Gina's Garlic Bean Soup with Wilted Greens

bean soupSo tonight I was craving bean soup.  I didn't have tomato paste on hand for my usual recipe, so I improvised.  I added a little bit of this and a little bit of that and BAM, I couldn't believe that I actually created this delicious dish without the assistance of a cookbook or the internet.  This soup is heart healthy, yummy and easy to make.  I added the nori sheet for an extra boost of minerals, the kale and parsley for it's nourishing and cooling effects, and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for it's rich salty flavor.

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups soaked navy beans, rinsed and drained (soak for six hours or overnight with 1 tbs lemon or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 sheet Nori seaweed
  • 1 tbs Sea Salt
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (or diced for a milder flavor)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat until translucent (about 5 min).  Add drained beans and stir for 10 seconds.  Add water and nori sheet and stir again.  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer or about 1 1/2 hours until beans are very tender.  In the last 15 minutes of cooking add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes longer to blend the flavor.  Serve with shredded cheese on top.  Enjoy!! Variations:  If you want a richer flavor, you can cook the beans with a pork or beef bone. Make sure the bone has some meat on it.  Also you can sauté the onions in butter instead of oil.  Another variation is to sauté the onions with some bacon.  


Delicious No Flour Pancakes

As you already know, I am a BIG fan of pancakes for breakfast.  Here's another concoction I created that is so worth sharing!  I like to blend my ingredients on medium speed in the blender because the ground nuts are oily and clumpy and this helps to smooth and break up the batter. No Flour Pancakes 
  • ½ cup soaked almonds
  • ½ cup ground steel cut oats
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • butter or coconut oil for frying
Blend all ingredients, except butter, in a powerful blender until smooth.  Fry with butter on medium low until lightly browned.


The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

bragg Do you know that in my past, I had days where I experienced pretty bad acid reflux.  I would pop antacid pills like candy until I found a natural remedy to soothe the problem.  It was a 1 ounce shot of pure apple cider vinegar followed by a half a glass of warm water.  YUCK is right, but it worked for days.  That's right, one shot.  Later I found out that excessive sugar in my diet was my culprit, so I slowly crowded out those sweet cravings with healthier sweet snacks like dates, fresh fruits and homemade cookies made with dates, honey or applesauce.  I also added raw juices to my diet which included dark leafy greens like kale and collards.  The secret is masking the taste of the bitter greens so you can enjoy it. Check out additional health benefits of apple cider vinegar here.