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Farmer’s Market Tomato Soup

17 May

I can’t wait for Farmer’s Market season to make a fresh vegetable soup, that’s good hot or cold.

I bought some bright red, ripe tomatoes (sold on the vine) at the grocery store as well as some corn on the cob to inspire this full flavor soup.  Not  vegetarian because of the chicken broth, but the homemade broth turns ordinary vegetables into a gourmet event.  I try to balance the tartness of the tomatoes with sweet vegetables like corn, sweet peppers and carrots – and a fresh apricot if I can find one.

Farmer’s Market Tomato Soup






A Vegetarian’s Lament

24 Mar

These days I rarely enjoy a restaurant meal.  The fault seems to be mine because I want a meatless meal that’s both appealing and healthy.  When I try the safe route of a main course salad, I invariably get some concoction covered with cheese and bacon.  What’s wrong with the cheese?  My doctor says that animal fat foods clog the arteries and should be eaten very sparingly (I’m a senior citizen so I have to take heed of this advice).  You already know what’s wrong with the bacon so I won’t say more.

green salad

This broccoli salad looks good (minus the bacon and cheese, according to the recipe)

I’ve tried ordering soup and bread.  Sounds like a good choice, but the soups range from too salty or too much cream and much bacon!  And don’t expect to get any whole grain bread, even if you luck out and get some nice artisan rolls.  Here are some healthier options for restaurant soups.


If you’re wondering why I don’t try Chinese or Japanese food – I have done so.  Chinese restaurants serve food laden with oil and salt, in case you haven’t seen the analysis of typical meals.  Likewise, many popular Japanese dishes are fried and overly salty.   I’m very fond of seaweed salad but even that is loaded with salt and sugar.  So I will order a (Chinese) veggie entree, to be served steamed with the sauce on the side.  Some restaurants will do this, and even give me brown rice.  In a few others, the chef gets very angry and refuses to do anything but a stir-fry.


When my dinner companions insist on an Italian restaurant, I get very depressed.  Most popular Italian entrees are gloppy-cheesy-pasta concoctions – so I recently tried to order side dishes of vegetables but memorably had to send back a dish of spinach floating in olive oil.

Fortunately, I do eat fish.  Some favorites are shrimp and salmon.


Indonesian Salad Meals

22 Feb

Here are two menus for Indonesian style meals.

The first is a Gado Gado, featuring a spicy peanut sauce to serve with hard boiled eggs, roasted veggies, salad greens and coleslaw.



The second menu is more elaborate.  It starts with a spicy peanut sauce but adds deviled eggs and  shrimp burgers for the protein.  The veggies  include salads of carrot/beet slaw and corn with pineapple, plus an assortment of roasted vegetables.



Either way, these are yummy and healthy meals.

Corn and Pineapple Salad

8 Feb

cornpineapple saladCorn and Pineapple Salad

This recipe is as close as I can get to a salad I enjoyed years ago in Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia.  The secret ingredient is the crystalized ginger, so don’t omit it.

Healthy Fudge Brownies

7 Feb

Healthy Fudge Brownies




This recipe is low on fat and sugar, but has a deep chocolate flavor and satisfying texture.

Adapted from Jillian Michael’s recipe.

Favorite Shrimp Burgers

29 Sep

Inspired by this new cookbook, Fish Cakes  I have researched recipes for shrimp burgers and adapted my own easy version.


Shrimp Burgers





Pineapple Cake

8 Sep

This is a recipe I’ve had in my collection since the 1990’s!  I gave the recipe a make-over after discovering that it was unpleasantly rich.  This is my revised version:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

For the topping, I reduced the butter to 2 tbs. and the brown sugar to 1/3 cup.  I used about 1 cup of pineapple tidbits.

For the batter, I reduced the white sugar to  2/3 cup.



assembling ingredients


ready for baking


finished cake


served with ice cream