Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

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Peanut & Sesame Noodles and Asian Cucumber Salad


I have been making this tasty vegan meal for years.  It’s the perfect combination of sweet, salty and tangy and easy enough, especially with some prep, for Wednesday after yoga, when I’m tired and starving!  It’s also good cold, nice for hot days and picnics. Continue reading



A trio of breakfast options

Breakfast Items
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day…

I love breakfast. I’m also the type of person who needs to eat breakfast (and drink coffee) or I spend the rest of the day in a foul mood.  Weekday breakfast usually means toast, hard-boiled eggs or granola and yogurt.  On the weekend, it’s usually scrambled eggs, waffles or pancakes. Continue reading


Vindaloo Vegetables

Vindaloo Vegetables

Remember that half-head of cauliflower I had left over from the Baked Potato Soup?  Well, I knew I needed to use it by Wednesday so I had to find a recipe that both used a bit of cauliflower and was slow-cooker friendly.  I went right to Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker and found a perfect match – Vindaloo Vegetables. Continue reading


African Pineapple Peanut Stew

African Pineapple Peanut Stew

I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this recipe, but I can vouch for its deliciousness!  I hadn’t realized how long I have been making this recipe until I overheard Gist telling her Auntie about it on the phone last night – apparently I started making it way back when we were living in San Francisco.  It comes from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home – I love Moosewood cookbooks! Continue reading


Lemon-Lavender Sorbet


I love sorbet, especially lemon sorbet.  There’s something so bright and refreshing about it – it’s the perfect combination of tart, sweet and cold.  It’s also super-easy to prepare if you have an ice cream maker*. Continue reading


Black Beans with Beets & Orange Juice

Black Beans and Beets with Orange Juice

This is one of the prettiest things I have ever made.  A few years ago I was in Texas sharing a meal with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew; as they ordered they talked a lot about “eating the rainbow.”  My nephew, however, didn’t want to eat nice, colorful veggies – he wanted white bread.  His response when asked about where white bread fit into the rainbow?  “White is a mixture of all the colors so eating the bread is eating the rainbow.”  That child is a Gries through and through.  Continue reading

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Tuscan Beans with Sage

Tuscan White Beans with Sage

This is a tasty, healthy and cheap supper that is easily made with on-hand ingredients.  It packs a flavor punch that is greater than the sum of its parts and it’s incredibly vegan-friendly.  It’s also super-quick – 20 minutes from start to finish. Continue reading

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Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onion, Rice, and Spinach

Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onion, Rice, and Spinach

After the cupcake bonanza of the past few days, both Gist and I needed something a bit more healthy to eat yesterday – lentils to the rescue!  I also needed something that was either quick and easy or able to be prepared in the afternoon and served in the evening because Wednesday night is yoga night.  This recipe for Lentil Soup that I found in this past Sunday’s Boston Globe fit the bill perfectly. Continue reading


Wacky Cupcakes

Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake, also known as Crazy Cake, was either developed during the Depression or during World War II.  It was developed by home cooks who either couldn’t afford eggs and butter during the Depression, or couldn’t get eggs and butter during WWII because of rationing.  Either way, it’s a frugal cake.  It’s also mighty delicious and one of my favorites.  These particular cupcakes were made for two purposes, as my contribution to dinner at Amanda’s and as a way to use up the leftover cream cheese frosting from Saturday’s Cullen Cakes.  Waste not, want not. Continue reading

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Happy Spring!

Some tulips at the Bulb Show. I adore tulips!

Do you want to know the hardest part of keeping track of what I eat for $60 a week?  Taking pictures.  Today I have one, not so great photo of my supper because by the time I had prepared it I was so starving that I didn’t want to take the time to compose and take a good shot.  It’s something to work on for the future… Continue reading