Blooming Health

Plant Yourself in a Healthy Lifestyle… And BLOOM!

Tag: health

Once Upon a Time…

by kathyjeanwelsh

… in a kingdom far, far away…

… every family had plenty of nutritious food, and all the children skipped merrily to school each day toting along a healthy lunch, and…

… oh.  Wait.  *sad face

Wouldn’t it be great if that were a true story instead of a fairy tale??!!  Well, if the amazing people at Share Our Strength and Cooking Matters have anything to do with it, we’ll all be skipping merrily, merrily, merrily ‘cuz life will be even better than a dream!

I found out about Cooking Matters while having lunch with my fabulous – and philanthropic – pal, Merlin.  When I told him I was seeking a volunteer opportunity, he recommended it because he knows how much I love to cook and teach people about healthy eating, and that my foot would be the perfect fit for that little glass slipper!  The focus of the program is to teach families how to shop for and prepare healthy, low-cost meals.  They have series of classes with different focuses, each led by a chef instructor and a nutritionist.  It’s amazing!

Friend and I immediately signed up for the two-hour orientation.  The first part explained how the program works, and the last half was a demo of how a class would run.  Mayra, the lovely Program Director, asked us nutrition questions, and Prince Charming Chef John – a supah-stah volunteer! – led three members of the group through a little knife skills lesson.

He showed us how to hold a knife properly, and also how to quickly and easily chop peppers, carrots, celery, and… something purple I can’t remember….

I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this idea, I am suuuuuper excited about it!  To be an official volunteer (I am going to be a classroom assistant), I needed to shadow a class and I knocked that out last week.  It was SO fun and I truly learned a lot, including the recipe for this white bean dip that is quick, simple, inexpensive and delicious.  I loved it so much I made it to take to a dinner party over the weekend!

Spicy White Bean Dip


2 – cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 – 15.5 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/3 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 c. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper


Toss it all in a food processor and blend until smooth-but-not-too-smooth.  The End!

I decided to serve the dip with a bunch of fresh veggies, and used a bell pepper as the serving vessel for the dip…

Cute, right?!  And isn’t it good to know that there’s bean dip at the end of the vegetable rainbow?!

If you’d like to know more about being a volunteer for Cooking Matters, go to this link.  You’ll be so happy you did!

I am so inspired by Cooking Matters that I am planning my own healthy cooking classes starting in late September and the first one is going to be Healthy Lunches for Healthy Kids!  When I have the whole story worked out, I will post the details!  Or, if you prefer, read it them to you before you go to sleep some night…!  In the meantime, my carriage is about to turn into a pumpkin… that I will want to roast or turn into a yummy pie.  Of course.  🙂

Until we meet again…

Cheers, Dears!

Summer Lovin’, Had Me a B… Bowl of Tabbouleh?

by kerryabdow

Summer lovin’, too hot to cook.

Summer eatin’, let’s take a look.

I met a grain, so crazy good…

A whole and healthy, heart-friendly food!

Who wants to slave over a hot stove when it’s a million degrees outside??  No one!  For Husband and me, light and flavorful dinners are the way to go when the temperatures go way up, and when I found this recipe on the Bon Appetit website, I had to try it!  Gluten-free (quinoa instead of bulgur!) super delicious, and no Grease in sight.  I added the garbanzo beans and goat feta because… because I love them!  Trust me… SO fantastic!  AND fast and easy.  Like Sandy.  Wait… wha’???  😉

Quinoa Tabbouleh


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • goat feta cheese


  • Bring quinoa, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover remaining dressing and quinoa separately; chill.
  • Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, garbanzos and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.  Sprinkle goat feta on individual servings.
    Stick a fork in it, you’ll love it!


    Next week, I’ll tell you more, tell you more about my adventures in summer eating.  In the meantime… drink lots and lots of water, eat lots and lots of yummy salads, and stay cooooooooool!
    Cheers, dears!