Life, Art and Food

A day that includes healthy real food and art is one I want to take part in. Yesterday was that kind of a day. I offered two classes in cooking for health, the first at Wild Oats focusing on cooking for women’s health. I enjoyed the women who attended and working with Robin, the marketing manager at Wild Oats again. The second class focused on healthy holiday cooking and took place in a borrowed kitchen (as my kitchen is under construction) at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Pittsfield MA.

Again I was struck by how much I enjoyed the classes and cooking with others. I am also very grateful to have these opportunities to share information and recipes that really improve our health and are delicious too!

Imagesteamed root vegetables with broccoli

Out of the second class a very synchronistic conversation occurred which landed me and a participant from my cooking class at MASS MOCA, to view the 9:30 lighting of Xu Bing’s “Phoenix” This wonderful exhibit is leaving MOCA today to travel to New York and I find I’m grieving this loss. I fell in love with these magical creatures, the enormity, beauty and fearless presentation will stay with me forever. I am glad the moment presented itself for me to see them lit and to say farewell. I encourage anyone who has the chance to view Xu Bing’s Phoenix to do it.

Today is a day to regroup, to plan for upcoming classes as well as spend time studying and researching integrative nutrition. There is something powerful about the fact that the food we eat can and in fact does impact our health directly. We all have the power to take control of our health and change it no matter our condition. It takes courage to do so when faced with serious illness but what better time to take the leap…what have we got to lose? Like the phoenix, we can rise out of the ashes and be strong again. I want to share a nice recipe from Dr. Weil with root vegetables that can help strengthen us as we enter winter, the season of darkness and cold.

Roasted Root Vegetables

2 lbs root vegetables (yams, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, sweet potato, beet), cut into 1-inch pieces.

1 medium onion cut into 1/3 wedges

1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 head garlic separated into cloves

Chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme

1) Heat oven to 400, place root vegetables and onion on roasting pan and toss with the olive oil until coated evenly.

2) Roast mixture for 45-50 minutes stirring every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes add garlic cloves and continue to roast.

3) Before serving add chopped herbs or for additional flavor add herbs for last 15 minutes of roasting.

Food as medicine

“All root vegetables contain healthful fiber and slow digesting carbohydrates, but beets have some special properties. Unlike most other red vegetables, which have anthocyanins to thank for their distinctive color (think red cabbage), beets derive their hue from pigments called betalains, which range in color from red-violet to yellow.  Betalains, in addition to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, trigger a family of enzymes that bind toxic substances in cells, neutralizing and allowing them to be excreted from the body. Garlic’s health benefits, many of which come from its sulfur compounds, are widely documented. Some of these sulfur-containing molecules, polysulfides, are converted by red blood cells into hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which dilates the blood vessels, helping to regulate blood pressure.

Thanks to Dr. Weil –

bonsaiBe Well!

Joyful Life

We came to the Earth as absolutely loving beings.

That is our basic nature. And all we want is to have a joyful life together…..

A peaceful, harmonious, laughter filled, song-filled kind of life together.

Brooke Medicine Eagle


This photo was taken at South River Miso in Conway, MA

I awoke this morning feeling grateful for the sunshine and for my lovely life. It made me smile to think about what this life has given me and to reflect on what I hope I have given back. Of late, the opportunity I am enjoying of teaching others how to cook and eat in a more healthful way.

Yesterday I got to cook with a group of young girls who were curious and willing to try new foods. They reminded me to have fun and explore, and how much I enjoy doing that with my own children even now that they are adults. I was also reminded how much fun it is to come together with new people and see what we can learn.

We prepared several dishes and then shared a meal together with their adults. One commented on how cool it was to have a class where you get to eat together afterward. I smiled. And so I will share one of the recipes we made with you in the hope it brings a smile to your face as well.

Green Rolls

 4 cups water

Collard greens large leaves or other green of choice

Cucumber cut into match sticks

Carrot, parsnip or other root vegetable, blanched and cut into matchsticks


Sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds

Mustard or hummus

Brown rice (optional)


 Heat water in large open skillet to boil.

Lightly blanch collard or chosen greens, remove and place on cookie sheet to cool.

Lay our blanched greens onto sushi mat making sure to cover mat completely.

Layer the cucumber or root vegetable, sauerkraut and pumpkin seeds on the greens. Spread some mustard on the filling.

Carefully roll up the green in the sushi mats squeezing out extra water. Remove from mat and cut into 5-6 sushi style rolls.


These are actually wrapped in nori which is another great way to introduce healthy greens and vegetables into a non vegetable lovers life…and we all need some vegetable to stay healthy 🙂

Next week I will be teaching a Cooking for Women’s Health class at Wild Oats Cooperative Market in Williamstown, MA as well as a Healthy Holiday Cooking class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield. Consider coming to join our fun!

Be well

Vegan Chili @ The Pittsfield Farmer’s Market 2013


Okay so this isn’t the farmer’s market I’m talking about but this is my favorite walk ever and each time I travel to California to visit my family we go to Monterey Bay and take this walk to Pacific Grove. This is the most beautiful ocean walk I think! The Farmer’s Market I’m talking about is the Downtown Pittsfield Farmer’s Market,


I had so much fun this summer being part of this new venue. It is the finest group of people running the market and the people participating in it are equally delightful. I did my last market of the season and just want to shout out to all of you a grand thanks. The market will continue until the end of October on Saturdays from 9-1 across the street from the Pittsfield Common. I look forward to seeing you all again next year.

This is one of the recipes I demonstrated at the market. My focus this weekend was cooking for women’s health. This dish offers good quality soy in the form of Hosta Hill tempeh, and kidney beans. Both are considered foods that promote women’s health. To learn more consider attending my cooking class at Wild Oats Food Cooperative @ in Williamstown, MA on 10/26 from 12:30 to 2:00pm. We’ll make a few delicious dishes that contain health benefits for women.

Vegan Tempeh Chili

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled by hand

2 tsp soy sauce 1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

1 cup kidney beans rinsed, soaked and cooked with 2” kombu

1 8 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 cup fresh/frozen corn (optional)

fresh cilantro to garnish (optional)

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil, sauté tempeh until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes, add soy sauce, and sauté another minute or two, until soy sauce is sticky and dissolved. Set aside.

In a large soup or stock pot, sauté the onions, garlic and bell peppers in the remaining olive oil until just barely soft. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients. Allow to simmer for at least twenty minutes and up to forty minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding a bit more liquid as needed.

Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh minced cilantro.

My kitchen at home no longer exists as the demolition was completed today. I will share my remodel progress with you as the construction now begins!

Be well and remember to smile and sing a happy song every day…it’s good for the heart!

Kitchen Remodel 101

I spent a good part of this day emptying my kitchen so that the deconstruction can begin with the construction to follow. This is what things looked like this morning…fortunately this scene has improved!



AND…Yesterday some of my dearest friends came to help construct my IKEA cabinets. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have these people in my life. That they would take time from their busy lives to come to my home and build cabinets is such a gift.


My dogs are wondering why the refrigerator is parked in the living room along with several large cabinets built by the above good friends….my brain and whole body are screaming for a hot bath so I will close this post and oblige…be well fellow foodies life is good when we are able to enjoy good food, good company and the comfort of our home regardless of the mess!

Brightest Blessings


A Buddhist bles…

A Buddhist blessing for food

This food is the gift of the whole universe,
Each morsel is a sacrifice of life,
May I be worthy to receive it.
May the energy in this food,
Give me the strength,
To transform my unwholesome qualities
into wholesome ones.
I am grateful for this food,
May I realize the Path of Awakening,
For the sake of all beings.

Namo Amida Buddha.

A Buddhist blessing for food