Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Creamy White Bean and Mushroom Appetizer

appetizer, white bean spread topped with mushrooms

An ordinary appetizer? Not this bold and magnificent dip/spread! Sautéed mushrooms, pine nuts, creamy white butter beans, fresh herbs and tasty seasoning make up this delightful blend. Got company coming? This will be a hit!!

It's simple and wonderful and a perfect choice if you, a guest, or a family member needs to eat a gluten-free or dairy-free diet but of course everyone can enjoy it.  

Free Parsley Leaves photo and picture


White beans such as navy beans, butter beans, or cannelloni beans are high in protein and fiber, and provide many essential nutrients. A great choice instead of a high fat commercially prepared alternative.

Enjoy this herbacious dip with colorful cut up raw vegetables or your favorite (GF) crackers. 

Free Fresh Cut Vegetables on a Plate Stock Photo

Ingredients for the dip/spread 
1 can of butter beans, drained (available in most supermarkets)
1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves, chopped (cilantro) or 
     1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped - your choice
1/4 cup of freshly chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (or 1 fresh clove of fresh garlic)
1 tablespoon of tahini or nut butter
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Sea Salt or Himalayan pink salt 
Cracked black pepper

Blend everything in a food processor until smooth and creamy. 

Ingredients for the topping: 
1/2 cup of pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 cups of sautéed white sliced mushrooms with salt and pepper

A favorite soup recipe using white beans 

My Notes: 
1. Butter beans are readily available in most supermarkets in the canned bean isle. They are larger than other white beans and very creamy and delicious. 

2. Make this dip in advance and refrigerate until needed. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Creamy Asparagus and Cauliflower Soup

soup, asparagus and cauliflower soup

As you know (or may not know) I love soup and am happy to eat it even in the spring and summer! 

I was recently introduced to a delicious asparagus soup at a friend's dinner party! I couldn't wait to get the recipe and share!

Green Asparagus Asparagus photo and picture

If you are a soup lover, it's time to get your soup pot going and make a bowl of this hearty, comforting, healthy soup. It combines two healthy favorite vegetables: cauliflower and asparagus. 

white cauliflower on black textile

This plant-based soup is creamy and each bowl can be garnished with small sprigs of seasoned roasted cauliflower and tender tips of asparagus. 

It's easy to make and it is certainly a soothing crowd pleaser. 
If you are looking for a comforting soothing soup - this is it. 

It's also low calorie, low fat, and high in fiber. If you are caring for an elderly parent or someone convalescing, this is an easy to eat nourishing soup. 

That being said, I'm sure you too will enjoy this easy to make soup. 

In addition, the ingredients in the soup provide substantial  protective anti-oxidants and vitamins! 


2 cups of chopped onion 
2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 pound of asparagus, cleaned and hard tips snapped off and then broken into thirds
1 russet potato, peeled and diced very small
1 16 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower florets or 
1 small cauliflower broken into small florets
3 cups of vegetable broth 
3 cups of water
Freshly cracked pepper
Garnish: a few raw asparagus tips in each bowl is a must! It's crunchy in the creamy soup.
Optional: a pinch of chili powder in each bowl 

Directions for soup pot: 

In a 4 quart soup pot, sauté onion in 1/2 cup of water or vegetable broth on a low heat until onions are translucent (about 4 minutes, stirring). Add garlic and heat for another 2 minutes. Add asparagus, potato, and cauliflower florets, broth, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes covered until vegetables are soft. When done, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Directions for Instant Pot: 
Saute onions in 1/2 cup of water or vegetable broth in the insert liner of the Instant for about 4 minutes, stirring. Add garlic and sauté another 2 minutes. Add remainder of ingredients, secure the lid, and set to pressure cook for 4 minutes. When done, release steam according to the manufacturer's directions. When all steam is released, carefully remove the lid. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.  

My Notes: 

1. For a variation of this soup, try roasting your asparagus and cauliflower before adding it to the soup. It will produce a different tasting soup that will require additional time for roasting the vegetables..

2. This spring soup could be an ideal soup for the upcoming Passover holiday especially if you are looking for vegan recipes. 

3.  It's important to eat foods that provide necessary anti-oxidants that may help increase our immunity and thus may play a roll in helping to prevent common degenerative diseases.  

There is a quote by Ann Wigmore that I love (and included in my soups cookbook) that says, 
"The food you eat can either be the safest & most powerful form of medicine or the slowest poison" 
I like to think that this type of soup could be a form of powerful medicine. What do you think?  Do you give it any consideration to high antioxidant foods when you prepare your meals? 

4. This soup is gluten-free, vegan, oil-free, and also very suitable for a kosher for Passover meal. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Shopping With Dogs at TJ Maxx

How do you feel about shopping in a supermarket or clothing store such as TJ Maxx and people putting their dog or dogs in the shopping carts? 

Lately, I see it all the time in my local stores.

I don't like the fact that people can even shop in supermarkets and stores with their dogs, but I have accepted it (bc I have no choice bc the law is on the side of service and emotional support animals) 

However, I think it is ridiculous to actually be able to place the dogs in the shopping carts that everyone uses.

two dogs sitting on maroon area rug

Is is even sanitary? 

Personally, I do not like the idea of bringing new clothing home that has dog hair on it. 

The carts are not even cleaned between customers!

Am I the only one who feels this way?

I asked the manager of my local TJ Maxx  about it and she said, "sorry, we are not permitted to ask them to remove the dog or dogs from the cart"!  Places are actually afraid of getting sued and they do get sued- which is bad for business.

It has nothing to do with liking or not liking dogs, but some of these animals smell, some shed, and some keep barking in the store !!!!

I have seen a sign in the supermarket prohibiting dogs in the carts, but the rule is often not enforced.  In fact, the manager of the supermarket has gotten into huge arguments with service animal owners to the point of calling the police and by then the owner is gone. Since the store does not want to lose customers, they tend to look the other way most of the time. This rule just applies to supermarkets, not other types of stores. 

This sign applies ( but is not enforced) in supermarkets

I'm curious how you feel about dogs in the shopping carts in stores such as TJ Maxx, and if you have any suggestions... 

I could stop shopping there, but I would have to stop shopping everywhere in Florida where dogs rule and go EVERYWHERE including restaurants with their owners. I have even begun to see more dogs in stores and restaurants in Philadelphia area too. 

It does not matter if you are allergic to dogs. 
The law protects the emotional support owner. 

Just a "pet peeve" of mine. I would love to hear your comments. 

I also get outraged with people who bring their "emotional support dogs" to the beach where we walk barefoot. The signs clearly say, " NO PETS"  on beach- but emotional support dogs are not pets and the lifeguards don't get involved and are not rule enforces( I have found out) bc you are not permitted to question people about their emotional support dogs . So people end up bringing a dog to the beach and yes they pee and poop on the beach ( and the owners cleans up the poop) but we walk barefoot and children play and dig in the sand. 

Free Dog Beach photo and picture

Please don't call me a dog hater. I actually like dogs. This is a whole other issue. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Turmeric Tea -3 Ways

Crop hands adding turmeric in glass of hot water in morning Stock Photo

When you are feeling under the weather, brewing up some turmeric tea using ground turmeric powder is very soothing and comforting for your throat and stomach. 

The bright yellow spice can be found in the spice isle in most supermarkets or in greater quantity in Indian grocery markets.

Sometimes you can find turmeric already in tea bags. 

white ceramic teacup with turmeric tea

Popular in Ayurvedic Medicine in India
The use of turmeric goes back centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and has recently begun to be recognized as beneficial to boosting immune health in the United States as well. 

Clear Glass Tea Set With Honey

Home remedies have always been popular and these are a few home remedies that may actually be beneficial.  

This bright yellow turmeric contains many nutrients and is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Using turmeric in a tea may be very helpful.

Of course turmeric is very popular in Indian cooking. It is often paired with black pepper for optimal absorption. You could add a little black pepper to your tea if you are able to tolerate it. 

Tastes Good
I was surprised how good this bright yellow tea tasted. There are many variations of how to make the tea. I used turmeric powder as my base.

turmeric powder on a spoon

Sea Salt + Turmeric
I was surprised that this one was my favorite. It actually tasted like a vegetable broth more than tea. I was able to whip it up quickly with very little effort. 

Turmeric, Honey, Lemon- 
This one tasted more like tea. The lemon provides lots of vitamin C and the honey has antibacterial benefits that feels soothing for sore throats and or coughs.

clear glass jar with yellow liquid inside

Turmeric, Honey, Ginger- 
This tea is similar to the previous tea above but uses fresh ginger. Ginger is loaded with antioxidants to help boost immunity and good for soothing the stomach.

***One caution: 
Turmeric stains. Do not get it on your clothing, counter tops, etc. 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to diagnose or make medical claims. The information in this post is strictly for educational purposes only. If you are not feeling well, consult your medical doctor before trying any of these teas.