YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Grandma Rosie’s Rhubarb

Last week, I wrote about my Grandma Rosie’s chopped eggplant, and it was a huge hit! So now, this week, with the rhubarb starting to poke up in the garden, I thought I’d write about her rhubarb. But first a few words about the woman herself.

My Grandma Rosie was an extraordinarily good cook. I mean — really, really good. She made chicken soup, like my friends’ grandmas, but she also made many dishes that I never saw in any other grandmas’ homes, dishes like stuffed veal roasts and chicken fricassee, chopped eggplant (see last week’s post), stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage, homemade water bagels, chopped green beans, salads of every imaginable variety, potatoes and spinach, calves foot jelly (p’cheh), and all kinds of other delicacies. Her kitchen was always warm, her table was always full, and her creative expression seemed unlimited.

Grandma Rosie wasn’t nearly as interested in baking as in cooking, however, so there were just a few desserts, and they usually consisted of some kind of fruit. My favorite, hands down, was her rhubarb. The mix of sweet and tart has always been absolutely irresistible to me.

1 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces (approx 3 cups)
2 apples, chopped (sometimes she used a pint of strawberries instead)
1/4 cup raisins
juice of 1 lemon plus zest from 1/2 of lemon
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place ingredients in covered dish, stir, and cook in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir, and cook for 15 minutes more.

You can serve this plain or you can dress it up with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream, a spoonful of unsweetened whipped cream, or a little fresh cream poured on top. The last few times I made it I added to the recipe a small (finger-tip sized) nub of ginger chopped into into very tiny pieces. I’m pretty sure Grandma Rosie would have gone crazy for it. She loved when we took her recipes one step further.

Grandma Rosie’s rhubarb is delicious served warm, cold, or at room temperature. You can’t go wrong.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Sweet Potato Brownies

I’ve heard of black bean brownies before, and I have even made them on occasion, but I had never heard of sweet potato brownies until a couple of weeks ago. This recipe comes from Katherine, a newly arrived co-worker who is committed to good health, running in the sunshine, and preparing delicious, nutritious food. Lucky for us! The amount of sweetness in this recipe makes it perfect for a special dessert, though I wouldn’t hesitate to eat it for breakfast, either.  Continue reading



YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Rice Pudding

On the day we were married, almost 36 short years ago, my Aunt Gerda showed up with a bucket of the creamiest, most extraordinary rice pudding I have ever eaten, before or since. We even packed up a small container to take on our honeymoon. You might say that rice pudding holds a special place in my heart and soul. Especially Aunt Gerda’s rice pudding. Continue reading




YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Black Bean Brownies

Definitely on a roll here with desserts (especially brownies)! It happens.

I am a huge fan of black-bean brownies. I owe this to two facts: First, I am a big fan of beans. And secondly, I love brownies. So there you have it. In case you are wondering, the beans in this recipe cannot be tasted at all, so feel free to make this for children and skeptics. They will NEVER know, unless you tell. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Brownies To Crow About

If you are trying to figure out what to bring to the Memorial Day Picnic that’s coming up, you may want to give some consideration to putting these amazing brownies on the menu. In fact, you’ll probably want to do a dry run and make a practice batch beforehand, just to make sure they come out the way you’re hoping. Yes, that’s probably what you’ll want to do! Continue reading