Guest Post – Christina!

Today’s post comes from one of my newest blog finds – Christina @ Dinner at Christina’s!  Enjoy 🙂

Rustic Cabbage Soup


I love 101 Cookbooks and have surfed my way over to some awesome blogs by following the comment links. That’s how I found Maggie’s blog! 

I answered her plea for guest bloggers and offered a recipe post. She was very flexible, and I chose this recipe because it’s one of my favorites and I feel like it represents the health-conscious and vegan/vegetarian quality of Maggie’s recipes. 

The list of ingredients and instructions are Heidi’s:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
a big pinch of salt
1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups stock
1 1/2 cups white beans, precooked or canned (drained & rinsed well)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons

Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes – it’s o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning – getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc). Serves 4.

I wasn’t sure how much 1/2 of a pound of potatoes were, so I used two large potatoes. I used Knorr’s vegetarian stock, but only 2 cubes which is supposed to equal 4 cups of water and I put in the whole 5. I thought the other flavors might make up for it, and I was right. I just added a little black pepper and the flavor was great. I used canned white beans for the convenience as well.

The one thing I always notice when I’m making one of Heidi’s recipes is the smell they produce. Nothing else I ever cook has such a hearty, wholesome smell. I imagine it’s how a kitchen in the 1800’s might have smelled. Some stronger, rawer odors from chopping the raw potatoes, onions and cabbage. And then this almost earthy, deep smell from the layering of the ingredients as she builds the recipes up. It’s homey and warm, my boyfriend Johnny also always notices when he walks in the door from work.

Heidi’s original recipe called for an extra drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese shavings on top, both of which I omitted, but would be great touches if you preferred.

I was so eager to eat I didn’t grab a picture until the end. This was when I was ladling the leftovers into a storage container, so forgive the lack of presentation!

Guest Post – Mara!

I’m so excited to be doing a guest post for Say Yes to Salad!  I love Maggie’s blog, and jumped at the chance to do a guest post.  I’m Mara, and I write “What’s For Dinner?”, a cooking and recipe blog chronicling what I cook for dinner each night. I had to wrack my brain for something interesting to write about, and since Maggie talks a lot about cooking healthy, eating organic and macrobiotic, I thought I’d try to hit those topics as well as something near and dear to me: comfort food.


I asked around my various foodie communities (and my family) about what they would consider “comfort food.” The resounding answer for most people was grilled cheese (American cheese singles on white bread) and condensed soup (usually tomato, sometimes chicken). Some people said some other things, but most comfort foods involve massive amounts of starch, a small amount of protein, and one common ingredient: it reminds us of a time or place where we were comfortable/safe, usually our childhood. HOW does this have anything to do with the whole organic/macrobiotic/healthy food thing I mentioned above? Don’t worry, I’ll get there.

For me, comfort food is something that takes me back to being a little girl and being drawn down from my bedroom to the kitchen to see what mom was cooking. Its something that will throw me to grandma’s bright yellow kitchen, sitting on her tall stool, waiting for the baked yumminess to come out of the oven. For me, comfort food was not what we would now call “junk.” I was lucky enough to have a very health conscious mom who, every summer took us to the farmer’s market every weekend. She’d take us grocery shopping and explain what dish each ingredient went into, and I knew about “perimeter shopping” long before it was the “cool” thing to do. (I’m getting to the point, I swear). Comfort food though, was usually for special occasions. As I grew older, I started wanting that comfort food whenever I was stressed, so I sought out cheaper and faster alternatives. A grilled chicken fast food sandwich replaced roasted whole chicken. French fries replaced garlic roasted potatoes. But should it?


Nowadays, with all of our health-consciousness, we can very easily return to our comfort food roots but stay true to our current eating values. Grilled cheese and tomato soup? Sure! Go with Pacific Foods Organic creamy tomato soup, local artisan bread, and organic or soy cheese. Macaroni and cheese? Homemade is easy with organic pastas and cheeses, or even easier with things like Amy’s Organic macaroni and cheese mixes. Just because its comfort food, doesn’t mean it has to be bad for us. 


So, my point: sometimes, the most comforting thing about comfort food is the care with which its made and the love that goes into every stir. I can’t have my mom’s roast chicken every day, but I can certainly replicate it, and intend to do so when I have kids of my own. i also have to remember that I’ll be creating my own comfort foods. While for me, it’s roast chicken, for my kids? Who knows! It might be baked tofu! Fast food is just that: fast. Comfort food is slow and full of love, even if its just grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Guest Post – Maeve!

I have known Maeve since high school and I’m so glad she offered to do a guest post for me. Her blog is called Moving Pictures; she explores “the spiritual, inspirational, and moral dilemmas in thought provoking films.” Enjoy!

Stress RELIEF!

First, I would like to thank Maggie for allowing me to guest post!  She is such a disciplined and diligent, yet carefree and upbeat blogger, and I truly admire her work.  As you know she writes an amazing blog centering on healthy eating and yoga.   I think these two topics are so important, and are wonderful ways of managing stress which inspired me to write this post on stress relief.


We all know life is stressful.  When we get stressed we can emotionally eat which can leave us lethargic and even less capable of handling stressful situations.  While eating well and exercising takes planning, it gives back 10 fold because a healthy body can handle stress better.  By reading Maggie’s blog you are well on your way.

However, with the economy the way it is, we could all use some extra stress relief so here are some other ways I deal with stress.  Hopefully they help!

  1. Breathe. Slowly. Deeply. With purpose.

    1-breatheThis is probably the simplest way to deal with stress which is why I am including it first.  It requires no money, no classes, no equipment – just you and your lungs.  You can just take a moment, wherever you are and focus on your breath.  In. Out. In. Out.  Breathing is the foundation of yoga and meditation practices and there are many exercises one can do with breath for stress relief but just being conscious of your breath and slowing it down is a great start.

  2. Savor a cup of tea.

    2-teaI am a big tea drinker, and one thing I love about warm tea is that it’s best enjoyed slowly.  Drinking tea is a great time to pause and reflect, and can have a calming effect.  Herbal teas can also have dietary and medicinal effects.  Ginger, Chamomile, Mint, Lemon, and a myriad of others can be soothing both physically and to the spirit.  Also, keeping hydrated can help alleviate headaches which can be brought up by stress. 

  3. Take a walk.

    3-walkTaking a walk can actually help de-stress on multiple levels.   First there is the fact that you are doing something physical, and exercise has many health benefits (not to mention it gets you breathing!).  Secondly, you can pick a scenic route and connect with nature which can help remind you of the beauty in the world and the big picture.  Thirdly, if you are walking alone you can reflect and meditate, or if you are walking with a friend or pet, companionship can also be a stress reliever. 

  4. Write in a journal/diary/blog.

    4-journalI am an avid journal writer.  I find sometimes I have thoughts or fears that swim in my head, but if I write them down then they are released.  If it is a bigger issue, writing it down makes it tangible, a problem I can solve.  However, sometimes something seems so big in my head but when I write it down I realize how silly/little/unimportant it is.  Either way it gets out of my head.  My journal is a safe, private space, where I can deal with life’s stresses without fear of being judged.  As for blogs, I do that too.  Blogging is more of a social experience.  My blog is on films, which are another great stress reliever for me.

  5. Read a book/Watch a movie/Listen to a story/Go to a play.

    5-movieIt does not matter what form a story takes- whether you listen to a friend tell a tall tale, or watch an adventure, or read a great novel from the library- stories can transport you to a different time or place and help you escape for a little bit.  (Not all of us are as lucky as Maggie to actually get to escape on a cruise!)  Of course we would not want to fall into the trap of escapism, but a little break can be just what we need sometimes.  Stories can also help us connect, and learn, and grow, and deal with stress.  They can help us put life in perspective.

  6. Music… oh sweet music.

    6-musicMusic helps the soul to ascend.  While the lyrics can put music in the category of story, I feel it deserves its own spot.   Music is just so powerful.  It can capture mood in such a potent way, and can transform you.  Sometimes when I am down I like to listen to a sad song, and then a really upbeat and happy one, because I both need to know that others feel the way I do, and want to feel better.

  7. Laugh!

    7-laughLaughter has many health benefits.  It boosts the mood and it gets you breathing (it’s all about the breath!) I am lucky in that I have two siblings who are amateur comics.  They can make me laugh in an instant.  I also love watching standup or a comedy. Laughter is such a release, a letting go. There is a reason why laughter has been hailed as the best medicine!

Those are some of the ways I deal with stress, but probably the way I personally deal with stress best is through the spirit, by connecting to God.  I pray and I meditate and I read the Holy Writings.  Not everyone is religious or spiritual, so I did not put that on the list, but I think everything on the list does help people connect with the spirit, or with humanity, or with the world in general.  When we are stressed we feel powerless and small, but all of these methods can help us connect with the world at large and feel more complete, make us feel inspired.

I hope you enjoyed my post. Thanks for reading!


Guest Post – Juliet!

Hello! First of all, thanks to the fabulous Maggie for letting me do a guest blog this week while she is cruising around having fun far away from computers and the Internet!

A little about me to start —  My name is Juliet and I’m a product manager in the bay area by day, and a food blogger by night (my blog is called Yummy Diet Food). I have a passion for finding and writing about low calorie foods that don’t contain unhealthy ingredients (like hydrogenated oils or artificial sweeteners which can be found in many foods targeted to people trying to lose weight).

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share two recipes that Maggie told me she enjoys. The first one is for an Orange Julius-like smoothie (it is totally delicious!) and the second one is for a low calorie Bananas Foster-like dessert (if you like caramel, you will LOVE this recipe!).

Here is the recipe for my low calorie “Orange Julius” Smoothie


Ingredients (serves two):

  • Two cuties oranges
  • One cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • One medium frozen banana (see my post on frozen bananas for instructions on how to freeze them)
  • One teaspoon of vanilla


  • Peel the oranges, split into a few pieces, and place in your blender
  • Pour a cup of almond breeze into the blender
  • Place both halves of the frozen banana into blender
  • Add teaspoon of vanilla
  • Blend on high, and then split into 2 servings

And, here is a delicious recipe for a low calorie “Bananas Foster”  Dessert


Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 medium size bananas
  • 1 teaspoon of promise light buttery spread
  • 1 teaspoon of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (or maple syrup or agave syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of almond milk (or lowfat milk)
  • 2 tablespoons low calorie whipped topping (to taste)


  • Combine buttery spread, canola oil, honey and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat
  • Stir over medium heat until sauce thickens (approximately 3 minutes)
  • Add almond milk and stir until sauce is smooth
  • Put saucepan aside, but keep warm
  • Cut each banana into halves, and then into quarters lengthwise
  • Coat the banana slices with cooking spray
  • Place bananas in a pan and cook on medium heat until they are browned evenly
  • Remove bananas from pan and separate bananas into two portions
  • Pour caramel sauce evenly over each portion
  • (Optional) Add whipped topping

Lastly, in case you aren’t in a fruity mood — here are a few other things I’ve posted about that Maggie (who we miss!) thought you might be interested in:

Broccoli in Spicy Orange Sauce (very low calorie — makes a great meal or side dish)

Unique and Healthy Superfruits

Foods That Keep Your Hair Healthy

I hope you enjoy the recipes!


Guest Post – Caroline Bee!

Today’s guest post comes from one of my favorite bloggers – Caroline!  I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Hey there SYTS readers!  I’ve been reading and loving Maggie’s blog for a while- and not only for our shared love of food, yoga and cats 😀  More recently, I can relate to Maggie’s quest for pursuing a career that incorporates her passion, rather than just producing a paycheck.

After graduating in May, I returned home to find myself stuck in the horrendous cycle of job hunting, at a very inopportune moment in history! My life has always been non-stop with activities, school, friends and volunteering, that not being busy is so hard.  I try to keep a positive outlook, but I can’t help but feel so discouraged.  I’ve sent out tons of resumes, gone on interviews, job fairs, etc., but it’s just not happening.

A lot of my friends say, “Oh, you’re so lucky!  You don’t have to work you can just lounge around all day!”  But that is not at all what I want to be doing.  I know a lot of people take time off after graduation, but its hard when it’s not intentional time-off.  The job hunt gets old pretty fast, especially because I don’t have much work experience to put on my resume, so I can’t get hired, therefore I can’t gain the work experience that employers want!?  *exasperated sigh here* 

This year, I’ve been pondering my intentions for 2009…which I hope will harmonize with my personal, emotional and mental well-being.  My life, especially at this transitional point, is constantly changing and adapting- so for me personally, I intend to be flexible, responsible and patient with whatever God brings into my life.

I had a great year, graduated from college!, and grew a lot as a mature woman, I have so much for which to be thankful.  This is such a new chapter for me…and for the first time in my life, I really don’t know what I am supposed to do, and no one but me can decide the next step.  For the last 21 years, I studied hard and got good grades so I could go to college, I did well in college so I could get a great job….and who knew it wouldn’t happen?  Life threw me a curve-ball.  I’m completely overwhelmed at the possibilities I have, yet a little excited.

Whatever I do, I know this year will be filled with verbs- I’m going to search, travel, job-hunt, dance, play, read, talk, laugh, work, relax….and PRAY!!  My newly-revised plan is to continue taking science courses at my local community college- which will hopefully lead to a career in Nursing.   I came up with a list of some activities that you can do to maintain your health, happiness, sanity and self during times of uncertainty or just plain stress!…

  • Dance!– turn on the radio, your iPod, and just let loose for a few, you can’t help but laugh!
  • Volunteer at church, a local Big Brother/Sister program, soup kitchen or homeless shelter
  • Get certified in a field of interest: fitness, yoga, pilates, software, technology, engineering
  • Find a new read– no need to spend $$!!  The local library is stocked with tons of best sellers!
  • Play– go to the park, grab a Frisbee, football, neighbor’s dog (?) and be a kid again!
  • Start a blog! (better yet…start one about the industry or field that interests YOU!)
  • Volunteer in your industry of choice- This is a great way to get some experience to put on your resume
  • Start your own company– can’t find anything that fits your bill?  Start it yourself!
  • Talk– to everyone!  Talk about yourself, what you’re doing, what you want to do…you can never have too many connections!

All I can do right now is continue working hard, and doing the little things every day that will help me achieve long-term goals.  I just keep reminding myself that this awkward period is just temporary, and things will fall into place.  I will keep doing the things that benefit my mind and emotional well-being.  I wish you the best of luck!

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed” – Corita Kent