JUST JANUARY: 2016

Winter in Alaska: This is a photo I took on our trip to Alaska 5 years ago. Despite the cloudy day, the scene was quite beautiful.


January is a kind of lame duck month, stuck between the aftermath of the holidays from Halloween and New Year’s and before Valentine’s Day, Passover, and Easter. (exception: Orthodox Christmas is Jan. 7th.) So maybe it is a good time to sit quietly and contemplate your plans for the coming year, including how to pay your bills for all the gifts you may have purchased.  Never mind about making resolutions, since that word sounds foreboding, but rather goals or projects. And as I noted before I preempted this Home Page with my message of “Seize the Moment”  (http://www.menupause.info/archives/17802 ), resolutions are often broken before the month is up.

So, if you are planning to make a list instead of resolutions, that’s a fine idea in my estimation. In the meantime, here are some January happenings and coming attractions on my website that might interest you.

Wed., January 6th is Bean Day, which is tomorrow, so I am re-posting one of my bean recipes today (below) and hope to post more new recipes this month.

Monday, January 18th is the National Holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Since his “I Have a Dream” is part of his legacy, perhaps January is a good month to crystallize your dream(s) more clearly.

Monday, January 25th is the Jewish Holiday of the Trees, which we celebrate with fruits and nuts of the trees. I plan to have some recipes for nuts and winter fruits this month, along with beans.

This month is also:
National Book Month
National Thank You Month
National National Glaucoma Awareness
National Volunteer Blood Donor Month
National Soup Month


Since I have a book on eyes to review, I can celebrate both eye care and book month. (I also saw January listed as National Eye Care Month, not just glaucoma, and my interview in Profiles will be on a genetic disease that causes blindness .)


As for Volunteer Blood Donor Month, maybe I can do some research on blood in our veins and chlorophyll in our food sources, since  there may be a link.  It is also National Soup Month, which means I can combine Bean Day with soup month and provide some bean soup ideas and recipes during January. Nothing like multi-tasking in the kitchen! I will also re-post my recipe for soup stock,  so you can make a more nutritious bean soup.

Black Bean & Barley Bowl

Note: This is excerpted from my earlier post in 2013, which has more info on beans and barley, as well as a variation with squash, so here is that link: http://www.menupause.info/archives/11280.


Ingredients

1/2 cup hulled or pearl barley, rinsed (hulled barley is more nutritious but takes longer to cook)
4-5 cups water or stock
1 garlic clove
1/2-1/2 c. chopped onion
1 org, carrot, scrubbed and sliced into circles
1/2 c. peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2-1 cup black beans (I used organic canned with no BPA)
Salt 7 Pepper to taste
Herbs of choice: oregano, parsley, etc.

Directions

1. Place barley in water or stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add garlic, onion, carrot & herbs and cook about 25 minutes or until barley is soft. (If using hulled barley, you will need about 15 minutes more. A crock pot would work.)
2. Add peas and drained black beans and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Or try a dash of tamari.) Serve warm.

Note: To make this dish more soupy and less like a stew, use more soup stock, unless you love very thick soup.


P.S. Just January means you can make plans or goals for the next few months and know you have an entire year to reach them!
And since this is National Thank You Month, please accept my heartfelt thanks for reading my website articles.
This March will be 10 years and I know some of you have been here for most of the. Thank you, thank you and a …….

Happy, Healthy New Year!


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