Mixed Greens and Raspberry Salad

022Christmas PD salad

The winter blues are setting in and the best way that I know to combat this is with healthy fresh foods.

Today’s salad is one of my favorites as it has raspberries in it; sweet and juicy, full of antioxidants and vitamins.

I made an easy olive oil balsamic vinaigrette.

I put 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar in a glass jar and shake it vigorously.

The result is a thick fully emulsified dressing that I can serve and store with ease.


Black Beans in Coconut Oil


The secret is in the coconut oil and garlic for this recipe. The coconut oil lends a silken texture and a complexity of flavors that makes this a rich and satisfying component to many dishes. I often use this as a meat substitute or in traditional dishes calling for beans.
The addition of garlic makes this a full compliment of flavors.

Using a high quality, virgin cold-pressed and unrefined coconut oil is important. I like Spectrum and Now brands. They are both organic and widely available. Just read the labels and you can find a quality product near you. It should smell like coconut and it will be solid unless it is really hot out side!

I hesitate to add anything like onion or pepper in the beans because I like the texture and the simplicity of the combination and its ability to adapt in a variety of recipes.


Two cans of black beans
1 Tbn virgin coconut oil
4-5 cloves of thinly sliced garlic or to your taste


Slice the garlic and drain the beans, reserving the juice.
In frying pan or skillet over medium heat add the coconut oil, add the garlic and let them cook together slowly without browning the garlic. After a few minutes add the beans.
As everything starts to simmer it may need a more liquid. Add the reserved juice as needed. For more coconut flavor you could also add a little extra oil; to your taste.
Mash the beans with a potato masher. Slowly pushing down create a creamy mashed bean mixture. Let simmer for about thirty minutes keeping your eye on the consistency and continue to add juice as needed. They should be like mashed potatoes.

Remove from heat and serve.

Serving ideas:

Black Bean Quesadilla:

Fresh cilantro
Chopped tomato
Chopped onion
Manchego Cheese

Black Bean Burrito:

Brown rice
Mexican Blend cheese
Red pepper
Sour cream
Green onion

Check out this link for more info on the benefits and many uses for coconut oil


For the Love of Lentils!


What do you cook when you want to treat your body very well, are on a tight grocery budget or need a comfort food to feed your soul?

This is one of my favorite comfort meals; staple go-to cheap dinner of all time.
You can vary this dish in so many ways. I have added tofu, broccoli and spinach; or any veggie on hand, spices, coconut milk, mushrooms, etc. I also eat this hot or cold, sometimes adding a bit of olive oil to create a kind of lentil salad.

I have also served it over brown rice on cold winter days with a dollop of yogurt and fresh herbs.

With a warm chunk of crusty bread and a nice glass of Pinot Noir is probably my favorite way to enjoy this inexpensive, highly nutritious favorite.


3 Cups of lentils
3-4 cloves garlic
5-6 medium sized carrots
6-7 celery stalks
1Cup White wine
2TBS olive Oil
3-4 Cups water (vegetable stock)


1. In a large skillet or pot add olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, chopped celery and chopped carrots. (Adding these ingredients together helps to maintain enough moisture in the oil to prevent the garlic from browning).

Cook until vegetables become soft.

2. Add lentils and stir them around to get coated in the oil and vegetable mixture.

3. Add the wine and let simmer for a minute or two.

4. Add veggie stock or water; place a lid on the pot and cook until liquid is completely absorbed.

Add salt to taste.

This is the basic recipe. I have added crushed red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, cumin and curry. (Not at the same time, just variations on a theme) I like to keep a container of lentils in the fridge and eat them in pitas with yogurt. I also like them burrito style with fresh veggies and cheese.

You can also make this dish with chicken; sautéing the chicken in the olive oil before adding the veggies and adding chicken stock to cook.


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