading

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Eggplant (sort of) Caponata

Summer in New Orleans means eggplant and lots of it! The abundance of it, particularly coming out of garden has forced me to find creative ways to serve it.

Don’t get me wrong, I like eggplant. I use it in various Asian dishes, grilled (used as a sandwich filling), in salads and still I have more eggplant. Continue reading

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Spring – New Orleans One Week Miracle

For one glorious week in May, we have spring here in New Orleans! Right around Mother’s day the threat of frost leaves, the rains die down and the weather is reasonably cool. That’s it! One wonderful week before it gets too hot and muggy to want to move.

crop tomatoes
The big news in our house is that we picked and ate our first tomato of the season. We started the seedlings in February. We planted seven different kinds of seeds: cherries, local creole strains and several hot weather varieties. We watched them come up, replanted them in larger pots carefully fed and watered them.  We transfered them to their permanent homes at the beginning of May. Right now we have one cherry tomato with a bunch of fruit and a lot of the others are in full flower. If we can fight off the black cutworms, the green horn worms and the swarms of insects that love this city,  we are set to have a great tomato crop. Continue reading

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Energy Cookies

ECOOKIESLITTLEvery now and then your body screams at you — “I need fuel”. Something more than a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit. It wants something solid and chewy. Which is why energy bars were created in the first place.

Unfortunately, commercial energy bars are almost always filled with strange ingredients, sugar and preservatives.

My solution, of course, is to make my own.  I have tried all kinds of things. I wanted a basic recipe that could be adapted to various food plans and tastes.  So with out further ado, here is my latest attempt. Continue reading

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Time to Eat

weightlossLike most women, my most persistent life struggles have been in and around my weight. That struggle is what prompted my interest in nutrition. As a teenager and young woman I went on many, many diets. Lost weight and promptly regained it all and then some. In my mid-30’s I found the ways to eat and exercise that finally resulted in a stable weight. Between 35 and 50 my weight never varied more than a couple of pounds one way or the other. As I aged and went through menopause all bets were off. I struggled again as I had to find a new balance. Pounds would magically appear and they were much more difficult to lose.

What I learned was that I had to be more conscious of my overall habits. I need to re-evaluate my portion sizes and return to some of the things I had learned over much earlier in life. For example, when I was a teenager I figured out that if I didn’t eat at night I lost more weight if I didn’t eat at night. The calorie count could stay the same, but the timing mattered. Along with that it became apparent that lack of sleep was a real problem. I began to notice that if I didn’t sleep enough I was not only tired and crabby, but seem to magically add a pound or two. I have always assumed that it was just how my body worked. Continue reading

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Organic Produce vs Conventionally Grown

When shopping for fresh produce, I really, really want to buy organic. I believe it is healthier and I am careful about what I put in my body.

But for all my good intentions there are time when I can’t/won’t buy organic: can’t find the organic produce I want. Either it is unavailable in the store, the price is astronomical or I want a specific item that is hard to find. At times like that I stand in the store wondering if it really matters all that much if the food is organic or not.

I found some info what makes the choice a little easier. Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce is a treasure trove of useful information. Continue reading

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New Recommendations: Eat Less Sugar; Fat not so bad . . .

Seems that what we have been told for the last 25 years is really not to great advice.  A new report says that cholesterol and fat are not the enemy after all. Turns out the real enemies are sugar, salt and maybe saturated fat.

This comes from the The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and is significant because this group shapes our national dietary policy. The guidelines influence FDA policy which ultimately effects  school lunch, SNAP and WIC programs. Continue reading

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