Thursday, March 28, 2013

Keeping the Brain Limber

I finally got a chance to watch Dr. Neal Barnard's new PBS special, Protect Your Memory. A preview:

If you missed any of the showings on your local PBS stations, Amazon is now selling the DVD of the broadcast. This lecture is an off-shoot of his new book, Power Foods for the Brain which I purchased the day of release but it's still sitting in the ever-growing pile of health books to read.

In the video, he stated that there are three very important things we should be doing to ensure the health of our brain, and thus protecting our memories:

1) Skip bad fats
2) Knock out free radicals
3) Exercise your brain
To exercise your brain, he includes both physical, aerobic exercise, especially regular walking for 30 to 40 minutes three times a week, as well as exercises for your brain itself, such as learning new things, doing word and number puzzles like anagrams and Sudoku, even learning a language and being bilingual.

Well, I always hated anagrams and always get those questions wrong in Jeopardy, and Sudoku - ANY puzzle that involves numbers - just makes my head hurt. Learning languages? Well, in high school, the nun that taught us Spanish used the Castillian pronunciation of all the words so nothing we learned were we able to transfer to real-life usage. And the nun who taught us freshman Latin? She terrorized us all. She followed me into adulthood when, as an RN and working in a nursing home I was the primary caregiver of her mother, and she terrorized everyone in the Catholic Church-run nursing home just as she did high school girls. But I did love the language, and even won a few awards in competitions back in the 1960's. Knowing Latin really helped me in nursing school and when working with the doctors and even pharmacists. Eventually most of my Latin knowledge slipped away when I stopped working as a nurse and became a stay-at-home mom.

Fast forward a few years and I'm now home-schooling a sixth grader. We used a canned curriculum, and he was usually finished with all the required schoolwork by 10 am and I needed more work for him to do, something that would hold his interest. The curriculum focused on the Classics, so why not teach him a Classic language, and what's more Classic than Latin! Because home-schooling was starting to get popular, there were many resources out there, and I was able to get flashcards, workbooks, textbooks appropriate to his age group, even a few children's books written in Latin, like Winnie Ille Pu. We had fun doing the work together and he continued with Latin courses throughout high school, even taking a college level course when only 14. Knowing Latin helped his vocabulary greatly, so much so that it helped earn him a full-tuition scholarship to the state's engineering university and entrance into its Honor's College. He's proud of his vocabulary skills and is mocked incessantly by his friends for it, even now when they're all in their late 29's and early 30's. It's all in fun - all but one of them was also in the Honor's College in the same university, each in their own engineering major. The one in the bio-mechanical engineering program is now in med school and yes, he still laughs at my son's "very correct word usage," as he calls it, and has been known to IM him when writing papers to get his opinion on the wording of things.  

Back to Dr. Barnard and the brain. I think it's time to dust out the cobwebs in mine with something a little more challenging than matching games on Disney videos or nutrition books, so I dragged out the old English From the Roots Up cards my son made all those years ago and I signed up at the Latin Word A Day web site:

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I'll be adding this widget to the sidebar later.

I even dusted off my well-worn copy of the Winnie the Pooh book shown above.

Hopefully this will help prevent my brain from becoming Swiss cheese. There's no history of Alzheimer's in my own family, even though a lot on my mother's side lived into their late 80's, 90's and my great-grandmother and her sister both went over 100. But it exists on my husband's side. His mother started her Alzheimer's symptoms in her late 60's, and her sister, the aunt who just died from it last month, was lucky enough to not start until she was in her early 90's, but it ravaged her. By the time she died, she not only know who anyone was, where she was, when it was, but who she was. She forgot everything, including how to eat. She had forgotten a few years ago how to go to the bathroom and I was so grateful for adult diapers until she eventually needed a colostomy to go #2 (for another reason, not the Alzheimer's) and a catheter for #1 (this was because of the Alzheimer's. It was necessary for hygiene and infection control reasons.) I do NOT want either my husband or myself to wind up like that! Or our son, but he has many year to go to worry about that, but he wold be the one who would have to take care of us if we started to suffer from dementia. If following a healthy low-fat plant based diet, doing a few Leslie Sansone or Richard Simmons workouts and learning a few new vocabulary words a day will help prevent it, so be it!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tiggers Definitely Don't Like Hunny

That was the thought that ran through my head when I ate lunch yesterday. No, it wasn't anything with honey - I'm just weird and the craziest things hop into my head. It was this meal, Carrot and Cabbage Medley. This is a favorite around here, and for some reason when I made it last weekend for Saint Patrick's Day dinner, we had a ton of leftovers. I think it was the cabbage - I spent over 15 minutes trying to find a head that wasn't funny looking or discolored in the store that morning. Most of them looked like the leaves were rusted or had a fungal infection. I never saw such awful looking cabbages. 

Anyway, I packed 2 full and one half-full 3-cup glass Pyrex storage containers and popped them into the freezer for lunch on Saturday. Friday I took them out to defrost and yesterday dumped the still partially frozen contents into a pot and slowly reheated it all.

When lunchtime came we sat down with our bowls and dug in. As soon as I bit into that first potato, the quote that's the subject of this post popped into my head. Yukon Gold potatoes do NOT freeze well at all! This was a watery, spongy mess! The skins slipped off just by looking at them so at any time one would wind up with a fork full of skins and no potato or cabbage. Ew!

My husband had no complaints. He grabbed his bottle of sriracha and devoured his bowl and went back to finish the pot off with an even larger serving for seconds. I ate most of mine but had a few soggy spuds left over that hubby finished off, too.

Next time? Well, go cabbage shopping earlier than the day I plan on eating it so if one store has nothing but sick looking produce I can fight my way through the other grocery store in town and hope they had something better.

And never freeze a meal with potatoes again. If it doesn't all get eaten that day, even if it's enough for another whole meal, just keep it in the refrigerator until it either gets eaten or goes bad and gets tossed (A very rare occasion here). But never freeze it!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I've been seeing this sig file recently on fellow McDougaller Kitty McKnitty's messages on the McDougall forums:

Proud member of S.P.U.D.S. (Society for the Protection of Underrated and Devalued Starches). 

One of the best sig files I've seen in ages! Thanks, Kitty!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Forks over Knives Italian White Bean & Kale Potato Stew

A slew of people on the McDougall forums are making the latest from the Forks Over Knives web site - Italian White Bean and Kale Potato Stew. I had a load of red potatoes left over and decided what the heck, and went ahead and took a look at it:

Italian White Bean, Kale and Potato Stew
Serves 6
• 1 cup diced red or white onion
• 3 cloves garlic
• 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes (salt free if you prefer)
• ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 5 cups red-skinned potatoes cut into one inch squares
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley
• 6-8 packed cups of kale, after it has been de-stemmed and chopped
• 2 15 ounce cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• salt (optional)
Place a large soup/stock pot over a medium high flame and pour some of the liquid from one of the cans of the diced tomatoes into the pot to cover the base of the pot. When the tomato liquid starts to bubble, add the onion and stir. Lower heat a little. Press garlic into pot. Add red pepper flakes (to taste). Continue to cook and stir, lowering heat as the time passes, for a total of about 10 minutes or until onions are soft.
Add the rest of the first can of diced tomatoes and the entire second can into the pot. Bring heat up to medium-high again so that tomatoes begin to simmer. Place diced potatoes, oregano and parsley into the pot and stir. Cover pot, lower heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Place all of the kale into the pot and cover the pot again. Let kale steam and shrink for 3 minutes. Uncover pot and stir in kale. Add Cannellini beans and stir. Taste and season with salt (or not). If potatoes are not as soft as you desire, continue to let simmer.

The first thing I noticed was how closely it resembled Jeff Novick's Fast Food meals. It had his five basic ingredients:

  • tomatoes
  • vegetables (including greens)
  • beans
  • starch
  • spices

Instead of frozen or pre-cooked potatoes, this one asked us to chop red potatoes into a 1 inch dice. The recipe would go just as well with a bag of frozen Southern Style (diced) hash browns. But as I said, I had red taters left over so stood there with my sore back (I wrenched it out on Saturday reaching down for my sneakers) and washed & diced away.

For the tomatoes I used one can of whole plum tomatoes (no salt added, of course) and one box of Pomi chopped.

Instead of fresh kale I did it the Jeff Novick way and used a 1 pound bag of frozen chopped kale.

And for the spices, I used the Penzey Italian herb mix instead of separate oregano and parsley.

Although I did cook up the onions (also from the freezer) and garlic (from a jar) in the tomato liquid, I then popped all other ingredients right into my pot, stirred it all up and popped the lid on. I turned the gas down to its lowest point, and that's where it'll stay for the next 3+ hours until my husband gets in and we have dinner.

Looks good! I'll probably have to add a wee bit more spices and put the salt & pepper shakers on the table. Looks like another recipe I'll add to my SNAP recipe file, even though it's not officially one.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Loafing Around with Engine 2 Fast Food Loaf

I loved Jeff Novick's Fast Food Burgers, and after I bought the DVD, made a different batch each week on Sundays for a few months. No matter how I made them, what spices I added, they still tasted like mushed up beans. Then for some reason, the half-batch I would always put away in the freezer for the future would start getting crumbly when I tried cook them up, and we stopped having them. It sort of coincided with the three of us getting the flu, too, and nobody wanted to eat a burger that had been made by either one of us sickies. We ate packaged burgers for a while because of the convenience, but once the flu left me for good (knock wood) I started cooking other foods for our Sunday dinners.

On the same page as the Fast Food Shepherd's Pie that I wrote about yesterday, I found this Fast Food Loaf recipe, using Jeff's Burgers as the loaf mixture.

Fast Food Veg Loaf
We took Jeff’s recipe for burgers as our base. We doubled the recipe, added 2 more tbs of liquid and added poultry seasoning. Walla! Veg Loaf!
What we did: This worked for one loaf pan or 6 large muffin molds (we used a silicone muffin tray, worked out great!) –
*This is Jeff’s recipe doubled:
Pre-heat oven to 350
Two Can Eden Foods Organic Kidney Beans, No Salt Added
1 Cup Cooked Brown Rice (short grain works the best)
1 Cup Regular Oats
4 TB plant-strong tomato sauce (we just used Pomi tomato puree)
add 2 TB more of tomato puree
(veg) Poultry seasoning spice. (we just covered the entire mixture)
Mix together  and then mash with a potato masher. You could also use a large fork, or your hands will work just fine!
In a loaf pan: spread a thin layer of tomato puree, then pack in your loaf mixture.
In a muffin mold: if you are using non stick or parchment paper liners, put enough veg loaf mixture to fill up each mold, pack it into each mold.
Cover the top with a thin layer of tomato puree (you can also use bbq sauce if you like).
Bake for 35-45 minutes.

My changes:
Goya No-salt added instead of Eden beans

Juice and small tomato bits from a can of Hunts no-salt added diced tomatoes - about 6 tablespoons to the bowl before all the dry stuff started mixing

Ketchup to the bottom of the pan and top of the loaf

And since I haven't had a silicone loaf pan in over 10 years, when the last one got sticky and tacky, I used a sheet of parchment paper draped over the sides and bottom of the loaf pan to not only make it non-stick but to have an easy handle to lift the loaf out of the pan after it's cooked.

I then did what Jeff says to do with his burgers - I popped the filled loaf pan into the refrigerator for a bit while the oven pre-heated. I don't know if it makes a difference, but it can't hurt.

Looks pretty good so far. It's much firmer than any other loaf recipe I gathered from on-line, and no nuts like loaves from the Magic Loaf Studio.

And here's the finished product, all ready to be sliced up and served with baked potatoes, veggies and cranberries in the shape of the can, as Ernest says.

It sliced up quite nicely with very little crumbling, a rarity for veg loaves. As for the taste? Well, mushed up beans. But my husband loved it and ate 4 slices - half the loaf. I ate one, and he's eating the leftovers over the weekend.

He does want me to make it again, weekly if possible (Um, no), so the next time I do make it I'll be sure to add a buttload more spices. Maybe that'll help.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This one comes from the Engine 2 web site and is called Fast Food Shepherd's Pie and was included with the Thanksgiving recipes pasted last November.

Most shepherd's pie recipes have you standing at the counter chopping and chopping a dozen or more pieces of veggies, trying to get carrots, potatoes and celery into tiny little diced pieces. This recipe is similar to Jeff Novick's Fast Food recipes in that it relies on frozen vegetables, including the potatoes for the topping.

Fast Food: Shepherds Pie

Mashed potatoes: The quick and easy way – boil cubed potatoes, when they are done, put them in a bowl and mash them up. Want to get fancy? Add a tiny unsweetened non-dairy milk and a little nutritional yeast.
Frozen or pre-cooked (low sodium) lentils (3 small bags or 2 packages)
Frozen spinach
Frozen vegetable mix (peas/carrots)
Veg. Poultry Seasoning
1/4 jar of tomato plant-strong tomato sauce
Pre-heat oven to 350
In a nonstick large baking dish layer the following:
1 layer tomato sauce
1 layer lentils
1 layer vegetable mix
1 layer spinach
Sprinkle poultry season over entire dish
1 layer of mashed potatoes
Bake for 30 minutes, covered. Use a parchment lined aluminum foil for best results.

I didn't bother with a photo - you've seen one shepherd's pie you've seen them all. A mashed-potato topped casserole dish - whoopie.

My changes:
I had half a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes leftover from Sunday's Maple Mustard Glazed Potatoes and used those instead of frozen to make the mashed. I did add nooch and 2 cubes of Dorot's frozen garlic into the hot potatoes. 

I used one 8-ounce can of no-salt added tomato sauce instead of jarred pasta sauce.

I've been keeping cooked-from-scratch lentils in the freezer lately and defrosted one bag of them for this recipe. Each bag contains the amount found in one can, 1 1/2 cups. Next time I might use 2.

I used only half a bag of frozen spinach and a small bag of peas & carrots. I might double these next time, too. 

Why the doubling? The dish, as is, made enough for the 2 of us for one meal with no leftovers, yet we were both looking for more food. Since yesterday was one of my husband's mandatory overtime days we were eating late (Which is probably why we were so hungry), I didn't bother looking for anything else to cook and ended the meal there. He had his usual sleeve of fig cookies and some potato chips soon after dinner and I just went to bed hungry.

One other problem with the meal - the veggies were still a bit cool and uncooked. This really needed to be cooked for an hour, not 30 minutes. I wound up putting what was on our plates back into the casserole dish and popping it into the microwave for 15 minutes. It was quicker than pre-heating the oven again and popping it in there for another half hour.

It was a very delicious meal and very fast to put together. I put the potatoes on, got all the veggies gathered up and into the casserole dish, and by the time I tossed the empty bags into the garbage, put the rest away and shook the spices onto the casserole, the potatoes were ready to be drained and mashed. Just plan on doubling EVERYTHING in the recipe, including the time, if you want enough to feed more than 2-4 people for dinner.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Starchivore T-Shirts

A few months ago, Dr. McDougall announced the selling of his own custom made t-shirts in the McDougall Store, ones that had the label "Starchivore" on the front and the url to his website on the back. Here's a photo of he and his family each wearing a version of it:

A few days later, someone posted in the forums how he thought some people in this photo looked like they still had some fat on them (note Dr. McD's belly pooch). This thread eventually came to the good doctor's attention and he posted another picture of him and Mary wearing their shirts, one that didn't accentuate everything:

Notice in this one they're both standing very erect and are probably holding their bellies in a bit but you can still see the little pooch on the doc.

And in these shirts, you have to! 

I ordered mine a few days after they were announced and it arrived when I was sick with the flu and living in sweats for the 2 months. The shirt was looked at and tucked into a drawer, waiting for warmer weather. Why? Because even though it feels soft, silky and luxurious, it's so thin you can read a newspaper through it:

It's so body-hugging it shows scars, stretch marks, cellulite and even individual hair follicles. For the price, I really expected something of better quality. They're made in Peru, of all places.

Although I'm proud to own a Starchivore t-shirt, I will NEVER wear it outside the house. Maybe if you're as young as the McDougall children and grandchildren and at or below your idea weight you would want to wear it, but not this old lady! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Confessions of a Low Class Vegan

I discovered this video a few weeks ago when someone on either the Fuhrman or McDougall forums mentioned it. I had no time and/or energy to watch it then, so saved it, burned it to a disc, and put it aside for future viewing. I do this with lectures I really want to see because things tend to vanish on-line, and what's there today may not be there tomorrow.

I started watching it in the afternoon and had to pause it to get supper going and take care of a few other things, and didn't get a chance to get back to it until after dinner. By then my husband had collapsed into the bed next to me and was watching along with me.

He was impressed. He said as much as he loves all these new recipes I've been trying out, he wouldn't mind if we went back to the old way of eating we used to do. That was really easy - I made the same foods each day of the week, week after week, with only slight variations. I did as Dr. McDougall says to do - one starch was the centerpiece and the rest of the meal evolved around it. For instance, Monday was usually a casserole with rice or potatoes as the base or a Jeff Novick SNAP meal; Tuesday was rice with veggies and each person chose which sauce between all the soys and terriyaki we have to add to their own bowl; Wednesday was a non-tomato-based pasta dish; Thursday was a potato-based meal; Friday pizza, made with homemade whole wheat crust and either nutritional yeast-based cheese or cheeseless; Saturday was pasta with tomato-based sauce; Sunday was burger or other sandwich day on whole wheat rolls.

Plain and simple. Many potato meals were just baked potatoes with a bowl of veggies on the side and maybe some gravy. Many Wednesday pasta meals were pasta with veggies and either gravy or a nutritional yeast cheese sauce. Saturday pasta was pasta and jarred sauce, nothing else.

When the flu hit, the schedule went out the window, and we had lots of pasta meals, lots of rice and veggie meals, and (big confession here) delivery pizza or Chinese food on days neither of us felt energetic enough to cook.

In-between all this, the elderly relative I mentioned many times before started going downhill fast, and every few days we would get a call from the nursing home, sometimes at 2 am, telling us to meet her in the local hospital's emergency room. After some blood work was done they would admit her with IV fluids running to rehydrate her, and the next day the doctor would send her back to the nursing home. This was repeated a number of times, even after the doctor told the staff at the nursing home her kidney's are failing, there's nothing to be done for her at any hospital. They finally had us sign a DNH  - Do Not Hospitalize - form and hospice care was started. Finally the nursing staff at the nursing home realized the end was near, and a week after starting hospice care she died a peaceful death at age 94. So we now had the wake, funeral, and probate details to run around with. During all this my husband and I were still coughing with the flu, and more than once I had to leave the church to go outside with a coughing fit as not to disturb the other mourners.

But now that all this is over with, including the flu (knock wood, cross fingers, say a novena) I started cooking more elaborate meals again, as you saw in the the other posts in this blog. It was nice, getting back in the kitchen, and the meals are definitely tasty. Aside from some of chopping, can opening and bag cutting, they went together pretty easily. But one thing most of these meals have in common is the  large number of ingredients. 8 to 12 ingredients in some of these "quick and easy" recipes!

Then we watched this video:

And now we're thinking of going back to our simpler meals. It'll certainly save time in the kitchen and grocery shopping, and may even save us a bit of money, too. Go back to making up pans full of roasted veggies, mashed potatoes/Caulipots and gravy, pasta with some jarred sauce and a handful of kale or spinach tossed in, even a loaf of homemade whole grain bread and roasted red pepper hummus. Good, decent food.

Maybe it's time we returned to eating like the low class vegans that we are.

Quick and Easy Salad Dressing

From leftover hummus!

I made red pepper hummus last week and had just a little bit of it left - not enough to dip or to spread on bread for a sandwich - so decided to take a hint form an Internet post and add a bit of water, mixed it all up, and poured it onto the simple salad I had (baby romaine and Cherub tomatoes). Delicious! Tastier, cheaper - and much healthier - than Annie's Organic Goddess Dressing, for sure!

7-Layer Casserole

Here's another older McDougall recipe, 7-Layer Casserole. SB on the McDougall forums shared her take on it:

Seven Layer Casserole
from The McDougall Health-Supporting Cookbook
[Edit 2: I see from below that 3/4 cup of water is in the original recipe. This was left out of the version I copied from the message board. (I had often wondered about that!) Anyway, 1/2 cup of it is poured over the sauce on the bottom half and 1/4 cup of it is pour over the sauce on the top half.]
Ingredients for Bottom Half
Layer 1 cup each of the following in a 9" x 13" baking pan/casserole dish:
* Uncooked brown rice
* Cooked kidney beans, drained (can use canned)
* Diced raw potatoes
* Frozen green peas
Then pour one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce over it. (NOTE: Some use more sauce and/or add some water to the sauce.)
Ingredients for Top Half
On top of the tomato sauce, layer 1 cup each of the following:
* Diced raw green pepper
* Frozen corn kernels
* Diced raw onions
Then sprinkle with black pepper to taste and pour one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce evenly over the top. (NOTE: Some use more sauce and/or add some water to the sauce.)
Cover and bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven; then uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
SB's NOTE: I usually add a layer of chopped raw collard greens between the beans and potatoes and mix a few ounces of water with the sauce. Plus, I often sprinkle a little Italian seasoning on top of most every layer to perk up the tomato sauce -- which should be a McD-legal type, of course.

My changes:
I added a third can of sauce along with the extra water.
Baby spinach was layered between the corn and onions.
I used this Italian Herb Mix from Penzey Spices.  
And I think I was a bit too liberal with the black pepper. I got more than one mouthful that burned, although my husband said he didn't notice any at all.

Another nice, quick to put together meal. Between the 2 of us we ate the whole thing with no leftovers. As you might be able to see in the picture, it only took up about half the casserole dish. About an hour later I ate some fresh strawberries and hubby reached for his fig bar cookies. Next time I think I'll add another can of beans with the top layer and maybe double the veggies.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cruciferous Soup and Smoky Apple Baked Beans

Did a lot of cooking yesterday. First we had a Fuhrman lunch and later was a McDougall dinner. OK, the dinner was good for those who follow Fuhrman, too, but I tend to think of recipes like that one to be more in line with McDougall, especially since I first learned of it on the McDougall forums.

Lunch was another recipe from the Fuhrman forums, this one from a member known as "horsecrazy."

The recipe, as written:

10-10-2011, 01:48 PM  #69
 A cruciferous soup
A cruciferous soup that I made last night.
1 - qt bottle Lakewood Carrot Juice
2 - medium to large onions, chopped
3 - cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 head of medium sized cabbage, chopped
3/4 head of cauliflower (chopped in smallish pieces)
2 - 8 oz packages portobello mushrooms, lightly chopped in food processor
1 - 15 oz can Delmonte, no salt added diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano
2 to 3 TBL cashew butter
Start onions and garlic cooking in carrot juice at a simmer, when starting to soften add cabbage and cauliflower. When those start to get tender, add mushrooms and continue to simmer. Put tomatoes and cashew butter in either food processor or Vita Mix and blend and add to the soup. When soup is finished, then add however much spinach you like and once it wilts, serve.
If you wanted to add kale or collards rather than spinach, add toward the beginning, along with the cabbage and cauliflower.
If you want to use cashews instead of cashew butter, better to use vita mix. I opted for the cashew butter since the food processor was already out for the mushrooms. Decided not to dirty anything else!

Remember that this link will only work if you're already a member of Dr. Fuhrman's pay message board.

My changes:
I used about 3/4 of a very small head of cabbage, one about the size of a softball. I'll roast up the last sliver later today as a snack.

Frozen, not fresh, cauliflower.

Store brand no-salt added tomatoes.

Only a tablespoon of the cashew butter.

Next time, instead of hand-slicing the cabbage I'll toss it into the food processor, as long as it's out for the mushrooms, anyway.

Another hit with the hubby! He ate 2 large bowls of it and told me to save the leftovers for him to eat during the week as a snack after dinner. I thought it was just okay, with the carrot juice as the predominate flavor. The brown of the portobellos mixed with the orange of the juice gave it an unappetizing color. Will I make it again? Maybe, if my husband were sick or depressed and needed a pick-me-up. It's a bit too labor-intensive for a lunch meal.

On to dinner. As mentioned above, this was talked about on the McD forums but the recipe is from our favorite fat-free vegan cook, Susan Voisin. You can find the recipe on her web site here.

My changes:
Instead of standing there dicing for a half hour I used a small bag of frozen diced onions and peppers. Jeff Novick taught me to love frozen vegetables.

I left out the chipotle pepper, only because I would have sworn I had a jar of it but couldn't find it when getting the ingredients together.

What will I change in the future? I might leave out the Liquid Smoke. I was never a fan of this product and it was the predominant smell and taste in these beans. Maybe it's a Southern thing and takes some getting used to. 

One big change I'll make in the future is to NOT uncover the beans after the first half hour. Maybe that's how traditional baked beans are made, but I found them too dry and crusty. 

As with just about every dish I make, my husband loved it and went back for seconds, then thirds. I made a pig of myself with one large bowl of it, way more than Dr. McDougall's recommended 1-cup of beans per day rule, but I won't have any beans today to make up for it.

Will I make it again? Probably. I hadn't made real baked beans in a while and my husband really liked this. He commented on the fruitiness of it and I reminded him it had apples and he started gushing about how wonderfully the apples go with the beans, that he would never have thought of doing that. Um, dearie? Remember 2 weeks ago I made the Pioneer Baked Beans that also weds apples and beans together? Oops, he forgot. He did say that the taste was totally different between the two bean dishes, which is why he didn't remember. As I said, these beans had a heavy Liquid Smoke taste, but the Pioneer Baked Beans is more sugary because of the canned Bush baked beans. He said he likes Susan's beans better. Good thing this was easy and quick to put together.

I was brought up in the 1950's and '60's on canned baked beans. Actually, they were the canned "pork & beans" with tiny pieces of ham fat floating around that my brothers and I used to fight over, not homemade beans. My husband didn't even get that, because his mother hated beans and never served them. The closest my husband ever got to a legume as a kid was canned peas. The first time I ever made a dish with beans in it he thought they were the greatest thing on earth. You know what? They may be! 

So, thanks, Susan, for another wonderful recipe.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Interview with Dr. Goldhamer

Alan Goldhamer Interview by TrueNorth Health Center

The Pleasure Trap - The OTHER Author, Dr. Alan Goldhamer

As a McDougaller, I heard about Dr. Doug Lisle frequently because of his appearances at McDougall events, then his DVD and book, The Pleasure Trap. He continued lecturing at McDougall events, released another DVD, then another.

But we never heard anything about his co-worker at the True North Health Center

and co-author of The Pleasure Trap, Alan Goldhamer, D.O..

A few weeks ago I came across this video of him giving a lecture on the Pleasure Trap. It's excellent! If you thought Dr. Doug Lisle gave a good lecture on the subject, you're GOT to see this one by Dr. Goldhamer! This really hammers it home.

I found another lecture by him on fasting, but haven't watched it yet, as I've been a tad bit busy the past 2 months with life and death matters. It's on my to-do list for Monday morning, though, now that I'm slowly catching up with things.

Thanks, Dr. Goldhamer.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Carrot Call

I don't watch either Jimmy Kimmel (not since he was the emcee on "Win Ben Stein's Money), don't watch "Duck Dynasty," and I don't know who Morrissey is, either, but I do think this is a funny skit.