Fill your belly, fill your heart.

You can’t possibly imagine how excited I am to bring you the very first cooking video!

(!!!!!!! This needs more exclamation points!!!!!!!)

I have a Valentine’s Day themed show, and today you’ll learn to make Moroccan (heart)Beet Salad and Sauteed Purple Kale.

(Disclaimer: As the first video, it was also a lesson in lighting, angle, and amount of spoken information. I’m learning and am looking forward to improving for the next video! Please bear with me as I get the hang of this – I’m doing everything by myself!)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 (not part 2…. as it says in the beginning… I was too excited to count!)

Moroccan (heart)Beet Salad


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar (as a substitute for honey)
  • 1 Tbsp dijon (spicy brown) mustard
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp corriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bunches beets, with greens intact (if you choose to use them)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup red beans (or lentils; chick peas)
  • 1 red pear, diced

Put quinoa in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and turn heat to medium-low. Cook until all water is evaporated, about 15-20 minutes. Cut green stems off beets. Put whole beets into a pot so they are covered in water. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and turn heat to medium-low. Cook until beets are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Remove the stalk from the beet greens so you have only the leafy green part. Run your knife through the stems to make smaller slices. Steam the greens until done, about 4-5 minutes.

Add tomato, beans and pear to a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the Dressing ingredients. When beets are done cooking, cut off stems and tails and peel the skins. Slice into 1/2-inch thick discs. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the beets to make the heart shape. Add quinoa to the mixing bowl with half the dressing and stir. Add greens and beets to the bowl with the remaining dressing, and stir.

***OOPS! I shot the entire video only to realize afterwards I had been saying the incorrect ingredient the entire time – woopsies! So anytime you hear me say “cous cous”, please substitute that for QUINOA¬†(pronounced “keen-wa”). Quinoa is the grainy ingredient used in this recipe!***

Sauteed Purple Kale

  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, cut in half and sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic (or less to taste) minced
  • pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Cut stems off kale, roughly chop the leaves. Steam until done, about 3-5 minutes. Heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and sautee for about 8 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic, vinegar, and red pepper flakes and stir about 1-2 minutes. Add steamed kale and toss with ingredients for 2-3 minutes.

Thanks for watching! Your support has meant the world to me!

Honest Engine

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be embarrassed by my guilty-pleasure addiction to the Dr. Oz show. But I think he’s sort of geeky and weird and that obviously makes him cool, plus he brings a fine mix of eastern and western medicine to laymen and the “Average American”. I watch him every morning while I’m trying to pull myself out of the bed comforter.

But this is the best part: At least several times a show, he explains how a good diet is related to good health. While he is not vegan (or vegetarian) and often won’t even use those words, he highlights the benefits of plant-based diets all the time, giving guests free dinners to the infamous Candle Cafe in NYC, spotlighting whole plant foods, and having guests on the show that gloat the wonders of vegan foods.¬†But here’s the trick….

He doesn’t use the V Word.

“Vegetarian” and heaven forbid, “Vegan” have so much political agenda attached to them that it can really push people away. More often than not, if you tell someone you eat this way, it brings on a barrage of questions, defensive statements, and sometimes just plain ridicule. This happens because food is political. And food is very, very personal. But if we back away from the V words for a minute, and simply say “I am trying to eat healthier”, we can gain respect and interest. People listen. Dr. Oz succeeds at this.

Today, Dr. Oz had firefighter and author of The Engine 2 Diet, Rip Esselstyn, on his show for a segment involving three male firefighters who have obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Rip, professional athlete-turned firefighter, developed the diet to help the folks in his own firehouse. In his book and on today’s show, he explained that his diet can, within weeks, dramatically reduce health problems and practically melt off extra weight. He’s helped over 100 firefighters in his own firehouse do this!

And, you guessed it, it’s a healthy vegan diet. But he never uses the V word. Instead, he shows how simple substituting food can be – for example, a hamburger and fries for 950 calories switched to a portobello “burger” and baked sweet potato fries for 350 calories.

You can follow this link to read more about the show segment, and get lasagna, mushroom burger and dark chocolate brownie recipes!

And check out The Engine 2 Diet website for a great video about Rip and how eating vegan has helped him and thousands of others accomplish their health goals.

“I’ve known what it is to be hungry, but I always went right to a restaurant.” -Ring Lardner

With always increasing numbers of obesity rates in the United States, it’s easy to forget that so many people are struggling to find food. (We all know a lot of obese people, and may not be able to think of anyone considered hungry or starving.) Sadly, both those with too much and too little to eat may suffer from malnutrition.

Eating a plant-based diet can directly help your own health as well as the health of others on a more global plain. You don’t even have to be vegan or vegetarian for your actions to affect others in a positive way! ANYONE can do this by incorporating more whole, plant-based foods in their diet. Isn’t that easy!?

“To supply one person with a meat habit for a year requires three-and-a-quarter acres of land. To supply one vegetarian with food for a year requires one half-acre. To supply a vegan requires only one-sixth of an acre. In other words, a given acreage can feed twenty times as many people eating a vegan diet as it could people eating a standard American diet.

Lester Brown of the Overseas Development Council has estimated that if Americans were to reduce their meat consumption by only 10 percent, it would free over 12 million tons of grain annually for human consumption. That, all by itself, would be enough to adequately feed every one of the 60 million human beings who will starve to death on the planet this year.” John Robbins, “Diet for a New America”. pg 352

I love food. I love cows. Cows love food. But if we give them all the hearty grains to eat just so we can later eat the cows, we lose a lot of food for people! It’s like saying “Hello Cow! I bought too many groceries this week. I guess I could take it to a food shelter. But what the heck, I’ll just give it to you because I want you to taste more delicious when I eat you up!”

Vegetarians hear a lot of silly things by people who feel a need to belittle their diet choices. A common jab is “Why don’t you take all the energy you put into trying to save animals and worry about people instead?” But au contraire. As you can see, if we all made a little more effort to cut out the middle-man (middle-cow?), we could all be healthier, happier and full.

Bonus tip: Cows are natural vegetarians! Funny no one asks them how they get their protein…

Welcome mat

I’m so happy you’re here!

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “How the heck do I cook dried beans? Do mustard greens really taste like mustard? Can I turn tofu into something even my meat-eating friends will enjoy?” the short answers are 1) It just takes a little planning 2) YES and they will blow your mind! 3) they will sing tofu’s praises and lower their cholesterol in one fell swoop.

I’m just getting started, so please stay tuned for cooking videos, product reviews and helpful tips.

Me and my partner in crime, Pierogi, can’t wait to get going, and we’re so thrilled you’re joining us. See you soon!