Specific about Pacific

Only organic soy USDA gives poor mothers is possible GMO - Pacific

Only organic soy USDA gives poor mothers is possible GMO – Pacific

Conspiracy theorists are so annoying.  I am usually the one gently telling them to look up facts, and cut down the rhetoric.  But this ticks me off and I see discrepancies all over the place, so I am annoying. A new experience for me.

In creating an animated DVD about fruit for young kids,  I wanted to check on fruit listed on the Women, Infant and Children allowed food list.  WIC is a US government program for poor families with kids between 0-6.  I had to spend a little time at a WIC office.  These people NEED this help.  It keeps kids brains and bodies growing and out of hospital emergency rooms.

On my DVD I wanted to be sure to include fruits that every kid would be able to eat, so I made of list of all the WIC fruits and other foods. You may notice red tags on shelves in the grocery store around the OJ and milk area.  This red tag says this food is a part of the WIC program.   The red tag product can be obtained by the WIC recipient.  These are purchased directly with your tax dollars and feed a hungry kid nutritious food like fresh fruits and veggies.

Well, not all the foods are nutritious.  Until 2006 soy products were not available even if your kid was lactose intolerant or due to religious reasons you could not drink or eat dairy.  So, I was thrilled when I heard that tofu and soy milk were to be on the WIC list, especially ORGANIC products.  Since I work with kids 0-3 with eating issues sometimes silken tofu is an answer to propping up protein while transitioning to whole foods from thickened smoothies and infant formula.

Here’s the rub, Pacific Foods supplies the only organic soy milk allowed on

They don't believe you should know their product sources

They don’t believe you should know their product sources

the list.  Their Ultra soy does have a good dose of protein, calcium and B12 for growing bodies.  However, their organic status is in real jeopardy.  They state their beverage is made from “whole organic soy beans.”  On the other hand, they refuse third-party verification and do not have the import records to prove it.

The Cornucopia Institute repeatedly asked Pacific to clearly state where their soybeans came from since Pacific’s advertising claimed the beans were organic and came from the United States.   Cornucopia checked import records for Pacific and found shipments from China.  Cornucopia has their own seal of approval and asked Pacific to provide documentation so that the institute could bestow said seal.  Pacific replied that they had their own “Certified to the Source”.  I have no idea what that means and Pacific’s website has no further information on who the third party is or any other verification.  Cornucopia found that Pacific accepted a soy bean shipment that was refused by other companies.

Here’s my dilemma – I want to thank Pacific for helping out poor kids.  They will make a ton of $$ selling to the government at a cheaper price due to the volume of milk sold.  But is their claim true?  I want more info from Pacific about exactly where they source their ingredients with third party disclosures.

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

Demonizing any company really bothers me because there are many people working at the company who see what good the company does.  It is like a scientist who discovers something that gets turned into a crappy or devastating product.

Please contact Pacific and ask them to be clear or we just can’t support them and their products.  They need to fess up because this lack of information is annoying.

PS, I’ll be putting a minute or so of the DVD animation on my YouTube to view before purchasing from my 100% organic website.  I hereby disclose where I get all my ideas – at 3 am and during running.



LaDiva Coming to a Kitchen near You . . . Yours, Actually

You and me, Darling.  Cooking together at last.

You and me, Darling. Cooking together at last.

Very exciting news I’ve been waiting to share like a kitten wrapped in a box for Christmas.

So many people have asked me to teach them to cook or run a cooking class.  But, after trying to figure out the place and time, I threw up my hands in frustration.  Then, I thought why am I going to travel all over, schlep food and equipment, clean up after 20 people taste recipes and have folks go home and try to re-create it in their own kitchen with who-knows-what equipment?

The best place for them to learn – is in their own kitchen.  And you know what?  This is 2013 not 1913.  We have video chats all the time on a myriad of devices.  Why not cook the same way?

So I am.  Here’s video to introduce the idea.  That’s right.  I am having a video chat cooking class.  The class meets once a week for 10 weeks.  There are 4 different days and times to accommodate your schedule.  You will see me cook and I will see you.  We can chat and I can answer any of your questions right then and there.  No typing questions, no time lag.  It is interactive.  With a traditional cooking class it would be you and 20 more people very little hands-on.  But, with a video chat we cook together.  Here’s the catch -there is only room for you and 7 other members for each class period.  So, it is a very exclusive and limited class size.

We will be cooking with me, and LEARNING about the week’s recipes from my BFF, Marty Davey, MS, RD, LDN.  I will explain the How and Marty will pop in with a video explaining the Why.

Walnut Pecan Pesto with raw collards

Walnut Pecan Pesto with raw collards

The recipes include Nutty Thai Stir Fry, Apple Date Salad, Pear Stuffed Crepes, BBQ Tempeh Bacon Wraps, Girl-ish Figure White Bean Pockets, Raw Walnut Pate, Nepalese Dal, Morning Scramble Rancheros, Corny Bean Salad, and Chocolate Ice Creme Sandwich Cake and more.

We’ll cover how to use a knife, time a meal, read a nutrition label in 30 seconds, and substitutes for fats, eggs and dairy.  Marty will look at the food connections to cancer, heart disease, diabetes as well as what are antioxidants and probiotics.

I will have a demonstration class to check your connection and answer any other questions you have.  You just need your laptop or other device that can work with “Skype” type programs.  If you have any questions, contact me and we will walk you through it.  We set it up in about 10 minutes and I am NOT a tech wizard.

Writing the list of equipment and ingredients

Writing the list of equipment and ingredients for the first class

There’s a 20% discount for registration before January 10th and I can only teach 8 participants in a class period.  So, space is limited!

I am so looking forward to working with you to create de-lish dishes that, oops, happen to be healthy.

Oh, and you may even learn why LaDiva LUVS her immersion blender.

Winter means bring the Green inside

Rosemary, sage, basil, parsley and oregano

Rosemary, sage, basil, parsley and oregano

Just bought some potted herbs for Thanksgiving and replanted them.  They seem to be happy, even the basil is coming back from use.

You can have fresh herbs all year long with smaller pots for each.  As they grow replant in the next larger size.  I have a few in one pot together and will split as the oregano goes crazy.  Oregano is known for going crazy.

Make incredible sauces and soups. I froze my garden basil with a little oil in ice cube trays.   And I’m serious about little oil.  I don’t use oil in soup or saute veggie in oil before making the soup.  This adds so much flavor.  With fresh herbs, put them in at the end to pop flavors.

I will have fresh sage and thyme for my Hostess with the Mostest Roast for Christmas.

Getting fresh herbs and repotting is a very inexpensive holiday gift.  Also, wrapping up a

Look Ma, no hands!

Look Ma, no hands!

small bouquet of fresh herbs for holiday cooking is thoughtful and says, “You can cook.  Invite me for dinner.  I’ll bring the wine.”

That’s the CRAZY beverage?

You keep your milk, I’ll keep mine.

Last week I ranted about a NEW beverage that was going to be ok’d by the FDA and USDA.  Well, it actually is already served with every school lunch, school breakfast, recommended to poor women and served to all elderly at congregate meals funded by the USDA.

It’s cow milk.  That’s right.  Cow milk is connected to all those health issues, but it still is everywhere in the American diet.

Okay, I did pull the wool over, or maybe just was udderly tacky.

[I heard you moan.]


Down, but definitely not out.

Firstly, I have appreciated all of the support about The LaDiva Queen Mother’s passing.

Now, those of you who know LaDiva know I very rarely become ill.  At most it is one really evil day around the holidays because I don’t take care of myself in the usual manner.  This holiday season went splendidly.  However, this last week has made up for several years.

I write this feeling like a total weenie because February’s videos will be late.  I have no voice to make them.  Who cares about the details of the Icky-icky.  The point is I am on the mend, but hit a wall trying  to return to real life earlier this week. I woke up feeling pretty good, did a short 1.5 mile run, went to my office and 6 hours later ended up with a temperature of 102 F.  My normal herbal/homeopathic/blah, blah hasn’t done its magic.  Rest has.

Today, I feel very good, but am not testing fate.  I will cook the Feb. recipes and write them down so the PDFs will be on the website.  Then, release the videos as they happen. There may be problems with the chocolate dessert and I may just have to make 3-4 varieties to pick the best one.  Ah, the life of a LaDiva!

Christmas Eve Dinner from Heaven

Hello Darlings, I have not forgotten about you.  However, with so much holiday cooking, merriment and shooting I have practically lived in the kitchen and the car. Here was my Christmas Eve dinner:

Parsnip Carrot Red Pepper Soups

After the candles were lit, we began with the Parsnip  Carrot Red Pepper Soup.  The recipes are based on the Millenium Cookbook from the famous restaurant. The parsnip soup is a heavy sweet while the carrot is brighter sweet taste. Using 2 ladles, you pour them at the same time.  They are both heavy soups and will stay in their own “territory”.  You can to garnish with parsley or cashew creme. We paired this with a Traminette.  A mostly dry white wine that can stand up to these intense flavors.

Broiled asparagus over bruchette

Next something lighter, Broiled Asparagus over Bruchette.  I wanted to have broiled and fresh veggies together.  I did lightly toast the bread with about a teaspoon of oil in the pan for all 4 servings.

The bruchette was not like what I have in the summer, but since the basil was fresh and smelled so great I had to have it somewhere at this dinner.

I paired this with small, dry vodka martinis.  I could have gone for a pinot grigio, but I thought the vodka got out of the way of the asparagus and basil better.  Who says you have to shove cocktails exclusively before dinner?

At this point, we were all laughing and telling old stories of family that took many minutes to allow for the giggling to subside.  The Avocado Grapefruit Salad was holiday-ed up with dried cranberries.  The only dressing was a little lime juice and a dash of salt.  The grapefruit does the rest.

Back to the Traminette for beverages.

Eggplant meatballs over penne

Now for something a little heavier.  These eggplant meatballs are so easy to make.  I think I have them scheduled for May or June.  They have NO added fat and are mostly eggplant, flax meal and bread crumbs.  Baked to a slight crisp.

The tomato sauce was my FAV a little Truly Italian, diced tomatoes and spices.

This is where the red wine started.  I opened a local winery – VyneCrest proprietor’s red.  We all know how dry LaDiva likes wine.  But this one starts off almost sweet, then switches into a complex rich flavor.  Excellent for the price and flavor.

Hostess with the Mostest Roast & mashed potatoes with Mmmmushroom Gravy

Continuing with that wine into the next course – Hostest with the Mostest Roast.  Obviously accommpanied by mashed potatoes with Mmmmmushroom Gravy.

My youngest guest started to get a little full.  However, he managed to take a few bites.  He had switched from sparkling apple to sparking red grape juice.  He said that was a better pairing.

How can you miss with savory seitan and massive amounts of porcini, shiitake and crimini mushrooms.

Lemon Cupcakes with Berries

Finally, the desserts arrive.  The first is a light lemon cupcake with berries.  The berries were frozen from my yard this summer.  I thawed them added a small amount of raw sugar and mashed it together.  I was going to add some Cassis, but since I had a young one dining and I wanted them raw, I declined.

We had Sand Castle’s Late Harvest ice wine with this.  Full flavor, but not overly sweet.

Caramel chocolate parfait with cherries

My young friend’s eyes grew the size of saucers when he saw this come out.  I could tell he was a little disappointed that lemon cupcakes were the finish of this gastronomique event.  But, I knew better.
These were a “hey this is in the frig” moment.  I realized that I had a caramel sauce from a german chocolate cake left over.  So, I made a parfait.
This is the regular ol’ chocolate pudding recipe interspliced [I LUV making up words] with the caramel topping garnished with thawed cherries.
This was paired with the Wilcox winery port from 2007[?].
After each course we had to clean the plate to reuse.  Having my designated kitchen helper clean as I cooked made clean up rather light.  We didn’t finish, but the next morning was a half hour and done to relax through the holiday week.

Better than a 7-10 Split and Don’t hold the cherry

All the ooey-gooey goodness

I was really looking forward to these thinking back of the days my mom would make us banana splits.  She was not the best cook, but oh could she do ice cream.

At this point of my life, I couldn’t even think about finishing one of those boats.  I know, I know they were a LOT smaller then.  But since my fat intake is nil, outside of these desserts, this cupcake is all I can handle.

Check it out, banana puree, chocolate chips slightly chopped in the food processor, pineapple preserves and that’s just the cake.  Top it with a frosting, chocolate sauce, toasted nuts and a cherry.  A taste bud PARTY!

Strongly recommend these for a kids birthday party.  Your mouth can only handle this once a year!