Vegetable and Garbanzo Bean Couscous

Couscous is a featured grain in many regions of the Mediterranean. Enjoy this side dish as a complement to some grilled fish.

You’ll Need

  • 1 ¼ cups water or chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup couscous
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2 small zucchinis, thinly sliced


  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the butter, couscous, salt and pepper, garbanzo beans and zucchini.
  • Stir.
  • Cover.
  • Remove it from the heat and allow to stand 5 minutes.
  • Stir with a fork to fluff up and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Vegetable Dip

Enjoy veggies alongside this fabulous veggie dip. In addition you get to enjoy yogurt which is a healthy food for your gut health too.

You’ll Need

  •  1 ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Assorted raw veggies (extra for serving)

Continue reading “Vegetable Dip”

Dirty Dozen: The 12 Fruits And Vegetables With The Most Pesticides

Could an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Maybe — but what if it is also coated in pesticides?!?!

Check out this video report by the Newsy Group Organization.

Today, the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy nonprofit, released its latest “Dirty Dozen” list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that are most contaminated with pesticides, as an update to its 2010 rankings. 
Which is the Dirtiest of the Dozen? 
Taking first place this year is apples. The ubiquitous fruit beat out last year’s top spot, which went to celery (now at number two).

How Much SHOULD We Freak Out About This? 

The potentially darker side of fruits and vegetables is centered around concerns about their pesticide loads, which some studies have linked to possible health problems, particularly among women who are pregnant and children. So when organic foods typically carry a higher price tag, what’s a frugal shopper to do?

That’s where the new shopper’s guide comes into play (download it here).

Picking five servings of fruits and vegetables from the 12 most contaminated would cause you to consume an average of 14 different pesticides a day,” thegroup reports in its findings, which were based on data collected by the United States Departure of Agriculture of food samples that often were ready to be eaten (meaning that they had already been peeled or washed as necessary).
On the flip side, EWG writes that choosing foods from their counterpart “Clean 15” list will slash the pesticide volume by more than 90 percent. Topping the “Clean 15” were onions, sweet corn, pineapples and avocado (check out the full list here).

The Bottom Line
The EWG encourages going organic when it comes to items on their Dirty Dozen List, and they do clearly state that conventional produce is certainly better than none at all: “The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.”

Why Do They Put Pesticide Nastiness On Our Apples In The First Place? 
Luder told USA Today: “We think what’s happening to apples is more pesticides and fungicides are being applied after the harvest so the fruit can have a longer shelf life.”
More like plastic is better for them … worse for us. 

Dirty Dozen: The 12 Fruits And Vegetables With The Most Pesticides

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Cancer Fighting Foods (Video)

I was on KDKA-TV this morning, talking with my friend Jon Burnett about cancer fighting foods:
1. What they are …
2. What makes them so healthy …
3. And why the colors are so important.
Hope you enjoy. Please share this with your friends!!

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Toxic Fruit & Veggies: “100% more risk”

Put something toxic on fruits and veggies … what did you THINK was going to happen.

Researchers looked at our children to see if eating pesticides for breakfast, lunch, and dinner made those same kids more likely to develop cognitive disorders like ADHD.

For me and you, it’s a no-brainer. Of course they’ll find this and — lo and behold — the more organophosphate pesticide you eat, the more likely you are to have trouble thinking. It affects your cognitive ability!


Organophosphates are “designed” to have toxic effects on the nervous system, says the lead author of the study, Maryse Bouchard. “That’s how they kill pests.” But our kids are not pests (most of the time), and they certainly don’t need to be eating pesticides.

Compared with kids who had consumed the lowest levels, the kids whose levels were 10 times higher were 55 percent more likely to have ADHD. In addition, children with higher-than-average levels were nearly twice as likely to have ADHD.

“It’s not a small effect,” says Bouchard. “This is 100 percent more risk.”

Get this: In a representative sample of produce tested by the USDA, 28% of frozen blueberries, 20% of celery, and 25% of strawberries contained one type of organophosphate. Other types of organophosphates were found in 27% of green beans, 17% of peaches, and 8% of broccoli.

What’s the solution?
You don’t have to resort to pesticide-free Ho Hos, PopTarts, or Jolly Ranchers for dinner. One solution is to eat those veggies organically. Another is to Buy Local.

Organic fruits and vegetables contain much less pesticides, so I would certainly advise getting those for children,” according to Dr. Bouchard. “National surveys have also shown that fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets contain less pesticides even if they’re not organic. If you can buy local and from farmers’ markets, that’s a good way to go.”

Study: ADHD linked to pesticide exposure –

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How To Make Kid Friendly Veggies

According to this study (Reuters Health – headlines), if you want your kids to eat more veggies, approach it with K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple).

Dutch researchers Wageningen University tested two readily available and commonly eaten vegetables — carrots and french beans — that had been cooked in six different ways on groups of primary school children to find out which was their preferred way of eating them.

The carrots and beans were mashed, steamed, boiled, stir-fried, grilled and deep-fried and then served to the children, whose ages ranged from 4 years to 12 years.

A control group of 18-25 year-old adults was also served the same vegetables prepared in the same methods.

The researchers, who said that children in many countries ate fewer vegetables than the amount recommended by healthcare professionals, found that the majority of children liked the steamed or boiled vegetables the best.

They attributed this to the fact that the carrots and beans retained their original taste, colour and crunchiness, and that this way of cooking, which many children were familiar with, kept the vegetables’ surface uniform and without any brown colouring.

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Vegetarian Concerns?

Eating a vegetarian diet is one of the healthiest ways to go.

But this article suggests that there may be some concerns you should watch out for, especially for your teenagers.

According to this work in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, twice as many teens and nearly double the number of young adults who had been vegetarians reported having used unhealthy means to control their weight: things like diet pills, laxatives and diuretics and inducing vomiting.

When I pulled up this article, at first it seemed like they were making a link between disordered eating and being a vegetarian. The authors later took pains to say that this is not the case, but it is noticeable that I had to get well into the article body to read the disclaimer.

There are at least two take-home messages from this study.

  1. Despite the title of the article (“The Dark Side of Vegetarianism”), one should not fear that eating veggies leads to disordered eating.
  2. It is important to keep an open line of communication with your kids, at all times. If they suddenly want to be a vegetarian, that’s great! Just talk to them about the motivation behind it.

When you read articles like this, remember the scientific rule of analysis: correlation is not causation.

Just because two things are linked does not mean they are related. They MAY be, but they don’t have to be. For example, just because teens who adopt vegetarianism can also fall into disordered eating behaviors, does not mean that you should be worried about your kids eating veggies.

The disordered eating is coming from somewhere else … and that’s why it’s so important to stay in communication about such changes.

When fat can be healthy

The New York Times reported today that there are some great ways to cook vegetables to maximize the vitamin content, and that eating them raw was not always as good for you. Here is the full article.

But the most interesting aspect was in an afterthought at the bottom of the article, concerning the problem of getting kids to eat their vegetables:

What accompanies the vegetables can also be important. Studies at Ohio State measured blood levels of subjects who ate servings of salsa and salads. When the salsa or salad was served with fat-rich avocados or full-fat salad dressing, the diners absorbed as much as 4 times more lycopene, 7 times more lutein and 18 times the beta carotene than those who had their vegetables plain or with low-fat dressing.

Fat can also improve the taste of vegetables, meaning that people will eat more of them. This month, The American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported on 1,500 teenagers interviewed in high school and about four years later on their eating habits. In the teenage years, many factors influenced the intake of fruits and vegetables. By the time the study subjects were 20, the sole factor that influenced fruit and vegetable consumption was taste. Young adults were not eating vegetables simply because they didn’t like the taste.

You get more out of your vegetables when they are accompanied by olive oil, a little butter, or avocado — what a wonderful food!! Well of course it does, and what in the world is wrong with that? Nothing.

We simply need to eat those fabulous fats in control. This becomes is a key for our health and that of our kids. A wonderful take-home message of this passage is that food is not the bad guy. Food is not the enemy, any more.