Quick Chunky Vegetable Salad

1 med. tomato
1 lg. pickling cucumber
some cauliflower
a little sliced green cabbage
1 cubed avocado
1/2 sliced sweet onion
good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 lemon - zest and juice
bleu cheese crumbles
pink Himalayan salt
fresh ground pepper

In a big individual salad bowl, chop the tomato, cucumber and cauliflower.  Add the rest.  Toss, season and have at it! . . . Lin  

Elk Roast With Vegetables

1 can cream of mushroom soup*
1 can water*
1 pkg. powdered onion soup*
fresh ground black pepper*
4 heirloom carrots - scrubbed
2# (grass fed) elk roast
2 lg. potatoes - peeled
1 lg. sweet potato - peeled
1 sm. head green cabbage
3 lg. cloves fresh garlic - smashed

In your crock pot, combine first four ingredients. Slice carrots, potatoes and cabbage in half. Coat the carrots with the soup mixture and put cut side down in the bottom of the pot. Coat the meat and potatoes as well, arrange everything in the pot and cook on medium or low until done. *This mixture can be used with chicken, venison, beef, lamb and buffalo with excellent results every time. . .Lin

Red Pepper - Artichoke Egg Salad

4 fresh, chopped hard-boiled eggs
3T chopped bread & butter pickles
3T large caper berries
3T roasted red pepper-artichoke tapenade
½ diced avocado

¼c± sour cream
sea salt
red and black ground pepper

Combine all the above. Serve on pita bread, rice cakes or over baby kale as shown. . .Lin

Carrot Tossed Salad

a little crunchy Iceberg lettuce
sliced red cabbage
Earthbound Farms Baby Kale
Chinese cabbage
red butter - Boston - lettuce
sweet onion
1 lg. heirloom carrot
extra virgin olive oil

pear infused white Balsamic vinegar
pink Himalayan salt
black and red ground pepper
crumbled bleu cheese
craisins & pecans - optional

Chop or slice the first 5 ingredients for the lettuce mix. Put a big handful in a large salad bowl.  Add sliced, onions and carrots.  Sprinkle with oil and vinegar, season, toss then top with crumbled cheese, craisins and pecans. . .Lin

Michael Pollan

This is a good video illustrating the need for sticking with the philosophy of Slow Food.

If you find this one helpful, there are a lot more he has done:

Hope you find this informative and helpful.

An Even Simpler Way. . .

A few days back, I posted some good, sound "diet" choices.  If you'd like something even simpler, welcome to the Nutritional Plate.  This is meant to replace the long outdated, food pyramid.

The only thing you need to keep in mind when using this plate mentality, for recipe ideas and meal planning, is to keep all the food in your grocery cart, then on your table, as healthy as possible.  If you have an organic grocery store or Farmer's Market in the area, take advantage of these.  Try to shop local and seasonal whenever possible.  If you're not a vegetarian, substitute meat, for the protein suggestions, a couple times a week.

Happy Cooking, and eating!

Clean-Out-The-'Fridge Vegetable Soup

1c. chopped celery
2 sliced leeks
½ small head of GREEN* cabbage
2-3 sliced carrots
4oz. mushrooms - sliced
6 sm. red potatoes - small cubes
2-3T coconut oil
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes
red and black ground pepper
fresh ground pink Himalayan salt
1t ground rosemary
powdered chicken soup base
1c sour cream

Be creative. These are always an adventure. Use whatever you find that would blend well in the soup. This recipe is what I had at the moment.

Slice-chop all the vegetables into your favorite 5qt. pot. Saute' together, with the pot covered, for about 15 minutes in the coconut oil. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, salt and pepper, and 2 cans of water. Simmer 30-60 minutes. Check for flavors, adding however much soup base you need. Just before serving, stir in the sour cream - if you're using it - and heat again to a small bubble. The combination of tomatoes and sour cream in a savory soup is very nice! Serve with Gluten Free Oat-Flax Cornbread (scroll down for recipe) or some really good crusty bread. . .Lin

* I used purple cabbage - DON'T do it unless you want Dr. Seuss Soup.  The potatoes were purple, the mushrooms - green, the broth a sickly pink.  Tasted great, but did not look good.

Fancy-Schmancy Cheese

I have given up dairy for a while now, but missed it.  I've decided that when I buy cheese, I'm going to be sure it's some I really like, often a little pricey - so it's usually a splurge - not something I'd do often.  I like a hard, dry, sharp, nutty type of cheese.  While checking the import area, I hit the jackpot with these recently.

This one's Irish and just a wonderful cheese:


The other two I discovered, are made by an English company, called Springdale.

One is a Vintage Cheddar that recommends a red wine paring.  The other is Extra Sharp Cheddar to go with white wine.  I don't drink alcohol anymore, but that isn't stopping me from loving their cheese.  The weblink doesn't show or describe these two, but if you like sharp, flavorful cheddars, and find them at your grocery store, buy them.  You'll be glad.

I'm thinking maybe using a blend of cheese, such as these, with some cream cheese might melt very nicely and could be used for a full-flavored adult version of Mac and Cheese.  I might work on a recipe for that. . .Lin

Good Choices. . .

Struggling With Extra Weight?
click here :
These 'diets' are all excellent choices.  Read them over

and pick the one that would work best for your lifestyle.

Quinoa-Cilantro Tabouli

1c any color quinoa
2c water
1-2t pink Himalayan salt
black and red ground pepper
3 lg. cloves minced garlic
½c caper berries
1 lg. leek – sliced very thin
2 chopped tomatoes
2 chopped pickling cucumbers
1 bunch cilantro – slice-chopped

1 can black beans – rinse and drain
1 lemons for juice and zest
½c± extra virgin olive oil

Combine quinoa and water, bring to a boil and simmer, about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients, add warm quinoa, toss, chill for several hours and serve. Tabouli is a favorite of mine. A cold, middle eastern salad that is so fresh and good, as a side or all by itself. There are a lot of variations that can be made with a recipe like this, so be creative. At the end, I swapped out the canellinni beans (shown) for black beans, since their texture goes better with the other ingredients. . .Lin

Mixed Vegetable Salad

crunchy lettuce

Determine the amounts, based on size and number of servings you want. Chop the vegetables into an individual bowl, or larger mixing bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a good quality, dark, fruity balsamic vinegar. (Napa Valley Naturals makes a wide variety of these, but their Cherry Wood Aged balsamic is very good.) Sprinkle with coarse ground pink Himalayan salt, black and red ground pepper. Toss and serve. . .Lin

Good Morning Sunshine

juice of 1 lemon
1t± organic honey
dash of cayenne pepper
boiling water

Spring is coming in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, USA! This is a wonderful Spring, and every season, cleansing way to wake up your body. Put all the above in a large mug, stir and drink. You'll feel better and better every day :-) . . .Lin

Cashew Chicken Salad

¾c cashews
1c diced celery
½ lg. sweet onion – diced
¾c golden raisins
12oz. cooked chicken
a splash of fruity Balsamic vinegar
black and red ground pepper
plain Greek yogurt
regular mayonnaise

Combine everything in a medium bowl using just enough yogurt and mayonnaise to hold it together. Serve with crackers, rice cakes, tomatoes, carrot sticks or whatever else sounds good to you. . .Lin

Steamed Vegetable Salad

sweet onion

This is an inexact recipe. Amounts vary depending on what size, and how many salads you're making. First cut the broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Steam, covered, for 4 minutes after water simmers.

Plunge into icy water until chilled. Drain, then dry on paper towels. Chop tomatoes and slice the onion. Assemble all the ingredients in a big bowl. This is good with Italian dressing. . .Lin

Chorizo-Chicken Chili

1# chorizo sausage
1¼# chicken breast tenderloins
2 med. red onions
2-3T extra virgin olive oil
1½c chopped celery
2 lg. cloves garlic
1 14.5oz. can petite diced tomatoes
2 14.5 oz. cans black beans
¾c small pasta - dry

In a 5qt. pot, break up the chorizo and add a little bit of the onion, that's been finely chopped. Stir this over medium heat with the olive oil. Once the chorizo starts to sizzle, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the pot. Stir well and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add rest of onion, celery, chopped garlic, tomatoes and some water if needed. Simmer on low heat for 30-60 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, separately, to the el dente stage, then combine drained pasta and rinsed-drained beans with the rest. Simmer another 5 minutes, covered, then serve. . .Lin

Orange Green and White Salad

2 med. carrots - sliced
½ head of cauliflower - break into small florets
3 dill pickles - cut in chunks
2 stalks celery - sliced
poppy seed, blue cheese or ranch dressing
fresh ground pepper

Combine everything in a medium glass bowl. Toss and serve. . .Lin

Beef-Turkey Gluten-Free Meatloaf

2 lg. eggs
½c ground flax seed
¾c old fashioned rolled oats
milk – coconut or almond
1 med. onion – chopped
1¼# lean ground beef
8oz. turkey Italian sausage
salt and pepper

In a medium-large bowl, combine beaten eggs, flax, oats and enough milk to make it a little bit sloppy. Next, add onion, meats (remove casing from sausage) and seasonings. Mix all together well – clean hands work best. Form into 1 or 2 loaves. Let rest an hour or so, for all the flavors to blend and dry ingredients hydrate. Bake at 350° about an hour. Great with baked potatoes and fresh, steamed vegetables. . .Lin

Cashews and Vegetables

3 sm.-med. zucchini
1 med. onion
2/3c cashews
1 14.5oz can tomatoes

Cut each zucchini in half, lengthwise, then slice. Saute' zucchini with a little bit of the onion, and a drizzle of olive oil, in a non-stick pan. After 5 minutes, add the remaining chopped onion and cook another 5 minutes.

Add cashews and tomatoes and simmer another few minutes. Serve as a vegetarian main dish or as a side, with grilled chicken breasts. . .Lin

Tomato Pesto Egg Salad

4 hard boiled eggs
1T± minced garlic
2T tomato pesto
fresh ground pepper
2-3T mayonnaise
½ avocado
1 pickling cucumber

Peel and chop the eggs into a medium glass bowl. Add garlic (from a jar), pesto, pepper and mayonnaise. Mix together then spoon over half an avocado. Serve with sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, carrot sticks or rice crackers. . .Lin 

Almond-Chicken Waldorf Salad

½c plain Greek yogurt
½c mayonnaise
2T water or lemon juice
¾# boned, skinned, cooked chicken
1 chopped apple
1c chopped almonds
¾c golden raisins
1sm. finely chopped purple onion
2 stalks finely chopped celery

In a medium size glass mixing bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients then add all the rest. Mix together well then chill an hour or so to blend the flavors and rehydrate the raisins. Serve over chopped lettuce. . .Lin

Chicken Potato-Corn Chowder

2 big potatoes
1# white or dark chicken
1 med. purple onion
1c chopped celery
1c chopped carrot
2T coconut oil
2T minced garlic
2-4c chicken stock
2 can whole-kernel corn
1 can cream based soup
black and red pepper

This is just SO perfect for a blustery, winter weekend! Peel and cube potatoes. Cut the fat off the chicken. Combine sliced or chopped chicken and all vegetables in a heavy bottomed 3-5qt. covered pot. Saute with a little -(olive oil, butter or)- coconut oil, until everything is steamy, and onions are translucent. Add stock, then simmer a hour or so. If potatoes haven't broken up, mash a little with a potato masher. Next, add garlic, corn and remaining ingredients and simmer another 15 minutes. Check flavors, add more seasonings or water if needed. . .Lin


2 med. zucchini
2T minced garlic
2T coconut oil
1/2 onion - chopped
1 lg. potato - cubed
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes
sea salt, cayenne and black pepper
feta cheese - cubed or crumbled

Slice the zucchini into quarters, lengthwise, then chop.  Saute' zucchini and garlic in coconut oil until nicely browned.  Add remaining ingredients, except cheese.  Cover and simmer until potatoes are done the way you like them.  Check seasonings and adjust if necessary.  Top with cheese and serve as a vegetarian main or side dish. . .Lin

Lemony Broccoli Salad

2 lg. heads of broccoli
½ lg. onion – sliced or diced
½c craisins / raisins
1 carrot – shredded
½ c chopped almonds or pecans
2 almost ripe, red pears – chopped

½c mayonnise
½c plain Greek yogurt
1 lemon – zest and juice
¼-½t sea salt
¼-½t finely ground red & black pepper

Break and cut broccoli into florets. Combine broccoli, onion, craisins / raisins, carrot, nuts and pears in a large glass bowl. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, pour over contents of large bowl. Mix well and chill several hours. . .Lin

Beet and Blue Cheese Salad

crunchy lettuce – not leafy
sliced onion
pickled beets
blue cheese crumbles
Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing

Chop the lettuce into individual bowls. Add onion, rinsed, heated and drained beets. Top with blue cheese and splash on some dressing. Candied pecans would be a good addition. . .Lin 

Spicy Rosemary-Tomato Chicken Soup

1# chicken breast meat
3 cloves garlic
1 med. onion
2T coconut oil
½t Penzeys Black & Red Spice
8oz. tomato sauce
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can water
2t powdered chicken soup base
2t ground rosemary
¾c sour cream

Cut chicken in small cubes into a 3-5qt. pot with minced garlic, diced onion and black and red pepper blend. Saute' in coconut oil until all is lightly browned. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, soup base, rosemary, and simmer for an hour. Cool slightly, then stir in sour cream, bring back to a low simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with crusty bread. . .Lin

Gluten Free Oat-Flax Cornbread

1½c corn flour
½c rolled oats
½c ground flax seed
½t sea salt
3t baking powder
3T sugar
1c buttermilk
2 eggs
½c vegetable oil

Combine all dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl, stirring well. Whisk together the 3 remaining ingredients in a smaller bowl. Add combined wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir, only until everything is blended. Pour into well buttered 9x13” glass pan. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting. . .Lin

Seafood Salad

8oz. cooked shrimp – or
8oz. imitation crab
¼c plain Greek yogurt
¼c mayonnaise
½ med. onion – chopped
¼c sweet or dill pickle – chopped

Chop shrimp, or, flake the imitation crab into a small glass bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix well and serve over chopped lettuce. . .Lin

Vegetable Beef Soup

1# very lean top round steak
2T minced garlic
2T coconut oil
½ lg. onion
1½c chopped carrot
1½c chopped celery
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans water
1-2 big potatoes, scrubbed

Cut the beef into ½-1” cubes, into a 3-5qt. Pot. Add garlic, coconut oil and a little bit of the onion, finely chopped. Stir and simmer until meat and the pan browns. Add a little water then start the browning procedure again. When nicely browned, add the carrot and celery, diced tomatoes and 2 cans of water. Simmer, slowly, for an hour. Add the cubed potatoes and remaining chopped onion. Simmer another half hour. . .Lin

Anti-Inflammatory Chicken Salad

1 12.5oz can chicken
1/3c plain Greek yogurt
1/3c mayonnaise
½c chopped dill or sweet pickle
½c chopped celery
½c chopped almonds
½c craisins or raisins
1T or more ground turmeric

Turmeric has been found to be helpful in reducing inflammation in the body. Drain and break up chicken in a small glass mixing bowl. Combine with remaining ingredients, then chill several hours or overnight, to rehydrate the craisins/raisins. Serve as is, on lettuce, or in a sandwich. . .Lin

Curried Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1# boneless chicken meat
1-2T finely chopped garlic ~and/or~
1 finely chopped med. onion
2-3c chopped celery and carrot
½c ± wild rice
2T coconut 'oil'
1 can AROY-D yellow curry
1 can coconut milk

Cut raw chicken in small pieces. Saute' in coconut oil (which is solid at room temperature) with garlic/onion, celery, carrot and wild rice. Stir and saute' for 10-15 minutes. Add curry sauce and a couple cans of water. Stir, cover and simmer an hour or longer.

Add the coconut milk, stir this all together. If too watery, thicken with a combination of cornstarch and water stirred together. Check seasonings and adjust if needed. Heat to a small boil and serve. . .Lin

Creamy Potato Soup

4 big potatoes
1 carrot
2 stalks celery
1 lg. onion
2T bacon grease
1t powdered rosemary
2T powdered chicken soup base
black and cayenne pepper
1 can cream-based soup

Rough peel and cube potatoes. Finely chop carrot, celery and onion. Add bacon grease, 2c water and seasonings. Simmer a half hour. Stir to break the potatoes down a little. At this point, chill the soup a few hours or overnight. Just before serving, add another cup or two of water and the can of soup. Heat, correct seasonings if needed and serve. . .Lin

Andouille Chicken Stew

¾# andouille sausage
½# boneless chicken breast
½ lg. onion – chopped
2 lg. potatoes – cubed
12oz. frozen peas and carrots

Combine chopped sausage and chicken with 1c water and everything else in a 5qt. pot. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer 45-60 minutes. . .Lin
If I had to narrow down ALL my pots to one, this is the one that would be left.  It's just an amazing cooking pot.  Get one (or two or ten) if you ever have the chance, you won't be sorry!

Pepper Potato Salad

4-5 med. potatoes
2 hard boiled eggs
1 med. sweet onion
1c frozen peas
½c bread and butter pickles
1c red olives
cracked peppercorn mayonnaise

Cube the potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, then simmer only a few minutes until they're 'al dente'. Drain and mix together with remaining chopped ingredients and mayonnaise. Add a little seasoned salt, if needed. . .Lin