Broccoli-Kale Casserole (Wheat and Dairy Free)

-1 cup of Tofu Cream Cheese (I use Tofutti)

-1 cup of Garlic Flavored Aioli

-4 ounces of Shredded Mozzarella Soy Cheese

-1/2 cup of Lemon Vinaigrette (I use the Simply Dressed organic brand)

-2 to 3 Plain Rice Cakes

-10 ounce bag of frozen organic kale

-10 ounce bag of frozen organic broccoli

-1/2 cup pine nuts

-1 tsp lemon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place frozen broccoli, kale, soy cheese and crumbled rice cakes into a baking dish.  Add cream cheese, aioli, and lemon vinaigrette to a microwaveable bowl and heat in microwave until mixture is melted.  Pour melted ingredients evenly over contents in baking dish and stir to mix in. Sprinkle pine nuts and lemon pepper on top and cook for 30 minutes or until top is slightly browned. Let cool slightly before serving.

kale

Memories that Grow

moms garden

My mom loved frogs, hen and chick plants, and the color purple.

Creating a memorial for a lost loved one is an effective way to help move through the process of grief. The past six months have brought some loses to my life and the lives of my family.  Our biggest loss has been the death of my mom and her absence is still very acute for me, my husband, and my children.  Another loss that hit us all very hard is that of our beloved 14 year old dog, Inka, who was a constant happy presence in our lives.  I wanted to create some special, growing, living memorials for our lost family members and began to plant memory gardens.  Not only was it healing for me to imagine and design the gardens but it continues to be cathartic to care for them.  My husband liked the idea of memorial gardens so much that he is now designing one for his adored dad whose death 4 years ago left a huge hole in our family’s heart. It will include some cacti because his dad loved the desert and representations of his artist father’s work.

Inka's garden

Inka’s garden (where she used to love to bask in the sun)

Memorial gardens can range from simple container gardens to more intricate and larger scale versions , but the important thing is to make it something that you feel connects you to your loved one. For more information on making your own check out these websites:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4421397_make-memory-garden.html

http://www.recover-from-grief.com/memorial-garden.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Memory-Garden

There are also some great ideas on pinterest!

Angry Music In the Wind

Angry music in the wind,

Still makes the trees dance.

The muggy breeze is ancient,

And still touches every branch.

Chloroplasts in the leaves,

Are calling out “no boundaries”.

But every cell membrane must find structure,

Even to exist as a tree.

The steadfast monsoon begins,

Are we love, Are we family?

Branching out for blue skies,

Only a few must crash down.

But what of that intracellular space,

The emotional core where hurt is deepest?

Heated words must keep flowing,

In photosynthetic effort,

To find leaves just waiting,

To be stirred in the breeze.- JDM 7/2011