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Welcome to Soul Food Lovers’ Newsletter

Contents Volume #005

Welcome New Subscribers
What’s New on Soul Food Advisor.com
Feature Article: How to Plan Your Family Meals
Column: Spice Up Your Soul Food
Column: This Month’s Best Soul Food Recipes
Cassandra’s Cooking Tips
Soul Food Care Package
Soul Food Blog
Coming In Next Issue: Healthy Tips for Preparing Great Soul Food
Ask the Editor
Reader’s Poll
Special Announcement
Special Request
Link to Your Gift: New Trends in Soul Food Cooking
Send a Friend a Gift

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WELCOME NEW SUBSCRIBERS

Hey Soul Food Lovers! We have another wave of new subscribers since our last month’s newsletter. Thank you for joining us. If you haven’t had a chance to read the back issues, please do so. We invite subscribers to send comments, suggestions, and ideas on what they would like to see in this newsletter.

Please feel free to take our reader’s poll. This poll gives us insight into the kind of information and material you want to see in this newsletter. So please take some time from your busy schedule to let us know what you want us to cover. No need to include your name. Just click the link below. Again, welcome, sit back, relax, and enjoy the newsletter.

Reader's Poll

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WHAT’S NEW ON SOUL FOOD ADVISOR.COM -

There’s a lot of new stuff this month. Check each link out below! Have Fun!

Visit the Black History Month section on Soul Food Advisor.com, Its still time
Black History Celebration

Send a friend a link program: Send the link below as your guest for Black History Month

Black History Celebration

All new updated Soul Food News Center
Soul Food News Center

Want more recipes? Check These Out!
More Recipes

Media Coverage for Black History Celebration - Jackson Sun Newspaper
Jackson Sun Article

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FEATURE ARTICLE-

HOW TO PLAN YOUR FAMILY MEALS
By Cassandra Harrell

Planning family meals every night can be a troublesome task. But it don’t have to be. Planning meals ahead of time saves both time and money. The main thing to remember is to stick with what works best for you. There are four methods used most often in planning meals. Let’s look at each one.

Plan 1: Plan your meals once a week. This requires little freezer space and will save you valuable time. This method is the most popular.

Plan 2: Plan your meals every two weeks. This requires medium amount of freezer space and some valuable time.

Plan 3: Plan your meals once a month and freeze them for later use. This method requires a lot of freezer space and a lot of time.

Plan 4: Plan your meals daily. This method requires no freezer space, some time, but is very expensive.

The Plan you decide on has a lot to do with your daily or weekly schedule. Plan 1 requires little freezer space and saves valuable time. As for Plan 3, is for someone who has a lot of freezer space, and a lot of time to prepare a month of meals. Plan 4, daily meal planning is very costly even if you’re only planning for yourself. This sort of meal preparation is not recommended.

Plan 1 is the most popular and the one I use. This seems to be easier for me. Before going to the store, I check my cabinets and refrigerator then make out my grocery list.

This is also a good time to check grocery ads to determine what’s on sale and while shopping, keep an eye on other sales in the store. I especially try to find meat sales to stock up. I also find that shopping every 5 to 6 days works best for me and saves money. Plan 1 is also my choice because I might not want spaghetti three weeks from now. I may decide on something totally different. Every two weeks or monthly planning sort of lock you in to a certain menu.

Planning meals on a weekly basic allows me to enjoy leftovers. For example, I usually make enough Sunday dinner to have leftovers the next day. Plan 1 also works best for family meals because it takes less time to plan a week of meals-- than a month of meals.

What ever plan you decide on, make sure it works best for you and your busy schedule. Consider your time to plan the menu, storage space needed, and time to prepare each dish.

For more on meal planning visit this link: Meal Planning Ideas

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SPECIAL TO NEWSLETTER
March is National Nutrition Month and in celebration we have these healthy soul food recipes we want you to try during the month of March.

STUFFED PEPPERS

1 cup of rice
1 small can tomato paste
3 large green peppers, split lengthwise, stem and seeds removed
3/4 cup nonfat cheddar cheese , shredded
1 small can English peas, drained
1 teaspoon season salt, optional
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

Cook rice. Boil peppers in pot of water, about 10 minutes. Drain. In a skillet, add tomato paste and add water from peppers to produce the desired thickness of sauce. Low to medium heat. Add spices and cheese. Scoop mixture into peppers. Leave extra rice in skillet and serve.

QUICK AND EASY LASAGNA

3 tablespoons steak sauce
1 jar (32 oz) spaghetti sauce, reduced fat
8 oz. lasagna noodles, cook until almost done, drain
2 cups fat-free ricotta or cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese or Cheddar Cheese, reduced fat
1 cup parmesan cheese, reduced fat
½ cup bell peppers
½ cups onions
½ cup shredded carrots
Can also add ½ cup of any other vegetables
1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained, then chopped

Saute bell peppers and onions and other vegetables in a small amount of no-fat butter. Mix in steak sauce; then and spaghetti sauce. Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

Cover bottom of pan with sauce mixture. Lay one layer of noodles on top. Layer cheeses. Repeat with sauce, noodles, cheeses, ending with cheeses on top. Bake 350 for 45 minutes. Remove, and let stand 15 minutes. Serves 6-8.

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SPICE UP YOUR SOUL FOOD -COLUMN - Red Pepper

Red Pepper is used to achieve the characteristically hot flavor of Mexican, Creole, Cajun, Thai, Indian, and African American cooking. It also is used in chili, Spanish rice, and barbecue sauce as well as meats, salads, and casseroles.

Red pepper is a pungent, hot powder with a strong bite and is made from the ground fruit of a plant in the Capsicum family. The fruits, commonly known as "chilies" or "chili peppers," are fiery red or orange pods which rarely grow to more than 4 inches in length. The ground product ranges from orange red, to deep, dark red.

According to the American Spice Trade Association, "Red Pepper" is the preferred name for all hot red pepper spices. Cayenne Pepper is another name for the same type of product. Some manufacturers use the term Cayenne Pepper to refer to a hotter version of Red Pepper. If you want to add heat to your dish in a hurry, add red pepper.

Even though many recipes don’t call for red pepper, its basically up to you how spicy you want to make the dish. If red pepper is used during the cooking process, it makes the dish less spicy than if you used red pepper directly on your food. Red pepper also add tremendous flavor to soul food cooking and is often the preferred hot seasoning. Just remember, red pepper should be added with caution and with small amounts at a time.

Below is quick and easy recipe using red pepper.

CABBAGE AND POTATOES

1 whole cabbage
8 large white potatoes or 10-12 small white potatoes
4-6 slices of freshly cooked bacon or bacon grease
Salt and pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper

Wash cabbage and pull off dead leaves. Cut cabbage in half, then slice each half of cabbage into about 1/4 inch slices. Peel potatoes and rinse in cold water. Cut small potatoes in half or large potatoes into thirds. Put into big pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Add bacon slices or a few tablespoons of bacon grease. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper.

On high heat, bring to a rapid boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium/high and let cook at least 30-40 minutes or until cabbage is tender, but not falling apart.

For a list of specific soul food spices including how to use red pepper, visit:
Soul Food Cooking Spices

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THIS MONTH’S BEST SOUL FOOD RECIPES

PINTO BEANS WITH SMOKED TURKEY

Smoked turkey
2 lbs. dried pinto beans
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 medium chopped onion

Boil turkey in water on high heat for 45 minutes. Water should come even with turkey. Add all seasonings except hot sauce and onion. Continue boiling for 30 minutes. Add pinto beans, hot sauce, and onion. Boil on medium heat until beans are done to taste. Beans take quite a while to get done. They should be soft and not crunchy.

Note: To speed up the cooking time, soak beans in cold water (without meat) overnight or for three hours during the day.

TENNESSEE CRAB CAKES

1 pound fresh crabmeat, cleaned and flaked
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon red hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs, divided
Vegetable oil

Mix crabmeat, green pepper, onion, egg, mustard, red hot sauce and 1/2 cup crumbs. Cover, refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape crab mixture into ( 3/4-inch thick) patties; coat with remaining crumbs.

Pour oil into large heavy skillet to 1/2 inch depth; heat over medium heat. Brown crab cakes, in batches, for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until done. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.

PASTA AND FRESH HERBS SALAD

1 (8 ounce) package mixed color pasta
2 Tbsp. walnut or olive oil
2 Tbsp. coarsely snipped mixed fresh herbs -sage, rosemary, and basil)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Toss hot pasta with oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Makes 8 side-dish servings.

FRESH CUCUMBER SALAD

2 large Cucumber; peeled 2 cloves garlic; crushed or 2 cups plain low-fat yogurt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 4 tablespoons vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 3 teaspoons dried dill weed; or 1/2 teaspoon Fresh ground pepper 2 tablespoons Fresh dill

Slice cucumber lengthwise and remove seeds. Dice the cucumber and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and chill at least 1/2 hour before serving. Yield 10.

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CASSANDRA’S COOKING TIPS

· Trying a New Recipe?
Make sure you make the recipe before serving it to your guests. That way, if it don’t turn out like you want, you won’t have to rush to make something else. Always purchase ingredients in advance and make sure cooking spices have not expired. Always plan to have adequate time to prepare the recipe.

· Purchasing Lemons and Limes:
Purchase large lemons and limes. There’re sweeter. Make sure the skin is thin, this helps the fruit stay juicy. To obtain more juice from the lemons or limes, soften in a microwave oven for 30 seconds, then let set a few minutes before cutting. Rolling the fruit on the counter with the pale of your hand also works.

· How to cut onions without crying:
Always use sweet onions. Cut onions under running cold water, or refrigerate onions before cutting helps reduce eye irritation.

· Energy Saving Tip:
When cooking small to medium size meals, use small to medium-sized pots instead of full-size pots. Smaller pots will also save energy and reduce cooking time. Also, for cooking these meals, use smaller microwave ovens, toaster ovens, and crock pots. These appliances are great energy savers.

· Ground Beef Tricks:
Make your ground beef mixture more juicy by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water per pound of meat.

Instead of just spreading ketchup on top of your meatloaf, mix together the following:

1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Mix together. Spread on top of meatloaf. Sprinkle with parsley. Bake as usual. This is absolutely delicious.

Watch for more exciting cooking tips next month!

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SOUL FOOD CARE PACKAGE

Newsletter Subscribers receive an automatic entry into our monthly contest for a chance to win a Soul Food Care Package. This package is loaded with soul food goodies, cooking gadgets, soul food recipes, cooking tips, and a personalized letter from me---Your Soul Food Advisor. So please tell everyone about this offer. Good Luck!

Soul Food Lovers' Newsletter

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SOUL FOOD BLOG

Receive the latest website updates and learn first hand when new content is published. Receive benefits all month long without lifting a finger. No email address needed. To subscribe, just click the link below:

Soul Food Blog

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COMING IN NEXT ISSUE - Healthy Tips for Preparing Great Soul Food

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ASK THE EDITOR

Do you have issues, concerns, questions, or ideas regarding this newsletter or the Soul Food Advisor.com, OR just want to vent, then, we love to hear from you. Just click the link below!

comments@soul-food-advisor.com

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READER’S POLL

If you have not completed the readers poll, please do so at this time. Completing the poll gives us insight into providing targeted information for you, our readers.

So, please take a few minutes to complete our poll, while you‘re thinking about it. Just click the link below to complete the poll. All we need are your answers--no reason to include your name. Thank you so much!

Reader's Poll

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Soul Food Lovers‘ Newsletter is Featured on Best Ezines.com

Help Soul Food Lovers’ Newsletter receive 5 star votes and member reviews, by visiting the link below and writing a testimonial or comment about this newsletter. Just follow the easy steps below:

1. Follow the BestEzines’s link below 2. Click on the "Write A Review" section. 3. Write a Review about this newsletter.

Remember, this is YOUR newsletter! Thank you so much for your support!

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SPECIAL REQUEST

Did you have a special program or do anything special this year for Black History Month? Perhaps you have a story you want to share with our readers in the next newsletter. Did you host a Black History buffet or coordinator a program? If so, we want to hear how it turned out.

I will publish your Black History Experience in the next publication. Your first name and the state you’re from is all you need to include with your story. Send stories to:

Cassandra@soul-food-advisor.com

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LINK TO YOUR GIFT

As promised, here is your gift for subscribing - New Trends in Soul Food cooking. The report is password protected. The password is ????????. Just click the link below; then enter password. Enter password exactly as listed.

Soul Food Trend

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SEND A FRIEND A GIFT

Send a friend a special gift, a subscription to Soul Food Lover’s Newsletter. Confirmation is required. Send the link below
Soul Food Lovers' Newsletter

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It‘s still not too late! Enjoy the Tribute to Black History Makers- Click below
Black History Makers

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Until Next Time

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor

Cassandra Harrell is a Soul Food Advisor and recently owned a soul food restaurant and catering service. She taught cooking classes on preparing great soul food cuisine, and have served thousands during conventions and special events.

Soul Food Advisor

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