the two Ls

the two Ls

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cool Black Bean Summer Salad

Cool Black Bean Summer Salad

not especially beautiful to look at but delicious!

This salad made itself in my kitchen yesterday evening & it was good, so I thought I'd share with you. It was inspired by a fresh mango & avocado salsa that I like to make but then other ingredients from my fridge just kept jumping in. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Below is how I made it but I think it's probably a very flexible recipe. It made enough for 2 adults as a main course.

1 mango (I used ataulfo variety)
1/2 avocado
4-5 inches of English cucumber
1/2 red pepper
cooked corn kernels from 1 ear of corn
1 (generous) cup of black beans (Lazy Cook's of course!)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
juice from 1/2 lime
baby spinach / other greens, to serve

Small chop (between chop & dice) the mango, avocado, cucumber & red pepper & place in a bowl. Squeeze juice from 1/4 of the lime & toss. Cut the kernels from corn cob & add to the bowl. Add black beans (Don't rinse them!)*, pressed garlic & the juice from the other 1/4 lime. Toss gently & serve on a bed of greens.

*I used black beans from Lazy Cook's Black Beans (see previous post) so I didn't rinse them. If you use canned beans, you will have to rinse them & probably add a little more seasoning. Try a little salt /Herbamare.

Do you need convincing why you should eat black beans? Check out this link from Medical News Today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cold drinks for Hot days

two simple ingredients

It's been HOT here.... 99 plus humidity! It's a great excuse to try many different, cooling, simple drinks. One of my favorites is simply to add a few frozen strawberries or raspberries to my water bottle. During the day I just add more water and the taste keeps going.
When time allows I charge up the Vitamix and make a watermelon lime cooler. So easy! A cuisinart or blender will work as well.

Just add a few cups (approximate- I never measure) of seedless watermelon with a half of a peeled whole lime (no seeds)  and blend in Vitamix. Pour into a tall glass with ice.

BTW Watermelons are 92% water and have vitamin A, B6, and C, plus lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.  In addition it has anti-inflammatory properties (think blueberries) What more can you want from a little drink?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Lazy Cook's Black Beans

Lazys Cook's Black Beans by Max Falkowitz

burrito with kale, black beans, caramelised onions & sweet potato
This recipe is so easy & so delicious! I found it a couple of years ago at
 After you've tasted these, you'll never buy beans in a can again. Thanks Max!
(I've rewritten the method.)

Yields 6-8 side servings. Total  cooking time 2-3 hours.

2 cups dry black beans
8-10 cloves of garlic
1 medium yellow onion
1 juicing orange
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Get out a big ol', heavy bottomed pot & get ready to make some deliciousness!
Rinse & pick over beans & place them in the pot.
Peel the garlic cloves & put them in the pot.
Peel the onion, cutting it in half, leaving the root on so it stays together. Put it in the pot.
Wash & cut the orange in quarters, squeezing the juice into the pot, then toss in the quarters. Yes, peel & all.
Now cover everything with 3-4 inches of water. Heat on high until water comes a boil. Turn down & simmer, uncovered for 1-2 hours or until beans are tender & creamy. Stir occasionally, adding water if the tops of the beans become exposed. Remove orange & onion. Increase heat & simmer until reduced to a thick, creamy sauce. Season with salt.

half way through cooking time
fully cooked
(This isn't all of them. I forgot to take the photo until after I made 4 burritos.)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dreamy Creamy Oatmeal

I went to bed thinking that I'd make oatmeal for breakfast & I literally dreamed this recipe. This recipe is for one but you can simply multiply for more.

Dreamy Creamy Oatmeal

 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
(or your milk of choice)
3 teaspoons ground flax meal
1 Medjool date
1 tablespoon raw pepitas
5-6 strawberries

Pit & cut date into small pieces. Place oats, milk, 2 teaspoons of the flax meal & date in a saucepan, on medium heat. Cook, stirring often, into a creamy porridge consistency. Turn heat down if needed.
Cut strawberries into bite size pieces.
Place oatmeal in a bowl, sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of flax meal & the pepitas. Top with strawberries & enjoy!

Here's a good link to the benefits of flax.

Sweet Potato Beach Stacks

beach stack, assembled
beautiful Prince Edward Island beach

It's the 2Ls fun week for summer 2016 & we spent our first full day on a beach, all to ourselves! Of course we talked about food preparation & planned our first dinner while soaking up the sun. Here's what we came up with.

Sweet Potato Beach Stacks

Sweet Potato Layer
2 medium sweet potatoes
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

Carmelized Onion Layer
2 onions (any colour)
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon of olive oil
splash of balsamic vinegar

Black Bean Layer
15-19 ounce can of black beans
2 large cloves garlic
seasoning of choice

Roasted Red Pepper Layer
1 red pepper

Heat oven to 450. Wash & place sweet potatoes & red pepper in hot oven. Cook for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are soft & the red peppers are charred.
Peel & chop onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until caramelized, lower heat as needed, stirring often. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar near the end of cooking.
While the onions are cooking, drain & rinse the black beans. Peel & mince the cloves of garlic. Place 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan, adding the garlic & then the black beans. Heat on low, stirring often.
Remove the potatoes & peppers from oven. Peel & mash the sweet potatoes with cinnamon.
Seed & remove skins from peppers & slice into strips.
Now for the assembly. Place half the sweet potatoes on a plate & smooth into a flat disc, place half the onions on top of the sweet potatoes, spoon black beans on top of the onions & top with half the roasted red peppers.

We enjoyed this recipe but talked about making some adjustments the next time we make it. One idea is that we thought it would be good to start with a bed of greens & build on top of that. Baby spinach or baby kale would be good or whatever greens you enjoy. Leah thought the greens should be raw; Loriann prefers hers lightly cooked. We also thought making the beans a little mushier by mashing some of them or adding a little vegetable broth. We didn't want to loose the texture of the whole beans completely though. Another idea was to change the order the order of the stack, mashing the beans instead & starting with them, then roasting the sweet potatoes in discs or chunks & placing on top of the onions. 
Send us your suggestions!

Golden Tumeric Carrot Sauce

Golden Tumeric Carrot Sauce
I like starting my day right with vegetables. I now it sounds weird to some people, but it's a good way to get your body to feel good and crave the right foods, plus it's super yummy. This is a recipe that I  like to have a container in my fridge at all times. It tastes good on any vegetable.

2 medium carrots
1-2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
3 TB almond butter
1/4 cup water (sometimes more)

Put all ingredients in the Vitamix and zap instant delicious sauce for vegetables.
*recipe from Rawsome
Tumeric is wonderful to help the body fight inflammation. Check out this link to Dr. Greger's Nutritional Facts blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Best Kept Secret in Medicine

"Best Kept secret in medicine – in the right conditions, the body can heal itself.


I was fortunate to attend a lecture by Dr, Michael Greger at the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. It was one of those times that I wished I had my whole family and all of my friends with me. The lecture was something everyone would want to hear. To help you, here is a youtube link to Dr. Greger's talk.      
It's the same lecture but in London. Check it's a game-changer.  

The bottom line is most diseases are preventable or repairable. You are what you eat.

The list of diseases you can beat:

1) Diseases of the heart
2) Malignant neoplasm (cancer)
3) COPD -
4) Stroke
5) Accidents
6) Alzheimer’s
7) Diabetes
8) Kidney failure
9) Respiratory
10) Suicide (not as beatable but food changes mood)
11) Systemic blood issues
12) Liver failure
13) High Blood Pressure
14) Parkinson's
15) Pneumonia

Dr Greger's new book titled How Not to Die is a must read.......More next time.
Dr Greger and me

Thursday, July 14, 2016

iced mint matcha latte

Do you want a delicious summer drink that makes you feel good and gives you the energy you need for your day? Try an iced green tea matcha latte. Yum!

Information on the multitude of benefits from green tea matcha:
1. Dr. Greger's-nutritional fact blog
2. Huffington Post article
3. Buying guide- matcha comparision on Kathy's blog- Healthy Happy Life
4. one more comparison guide from Your Health is Wealth

Dr. Greger says, "Never leave home without it (matcha packets.)"

Iced mint matcha latte
handful of almond milk (or milk of your choice) ice cubes
3/4 cup almond milk
1 date
a few drops mint extract (I like organic Mint flavor by Frontier)
1 heaping teaspoon matcha powder (make sure your matcha powder is good quality, organic, and very green)

Whirl everything in the vitamix or blender(set on smoothie. )
small almond ice cubes
one of my favorite almond milks

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

chocolate raspberry mousse

This recipe was given to me from the wonderful people at Dr Neal Barnard's Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. Dr. Barnard has a great vegan clinic in Washington DC. Here's the link. If you live nearby be sure to check it out. Not only do they have a medical practice but there are many classes and workshops you can take. 

makes 4 1/2 cup servings

1 pound soft silken tofu
2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup maple syrup (to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup or so of vegan chocolate chips (We like Enjoy Life)

Place all ingredients in the vitamix or blender and process till very smooth. Spoon into bowls and chill before serving. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top before serving.