Recipe for Life Biscuits and Fried Apples

October 16, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Okay, we are going southern this week.

I got this recipe from a cookbook called, the Ethnic Vegetarian by Angela Shelf Medearis. The original recipe comes from the southern section of the book. Of course, I made some changes to ensure that it meets the simple, healthy and inexpensive criteria that the Recipe for Life recipes must meet. After all, you’ve gotta have some good food that’s good for you as you battle Alzheimer’s disease.

Biscuits with “fried” apples

In prior weeks we have extoled the virtues of the amazing apple. This week, I want to combine the goodness of the apple with some whole grain goodness of a biscuit that uses wheat flour.

Angel Biscuits

  • 1 cup soft wheat or white *self-rising flour (wheat is healthier)
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese (the soy version has much less fat and actually TASTES good)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/3-cup milk (I use soy)

Note: if you don’t have self rising flour add 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray
  • Place the flour, (baking powder and salt if not using self rising flour), cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Using a fork, blend the ingredients together till the mixture is crumbly. Gradually stir in the milk. 2 tablespoons at a time, until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Gently knead the dough 4-5 times. Lightly pat out the dough into a 1/2-inch thick circle or square. Using a cutter (I use a glass) cut out the biscuit rounds and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. You can also just form biscuits with your hands. You should get about 7-8 large biscuits. You can get 12 if you go smaller. I generally use wheat flour, which is heavier, so I go larger so that they’ll still be big and decadent looking.
  • Bake for 8 minutes, or till lightly browned

“Fried” Apples – This is a favorite southern dish that generally ruins the health value of the apples with all the sugar and fat. This adaptation loses the fat and some of the sugar, but its HIGH on taste. My children (8, 13 and 15) are literally eating it as I type.

  • 6 apples (Recipe calls for Rome. I used McIntosh because that’s what I have on hand) peeled, cored and sliced. Consider doubling this part of the recipe, the apples will last in the fridge.½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup or less brown sugar (I used dark)

Note: I just sprinkled about 1 tsp. or so of pumpkin pie spice over the apples and skipped the measurements and individual spices


  • Place apple juice and lemon juice into skillet and let it start to bubble over medium heat
  • Add sliced apples and cook for 3-4 minutes
  • Add maple syrup and turn to low heat
  • Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle with the brown sugar
  • Cook apples another 4-5 minutes or till tender
  • Mix well, serve over warm biscuits and enjoy!

Recipe for Life – Brown Rice and Vegetable Stir Fry

October 6, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

If you are in the caregiving sandwich. That place, where you have children to care for and are the primary caregiver for an elderly person, then you know stress. Balancing life with children is challenging enough (I have 5) and when you add a person with dementia to the mix, the balancing act becomes a tightrope walk. Made simpler by a few handy appliances (at least that’s what I tell myself and my husband when I buy them).

I recently purchased a rice cooker. NOT a necessary appliance, I thought, but it would be nice to just put the rice in and forget about it and hopefully get perfect rice every time. Well, let me tell you, my rice cooker has quickly become a necessary appliance. However, it doesn’t matter whether you use a rice cooker or just cook your rice on the stove or in the oven, this recipe is fast, simple, inexpensive, healthy and delicious and that’s what the Recipe for Life is all about.

First, a little about the ingredients–

Brown Rice – Did you know that rice in its natural state is brown and not white? White rice is actually brown rice with the bran (part that contains taste AND fiber removed). A serving of brown rice has 3.5 grams of fiber. The same amount of white rice has less than a gram. Because brown rice is a whole grain, “Brown rice offers more than just fiber. It’s rich in the bone-building mineral magnesium, the immune-boosting antioxidant selenium, and manganese, a mineral important for keeping up the body’s natural defenses.”

So, the recipe for life for today is Brown Rice and Vegetable Stir Fry

I’ve heard people complain about cooking brown rice, but before my rice cooker days, I cooked it in a heavy pan 2 parts water to1 part rice and it came out just fine. I generally use regular brown rice, but parboiled cooks up pretty much the same texture as white rice.

Vegetable Stir Fry (the nice thing about this is that you can select the veggies you like OR just pick up a fresh or frozen package of veggies.)

I like to use:

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 head of broccoli (stems included)
  • 2-4 leaves of bok choy OR about 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups of peas or sprouts or kale (pretty much whatever you like)
  • 2 TBS olive oil

In a wok, large frying pan or even a non-stick dutch oven warm olive oil. Add veggies in order of tenderness. Start with carrots, add other veggies and stir-fry to the tenderness you desire.


This is an easy, but delish take on teriyaki sauce

  • ½ cup honey (or sweetener of your choice)
  • ½ cup soy sauce (I use namu shoya)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

This is a very thin sauce (and works well as a marinade too), to thicken add a little cornstarch, mix well and warm in small saucepan.

Brown Rice

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups rice
  • dash of salt

bring water to boil, pour in rice, mix, cover and cook 45 minutes OR toss it all in a rice cooker and wait for it to signal you that it’s done.

Serving suggestion-Spoon veggies over brown rice and pour teriakyi sauce over both veggies and rice.

Recipe For Life – The Absolutely Amazing Apple

September 26, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Apples have long been touted as a wonder food. Remember the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” That may not be far from the truth. I hope as you battle the monster, Alzheimer’s disease, you will take time to enjoy these recipes and get the wonderful health benefits from the amazing apple:

According to Pat Crocker, author of The Smoothies Bible, “Fresh apples help cleanse the system, lower blood cholesterol and aid in digestion.” (p.124) In addition, apples are a great source of vitamin A and contain some vitamin B and C and Riboflavin as well as pectin and boron, two very important phytochemicals.

Furthermore, In one study, women who consumed at least one apple serving per day had a reduced lung cancer risk while a study from Hawaii showed apple intake was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer in both males and females.

In fact, in the Hawaiian study, apples (along with onions and white grapefruit) reduced lung cancer risk by 40-50% in both men and women while no protective associations were seen for red wine, green or black tea. Source,

So, now, let’s get to some recipes for life that are guaranteed sure to be simple, inexpensive and absolutely delicious.

Apple Pie in a Glass (adapted from The Smoothies Bible, Pat Crocker)

This smoothie has all the flavors of apple pie, but you drink it!

  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup silken tofu (try it, you’ll LOVE it!)
  • ¼ lemon peeled and seeded
  • 2 apples peeled and cored
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger (optional)
  • ½ cup applesauce

Combine all ingredients in blender and process till smooth.
Makes 2 servings

Apple Salad With Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 4 stalks celery (leaves included), sliced thinly
  • ½ cup walnuts (I use about ¾ cup)
  • 4 large apples (combo of granny smith and fuji is nice)

Salad Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped finely)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons honey


  • Chop celery and place into bowl of cold water, refrigerate
  • Prepare salad dressing: In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients
  • Chop apples into bite sized pieces and place into medium sized bowl
  • Chop walnuts into bite sized pieces and combine with apples
  • Drain celery on paper towel and mix with celery and apples
  • Pour salad dressing over apple, celery, walnut mixture and enjoy!

Both of these recipes use FRESH, RAW apples. So, the vitamins and nutrients are still in tact. I hope you’ll try these recipes and when you do, please let me know.

A Recipe For Life — Zucchini Grinders

August 14, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Hola! From Chile’

Yes, I am sharing this Recipe for Life all the way from South America, at least I was there when I first wrote it, but technology (or lack thereof), made it impossible for me to post it. The recipe doesn’t have a South American flair, but it DOES have amazing flavor and of course, its’ healthy, inexpensive and quite simple. Why, because that’s the prerequisite for all the recipes that you find here on Thursdays. It’s a recipe for life. Your hectic life as a caregiver.

You may have a kazillion zucchini from your summer garden, if not, be sure you can find them very easily and they are quite inexpensive this time of year. So, enjoy!

Zucchini–The health benefits of zucchini are many. It contains vitamin C and lutein. A great combo for antioxidants and eye health. In addition, zucchini is very low in calories and high in water content. It also contains a decent amount of folate, potassium and vitamin A. (source:

Zucchini Grinders


  1. 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 medium zucchini, cubed
  3. 1 small sweet onion chopped
  4. 2 small cloves garlic chopped
  5. 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  6. salt to taste
  7. 1 Tablespoon dried or fresh basil (or to taste)
  8. 1 cup red sauce (spaghetti or marinara)
  9. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or soy substitute if cheese is an issue for you)
  10. 4 (6 inch) French or Italian sandwich rolls, split


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Lightly saute’ the zucchini, onions and garlic until browned and slightly tender. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and basil
  4. and stir in the marinara sauce.
  5. Cook and stir until sauce is heated.
  6. Spoon a generous amount of the zucchini mixture into each sandwich roll.
  7. Top with a handful of shredded mozzarella.
  8. Close the rolls, and wrap individually in aluminum foil
  9. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until bread is heated through, and cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and ENJOY!

Why I Write a Recipe For Life

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

I suppose it’s a little backwards, but I want to take a moment to explain WHY I take a day each week to give recipes. It might seem a little out of place, given that this is a site dedicated to battling Alzheimer’s disease and not diabetes or weight loss.

However, it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that caregivers are stressed out, run down and in need of help. They are grieving on one hand and trying to balance their many responsibilities on the other. In general, caregivers tend NOT to take care of themselves. They often let their own health needs go unattended as they attempt to care for their loved ones.

People who are stressed tend to operate on the far ends of the eating spectrum. They over eat OR they don’t eat at all. however, if you think of your body like a car it makes little sense. For example, how many of us would prepare for long car ride by NOT putting fuel in the car. One the other hand, if your gas tank holds 15 gallons of gas, you can’t put in 30 gallons.

Our bodies require a certain amount of “fuel” in the form of food. The business of caregiving requires physical and mental energy. Too much food, bad food or too little food are all poor combinations for caregivers.

So, as I provide you with recipes. My sincere hope is that they will be Recipes for LIFE. Recipes that meet the criteria of healthful, inexpensive and simple to prepare and recipes that will nourish your body for the journey that is before you.

Page through the archives and see what interests you. Try the recipes and see if you like them. Here are a few of my favorites:

Blueberry Muffins

Peach Pie

Spinach Salad (with a twist)

Well, I hope you enjoy one of these if you haven’t tried them. They definitely taste great, but they are also simple, inexpensive and GOOD for you!

Recipe for Life-Black Bean and Corn Salad

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

My goal for this weeks Recipe for Life, in addition to the standard goal of providing you with meal ideas that are simple, inexpensive and healthy, is to avoid the heat of the stove as much as possible. I promise you that this salad not only meets the criteria, but is also delicious. The only catch is that you should only make as much as you plan to eat because it’s not that great the next day.

This salad packs a nutritional punch that is unrivaled by the typical tossed salad. In addition, the addition of a grain like brown rice or a protein, such as chicken breasts or the falafel recipe would take this from a salad to a full fledged meal. Trader Joe’s Soy and Flax tortilla chips (I promise they don’t taste like cardboard) would also be a great and healthful addition.

Not sure who gets the credit for this recipe. It has evolved over a period of time.

Recipe for Life –Black Bean and Corn Salad

Ingredients: (Dressing)

  1. 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1 teaspoon salt (omit if you use optional Italian dressing)
  5. 1/4 cup your favorite Italian dressing (optional)

Ingredients: (Salad)

  1. 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  2. 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  3. 1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
  4. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  5. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  6. 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  7. 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  8. 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


  1. Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt (if not using Italian dressing), and Italian dressing in a small jar. Cover tightly, and shake until ingredients are well mixed.
  2. In medium sized bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, red onions and cilantro (if using). Shake dressing, to make sure its mixed well , and pour over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve immediately. Enjoy!

I like to make the dressing a couple hours in advance to allow the flavors to meld together, but it certainly is not necessary.

Black beans are high in protein, fiber, antioxidants and taste!

Try this recipe and let me know how you like it. I believe it’s a great option for you as you battle Alzheimer’s disease. Consider adding it to your menu plan. It’s good food that’s good for YOU!

Recipe for Life–Spinach Salad with a Twist!

June 19, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

It’s Thursday, that means it’s time for a Recipe for LIFE. one that is simple to prepare, inexpensive and healthy.

In honor of summer, I’m giving you a salad recipe. I made it over the weekend and it was a big hit at the Father’s Day Picnic I attended. It meets the criteria of being healthy. The ingredients are fairly inexpensive and its pretty easy. Not quite as easy as tossing everything in a crockpot, but it’s still pretty simple.


  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1 pound spinach, rinsed well and cut/torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sweetener of your choice (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup imitation bacon bits
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges (drained, save juice)


In a small bowl, mix maple syrup and cashews well (be sure all cashews are coated). Place cashews on cookie sheet, cover with foil for easy clean up) and bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, till cashews are glazed and syrup is just about dry. Its okay, if cashews are a sticky. Remove from oven and cool completely

To toast sesame seeds, put into skillet over medium heat and stir frequently to keep from burning. When sesame seeds turn golden brown, they are ready. Remove from heat and set aside

Drain Mandarin oranges, save juice and set aside

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, sweetener, onion, paprika, Lemon juice, olive oil and a couple tablespoons of mandarin orange juice. I like to make the dressing the night before or early in the day to give flavors a chance to meld together.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the glazed cashews and craisins.

Just prior to serving pour dressing over spinach, cashews and craisin mixture. Garnish with imitation bacon bits and ENJOY!

Here’s why Spinach is good for you.

Like other dark greens, spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant that’s been shown, among other things, to reduce the risk of developing cataracts. It fights heart disease and cancer as well. (source-

Recipe For Life

May 29, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Every Thursday I give you a recipe. My self imposed rule is that the recipe must be inexpensive. It must be simple and it must be healthy. I suppose it should go without saying that the recipe must also be delicious.

Summer is coming, albeit v-e-r-y slowly here in Pennsylvania, and fresh fruit and veggies will soon abound. Depending on where you live, peaches, our main ingredient for today, will ripen and be ready to eat between June and August.

Peaches are low in calories and high in vitamins C and A. In addition, peaches can act as a MILD laxative. They are diuretic and tend to aid in detoxification. So, you can eat peaches without worrying about gaining weight. (www.health24.c0m)

This particular recipe has no REFINED sugar, and no ARTIFICIAL sweeteners, so you get wonderful flavors of peaches, apples and a hint of dates. If you make or select a crust that is not made from lard or shortening with trans fats, and throw in a little whole wheat action, this pie can actually qualify as healthy. When I purchase crust, I get it from Whole Foods. They have one that is pretty healthy, but doesn’t taste healthy. Why ruin this wonderful filling with a crust that tastes like cardboard?

Recipe For Life

Peach Pies – Recipe adapted from, The Seventh-day Diet, by Chris Rucker

(This recipe makes 2 – 8 or 9 inch deep dish pies or one 9 x 13 pie)


10 cups thinly sliced peaches, fresh or frozen (don’t use canned)

1 can (12 ounces) frozen apple juice concentrate

1 cup pitted dates (soak in warm water for 10 minutes or till soft)

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 pie crusts (ready made will work fine)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit (177 degrees Celsius)

Place sliced peaches in a large bowl

Place in blender the following:

  1. apple juice concentrate
  2. dates (drain soak water)
  3. cornstarch
  4. coriander
  5. almond extract

Blend until smooth. Add this mixture to sliced peaches and mix thoroughly.

From this point you have some options. If you prefer a double crust pie then place pie crust(s) on bottom of your pie pan(s). If you prefer a single crust, then pour peache mixture directly into pan(s) and place crust on top of peaches. Tuck edges of dough just inside baking dish and press to seal. Cut 3-4 small slits in crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45-60 minutes.

Note: This pie is healthy enough to eat for breakfast (which we often do!). Of course, you can enjoy it as a dessert as well.

Recipe For Life

May 22, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Okay, I admit it. Thursday is one of my favorite days. I really enjoy finding recipes and sharing them with you. Yes, it does add a challenge when the parameters of healthy, inexpensive and simple are added to the mix, but hey, I am always up for a challenge. Anything to possibly make your life easier and more enjoyable as you battle Alzheimer’s disease.

Todays recipe has a bit of a Middle Eastern Flair.

The key ingredient in today’s recipe is garbanzo beans, also called chick peas. Now, when you talk about a nutrient dense bean, the chick pea takes the cake (so to speak). One cup of chick peas has a full 50% of the fiber and 29% of the protein you need for an entire day. In addition, chick peas are high in amino acids and low in calories. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Tip: I use dry beans because they are less expensive AND I can control the amount of salt. Canned beans tend to be on the high side when it comes to sodium. Once or twice a month I declare “bean day.” I soak and cook 3-4 different types of beans and then freeze them in 2-4 cup quantities. Sometimes I season for specific use and sometimes I leave them plain. Either way, they are ready to use when I need them.

Recipe for Life

Falafel (This recipe is an adaptation of 2 recipes. Sean’s Falafel and Cucumber Sauce from and Mo-Mo’s Falafels, p.122 from The Garden of Vegan, by Tanya Bernard and Sarah Kramer)


2 cups chick peas (1 – 15 ounce can will work)

2-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 small-medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

2-4 tablespoons water (start with 2 and add at the end as needed to hold mixture together)

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup bread crumbs (whole wheat bread crumbs will kick up the nutrition value).


In a large bowl OR food processor process onion, parsley and garlic. Add chick peas and process (or mash) till they are thick and pasty (if using a processor, be careful not to over process).

In a small bowl combine water, cumin, coriander salt, lemon juice, olive oil and baking powder. Stir in chickpea mixture. Add bread crumbs slowly. You want mixture to hold together, but not be dry or sticky.

Form 8 balls (leave as balls or flatten a bit to make patties)

These patties can be baked (healthier choice). spray or coat a cookie sheet lightly with oil and bake in 400 degree (farenheit) oven for 15-20 minutes on each side. I like to spray the falafel’s too.


you can lightly fry them, which is less healthy, but probably a little faster. Heat 1/2 inch to an inch of oil in a medium size skillet. Fry till golden brown on each side.

Serve with lettuce, tomato and sauce of your choice (the cucumber sauce is really good) with pita bread or whole wheat wrap.

THIS is a Recipe for Life, it’s inexpensive, healthy and simple.

Hope you enjoy!

A Recipe For Life

May 15, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Well, it’s that time again. Time for A Recipe For Life. My goal, as always, is to provide you with delicious recipes that are healthy, inexpensive and simple. It used to be that the healthy part was the challenge, but today, it’s definitely challenging to find recipes that are healthy, simple, delicious AND inexpensive. Today’s recipe definitely meets the criteria. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

Battling Alzheimer’s disease is difficult enough, so I hope that these recipes help to lighten your load a little.

I found this recipe in a book called The Hallelujah Diet by George Malkmus. However, it is attributed to a cook book called Everyday Wholesome Eating by Kim Wilson.

Recipe For Life



2 Tbsp. Olive oil
3-4 small to medium onions
1 bell pepper (color of your choice), diced
2 cups corn (frozen or canned works)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
5 cans (7 cups) beans, lightly drained: Kidney, cannellini or black beans will work well
2 tsp. cumin
pinch cayenne
1-1/2 tsp. sea salt
28 ounce can tomatoes


Saute’ onions and garlic in olive oil, add seasonings, then tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 20 minutes (I simmer for about 40 minutes or a little longer to allow the flavors to meld together). Stir occasionally.

Serving suggestion:

Delicious with tortilla chips (we use Trader Joe’s flax seed chips. I know, sounds crazy, but they are really good and packed with fiber). Also works great with rice.

Also delicious with cornbread (see recipe below) and a salad

Recipe for Life

Kickin’ Sweet Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
3/4 cup milk (I use soy)
1/4 cup oil (light olive oil, corn or canola oils all work fine)
1/2 cup PURE maple syrup (You can substitute 1/4 cup sugar if you don’t have pure maple syrup available)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit (232 Celcius)

Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish (I use a spray like Pam or equivalent)

Mix all ingredients well and pour into prepared baking dish

Bake at 450 degrees Farenheit for 25-30 minutes

Enjoy with the chili above and a salad!

The beauty of these recipes is that they really are EASY. Using canned beans eliminates the soaking and long cooking time.

In addition beans are packed with fiber and protein. According to the Idaho Bean Commission:

  • Each half-cup serving of dry beans provides six to seven grams of protein, meets at least 10% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein, yet costs about 20 cents per serving.
  • A single half-cup serving of cooked dry beans counts as one, one-ounce serving of lean meat in the USDA Food Pyramid Meat and Beans group, and as a full serving of vegetables in the Vegetables group.
  • The quality and digestibility of beans can be improved by consuming them with cereal grains. Beans are a rich source in lysine, but a poor source of methionine. Cereal grains are a poor source of lysine, but high in methionine and other sulfur amino acids. When beans and grains are served together in dishes like beans and rice, or tortillas and refried beans, they provide a complimentary protein profile.

Here’s a list of the Recipes for Life so far. Try one today!


Blueberry Muffins

Lentils and Rice

Three Potato Crock Pot Soup

Recipe For Life

May 9, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

It’s Thursday and that means its Recipe for Life day. 

Because I know firsthand how difficult it can be for caregivers to eat properly and care for themselves, once a week, I share a healthy recipe or two.  Most recipes have to meet three simple criteria:

The recipe has to be healthy.  Not just basically good for you.  It has to  have something “extra.”  Maybe a boost of B-vitamins to help relieve stress or some extra fiber to keep the colon clean and clear.

The recipe has to be simple.  The last thing most caregivers can afford to do is spend hours in the kitchen.  So, my goal is to give recipes with ingredients that are easily accessible and instructions that are simple to follow.

The recipe has to be inexpensive.  I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in Pennsylvania, food prices are literally rising on a weekly basis. I also recognize that there are costs associated with caregiving as well.  Therefore, my commitment is to use ingredients that are reasonably priced.

Today’s Recipe for Life


Blueberry Muffins to Live For!


“Based on data from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (Boston, MA), blueberries are among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity.  Using a test called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), researchers have shown that a serving of fresh blueberries provides more antioxidant activity than many other fresh fruits and vegetables.  Check out for more information on the wonder fruit.”                   (source,

Whole wheat pastry flour

“Whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood coagulation. Whole grains have also been found to reduce the risks of many types of cancer. They may also help regulate blood glucose in people living with diabetes. Other studies have also shown that people who consume more whole grains consistently weigh less than those who consumed less whole grain products.” (source,



3/4 cups unbleached flour

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla (optional)

2 tsp. lemon extract or zest of 1 lemon (optional, but gives nice zing)

2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder

1/3 cup canola or LIGHT olive oil

1/3 cup milk, maybe a little more per instructions (I use soy)

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup sugar (I use turbinado or demerara)

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup unbleached flour

1/4 cup margarine cubed (I use earth balance as it is non-hydrogenated and has no trans fats)

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200C). Line muffin cups with muffin/cupcake liners.

Crumb Topping (make first and set aside)

Mix together all ingredients (brown sugar, flour, margarine and cinnamon (if using) with a fork.


Combine 3/4 cup unbleached and 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.

Pour oil into 1 cup measuring cup and add enough milk to fill the cup and add sugar.  If using turbinado or demerara mix well and allow to dissolve as the crystals are larger than processed white sugar.

Combine wet and dry ingredients (I mix by hand, so as not to over mix)

Fold in blueberries (I dust blueberries in a small amount of flour, it keeps them from sinking to the bottom and ensures that you get a blueberry in every bite).

Fill muffin cups to the top (should make about 8 muffins) and sprinkle with crumb topping (don’t press down).

Bake 20-25 minutes or

till done (toothpick or knife in center that comes out clean means they are done).

Remove from oven, cool (if you can wait) and ENJOY!  If you are smart, you’ll make a double batch and freeze them.

Made 3 batches of these THIS week. Let me know how you and yours enjoy them.

A Recipe For Life

April 24, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Good health and nutrition gets trickier as people age. Throw in a measure of Alzheimer’s disease and you may have a larger challenge to face.

The recipes in this section, A Recipe for Life, are designed to nourish both those living with Alzheimer’s disease as well as their caregivers.  As food prices continue to rise on a weekly, if not daily, basis and as the need for more care demands more of your available time; my goal today, is to provide you with recipes that are healthy, quick and inexpensive.

Today’s Recipe for Life

Spinach, Basil and Tomato Pasta–Why it’s good for you

This simple, delicious and inexpensive meal is very nutritious.   The whole grain pasta has almost double the fiber and protein and nearly triple the folate of its white counterpart.  According to American Family Physician, “Garlic has long been used medicinally, most recently for its cardiovascular, anti-neoplastic, and antimicrobial properties.” Tomatoes are known be high in antioxidants and vitamins C and A.  Just ask Popeye about Spinach, it has lots of iron, folate and antioxidants. Olive Oil may well be the “miracle food” of this list.   Long touted for its nutritional properties, it’s a monounsaturated fat (good fat), its great for the heart and the colon.

Spinach, Basil and Tomato Pasta Recipe


1 pound whole wheat pasta (fettuccini, linguini and penne work nicely) 

2-3 cloves garlic (chopped fine)

1 medium red onion, cut in half and sliced

1 large fresh tomato, sliced

2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and roughly chapped

4-5 sprigs fresh basil, washed and roughly chopped

1-2 sprigs fresh basil, washed and finely chopped

Approx. 3-4 Tbs. Extra virgin olive oil

Sea Salt to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
  2. Lightly sauté garlic and onion in olive oil about 3-5 minutes, add spinach and 4-5 roughly chopped basil sprigs, till just warmed and wilted, toss in cooked pasta. 
  3. Serve topped with tomato slices and 1-2 sprigs fresh chopped basil

Now, here’s a Recipe for the rest of your life

A Recipe for Life

Start with a life

One that has a hungry heart

Add some hope

It’s a great place to start

Stir in faith

As tiny as a mustard seed

All you must do now, is just believe.

Stir in some love

It flavors all you do

A little patience

Is a good thing to add too 

But back to love

It makes the world go ‘round

Add a hearty appetite

And now you’ve found….

A Recipe for Life!

A Recipe For Life

April 17, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Recipe for Life–  “Recipe” will focus on various aspects of nutrition and health that will be helpful to caregivers, those affected with Alzheimer’s disease and everyone in between.  A well balanced diet, high in complex carbohydrates, with several servings of fruits and vegetables each day is essential to good physical and mental health.

During my 7 years as a caregiver for my mom, who had Alzheimer’s disease, I moved twice, had two horrible pregnancies (but two great sons!), traveled domestically and internationally and worked as a freelance writer.

I was always tired.  It seemed as if I literally woke up, even on the rare occasions that I got enough rest, still feeling tired.  I eventually became ill, as many caregivers do and the road to recovery has taught me many lessons.

The first is that I don’t need to be a martyr.  Martyrs are people who believe in a cause, person, or movement so much they were willing to give their lives.  While it sounds nice, the truth is that my mother needed me rested and healthy so that I could take care of her.  As nobel as it was that I was willing to “give my life” as it were, she needed me awake, alert and ALIVE.  I was of much less use to her (and my sons) when I was worn down, irritable and stressed.

Time is always of the essence.  I found then and still find today that smoothies are a wonderful (and quick) way to get in some fruits and vegetables, get a great pick me up and have an enjoyable drink all at the same time.

If you are exceptionally tired, consider these tips from Pat Crocker in her popular book, The Smoothies Bible.

Eat lots of:

Fresh fruits and vegetables

  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Eat just a little:
  • Fat found in meat and dairy products
  • Fried foods

Remove from your diet:

  • Caffeine and processed sugar
  • Refined (translate white) flours as they depletes the body’s nutrients
  • Processed foods
  • Margarine and salad oils (except olive)
  • Alcohol

Today’s Recipe(s) for life

To make smoothies, you will need a blender.  I use a vitamix, which is a very high powered blender, but the recipes here can be made with a standard, household blender.

Apple Fresh Smoothie


¾ cup apple juice

2 apples peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup seedless grapes

Half a lemon peeled, seeded chopped


Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth

B-Vitamin Smoothie

B vitamins are important for brain function, nerve function, for converting protein, fat and carbs into energy and for healthy hair and skin.


½ cup pineapple juice

¼ cup plain soy milk

1 cup chopped peeled pineapple

¼ cup fresh chopped pitted peeled apricots (okay to use dried)

1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped

1 TBS *wheat germ

2 tsp flax seed

1 tsp cod liver or hemp oil


Place all ingredients into blender (liquid first) and blend till smooth

Note: I find that stocking up on flax seed and wheat germ makes it easy to add them to almost any smoothie.  Both are reasonably priced and keep will in the fridge or freezer.

*Wheat germ is a super food of sorts, it contains potassium, vitamin E, several B vitamins, zinc and magnesium.  You can find the raw version (my personal favorite) at health food stores and the toasted version in your local grocery store.

*Flax comes in seed and oil form.  I generally use the seeds. Sometimes I grind them first in my coffee grinder and sometimes I put them directly into the blender. Flax provides fiber (seed) and essential fatty acids.

Well, there you have it! Your Recipe for LIFE

Please try out the smoothies and let me know what you think.  Bottoms Up!

Introducing A Recipe For Life

April 11, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

If we were to play a word association game and I said, “Alzheimer’s disease” what words would come to your mind?  Well, I am not a mind reader, so I can’t say for sure what you would say, but I am going to guess that, “stress” might be one of the words.

It’s an incontestable fact; Alzheimer’s disease and stress go hand in hand.  Stress for the caregiver and for the one who is physiologically and emotionally battling the monster, Alzheimer’s disease. 

The last couple of days, I have posted about grief from the perspective of the caregiver and the Alzheimer’s patient.  The process of grieving adds another layer of stress to the, already complicated, matter of dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.

Today, I am introducing, “Recipe for Life.” A segment that will be of benefit to Alzheimer’s caregivers and patients alike.  “Recipe” will focus on various aspects of nutrition and health that will be of benefit to those affected with Alzheimer’s disease and caregivers specifically, and everyone else in general.  Good nutrition is essential to good physical and mental health, so it’s important that you keep yourself healthy and strong.

Last week in Caregivers Corner, I talked about water, juice and smoothies, they are an awesome threesome to keep you hydrated, healthy and energized.  Today, I’ll give you a healthy, simple and delicious recipe that you can chew versus drink.

Today’s Recipe for Life:

One Pot Wonder-Lentils and Rice (adapted from What’s Cooking Vegetarian by Jenny Stacy)

Benefits:  Lentils are high in dietary fiber and protein, they cook quickly and combined with a whole grain, such as brown rice they pack an extra punch to make a well rounded, complete protein dish.  There is an excellent article by Rebecca Livermore about the health benefits of lentils, click here to see Rebecca’s article. In summary, they are not only high in fiber and protein, but they also provide iron and folic acid.  They are an excellent food for fighting cholesterol, constipation and coronary heart disease.


1 1/4 cups DRY  lentils (your choice, red, green or brown)

1/3  cup long grain rice (brown is best nutritionally, but white will work fine)

4  Cups of vegetable stock

1  leek cut into chunks (its okay to use a small onion)

3  medium cloves of garlic crushed

1  14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garam masala (Indian Spice, curry will work too)

1 red bell pepper sliced

1 cup small broccoli florets

1 cup can or frozen corn

1 cup French style green beans

1 TBS fresh basil, shredded


  1. Place lentils, rice, vegetable stock in medium-large pot, cover and cook together for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the leek, garlic, tomatoes, cumin and garam masala or curry, red pepper, broccoli and corn.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the fresh basil and enjoy this “Recipe for LIFE!”
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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.