Roasted Peach and Quinoa Salad

by Mary Pomerantz

I have been on a cookbook buying frenzy this summer.  After vowing several years ago not to buy any more cookbooks to add to my 100+ collection, I bought seven new books this summer!  Most of them were purchased at Veggie Fest where the prices were unbelievable!  But the recipe that inspired the dish below came from Terry Hope Romero’s new book “Salad Samurai.”  It is a wonderful book filled with mouth watering recipes categorized by season.

This recipe, “Roasted Peach and Quinoa Salad,” was modified to use the leftover chili from the other night.  You can find the recipe here:  It is a very spicy dish and you will need to modify the spices if your palate cannot abide by heat but it is very tasty and I will definitely be making it again!



  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups black bean and roasted corn chili (from previous recipe or 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans and 1 1/2 cups roasted corn)
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped (or parsley if you don’t like cilantro)
  • 1/2 cup chiffonaded basil leaves **
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red sweet onion
  • 3 large firm peaches or nectarines
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (if you did NOT use the pre-made chile)
  • 3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or less if want it less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  • Mixed baby greens
  • 1 avocado, sliced for garnish (optional)


Cook the quinoa with the water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  When it boils, turn heat down to low and cook for 12 minutes.  Check it at the end of 12 minutes.  If all of the water is absorbed, turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit on the burner for another 10 minutes.  Then, fluff with a fork, transfer to a bowl and put in the refrigerator for an hour before preceding with the recipe.

In an hour, heat a cast iron skillet to medium.  The directions called for grilling but I didn’t want to go through the fuss of heating up a grill for such a small task.  Halve the peaches or nectarines (I used organic nectarines).  When skillet is ready, put the nectarines cut side down in the pan.  Watch them carefully so as to not burn.  When they are brown on the cut side, flip them over for a short time.  Remove from pan to cool.  Don’t be tempted to skip this step as roasting the fruit, really brings out the sugars in the fruit.

Put 2 cups of the cooled quinoa in a big bowl.  Add the chili (or the black beans and separately roasted corn), the cilantro, onions, and chiffonaded basil.

Whisk the next six ingredients for the dressing, adding enough salt for your own taste preference remembering that if you use the pre-cooked chili that it has been seasoned already.  Add the dressing to the salad and toss gently.

Take 2 – 6 individual plates (side or meal portions).  Lay a generous amount of baby greens on each plate.  Divide the salad place on the greens.  Put a peach half on each plate (2 if making meal salads).  Top with avocado slices and serve.

** Chiffonading basil is a fancy term for rolling basil leaves and slicing them thinly.  Separate the leaves according to like sizes and stack them.  Roll them as tight as you can and slice thinly across the the small part of the roll.  I rolled two stacks and then cut the smallest leaves up individually.


If you live in the Perth Amboy New Jersey area, you might be interested in a retreat at the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center.  You will have the opportunity to explore the qualities of the soul and tools to live a happier life.  In addition, there is a yoga class for kids, a vegetarian cooking class for the whole family, meditation and a vegetarian luncheon.  All ages are welcome.  The talks are English-Spanish with simultaneous translation.


Saturday August 23rd, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm


Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 15 Market St., Perth Amboy NJ 08861


By train: Perth Amboy train station – North Jersey Coast Line from New York Penn Station and Newark

By bus: Bus 116 of New Jersey Transit – New York, Carteret, Port Reading, and Woodbridge Perth Amboy

To Register:





I recently took a trip to Santa Fe New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.  If you like the desert, and I do, then it is certainly enchanting.  Santa Fe itself has been an art colony since the latter part of the 1800′s when artists, many with tuberculosis, flocked to Santa Fe to recover in the dry climate and to paint the beautiful landscapes and the even more beautiful native peoples.  It was fun to explore the museums and learn a bit about the history of the area.  The highlight of the trip was to visit some pueblo ruins once populated by about 800 people formerly known as Anasazi.  While at the park gift shop, I picked up my kind of souvenir – a cookbook of local cuisine!  Vegetarian Southwest by Lon Walters is a collection of vegetarian recipes from restaurants all over the southwest.  It was a recipe from this book that inspired what I share with you today.





  • 2 pounds black beans
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 poblano chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Water to cover
  • 4 cups frozen corn (I used white organic)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups spicy vegetable broth (vegetable broth simmered with 1-2 dried ancho chilies)
  • 1 ancho chili, removed from broth and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional for garnish)
  • shredded cheddar of pepper jack cheese (optional for garnish)


Soak black beans overnight or quick soak in a pressure cooker (put beans and water to cover in a pressure cooker, bring up to pressure, cook 1 minute, and turn off heat and allow pressure to come to bottom on it’s own).

In large heavy bottomed pot, dry saute on low heat the onion until soft.  Watch carefully.  If it starts to stick, add some of the spicy broth.  When soft, add the tomatoes, garlic and the chilies and cook until tender.

Dry roast the cumin seed in a cast iron skillet.  Add it along with the beans and the other spices to the vegetable pot.  Cover about 2 inches with 2 cups or a little more of the spicy broth.  Cook uncovered over medium heat until the beans are tender, adding more broth if needed.

Dry roast the frozen corn over medium high heat, stirring often until the corn is lightly flecked with brown.  When beans are soft, add the corn, the lime juice, the balsamic vinegar and the salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

This recipe makes a large pot of chili and because there are only three of us in the house, it made enough for leftovers and for me to make a salad that I will share with you tomorrow.  The original recipe seemed like it would be very, very spicy and our house guest has a taste for milder foods so I modified how many chilies I used.  It is very tasty and everyone enjoyed it.  While it is a vegan chili, you could add grated cheese and/or sour cream as condiments.  It is a very thick dish and some of us chose to scoop it with corn chips.  You could also serve it with warm tortillas and a nice green salad or Cole Slaw to complete the meal.

Serves 6-8



VeggieFest Chicago 2014

by Tina Willer

Click Image to find our more about VeggieFest Chicago 2014

WOW! The numbers are in…and Veggie Fest 2014 was the biggest and best yet! A record-breaking 30,000 people attended our two-day festival with record numbers attending the keynotes with Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj as well as the programs in the Learn to Meditate and Learn to Be Vegetarian tents. We also had a record number of people taking our 14-day Vegetarian Challenge and TRIPLED the amount of food that was donated to People’s Resource Center in our food drive thanks to your generosity!

THANK YOU for making Veggie Fest 2014 such an awesome event!


The Science of Spirituality Meditation Center in Bowling Green is offering a special retreat next weekend.  If you live near the D.C./VA area, please  join us for meditation, great food and  fellowship.

Come and enjoy an amazing weekend with Raw Live Chef, Ann Hyland, who will introduce us to delicious holiday vegan and vegetarian recipes and give us guidance on eating out, how to travel raw and eating organic! Learn to make smoothies, unchicken salad, pumpkin ice cream and much more!  Combine all this with time for meditation, introductory meditation classes for new seekers and time to share in spiritual community!

This retreat will be held Nov. 2-3 at the Sawan Kirpal Meditation Center in Bowling Green, VA and all are welcome. For more information, call Katie: (804) 363-9323.  Check out the retreat schedule here:


Curried Greens and Beans

by Mary Pomerantz

greens and beans

I am always looking for tasty recipe that combine beans and greens.  As I had a bag of kale to use up, this one caught my eye.  It combines kale, spinach and azuki beans to make an easy to prepare and delicious dish.  It is curried but not spicy so if you want to add some heat, add some cayenne pepper.

The azuki bean, also known as adzuki or aduki, is an annual vine, Vigna angularis, widely grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas for its small bean. We are most familiar with the variety that is grown in Northeast Asia that have a uniform red color.  This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Phosphorus, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate and Manganese.  Read More

I got this recipe from  The article said that Azuki beans have a higher protein content than other beans and they are easier to digest.


  • 1 1/2 cups azuki beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. fresh kale or Swiss chard, torn into large pieces (I used kale and spinach)
  • 2 heaping teaspoons curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


Wash and pick over beans for any small stones.  Put in a 3 quart pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a fast boil and turn off heat.  Cover and let sit for an hour.

After an hour, drain and rinse the beans and place them back in the cooking pan with 3 cups of water.  Cook until tender, about 40 minutes.  Drain and reserve.

When the beans have cooked, saute the a large fry pan in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, until tender.

Add the curry powder and toast it for a minute.  Add about half of the greens and 1/4 cup of water.  Cover the pan, reduce the heat and let wilt for a couple of minutes.  Add the rest of the greens and another 1/4 cup of water.  Steam the greens, stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 10 minutes.

When the greens are done, add the beans, toss and serve alone or with rice.



Chana Saag

by Mary Pomerantz

Channa Saag2

I love Indian food but it doesn’t love me because of all the fat.  This recipe gives me all of the taste but none of the fat.  One of the reasons why Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines is that I like highly flavored food.  This recipe is spicy without being hot.  It is very nutritious because of the greens (saag) and the chick peas (chana).

According to, greens should be an important part of our diet:

“Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.”

I look for ways to add more greens to my daily menu.  I eat green smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch and dinners that feature these powerhouse vegetables.  Lucky for me, I love the taste and it’s not hard to do!


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fenugreek
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 1/2 cups unflavored soy, almond or rice milk
  • 3 pounds mixed greens (I used kale and spinach), chopped (I used a food processor and pulsed until chopped)
  • 3 cups chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • Salt to taste


Put the onions in a large non-stick skillet.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until brown.  Stir often, adding 1 tablespoon water as necessary to keep onions from sticking.  Add garlic and spices.  Reduce heat and stir often for 4 minutes, adding a few drops of water if necessary.  Add the milk, the chickpeas and the greens and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and serve over brown rice.

Serves 4-6


Veggie Fest 2013

by Mary Pomerantz


Held on the grounds of the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 4S 175 Naperville, Rd., Naperville, IL, 60653, it all happens on August 10 & 11 from 11am to 8pm both Saturday and Sunday. Veggie Fest, now in its eighth year, expects over 30,000 people to come and feast on delicious vegetarian food, attend exciting food demos from some of the top vegetarian chefs in the country, and get leading-edge information from doctors and specialists on vegetarianism, spirituality, nutrition, organic food, and eco-friendly living.


Love a good deal? Coupon books, with hundreds of dollars of savings for local businesses, will be given to everyone at the gate. The Vegetarian Challenge will be back again so attendees can get free recipes, tips, and advice for being a vegetarian for seven days. Last year over 3000 people took the challenge.

With over 500 volunteers from 15 different countries, our vendors along with local health, fire and police departments tell us it’s the best-run festival in Chicago. So come see for yourself!

Whether you stop by for a quick vegetarian meal or come both days and soak up all the great veggie fun including plenty of awesome live music from some of Chicago’s best bands, be sure to mark your calendar - Aug 10-11 for Veggie Fest – one of the largest vegetarian festivals in North America.


You’ll see why the vegetarian way of life is sweeping the globe! This festival is for everyone not just vegetarians! It’s a day of family fun.

  For the full schedule and more information about Veggie Fest on August 10-11 in Naperville, IL visit:



Every second Saturday of the month, Science of Spirituality holds a vegetarian cooking class at our Meditation Center in Naperville, Illinois.  Our next one is this coming Saturday, June 8 at 1:00 pm.  The menu features the above Pina Colada Fruit Salad as well as two other salads that are perfect for warm summer evenings.  Following is a “sneak preview” in the form of a recipe.  To get the other recipes and to taste them all, join us this Saturday.

Pina Colada Fruit Salad


  • 1 fresh pineapple cut in small chunks
  • 3 mangoes, diced in small pieces
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 oranges, peeled, separated into 2 halves and then sliced in thin      slices
  • 1/4 cup shredded dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice


Cut up the fruit and put in bowl.  Sprinkle bananas with lemon juice and add to fruit.  Mix the coconut milk and orange juice.  Add it to the fruit and toss gently.  Sprinkle with coconut.

8 servings

Vegetarian Cooking Class

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 4 S 175 Naperville Road, Naperville IL

Menu: Pina Colada Fruit Salad, Black Bean Quinoa Fiesta Salad and Red & Green Salad with Pecans



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Cheezy Stuffed Poblano Peppers

by Mary Pomerantz


I love cheese and love using it to cook with but for health reasons, my husband has given up dairy and is now a gluten-free vegan.  But thanks to Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and Daiya Pepper Jack shreds this satisfied my desire for creamy, smooth and delicious.  Believe it or not, the cheese sauce is made from cauliflower, but you’d never guess it unless you were told!

Stuffed Pepper Ingredients

  • 4 poblano peppers, washed
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (or a healthy spray from a Misto)
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free vegetable seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 tablespoons Daiya Pepper Jack Shreds or equivalent Pepper Jack Cheese (optional)


Place the peppers in a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft and pliable.  Remove from oven and place in a plastic bag or a pan with a tight fitting lid.

Add the quinoa to the water in a saucepan with a lid and bring to a boil, lowering heat to a simmer for 12-15 minutes.  Check to see if the water is absorbed at the end of 12 minutes.  Once the quinoa is finished, let it sit while you finish the vegetables.

Saute the onion in the oil until lightly browned.  Add the garlic and stir it for a minute before you add the tomatoes and beans.  Simmer for a few minutes and add the spices and the spinach, stirring while the spinach wilts.  Add the quinoa and stir to incorporate the vegetables.  Cook for a few minutes and then turn the heat off.  If it seems a little dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to moisten.  Wait for the mixture to cool while you prepare the peppers.

The peppers should be ready to peel.  The skin should have sweated away from the pepper, making it very easy to slip off.  Once you have pulled the top off and taken the skin off, place the pepper on a cutting board and carefully cut down one side.  Open it up and scrape the insides to remove the as many of the seeds as you can, being careful not to tear the pepper.

Spray or oil a 9″ inch square baking dish or something of an equivalent size.  Take one pepper at a time and place a generous amount of the filling on the inside.  Put 2 tablespoons of the pepper jack shreds on top and fold the top of the pepper over, placing it in the oiled dish.  Repeat with the other peppers.

At this point, you can either refrigerate your dish until a later time or bake it for 30 minutes on 350 degrees.

Cheeze Sauce Ingredients

(This is a recipe from  Thanks, Susan!)

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 heaping cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon tamari sauce or a little salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste


Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the cauliflower, water, onion powder, garlic, paprika, mustard, and turmeric. Cover tightly and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer until the cauliflower is so tender that it easily comes apart when poked with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.

Carefully transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender. Add all remaining ingredients. Cover and blend, starting on low and increasing the speed until you’re at the highest setting. (Be careful–hot foods can “erupt.”) Blend until you have a completely smooth sauce.

Pour the sauce back into the saucepan, add salt to taste if you like, and heat until it begins to bubble, stirring occasionally. Allow it to cook and thicken for at least another 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Serve the sauce over the stuffed peppers and enjoy!

Note: Poblano peppers vary in spiciness.  If you would like a milder version of this, simply substitute green peppers.  This dish serves 2-4 people, depending on how many peppers you want to eat.  There is enough filling and cheese sauce to easily make 6 peppers.  Simply add 4 more tablespoons of the cheeze shreds if you make more peppers.