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Happy Easter!

Contents Volume #006

Welcome New Subscribers
What’s New on Soul Food
Feature Article: Healthy Tips for Preparing Great Soul Food
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: Mom Favorite Recipes - A Special Mother’s Day Feature
Ask the Editor
Reader’s Poll
Special Announcement
News You May Want to Use
Link to Your Gift: New Trends in Soul Food Cooking



Hey Soul Food Lovers! Another great month for new friends 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 you to send comments, suggestions, and ideas on what they would like to see in this newsletter.

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Also, if you have recipes or cooking stories from the kitchen you want to share, please feel free to do so. You can send them directly to me at

Again, welcome, sit back, relax, and enjoy this newsletter.

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We have lots of new stuff this month. Check each link below! Have Fun!

Does Your Cake Baking Measure Up - Key Elements in Good Cake Baking

Added Cooking Center - with expanded cooking and baking tips section
Super Soul Foods and Why There‘re Good For You

10 Ideas for Serving Left Over Easter Ham
Easter Ham Recipes

Traditional Soul Food Easter Menu
New keywords added to “Hot Search Box on the Blog page

Have you checked your horoscope lately? No, then click here

All new updated News Center

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By Cassandra Harrell

If you‘re thinking about making your soul food healthier, but feel it won’t taste the same then, think about this. Certain foods are always considered soul food no matter how they’re prepared.

For example, collard greens were among the seeds brought over from native crops by African American slaves as a means for preparing meals for their families. So no matter how collard greens are cooked, they’re still a soul food staple. However, today, we have healthier alternatives for preparing these native foods.

You can practically take any soul food dish and reduce the fat and sodium, simply by making a few adjustments in the way your prepare it.

To trim fat from soul food recipes simply resort to lighter versions. For example, add smoked turkey to your cooking pots instead of pork, or use olive oil in place of shortening. When I make fries, I spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray and cook them in the oven. The cooking spray also keep them from sticking. The only thing I lose by preparing fries this way is the greasy taste. There are also great soul food recipes including oven-fried chicken, low calorie stew, salads with low fat dressing and many other low-fat recipes.

Also, consider low-fat or reduced fat butter or margarine. Salad dressing can be purchased in reduced fat versions and low-fat plain yogurt is excellent as a dressing base. These changes will not cause your dishes to lose any flavor in the process.

Stomp out sodium by adding herbs and spices to your cooking pots, salads, fresh vegetables, and potato dishes instead of salt. You can also use salt-free seasonings and seasoning blends. When you choose the right seasoning for your food, you’ll be surprise how well it will taste without salt. For a list of herbs and spices that go well with dishes, please use the Related Resources links below.

Today eating healthy does not mean giving up the home-cooked soul-food we’re used to. It’s a matter of rethinking our eating habits and developing a healthier lifestyle.


Using Herbs and Spices to Flavor Up Your Food
Low Fat Soul Food Recipes
Low Fat Cooking Guide

SPECIAL: Next Month Feature: Mom Favorite Recipes - A Mother’s Day Feature


SPECIAL TO NEWSLETTER April is National Pecan Month and in celebration we have these easy recipes using pecans.


1¾ c. whole wheat flour
½ cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
½ cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 eggs (slightly beaten)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix first four ingredients with fork.

Use knife to cut in butter until mixture has crumbly appearance. With fork, stir bananas, pecans, lemon peel and eggs into flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Spoon batter into lightly greased 9x5” loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


1 lb. large mushrooms
1 tablespoon mushroom stems (from mushrooms)
¼ cup chives or green tops of scallions (chopped)
1/3 cup pecans (chopped)
5 oz. (1 can) chicken spread
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 egg
½ tablespoon salt
1 dash black pepper
16-20 pecan halves (lightly toasted)
½ cup salad oil (for dipping)

Put ½ cup salad oil in cup or bowl. Wash mushrooms, remove and chop stems, reserving 1 tablespoon. Dip each mushroom cap into the oil, and place into rectangular dish or ring mold. (If using rectangular dish, larger caps should be placed in the corners.)

Mix remaining ingredients (except pecan halves) and stuff caps with mixture. Top each cap with a pecan half. Cover with plastic wrap and cook 15 minutes on high in microwave oven. Let stand for five minutes before serving.



Each month we feature a different herb or spice. This month the focus is on Paprika.

Paprika is a culinary seasoning made from dried ground capsicum. In Morocco, Paprika is used in tomato dishes and salads.

Paprika comes from a mild red pepper in the family Capsicum annum. It is a brilliant red powder and often used as a garnish. The peppers used in Paprika are grown in Hungary, Spain, South America, and California. The pepper is grown widely and takes on a slightly different flavor depending on local soil and climatic conditions.

Paprika’s taste range from sweet and mild to hot and is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes and used to garnish on stuffed eggs, fish, and vegetable casseroles. Spanish Paprika flavors shellfish, rice, and sausage dishes.

Most people only think about paprika when they want to add color to deviled eggs or potato salad, but if you combine Paprika with butter, margarine, or oil you will have a quick and colorful baste for fish or poultry.

Paprika is also used as a simple garnish for almost any savory dish and is especially good on roast turkey. Paprika can be mixed with bread crumbs before sprinkling them over casseroles or vegetables. I use Paprika on oven-baked chicken to give it that fried look.

Below are quick and easy recipes using Paprika.


4 large potatoes - peeled, cooked and quartered
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon paprika

In a large skillet, slowly saute potatoes in butter until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika.


4 pounds all purpose potatoes (smooth-skinned, not russet)
1-1/4 cup mayonnaise, low or reduced fat
Juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
4 scallions (both white and green) finely chopped

Scrub potatoes and boil with their skins on until the largest potato in the pot is fork tender. Let potatoes cool. Peel and cut in large dice. Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper to taste, fresh dill, and chopped scallions.

Add mixture to potatoes and stir all will wooden spoon until potatoes are covered. Sprinkle salad with sweet paprika for color. Chill for at least an hour (overnight is even better, lets flavors mingle).

For a list of specific soul food spices including how to use paprika, visit:
Spice List




6 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. lemon peel
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup margarine
3 cups plain flour
2-/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
3 or 4 tsp. lemon juice

Stir together flour and soda; set aside. Cream margarine until softened, gradually adding sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat 1 minute after each egg. Add lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla; beat well. Add flour and buttermilk alternately beating after each addition. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Mix well and pour over warm cake.


2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2-1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 sm. can crushed pineapple
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream sugar and oil; add eggs. Beat well. Next add spices, flour, pineapple and nuts. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.


3 cups sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 lb. margarine
5 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch salt
1 oz. bottle red food coloring
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups sifted flour
1 cup milk

1 stick margarine
1 box confectioners' sugar
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup coconut

Cream sugar, Crisco and margarine. Add eggs, one at a time. Add cocoa, vanilla and coloring. Sift dry ingredients together. Beat in 1/2 of milk and 1/2 flour mixture. Beat well and add remaining flour and milk. Bake in tube pan 1 hour in 350 degree oven. Mix above ingredients and spread over cooled cake.



· Adding spices to a recipe! - Add whole herbs and spices at the start of cooking in dishes that will cook for an hour or longer. Examples are soups and stews. However, if adding crushed or ground spices, add about 15 minutes before the cooking process end as these spices are released quickly.

· Want to give your potato salad more lift? Combine ingredients such the onions, bell peppers, and celery in the bowl with the hot potatoes. This gives extra flavor to the salad from the condiments.

· How to choose a good banana? - Look for bananas that are firm and bright with green tips. Avoid bananas with blemished or broken skin, and that have a strong smell.

· Adding garlic to a recipe! - When a recipe call for adding fresh garlic to oil in a skillet, add for only 20 to 30 seconds so it won’t burn or taste bitter.

· How to choose collard or turnip greens? - Choose greens with healthy green leaves and have not yellowed. Greens in bunches are more economical than picked, bagged greens. For tips on how to prepare greens for cooking visit.

Watch for more exciting cooking tips next month!



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 Newsletter



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:

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COMING IN NEXT ISSUE - Original Article - Mom Favorite Recipes - A Special Mother’s Day Feature.

If you have a special mother’s day recipe you want to share for our next issue, please forward to me at Thanks!



Do you have issues, concerns, questions, or ideas regarding this newsletter or

the Soul Food, OR just want to vent, then, we love to hear from you.

Just click the link below!



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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!

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I found a great website that may interest you This website is dedicated to fostering an online community interested in cooking, thinking, and living.

They strive to create a meaningful space for people to come together and communicate about important topics ranging from the best cheesecake recipe to grilling tips to current trends in dieting. Recipe4Living understands that the best ideas come from a diverse community working together.

Recipe4Living is geared toward people who love to cook and include recipes from world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck, cooking tips and food pairings to help plan your meals.

Look for more on Soul Food Advisor about this great website. Click here to visit.


According to Dr. John McDougall, Director of the Nutritional Medicine Clinic at St Helena Hospital in Deer Park, CA, the “Potato” is an excellent food to achieve rapid weight loss. He says it’s a great source of fiber and potassium, lowers cholesterol and protect against strokes and heart disease.

He warns though to steer clear of butter, milk, and sour cream toppings and suggest trying topping with lemon juice, chives, or plain low-fat yogurt. Another soul food that’s good for you!



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.

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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.