4-Bean Salad

This is a fabulously easy recipe that adds variety and contrast to almost any meal. It is perfect for your home-cooked meals, salads, or even as a snack. It is an excellent accompaniment to a BBQ, and a perfect pot luck dish; It is fast and easy, keeps well, and is inexpensive too.
An added benefit is that it is extremely high in fiber, a dietary component that is often severely lacking in the modern American diet. Beans are a protein rich, high fiber superfood. This recipe will help you fall in love with BEANS if you are not already!

You can cook your own beans if you would like, the finished product will be even better if you do. Canned will work just fine though. Do be sure to choose organic whenever possible!

4-Bean Salad

1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
½ lb green beans steamed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1T honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a large bowl mix the beans, celery, onion, parsley.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat.

3. Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.

Serves 4 to 8. – Keeps well for up to a week sealed in an airtight container.

French Lentils with Feta

French lentils with Feta

This is such a yummy dish I get raves every time I make it. I feel a little guilty though, because it is SO easy to make. It does not take long either. French lentils cook quickly, requiring only about 20 minutes to cook! This dish keeps well, so make enough to have some leftovers. The flavors develop once all of the ingredients are in, so don’t be too quick to add more salt. Also, all you would have to do to make this recipe vegan is omit the feta; just add a bit more of the other stuff. It still comes out a real winner!

• 5 cups cooked **French lentils, cooled
• 1 15oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into smaller pieces, liquid reserved
• 1/2 C sun dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
• 1/2 medium red onion, diced
• 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1 cup)
• 8oz crumbled feta cheese
• Freshly ground pepper
• Salt only if necessary – the feta and artichokes usually have enough salt for the whole dish


1. Begin with a bowl full of cooled lentils. These can be made a day or two ahead.
2. Add artichoke, tomatoes, parsley, onion, and mix well.
3. Add crumbled feta and pepper and mix some more.
4. Taste for seasoning. Add salt if desired, or add some of the reserved artichoke marinade.

**How to cook the lentils
Rinse lentils thoroughly. Place in a pot with water to cover more than twice the depth of the lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are just tender, 12 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool uncovered.

Jewel Studded Sweet Potatoes

I got two calls this Thanksgiving for this recipe– so I think I will share it. I have been making since I was a little girl. It is easy, beautiful, and as healthy as it gets. It is full of vitamins A, C, B6, iron, calcium, as well as generous amounts of antioxidants. And, since it is a natural sweet, it will help curb cravings for the less healthy, refined sugar treats.

It takes about 10-15 minutes of prep time, and baking time depends on the size of potatoes selected. It is a twice baked recipe, but this is a huge time and oven space saver on T day since the second baking is very short.

1. Wash and scrub desired amount of Jewel or Garnet yams. Larger ones work better for this recipe.

2. Bake them directly on the oven rack at 375 degrees for about an hour and a half or until they are soft all the way through. the longer you bake them, the sweeter they will be. Tip: Put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to make cleanup a snap.

3. Remove them from the oven and let cool. This pre baking can be done a day or two ahead of time and is a huge time saver on T day. Store in the refrigerator.

4. Wash a bag of fresh cranberries discarding any that are soft.

5. Slice the potatoes into 1 1/2 inch thick slices and arrange in a baking dish so that they are touching but not tightly packed. Be sure to leave the skin on.

6. Dot the tops of the slices with the fresh cranberries pushing them gently into the potato so that they are half buried. Use as many or as few as you like– personally I like as many as will fit into the top of each slice.

7. Bake for about 20-30 minutes. The cranberries should burst and the sweet potatoes should be warm all the way through.