All Posts for January 2018

Heart Matters: February 2018

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

January is almost over, so I have stopped saying Happy New Year to people I meet.
Now I can start saying Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Healthy Heart Month!

February is also still cold in the Northeast, so I will be posting a couple of winter poems by my virtual poet-in-residence, Mary Lou Meyers. And the snowy photo below is from my friend Hope. It is the creek next to her farmhouse when we had a snowstorm in January. The beauty of winter, especially after a storm, is something we don’t rave about, but I do love the snowy landscape in winter, especially before the snow is trod upon.

Winter also means more soups, stews, root veggies, and darker greens, so I plan to feature some hearty/hardy dishes.  When I Googled the difference between these two words, here’s what came up (direct quote):

These two words overlap somewhat, but usually the word you want is “hearty.” The standard expressions are “a hearty appetite,” “a hearty meal,” a “hearty handshake,” “a hearty welcome,” and “hearty applause.” “Hardy” turns up in “hale and hardy,” but should not be substituted for “hearty” in the other expressions. May 19, 2016 hardy / hearty | Common Errors in English Usage and More …

(I think both words can apply to heart-warming, heart-healthy, and hardy dishes.)

Since I will be away for one week in February, I may repost some of my favorite soups or stews, with special emphasis on foods good for the heart. Speaking of which, in, Dr. Edward Group writes:

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. If it’s weak, you’re weak. There are a few things you can do to provide your heart with what it needs to be at its best. The first is to get plenty of exercise. Your heart is a muscle, it needs to be worked. Second, avoid toxins that damage your cardiovascular system — don’t smoke, avoid high fat foods, and limit (eliminate?) your refined sugar intake.* Here are ten foods you can add to your diet to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants necessary to maintain a healthy heart. And they’re delicious too.
(Photo also from same website.)

  1. Salmon
  2. Broccoli
  3. Asparagus
  4. Chickpeas
  5. Spinach
  6. Almonds
  7. Olives
  8. Red Wine
  9. Avocado
  10. Walnuts

I plan to feature some of these foods in my recipes. Except for salmon and red wine, they are all perfect for my meatless recipes.
*I will also write about the link between sugar and heart health.

February is also Black History Month or African-American History Month.  If you type ibn Celebrating Black History Month, you will be led to this website:  You can click on several poems by African-Americans such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass or type in the poet’s name. Here is an excerpt from one of the poems on this site, written by Elizabeth Alexander, entitled Praise Song for the Day (A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration). I chose it because it speaks of love, and February seems to be the perfect time to post it. Go to the website to read the entire poem, since I do not have permission to do so.

…..Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance…..

Apropos to love in all its forms is Valentine’s Day on February 14th. No sooner have retail stores packed away the paraphernalia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. then do all the trimmings of Valentine’s Day appear. Since I met my husband Alan 15 years ago right before Valentine’s Day, I feel quite sentimental about it, so I will post something about this day, maybe how it can be used as a day for showing love to family, friends, Mother Earth, as well as partners, spouses, and significant others, as Elizabeth Alexander writes so eloquently above.

Here’s wishing you a heart-healthy attitude about your own health
and those you love.

Blizzard Salad

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

January has been a cold, wet, and snowy month on the East Coast. For me, the cold weather triggers denser foods like soups and root veggies in a salad. Today’s salad uses grated cauliflower for the “snow.” It seems that this veggie has become the darling of the produce department. At Trader Joe’s I saw a young women place three large cauliflowers in her shopping cart. We talked about how she used them, and I shared some of my recipe ideas. *

Showcasing cauliflower with this recipe is a good excuse to write about its nutritional value. It is one of the few “white” foods that is good for you, as opposed to white bread, white potatoes that many people avoid because of the high carbs, and other denatured foods that are stripped of their natural colors and nutrients in processing.

Here is a food byte about cauliflower:

Nutritional Profile. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin.
Cauliflower – The World’s Healthiest Foods


Utensils: Cutting board & knife, colander, mixing bowl, serving bowl or platter
Prep. Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Raw, Vegan (V), Gluten Free (GF) No Sugar Added (NSA)

Ingredients (Except for cauliflower, you can choose any of the salad items)

1 to 1 1/2 cups ripped or chopped organic greens of choice
1 cup organic broccoli slaw
2-3 org. radishes, sliced or grated
1 piece of fennel bulb, sliced thinly
3-4 scallions, sliced into thin pieces crosswise, mostly white part
2 Tbl. Olive oil and lemon or your favorite dressing
2-3 organic cauliflowerettes (grated and set aside)


  1. Wash all the items, drain, and cut, rip, slice, dice, or grate as indicated. Place in a large bowl, except for cauliflower and toss with olive oil and lemon or your own dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste if no spices in your dressing.
  2. Top with grated cauliflower, or just grate the cauliflower after salad is mixed. (You can toss again to coat the cauliflower with oil or just leave plain on top.)

  Note: If you add cooked chickpeas, you will boost the protein in the salad.

*Here are links to three other recipes I have featured using cauliflower, one of which has more detailed nutritional info:
1. Cinco DeMayo Cauliflower
2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cauliflower:

3. Cauliflower-in-the-Round: