Oven Canning for Long-Term Dry Goods Storage

jars oven can

The irony of writing about killer DIY projects is that when I’m busiest with my DIY-ing, I’m not writing about it. Example: we recently finished the 400-square-foot addition on our house. I’ve tiled two showers and two floors, laid 300 feet of laminate, painted, installed lighting and plumbing fixtures, and now I’m building cabinets for the laundry and bath.

Now THAT’S a lot of DIY.

And not one blog post. Yet. It’s all documented and photographed and waiting to make its etherwebs debut.

There’s still detail and finish work to do, but the most urgent parts of that project are done. We’re sleeping in our new bedroom and the toilet flushes and the shower works and the laundry gets cleaned. So this week I’m working on a much more urgent project that’s been weighing on my mind. It’s emergency preparedness.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re chronically wince-puckered under the looming threat of a subduction zone earthquake. The Big One. The End Of The World As We Know It. Tectonic plates playing bumper cars, earth bucking, bridges cracking, buildings crumbling. When it happens (and apparently it’s a matter of when rather than if) the region could be without power or water or emergency services for weeks. Depending on the damage, it could take months to restore public safety and sanitation.

I’m no survivalist type. I didn’t build a Y2K bunker or stock up on ammo in the waning hours of 1999. Being a hardened contrarian, I generally meet public hysteria and fear-mongering with an eye-roll.

I refuse to freak out.

Preparing is not freaking out. In fact, it’s a remedy for anxiety.

I started stocking the garage pantry about a year ago. My husband would open a cupboard and say, um, we have a LOT of canned beans.

Yes, dear. Yes, we do. That’s the idea. Someday we might have to survive off of what’s in there.

He didn’t grow up in a Mormon household. I did, at least for the first nine years. I remember the six-month supply of canned goods and water jugs in our garage. Mormons are experts at this. Today, my step-mom is the preparedness leader for her church. She’s taken up home canning and keeps a 50-gallon drum of wheat berries in the garage alongside fuel, toiletries, camping gear, and first aid supplies. She’s given us our 72-hour “go” backpacks stocked with water purifying straws and toilet paper and mylar blankets. She’s a trusty source of tips and advice.

Maybe you know a preparedness buff. Make use of that knowledge. But if you don’t know someone, there’s an endless supply of info for free.

If you go looking, prepare to squirm through a meandering rabbit hole of patriot propaganda, anarchy and revolution fantasies, and fundamentalist weaponry worshipers. It’s a dark and camo world out there.

There’s also heated debate:

  • You should definitely store huge drums of white rice
  • No. Store brown rice. It has higher nutritional value.
  • No. Brown rice has omega fats that break down and make it harder to store long-term.
  • Don’t store ANY rice! It has to cook for a long time, and fuel will be scarce.

You get the idea.

And here’s another source of comments-section bickers:

Oven canning.

There are staunch critics and practiced proponents. I’ve read it all, and here’s what I decided:


Yes to the oven canning, but with caveats.

  • Use it only for shelf-stable dry goods like grains and dried beans and maybe dry pasta.
  • Absolutely don’t try this for vegetables or fruit or anything that you’d can with the normal water-bath method. Stick to the tried and true techniques for those foods.
  • Don’t use it for foods with oils (nuts, dog kibble) because they might go rancid.
  • Don’t use it for sugar (this is a common question in the comments sections.) Sugar will melt in the oven.
  • And definitely don’t put up ALL of your emergency stores this way. Even stored carefully and securely, these jars could sprout poltergeist wings and smash to bits during The Mother Of All Earthquakes. It’s like the investment advice: diversify. If you lose some of your goods when hell breaks loose, you’ll have others to rely on.

With these limitations, I think oven canning is a good idea. You’re storing things that might do well just closed up in a glass jar anyway, but the oven processing time can help sterilize and then heat-seal the jars for better and safer long-term storage.

Are you game?

If so, here are the easy instructions:

  1. Lower your oven racks to accommodate large jars (I got the half-gallon size).
  2. Place a roasting pan or baking sheet on the rack.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
  4.  While the oven heats, fill your jars with dry goods. Leave the lids off.
  5. Place the filled jars on the baking pan and heat them for one full hour. Remember: the lids are OFF.
  6. Place the jar lids and rings in a large metal bowl.
  7. When the hour is nearly up, pour boiling water over the lids and rings. This sterilizes them and helps soften the seals.
  8. Place your rings and lids on a clean towel and dry them well. You don’t want to introduce moisture into your dry goods.
  9. Turn off the oven and leave the jars inside. Take out one jar at a time, using oven mitts, and use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe the rim of the glass and then screw on the lid. Just hand-tighten.
  10. Wait. As the jars cool, the lids will “pop” and seal. After they’ve full cooled, if any of your jars haven’t fully sealed, you can repeat the process or simply plan to use them within the next six months or so.

For about $20, including the jars, I put away three gallons of grains and legumes. I opted for oats, quinoa, corn meal, and lentils. Compared to their counterparts (black beans, rice, and such) these foods have shorter cooking times and will need less water or cooking time.

I’ll be showing off some other preparedness projects that are easy to do yourself. Do it!

It brings a distinct peace of mind. And if you want to take a gamble at unleashing some karmic woo-woo, cross your fingers and light a candle and repeat your favorite mantra while you fill your garage shelves with food rations and rain ponchos. Maybe. Just maybe, a disaster-prepped household is like the newly-washed car that brings on a rainstorm or the closely-watched pot that won’t boil. Ommmmm. Rest easily, tectonic plates. Peace. Ommmm.

quinoa oven can3jars oven can

How’s Your Precious Little Spark of Madness Today?

Robin Williams Madness

My feeds are sprinkled with Robin Williams tributes. He would have turned 65 this week, and judging by the chosen quotations in his many tributes, this is his most enduring message: “You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

It’s fitting that we remember his little spark of madness, since he’s the reason we all owned rainbow suspenders and thought “Nano-Nano” was a stupidly hilarious punchline for nearly anything. But maybe this quotation endures for other reasons too. After all, it might have been his own little spark of madness that metastasized into the thoughts that murdered him by his own hand. But perhaps it endures for the simple fact that we all sometimes feel singed by our own sparks of madness, and framing them as precious incendiary gifts is immensely comforting.

So, how are your cherished sparkles of crazy today?

I’ll tell you how mine are. They’re dancing like fireflies in the summer sky, nimble and uncontainable.  I had them captured in Mason jars for a bit. They were glowy and almost cute, as if I could post selfies on Facebook with my crazies’ cherubic brightness buzzing behind me, the way I post pictures of my dogs sleeping in comical poses. “Life is good, all. My dogs are snoring on a pile of my bed pillows and my batshit is all closed up in a jar with a ribbon on top. So, so pretty.”

Not to make light of crazy, because its spectrum ranges from quirky to criminal, but let’s talk about the relatively benign portion of that bell curve. We all know, or at least suspect, that our efforts to chase happiness and cling to normalcy make us feel crazy. If your gray matter contains even the average number of colorful sparks, they will forever conspire to steer you off the bucolic road into the wild woods, and then back to center, and then off again. But somehow we convince ourselves that all of those turns in the road represent some pathology, or some failure of character. That’s where we get into trouble.

I recently read a dour interpretation of Buddhist thought asserting that you’re meant to suffer.  That’s true enough, of course. After all, no being navigates life without suffering. But the author’s enthusiastic embrace of suffering is somewhere I’m not yet ready to go. According to my novice interpretation of Buddhist teaching, a clinging affinity for any state – pleasant or unpleasant – is the source of all suffering. Our challenge is to simply accept and observe all of our states, like the passing scenery out a train window, without judgment. If we try to exert control, if we think we’re called to create a constant state of happiness – or even believe we should be capable of it – we’re fools.

I’ve been that fool lately, not just because I’m as prone as anyone to pathologize my own sparks, but because other people’s sparks insist on ramming into the side of my cozy little Mason jar. And how dare they? Don’t I have enough to do just keeping my own little fireflies in check? I found my equilibrium here, and zap, zap, zap.

My mom texted that she just had a heart attack, although she reports that a series of medical tests confirm there’s zero damage to her heart. Which – and I’m no doctor – I think by definition rules out an actual heart attack.* A normal person would feel concern about her mother’s potential heart attack, but this particular heart attack sounds like her others, plus her several strokes, two rounds of nondescript cancer, MS, fibromyalgia, childhood polio, and a recurring case of “blood clots in the rectum,” all of which didn’t actually happen in any medical sense. They only happened inside her little firefly farm. Zap, zap, zap. So where’s my sympathy, whether her illnesses is in the heart muscle or etched indelibly into the scrambled eggs of her brain? My husband says we’ll send a get-well card. Okay, fine. We can do that. What kind of terrible person am I? Zap, zap, zap.

Getting ready for construction to begin on our master bedroom addition, I rushed through a last-minute door installation, mis-aimed the nail gun, and embedded a nail, curved through the bone like a fishing hook, into my index finger. My husband’s cognitive process turns to TV static in an emergency. He can’t remember the way to the hospital, traffic is bad, my finger hurts like a mutha. I used every muscle in my body to muzzle the snark. It was hard enough work that I walked the last block and a half to the ER to spare me watching him find parking while his brain frizzed. I silently chided myself, finger held high, trying to speed-walk but not run: So now I’m someone who responds to pain by poking everyone else with angry, impatient barbs? Shove those fireflies back into the jar and be lighthearted during the three-hour ER visit, you jerk. Zap, zap, zap.

Just a few days into construction everything stopped because the guy who will install our heat ducting is out at sea for a second week of catching and selling tuna. I’m stressed over the unscheduled stoppage so he can kill members of a drastically declining species instead of doing his job.  Move the electrician and plumber around, force the carpenters to take a two-day break, but swallow down the fireflies and say nothing, you militant vegan freak. Zap, zap, zap.

During my flurry of rescheduling with all the subs, a friend sends an ominous email with no subject line. “Please call me asap.” I take the bait, only to hear she has extra garden produce to share. Oh, yeah, she knows the email sounded alarming, hee-hee. On a troubled and hungry planet, I’m the monster who’s inconvenienced by free arugula and green beans. Swallow those fireflies, you ungrateful First World brat. Zap, zap, zap.

I’m still rearranging the construction schedule when my sister sends two text messages, one Facebook message and a voicemail within five minutes. She has an emergency. I need to call her NOW. Her deeply troubled Chihuahua snapped at the dog walker, who popped the lid off a food-service-size jar of fireflies and said my sister shouldn’t even have a dog. The walker then calmed down and is willing to walk Rocky, but my sister thinks maybe she should just let the cleaning lady walk him because he likes her and because that dog walker treated my sister so unprofessionally. Your dog walker doesn’t have a Harvard MBA, for crying out loud. The dog can’t stay in your apartment for 12 hours, so work it out with the unprofessional one or hire someone else. I don’t care. Zap, zap, zap. It’s one of the few times I let the fireflies out of the jar instead of swallowing them down. I hang up the phone knowing I was too hard on her. I’m a terrible sister. Zap, zap, zap.

That evening I’m planning the next day’s logistics with my husband: I’ll work a full schedule and oversee the builders and meet a City worker for a plumbing inspection. I’ll leave home around 9:15 and be home by 3:00, I say. Glazed and inattentive, my husband asks me what time I’ll leave the house in the morning. Zap, zap, zap. By now the fireflies are harder and harder to contain, and I don’t want to spill them all just because my husband too often asks a question I just answered. It’s not worth the upset, but those little sparks are just zapping and zapping and zapping away.

I was already wound like a tight spring, along with everyone of conscience in the world right now. Bombs are falling, snipers are shooting, cops are killing civilians, civilians are killing cops, refugees are fleeing, and thousands of Americans wearing red and blue sequins and yearning for the good pre-civil-rights era spent the week cheering an orange-hued misogynist racist in his bid to be the leader of the free world. Zap the fucking Zap and Zap Zap.

So I doused the zaps. In whiskey. Sobriety, schnobriety. The warm calm oozed through me. The fireflies floated happily into their jar and lulled off to sleep. Nighty-night.

The fireflies awake in the morning, of course. They can’t spend forever in a calming whiskey wash. Or maybe they could, but the whiskey would make a far bigger mess of me than my sparks would ever dream. So the trick is to not pathologize the sparks to the point that I want to silence them. And to remember that without our madness twinkling through the darkness, we’d be damned boring. I’d have nothing to write. I’d have less arugula.


*Merriam Webster. “Full Definition of heart attack: an acute episode of heart disease marked by the death or damage of heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply to the heart usually as a result of a coronary thrombosis or a coronary occlusion and that is characterized especially by chest pain —called also myocardial infarction.”






How to Remember Harambe


As with so many issues in our public sphere these days, there’s no lack of outrage over the death of Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla shot to death after a four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Well, good. There should be outrage.

But, as with so many issues that inspire outrage these days, the rage may amount to nothing more than a spasm of public fit-throwing and agenda-pushing, unless we carefully channel this anger into something useful.

This tragedy reminds me of a wrongful killing that happened years ago when I was board president of a large animal shelter. A German Shepherd-type dog was admitted to the shelter. His people were located and they were coming to get him. In a nearby kennel there was a very similar shepherd-type dog, but his people weren’t coming to get him. He was slated for euthanasia. But, on the morning of the euthanasia, a confused staff person grabbed the wrong dog. They killed the dog whose family was enroute to get him.

There was a terrible uproar and it was an excruciating time for everyone involved. The family contacted the media and the shelter spent a couple of weeks under an angry spotlight. None of us slept much, and when I was lying awake I was, of course, grieving for the dogs involved, for the people who lost their dog, for the poor staff person who had made that mistake. And I also wondered what a brilliant public relations mind could do to help shape this narrative.

The question was this: how can we use this anger? You would think I’d want the public to stop being angry, since their anger was directed at the shelter. But who would want to  live in a community where people didn’t get angry about a thing like this? I wanted them to be angry, damned mad, in fact.  And I wanted their angry gaze to last long enough for them to connect the pieces.

At the time (though thankfully these days are long gone) the shelter euthanized several thousand dogs and cats a year, and nobody seemed to mind much. The public continued to bring their animals to the shelter’s front door, about 12,000 times a year, 1,000 times a month, 230 times a week, and leave their dogs and cats to this potential fate. The public seemed okay with this reality as long as it happened in a building on the edge of town where underpaid nonprofit employees accepted the community’s burden and kept quiet about it. Statistics showed the community as a whole had some of the nation’s lowest rates of charitable giving. People were contributing 12,000 animals a year to the problem, and alarmingly little to the solution.

The outrage over the one dead dog is like the public outpouring of concern for the occasional cow who escapes a truck on the way to slaughter, or like the current communal roar of grief over Harambe. Our challenge as advocates is to capture that anger, maybe to fan its flames just enough, and then to show the angry mobs what’s behind curtain #2.

Let the martyred animal become an ambassador. Let his memory speak for the untold others who have no voice.

Leaders are trying to do this in the wake of Harambe’s death. Captain Paul Watson from Greenpeace issued a commentary condemning the humans who contributed to every level of the tragedy: the careless mother, the “gawkers” at the zoo who kept screaming and elevating the hysteria, the zookeepers who should have seen Harambe’s gentleness and concern but rewarded it with a bullet. Ultimately, Watson writes, Harambe belonged in the lowland jungles of Africa, not in a zoo. And now a child will have to live with having witnessed the tragic death of the gentle giant who held his hand.

In contrast, my friend Wayne Pacelle of The Humane Society of the United States wrote a blog post with less emotion and a stiff shot of his characteristic philosophical eloquence. Rather than debate the rare crisis scenario that makes for good conversation (Would you redirect a train to kill three animals but save one human? Would you kill a gorilla to save a child?) let’s focus instead on the daily decision we all make that have even more impact. Perhaps they make for less interesting conversation, but that’s because these are mundane, easy choices.

Would you kill an animal for a meal if there was another perfectly good animal-free meal available to you? Would you kill an animal for a pair of shoes or a purse if there were equally good non-animal ones available? Would you buy products that are tested on animals if the products on the next shelf over are cruelty-free?

The Cincinnati Zoo will remain under the angry hot spotlight for a few days, and then the attention likely will drift to the next distraction or cause for outrage. But what if we were able to do it differently this time? What if we turned the hot spotlight into a broad floodlight and used it to take a good long look at our entire relationship to animals?

There are other gentle giants to save, if only we will look long enough to see them.


Vegan Mojito Meringues (Aquafaba)

20160527_181525Oh, the possibilities. Have you heard about the new vegan cooking phenomenon that’s taking even the mainstream cooking world by storm?

It’s light, low-calorie, gluten free, vegan, and since you make it from stuff that you normally pour down the drain, it’s FREE!

The funny name aqua/faba (water/bean) tells its whole story. It’s the liquid from garbanzo beans. And when it’s whipped it forms a stiff, white, airy meringue that’s indistinguishable from the stuff made with egg whites.

(And why not egg whites? Oh, so many reasons.)

So, we all know vegan cooking is going mainstream now, but when the likes of the New York Times and Cooks Illustrated are sharing aquafaba recipes with their readers, you know it’s officially a thing.

I had to try it, of course. So I first dove into the NYT recipe for aquafaba meringues.

I’m hooked. These are light as air, slightly crispy, lightly sweet, and only about 25 calories each.

Working with aquafaba is just like I remember egg-white meringue: it requires patience because it needs a solid 15 minutes of whisking to form stiff peaks. It also requires some flexibility on your part, because it’s sensitive to changes in humidity. I tried these on a rainy day and my dogs were happy with the little meringue blobs, but I was disappointed.

aquafaba blobs

I’m already scheming up holiday versions of these wonderful little meringue nibbles: peppermint flavoring and sprinkles of crushed candy cane, chocolate extract and cocoa powder, mint and lime. And the piece de resistance: I’ll start working on making an aquafaba version of my grandmother’s lemon meringue pie. That particular pie is like kryptonite to my dad, and I haven’t made it in at least five years because I get hung up on the egg thing.


But first: my mojito meringues. It marries my new aquafaba obsession with my hobby of inventing fall-over-delicious virgin cocktails. And this is super simple, although you’ll want to make your minted sugar a day ahead of time.

Open a can of garbanzo beans and drain off the liquid. It’s not very much (maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup) but fear not.

Whip it. My stand mixer doesn’t have a whisk attachment, so I use the hand mixer. Give it the highest speed your gadget has, and give it a good 15 minutes.

These are soft peaks: almost there. The peaks need to be pointy for this to really work.

aquafaba soft peak


Soft peaks won’t work at all for this, so keep going until you can make little peaks that stay standing. Like this.

aquafaba stiff peaks

Then add 2/3 cup sugar, a little at a time, while you beat another 5 minutes. For the mojito version, I let my sugar sit for a couple of days with some bruised mint sprigs* so it was infused with mint flavor. Once whipped with the sugar, the aquafaba gets shiny. Now you’re ready to add flavoring.

I added the zest and juice from one small lime, then whisked some more.

aquafaba with lime

Can you just about smell that lime? I wish I was posting this in the Scenternet.

Drop your meringue onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

aquafaba on paper

Depending on the size of your meringues (larger ones take longer in the oven) you’ll bake them about 90 minutes at 250 degrees. (At that temperature, you’re really drying them as much as baking, so you just look for them to be dry, firm, and light.)

Let them cool. These are light, crispy, minty, and like nothing else you’ve ever had. Enjoy!

aquafaba finished


*To bruise mint leaves like a pro bartender (no, don’t ask me how many times I’ve seen this in person) you set the mint sprig on your open palm, then clap your hands together once or twice. It releases the oils. Just bury the bruised sprigs in your sugar and let it sit.


When You Find a Baby Animal: Myths and Facts

Roger the baby squirrel

Roger the baby squirrel

I still grieve the day 25 years ago when a friend and I found a baby bird on the sidewalk under a tree. She was tiny, helpless, nearly featherless. We both believed the first, most fatal myth: if you touch the baby, the mom will reject it.

We had accidentally touched her, because my friend almost stepped on her. She was on a busy sidewalk, so we moved her aside. And then we felt certain we couldn’t leave her there.

I took her home, believing I could somehow care for her. I tried a number of feedings, from varieties of baby food to sugar water to fruit and vegetable purees.

I gave it the college-level try, but I was kindergarten-level naive. The baby never ate anything, and over 48 hours she became weaker and weaker. I eventually carried her to the bank of a pond, soothed by self-delusions that nature would somehow make it all okay. I left her there, believing…what? Little Disney characters would flutter in and sprinkle her with fairy dust? She’d be adopted by a nanny bird or a benevolent fox would nurse the bird along with her litter of pups?

The baby bird died there, alone and hungry.

Nature wasn’t going to step in and save her, because I’d already thwarted nature’s one perfect plan. To allow nature to save her, I needed only to do one thing: Put the baby back in the tree. Right where we found her. Right where her mother surely watched us carry away her baby to a certain death.

Barring that, I could have reached out to any number of resources I had no idea about back then: Audubon Society, local wildlife rehabs, animal shelters, veterinarians. I didn’t even know to do that. And get this: we didn’t have Google then. It was the dark ages.

Fast-forward a quarter of a century to this past weekend, when I found a baby squirrel under my apple tree. Wide-eyed, passive, trusting little creature that can only be a baby squirrel, he was all too happy for me to pick him up. I’ve rescued several, and they always do the same thing: crawl up my chest, nuzzle under my chin, and make a snuffling sound that shatters my heart. I wrapped him in a piece of fleece fabric, and he kneaded it with his paws, trying to suckle it like he would his mother’s soft belly.

My husband and I fashioned a little nest out of a small box and attached it to a tree limb. There the baby waited, sleeping peacefully, for 3 1/2 hours until it grew dark and cold outside. I brought him inside for the night, keeping him safely in his fleece wrap and a cat carrier, while I Googled emergency feeding and re-hydration for baby squirrels. Again, I gave it the college try, and much less naively this time, but the baby still didn’t eat.

The emergency nest where Roger waited for his mom.

The emergency nest where Roger waited for his mom.

Bright and early the next morning, I put the baby back in his tree, this time sitting in the open on top of his fleece wrap. After about an hour he got playful and explored the tree. He found some hidey holes I didn’t know were there. I learned he could climb down, but couldn’t climb back up, and would panic when he wanted to return to his fleece but couldn’t. So it was clear he wasn’t quite ready to fend for himself, and his mom wasn’t returning.

Usually the mother will return. When she doesn’t, there’s still hope.

I turned to the experts: a local wildlife rescue center that’s expert in saving the hordes of nature’s innocents who nearly lose their lives each spring. Whether from natural predators, the unnatural predation from family dogs and cats, traffic accidents, deaths of parents, or untold other reasons, youngsters in the wild face an uphill climb to survive to adolescence. The wildlife center looks like a nursery this time of the year: babies of every conceivable species suckle bottles and take nourishment from eye droppers and are swaddled and nurtured by nanny humans who, no matter how skilled and compassionate, readily caution that they are a poor replacement for the infants’ actual mothers.

Roger in his much-loved fleece

Roger in his much-loved fleece

Roger (that’s his name, because, as you can clearly see, he looks like a Roger) will spend perhaps a week in the adorable wildlife nursery under the care of people who know how to feed and raise him, and then he’ll come back here, to his home tree, hopefully to thrive.

The babies I’ve saved since then always awaken my grief over the one I killed with kindness 25 years ago. The babies saved don’t erase that loss, but help me feel I’ve tipped the scales in the favor of the innocents. And since nature isn’t populated by magical faeries with gold dust, these babies need all the help they can get.

How to be Heart-Attack-Proof

broken heart

There are a lot of reasons why vegans have a reputation for being smug and superior. Wait. Not a lot. There are two reasons:

  1. A lot of vegans are dicks. Just like a lot of carnivores, or actually a lot of people in general. I’ll make you a deal: I won’t bother apologizing for my fellow vegans and you don’t have to worry about apologizing for your fellow [fill in the blank].
  2. Vegans get validated every day. Truly: every single day. Being constantly reminded that we’re right can make us feel smug and superior.

Case in point: This CNN piece by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It explores an intriguing question. Since doctors say heart attacks are preventable, could we ever have such an informed, heart-healthy population that we see our last heart attack?

Not likely, since that would require a nation of total or near vegans. But not junk-food vegans. This is a saintly adherence to an all-plant diet with virtually no added oil, sugar, salt, or booze. Sadly, French fries and vegan donuts aren’t on anyone’s heart-attack-proof hotlist. But these foods are:

  • Vegetables. Especially bok choy, broccoli, kale, asparagus and their fibrous green friends
  • Fruits.
  • Whole grains.
  • Beans. Peas, lentils, black beans, garbanzos, kidney beans, heirloom beans.

Easy. Inexpensive. Healthy. Non-heart-clogging.

But don’t just take a smug and superior vegan’s word for it. Watch the video (follow the link to the CNN site for a much higher-quality version, but I included the Forks Over Knives link because it leads you to recipes and resources.