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Easy Italian Minestrone Soup in 20 Minutes

Making minestrone soup is usually a labor of love because of the enormous amount of time it takes to soak the beans (hours), chop the vegetables, cook the pasta, and then make the soup. But, there’s an easier way to make an authentic Italian minestrone soup in 20 minutes by using the Pedon Italian Minestrone Timesavers Soup Mix.

Each 8.8 ounce packet is filled with non-GMO products: pre-cooked farro, pre-cooked barley, ditalini pasta, red split lentils, pre-cooked yellow split lentils, pre-cooked green and yellow split peas to provide a high fiber, high protein, salt and sugar-free foundation for homemade soup.  Read more »


The Marlton Hotel in NYC

Most people traveling to New York City gravitate to certain neighborhoods because location is everything when it comes to getting around the city. But, the really big decision is where to stay. Chain hotel or boutique? Chain hotels have their perks, especially for guests that have reached gold or platinum levels but where they excel in predictability (which can bring a certain sense of comfort) they often lag in style. Read more »


Bobby Wonderful

Old age is not for sissies.  Neither is old love, whether you’re in it or watching from the sidelines.    ~Bob Morris

Bobby Wonderful may seem like a strange title for a book but to author Bob Morris, the two words make perfect sense because “Bobby” and “Wonderful” are the last words spoken by his parents before they passed away.  The irony is that the author by his own admission was not a wonderful son (his brother, Jeff deserved that award). He was the   irresponsible fun-loving child, the second of two boys whose job was to lighten the mood and entertain. Jeff, his older brother was the responsible one, the leader driven by duty and purpose who always seemed to make the right decision and be in the right place at the right time (there’s always one  in every family). Read more »


Lagusta’s Luscious Heathen Toffee

People who follow a plant-based diet may be considered heathens – people who do not follow or belong to a widely held belief or faith – of a different sort because they don’t subscribe to the standard American diet (SAD) – a diet with a heavy emphasis on animal products and highly processed foods.

But being plant-based doesn’t mean you have to give up favorite treats because there are some incredible alternatives out there. Take toffee – a crunchy, rich candy typically made with butter, sugar, almonds, chocolate, and salt – a holiday favorite (although I used to eat toffee all year long). Without butter, how could toffee possibly be toffee? Read more »


Cinnamon Roll Bread

Cinnamon Roll Bread is wildly different and wildly delicious homemade bread with no added sweeteners. A nutrient dense no-knead loaf, Cinnamon Roll Bread is very easy to make and requires no bread baking experience to make a loaf that looks like a professional baker’s creation.

The secret to the nutty cinnamon flavor and  moist texture of this bread is a single 1.75 ounce packet of Wildway Cinnamon Roll Instant Hot Cereal made with walnuts, ground flaxseed, cashews, coconut flour, pecans, cinnamon, dried dates, and vanilla bean. Read more »


DUN-WELL Doughnuts

“We’re doughnut pioneers.”

The most scrumptious, most delicious, and most decadent melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts are made in a small doughnut shop in Brooklyn called DUN-WELL DOUGHNUTS. Five years ago, Dan Dunbar and Christopher Hollowell who look like the Mast Brothers of chocolate fame – bow tie and all – got together to make New Yorkers a doughnut worthy of ooh’s and ah’s. Read more »


Shiitake Mushrooms and Pasta with Pesto

Shiitake Mushrooms and Pasta with Pesto is a dish that has both Asian and Italian influence which may seem like a strange combination but the flavor is rather brilliant. Shiitake mushrooms are often used in Asian dishes along with toasted sesame oil and Chinese 5-spice powder (a combination of cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns, ginger, and cloves although some blends contain fennel instead of ginger) to add flavor while pesto – an Italian sauce with a foundation in olive oil, basil, and nuts – is an Italian favorite whether used in pasta or on a pizza.

In Shiitake Mushrooms and Pasta with Pesto, the vegetables (mushrooms and brussels sprouts) are seasoned and roasted with a bit of toasted sesame oil (a small amount goes a long way) and Chinese 5-spice powder while the pasta is covered in a very light pesto sauce. When combined, the complex flavors all come together for a delicious, creamy, and very satisfying meal. Read more »


Love Thy Neighbor….

As individual voters, we can do very little to reform our broken political system, or to change the apocalyptic tenor of today’s political campaigns. But, as neighbors and friends, we can redeem politics through ordinary human decency.                                                                                  ~Joshua Rothman

The archive director (Joshua Rothman) of The New Yorker wrote an article for the November 7, 2016 issue entitled The Enemy Next Door which is a must-read for anyone baffled or horrified by the political leanings of their neighbors, friends, and relatives. The article is actually a review of Nancy Rosenblum’s new book “Good Neighbors:  The Democracy of Everyday Life in America” but the insight is equally applicable to friends and family who find themselves on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Read more »


Whole Grain Date Bars

Dates are often thought of as nature’s candy with the Medjool variety considered one of the finest there is. Large, sweet, and creamy, the Medjool is the perfect fruit to eat as is or in a recipe for Whole Grain Date Bars:  a crunchy applesauce-sweetened cinnamon oat crust covered in cooked dates and topped with more crunchy oat crumble. There is no added sugar in this recipe because the dates add enough sweetness to the bars. With their soft and chewy texture between two layers of crunchy oat crumble, the dates are the star of the show and – as with most stars – they shine brightest in their simplicity. Read more »


The Top Ten Nutrition Resources

Why don’t physicians offer the plant-based nutrition option to their patients?

1. They are not taught nutrition and are unfamiliar with the efficacy of a plant-based approach.
2. They don’t have time for patient nutritional counseling.
3. They often lack the skill set for behavioral modification.
4. Insurance support for counseling is sparse.
5. The status quo offers a handsome income stream.

~Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD

Finding “good” nutritional information is difficult primarily because cultural, educational, economic, political, pharmaceutical, medical and food industry influences get in the way of consumers finding this valuable information. Read more »