11-15Learn more about an exciting fire starter: Insta Fire

Learn about Insta Fire, a very light weight fire starter you can carry in a backpack on a hike, put in a 72 hour emergency kit and many more valuable applications. Click on the link below and watch the video to see how it works.


11-15Other Sources for fuel besides electricity

Preparing for disasters

Experts believe that if a major disaster occurs we will be without electricity or natural gas for 5 months or longer. Unfortunately disasters occur all over the world, sometimes when we least expect it. As we learned from Hurricane Katrina and many others, Government assistance is 96 + hours away. Fuel is an often overlooked item when preparing for a disaster but a critical one. Fuel is a must to boil water, cook your food, heat your shelter & boost morale. Listed below are several fuel options:

Fuel Storage Guidelines

In an emergency you will most likely need to boil water, cook your food and heat your shelter. Proper ventilation is always necessary. Listed below are several fuel alternatives.


One cup of Insta-Fire will boil 2 cups of water in 10 minutes. It will light 75 brickettes in 10 minutes. It will also provide enough fuel to cook even the toughest of meals. It can also be used as a stand alone fire with 2 cups burning for approximately 45 minutes with occasional stirring. It is available in a variety of storage containers including 1 gallon bucket, 5 gallon bucket and 55 gallon drums. Long term storage is estimated at approximately 30 years.


Raw, dry wood is a very good source of fuel especially when used in conjunction with Insta-Fire. Wood often becomes wet and unusable in a disaster. (Click here to see how to use Insta-Fire to light even wet wood). In rural areas wood may be readily available at a relatively low cost. Local permits may be necessary. In urban areas wood may not be as readily available and storage areas are limited. Be cautious when burning “used” wood that has a finish on it i.e. furniture & flooring, as it may contain deadly toxins.


Available in several sizes ranging from 1 pound to very large containers and is a good source for both heat and cooking. However, most containers have a “use by date” and therefore are not recommended for long term storage. An additional propane heater or stove is required. Storage restrictions generally apply due to its explosive nature. Check with your local fire department for storage restrictions in your area.

Kerosene/Heating oil

As with propane, a variety of storage tanks are used. Kerosene and Heating oil are good sources of heat for heating your shelter but generally not used for cooking. Also, as with other fuels i.e. propane and gasoline, storage restrictions may apply. Check with your local fire department for storage restrictions in your area.


Coal can be good source of heat and can be stored for a long period of time if kept dry. Generally messy to store, must be kept dry, proper ventilation is a must and can be hard to light unless used with Insta-Fire. Charcoal briquettes are a good source of fuel to cook but because it omits carbon monoxide it must be used outdoors. (Click here for a demonstration to light charcoal briquettes).


12 alternative uses for coffee filters

By Lori Bongiorno

I was surprised to come across several articles with long lists of alternative uses for coffee filters. I'd never really considered them for anything more than making coffee, and even then I know that choosing a reusable filter or making coffee in a French press is one way to stop throwing money away and cut back on waste.

I have to admit, though, that there are some very good reasons to keep a box of coffee filters on hand. They can come in handy in a number of situations and ultimately save you money since coffee filters are less expensive than other options.

Here are some of the most interesting and practical uses for coffee filters that I've come across.

1. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they don't leave behind any residue.

2. Save a bottle of wine. Broke the cork? No problem. Just place a filter over a pitcher and carefully pour the wine into it.

3. Line flower pots. Place a filter at the bottom of the pot to prevent soil from leaking out of the drainage hole.

4. Protect china and non-stick cookware. Place a coffee filter between dishes or pans when storing or packing.

5. Wipe off smudges. In a pinch, you can use to clean eyeglasses, camera lenses, televisions, and computer monitors.

6. Keep your microwave clean. Prevent splatters by covering dishes or bowls in the microwave with coffee filters. Using another plate is your best bet, but filters are a good alternative to plastic wrap. And you can easily reuse them a few times.

7. Make a bouquet garni. Tie up bay leaves, parsley, or other herbs in a coffee filter. Drop it in your stew or soup pot, and easily remove it when you're done cooking. Recipes often suggest cheesecloth for this process, but a coffee filter is an easy-to-find alternative.

8. Diffuse the flash on your camera. Place a coffee filter over your flash to soften the brightness. You can also try putting coffee filters over lights or lamps to lessen the harshness of direct light when taking indoor photos.

9. Make sachets. Tie lavender or other dried flowers and herbs in a coffee filter to make great-smelling bundles you can store in drawers and closets.

10. Use for sewing projects. Coffee filters make a great backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

11. Make tea bags. Wrap loose tea in a filter and tie with a string.

12. Use for storage. Wrap Christmas ornaments and other rarely used fragile items before packing away.

Environmental journalist Lori Bongiorno shares green-living tips and product reviews with Yahoo! Green's users. Send Lori a question or suggestion for potential use in a future column. Her book, Green Greener Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-smart Choices a Part of Your Life is available on Yahoo! Shopping and Amazon.com.


Fava Beans Recipes

Fava Bean & Tomato Salad


20 tomatoes
1 pound fresh fava beans
1/4 pound finest prosciutto
1/4 pound gruyere
3 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
pinch sea salt


Set a pot of water, with a pinch of salt, to boil. Put a bowl of ice water in the sink. As the water is coming to a boil, shuck the fava beans. How to do this? Snap and extract. There should be three or four beans per pod. (Be sure to feel the inside of the pod, which is as soft as dryer lint.) When the water has come to a boil, plop all the shucked fava beans into the pan and let them bob there in the boiling water for thirty seconds. After that, immediately drain them and plunge the fava beans in the ice water to stop cooking. After a moment, take them out and let them chill in the refrigerator for a few moments.

Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from individual beans by peeling it off. Fava beans are kind of a pain to prep....but they pay off in flavor.

Meanwhile, slice the grape tomatoes in halves, lengthwise. Cut the gruyere into small squares, about the same size as the fava beans. Make up a simple vinaigrette, by combining the olive oil, white vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss everything together, with the fava beans, then thread small slivers of the prosciutto in among the beans, tomatoes, and cheese. Eat with the small sigh of spring.

Grilled Fava Bean

Serves: 4


2 pounds Fresh Fava Bean Pods


Spray whole fava bean pods with cooking spray. Place pods directly on hot grill of BBQ. Turn fava pods frequently until pods char and begin to burst open (about 7 to 10 minutes). Remove from grill and cool pods for 10 minutes. Remove fava beans from pod and peel beans by pinching one end of the bean to pop bright green fava bean from it's waxy shell. Grilled fava beans are delicious served as an appetizer with slices of Parmesan cheese.

Rigatoni with Fava Beans and Artichokes
Source: Adrieene Meier, Ocean Mist Farms


3 Ocean Mist Artichoke hearts and bottoms cubed
1 cup (5 ounces) blanched shelled fava beans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
1 yellow onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 cup spinach leaves coarsely chopped
One 28 ounce can plum tomatoes (drained)
1 pound rigatoni pasta (cooked)
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
grated Parmesan cheese.


In large frying pan over medium-high heat warm olive oil.
Add carrot and onion and cook until tender, about 7 minutes.
Add artichokes, fava beans, spinach, broth, salt and pepper.
Cook until heated through.
Stir in tomatoes and simmer about 15 minutes.
Add cooked drained rigatoni to sauce and gently toss.
Plate and top pasta with shaved parmesan cheese.

Sauteed Fava Beans


boiling water
tap water
2 lbs fresh fava beans, in the pod (yields about 1 1/2 to 2 cups shelled beans)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced, to taste
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


First, shell the beans from the fava pods.
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil, then add salt – the amount depends on how much water you have, but it should be very salty, like seawater.
In a bowl, combine ice and tap water to make ice water; set aside.
Add the shelled beans to the boiling water and let cook for about 3 minutes, then remove from saucepan and immediately plunge into the ice water to halt the cooking.
Let the beans cool, then peel the outer skin from each of them.
Over medium heat in a skillet, melt together the butter and olive oil, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the peeled fava beans and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are done to your preference.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, serve, and enjoy!

Note: in choosing your fava beans, get the pods that are firm and fresh looking.

Note 2: once you've made these basic fava beans, you can add other delicious items such as caramelized onions or fennel, chunky fresh tomatoes, and/or a bit of chopped proscuitto.


11-16Cookie Recipe (using white beans)

Beans are considered a Super Food for the amount of nutrients, such as dietary fiber, iron, zinc, and folate, contained within the bean. Beans also count as a food found in both the vegetable and the meat/bean food groups. Did you know the USDA My Pyramid food guide recommends to eat several cups of beans each week?

The Food $ense Nutrition Program in Salt Lake County offers many ideas of ways to increase your consumption of beans. One of them is this delicious, healthy, oatmeal cookie. Don’t be fooled by the first ingredient (mashed white beans); the beans replace shortening or butter and therefore take away the added fat AND add a bundle of much-needed nutrients. Try them! You’ll not only be impressed, but you’ll have one more healthy snack to add to your recipe collection.

Oatmeal Cookie

· 3/4 cup white beans, mashed

· 3/4 cup brown sugar

· ½ cup granulated sugar

· 1 egg

· 1 teaspoon vanilla

· 3 cups oats

· 1 cup whole wheat flour

· 1 tsp. salt

· ½ tsp. soda

Preheat oven to 350º. Beat mashed white beans, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mix together. Add to bean and sugar mixture; mix well. Drop onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350º F for 10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Yield: approximately 36 cookies

Optional: Nuts, coconut, raisins, and/or chocolate chips may be added with dry ingredients


XXXXXXXXXXXX72 Hour Kit: Food and Water

A three day supply of food and water, per person, when no refrigeration or cooking is available

Protein/Granola Bars
Trail Mix/Dried Fruit
Crackers/Cereals (for munching)
Canned Tuna, Beans, Turkey, Beef, Vienna Sausages, etc
Canned Juice
Hard Candy/Gum
Water (1 Gallon/4 Liters Per Person)

Bedding and Clothing

Change of Clothing (short and long sleeved shirts, pants, jackets, socks, etc.)
Rain Coat/Poncho
Blankets and Emergency Heat Blanks (that keep in warmth)
Cloth Sheet
Plastic Sheet

Fuel and Light

Battery Lighting (Flashlights, Lamps, etc.) Don't forget batteries!
Extra Batteries
Water-Proof Matches


Can Opener
Radio (with batteries!)
Pen and Paper
Pocket Knife
Personal Supplies and Medication

First Aid Supplies

Toiletries (roll of toilet paper- remove the center tube to easily flatten into a zip-lock bag, feminine hygiene, folding brush, etc.)
Cleaning Supplies (mini hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, dish soap, etc.)
Immunizations Up-to Date
Medication (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, children's medication etc.)
Prescription Medication (for 3 days)

Personal Documents and Money (Place these items in a water-proof container!)

Genealogy Records
Patriarchal Blessing
Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates, Wills, Passports, Contracts, etc)
Vaccination Papers
Insurance Policies
Credit Card
Pre-Paid Phone Cards
Bag(s) to put 72 Hour Kit items in (such as duffel bags or back packs, which work great) Make sure you can lift/carry it!
Infant Needs (if applicable)—formula, bottles, pacifiers, baby food, diapers, wipes.



xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxWeekly Preparedness Goals

1. Obtain a suitable 72-hour kit container (backpack, duffel bag, garbage can w/ lid, etc.)
2. Check the batteries in your smoke detector
3. Place a flashlight next to your bed and one in an alternate location; check batteries
4. Add 1 1/2 gallons of water per person to 72-hour kit
5. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
6. Add a can opener to 72-hour kit
7. Add 2 cans tuna fish/canned meat to 72-hour kit
8. Add 1 large roll paper towels to 72-hour kit
9. Add 1 blanket to 72-hour kit
10. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
11. Add 4 rolls toilet paper to 72-hour kit
12. Add 1 bar of soap to 72-hour kit
13. Add stress relief factors to 72-hour kit (books, magazines, coloring books, games)
14. Add pocket/utility knife to 72-hour kit
15. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
16. Add 1 container of baby wipes to 72-hour kit
17. Add 1-2 changes of clothing to 72-hour kit
18. Add 48 ounces of non-carbonated canned juice to 72-hour kit (date for rotation)
19. Add 1 can of fruit, 1 can of vegetables to 72-hour kit (date for rotation)
20. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
21. Add 1 box of matches to 72-hour kit
22. Add hard candy (jolly ranchers, lifesavers) to 72-hour kit
23. Add 1 1/2 lb peanut butter to 72-hour kit
24. Add Ziploc bags (variety of sizes) to 72-hour kit
25. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
26. Check the batteries in your smoke detector. Practice escape routes.
27. Add 1 box of crackers to 72-hour kit
28. Add plastic utensils to 72-hour kit
29. Add a large candle to 72-hour kit
30. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
31. Add 1 lb. Graham crackers to 72-hour kit
32. Add flashlight to 72-hour kit; check batteries
33. Add disinfectant (betadine, bleach, sterile wipes, hand sanitizer) to 72-hour kit
34. Add paper cups to 72-hour kit
35. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
36. Add basic first aid kit to 72-hour kit
37. Add 1 lb dried fruit to 72-hour kit
38. add 1/2 lb non-fat dried milk to 72-hour kit
39. Add battery powered radio to 72-hour kit; check batteries
40. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
41. Add items related to individual medical needs to 72-hour kit
42. Add diapers, feminine hygiene supplies to 72-hour kit
43. Add toothbrush and 1 tube of toothpaste to 72-hour kit
44. Add hand shovel to 72-hour kit
45. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
46. Verify each family member's tetanus immunization is up to date
47. Add 1 large roll heavy duty aluminum foil to 72-hour kit
48. Add 1 axe to 72-hour kit
49. Add paper plates to 72-hour kit
50. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
51. Add 1-2 boxes pre-sweetened cereal to 72-hour kit
52. Add photocopies of personal documents to 72-hour kit (wills, insurance policies, birth certificates). Send 1 copy to family member/friend in separate location


Farmers Group Touts Lentils & Other Healthy Legumes

Farmers group touts lentils, other healthy legumes
By Blake Nicholson
Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:06 p.m. MDT

BISMARCK, N.D. — Lentils are a hot topic among gourmets these days, with recipes for them popping up in most major food magazines.

Lentil and other legume farmers hope to capitalize on this interest and convince consumers and food producers to use them in breads and cookies as well as the more traditional soups and stews. To do this, they've formed a new marketing venture aimed at promoting the health and other benefits of lentils, dry peas, garbanzo beans and other so-called "pulse" crops.

"They're barking up the right tree," said Brad Barnes, associate dean of culinary education at The Culinary Institute of America.

Growing interest in Indian and other international cuisines, along with greater awareness of intolerance to gluten, a protein found in many grains, have fostered an interest in lentils and legumes, Barnes and others said. A general push toward eating healthier also has made high-fiber, high-protein, low-fat legumes more appealing, said Tina Ujlaki, executive food editor at Food and Wine magazine.

"I think a lot of people are trying to move meat to the side of the plate rather than the center of the plate," Ujlaki said. "More people are trying legumes, vegetables. Also, people are trying to cut costs, and these ingredients are not that expensive.

"There's big bang for your buck moneywise and healthwise."

The interest comes at a good time for farmers, who have seen production of lentils and dry peas rebound after drought ravaged the crop in 2008 in the top two producing states of North Dakota and Montana. The U.S. had record crops last year, producing 1.7 billion pounds of dry peas and 590 million pounds of lentils, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Right now, most of the market for the two crops is overseas, with two-thirds or more of U.S.-grown peas and lentils being exported, said Eric Bartsch, general manager of Bismarck-based United Pulse Trading Inc. Much of the demand has been in drought-ridden areas of India and other parts of South Asia as well as Turkey.

"Demand in the U.S. is still not huge, but it is growing," he said. "We see it as definitely becoming a major part of our markets in the future."

Domestic demand has increased with the growth of ethnic minorities, but Barnes said more people of all races have become interested in Indian and other foreign foods. The Internet has made it easier to research international foods and find ingredients.

"With the information pipeline out there, it's certainly easier for someone interested in food to discover Morocco," he offered as an example.

"Global flavors and perspective in food and the culinary arts are growing every day," he added.

Farmers hoping to capitalize on this interest have formed the American Pulse Association, a joint venture of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council and the US Dry Bean Council. Chief executive Tim McGreevy said he expects new research and other efforts "will have a huge impact on domestic consumption here in the next five years."

One priority for his group is encouraging research to support ideas about legumes' health benefits. Another focus is getting the crops used more often in mainstream food manufacturing.

"We're heavily weighted toward traditional uses of these products, which is soups and stews," McGreevy said. "There hasn't been extensive research done on how these pulse flours can be worked into breads, tortillas ... muffins, cookies."

Industry leaders are holding a planning session this week, in Beltsville, Md., with about 50 science and industry experts. After they come up with specific plans on how to proceed they will seek funding from agencies such as the Agriculture Department and the National Institutes of Health, McGreevy said.

Ujlaki and Barnes said products made with legume flour would probably be attractive to people who are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease, a digestive disorder triggered by proteins found in wheat, barley and rye.

"If you go to a health food store, you'll see half the cookie aisle is gluten-free, half the crackers are gluten-free," Ujlaki said.

The final part of the American Pulse Association's plan is to promote legumes' environmental benefits. Unlike corn and other crops that require a lot of expensive fertilizer, legumes put nitrogen back into the soil.

Beau Anderson, who farms in northwest North Dakota and teaches farm management at a Williston college, said they fit in well in crop rotation plans farmers use to protect soil and stem off plant diseases. They also require less work with emissions-spouting farm equipment, McGreevy said.

"The United States and the world are crying out for improvements to our health and to our environment," said Cindy Brown, vice chairwoman of the American Pulse Association. "Pulse crops offer tangible solutions to these problems."


GREAT website! Check it out!


Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes - Delicious!!

1 cup wheat
1 cup water
1 1/2 T. Honey or sugar
1/2 t. Salt
1 cup Milk
3 eggs
1/2 t. baking powder

Cover wheat with about 1 cup water and soak in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, drain the water and blend softened wheat with 1 c. milk in a blender for 2 - 4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend another 2 - 3 minutes. Cook on hot griddle. Serve w/ Maple Syrup and Whipped Cream as a bonus!


Oven -Baked Lentils and Rice - from March's Pot Luck Dinner

from Jennifer Hansen

2 small onions
2 cans chicken broth
1 3/4 c water
1/2 white wine (I just use water)
1 1/2 cups dry lentils, rinsed and picked over for stones
1 cup dry brown rice (not quick cooking)
1 red pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
15 grinds ground pepper

Chop onions. Mix ingredients together in a large baking dish. Set timer for 90 minutes and bake uncovered. After 90 minutes of baking, sprinkle mozzarella or Swiss cheese over top and bake until cheese melts.

Learn how long a food item will stay good on this website


Several Recipes using Legumes

Curried Lentils with Chicken

1 cup brown lentils
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 (14 ounce)can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
4 cups cooked diced chicken or turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
Cooked basmati rice

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the lentils and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until the lentils are just tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the curry powder to onions and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the cooked lentils, tomatoes, chicken (or turkey) and salt. Cook, stirring often, until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Serve over basmati rice.

Serves 4.

Black Bean Enchiladas


* 1 cup of cooked black beans
* 3 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 cup of chopped black olives
* 1 cup of chopped green olives (use the salad kind, they don't have anything stuffed in them)
* 1 dozen white corn tortillas
* ½ cup warm vegetable oil
* 1 small can of whole green chilies, cut into ½ strips
* 2 lb Monterrey jack cheese cut 8 oz. into ½ inch thick x 2-3 inch strips, divided, reserve
* 2 cups Chili Verde Sauce
* 1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, reserved, shredded

Mix beans, garlic, olives. Set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the oil. Dip tortilla into oil quickly drain onto paper towel covered plate. Place tablespoon of the bean mixture in the center of the tortilla. Add strip of chili and cheese. Roll up and repeat the process. Assemble the Enchiladas in a 9” x 13” inch baking pan and pour a little of the Verde Sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Pour remaining Chile Verde Sauce over the enchiladas and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6

White Chicken Chili - Another version of this delicious recipe!

Prepared by Liz Edmonds


* 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 small white onion, diced
* 6 to 8 small garlic cloves, minced or crushed
* 1 (7-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained
* 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans,undrained
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 2 teaspoons dried oregano
* 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
* 1 cup sour cream, plus additional for topping
* 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* Chopped fresh cilantro
* Chopped tomatoes

1. Cook the chicken by the desired method. Cool and tear into pieces.
Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic,
and cook and stir until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add
the chicken, chiles, beans, broth, chicken bouillon, cumin, oregano, and
cayenne. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Chili can be made ahead to this point
and refrigerated or frozen for serving later.
3. Add the 1 cup sour cream and cheese, and continue cooking until the
cheese is melted. Keep warm until serving.
4. Serve in bowls and pass cilantro, tomatoes, and additional sour cream.
Serve with ciabatta bread. Broil it a couple of minutes until crisp. Let your family
or guests tear the bread instead of serving it sliced. Pass the butter.
Variation: For a thinner chili, the consistency of soup, add more chicken broth,
up to 6 cups total

White Creamy Chicken Chili - delicious!!

1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion or 1 TBSP dried onion flakes
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 14 oz cans Great Northern Beans (you can use Pinto Beans if you like)
OR use:
3 c. cooked Great Northern Beans
1 can diced green chilies
1 can chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. whipping or heavy cream (use half and half for a lighter cream)

Saute first 3 ingredients in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the next 7 ingredients to the chicken mixture. Bring to a boil. simmer for 30 min. on medium-low heat. Add sour cream and whipping cream. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat later.

Brownies (secret ingredient: black beans)


1, 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup agave syrup
½ cup self-rising flour or whole wheat flour
½ cup egg whites
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp mini semisweet chocolate chips


In a food processor, mix all brownie ingredients (except chips) together. Chop on high, until smooth. Clean off sides and blend for another 20 seconds. Add the chips in and stir well. Spread into the 8x8 baking dish. Cook for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 1 hour in dish at room temperature.



6 oz cream cheese
¼ cup agave syrup
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips, melted.


Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly spray a 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. With a whisk attachment on an electric beater and blend all ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread evenly over the top of the cooled brownies. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the 2 tbsp of chips with a 2 second spray of nonstick cooking oil. Using a spoon, swirl the chocolate on top. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy. Don't forget to have seconds!

Winter Lentil Vegetable Soup

"This soup has very little fat, is cheap and easy to make and delicious. Our family practically lives on it in the winter and I usually double the recipe. Sprinkle grated cheddar on top if you wish. If you can't hang around long enough for this to cook, put it in a slow cooker."


* 1/2 cup red or green lentils
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 2 cups shredded cabbage
* 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 3 carrots, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, crushed
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/4 teaspoon curry powder


1. Place the lentils into a stockpot or a Dutch oven and add water to twice the depth of the lentils. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse lentils; return them to the pot.
2. Add onion, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, chicken broth, carrots and garlic to the pot and season with salt, pepper, sugar, basil, thyme and curry. Cook, simmering for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until desired tenderness is achieved.

Really Good Pinto Bean Pie

1/2 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 heaping cup mashed, cooked pinto beans
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter, softened
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
whip cream or ice cream for topping

Beat sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and butter until creamy. Add pinto beans -- blend well. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 375 for 20 min. Reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream.

Black Bean & Lentil Veggie Soup

I made this delicious soup for my snowshoers recently. As we all came off the trail from snowshoeing for a few hours, I pulled my Slow Cooker out of my Jeep, unburied it from the box and newspapers that I had used to insulate it while we were on the mountain. It was still piping hot! About 20 of my snowshoers devoured this soup in just minutes and it didn't take me much time to make it!

Here's how I made it:

2 c. dry black beans, rinsed
2 c. dry lentils, rinsed
2 c. celery, cut in small pieces
2 tbsp. dry onion flakes
1 tbsp. DASH
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 c. dry pearl barley
2 c. beef stock (optional)
8 c. water

Put the following in a 6 qt. Slow Cooker

Water and black beans
Cook overnight for about 7 - 8 hours on low setting
In the morning, add lentils, celery, dry onion flakes, Dash, salt, black pepper, cayenne, pearl barley and continue to cook for 2 more hours, then serve!

Green Beans w/ Olive Almond Relish - Super delicious, less fat

1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp. prepared green-olive tapanade
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Steam green beans approx 8 min.
In a bowl whisk together the tapanade, lemon zest and juice.
Place green beans in a bowl, drizzle the tapanade mixture over them and scatter almonds on top.

Nutrition Facts/Serving:
72 calories
6 g. carbohydrate
5 g. fat

One of my favorite Soups! Ham Lentil Barley Soup

This soup is SO easy, healthy, delicious and inexpensive!

2 c. Dry Lentils
1 c. Dry Pearl Barley
1/8 c. dried onion flakes
Black Pepper
Ham Bone

About the Ham bone: If you have ham for dinner or for a party, take the leftover ham, quickly wrap it up, use it immediately OR freeze it for a later date. If you want, ask the meat specialist in your grocery store for a ham bone. Cost is $3 or less. Many people will throw the ham bone away with plenty of delicious ham still on it. Be bold and ask them what they plan to do with the ham bone and ham leftovers. If they are going to throw it away, ask if you can wrap it up and take it with you.

Mango and Black Bean Salsa

2 c. cooked black beans
11 oz. can corn with peppers, drained
15 oz. can mango slices, cubed
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup oil and vinegar salad dressing

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat. Serve as an appetizer with crackers or tortilla chips, or as a side salad. Serves 4-6

Black Beans and Rice

2 c. cooked black beans
1 (8 oz.) can Salsa
1 cup uncooked Rice
1 (12 oz.) can Corn
1 (8 oz.) can Tomato Juice
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup grated Cheese (optional)
1/4 cup Water

Drain beans and corn. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (except the cheese). Pour into a 9x9 baking dish. Top with grated cheese. Cover and bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Confirm that rice is tender before removing from oven. Tasty rolled in a warm tortilla garnished with sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, etc. It may be served cold as a salad.

Corn and Bean Salsa Salad

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 c. cooked black beans
11 oz. can corn, drained
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp minced onion, chopped

In large bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley and mix well with wire whisk. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.


3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1/2 cup dried onion
1/2 cup dry lentils
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup evaporated milk

Combine chicken broth and pumpkin in a Dutch oven. Add onion, lentils, and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Mash lentils or puree with a hand blender. Add milk; simmer 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.


1/2 cup split green peas
1/2 cup lentils
1/4 cup dried onion
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/3 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup long grain white rice
1 teaspoon salt
4 beef bouillon cubes

Combine ingredients and add to 2-1/2 quarts boiling water. Return to boil. Cover; simmer about 1 hour or until peas and lentils are tender.

VARIATIONS: Dried vegetables may be added to the mix. Increase water, adding twice as much water as dried vegetables when cooking. A can of chopped green chilies or 8 ounces (2 cups) of beef, sausage, or ham may also be added. One or 2 cans of mixed vegetables may be added the last 15 to 30 minutes of cooking.

Pantry Soup Mix can be assembled ahead of time and stored in an airtight container or dry heat processed. It can also be layered in jars or cellophane bags and used as gifts.

Best Ham and Bean Soup

3/4 pound fully cooked ham cubed
1 cup peeled diced potatoes
1 medium onion chopped
3/4 cup diced carrots
2 cloves garlic minced
3/4 cup diced celery
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (16 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 cups water

In a 3 quart saucepan, sauté ham, onion and garlic in butter until onion is tender. Add the next seven ingredients; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes. Add parsley and serve. Serves 8.

Italian Bean and Tuna Salad

15-ounce can cannelloni or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
6-ounce can white tuna packed in water, rinsed and drained
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 Tablespoons snipped fresh parsley OR 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 to 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In medium bowl, combine beans, tuna, red onion, parsley or basil, and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle salad with olive oil, then sprinkle with pepper. Yield: 6 servings.


1 can (13 ounces) chicken, drained and shredded
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) zucchini in tomato sauce
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) cannelloni beans (white kidney), rinsed and drained
or 2 cups cooked white kidney beans
2 tablespoons dried onion
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Parmesan cheese

Combine all but the Parmesan cheese in a large saucepan. Heat thoroughly, cooking for about 15 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Tuna Pizza

1 Boboli® pizza crust
15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz. can solid pack white tuna, drained
1 jar roasted red pepper, drained, chopped
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In medium bowl, combine beans, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash beans, leaving some texture in the mixture. Spread bean mixture over crust. Top with tuna, red peppers, and tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese over all and serve.

Tomato Pesto Bean and Shrimp Salad

1/2 cup dried tomato pesto mix
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 (15-ounce) can butter beans
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern Beans
2 (6-ounce) cans medium shrimp, drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, reserving juice

In large bowl, combine pesto mix, olive oil, tomato juice reserved from the drained tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Add evaporated milk and stir; let stand for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, using any fresh vegetables you may have on hand. Stir to coat, and then serve. Serves 6


1 can (14 ounces) low fat beef broth
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups (15-1/2 ounces) cooked pinto beans
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1/4 cup dried onion
1 can (12 ounces) roast beef, rinsed, drained, and shredded
1 cup wheat hearts (cooked whole wheat)
1 tablespoon chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 1 hour. Serves 4 to 6.

Baked Potato w/ Black Beans and Corn

1 baking potato
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained
1/4 cup canned sweet corn
1/2 cup salsa - I used medium because I didn't want it too spicy


Scrub potato with a wet paper towel to clean. Poke several holes in it with a fork. Wrap with a paper towel and cook in microwave for 4:30. Place on a plate and slice the potato in half. Top with beans and corn. Cook for another 30-45 seconds in microwave. Remove from microwave and top with salsa.

Servings: 1

This makes an excellent workday lunch because the whole thing can be put together in my office kitchen and it's really filling. I'm sure it would also be tasty on summer weekends when firing up the oven is the last thing you want to do.

South Western Manicotti w/ Black Beans and Lentils


* 3/4 cup dried lentils
* 3/4 cup dried black beans
* 1 tomato, finely diced
* 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
* 3 tablespoons salsa, hot
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* salt and pepper

* 1 (8 ounce) package manicotti

* 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
* 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


Prepare both kinds of beans according to package directions.

Cook pasta to a little less than al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water til cool enough to handle.

Mix cooked lentils, cooked black beans, diced fresh tomato, diced onion, salsa, and cumin in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit.

Fill pasta with bean mixture and line up in a 13x9 baking dish that has been misted with olive oil.

Cover filled pasta with both tins of diced tomatoes and sprinkle top with chopped cilantro.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven about 30 mins or until bubbly.

Removed from oven and serve.

Easy Vegetarian Pasta and Black Beans


* 14 1/2 ounces whole wheat pasta

* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans (rinsed)
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 red onion, diced
* 1 garlic clove, minced (or as much as desired)
* 1/2 lemon
* sea salt
* cayenne pepper
* onion powder
* garlic powder


While boiling the pasta (I used elbow), mix together all ingredients except beans. When pasta is done, drain and stir in sauce and beans. I topped with shredded cheddar/mozerella.

Meatless Tortilla Pie

SERVES 4 , 1 pie

* 1 cup frozen corn kernels
* 2 green onions, thinly sliced
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 1/2 cups salsa

* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 4 burrito-size flour tortillas

* 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican blend cheese
* 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add frozen corn, green onions, and cumin; cook 3 minutes or until corn thaws. Remove skillet from heat; stir in salsa and beans.

Place 1 tortilla on cookie sheet; top with 1 cup bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat, starting with tortilla, to make 2 more layers. Top with remaining tortilla and cheese.

Bake pie 10 minutes or until heated through. Carefully transfer pie to cutting board; sprinkle with chopped cilantro. With sharp knife, cut into wedges to serve.

Killer Nachos

Spread tortilla chips on a plate then add your favorite ingredients listed below.

Cook, warm up or prepare each of the following ingredients and place them in nice containers on the table where everyone can reach them. Let everyone choose what they would like on their nachos.

List of Ingredients to choose from:

Black Beans
Refried Beans
Rice (I use Brown Rice – it’s healthier and delicious)
Mild Cheddar Cheese (I buy “Mexican Blend” from Costco – a shredded blend of Monterey Jack, Medium Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheese)
Green or Red Peppers
Green Chilies
Sour Cream
Cooked Shredded or Cubed Beef or Chicken
Dark Green Leafy Lettuce (like Romaine)
Salsa (I use Pace Picante Sauce)
Black Olives
Green Onions

Burrito Buffet

Wrap all your favorite ingredients listed below in a warm flour or corn tortilla

Cook, warm up or prepare each of the following ingredients and place them in nice containers on the table where everyone can get to them. Let everyone choose what he or she would like on their burritos. This is a “Bar” – where they can go down the line and choose what they would like on their burrito.

List of Ingredients to choose from:

Black Beans
Refried Beans
Rice (I use Brown Rice – it’s healthier and very tasty)
Mild Cheddar Cheese (I buy “Mexican Blend” from Costco – a shredded blend of Monterey Jack, medium Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheese)
Red or Green Peppers
Green Chilies
Sour Cream
Cooked Shredded Beef or Chicken
Dark Green Leafy Lettuce (like Romaine)
Salsa (I use Pace Picante Sauce)
Black Olives
Green Onions

Black Bean Salsa


1 c. Cooked Black Beans
1 c. Frozen or Canned Corn
Salt (I prefer Sea Salt)
1/2 c. Picante Sauce or a favorite salsa

Combine black beans, corn, cumin, salt, picante sauce in a bowl
Stir gently
Put in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill OR eat it warm immediately
Serve with Tortilla chips

Barley, Black Bean and Corn Burritos

* 15 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained
* 10 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
* 1 cup barley, uncooked (not the quick type)
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 3/4 cup frozen corn
* 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
* 18 small flour tortillas
* 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
* 2 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
* 9 cups lettuce, thinly sliced
* 2 1/4 cups salsa
* 1 cup sour cream
* 2 tablespoons sour cream

Place first 11 ingredients in slow cooker, stir well.

Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Stir in cilantro.

Heat tortillas according to package directions.

Spoon 1/3 cup barley mixture down center of each tortilla, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of cheese.

Place one cup of lettuce on each of 9 plates; top each with 2 burritos.

Easy Black Bean Burgers

1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 clove garlic (minced)
1tsp chili powder
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

1. mash beans in a large bowl.
2.mix in chopped garlic, spices, and egg
3 stir in bread crumbs
4. shape into 5 patties, you can refrigerate them if they are not very firm (up to one day ahead)
5. either bake or cook in a skillet until hot

Great with butternut squash fries and salad

Number of Servings: 5

Spoon 1/4 cup salsa and 2 tbsp sour cream over each serving.

Easy Black Bean Veggie Casserole

1 c uncooked brown rice
1 t butter (for cooking rice, if yours sticks like mine does)
2.5 c water (for cooking rice)
1.5 15-oz can black beans, undrained (OR drained and rinsed, but add 1/4 c low-sodium broth)
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 t ground cumin
1 t cayenne pepper
2 t salt
2 T sour cream
1/3 c pepper jack cheese, grated

Cook rice with butter if desired, according to package directions. While rice is cooking, chop vegetables and grate cheese. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix vegetables and beans (and stock, if draining beans) together in a large bowl. Add rice, sour cream and spices, then stir until all ingredients are moistened.

Turn into a baking dish coated with cooking spray, and cook at 350 for 30 minutes or until warm through.

Makes 9 servings, probably about 1 cup each.3

How to Prepare Beans:

Optional: Soak beans overnight (approx. 8 hours) covered in 8 cups water (Lentils and split peas do not need to be soaked)
Drain water from beans

In a Slow Cooker, add washed beans with fresh water. Cook on low for around 8 hours OR on high for about 4 hours OR until beans are tender
Drain the bean juice but save it in a separate ziplock bag. It is full of nutrients and can be added later to soups or meals that may be too dry.
Freeze whatever beans you don’t think you’ll use within 48 hours. They freeze really well!

10 Bean Soup Mix

You may see a bean mix that says "10 or 16 Bean Soup Mix". Use ANY MULTI BEAN Mix for this recipe.

Cover beans in water, soak overnight (min. of 4 hours). Drain water, add 3 cups liquid for every 1 cup beans.

You now have 2 options. Pick one of the following:

1) Cook on medium heat for 1 hour, then add desired soup ingredients (vegetables, meats, grains and spices). Cook another 30 minutes OR until beans are tender.

2) Cook on low in a slow cooker (crock pot) for 4 hours, then add desired soup ingredients (vegetables, meats, grains and spices). Cook 1 more hour or until beans are tender.

Recipe from Sunflower Farmers Market

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili - SO delicious!!

Prepared by Karen Petersen

Serves 6-8


* 2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
* 3-4 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
* 3 cloves garlic
* 2 tsp ground cumin
* 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 tsp crushed red pepper
* 2 cans great northern beans
* 1 can white shoepeg corn (or 1 can of regular corn)
* 3 Tbsp lime juice
* 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


Add chicken, broth, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and red pepper to slow cooker. Cover and let cook for about 6-8 hours on low or until chicken falls apart. Shred the chicken with two forks. Drain and rinse the beans and corn and add them to the slow cooker. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice to slow cooker. Put cover back on and let cook for 30 more minutes until heated through.

Sloppy Joe Lentils

From Happyfood.com

1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 Tablespoons chili powder (orig. recipe called for 3!)
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons yellow mustard (wet mustard)

4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns (whole wheat for you guys)

Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.

Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can’t wait.

since we are gluten free–we eat these as a spread in a nice piece of lettuce–SO good! even my son will eat them with the lettuce–sometimes I eat a head of lettuce with them myself. i usually have them warm but took them to education week on the go and they were almost even better cool on the go–enjoy!

Baked Tomato, Rice and Bean Casserole

This recipe serves: 6
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes


For the roasted poblano chilis and tomatoes:
6 poblano or Anaheim chili peppers
6 ripe Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced 1/4" thick
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

For the rice casserole:
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup medium or long grain rice
1 cup grated Monterey jack
1 1/2 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Cooking Instructions
For the roasted poblano chilis and tomatoes:

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Roast the chilies and tomatoes under a very hot broiler until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes for the chilies and 12 minutes for the tomatoes.

3. Cover the chilies with a clean kitchen towel and let stand for 5 minutes. Peel the chilies and remove the stems and seedpods. Rinse the chilies briefly to remove specks of skin and seeds. Slice the chilies into 1/4" strips.

4. Cool, peel and roughly chop the tomatoes. Set aside the tomatoes and their juices.

5. Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook 1 minute longer. Add the chilies, tomatoes and their juices. Stir until the juices have reduced, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from the heat and set aside. (This can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days.)

For the casserole:

1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts water and the salt to a boil. Add the rice and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until all the grains are tender but not mushy or splayed. Strain the rice and spread on a tray to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Spread half the rice over the bottom of a lightly greased 8" x 8" baking dish. Spoon on half the chili-tomato mixture and sprinkle with half the cheese. Spread all of the beans over the cheese. Cover with the remaining rice, chili-tomato mixture and cheese. (This can be assembled a day in advance and refrigerated.)

4. Bake until bubbly and brown, about 20 to 30 minutes, but longer if it was refrigerated. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.

Red Beans and Rice

This recipe serves: 4
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 1 hour 45 minutes

1 cup red beans, dried
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces boneless smoked pork chops, diced
4 ounces smoked sausage, diced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup steamed rice

Cooking Instructions
1. Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover them,

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.

3. Stir in the pork chop pieces, sausage, thyme and cayenne and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the beans and 3 1/2 cups of water. Simmer over low heat until the beans are creamy, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve with the steamed rice.

Black Beans and Rice

This recipe serves: 8
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 1 hour

2 cups dried black turtle beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper
1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and minced
freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 cups low-sodium canned chicken or vegetable broth
salt to taste
4 cups steamed rice
2 limes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Cooking Instructions
1. Soak the beans in water overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the beans and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, green pepper and jalapeño pepper, season lightly with black pepper and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

3. Add the bay leaf, beans and broth and bring to a boil quickly over high heat.

4. Lower the heat and simmer until the beans are completely tender, about 40 minutes.

5. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

6. Meanwhile, heat the rice in the microwave.

7. Serve the rice in warm bowls topped with beans and garnished with lime wedges and cilantro leaves.

NOTE: Do not add salt until the beans are fully cooked because salt will prevent them from becoming tender.

Penne with Spring Peas, Onions and Ham

This recipe serves: 4
Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh, shelled peas
4 ounces boiled, unsmoked lean ham, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley

Cooking Instructions
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion with a dash of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes or longer, depending on their size and freshness. Add the ham and cook for 2 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until it is al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. Toss with the remaining olive oil, onion, peas, ham, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

4. Divide the pasta among 4 warmed pasta bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately.


3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon EACH chili powder and ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained and finely chopped
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 can (about 15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 pkg. (12 oz.) Roasted Garlic AMERICAN BEAUTY FETTUCCINE, uncooked
Chopped fresh cilantro

Sprinkle chicken with seasonings. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil; add chicken. Cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes; stir in stewed tomatoes with juice, chicken broth and beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss hot pasta and sauce; sprinkle with cilantro. 8 servings (1 cup each).


2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, untrained
1 cup chicken broth
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon dried onion
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel

Puree’ 1 can of black beans. Pour into a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine. Bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serves 3-4.


1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
(or 1-3/4 cups cooked black beans)
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
(or 1-3/4 cups cooked red kidney beans)
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
(or 1-3/4 cups cooked pinto beans)
1 cup picante sauce
2 tablespoons dried onion
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole corn, drained
Dried cilantro

Mix together beans, picante sauce, onion, and corn. Sprinkle cilantro on top. Chill before serving. Serves 6 to 8 for a main dish; 8 to 12 for a side dish.

Tabbouleh and Chickpea Salad

1/2 cup fine bulgur
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 red onion, minced
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained, cut into strips
1 tsp. dried mint leaves
15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the bulgur in a small bowl, cover with cold water and let stand for 10 minutes, then drain. Place the bulgur in a clean kitchen towel or a double thickness of cheesecloth or paper towels and squeeze dry. Transfer bulgur to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Stir in the parsley, onion, tomatoes, red peppers, mint, chickpeas, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill, or serve immediately. 4-6 servings

Tomato Pesto Bean and Shrimp Salad

1/2 cup dried tomato pesto mix
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 (15-ounce) can butter beans
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern Beans
2 (6-ounce) cans medium shrimp, drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14-oz)can diced tomatoes, drained, reserving juice

In large bowl, combine pesto mix, olive oil, tomato juice reserved from the drained tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Add evaporated milk and stir; let stand for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, using any fresh vegetables you may have on hand. Stir to coat, and then serve. Serves 6

Artichoke and Chickpea Salad

6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
2 (19 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Drain artichoke hearts, reserving liquid. Thinly slice the artichokes and set aside. In large bowl, whisk together reserved artichoke liquid, parsley, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add artichoke hearts, chickpeas, and Parmesan cheese. Toss gently to combine. Serve as a salad or sandwich filling. 4 servings

Salade Nicoise

1 (15 oz.) can cut green beans, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced white potatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15.5 oz.) can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

In large bowl combine beans, potatoes, tomatoes, chickpeas, and olives
In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients and add to the first mixture in the large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Adjust seasoning to your tastes.

Texas Caviar

1 (15.5 oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Splash of Tabasco
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Great with chips, crackers, or as a sandwich filling.

Summer Chicken Chili

1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped or 1/2 c. dried onion bits
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
16 oz. thick and chunky mild salsa
3 c. cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 - 2 T. chili powder - depending on how much you like
14 oz. can chicken broth
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 t. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne if you want some kick

Sauté onion, zucchini, garlic and chicken. Add seasonings. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes after coming to a boil. Top with chips, cheese, sour cream, etc.

Taco Soup

I lb. ground beef
1 16 oz. can kidney beans, undrained
1 16 oz. can black beans, undrained
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 l6 oz. whole kernel corn, undrained
1 pkg. Taco mix, seasoning
¼ c. chopped onion
1 can diced green chilies

Brown beef & onions. Add rest of ingredients and warm over stove.
Serve with cheese, sour cream & tortilla chips.

Rustic Italian Minestrone

This recipe serves: 8
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

1 16-ounce can chopped tomatoes
5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/4 pound fresh green beans, stemmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 16-ounce can Cannellini Beans OR Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 cup raw, small, shell pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cooking Instructions
1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.

2. Add the tomatoes, vegetable or chicken broth and herbs, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.

3. Add the green and cannellini beans and simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Add the zucchini and pasta and simmer for 10 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender and the pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve the soup in large bowls with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Mixed bean chili and brown rice

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (14-ounce) box instant brown rice

In a large saucepan over medium-high, combine oil, onions, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add cocoa and saute for another 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, both beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano and allspice. Bring chili to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile cook rice according to package instructions. Serve chili over rice.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 462 calories; 56 calories from fat; 6 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 90 g carbohydrate; 15 g protein; 16 g fiber; 395 mg sodium.

Servings » 6

Enchiladas - Made in 15 minutes in a Slow Cooker

You choose: Beef, Chicken or Vegetarian

Feel free to freeze any leftovers in smaller containers.

2 15 oz. cans of Pinto Beans or 3 cups cooked pinto beans - doesn't have to be exact
2 15 oz. cans of Black Beans or 3 cups cooked black beans
2 cups Brown Rice - cooked (I make this ahead of time and have some for breakfast)
2 cups Shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar Cheese
2 10 oz. cans of Green Chili Enchilada Sauce - mild
2 10 oz. cans of Red Enchilada Sauce
12 Corn Tortillas - ripped apart into at least 6 pieces
2 c. Shredded Chicken, Beef OR no meat if you prefer
1 c. Sour Cream
1 c. Cream of Chicken Soup
1 small can diced green chilies - NOT jalapeno peppers unless you want it hot and spicy!

In your slow cooker, layer all these ingredients in this order. After you make it once, you can have fun and layer it any way you want. This is what works for me:

Mix together:
1 c. Sour Cream
1 c. Cream of Chicken Soup
1 small can diced green chilies

Start layering the food in the slow cooker starting with:

1/2 c. Green Enchilada Sauce
1/2 c. Red Enchilada Sauce
5 - 6 pieces of Corn Tortillas
1/2 c. Black Beans
1/2 c. Sour Cream mixture
1/2 c. Pinto Beans
1/2 c. Cooked Shredded Meat
1/2 c. Shredded Cheese

Repeat this process 2 - 3 more times until all your ingredients are used up.
The 1/2 c. measurement is just one idea - add more or less each time - enough to layer it at least 3 times.

End with cheese on top

Heat through all the way - may take 60 - 90 minutes
Serve hot!
Be sure and dish all leftovers into clear, plastic containers for quick meals or snacks.

Favorite Refried Bean Dip

This recipe can easily be made in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker (crock pot).
Pressure Cooker method:

Combine in 5 liter pressure cooker:

5 cloves minced garlic
6 c. water
1 chopped onion OR 1/4 dry onion flakes
1/3 c. millet (this is a whole grain)
2 c. washed pinto beans
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 TBSP chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)

Bring pressure to 2nd red ring. Cook for 40 minutes.
Remove from heat and slowly release pressure. Drain if necessary
Reserve some of the liquid. Mash beans.


1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 TSBP chili powder

Add some of the reserved liquid if necessary.

To make Bean Dip Salsa: Add corn and Picante Sauce, serve with chips.
To make a layered Bean Dip: Spread the refried beans all over a platter, add shredded cheese. Melt it on top if you like. Top with Sour Cream. Don't forget to place a bowl of tortilla chips nearby. This will be one of the fastest dishes to disappear! Everyone loves it. You can add more layers if you like: Shredded Lettuce, Sliced Olives, a bowl of guacamole, etc.


Lentil Soup - from March's Pot Luck Dinner

Lentil Soup

Ingredients needed: lentils, brown rice, chicken bullion, onion, green pepper, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, basil, pepper

In a 2 quart sauce pan put 4 cups water and 4 tsp chicken bullion

Add 1 cup lentils and 1/2 cup brown rice

Cover and simmer 45 minutes

While that is simmering, chop up:

1 onion

1/2 green pepper

2 carrots

2 stalks celery with leaves

1 clove garlic (could be put through a garlic press)

Saute in a little olive oil and water until carrots are done.

When vegetables are done, add to the lentil/brown rice mixture.

Add 1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes) and sprinkle in some basil and pepper to taste

Add more water to the soup to make the consistency you like, and add more chicken bullion if needed for flavor.

Simmer about 15 minutes to blend the flavors


4 Great Reasons to Eat Beans!

They often get a bad rap for causing indigestion and flatulence, but the health benefits of beans (and other legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas) make them a stellar choice in a healthful diet. Beans are:

1. An excellent source of vegetarian protein, providing six to seven grams per ½ cup serving.

2. High in folic acid, which may help to protect against cancers of the lung, colon, and cervix, and prevent birth defects.

3. A great source of fiber, dishing up 25-30% of the Daily Value of dietary fiber, 75% of which is insoluble - the type that reduces the risk of colon cancer.

4. A low-glycemic-index food, making them a good option for diabetics.

In addition, most varieties are inexpensive and versatile. I recommend 1-2 servings of beans and legumes per day - easy to do if you swap out meat for beans in salads and sandwiches, and make hummus or bean dip part of an afternoon snack. And if stomach upset is a concern, you can improve the quality and digestibility of beans by consuming them with grains such as brown rice, which provide a complimentary protein profile. Discarding the soaking and cooking water when using dry beans may also help reduce flatulence.

To learn more, go to:


How to Make Artisan Bread in 5 minutes


10 Health Benefits of Ginger


10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Some common ways I use Cinnamon every day: In my hot cereal (oatmeal w/ Quinoa OR Brown Rice), Chili, Oatmeal Cookies, etc.

Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.

Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.

In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.

In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.

In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.

It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.


Feeding Your Face the Natural Way

Ann H. Banks, “Feeding Your Face the Natural Way,” New Era, Mar 1980, 48

Tom watched with interest as his sister carefully cracked an egg into a small, round bowl, placing the yolk into another container. She was a good cook, and Tom was hoping she might be going to make a batch of brownies. But when Sara measured one tablespoon milk and a teaspoon of honey into the bowl with the egg white, he became concerned.

“Honey in brownies, Sar?” he inquired.

“No brownies this time, Tommy,” she said, mixing the three ingredients thoroughly. She gave her brother an indulgent smile as she picked up the bowl and headed toward the bathroom. Tom followed, his curiosity piqued. “Why are you taking—” he stopped short. “Yech!” Sara was spreading the mixture all over her face.

“What are you doing, Sara?” Tom demanded, afraid his normally sensible sister had lost her mind.

“This is my new beauty treatment, Tom,” she explained. “It’s less expensive than cosmetics, and it works!”

Sara was right. It is less expensive than most commercial cosmetics and it does work. But eggs with milk and honey aren’t the only natural foods that are good for the skin; liquified fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, vinegar, and even yogurt have some equally healthful qualities.

To help you understand why natural cosmetics work, let me explain something about the skin and its function:

1. Our skin is approximately 98 percent protein.

2. It is covered with an acid mantle that retards bacteria and that can be removed by soap or cosmetics.

3. The outer layer of the skin is constantly flaking off. Removing the useless skin cells keeps the pores free from debris.

The egg, milk, and honey treatment described above is an excellent mask for tightening and toning the skin. Mix the ingredients together, apply the mixture to your skin, and leave it on for 15 or 20 minutes before rinsing it off. In addition, olive oil added to a beaten egg yolk is a good way to remove dry skin lines, and egg and sweet cream left on the skin for half an hour can be used to erase fine lines.

Another good skin toner is that little carton of yogurt in your refrigerator. To put it to its best use, eat half and put half on your face! It contains protein, calcium, and acid that is beneficial to the skin. Fruits and vegetables can also be used as practical and effective skin masks: pears and melons have an astringent effect; tomatoes have a cleansing, stimulating effect (because of their acidity); and a strawberry facial softens. When using fruits, liquify them in a blender, apply for 15 to 20 minutes, and rinse off.

A cucumber (peeled and chopped) with two teaspoons of powdered milk and one egg all put into the blender can whip into a very effective mask for stimulating sallow, dull skin.

But toning and tightening aren’t the only areas in which natural cosmetics and conditioners can be helpful. They also make excellent cleansers and softeners. In fact, a bottle of powdered milk in the bathroom can be of more value in removing makeup and cleansing the skin than creams and oils—and much less expensive. For oily skin use one teaspoon powdered milk with warm water. For dry skin use whole milk, add a few drops of oil, and shake well. To apply, dip cotton balls into either solution and cleanse your skin. In addition, milk added to bath water makes a nice skin softener.

Honey has long been known as a skin nutrient with excellent drawing power. Heated and gently tapped on the skin, it has a pulling power that draws the blood to the surface and helps purify the skin. Then gently wash off with warm water and rinse with cool water. Honey can also be mixed with warm wheat germ, ground oats, or brown sugar to make a good abrasive cleanser.

Meal made from almonds, oats, or corn is also a good abrasive and will aid in removing those dead cells that clog pores and cause blackheads. Grind some non-instant oatmeal into a powder and mix with milk to make a paste. Use as soap, and then rinse and blot dry. Oatmeal, almond meal, and cornmeal also can be used as dry shampoos. Sprinkle on hair and brush out to absorb dirt and excess oil.

One hair treatment you may already be familiar with is using lemon juice as a rinse after shampooing. A mixture of two cups water and the juice of one lemon has a slight lightening effect and removes all traces of shampoo.

Vinegar is also good as a rinse for both the hair and the skin, as it restores the acid mantle. You can make a vinegar and water mixture by using one part apple cider vinegar to eight parts water.

Now you know some of the natural cleansers, conditioners, and skin softeners that are available in your own kitchen. With that in mind, maybe the next time you head for the refrigerator, you’ll decide to whip up something for your face instead of your stomach!

Make your own Yogurt!

Kay Bodily, “Make Your Own Yogurt,” New Era, Jul 1973, 50

Want to try a nutritious, versatile food? Make your own yogurt! Did you know it can be a drink, mixed with fruit for a dessert, set in jello, and used in place of sour cream in stroganoff, sauces, chip dips, and fruit salads? It’s not hard to make at home and the flavor can be varied from very mild to quite strong. This is an advantage over commercial yogurt.

Yogurt is a cultured milk product made with enriched milk to which a yogurt culture or start has been added, The milk has to be concentrated from 1/2 to 2/3 of its original volume. For this reason powdered milk is added when making yogurt at home. The milk with culture added is then kept at a temperature of 100 to 120 degrees for about three hours.

There are several ways of keeping the yogurt at the correct temperature. One of the easiest is a commercial dry yogurt maker available at most health food stores. However, I made my own yogurt maker and find it very satisfactory and inexpensive. You can make it by mounting a light socket on a 3/8-inch thick board that is about 4 1/2 inches in diameter, and using a 25 watt light bulb in the socket. (Be very careful with the wiring of your yogurt maker and have an experienced person help.) The light socket and bulb is then placed inside a three-pound shortening can with the opened end up. The covered pan containing jars of the yogurt mixture is placed on the open end of the can. (Decorate your yogurt maker as you wish.)

You can also put the yogurt mixture over a heat register, pilot light, or an oven-vented hot plate while using the oven. In using these methods you will have to test the temperature by setting a covered pan of warm water over the heat source for several hours, checking the temperature periodically to make sure you can maintain the needed 100 to 120 degrees.

The following are two yogurt recipes, one using fresh, raw milk enriched with powdered milk and the other using all powdered milk.
Yogurt (fresh milk)

4 cups fresh, raw milk
1/2 cup non-instant powdered milk
1 teaspoon yogurt (unflavored)

Boil fresh, raw milk in a saucepan for a few seconds (180 degrees). Cool until warm (100 degrees). Stir in powdered milk. Thoroughly mix a little warm milk with one teaspoon yogurt; then add to the rest of the warm milk and stir well. Empty mixture into jars or glasses and let stand in yogurt maker at a temperature of 100 to 120 degrees until set (about three hours). Chill immediately.

Powdered milk, canned milk, or pasteurized milk can be substituted for fresh, raw milk and need not be boiled because it has already had the bacteria that keeps yogurt from setting up killed during the processing. Have milk at a temperature of 100 degrees before adding yogurt start.
Yogurt (powdered milk)

2 2/3 cups water (100 degrees)
1 scant cup non-instant powdered milk
1 teaspoon yogurt (unflavored)

Pour water in the blender and turn on low speed; add powdered milk slowly. Blend until smooth. Put yogurt in and blend a few seconds. (This whole process can be done by hand, but be sure you beat all the lumps out.) Pour into jars or glasses. Place jars in pan with warm water up to their necks. Cover pan with lid. Set on yogurt maker or any place that can be kept at a temperature of 100 to 120 degrees. Check at the end of three hours to see if it has set up. If not, check every twenty minutes until set. Chill immediately when set.

In using powdered milk, whether it be instant or non-instant, reconstitute it just a little short of being double in strength. Use one teaspoon yogurt start for every three cups of doubly reconstituted milk. Using this guideline you can make as much or as little as you want.
Tips for Beginners

In the above recipes be sure you use plain, commercial yogurt for the start or use yogurt from your last batch (it shouldn’t be more than a week old). Also, a pure yogurt culture can be obtained from health food stores. Most authorities recommend that you get a fresh start every month or two.

Yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for a week or longer. You should make it at least once a week to keep your start fresh.

The longer your yogurt sets in the refrigerator the more pronounced the flavor becomes.

The lower the temperature, the longer the yogurt takes to set. Between 115 and 120 degrees will produce yogurt in about three hours.

When using commercial dry yogurt makers, the setting-up time is about eight hours. (Follow their instructions.)

If yogurt is bubbly and starts to separate, yogurt has set in yogurt maker too long.

When adding any flavoring to yogurt, stir lightly, because the more you stir it, the thinner it becomes.

If yogurt doesn’t set up properly, check the following: (1) yogurt was disturbed or stirred while setting; (2) yogurt maker was not plugged in or there was a power shortage while it was setting; (3) yogurt start was added to hot instead of warm milk; (4) temperature was too hot (kills yogurt bacteria) or too cool (causes ordinary sour milk bacteria to develop). Temperature must remain between 100 and 120 degrees; (5) yogurt start was too old or was inactive for some other reason; (6) jars or other equipment were not clean; (7) fresh, raw milk was not boiled.
Uses for Yogurt

The following are a few suggestions for using yogurt:

Flavored Yogurts. You can use jams, honey and vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, etc., for flavoring. It should always be added after the yogurt is set.

Gourmet Dressings. Just add individually preferred herbs and spices.

Yogurt with Fruit. Use fresh, canned, dried, or strained fruit in plain yogurt.

Chip Dips. Yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in any chip dip recipe.

Buttermilk-like Drink. Mix equal parts yogurt and water; blend in blender or beat by hand. This will replace buttermilk in any recipe.

Baked Potato Dressing. Use plain or add bacon chips, baco-cips, chives, or onions to yogurt and use in place of sour cream. Yogurt will replace sour cream in most recipes.

Cream Sauces. Yogurt is very good on vegetables such as asparagus, string beans, broccoli, and cauliflower. It is also good in stroganoff. (If you heat it, never boil or heat over 120 degrees as it kills the bacteria beneficial to health.)

Yogurt in Jello. Add one cup yogurt to a three-ounce package of partially set jello. Leave out one-fourth cup of the water when setting the jello. Drained, crushed pineapple can be added. Lime, orange, and lemon jellos are especially good with yogurt added.

Yogurt Popsicles. Mix two cups yogurt, one small can frozen orange juice, and two teaspoons vanilla together until smooth. Pour into paper cups and insert tongue depressors or other sticks. Freeze until firm. (Idea borrowed from Let’s Cook It Right by Adele Davis.)

At first you might forget to use yogurt freely, but in time you’ll find yourself using it every day. And remember, if at first you don’t succeed, do try again. Have fun, happy, and healthy eating.

There’s Wheat in This Meat!

Camille G. West, Salt Lake City, “There’s Wheat in This Meat!,” Ensign, Sept. 1990, 69

Beef was expensive the year my parents were in charge of feeding a large group and their families at a big dinner. So Mom and Dad bought ten pounds of hamburger and, following a Mexican tradition, added cracked wheat to the meat to make it go further. They were able to feed seventy-five people as many tacos as they could eat.

You can use the same method they did in almost any dish that contains hamburger. Not only is the mixture economical, it also contains less cholesterol than plain hamburger and tastes good.

To extend hamburger, crack whole grains of wheat in a wheat grinder or blender just as you would for cracked-wheat cereal. (You can also use bulgur—boiled cracked wheat that has been dried.) Cook the hamburger and drain the fat. For each pound of hamburger, add two cups of water and one-half cup of uncooked cracked wheat. Stir and simmer at least thirty minutes. Add seasonings.

The wheat will absorb water, the meat’s flavor, and any seasonings; the wheat-meat mixture has a texture similar to that of regular meat filling, and it can be refrigerated for later use. Because the wheat kernels will continue to swell, you may need to add additional water before reheating.

Finding Money around the House

“Random Sampler,” Ensign, Sep 1990, 67–69
Finding Money around the House

Lyle E. Shamo, “Finding Money around the House,” Ensign, Sept. 1990, 67–68

How many times have you wished for a little extra cash so that you can retire your debts and build your savings? You can find “excess funds” by looking around your house for ways to cut expenses. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Turn the Screws

Learn to make your own repairs and improvements. How-to books and pamphlets and community education classes can help you obtain the necessary skills.

Fix leaky faucets.

Paint exterior wood surfaces to prevent deterioration. Preventive maintenance costs less than replacements or repairs.

Check want ads and garage sales for good buys on furniture and appliances. Be certain appliances are in good working condition, and have that fact stated in writing on the bill of sale.

Try to buy wholesale. Sometimes distributors will sell directly to you for their price plus tax.

Preventing Cold Feet

Ask local utility companies for pamphlets or counsel on ways to cut waste.

Clean furnace filters every two months, and replace them when they start to plug up.

Close vents in unused rooms or buy a programmable thermostat to turn down heat and air-conditioning when you are asleep or away.

Make sure your home is insulated properly.

During the summer, use a clothesline instead of a clothes dryer.

Turn your water-heater temperature down.

Teach your family—and yourself—to turn off lights, the television, curling irons, and other appliances they are not using.

If you don’t own a water-saver toilet, put a brick or bottle of water in your toilet tank.

Chewing the Fat

If you can, buy a phone instead of renting one.

Avoid phoning long-distance impulsively. Plan your calls when rates are lowest.

Write letters instead of making long-distance phone calls, and send a postcard rather than a letter whenever it will suffice.

When you ship packages, compare prices to find the least expensive method.

Keeping the Clothes on Your Back

Buy good-quality clothes that will wear well, that will not go out of style soon, and that can be mixed and matched with other items in your wardrobe.

Choose clothes that can be worn year-round to save the expense of having to maintain two wardrobes.

Shop around for quality “look-alikes” rather than buying name-brand apparel.

Shop at factory outlets or discount stores—but be wary. Some places that advertise themselves as discount stores are not. Know what various articles of clothing cost before you shop.

Ask for clothes and shoes with minor flaws in them. The quality is usually the same, and store managers will often give you a discount on them. Also, ask for seconds at outlet stores.

Call a six-month moratorium on buying clothes.

Trade clothes you don’t wear with family members and friends.

Learn to alter clothes so that you can wear them longer.

Learn to make your own clothing.

Bringing Home the Bacon

Remember that no one grocery store has all of the cheapest prices in town. As your time permits, shop around for the best buys.

Watch the ads, and plan menus to correspond with sale items. To help you determine good buys, keep a list of items you commonly buy and their prices in several different stores.

Use coupons only if they are for items you use or if the product is the lowest-priced brand.

Make a shopping list, and stick to it. Eat before you shop, and leave your children at home so you’re not tempted or coerced into buying extra items. If possible, shop only twice a month.

Use as few convenience foods as possible. Buy a cookbook that has recipes for homemade mixes so you can still make quick meals.

Avoid waste. Freeze leftovers in serving-size portions so you can eat them at a more convenient time.

Use less-expensive cuts of meat, and stretch meat by making more casseroles, skillet dishes, soups, and stews.

If you have a freezer, buy meat in bulk at good prices. Be sure to price the beef already cut and wrapped rather than “on the hoof.” Make certain that meat packers don’t substitute hamburger for steak.

Get day-old bakery goods from discount stores.

Buy 1-percent milk, or mix dried milk with whole milk.

Curb your consumption of junk foods. They are usually the most expensive and the worst for you.

Analyze whether it is more costly to buy hot lunches at school or work or to make sack lunches. If you decide to pack lunches, include foods that you know your family will eat.

Buy food in bulk or in “car-load” sales.

After you have acquired a year’s supply of food, maintain it. Then you need buy items only when they are on sale.

Within just a few months of implementing some of these ideas, you’ll find that looking for ways to save money comes almost automatically.—Lyle E. Shamo, West Jordan, Utah

A Year’s Supply of Fruits and Vegetables for $58.81?

by Nola Carlson, “A Year’s Supply for $58.81?,” Ensign, July 1982, 63

We have a large family, and feeding them is a challenge. Seven of our thirteen are foster children, so we have inherited all kinds of appetites. Most of them are teenagers and seem to inhale food as easily as air; so when my husband came home and proudly announced that we were going to can and store enough food for one year, we all were more than a little skeptical.

“We can do it,” he said. “We can do anything the Prophet has told us to.”

“It seems to me,” he continued, “the answer is simple enough. We know we are always short on money, so we must do it with a minimum of cost. I have figured out that we have $58.81 to spend. Now, what shall we spend it on?”

“Well,” said our little oriental foster daughter, “we need jars and lids if we are going to can.”

“Good point,” said sixteen-year-old Missy. “What about sugar? We can’t can without that.”

“Yes we can,” I answered. “Your grandmother used to do it all the time when I was a kid. We never had sugar, but mom used to say if the fruit was ripe and in good condition, the sweetness of the natural fruit would come out. I have canned like that for years.”

After an evening of discussion, the jars and lids for home canning won.

The girls began an earnest search for inexpensive jars. We haunted yard sales in our area and found a sale on lids at our local flea market. Before long we had over a thousand jars to fill for storage.

The boys’ job was to locate fruit and vegetables for canning. William, our eleven-year-old, found four cherry trees; the man who owned them was getting old, and each year the fruit went to waste. It fell to me to ask for the cherries. “Mom,” William said, “just tell him we can’t pay for them but maybe we can clean up the alley in back of his garage instead.”

This approach has turned out to be the key. We have pulled weeds for rhubarb, painted fences for strawberries, cut wood for raspberries, hauled paper for peaches, and raked leaves for apples.

One night my husband came home and informed us that we would have the privilege of gleaning a potato patch in the morning before work. “It’s simple enough,” he said. “We leave home at 5:00 a.m. and pick until 8:00. We ought to be able to pick enough to carry us through the winter.”

There were groans when morning came, but with all of us working as fast as we could (that was the only way to keep warm), we were finished by 7:30. And we had enough potatoes to keep us through the winter.

Onions, peas, tomatoes, and any vegetables that we could find went into our storage. All were bought with work as we expanded our food storage for the coming year.

One truck farmer, after hearing a report of the frost warning, called us and told us that if we would come and pick his produce that night we could have as much as we could pick, because by morning it would all be frozen. So, bundled against the cold, and by the beam of our car’s headlights, the whole family picked most of the night. We picked squash, cabbage, and a variety of other produce. It was hard work, but we laughed and sang until we were giddy. It was a night we still talk about.

When we made our fall survey, we found that we had canned 1,500 quarts of fruit and vegetables and had enough potatoes, turnips, and root vegetables to see us through the full year. We have continued this method of acquiring necessary storage items each year.

Our son Marty’s observation sums up the family’s experience: “If you’re really willing to work together, you can accomplish anything—even a year’s supply for $58.81.”Nola Carlson, Chicago, Illinois