Thursday, February 14, 2013


Instead of sending your loved one a box filled with chocolate try an edible fruit basket.


A nephew and niece sent my sister one of these the day she got out of the hospital for lung cancer surgery. It was awesome - it allows for a quick healthy snack every time you pass it on the table. Your coworkers will love it.

For  a healthy meal to reward your heart today, try my vegetarian chili.  I realize you need several hours for this, but some of my readers work at home so you  can still do it - or just do it this weekend.  The point is, use today to reward your heart.


2 15oz cans black beans
2 15 oz cans red kidney beans
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can corn
1 1/2 cups Bobby's Perfect Red Pepper Sauce (see below)
1/4 cup diced white onion
3/4 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients except corn.  Include juice from beans.  Let simmer for about 2 hours.  Then add corn, without juice.  Let simmer another 1/2 hour.  Serve over rice or with saltine crackers.  For a quick Bobby's rice recipe see below.


Several months ago I added a 3rd pepper to this sauce so it is not exactly like my old sauce

I have tested this recipe several times and made adjustments for the spices.

5 dried marisol (cascabel) peppers
5 dried ancho peppers (wide)
5 dried chili arbol

1/2 medium white onion (no bigger than tennis ball or smaller)
10 garlic gloves, minced chopped (2 tbl spoons pre-minced) (very important do not skimp here)
2 teaspoons dried oregano (Mexican if you have it)
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin (comino) ( I decreased this from 1-1/2)
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons salt (this is important do not reduce)
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (regular black pepper is fine)
½ teaspoon ground coriander (cilantro) 1/2 tablespoon fresh.

The basic conversion method of fresh to dried herbs is straightforward: 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs is equal to 1 teaspoon dried

Clean and deseed and devain the peppers. Place all ingredients in about 2 quarts water and then boil down to about 30 ozs. Put ice in mixture to partially cool then put it into a blender. You should have about 40 ozs of sauce. If you have too much just boil it down - if you have too little add water. As you are adjusting to about 40 ozs taste the sauce to see if you think it is too thick or too thin - your taste buds should decide the final amount

This is also a perfect red enchilada sauce


This is my quick recipe when I do not have fresh chicken broth - meaning not from a box which is tasteless.

1 cup parboiled rice (healthiest of the various type rice) (serves 4 if one is a child)
a swirl of olive oil
4 cups bottled water (not tap - bad taste - real bad taste)
thin slice white onion
1/4 or 1 side of bell pepper (then quarter into 4 pieces)
salt to taste
1 tub Knorr homestyle chicken stock (they come 4 to a pack)  They actually have flavor

In a good rice frying pan - not and I mean not a pot.  Swirl olive oil real quick in pan just to season it.  Then add rice.  swirl rice around for a minute - do not let burn - keep on medium heat - then add 4 cups water and packet of chicken stock - make sure it all dissolves - turn heat on high.  Then add onion and bell pepper.  Add salt to taste.  I then typically taste the broth for salt - easier to add extra salt then remove salt.

Then boil down to where water is just above the rice level.  Turn down to a simmer.  cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes.  If you remove the cover from the rice before 30 minutes your home will explode.  When I taught my sister in law how to make rice she was told the rule.  She ignored me - my brother saw my look when she removed the lid after about 10 minutes and said to his wife "I'm out of here, defend youself."   She never did that again.

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