Saturday, October 25, 2008


Discover the greatest gardening…sprouts. Many people live in cities, work all day and do not have the pleasure and joy of eating produce from their garden.
By the time the fruit and vegetables reach the table, they have lost their vitamins and life force. They are often sprayed with harmful pesticides and may even be genetically grown and are totally devitalized. They are often shipped and from places that do not match the season we are in. Try to eat what grows in the area you live in and what is in season. That is why we have guavas, grape fruit, oranges and lemons, at the start of winter, when we need extra Vitamin C. Then in summer we have watermelon and juicy fruits.

Sprouts are exciting, fresh , vitamin and mineral packed foods that can re energize tired bodies, give us great enzymes and proteins. You need five minutes a day for the chore and the reward is in a day or two later. Involve the kids and give them their individual jars and seeds they like to eat.. They are crispy, crunchy and packed with goodness and health.

Do not eat dry seeds. They are indigestible and harmful to the digestion and body. Raw chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils and beans may cause stomach cramps, a bloated feeling and can even be poisonous. Never eat sprouts of tomatoes, potatoes and kidney beans. You have to buy sprouts from reliable sources. They must not be for farming, sprayed and chemically treated. So buy sprouts they are labeled for human consumption. I recommend you to buy at good health stores. or a source you can trust.
Nobody needs to eat handfuls of sprouts. The trend to give you a salad with a cup of sprouts on top, drowning in a mayonnaise laden dressing is not wise. You can break a tooth, get indigestion and simply do not need parrot food on your lettuce. Use sprouts that are delicate, a small amount and preferably cooked, steamed and sautéed, after they are soaked. I have been a vegetarian for over forty years and still eat my almonds soaked in fresh water. That way they are energized and healthy, digestible and easy to eat. Try it.


Sprouts include beans, seeds, grains and nuts.

BEANS. These include adzuki, chickpeas, called garbanzos. These are used for hummus. Lentils , Chinese mung, kidney, butter and soya beans.
Chickpeas are delicious in hummus, stews, soups, casseroles and salads. You need to wash, soak for 6-8 hours and then cook them. When they are soft, after a long cooking time, you can mash them, blend them , and use for many dishes. Be careful in the blender. They get thick, so add a few tablespoons of water. They are great cooked, served with salt and pepper as a snack. Soya beans are very popular, as they can be made into dry chips and used when they are re soaked and cooked as a meat substitute. They make good stews, meatless bolognaise and mince for a dish with rice or potatoes. I find that soya beans are good when cooked for a long time. Lentils are very versatile and they are great in soups and sprouted for use in salads, omelets and in sandwiches. I steam them to soften a little. In stir fry, use them near the end. . Butter beans that are used in soups and for exotic salads must be soaked for 8- 10 hours, rinsed and cooked well. I make an exotic Mexican dish with butter beans that is great for outdoor eating as a cold salad. Recipe will follow.

Sunflower is good to sprout, especially for smokers. A great alternative to chew seeds instead of another puff of a cigarette. They help older folks to sleep better as they have magnesium.
They can be added to breads, muffins and patties for meatless hamburgers. I soak them and roast them in the oven for a few minutes on a tray with olive oil and herbs,
and use them on salads for crunch and food value. Mustard seeds have a distinctive taste and need to be used fresh. They are good in stir fry. dishes. Broccoli must be bought from a reliable source and are good in salads and with vegetable dishes. Fenugreek has a mustardy taste and is good to soak and grow. They can be used for a drink if you have a bad cough. They reduce catarrh and help to ease swelling. Simply soak one teaspoon in a cup of boiling water for an hour. Then strain and use as a tea for sore throats or coughs. Sesame seeds are bitter when you sprout them, so skip them and eat as they are. I always use them in kiddies candies and as a base for cookies, in granola, for salads with sprouts and in muffins and banana breads. Pumpkin seeds have a leafy growth after four days of sprouting and are good in stir fry dishes and with cooked vegetables. Add at the end for a few minutes.
ALFALFA SEEDS, must not be eaten raw, unless you have bought them from a reliable source and they are untreated with chemicals. They must be fresh. .

These include barley, rye, wheat, buckwheat, millet .yellow corn, spelt, berries and many more. The ones we use for sprouts are mainly barley, rye and buckwheat.

The nuts I use are almonds and peanuts. Remember that many people and children are allergic to peanuts, so do not use them liberally. I use ten to twelve almonds for a day or two at a time. Simply place in half a glass of water overnight and rinse the next day, peel and use as a snack or add to salads and in food dishes or sandwiches. Peanuts must be very fresh or they are hard to digest.

I use a simple method. Take clean jars. Make holes in the lid or use a plastic lid with holes. I use muslin, cheese cloth and tie it on the jar with an elastic band. It is easy to open and wash out and the spouts can breathe. The way for kids is a cereal bowl with a kitchen towel. Simply place in the cupboard and they can rinse the seeds out in a strainer and replace them in the bowl and cover. Do not use cotton wool as the seeds get caught in it. You can use blotting paper, as long as you wash it twice a day. So it is easy and fun.
See the drawing at the end of the article.

The rule is eat a little, better steamed or cooked and in stir fry dishes, soups and in salads. If they have an odor or seem fermented, toss into the ground. If you have sprouted lentils in the fridge, you can roast them in a little olive oil and nuts and add anywhere. Like sandwiches, salads and eggs.Sprouted lentils are great in soups. Just add at the end. and heat through. Chinese mung beans are great fried and mixed with vegetables. They look great with a baked potato and terrific in a pita with hummus and techina.They also make a great sandwich with eggs and cheese fillings.

Wash one and a half cups of brown and half a cup of orange lentils,Letb them stand in water for an hour or two. Rinse, and cook them in clean water until they are fairly soft. Put aside. Dice three carrots, two potatoes, two onions, one sweet potato, chopped parsley, spring onions, ( a clove or two of garlic) and a teaspoon of curry, salt and pepper, a few sliced fresh mushrooms and a whole peeled turnip. Add the lentils and cook this all on a medium flame Remove the turnip The soup will be tasty and nourishing. When you serve, mix through sprouted lentils and serve with a few sprouted lentils on top for a fresh look.

Take one cup of quinoa and half a cup of wild rice. Wash, drain and cook with a little herb salt. Cook the rice first and put aside and then the quinoa, which cooks faster. Stir fry two cups of mung beans that you have previously sprouted. in a little olive oil, Mix them with diced red pepper, half a cup of parsley and a bit of oregano and two diced onions. When this is ready, mix with the quinoa and wild rice and serve with roasted sunflower seeds on top.

Soak three cups of butter beans for a few hours. Rinse and drain. Place in a pot of water to cover, with a teaspoon of salt and cook until soft. Drain. Make a sauce of one tablespoon curry powder, half a teaspoon of mustard and two chopped red peppers, three cloves of garlic, two teaspoons of honey and salt and pepper. Place this in a pot with two tablespoons of olive oil and one cup of tomato puree and two cups of crushed tomatoes and cook on a low flame for twenty minutes. Add the warm beans and cook for twenty minutes more. Serve with half a cup of sprouted lentils and a teaspoon of mustard seeds.
This salad can be eaten cold or hot.

I love fresh sprouts mixed with vegetables and dried fruits. This is an easy one. Wash two cups of fresh spinach and chop crudely. Mix in some mint leaves and spring onions. Make a dressing with the following. Two tablespoons of dried cranberries, two tablespoons of light raisins, and two dried cut up apricots and two cut up dates. Place in a small bowl with one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and half a cup of orange juice, or mandarin juice. Let it stand for a few hours. Mix with the spinach and herbs and serve with fresh sprouts on the top. You can grate a few tablespoons of feta on the salad. Looks crispy and fresh. Enjoy with herbed bread and butter mixed with sunflower seeds. .


Saturday, October 18, 2008



We grew up with the lovely idea of tea at four. It was a British custom that families loved. It was a getting together of kids, friends, chats, swopping recipes and taking time to share a drink and lovely eats.

The idea is to take the trouble to make a decent cup of tea. Use good cups and saucers, a china teapot and loose leaves. We were taught to warm the teapot, warm the cups and serve tea that was strong and well brewed. Today the choice with tea bags, fruit teas, herb teas has changed habits. In a warm climate the iced teas are a hit, but no matter what, the cookies and cakes take special place.

There are scones, muffins, cookies, yeast cakes, date loaf and apple and cheese cake, biscuits and fruit cake and of course decadent chocolate cake. The following are a few of
my best and easy to make and even freeze..

1 heaped cup of dates.
1/4 lb butter.
1 cup brown sugar.
1 rounded teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda.
1 1/2 cups boiling water.
Put all of this in a saucepan on a medium flame, stir and bring to the boil. Leave to stand until cool.
Add three cups of flour. If you uses brown flour , uses less. I add half a teaspoon ginger, half a teaspoon cinnamon and three to four Tablespoons of crushed walnuts and raisins.
Mix carefully and bake in loaf tins that are buttered and floured. Bake at 300 for fifty minutes.
I serve Date Loaf with butter and honey. It is excellent after a day or two. Cool well, before storing.


Mix one egg, one cup flour, 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder, I dessertspoon honey, 2 teaspoons sugar, a pinch of salt and 3/4 cup of milk. Mix well and roll on a floured board. Pat 1/4 inch thickness and cut with a floured glass. Bake in medium oven floured board. Takes fifteen minutes.
I serve scones in a basket, with butter rolls, jams, honeys and cheese slices. They are excellent freshly baked. And can be part of a quick supper with fluffy omelets.


2cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
6Tablespoons butter.
One beaten egg.
One cup yogurt or milk.

Sift the dry ingredients. With your fingers you can work the butter in.
Stir in the egg and yogurt mixture. I use a buttered cookie pan and drop a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into each spot. Bake at 400 for ten to twelve minutes.
To serve place them in a basket with a linen serviette and have butter, jam, marmalade and honey on the side.

If you like a variation to this scone, add two teaspoons grated parmesan cheese and half a teaspoon dried parsley.

For a sweet version, grate the peel of an orange and add half a cup of soaked raisins, or two dried apricots and two dates and a dash of cinnamon to the mixture.

175ml yogurt
3 cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2 eggs
3 heaped teaspoon baking powder
Add 2 tablespoons crushed walnuts or pecans and a mashed cooked apple.
Mix all and place in muffin tins.
Bake 180. Twenty minutes. Enjoy.

Tea time can be the new style, mint tea, iced teas, fruit teas and a mix of snacks. It is popular to serve granola on top of yogurt with a tablespoon of honey. People like tea time to be food rather than cakes. You can make open sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, boiled eggs mashed with parsley and techina, cottage cheese mixed with herbs and chopped olives and even cottage mixed with dried fruits cut up and served with a few slices of melon and cut up pears. In the heat of summer, people like
Cold watermelon, melon slices served with bulghari cheese.

Make time to relax, so stop and listen to a friend, to share a cuppa and a story. '
Tea time is a ritual, but also a memory maker. The setting, the ambience, reflects the time, trouble and effort you put in to make it special.

Have a good week and love each day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I have personally loved carrots all my life and feel the benefit has been great eyesight and loads of energy. The carrots have a high concentration of carotenoids , are rich in Vitamin A , C and K and potassium, beta-carotene antioxidants and fiber.
As children we were encouraged to eat raw carrots because it was believed they kept worms away. Do not overeat carrots, as they can cause carotene, yellowing of skin and eyes. Ask your Doctor about this.
Carrots are easy to enjoy raw. The idea is not to overdo eating them, all day. You need a carrot or two a day. Carrot juice is a "food" and you drink it slowly. The benefit of vegetable juices cannot be underestimated. When people need to boost energy levels and the immune system, vegetable juices are great. During chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the patients often feel awful. Their appetite and will to eat is affected. A small glass of fresh juice is beneficial and easily absorbed by the body in stress

Take one carrot, one beetroot, juice of an orange, two or three sticks of celery. Add half a glass of water or apple juice and blend. Drink this slowly.
If you go out with friends for a coffee date, try to skip caffeine and order a carrot juice instead. Drink it slowly and you will relax and enjoy a healthy drink.

Take two carrots, two beetroot, one kohlrabi, one apple, one pear and a half glass of orange juice Grate all and mix with the juice, add two teaspoons of sunflower seeds and enjoy as a salad. I add some cottage cheese, grated parmesan cheese and olive oil .I have this with a slice of grain bread and it is a satisfying meal.


There are unique ways to eat steamed carrots with a meal or as an accompaniment to the main course I will give you quick and easy ideas, as carrots need very little dressing up.. Minted carrots. Wash, slice at an angle, steam, drain and place the carrots in a dish. Add half a cup of chopped mint that has been mixed with one tablespoon melted butter. Mix all. Heat through and serve.

Herbed carrots. Cut up four carrots in match stick style and lightly fry in olive oil and some fresh thyme and one tablespoon sunflower seeds . As I serve this I add a few chopped almonds. This is great as a vegetable, or served on a bowl of cous cous or rice. The contrast of color that carrot gives , is important with vegetables meals .

Carrots and garlic, leeks and brussel sprouts.

Take six carrots, wash, peel and slice them Cook and drain. Place them in an oven dish that has been oiled with olive oil. Arrange in circles with cut up garlic cloves in between and Brussels sprouts. Mix half a cup of grated cheese and two teaspoons of honey with olive oil and pour over . Bake in a medium oven for fifteen minutes. This looks different and goes well with a pasta.

Indian style Carrot dish.
Use six carrots. Wash and slice thinly. Steam until softened. I steam many vegetables, as it cuts the preparation time and loss of all the nutrients. I lightly fry the carrot slices in one tablespoon olive oil, one teaspoon cumin seeds, half a teaspoon mustard seeds and a dash of honey. When the seeds pop, you can add one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger { or prepared ginger} 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and two tablespoons of chopped onions. Lightly fry for five minutes. To serve I sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and a few
raisins. Great over rice and even as a filling in a squash or hollowed zucchini.

Carrot Puree.
Sometimes you make a dish and feel you need a "gravy". Use this idea. Peel six carrots, cut into pieces and cook them for fifteen minutes. Add salt to the water. Strain and blend the purée. Add 1 teaspoon of butter. Reheat and serve over vegetables, spinach loaf or a quiche.

Cheese and Carrot Pie.
Eight carrots.. Peel and slice them and cook in lightly salted water.. Drain and place in an oven dish. Boil two cups of milk and remove from heat. Add 1 cup of grated cheese, a little salt and pepper and half a cup of crushed. Cornflakes. Stir this well and add 2 beaten eggs. Pour this over the carrots in the oven dish. Bake in a medium oven for twenty minutes.. To serve grate a little orange rind on this with finely cut up chives.

Carrot Cake.
This is the original Carrot Cake from the 50's. It was feature in the International Cook Book and we all ate it for years, as a cake or with a meal as a vegetable pie.

4-6 eggs. 3/4 lb (400grms} sugar. Grated lemon rind. 3/4 lb ground almonds. 1/2 lb {225grms} raw grated carrots.
2 teaspoons baking powder.
2 ozs flour.
Beat the egg yolks , sugar and lemon rind well and add the almonds and carrots.
Mix baking powder with the flour and add slowly. Fold the stiffly beaten egg whites lightly into the mixture and pour into a deep baking dish with a loose bottom. Bake in a low oven for one hour. You can decorate with lemon icing or brown sugar with a little cinnamon in. It. is better after a day or two..

Carrot salad with rainbowcolors

Wash and peel eight carrots. Slice into strips and boil in lightly salted water. Drain. Place these in alternate layers with two red and yellow peppers and two onions, cut into thin rings.
In a saucepan, bring the following to a boil. 250ml of water, 150ml white vinegar, 125ml.oil, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Worcester sauce. If you need the K stamp, use soya sauce or substitute with honey and a little molasses. . A teaspoon of mustard, a little salt and pepper. To this add two small packets of tomato soup. Boil this all to the boil for four minutes on a medium flame and pour it over hot ,on the carrot and vegetable mix. Let it stand to cool and then refrigerate. I sprinkle mint leaves on when I serve it
You can make this a day or two ahead of time.

Carrot Candies, called IMBERLACH.
My Mom used to make these for the Passover holidays. Many years ago there were very few cakes and cookies on the shelves for this holiday and I was always amazed by what our Moms produced.
Cook and mash about 11/2 pounds of carrots, that is about 750 grams. Add the following: 14ozs of brown sugar {400 grms}, one and a half teaspoons of ginger, {fresh if possible and use a little less} 5 ozs[145 grams} chopped blanched almonds. Cook all this for fifteen minutes until it is thick. Cook on a low flame and stir all the time. Add juice of two lemons. Mix well.. Sprinkle a board with sugar and pour the carrot mixture over it. Sprinkle sugar on top or some coconut. When the candy begins to harden, cut into
square or diamond shapes.

Enjoy carrot ideas and have a happy week. Let the kids have carrots sliced and ready for TV time, sports activities and even for the outing to a cinema and bus trips. It is so much better than spicy , salty highly treated snacks, loaded with additives, coloring and preservatives.

Today we have vegetables in hair shampoos, conditioners, body soaps and lotions. The newest cosmetics with carrots in them have creams that are delicate for the eye area, sun ta.n lotions, lip balms and face creams to moisturize, refresh and to treat the skin.

Go green, eat fresh carrots, enjoy yellow vegetables and choose the best of the season. Have a fresh and energy filled week
Love and light Rona

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Grains are packed with energy, easy to prepare and suit all eating programs. They come from come from seeds and a fruit of cereal grasses and the value is according to the husk, but if they are stripped of the bran and germ, the outer husks, they are less nutritious. The variety is vast and includes Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Couscous, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Rye, Spelt, and corn.
Every culture group has a different way of preparing their grains and we are lucky that in this day and age we learn so much from each other.

Grains have good protein value and we are recommended to eat a few servings a day.
We will start with BULGUR.

This is an easy and delightful starter to any meal. Good with humus, boiled eggs, salads and cheese platters.

1 cup bulgur.
1 cup chopped parsley leaves.
!/2 a cup chopped mint leaves.
2 chopped onions, 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 chopped cucumbers and one chopped red and
Yellow peppers. ( I do not use green peppers)
Half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of lemon juice, half a teaspoon salt and one crushed clove of garlic.
Mix the cup of bulgur with two cups of boiling water and the salt. Let it stand for thirty minutes. Drain and squeeze the liquid, Mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic., Allow to marinate for an hour. Add the rest before serving. Mix lightly and serve.


Many of my senior friends love eating cereal for breakfast and this is so healthy.
1 cup bulgur
4 cups water.
Boil the water and stir in the bulgur.
Cook slowly on a low flame and when it is thickened, you can cover it. We eat it with cinnamon and honey, milk, soya or rice milk and recommend adding a few raisins and walnuts.


Basic recipe. 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Place in a saucepan and bring to the boil. . Lower flame to a simmer and cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed. This will take 10 – 15 minutes. When done the grains look transparent.
Now you can dress it up and have fun. Most people like the quinoa with dressing, but I like it with honey and nuts. Here are a few ideas to go from basic to delightful.

Quinoa and curried vegetables.
Cook two cups of quinoa with 4 cups of water. Squeeze out the liquid.
In a sauce pan, use two tablespoons of olive oil to fry two onions, one red pepper, half a cup of green spring onions, two crushed cloves of garlic, the rind of an orange, two tablespoon dark raisin, a little salt and pepper. Mix in two teaspoons of curry powder. I add two cut up dried apricots or a few
Mango slices. When this is sautéed, you can add it to the cooked quinoa. Mix well and on a low flame cook it slowly. I add a little water if necessary. Serve this with little bowls of chutney, coconut, and crushed cashew nuts and cut up bananas, with squeezed orange juice to prevent discoloring.
The idea of dressing up the quinoa is to get the family slowly weaned with the idea of new grains. Later on they will eat them in a simple way.
When my kids were young six or seven, I once served an oat hamburger and my son looked up and said. "Mom, I can't eat this, I think I saw it move," They were introduced to better foods, with more value very slowly and without pressure. You have to be creative, patient and present an alternative food, with some things they already enjoy.

QUINOA salad.
This is a lovely cold salad. Take one cup of quinoa and two cups of boiling water and cook in the basic way. Rinse and drain. Now mix half a cup of pomegranate pips, two tablespoons light and dark raisins, six crushed walnuts, two teaspoons pine kernels, half a cup of chopped chives or chopped parsley and spring onions. Pour over one cup of vinaigrette salad dressing. Mix well and place in a colorful bowl with mint leaves and orange slices and serve.

Quinoa. Used as a base for quiche.
I cook the quinoa and lightly fry it in one tablespoon of olive oil. Then I press it into a pie dish and press it with my fingers and let it stand in the fridge for an hour. I make a filling for it. Mushrooms Filling. I fry two onions, one crushed garlic, two teaspoons pine kernels, two thinly sliced apples and two cups of cut up mushrooms, salt and black pepper. When this is lightly fried, I add one beaten egg. Fill the pie dish and bake it in
medium oven for 15 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese,

Quinoa with a tang.
I love using the cooked quinoa for an exotic dish. Try this. Lightly fry two crushed clove of garlic, one teaspoons grated ginger, 1 tablespoon light soya sauce, cut up green onions, one grated carrot, one red pepper sliced thinly and very tiny cubes of kohlrabi. Add salt, pepper, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. I add a cup of cut up
Pineapple (optional) and serve this on the quinoa.

Have fun with the new and innovative, but please remember that you cannot change the family habits in a week. If you are trying to use alternative and healthier eating, just do it slowly. Nobody likes to be told how we can change them, make them feel healthier and improve their digestion in a day. When I was in the pharmacy, we sold hundreds of laxatives to many young people. Perhaps it was the cigarettes, sugar they consumed, unavailability of restrooms when they needed them, bad eating habits or simply constipation. But I was shocked and began to ask them what they ate in the morning and how much liquid they drank in the morning hours. It seemed that the general intake was caffeine and sugar. Today thirty years later there is awareness; re harm of excessive caffeine, sugar and bad habits. Please be gentle with change and the new……………have the favorites there too and slowly they will try and then choose the better option. Have a sweet year and lots of fun dreaming up all your resolutions.

I enjoy your comments and welcome questions of anything you specifically want to read about. Love and light Rona