Vegetable Nut Pie

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, for the filling . . .


. . . not so much the crust in the original recipe. So, I am still perfecting that. I will either add a link to the perfect crust when I finally find it or my recipe when I perfect a better version.

But the pie, itself, is so delicious that it is worth tinkering with the crust.

I always use a touch more Gruyere than the recipe calls for. Who can resist?

Shopping list (ingredients that may not be on hand)
pecans, peanuts, or cashews (I use cashews)
Gruyere cheese

Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook, edited by Charles Gerras and Rodale’s staff, page 218, in 1989 edition

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Wheat Breakfast

This travels well in a Tupperware/glass container and waits in a refrigerator at work or school until I am ready for breakfast. It is much more filling than yogurt on its own, and I love the combination of textures and flavors.


There are many recipes on the internet combining wheat berries, walnuts, and cranberries as a lunch or dinner side dish, often called some variation of wheat berry salad. There is one from which I originally got my inspiration for what I turned into breakfast, but I cannot locate it now.

wheat berries (1/4 cup pictured above, I usually use a little bit more)
dried cranberries
walnut pieces, broken up
yogurt (I like orange crème flavored, but vanilla or raspberry works well too)

The night before, place the wheat berries in a sauce pan with water, heat to just below a simmer,* and keep at that temperature for about a half hour. I usually just make sure it has at least a half hour, but then forget about it until I am ready to put it away (i.e., just before going to bed), making sure it does not cook dry. Drain in a strainer that has holes smaller than the wheat berries and then transfer to a bowl with plastic wrap covering if eating at home the next morning or to a Tupperware/glass container if taking with you somewhere the next day. Place the wheat berries in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, mix in a full yogurt container and your preferred amount of dried cranberries and walnut pieces.

[*There is a line of thought that not boiling ingredients like wheat berries keeps the enzymes intact and thus is more healthy. I try, but if it boils and then I reduce the heat, I do not get worked up about it.

Also, most recipes try to gauge the amount of water and cooking time so that the water is completely absorbed and you do not have to drain the wheat berries. Not worrying about the amount of water and just draining them is faster and easier for me.]

What are wheat berries? Just regular wheat grain. I actually do not like this term because I find it confusing, but it seems to be the accepted standard descriptive label, so I use it here to be consistent.


I have enough uses for wheat that I buy it in bulk and then store it in a five-gallon bucket. However, to make things convenient and more likely to be done when I am rushed and busy, I store some of it in a Rubbermaid container in the kitchen cupboard.

Shopping list (ingredients that may not be on hand)
dried cranberries

Menu planning tip
See above recipe instructions: The wheat berries are cooked the night before to soften.

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The Meganutrient Shake

I love this for breakfast, when I am not in a rush (I just can’t gulp a shake down), or as a light late dinner.


The recipe says this is one serving, but I love splitting it with someone else who enjoys the wonderful blend of flavors.

The recipe also uses milk, but I substitute almond milk.

Shopping list (ingredients that may not be on hand)
plain nonfat yogurt
dried apricots

Menu planning tips
I make this the day(s) after I make the panforte to use the oranges that I left skinless from the candied peel and the grated rind used in that recipe. (Notice the panforte in the upper right corner of the photo.)

The dried apricots need to reconstitute, usually by soaking the night before.

The Anti-Aging Plan by Roy L. Walford and Lisa Walford, page 175 in the 1994 edition.

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Hazelnut Panforte

This recipe converts “fruitcake” from a Christmas joke to something delectable. You can find the recipe here.

panforte (2)

My notes: I am still trying to find the correct baking time. For me, the stated time of 55 minutes is too long. I would start checking it between 30 and 40 minutes. The recipe says it is done when “bubbling slightly at the edges.” Pay close attention because the edges start to burn first and become overly chewy/tough.

I use this recipe for the candied orange peel.

Shopping list (ingredients may not have on hand already)
hazelnuts (shelled will save time)
pecan halves
pitted Medjool dates
dried tart cherries
dried Mission figs

Menu planning tip
If you do not plan on eating up the oranges used in the candied peel and grated rind, The Meganutrient Shake makes a great light dinner or breakfast the next morning.

Epicurious, although I originally saw this recipe in Bon Appetit.

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