May: Mother Nature’s Magic: Flowers, Trees, Healthy Bones and Mind and more!

Despite the social distancing, the masks, and all the other “inconveniences” of COVID, when May comes along, I cannot help but feel optimistic. The flowers, the fresh air, the rain and sun are all part of May and Mother Nature’s Magic. While October is my favorite month, May is a very close second. I love how the flowers blossom in rotation: first the crocuses, forsythia and daffodils, then the tulips and new green leaves on trees, and now the amazing azaleas. Let’s be optimistic while dealing with climate change and all the other issues that seem to be related.



May is also the time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo,  which many consider a Mexican Holiday. But this is what the Internet reveals:

“… Cinco de Mayo is not an official Mexican holiday. It is celebrated more actively in some parts of the U.S. than in many parts of Mexico. The U.S. celebration of the holiday began in California in 1863 as an expression of solidarity with Mexico against the French.”

For me, this is an opportunity to share ideas for tortillas or tacos and to add color to your kitchen table. So in the next day or two I will post my ideas for this year’s Cinco de Mayo.

May is also National Osteoporosis Month and Mental Health Month, and I will be doing my ZOOM cooking class on these two topics on Friday, May 21st at 10:30 am est. I will post a link soon so you can join if you wish and will also post information from Save our Bones excellent website ( and food & mental health information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (

I am also adding a new category: P.I.C.: Product Information Corner, where I will introduce items that I use that I consider sustainable (like those I have posted on Back to the Future), including foods, cleaning products, personal body products, etc.

So May is a busy month, a transition from the winds of winter to the balmier days of spring into summer. I will still be wearing my mask and being careful to keep my body boosted with good foods, good sleep, and good connections. Make your May healthy & magical in your own way.  ellensue


Halloween Rice & Black Beans

Every Halloween I like to post something I eat with orange and black ingredients. This year I am makingit super-easy because I am suggesting organic canned black beans (no BPA in the lining) if you don’t want to use dry beans. I usually soak and sprout all my beans, but I know most people don’t, so this is a shortcut for me.

Also, You can have more beans than rice or vice-versa. More beans means more protein, while more rice means more carbs. I also prefer basmati white rice (fluffier) over brown rice (less fiber in white rice), but you can also use brown rice if you prefer. Since there are grated carrots and scallions or onions in the dish, plus the fiber in beans, I am not worried about lack of fiber, especially since I will serve it with a fresh garden salad.

Utensils: strainer, can opener if using canned beans, larger pot for rice, small pot for beans, cutting board and knife, pastry brush or wax paper for brushing pot with oil.
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes  (if using brown rice, need 25-30 min.)
Categories: Vegan (V), Gluten-Free (GF),  No Sugar Added (NSA)


1 cup cooked black turtle beans (one can)
1 cup cooked rice ( 1/2 cup dry=approximately 1 cup cooked)
water for rice*
1 grated, organic carrot (scrubbed well)
one small onion, one leek or 3-4 scallions sliced (mostly white part)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil or mac nut oil
cayenne pepper (optional)
salt to taste (optional)
Fresh avocado slices and/or sprouts for garnish (optional)
(Feel free to use other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, etc.)+

* I now cook my rice as I would pasta, with lots of water that I then drain off to reduce the amount of arsenic in some rices. I also rinse the cooked rice with warm water before and after it is cooked.
+ I purchased a rice mixture with wild rice and herbs from Trader Joe’s and that worked well. Looks like “confetti” rice.


  1. Remove the beans from the can and warm in a small pot. At the same time, cook rice in more than enough water to cover about 15 minutes for white rice and 25 minutes for brown rice. (If using sprouted beans or dried beans that you soaked, they can cook in a pot next to the rice pot and may take even longer than the rice, so start cooking these first or ahead of time, if using.)
  2. While the (canned) beans are being warmed and the rice is cooking, wash and grate the carrot and slice the onion/leek/scallion. (You should also have time to make a tossed salad.)
  3. When the beans are warm, drain and rinse. Set them aside in the pot you used to warm them.
  4. When the rice is cooked, drain and rinse well with warm water. Wash and dry pot and then brush with one tablespoon oil. Place rice back in pot. Add the drained beans back to the larger pot with the rice and place on a very small flame to stay warm, adding another tablespoon of oil. Mix gently.
  5. Add the grated carrot, then onion/leek/scallions and herbs or spices to taste. Again, mix gently. Serve warm. (You may also transfer all of this to a lightly oiled pan and warm the dish in the oven.)

    Here is the dish in an orange bowl for single servings

    1. You may want to add one ear of corn, shucked, and cooked for additional color. (I did.)
    2. Feel free to add sliced, green olives or dried tomatoes.
    3. You can also use this mixture as a filling for making a wrap using    tortillas.
    4. If you are not a vegan or have no sensitivity to dairy, you can also add grated cheese of your choice.


Copyright ©2022 Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson. | Website by Parrish Digital.