Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Pat’s Red Beans and Rice

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on September 30, 2010 ][ In Soup ]

Did I ever mention that it’s hard to be healthy?  In our society, eating right and getting enough exercise can be difficult, even for the dedicated.  I consider myself to be dedicated but not fanatical about good health.  And I find it difficult to do the right things every day.  Exercise is pretty easy for me.  I like to dance, swim and ride my horse.  When the weather is this lovely, I enjoy long walks.  I even like challenging myself to hold that yoga pose longer or do more sit ups.  However, I realize that not everyone loves to sweat or be sore the next day.

Eating is my problem.  I love food, all kinds of food so I fight the battle everyday not to overeat.  Just yesterday I made chicken and dumplings, one of my favorite comfort foods.  Chicken and dumplings usually leads to me eating way more than I should but I did manage to restrict myself to a reasonable serving.  Nor did I indulge in a chocolate milkshake though I would have loved one.  So I sympathize with those of you who not only don’t like to exercise but who don’t like to cook and eat too much of all the wrong things.

However, the more research I read, the more I realize that my health is in my hands.  I was just reading about how certain foods can affect the appearance of your skin.  If you want more youthful skin, skip refined sugar.  Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.  And please put down the cigarettes!  Nothing ages your skin like cigarettes and the sun.

While I have not read his entire book, Dr. Nicolas Perricone has a new book, Forever Young, which discusses the importance of diet to your skin.  He is a big proponent of the philosophy that you are what you eat.  He gives specific recommendations of what to eat to lessen the effects of aging.  You might want to check it out.  Of course, following a healthy diet such as the one he suggests will do great things for your insides.

Since we have a chilly weekend ahead, here is my sister’s recipe for Red Beans and Rice, just the thing to warm you up.  Plus, you can freeze the leftovers for another meal.

Pat’s Red Beans and Rice
16 oz. dried kidney beans or 3 cans kidney beans
1 1b. spicy smoked sausage links
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 14 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
pinch of cayenne or Tabasco or to taste
2 cans of chicken broth if using dry beans
Rinse and pick over dry beans.  Place in a large soup pot; add bay leaves, broth and enough water to cover beans.  Simmer 2 to 3 hours or until tender.  If using canned beans, drain beans and place in pot.  Add broth and enough water to cover beans.  Saute celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic in 3 Tbsp. olive oil till lightly browned.  Add to beans along with the remaining ingredients.  Simmer another 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Serve with hot cooked rice.  You can also simmer a ham hock in the beans or add diced ham at the end if desired.

If you are pressed for time, the canned beans work just as well and greatly reduce the cooking time.  Make some cornbread or corn muffins and you have a complete meal.  Have a lovely weekend and be sure to get out and enjoy the wonderful fall weather.

Upadated on September 30, 2010

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