Vegetarian Cassoulet

This recipe is from SMITTEN KITCHEN

A hearty fall dish

Serves 4-6

Ingredients from Vegetarian Cassoulet:

  • 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 4 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 3 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 quart stock

For garlic crumbs:

  • 4 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs from a baguette
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


Halve leeks lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, then wash well and pat dry.

Cook leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil with herb sprigs, bay leaf, cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, then stock, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.

Make garlic crumbs while cassoulet simmers:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Toss bread crumbs with oil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl until well coated. Spread in a baking pan and toast in oven, stirring once halfway through, until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool crumbs in pan, then return to bowl and stir in parsley.

Finish the Vegetarian cassoulet:

Discard herb sprigs and bay leaf. Mash some of beans in pot with a potato masher or back of a spoon to thicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, sprinkle with garlic crumbs.


Vegetable Salad with Black Beans

End of summer vegetable salad with black beansVegetable Salad with Black Beans

serves 4-6

This Loaded Summer Vegetable and Black Bean Salad is a perfect way to use all that fresh summer produce that needs to be eaten!  It’s great as a side dish or with chips!

Ingredients for Vegetable Salad with Black Beans

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small summer squash, diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans,
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 small orange bell pepper, diced                  Vegetable Salad with Black Beans
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Directions for Vegetable Salad with Black Beans

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil and diced zucchini and summer squash.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender and browning, 10 minutes.  Let cool for about 5-7 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl add the cooled zucchini and squash, black beans, corn and all the remaining veggies.
  3. Top with 2 teaspoons olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix until everything is combined.  Enjoy with as a dip for chips or as a side dish!

If you’re making this salad ahead of time, wait until serving to add the avocado.  Salad will stay good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


This article originally appeared here.

Superbug Bacteria in Supermarket Meatbacteria

Roughly 75 percent of the meat sold at grocery stores in the United States contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria, aka superbugs, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group, a consumer advocacy and research nonprofit.

Sound familiar? EWG first warned of these superbugs—and the serious public health threat they pose—in 2013. Not only does the problem persist, the prevalence of superbugs in pork chops and ground beef has actually increased. That’s in large part because factory farms continue to abuse antibiotics, says Dawn Undurraga, EWG nutritionist and author of the report. Producers feed the drugs to farm animals not to treat bacterial infections but to promote growth, prevent disease, and compensate for cramped, unsanitary living conditions.

“Penicillin is the second most used type of antibiotic on the farm, even though the World Health Organization has designated penicillins as ‘critically important’ antibiotics for use in human medicine,” notes Undurraga. “The type of penicillin that is used on the farm, amoxicillin, is the same one we give to our kids to treat ear and respiratory infections. It’s the No. 1 antibiotic given to kids each year, and we’re squandering it by using it on the farm.”

Why is this so dangerous?bacteria

In fact, the vast majority of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to farm animals, not people. Why is this so dangerous? Antibiotics typically kill most bacteria, but not all, leaving behind antibiotic-resistant superbugs that can spread foodborne illnesses and other diseases—all while transferring their antibiotic-resistance genes to their offspring and to other bacteria in the environment, creating even more superbugs. This in turn can lead to antibiotics losing effectiveness and infections becoming harder to treat. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people every year and cause at least 23,000 of them to die.

While the Food and Drug Administration introduced a plan in 2013 urging pharmaceutical companies to stop selling antibiotics for the use of growth promotion in farm animals, Undurraga stresses the need to do more: The latest statistics show that 87 percent of the bacteria found on ground turkey products are resistant to tetracyclines, a type of antibiotic that’s used to treat human ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, chlamydia, and more. One in five strains of salmonella found on grocery store chicken are resistant to amoxicillin, which, in addition to being prescribed annually to more than 18 million children, is one of the only antibiotics available to treat salmonella poisoning in pregnant women.

Take up the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

Taking up the fight against antibiotic resistance in your own daily life can be as simple as avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics and, even better, transitioning to a whole-food, plant-based diet. However, you’ll still be at risk for picking up superbugs (which can get transported off farms via meat, farm workers, soil, air, or water) until there’s a significant policy change: “Despite growing awareness, the FDA has chosen to bury its head in the sand; it has not issued any rules to deter the industry, instead opting for voluntary guidance,” says Undurraga, who advocates for the World Health Organization recommendations to get medically important antibiotics off of factory farms. “Other developed countries such as Sweden, Denmark, and the United Kingdom have successfully banned nonessential farm use of various antibiotics, and there is no reason that the U.S. could not do the same.”

Researching Chiropractic: Hand Numbness

Do you ever experience hand numbness? Have you tried chiropractic care?hand numbness

Chiropractic clinical case histories have been a regular feature of our patient newsletter since its inception. There seems to be no limit to the health problems that respond to chiropractic care. How many people suffering, on drugs, facing a life of limitation could be helped by chiropractic care?

Probably most of them.

Hand numbness and neck pain in a 46-year-old womanhand numbness

A woman with hand numbness and neck pain began chiropractic care. Spinal analysis revealed that she had upper cervical (neck) subluxations, concurrent nervous system imbalance, a loss of the normal cervical curve and spinal degeneration.

Over a 4-month period she received 8 chiropractic adjustments.

Her neck pain decreased from 4/10 to 0/10 and her hand numbness completely resolved after two months of care.

Are you experiencing neck pain and hand numbness? We can help!

Call and make an appointment today:


Herman C, Harris J. Resolution of neck pain, upper extremity paresthesia & dysautonomia in a 46-year-old female with loss of cervical curve and spinal degeneration using Blair Upper Cervical technique: a case study & review of the literature. Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research. July 9, 2018:26-32

Researching Chiropractic: ADHD

How are chiropractic care and ADHD related?

Chiropractic clinical case histories have been a regular feature of our patient newsletter since its inception. There seems to be no limit to the health problems that respond to chiropractic care. How many people suffering, on drugs, facing a life of limitation could be helped by chiropractic care?

Probably most of them.

ADHD in a 38-year-oldADHD 36 year old man

A 38-year-old male patient entered a chiropractor’s office complaining of chronic headaches and adult onset attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He was taking Adderall®, OxyContin® and Lortab®.

On examination, vertebral subluxations with correlated neurological imbalance were found.

After two months of chiropractic adjustments he reported a resolution of all his ADHD symptoms; he was able to focus and to exercise.

He was also able to stop taking medications for ADHD.

Do you know someone struggling with ADHD? Please share this article.

Pellegrino A, McNulty E. Resolution of adult onset attention deficit hyperactivity disorder following chiropractic care for management of vertebral subluxations: a case report & review of the literature. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research. June 11, 2018:95-107.

Researching Chiropractic: Hearing Loss

Discover how chiropractic care can help with hearing loss.

Chiropractic clinical case histories have been a regular feature of our patient newsletter since its inception. There seems to be no limit to the health problems that respond to chiropractic care. How many people suffering, on drugs, facing a life of limitation could be helped by chiropractic care?

Probably most of them.

Hearing loss in a six-year-old boyhearing loss

A six-year-old boy with diagnosed mild to moderate hearing loss was brought in for care. He was falling behind in class and his speech was difficult to understand. Tympanostomy (ear tube insertion) was recommended.

The child was examined, found to have vertebral subluxations and adjusted.

He had 12 chiropractic visits/adjustments. Hearing, speech and school performance improved following chiropractic care and his hearing was reclassified to normal.

Additionally, he caught up with his class by the end of the third term of school and his speech improved.

Do you know a child suffering from hearing loss?

Please share this information with the child’s parent or caregiver. We can help!

Schedule an appointment today!



Ng K. Resolution of hearing loss, improved speech & school performance following chiropractic management of vertebral subluxations in a male child: a case study. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Chiropractic. July 16, 2018:77-83.

Emotions and Your Spine

When we explain that physical, chemical and emotional stress is the underlying cause of subluxations, many wonder how emotions can cause spinal misalignment.

Yet, our language reveals some common connections.

“I just can’t stand it.”
“He’s a real pain in the neck.”
“She’s cramping my style.”
“My feet are killing me.”Emotions and Your Spine

Our emotions are linked to the meaning we give to situations or circumstances.

For example, for some of us, just the sight of a snake produces fear or aversion. But for others, the same snake is a beautiful reptile to be picked up and held—two very different emotional responses to the same thing!

The Fight or Flight Response

The relationship is complex, but simply put, when we become stressed, our body releases a “fight or flight” hormone called cortisol, influencing muscle tension throughout the body.

When muscles supporting the spine tighten, they can misalign spinal bones, affecting the spinal cord and adjacent nerve roots exiting the spine. After all, bones don’t move unless acted on by muscles, and muscles don’t contract unless commanded by the nervous system.

Our emotional health affects our immune system, increasing our susceptibility to colds and infections during or following emotionally difficult times. And while regular chiropractic care won’t eliminate stress, it may help you to better accommodate it.

Call us for an appointment today!

Emotions and Your Spine

Taking Care of Your Student Athlete

Now that school is in full swing and student sports are starting up, it is time to be diligent about student athlete health.

It is important for a variety of reasons:

  • Quality Sleep
  • Preventing Injury
  • Faster healing time
  • Increases Performance
  • Feeling good
  • Immunity

student athlete

For more information, check out the article Taking Care of Your Athlete that focuses on the following topics:

  • Reactive vs. Proactive Care
  • Spot an Injury or Weakness Before it’s a Problem
  • Subluxation

Staying on top of student athlete health will make for a much better season and a happier kid!

Latest News from Charmaine: September 2018

Greetings all,April 2018

Well, routines are being established again and the fall weather is approaching.  Grand Ledge holds its annual Color Cruise event October 11-14th and, I don’t know about you’ but our social schedules are filling up fast.

What with Quilting (and helping a friend or two to make a quilt) yoga, powerlifting, Zumba and office stuff, I find myself running out of time.

One thing I have really mastered is the idea of doubling up on my cooking so that I can have meals at the ready for the crazy days. I believe if you are cutting 1 onion you might as well do 2 (cuts down on stinky hands)!  I also saw a tip recently, where the author suggested doubling a chili slow cooker recipe and bagging half the ingredients (uncooked) and freezing that for later…genius!!!

Chiropractically, I love that everybody is doing the weekend warrior stuff and getting involved in sports. If I may suggest, please make a point of getting checked regularly to make sure you and yours are in good health to enjoy the wonderful fall ahead of us to the max!

See you in the office, on the table, on the mat or under the barbells.

Couldn’t refuse this giggle…

I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me. – Sigmund Freud



Cauliflower is the star in this healthy lasagna, appearing in two roles-once when it’s blended into the ricotta cheese filling for texture, and a second time when it’s roasted and used in place of the traditional meatballs or sausage…

Ingredients   [ For 7 to 8 people ]    [   Preparation time : 22 minute  –  Cooking time : 35 minutes  ]

  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 head cauliflower; about 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for coating the lasagna noodles
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (28-oz) can no-salt-added whole plum tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, 4 sliced and 1 chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 10 noodles)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Preparation Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Spread the florets in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender and golden brown in spots, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool slightly.
  4. Put the tomatoes in a medium bowl and use your hands to crush them.
  5. Rinse the can with 1 1/2 cups water and add it to the bowl of tomatoes.
  6. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with 4 cloves sliced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small Dutch oven over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and becomes aromatic about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes.
  8. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate, about 30 seconds.
  9. Add the crushed tomatoes with their juice and 4 large leaves of basil.
  10. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 40 minutes.
  11. You should have about 3 3/4 cups of sauce.
  12. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the lasagna noodles one at a time into the pot.
  13. Cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles in a colander.
  14. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons oil to the noodles, tossing to coat to prevent them from sticking, and drape over the side of a large bowl.
  15. Combine the ricotta, egg, 1 1/2 cups of the roasted cauliflower and 1 chopped clove garlic in a food processor and pulse until evenly pureed.
  16. Tear the remaining basil into small pieces, add to the food processor and pulse 3 to 4 more times to chop the basil finely, but not puree.
  17. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  18. Assemble the lasagna: Spread a thin layer of sauce (around 1/4 cup) on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  19. Lay 4 of the noodles on the bottom, without overlapping, cutting to fit, if necessary.
  20. Spread with half of the cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by half of the roasted cauliflower, one-third of the tomato sauce, one-third of the mozzarella and one-third of the Parmesan. Loosely fit 3 more noodles on top of the cheese without overlapping.
  21. Spread with the remaining cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by the remaining roasted cauliflower, one-third more of the tomato sauce, one-third more of the mozzarella and one-third more of the Parmesan.
  22. Top with the remaining 4 lasagna noodles, cutting just to fit.
  23. Then add the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan.
  24. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly and hot, about 20 minutes.
  25. Remove the foil and cook until the cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes more.
  26. Allow to rest for 10 minutes so the lasagna will cut more easily. Garnish with the parsley.