These were a hit when served at our daughter’s wedding! Although they are wonderful anytime of year, it seems I like them best during the holiday season.


Pecans rank very high among all nuts in antioxidant activity and may decrease the risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Pecans have been found to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol faster than diets recommended for lowering cholesterol. Compounds in pecans help remove free radicals from the body giving protection from many diseases, cancers and infections. Some properties in pecans inhibit the DNA binding with certain carcinogens lending further protection against cancers. Pecans are an excellent source of vitamin E which helps retain moisture in the skin contributing to a youthful glow. These nuts are packed with many of the important B-complex group of vitamins which increase energy, may reduce migraine headaches, speed wound healing and relieve symptoms of PMS.

Pecans are a rich source of many minerals including manganese, phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. Minerals provide a variety of functions including proper thyroid function, blood sugar control, increase metabolism, strength to bones and teeth, help the organs in the body function properly, prevent brittle bones, reduce the symptoms of arthritis and many other diseases etc…in fact, Dr. Linus Pauling, Nobel Laureate said, “Every sickness, every disease can be traced to a mineral deficiency”


16 oz. pecan halves
1 T coconut oil*
1/2 cup muscavado sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1 T ground chili powder

Preheat oven to 300°F.  Spread pecans on a large oven tray and roast until nutty and toasted, about 30 minutes.  Heat oil in a large fry pan or wok over medium heat. Add nuts and stir to coat. Sprinkle with sugar and salt stirring to coat. Cook until the sugar begins to melt slightly, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the chili powder and stir to coat. Immediately remove from heat. Stir to cool. Serve at room temperature. Makes 4 cups. ©Janice Moreland

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This is a favorite dish that my family loves.  Enjoy!


Brown rice is the best rice to eat. It is rich in essential nutrients, fatty acids and fiber. The fiber content in brown rice is valuable as it helps regulate blood sugar levels, aids elimination, helps maintain a healthy weight, helps to keep blood pressure in check and cholesterol levels down. With its insoluble fiber it also can help prevent the development of gallstones and protect against cardiovascular disease. Brown rice contains high levels of manganese which supports a healthy nervous system and protects the body from destructive free radicals.

The vegetables in this dish contain powerful antioxidants which contribute to healthy eyes and calcium which contributes to healthy bones. They contain high levels of vitamin K which help the bones retain calcium. Collectively they improve the immune system with their high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc and selenium, which are trace minerals that act as cofactors in immune defensive actions.  They supply significant amounts of folate which is essential for pregnant women. Without folate, the unborn child’s nervous system cells do not divide properly and is linked to several birth defects, especially spina bifida. Despite folate’s wide occurence in green and leafy vegetables, it’s the most common vitamin deficiency in the world.


2 lbs. extra-firm tofu (drained & pressed) cut into ¾ inch cubes
Coconut oil* for stir-frying
6 cups broccoli
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 T coconut oil*
1 large onion, cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 red bell peppers, cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
16 oz. mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup chopped cashews
Sesame oil (for garnish)
5 cups cooked brown rice

Coconut Curry Sauce:
3 cups canned coconut milk (about 1 ½ cans)
3 T muscavado sugar
1 1/2 T reduced sodium tamari, or soy sauce
1 1/2 T rice vinegar
1 1/2 t curry powder
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
3 T organic cornstarch
2 T water

Prepare tofu by frying cubes in about 1/2 inch of coconut oil in a hot skillet. Drain on paper towels, set aside. Steam broccoli and carrots until bright and crisp-tender, plunge in an ice-water bath, drain and set aside. Prepare coconut curry sauce by combining the first 6 of the sauce ingredients, taste and adjust flavors. Combine the cornstarch with the water, set aside.

Heat oil in a very large wok (may need to stir-fry in batches). Add the onions and bell peppers, stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove to a large dish. Add the mushrooms and sugar snap peas to the wok, stir until heated through and the color is bright, then add the blanched vegetables and the onion mixture. Add the tofu, toss all together. Pour in the sauce, add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine while it heats and thickens, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the cashews. Just before serving drizzle a little sesame oil on top and fold through to add a subtle layer of flavor to the coconut curry.  Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve over cooked brown rice. Makes 8 servings. ©Janice Moreland

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I had a special request for rum raisin cookies. Now I’m no connoisseur of liquor, in fact I don’t drink alcoholic beverages at all, however, that doesn’t mean I won’t infuse food with the flavor. I just make sure the alcohol is cooked out of the food. These rum raisin oatmeal cookies are so tasty and delicious! They’re a toothsome, full bodied cookie secretly packed with nutrition!


First, why use rum instead of rum extract? The answer is simple, rum extract contains ingredients that are potentially dangerous such as:  D&C yellow 5, and FD&C red 40 both of these food dyes have been linked to various diseases especially hyperactivity, attention deficit, asthma, migraines, clinical depression, sleep disturbance, thyroid tumors and others. There have been calls to take these artificial dyes off the market but to date they are still in many foods including McCormick’s Imitation Rum Flavoring. If you are opposed to using rum simply replace it with water.

The oats in these cookies are jam packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants and fiber. Oats are unique in that they are one of the few grains that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. In fact, oats have the highest soluble fiber content of any grain. Though both types are important, soluble fiber is especially helpful against heart disease, and can help moderate blood sugars. Some of its proven health benefits include: Lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, keeping blood sure in control, helping relieve constipation and helping you to feel fuller for a longer times which helps with weight control. The rolled oats along with the walnuts, ground flaxseed and the coconut provide a complete protein source in each cookie. These yummy cookies, although moist are low in fat saving daily calories for other nutrient dense foods.

Muscovado sugar is minimally refined, it retains many of the essential dietary vitamins and minerals which are present in the sugarcane plant. While it may be odd to think of sugar as being good for you, Muscovado sugar happens to be high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron, among other useful elements. Although Muscovado sugar is certainly not a health food, it is more beneficial than pure white refined sugar.


3 cups raisins
1 1/2 cup Myers’s Rum – Original Dark (12 oz.)
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
1 t ground cinnamon
1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
2 cups Muscovado sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6 cups rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly oil cookie sheets. Heat the rum in a small saucepan. Boil for 1 minute, add the raisins, remove from heat and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl cream the non-hydrogenated margarine with the muscovado sugar. Add the applesauce, agave nectar,  ground flaxseed and vanilla. Mix well.  Mix the dry ingredients with the wet. Fold in the rum raisin mixture, coconut, walnuts and the rolled oats. Measure out 2 tablespoon rounds of dough and flatten slightly on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a light golden browned. Remove from oven and cool cookies on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Makes 5 dozen cookies.
©Janice Moreland

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Just in time for Christmas breakfast, enjoy this easy and nutritious recipe.


These cinnamon rolls contain whole wheat which several studies indicate that those who consume whole wheat are not as likely to gain weight as those who consume only refined grains. Other benefits from consuming whole wheat are a reduced risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, asthma, colorectal and pancreatic cancers, gum disease and obesity.


1 1/3 cup warmed almond milk
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t fresh lemon juice
2 T ground flaxseed
1 1/2 T instant yeast
4 to 4 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup muscovado sugar*
1 1/2 T cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins

Glaze:  (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 T almond milk

Add the first 7 ingredients to a stand mixer and blend well. Add the whole wheat flour and knead with the dough attachment watching for the dough to pull away from the sides and adding more flour if necessary. Expect this dough to be slightly sticky. Knead 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a 16″x12″ rectangle.  Coat lightly with cooking spray. Combine the filling ingredients and sprinkle onto the dough within 1/2 inch of the edges making sure the raisins are evenly spread. Roll dough tightly starting from a long edge. Pinch seam to seal. Cut the dough into 16 slices using a piece of thread slid under the dough, then crossed over top and pulled from both ends at the same time.  Arrange cut rolls evenly in an  11″x15″ baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise at least 1 hour or until doubled in size. Heat oven to 375°. Uncover rolls and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and cool in pan. If you choose to, combine the glaze ingredients adding the almond milk 1 teaspoon at a time and stirring to form a thick glaze made to the desired consistency. Drizzle or spread evenly over rolls.
©Janice Moreland

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