Green Power Salad

¼c toasted (brown) sesame oil
½c fruity balsamic vinegar
1T honey
½t applewood smoked salt
½t fresh ground pepper

Brussels sprouts
kale - chopped
½ med. white onion
½ med. purple onion
1 lg. carrot
4 lg. radishes
1c smoky almonds

crushed sesame seeds
crispy "fried" shallots

In a large glass bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk together, being sure sugar and salt are dissolved.  Thin slice the sprouts and combine with the chopped kale - then massage them, breaking down the fibrousness a bit, for several minutes.  Put this and sliced or chopped onion, into the bowl.  Add thin julienne slices of the carrot and radish slices.  Next rough-chop the almonds, and add them as well.  Toss, cover and chill for a couple hours.  Just before serving, add the crushed sesame seeds and toasted-dried shallots, toss again and serve. . .Lin

Krispy-Krunchy Fresh Corn Salad

¼c light vegetable oil
½c white wine vinegar
1T honey
1T lime juice
salt and pepper

5 orange mini-peppers - thinly sliced
1c chopped celery hearts and tops
2 med. tomatoes - diced small
1 med. onion - chopped
5 ears cooked corn

Combine dressing ingredients in a big glass bowl.  Microwave 30-45 seconds, whisk well.  Add all the prepared vegetables and corn cut off the cob, while it's still warm.  Toss to coat, then chill until ready to serve.  This and the Green Power Salad are going to my daughter's tonight for a Family Dinner 😋. . .Lin

Barley-Vegetable (Shrimp) Spring Rolls

1 med. carrot - grated
1 pickling cucumber
4 sm. green onions
1c romaine lettuce
½c cabbage
4 radishes
1T soy sauce
juice of half a lime
1c cooked barley
cooked, frozen salad shrimp*
rice papers

Well. . .this is my first attempt at making these!  They're something I really love, so it'll be a fun, new adventure!  My daughter was on a Spring Roll spree a couple years ago and I guess I just wasn't ready to expand into that area back then.  But lately, every time I have them, I swear I'm going to try making my own.  A couple days ago at the grocery store, in the Asian food section, what should I see. . .Rice Papers!!  Just begging to come home with me 😃 Sooo, I think today's the day!

Next time I make these I'll use sliced avocado and rice noodles, but now I have a little leftover barley from a casserole I made yesterday, so I'll use some of that in each one for my 'starch.'  I mostly thin-sliced or chopped the vegetables - since I wanted to mix them all with the barley, lime juice and soy sauce - rather than cut them in julienne strips and layer them on the rice paper.  Maybe I'll do that next time.  Once all the vegetables are combined with the barley and liquid ingredients, stir well.

When you're ready to assemble the Spring Rolls, put a little hot water about 2" deep in a large frying pan.  Dip the rice papers, one half at a time, into the water for just a couple seconds each.  Lay the damp rice paper on a large, smooth cutting board.  Begin assembling the ingredients in lines.  In my case today, just 2 lines.  Start rolling on the vegetable side by putting the crescent shaped flap over them.  Roll tightly one time around.  Now put the left and right edge of the rice paper on top and continue to roll, including the shrimp *omit if you'd rather keep this vegan.  Roll to the end, making sure the rice paper sticks to itself.  If not, rub on a little more water to the edge of the flap rolling last.

I found a YouTube video, demonstrating this spring roll technique.  I combined several ideas to create a slightly spicy Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce.

1T toasted sesame oil
2 lg. cloves garlic
1T peanut butter
⅓c hoisin sauce
½t± garlic chili sauce*
3T water
1T honey

Put the oil and finely-minced garlic in a small pan over medium-high heat.  Stir occasionally until the garlic is browned.  Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients.  If you don't have garlic chili sauce you could substitute *sriracha sauce.  Stir until blended and serve with the spring rolls.  Mine turned out a little messy and loose, certainly not like those I've had in Thai and Vietnamese restaurants!  Practice needed!  This recipe will make about 12 spring rolls.  If you have leftover barley and vegetables, you can serve it in a little bowl with some toasted sesame dressing for a different take on an Asian salad. . .😋. . .Lin

Orange and Green Steamed Vegetables

3 med. carrots
½ med. purple onion
½# broccoli
¾# Brussels sprouts
½c± water
2T butter
fresh ground pepper
a sprinkle of smoked sea salt
later add - 1c roasted salted pumpkin seeds

Separate the broccoli into florets, slice the onion and rough chop the carrots.  Quarter the Brussels sprouts and combine everything, but the pumpkin seeds, in a 3-5qt pot.  Bring to a simmer, cover and set a timer for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the pumpkin seeds, toss everything around, cover and let stand another 5 minutes.  Serve as is, with a little grated cheese, as a main dish or as a side to meat or fish. . .Lin 

An Alkaline Food Pyramid


When examining all the various diets, lifestyles and food plans, THIS is the one I keep coming back to.  I think it makes the most sense of any I've seen.

Disease doesn't survive in an Alkaline Environment. . .An Acidic Diet is one that promotes negative health and FEEDS disease cells!  Check it out for yourself, Google: "benefits of alkaline diet" as well as "dangers of an acidic diet."

Four Onion Potato-Cheese Soup

1/3# finely chopped bacon
1 lg. Vidalia onion
1 med. purple onion
5 green onions
6 lg. cloves garlic
1 big carrot - grated
8 sm.-med. Yukon Gold potatoes
1c dry white wine
1 qt. vegetable stock *
6oz. 1/2-bag chopped kale 
12oz. mixed cheese **
chicken or vegetable soup base
(I didn't use the Half & Half)

<— Making the Vegetable Stock.  I simmered mine about 90 minutes.   I added some peppercorns and a little sea salt.
~ Cut off 1/3 of a 1# package of frozen bacon.  It cuts better when partially frozen.  Cut it across the strips, every 1/4".  Then turn those strips and cut again, across, every 1/4#.  Put the bacon in a 5qt. pan and sizzle until well done, breaking it up often.  Drain off about half of the fat and scoop out the bacon onto a folded paper towel.

Add the chopped vegetables to the pan with the bacon drippings and brownings and wine.  Sauté - simmer about an hour.  Add the vegetable stock, kale and cheese.  I used **4oz. each of pepper-jack, feta, and cream cheese.  Use whatever you have or like.  I simmered this a while then checked the flavors, adding some soup base.  I didn't need much since the vegetable broth I made had lots of flavor! 😋 Serve topped with bacon crumbles, or stir the crispy, crumbled bacon into the soup just before serving.

Once again, it's a hot day here. . .80° with 50% humidity, but when a gal's craving soup, there's just no way around it! . .Lin

Sun-Dried Tomato Shrimp Florentine With Pasta

5 mini peppers
4oz. sundried tomatoes
1 med. purple onion
8oz sliced mushrooms
5-6 lg. garlic cloves
4-6oz. cherry tomatoes
8oz. spinach
1c dry white wine
6oz. capers
14oz. diced tomatoes
36oz. frozen raw shrimp
1c sour cream
12-16oz. spaghetti - cooked

Chop or dice all the vegetables into a 5 quart pot.  Sauté in a little olive oil, stirring often.  When it all begins to sizzle and the onions are translucent, add the wine, capers and can of tomatoes.  Stir this together then add the thawed, cleaned shrimp.  Simmer until the shrimp turn a coral color.  Add sour cream and cooked spaghetti, bring back to a simmer once again while stirring.  Turn off heat, cover the pot and let it stand another 10 minutes to be sure the shrimp is cooked but not overcooked.  Makes about 8 servings, good for a crowd. . .Lin

Roasted Patty Pan, Zucchini And Friends

2 sm.-med. patty pan squash
3 sm.-med. zucchini
1 purple onion
10 big radishes
10 yellow cherry tomatoes--¼ cut

1-2T Tuscan Olive Oil
2T Wildly Delicious Bread Dipper
1t± Applewood smoked salt
1t± fresh ground pepper
1T Italian seasonings

Scrub then cut all the vegetables in big pieces into a medium roasting pan.   Drizzle with the Tuscan flavored oil and sundried-basil dipping oil, sprinkle with the seasonings.  Let it all sit, tossing  and basting occasionally, a couple hours before roasting.  Toss one last time, then scoop out with a big slotted kitchen tool (you don't want any extra liquid during roasting) onto a parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan.  Roast at 400° for 60-90 minutes.  Transfer to a big serving bowl. . .Lin

Millie's Tomato-Cucumber Salad

~ 1c white vinegar
~ 1c white sugar
~ 1/4c light vegetable oil
~ salt and pepper
1 Vidalia onion
2 med. red tomatoes
5 pickling cucumbers
3 Genovese basil leaves

My mother-in-law, Millie, used to make this regularly and I loved it!  I often make a variation, but almost never exactly follow her dressing recipe since it's so high in sugar.

Once in a while however. . .Such as a Family Dinner for my Daughter's Birthday. . .I'll make an exception.  😊

Combine the dressing ingredients ~ in a pint mason jar and shake well.  Partially peel the cucumbers, thin-slice the onion, tomatoes and cucumbers into a bowl, add basil, sliced very thin, (optional).  Pour dressing over the salad, toss several times during the first hour and refrigerate until time to serve. 😋

Spicy Corn-Black Bean-Avocado Salad / Salsa

6oz. cherry tomatoes
1 med. red tomato
2 (not too ripe) avocados
6 green onions
1 lime - zest and juice
1 15.25oz. can black beans
1 15.25oz. can corn
fresh ground Himalayan pink salt
1/4c Herdez Guacamole Salsa
a couple Genovese Basil leaves*

Finely chop the first 4 ingredients into a med.-lg. glass bowl.  Add the zest and lime juice, well drained and rinsed (then drained again with the strainer on some wadded-up paper towels) black beans and corn.  Grind on some salt, add the Herdez salsa and finely sliced basil* optional.  The jar says 'Medium' but it's a pretty hot medium!  A quarter cup is all you need.  Gently mix this together, cover with clear wrap and refrigerate a couple hours to blend the flavors.  Carefully mix one more time just before serving.

Summertime Root Vegetable Soup

1 lg. onion
1 lg. purple shallot
1 yellow pepper
2T butter or coconut oil
1 lg. carrot
1 lg. sweet potato
1 red beet and greens
3 radishes
4-6c water
1-2T chicken soup base
2t curry powder
½-1t ground black pepper

Mince part of the onion and shallot.  Combine with the chopped yellow pepper and butter or coconut oil and sauté over med.-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring so it doesn't stick and burn.  Meanwhile, slice or chop the remaining vegetables however you'd like them.  Add to the pot along with the water, soup base, curry powder and pepper.  Simmer only until the beet and carrot pieces are done the way you like.  At this point you could add a can of coconut milk if you'd like, for the flavor.  You could also blend it!  It's 81° here with high humidity. . .and I'm making soup 😃 I'm a Hard Core Soupie!!  I love it all year 'round.  Hope you do too.  Be Bold. . .Be Creative!!  Happy Cooking 😉. . . Lin

Joann's Danish Cabbage

I've posted this twice before, but it always bears repeating.  This recipe is not original with me, but rather comes from my daughter's-fiancee's-mother.  I've made changes to it over the years but always end up back close to the original.  When I start with a recipe that's nearly perfect, it's best to stay very true to it!  The only exceptions regarding changes, have been my addition of black pepper, and using a different flavor of the jelly at the end.  It does seem necessary, but the recipe says to use current jelly, which would have made my English Grandmother happy.  That's all she ever bought!  However, to me, that has a metallic flavor, so I've experimented.  Plum would be perfect and I think a sour cherry would also be good.  I've used elderberry and orange marmalade in the past, but today. . .I'm going to use a rosehip fruit spread I found in a specialty food shop.  It's made in Germany by a family that's been doing this for over 125 years.  It has a very nice, interesting flavor!  You should try any flavor you think would go well with the cabbage, as long as it's relatively smooth and doesn't contain seeds.

1 med. head of purple cabbage
½c white vinegar
½c sugar
¼c butter
1t salt
½t black pepper
¼c rosehip fruit spread

Cut the cabbage in quarters and remove the core.  Cut each quarter into thirds, lengthwise and then chop, crosswise.  Put in a heavy 3qt. pot, add all remaining ingredients except the jelly.  Cover and simmer on low heat, 2-3 hour, stirring occasionally.  At the end, stir in the jelly.  You can serve it immediately, but it's much better when made a day ahead and reheated.  IF there are leftovers, they store well, covered in the 'fridge for up to a week.

Zucchini And Friends. . .

½ med. green zucchini
½ med. yellow zucchini
½ orange pepper
1 purple pepper
a small bunch of green onions
¼ lg. Vidalia onion*
½c roasted-salted pumpkin seeds
1T Greek oregano
¼c packaged fried garlic
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
½ can of Coors Light Beer
Chop, slice, or dice the vegetables.  Simmer-saute' in a couple tablespoons of butter, with the rest of the ingredients, in a large non-stick pan, adding the tomatoes and beer at the end.

*I didn't use the big piece of onion shown, only the smaller one.  This turned out really well.  It's an explosion of wonderful flavors!  You can eat it just as is, or serve over rice or pasta.  I picked red lentil pasta.  If your pasta water is white and starchy, use a few tablespoons of it to thicken the vegetables and sauce.  Top with shredded parmesan or crumbled feta cheese before serving. . .Lin

Angus Beef and Vegetables

½# Angus Beef Eye Round Steak
2-4c cubed yellow and green zucchini
1 sweet red pepper
1 sweet purple pepper
¼ lg. onion - 1 leek
1 VERY large purple shallot
4 radishes

Slice the beef - across the grain - then cut into bite-size pieces.  Put in a big non-stick pan with a couple tablespoons of seasoned olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir to coat then sauté a few minutes.  Add the sliced or chopped vegetables, stir again, to coat, then turn off the heat, cover and let stand 20-30 minutes to marinate everything.  Turn the heat back on, sauté and simmer in a little white wine, beer, Vodka or Gin, and a hefty splash of A-1, for 20-30 minutes.  Serve over rice, pasta, a tortilla - Fajita style, or just as is, for a great low-carb dinner.  Mmmm, this turned out EXCELLENT! .  .  .  Lin

Quick - Really Good - Potato Salad

2 eggs
8 sm. Yukon Gold potatoes
2T champagne dill mustard
½c mayonnaise
½ lg. onion - finely chopped
¼c sweet and dill relish
¼c minced sun-dried tomatoes
¼c capers

Heat the eggs to a slow boil.  Cut the potatoes into cubes and add them to the pot when the eggs are about a third of the way done.  Cook the potatoes the way you like them.  Meanwhile combine the 'dressing' ingredients in a medium to large glass bowl.  Drain and rinse the eggs and potato pieces in very cold water.  Drain and add to the bowl.  For seasonings, use fresh ground Himalayan pink salt, fresh ground black pepper and hot Hungarian paprika. . .Lin

Tuna Salad

1 8oz. can tuna - drained
¼-½c finely chopped onion
¼c finely chopped pickles
¼c capers

Combine ingredients in a medium bowl.  I always use sweet and dill pickles which gives tuna salad more diverse flavor.  Use just enough mayonnaise to hold everything together.  If you want this to be more of a salad, add some chopped radish, celery, golden raisins, frozen peas, chopped sweet peppers, red olives, pasta.  Be Bold - Be Creative! . . . Lin

Chili Bean Vegetable Burgers

½c pepper-eggplant-vegetable Ajvar*
3 lg. garlic cloves
cooked mixed-grain rice
1 16oz. can Bush's Hot Chili Beans
1c± mung bean sprouts - optional
1½c quick cooking rolled oats

Put the Ajvar* (or spicy marinara) and garlic in the food processor and process until the garlic is finely minced and well incorporated.  For the rice, combine ¼c rice with ½c+ water in a small pan.  Cover and simmer until water is absorbed.  Rice should be al dente.  If it's not, add a little more water and cook a bit longer.  Add the beans, rice (sprouts?) and process only until well chopped and chunky - not smooth.  Stir in the oats and let everything stand a while to see if more oats are needed to get the consistency burger-like.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes on parchment lined baking sheets.  Serve on a bun or just plate with a couple sides of vegetables. . .Lin

Peanut-Coconut Curried Vegetables

1 lg. sweet potato
3 med. carrots
4 med. red-skinned potatoes
1 lg. onion - chopped
1c golden raisins

1c crunchy peanut butter
1 14oz. can coconut milk
3-5t curry powder
salt and pepper

Scrub, but don't peel the potatoes or carrots.  The extra fiber is a good thing.  Cut them into bite-size chunks.  Steam the first group of ingredients until the sweet potatoes are done about half way and the raisins are plumped.  Meanwhile, combine the curry sauce ingredients in a 3-5qt. pot over low heat.  Stir together until well blended.  Drain the vegetables and put them in the pot with the sauce, gently stirring with a big wooden spoon to be sure everything is well coated.

Pour into a 2-3qt. baking dish and bake at 350° for about 20-30 minutes, until everything is bubbly, and the potatoes are cooked the way you like.  Serve this as a vegan-vegetarian main dish or as a side to steamed chicken breasts. . .Lin

Mexican Rice

1c long grain white rice
1c sour cream
1-2c grated sharp cheese
¼c chopped jalapeños

Cook the rice according to about ¾ done, according to package directions.  Put aside ½c of the grated cheese to sprinkle on top.  Mix the cooked rice with remaining ingredients.  Taste the rice, adding anything necessary to bring out the flavors.  I added a little black and cayenne pepper and a bit of salt.  Pour it into a 9"x 9" glass baking pan.  Sprinkle the reserved cheese on top and bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes.  Serve with enchiladas, meatloaf, tacos, chicken. . .anything that would pair well with some spicy rice!

This is as close as I can get to duplicating a recipe The Lunch Ladies used to make at Three Lakes School, in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, where I worked as the K-8 School Secretary, many years ago.  I think at one time I actually had the recipe, but it's been long since lost.  In spite of (or maybe because of??) the spiciness of this, all the children loved it! . . . Lin  

Cashew-Vegetable "Spaghetti"

1 med. spaghetti squash
1 med. onion - chopped
3-4 lg. cloves garlic - minced
⅔c cashews - whole or pieces
1T Tuscan flavored olive oil
4-6oz. liquid*
1c Ajvar 

Put the squash in a 9x9" glass pan.  Poke it several times with a fork, making sure it goes in at least half way.  Microwave on 70% power for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool.  Meanwhile, sauté the onion, garlic and cashews in the oil until the cashews are browning and the onions are translucent.  When this is simmering and snapping, add about half of the liquid.  I'd recommend *beer or white wine, but you could also use vegetable broth or even water.  When the sauce starts to bubble again, add the remaining liquid, and finally the Ajvar.  Stir and bring back to a simmer.

When the squash is cooled, cut it in half, lengthwise and carefully, scoop out the center area containing the seeds.  Once the seeds; and associated stringiness; are gone, scrape the 'spaghetti' out of the squash shell, into the 9x9" glass pan.  Spread the sauce over the spaghetti and bake 20 minutes at 350° or microwave at 70% power for 15 minutes.  Serve as is or sprinkle with grated cheese. . .Lin

Sour Cream Cabbage

1 med. - lg. head of cabbage
2T butter
½-1c sour cream
red and black pepper
seasoned salt - or - 
pink Himalayan salt

Cut the cabbage into cubes.  Steam in a little water in a covered 3qt. pot.  When the cabbage is cooked the way you like it, drain any excess water and add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer another 10 minutes, or longer, if needed.

I just love cabbage.  I like it raw (in salads and cole slaw), fermented (in kimchi or sauerkraut), cooked. . .any way at all.  This makes a great side dish to serve with chicken, fish, or meatloaf (and garlic mashed potatoes!)  If you add some pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, for a little protein, it becomes a vegetarian main dish.  Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese for an added burst of flavor. . .Lin