Food/Cooking: Discovering the Versatility of Split Peas, No Really…

If you haven’t discovered split pea soup, you’re missing out on a natural “fast food”. Split peas don’t need to be soaked first, cook quickly, are nutritious, versatile and delicious. The only caveat I have is that it must have soy sauce or tamari on it. If you’re in a hurry, cook up some pea soup and douse it with soy sauce before eating, what a delicious meal. Even without good bread to accompany it, you’ll enjoy it. Adding pre-cooked potato chunks add carbs and there is no end to the fresh garden vegetables you can include, especially carrots, they add sweetness. DO NOT FORGET TO ADD A TOUCH OF CURRY SEASONING WITH TUMERICK, a good spice to eat regularly. And if you have access to acorns, try some acorn split pea soup.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here:–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973


Rhubarb Is One of the Strangest Edible Plants But Healthy For Us

Rhubarb has a most unusual consistency, it’s kind of gooey and stringy but perfumey to the palate and according to my old herbal, is a great tonic. The leaves are poisonous but after removing them the stalks can be cut into one inch pieces and simmered lightly in a few tablespoons of water. Pour the steamed rhubarb into a bowl and add honey to sweeten. This “sauce” can be used as a side dressing for whatever your imagination drums up. Just present the bowl of cold sauce at breakfast and have it with eggs and potatoes or have it as a side dish with dinner alongside brown rice and your favorite protein and salad. Because it’s believed to be an excellent tonic and facilitate the action of intestinal cleaning and to be good for the liver, a bowl of rhubarb sauce at the buffet table is a welcome sight. Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

Poor Jonny's Cover

Minestrone Soup… Also Called Italian Vegetable Soup

When I was young my father always took us to the best Italian restaurants. One of my favorite dishes was hot Minestrone soup. The red beans and saute’d onions cooked in fresh tomatoes along with other vegetables and topped with grated Parmesan cheese … well, makes my mouth water just thinking of it. Here are the ingredients that you need to make a great Italian vegetable soup:

dried beans (my favorite are red beans)

olive oil for sauteing herbs and spices: garlic, onions, green and red pepper, celery, parsley, thyme, freshly ground black pepper and a little salt.

Vegetables like cooked potatoes, zucchini, cabbage and of course those fresh tomatoes I mentioned above.

You’ll need to soak and cook your favorite beans, using lots of water. You’ll saute your herbs and spices separately. Drain the beans after they have been cooked, leaving enough liquid for the vegetables to cook in and to have a soupy consistency, being careful not to dilute the flavor with too much water. Throw a huge spoonful of cooked macaroni in with the beans and veggies (one cup each vegetable) and add the herbs and spices. Simmer long enough to cook the vegetables. I suggest you let it cool then put it in the refrigerator overnight, it will be much tastier the next day. After reheating, don’t forget to add the Parmesan cheese on top unless you’re going Vegan.  Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

eBook through Barnes & Noble: