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Visit the Cook for Good blog for wildly good cooking tips, money-saving ideas, book reviews, and more from Linda Watson and guest bloggers.


Delicious Halloween Candy: organic, vegan, and gluten free!

Best. Halloween. Candy. Ever. I usually make all our desserts, but modern parents demand sealed treats. Kids don't seem to be interested in my candied kale krispies. So I'm delighted to find four kid-friendly options that are organic, vegan, and gluten-free. 

Read on for my Halloween candy review, including pictures with the wrappers off, price per piece, and the Scrimp and Splurge Winners. 

organic vegan and gluten free halloween candy

This year, my Taster said he simply didn't care which Halloween candy I bought because he wasn't going to eat any of it. Not a single piece. But we spotted a display with lots of choices at the Whole Foods. We bought four types and were happily surprised ...

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Food Day 2014: Four ways to eat great food and make a difference.

Happy Food Day 2014! It's a great day to celebrate the difference you can make to your own health, budget, and the world around you by eating real food cooked from scratch. Sometimes the choices can be overwhelming. Here are my four aspirations when choosing what to eat, in order of importance, with reasons why they help you personally and help you make difference.

vegan breakfast - baked oatmeal with apples and raisins

1. Eat plants

  • For you: Increase your odds of having a longer and healthier life, with more energy and without the diseases of affluence (cancer, heart disease, dementia, and diabetes).
  • Make a difference: Shrink your carbon footprint and ...

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What do do if you have shingles or postherpetic neuralgia

I had a bad case of shingles this summer and still have the post-shingles pain (postherpetic neuralgia). Yet as common and life-changing as it can be, shingles is frequently misdiagnosed and undertreated.

Perhaps my experience can help you. I'm not a doctor or dietitian, but maybe my findings can help cut the time you spend in googling while in pain. Only after digging around on the Internet, talking with physician friends, finding recommendations about vitamins and suppliments, and going to a pain clinic did I get the relief needed to resume my life. Resume my life?

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Two wildly easy shortcut dinners under 15 minutes with gluten-free options

You can make healthy, tasty dinners in fifteen or twenty minutes using shortcut ingredients available at most grocery stores. Clean up in about five more minutes. Go as organic as your budget and store allow. Go gluten-free too if you'd like. These shortcut dinners are healthier, cheaper, and at least as tasty as most restaurant dinners. If you have ten more minutes to spend cooking, make homemade pasta sauce for better flavor and nutrition. Read on for two dinners and the shortcut ingredients that make them possible.

A "home-cooked meal" doesn't have to be made from scratch

In my post last Friday, I disputed a claim by NCSU researchers that cooking dinner is "nearly impossible" for mothers these days. Rather than resorting to food trucks and reheated dinners from their children's school cafeterias as the researchers suggest, modern moms and dads can find plenty of help at the grocery store. They can help you stay independent when your priorities, budget, or body prevent you from cooking from scratch.

Use the scratch-made dinner as an ideal to guide your choice of ingredients. Avoid processed foods and ingredients that aren't recognizably food. Minimize added sugar and salt. Choose ingredients that are organic, local, and in season when possible.

Choose healthy ingredients at the grocery store to cut your cooking time without resorting to processed food.

Shortcut dinner 1 (gluten-free) ready 13 minutes with ...

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My summer of cooking shortcuts

I usually cook from scratch, with a few shortcuts such as dried noodles, canned tomatoes, peanut butter, and soy sauce. This summer, though, I had a bad case of shingles followed by post-shingles pain. I was sensitive to touch despite heavy doses of pain killers and sensitive to light because of them. Rinsing leafy vegetables was out because they splashed tiny drops of water on my face, something I didn't even notice before becoming super-sensitive.

My Taster cooked and got take-out. Dear friends brought over food too. When I did cook, I used shortcuts that don't usually find their way into my kitchen. Maybe some of them will help you through illness or busy times. Read on for details.

breakfast smoothie using frozen blueberries, salad mix, and banana

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