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newsletter, spring 2007

Hello Friends and Family,

Welcome to spring! We're now seeing signs of it all around the mountains of western North Carolina. It’s a great time to find a favorite garden or nature walk and drink in the scents and dazzling variety of buds and flowers. Native plants often bloom earlier than the domesticated perennials and are such a treat to find at the side of the path, bursting out of their fallen leaf blankets. Spring is a signal of energy rising and the time to increase our activity levels.

In January, Lenore’s classes were featured in an Asheville-Citizen Times small business profile. Another description of classes and more great photos, by Renato Rotolo, are in the premiere, March/April issue of WNC Magazine. You can read them in the Articles section of our website.

Our outside work this spring includes early planting of vegetables, doubling our vegetable gardening area and adding a rainwater cistern for crop watering using a solar electric pumping system. Can’t wait to taste the early crops! Have kids? There's no better way to get children to eat their vegetables than to garden with them.

Spring Class Schedule

There will be no classes during the summer months, so sign up now for one of the following classes which include tasty, hearty, but cooling recipes for picnics and those hot days ahead. Classes resume in September. Thanks to Renato for this photo.

Lenore at one of her cooking classes

  • April 14, 21, 28 and May 5: Vegetarian Cooking Class Series
    Learn the fundamental principles of eating for optimal health. These four classes include step-by-step instruction, cutting techniques, countless cook’s tips, easy-to-follow recipes and guidelines for dining out. We will prepare low-fat, satisfying meals that include soups, grains, vegetables, “gas-free” beans, pickles and desserts.

Class I: Sweet Miso Soup, Brown Rice with Nutty Gomashio Sesame Seasoning, Vegetable Medley with Tofu Dressing and Tangy Turnip Pickles

Class II: Sweet Aduki Bean Stew, Millet & Quinoa with Toasted Sunflower Seeds, Japanese Arame with Sweet Corn, Collard Greens with Umeboshi Vinegar, Tangy Turnip Pickles and Blueberry Couscous Cake

Class III: Red Lentil & Corn Soup, Pressure-Cooked Rice with Chickpeas, Steamed Kale with Savory Sesame Dressing, Sweet Vegetable Stew with Gravy, Cool Carrot Pickles and Gelled Pear Dessert

Class IV: Shiitake Mushroom Soup with Rice Noodles, Vegetable Fried Rice, Luncheon Rice Balls, Vegetarian Sushi Rolls, Japanese Ginger Pickles and Dining-Out Ideas

  • June 2: Hearty Summer Salads
    Wild White Bean Salad, Dilled Barley Salad, Golden Millet Salad, Confetti Rice Salad and Tofu-Cooled Cucumbers
  • June 16th: Savory Veggies
    Thai Broccoli, Summer Squash Sauté, Savory Sesame Green Beans, Sautéed Chinese Greens and Jan’s Braised Cabbage, Brown Rice and Pickle

What people are saying about classes:

“I have a new outlook and perspective on cooking vegetarian. I didn’t think it could be flavorful or fun but now I know differently.” – Terri H.

“This class opened a new world for me of cooking...”–Susan W.

For specific class times, fees, and registration information, visit our Cooking Classes section.

For a Better World

Soon, farmers’ markets will begin providing fresh, local and organic produce. What an excellent way to enliven our cooking, get in harmony with the season and boost our energy! The lower Appalachian region farmers market days and times can be found at www.buyappalachian.org/tailgate.php.

When you can’t get organic produce, you can still reduce pesticides in the world and your bodies. Analysts at the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) have ranked pesticide levels in common produce. The ranking is based on the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2004. You can see the fresh fruits and vegetables that have been tested at www.foodnews.org/ which can help you make wise choices.

Seasonal Cooking Ideas

With the sun-filled and rising energy of spring, comes a change in cooking style. This time of year calls for lighter cooking which means less oil and salt, shorter cooking times, less pressure-cooking and less baking. Emphasize lightly steamed greens, fresh salads, quicker-cooking grains like quinoa and millet, as well as cooling bean and grain salads. Also include the sour taste, using naturally-fermented sauerkraut and other natural pickles, umeboshi and brown rice vinegar, lemon and lime. The sour taste supports the liver, particularly this time of year. Finally, when possible, add wild spring greens like dandelion to boost the immune system and nourish your red blood cells. To eat what’s truly in season in your area buy locally grown vegetables and fruits from the tailgate/farmers’ markets!

Cook’s Tip

On a recent radio show Lynne Rossetto Kasper of The Splendid Table mentioned a reliable company in Connecticut where you can send your kitchen knives for sharpening. They send you a specially designed box that you place your knives in, seal it up, and drop it off at FedEx. Shipping is prepaid and FedEx tracking is provided.

The Holley Manufacturing Company
346 Main Street
Lakeville, CT 06939
Phone: 860-435-0808


Book Recommendations

For those of you who expand the time you spend with quality literature by listening to Audiobooks while traveling or walking, Joe suggests subscribing to the Garrison Keillor podcast “The Writer’s Almanac”. This is the daily, short, 5 minute, broadcast also heard on public radio. He provides depth on authors’ lives and their works and reminds us of perhaps forgotten great reads. Visit writersalmanac.publicradio.org for more information. Also, NPR compiles its stories about books in a weekly podcast which often includes interviews with the authors of new books. You can subscribe through www.npr.org or www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=4819383

Meanwhile, for engaging encounters with recent historical legends with inspiration about the steadiness required in fights for social justice, try:

An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi – “encountering so directly on the printed page such a fundamentally great soul can be close to overpowering.”

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - Memorable and uplifting, this autobiography “discloses a strong and generous spirit that refused to be broken under the most virulent and entrenched racism and oppression faced by human beings.” A must-read for anyone who cherishes freedom and the dignity of all human beings.

Product Recommendations

If you’re taking a shower or bath with city water, it will be chlorinated and can cause itchy skin and dry, hard-to manage hair, can aggravate asthma and cause burning eyes. We use, recommend and make available superior KDF shower filters @$29 and bath filter @$59. They provide about 850 chlorine-free showers for two people for two years!


“The care of the human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”   -- Thomas Jefferson


May Peace Prevail On Earth,

Lenore and Joe Baum

Lenore and Joe Baum

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