raw fennel bulbs

If you haven’t tried fennel yet, you will be delighted when you do. It is crunchy and slightly sweet. It is delicious and nutritious and so refreshing – which makes it all the more perfect for this time of year. Yes, it is in season from Fall through Spring so feel free to add it to your selection of fresh vegetables this winter. Plus, there are so many ways to prepare it, from salads to soups to side dishes and more.

All parts of fennel – from the bulb to the stalk to the fronds and seeds – are edible. And it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, so it provides antioxidant protection and immune support. The World’s Healthiest Foods Rating rates all the nutrients in fennel as excellent, very good or good.

For example, the Vitamin C found in fennel neutralizes free radicals and is directly antimicrobial. Not only that, but this under-appreciated vegetable is also a very good source of fiber (which helps reduce cholesterol levels) and potassium (which helps lower blood pressure).

So, start enjoying this light and tasty, valuable, virtuous vegetable today!



potatoes, fennel, onion, etc.


  • 4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, skins on
  • ¼ C olive oil + a little more to sauté onions & fennel
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 T garlic, chopped
  • 4 C onions
  • 4 C fennel
  • 2 qts chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegan version)
  • 1 C heavy cream (more or less, according to taste)


  1. Quarter the potatoes (if they’re small, or to good size if larger)
  2. Spread them onto a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over them, sprinkle the garlic, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  3. Make sure to spread them in only one layer, otherwise they will steam, rather than roast.
  4. Bake at 400゜for 30 min.
  5. Meanwhile, in your soup pot, sauté onions & fennel in a few tablespoons of olive oil until translucent, about 10-15 min.
  6. Add roasted potatoes to the pot and stir
  7. Pour in chicken stock, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about an hour.
  8. Stir in cream (don’t use milk, it will curdle) and turn off heat.
  9. Run through a food mill to keep some nice texture (skins will not process through), or through a blender or food processor (will come out more puréed). Keep going, batch by batch, until you’ve completed the whole pot of soup.
roasted potato and fennel soup


To Serve

Garnish with fennel fronds and a drizzle of cream



[I made this soup a couple of days ago and found it a bit bland and more potato-y than fennel-y. As I love fennel, I will change the proportions next time and maybe add some rosemary, or garnish with chives or scallions or something. Also, instead of running it through a processor, food mill or blender, I used the chopping attachment to my immersion blender and did it right in the pot. It worked out great.]



Chicken Soup with Fennel and Farro

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon

Leek, Potato & Fennel Soup with Bacon



It is too early to know what cocktail of nutrients is the best to counter Covid-19. But we do know that several nutrients have shown promising effects for common colds, influenza and other respiratory infections. With that in mind, we’re offering 7 Tips To Build Your Immunity. They will help strengthen you against ALL viruses this winter. We’ve included a list of foods. And there are 6 links to valuable information. So, you will easily learn which foods and supplements to consider incorporating into your diet. Finally, there is a homeopathic remedy. It’s been specially formulated to keep your health and immunity strong through this winter and pandemic.

On a personal note: I’m taking a gazillion supplements  for the duration of this pandemic. Not only that, but  I’m also taking a homeopathic remedy, which I get from my naturopathic doctor. It comes in a small vial, and the dose is 10 tiny pellets, once a week. So if that sounds like a good plan to you, and you’d like to implement it into your health routine, you can order it from Dr. Kenton Anderson. His contact info is included for you at the bottom.


With many restaurants closed for indoor dining, why not take this opportunity to eat healthy foods at home, like:

  • citrus fruits
  • berries
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • red bell peppers
  • sweet potatoes
  • shellfish, beans
  • almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • peanut butter
  • turmeric
  • tea

If you have seniors in your life or in your home, you’ll want to be aware that these foods may be especially important for them because older adults often eat less of these nutrients. And, as we know, their age and health may put them at greater risk of dying from Covid-19.


mushrooms & garlic are two good fortifiers for the immune system


6 Foods to Eat to Help Prevent the Flu



vitamins & supplements have proven successful in building immunity

Common Supplements Might Reduce COVID Severity

COVID-19 and Supplements: What We Know Now

Zinc for the common cold

Vitamin D supplementation to prevent respiratory infections

For the homeopathic remedy, contact Dr. Kent Anderson, ND                                                                                                               847-866-8885



In 2014, the University of California at Irvine did a study called “90+” to discover the factors associated with living longer. Of the top four, two are expected and two are surprising.

• Exercise — 15 min/day makes a difference
• Socialize — the benefit never levels off
• Drink — up to 2 drinks/day reduces risk of death by 10-15%
• Gain weight — moderately overweight people live longer


So, go ahead and enjoy that second helping and top off the meal with an Irish coffee! 😁



Fall Detox Soup Gluten free and vegan


When you are on a cleanse, it’s important to be consuming organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Always be sure to properly clean them, as well. You want to be avoiding any and all unnecessary toxins both in your food and in your environment during your detox. Rather than putting the word “organic” before each ingredient, just know you should be selecting organic whenever possible for this soup.

This particular soup is filled with the best of what is in season right now. If some of these ingredients aren’t available near you, improvise with what you do have. This soup was literally inspired by what looked best at the market.

Aduki beans (aka azuki or adzuki beans) are great for a protein, as they are far easier to digest than most other legumes and they are known to help the liver to detoxify. Just a quarter cup of aduki beans contains 100% of the recommended daily intake of molybdenum, a trace mineral that produces the enzyme sulfite oxidase which is crucial for liver detoxification. Aduki beans are one of the highest in protein and lowest in fat and they are loaded with soluble fiber. The high iron content also makes them a good choice for women’s health. In Japan, aduki bean soups are often consumed after menstruation to replenish red blood cells.

This soup is so comforting, so warming and really makes you feel good! It’s got a hint of flavor from the apple cider vinegar that’s added at the end. You could also opt for lemon or lime juice instead. Feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand and enjoy. Please feel free to tweak this and make it your own.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large leek, cleaned well and cut into half lengthwise then into thin slices
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1-2 pepper(s) of your choice, diced (I went with two Anaheim peppers)
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed clean, peeled and chopped
  • 3 or 4 small rutabagas, peeled and cut into medium dice
  • 1 very small or 1/4 of a medium head of cabbage, core removed and sliced thinly (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (you could also select Kobucha squash or pumpkin)
  • 8-10 cups water
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary and oregano, or whatever you have on hand)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, with seeds and skin, diced
  • 2 cups cooked Aduki beans
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems remove and leaves roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional


If you can, use dried beans, cooked beforehand. Feel free to used canned, but it’s best to avoid canned foods while cleansing whenever possible. Feel free to substitute mung beans, lentils or even pinto beans or kidney beans. Just be sure to soak any beans than need soaking, before cooking them.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, leek, celery, pepper(s) and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in the carrots, rutabagas, cabbage, squash and any fresh herbs you are adding. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Stirring often.

Add the water, tomatoes and beans, take it up to a medium-high bring it to a light boil then drop the temperature down, cover and simmer the soup over a low heat for 30-45 minutes. The longer it simmers, the better and more intense the flavor will be. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add any additional herbs or spices you would like.

Just before serving add the kale and the apple cider vinegar. Stir well and serve.

Adrenal Support Good for stress




 1 lb green beans

1 C celery, chopped

3 zucchinis, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 C tomato juice

2 C spring water

2 Tbsp raw honey

2 tsp paprika

2 C chicken broth

Any other spices to taste (pepper, garlic, etc.)


  1. Combine ingredients and simmer for 1 hr, just until veggies are tender.

– OR –

  1. Combine in a crockpot and let cook until veggies are tender.



Consume daily.



RECIPES for YULE WASSAIL "Be of Good Health!"

Wassail is derived from the Anglo-Saxon wes hál, meaning ‘be whole’, or ‘be of good health’, or Old Norse ves heill, and was a salutation used at Yule, when the wassail bowl was passed around with toasts and singing.  Drinking Wassail meant drinking in good health.  Wassail carols would be sung as people would travel from house to house in the village, bringing good wishes in return for a small gratuity. The Apple Tree Wassail was sung in hopes of a good crop of cider the following year.  And others, such as the Gower Wassail carol, still survive today.  So, here we go a-wassailing . . .

Yule Wassail

3 red apples
3 oz brown sugar
2 pints brown ale, apple cider, or hard cider
1/2 pint dry sherry or dry white wine
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger strips or lemon peel
Core and heat apples with brown sugar and some of the ale or cider in an oven for 30 minutes. Put in large pan and add rest of spices and lemon peel, simmer on stove top of 5 minutes. Add most of the alcohol at the last minute so it heats up but does not evaporate. Burgundy and brandy can be substituted to the ale and sherry. White sugar and halved oranges may also be added to taste.
Makes enough for eight.

Traditional Holiday Wassail – Hot Apple Cider

1/2-gal cider (8 C)
2 C orange juice
1 C lemon juice
5 C pineapple juice
1 tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a simmer.  Strain and serve hot in coffee cups or mugs.
About 20 servings

SAUTÉED TERIYAKI MUSHROOMS Sautéed Teriyaki Mushrooms go with everything!

Sautéed mushrooms are so delicious and flavorful. If you love mushrooms like I do, you can literally pair these Teriyaki Mushrooms with anything or even better, put them on top of everything – steak, burgers, chicken, fish, salads, potatoes, rice, and  so many different dishes.  Like this Marinated Skirt Steak recipe:


  • 3T olive oil
  • 3T butter
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 T red cooking wine
  • 1 T teriyaki sauce, or more to taste
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook and stir mushrooms, garlic, cooking wine, teriyaki sauce, garlic salt, and black pepper in the hot oil and butter until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 8 more minutes.

Nut & Seed “Cereal” With Pears A hearty nut and seed breakfast with yogurt

This hearty nut and seed breakfast with yogurt gives you plenty of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, while the low glycemic load pears give you a serving of fruit, and the cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar.


  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut meal
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (ensure no sugar)
  • 1 pear, sliced


1) Mix the nuts, meals, and seeds with the cinnamon and vanilla.
2) Divide into two bowls. Top with yogurt and pear slices.

Serves 2

Hearty Garden Vegetable Farro Soup Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 35 mins Total Time: 50 mins

Hearty soups are great for Fall and Winter.  They warm you from the inside out, and just make you feel so-o-o good!  This one is high in fiber and uses an ancient grain — farro.  Many people consider it to be interchangeable with spelt, but farro is an ancient grain and will cook in about 30-45 minutes. Spelt has a different texture and takes hours to cook.  Both belong to the wheat family, so if you have sensitivities, you might want to skip this version (although spelt is digestible for some).

Farro is an Italian emmer wheat, and is high in fiber and a good source of iron and protein. It’s also very easy to digest, so your body can absorb all of those great nutrients. All you have to do is cook it directly in the simmering soup liquid until tender.

The proper way to cook Farro

Select pearled farro because it cooks more quickly than whole or semi-pearled. Farro does not swell and absorb all of the water, as rice does. The correct proportion is 1 cup farro to 2.5 cups water. Bring the water to a boil; reduce and simmer about 25 minutes, until the grain is tender but not mushy. Cook it directly in the soup, or drain and cool it and add it to salads. It’s so versatile and it has so many  the health benefits!

Hearty Garden Vegetable Farro Soup

• 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra-virgin
• 3/4 cup celery, 1/8-inch slices
• 1/2 cup yellow onion, 1/4-inch dice
• 1 cup fennel, 1/4-inch dice
• 1 cup carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 cup baby tomatoes , cut in half
• 4 cups vegetable stock, unsalted recommended (32 ounces)
• 4 cups water
• 1 cup pearled farro, rinsed
• 15 ounces cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup peas, frozen, fresh or canned
• 2 tablespoons basil, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped fine
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Throw in the celery, onion, fennel, carrots, garlic, thyme and salt. Cook, stirring a few times until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste.
2. Now it’s time for the sliced baby tomatoes, vegetable broth, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the farro and beans. Reduce the liquid to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until farro grains are tender.
3. Put in the peas. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly among bowls and top with the basil, parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes
1. If you substitute vegetable broth, use 8 cups of broth and omit the water.
2. Chicken stock can be a substitute for vegetable stock. Use unsalted, if you can find it, so you can control how much you add to the soup.



“This is a great old Maine recipe, moist and spicy. The bread actually tastes even better the day after it is baked. Great for holiday gift giving!” — Laurie Bennett

on cooling rackI must admit that I take some liberties with this pumpkin bread recipe from Down East Maine. I like to play around and substitute some of the ingredients. For instance, I’ll use applesauce or orange juice or brown sugar in places. And I’ll add nuts sometimes. Also, I usually have to bake it longer than the directions indicate. It has always come out delicious. Hope you have fun adding your own touches!

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups white sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose  flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

(may add 1 tsp vanilla)
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3, or two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
2.    In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3.    Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

My Favorite Pumpkin Bread From Downeast Maine


I was a little surprised at how many more people clicked on the recipes I included in my last newsletter – and how many took the time to email and let me know how much they liked them – so I decided to do one more. Enjoy!

As a rule, I don’t really enjoy baking. Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at it. I rarely have an urge for bread, cake or pie, but when I do, I’ll buy it rather than bake it. But one day I did have an urge – for pumpkin bread, in particular. I have no idea why I wanted to make it, but I found myself searching recipes on the web, and one of them sounded really good to me. I even ended up reading the comments of people who had tried it and had added this and that.

I chose the measurements and ingredients that appealed to me and went to work. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily it came together. [I am notoriously slow in the kitchen, so this made a big impression]. And it turned out great. This pumpkin bread always turns out great. I’ve given it to many friends and it’s always a hit.

One of the extra added treats of making pumpkin bread in your own kitchen is how good it smells. It fills the whole house and you get the pleasure of that exquisite aroma for hours afterwards. And let’s not forget your taste buds. They get their full measure of delight, as well!


According to Laurie Bennett: “This is a great old Maine recipe, moist and spicy. The bread actually tastes even better the day after it is baked. Great for holiday gift giving!”


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I prefer 1/2 veg oil, 1/2 apple sauce)
  • 2/3 cup water (I like to substitute orange juice for the water)
  • 3 cups white sugar (I use 1C brown sugar, and a little less than 2C white sugar)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • may add 1 tsp vanilla (if you like, but, honestly, it is just as good without it)
  • pecans (they’re optional, but for me, they are what really make this pumpkin bread so good)

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3, or two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
2.    In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3.    Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

This was my first attempt at pumpkin bread, and I love this recipe! The combination and measurements of the spices are perfect. I have used 2 (8×4) pans, instead of the 3 (7×3), and both sizes work. You may need a little extra baking time with the larger pans.

I brought the extra loaf to a neighbor, and they finished it in one day. Yeah. It’s GOOD!



May you find it easy to count your blessings this year, and always.

I want to say a big THANK YOU for being a blessing to me!