Asparagus Mushroom Risotto

Recipe of the Month: Asparagus Mushroom Risotto


  • 1 cup risotto
  • 4 garlic cloves minced and divided (2 and 2)
  • 1 lb asparagus (break off ends and slice into 2-3 inch lengths)
  • I also added about a cup of broccoli heads – just because they needed to be used
  • 8 oz mushroom sliced (pick your favorite variety)
  • 4 T butter
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan


Put the 4 cups of stock in a pan and heat to warm – keep it warm but not cooking.

Saute 2 of the garlic cloves in 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil.  When fragrant add the mushrooms.  If desired – add salt and pepper at this time. Here’s the tricky part.  Once the moisture has evaporated turn the heat up and let them brown DO NOT stir them during this step.  You will want to – but resist.  This is when they get great flavor.

After they are browned you can add the asparagus and any other veggie you have decided to use.  You will want them to be aldente.  Turn the heat off when you get to this point and cover it to keep it warm or put in a warm oven.

While the mushrooms are browning – in another pan add the remaining olive oil and butter.  Saute the remaining garlic until fragrant.  Add the shallots.  When the shallots are translucent add the risotto and stir to coat (do not brown it)

Add the cup of wine and cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed.

Add 1 ladle of the broth to the risotto and keep stirring.  When it is almost all absorbed add another ladle.  Keep doing this until you have added all of the broth.  This is time-consuming – but be patient – it will be worth it.

When you have added the last bit of broth sprinkle in the parmesan and stir to mix it in.  The risotto should not be juicy but it will be sticky.  The cheese should add a salty flavor, but if you want more – this is the time to add it. Add the veggies and put on plates to serve.


Risotto has always scared me a little bit.  I like it and think it makes a great meal all by itself, but the careful attention it requires made me hesitant.  This recipe might be a little more time consuming than some quick prep ones – but it is so worth it.

If you want to make it truly vegetarian – use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  Enjoy!

Skillet Breakfast for One

Recipe of the Month: Skillet Breakfast for One (see notes)


Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS

  • 1 organic potato sliced as thin as possible
  • 4 thin slices of onion (separate the rings)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped pablano pepper (or pepper of your choice)
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes sliced into thirds
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon organic lard (could use olive oil)


  • Heat an iron skillet on high (I used a small 9-inch skillet)
  • Add lard, allow to melt
  • Lay potato slices in bottom of skillet
  • Spread onion rings around the pan on top of potato
  • Sprinkle pepper evenly around skillet
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper (about a teaspoon of each)
  • Allow to cook until beginning to brown, then flip potatoes, onions, peppers
  • Cook until beginning to brown on the other side
  • Top everything with a layer of spinach
  • Spread the tomato slices around the skillet
  • Sprinkle the cheese evenly around the skillet
  • Crack an egg in the middle
  • Cover with a lid and put in oven at 350
  • When the egg is done – enjoy – serve in the skillet – be sure to use a hot pad to handle the skillet and to set it on.


This was a skillet for one. If you have 2 skillets and are cooking for 2 – great. Just do the exact same thing with the second skillet. If you have a larger skillet and are cooking for 2 or 3 – just increase all the ingredients and put into the larger skillet. Crack the eggs so they each have their own little area, the recipe can then be divided and served on plates.

In the picture, you will notice the egg is totally done (no runny center). I actually got distracted by a phone call. This would be perfect for my daughter who likes her eggs cooked with a hard center. I prefer a runny center. You will have to check your skillet to see how quickly the egg is cooking to make sure it comes out the way you prefer.

Obviously, if everyone isn’t on the same page with the doneness of the eggs you will have to prepare each separately.

Stone Soup

Recipe of the Month: Stone Soup

Recipe of the Month INGREDIENTS

  • 2 andouille sausages
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots (chopped into bite sized pieces)
  • 3 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 1 turnip (chopped)
  • ½ large onion (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups potato(chopped)
  • 1 box (can) cannelloni beans
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 32 ounces organic chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • S & P (to taste)
  • 1 parmesan rind (when you have grated your hunk of parmesan cheese to the point you feel you can no longer grate it – DON’T throw it away.  Instead, put it in a bag in the cheese drawer of your fridge.  Those rinds are amazing in various recipes –stews, risotto and especially soup!)


  • Squeeze the sausage out of the casing and brown in Dutch oven or big heavy pot – breaking into small pieces
  • When beginning to brown add the olive oil, the garlic and onions and sauté until soft
  • Add the carrots, celery, turnip, and potatoes- toss to evenly coat with the oil and then sauté till beginning to soften. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  • Drain the beans and rinse, rinse the lentils and add both to the pot.
  • Put in the bay leaf, parmesan rind, and salt and pepper.
  • Cut the Kale away from the stems. Chop the stems into small pieces and add to the soup.  Slice the kale into thin strips and add to the soup.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes. Take out the bay leaf and parmesan rind. Serve with garlic bread.


You may be wondering why this is called Stone Soup – there are no stones in it!  Years ago, when my kids were young there was a book we would read – especially in the winter (just seemed like a winter story). In the story, 3 soldiers who were tired and hungry come to a poor village. The people said they had nothing to share, but then the soldiers taught them how to make a great “stone soup” by getting each villager to bring a small contribution to the soup.  In the end, it was a wonderful soup enjoyed by all.  All of the ingredients in this soup reminded me of that story.

Christmas Salad

Recipe of the Month: Christmas Salad


  • Spinach, broccoli greens, kale (I usually allow 1 large handful of greens per person- the variety is up to
  • ½ Cup Feta cheese
  • ½ cup Pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Red onion sliced into rings
  • 1 Hakurei turnip (chopped into small cubes)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ – ½ cup orange blossom honey


  • Wash the greens and cut into bite sized pieces and put in salad bowl
  • Top with the pomegranate seeds, onion slices, chopped turnip, and feta cheese
  • Whisk the lime juice, vinegar, olive oil and honey together. Hint – if you measure the olive oil first and then the honey, the honey will slide out of the measuring cup very easily.
  • Sprinkle just enough dressing on salad to wet everything and toss! Any extra dressing can be saved for tomorrow’s salad.


Hakurei turnips can be eaten raw or cooked – not what you think of when you think turnips) These may be difficult to find- but well worth the search.  I get them from a girl at a farmer’s market.

Save the rest of the pomegranate seeds for your morning juice drink or another salad

Breakfast or Dessert?

Recipe of the Month: Breakfast or Dessert? (serves two)

Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS (use organic)

  • 1 cup sprouted Tri- colored quinoa (Available at Trader Joes or Whole Foods)
  • 2 cups plain Yogurt
  • ½ cup Raspberries
  • ½ cup Blueberries or Black berries
  • 10 Fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon of honey


  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water
  • In a pan add quinoa to 2 cups of water (2-1 liquid to quinoa)
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes
  • When all the water is gone remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork (cool in fridge or on counter)
  • Put the 1 cup of yogurt in the bottom of each dish and top with the quinoa
  • Drizzle the honey on top
  • Add the blueberries, raspberries, and chopped mint
  • Enjoy!


Don’t leave out the mint. It really adds to the flavor. Buy local fresh honey. It won’t be diluted or have anything added. The flavors are amazing and will vary with the season.

This not only looks pretty but when you mix up all the flavors it is yummy. I eat it for breakfast, but think it is good enough for dessert!

Magic Bean Cake with Avocado Ganache

Recipe of the Month: Magic Bean Cake with Avocado Ganache

Recipe of the MonthINGREDIENTS


  • 1 can/box kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon coffee (or 1 Tablespoon instant coffee and 1 Tablespoon water)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 7/8 cup cacao powder (whole foods, trader joes, health food stores, on line)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (liquefied)
  • ½ cup orange blossom honey


  • 1 ripe avocado (peeled and pitted)
  • ¼ cup liquid coconut oil
  • ½ cup orange blossom honey
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash salt



  • In a vitamix or blender puree beans with coffee, vanilla, and one egg and set aside
  • Combine oil and honey
  • Blend in one egg at a time( to oil and honey)
  • Add bean mixture and blend
  • Add cacao, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Mix
  • Pour into prepared round cake pan
  • Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)


  • Blend all together and spread over cooled cake


I know these ingredients sound really bizarre – but both my husband and my son were amazed and said it was one of the best cakes ever! You cannot tell beans were used in place of flour and the ganache is awesome!  I promise – you will make this cake again and again! I topped my cake with chopped pecans, but you could also use coconut – or nothing.

Dinner on A Bun

Recipe of the Month: Dinner on A Bun (serves 2)


  • 2 Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns
  • 1 handful of radish sprouts (optional)
  • 2 medium yellow potatoes peeled and sliced paper thin
  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3 radishes chopped
  • 1 carrot julienned
  • 1 small cucumber chopped
  • 1 sm. Red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 andouille sausages (sweet Italian or whatever is your favorite)
  • 2 T. mayo
  • 2T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T sweet and tart mustard (I used old cape cod cranberry mustard) Use your favorite – sweet and tart, sweet and hot
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons Sea salt


  • Melt the butter and add the minced garlic.
  • Add the carrot, radishes, onion, and cucumber to the shredded cabbage.
  • Mix the mayo, red wine vinegar, and mustard. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss well.
  • Put in the fridge to cool.
  • Turn on the grill.
  • Toss the potato slices with the olive oil and salt.
  • Put in a grill pan to grill or broil in the oven. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  • Grill the sausage. When done slice open (in half lengthwise) so it will lay flat on the bun.
  • Butter the bun slices and put on the grill just long enough to get char marks – don’t let it get dry and crusty.
  • Assemble the sandwich.
  • Sprinkle sprouts on bun.
  • Put the potato slices on top of the sprouts.
  • Top that with the slaw.
  • Then put the sausage on top of the slaw.
  • Put the top bun half and top – and here’s dinner!


I personally like my sandwich with a beer. You can use grilled chicken or a white fish instead of the sausage if you like. Great Sunday night dinner!

I Was A Fraud!

I have been a wellness coach for over 15 years. When I speak in public I always say I’m a lover of all things natural. This last year, every time I made that statement I always got a little twinge. I knew in my heart that wasn’t TOTALLY true. Even though I educate about organic food and getting toxins out of our lives, there was one toxin I was holding on to. I guess vanity had something to do with it. We all want to look our best and present a good image. For me, that meant coloring my hair. I had found a hair dresser I really liked who used a product as close to organic as he could get. However, it wasn’t organic and there were still ingredients I couldn’t pronounce – which is the first clue that it probably isn’t good for you. This angst went on for at least 6 months. It’s the “living a lie” thing. And then it happened! I was thrown into a decision that would change all of this.

Continue reading


monkey bad hair

I’ve been searching for hair care products that don’t contain harmful, synthetic ingredients. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Polyethelyne Glycol, Cocamide Diethanolamine and Fragrance are some of the ones to avoid. I experimented with several shampoos including some that did not suds. For about 5 months I just coasted along until I noticed my hair was thinning. Having baby fine hair, this immediately got my attention and started to make me nervous. Paying more attention to styling while I was drying it helped to cover the spots where you could see my scalp. Even though this worked some of the time, hiding the problem wasn’t solving the problem. My real fear was that it would continue to get worse.Continue reading

What Are You Eating? Is It Real?

food 4
Recently There have been a lot of blogs, books, articles, and discussions about “Real Food”. But what does that mean? Isn’t it all real? After all we have not yet reached the point of 3-D printed foods! (Even though that is beyond my wildest imagination, it is said to be on the horizon).

There are a couple ways to define “Real Foods”. I have a friend whose grandchildren call it “God made food” as opposed to “man made food”. Traditional food as opposed to industrial food or food in it’s natural state as opposed to synthetic food is another way of looking at it.
In my mind, real food has no additives to preserve it, change its color, appearance, or flavor. If you read a list of ingredients and can’t pronounce some of them, then that is not real food. If there is an ingredient listed (on a jar of pasta sauce for instance) that you would not add if you were making the pasta sauce at home in your kitchen, then that is not real food. I personally think pasta sauce tastes best when you get the ingredients from a local farmer’s market or grow them yourself and then cook the sauce in your kitchen! I also know that is not always possible – so look for a jar that has about 4 or 5 ingredients, no preservatives, nothing you can’t pronounce, and only ingredients that you would have in your kitchen – and NO sugar.Continue reading