Bank Family Original Lentil Soup

September 15, 2014



From Cousin Stuart Bank


2 Tbs olive oil 1 Quart low sodium beef broth or boullion
1 Tbs. butter 1 Quart low sodium chicken broth or boullion
1 cup yellow or Vidalia onion 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 cup (4-5) carrots (chopped) 1 14.5 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
½ cup celery (chopped) 1 Tbs tomato paste
½ cup medium pearly barley 1 Tbs Basil
1 cup Lentils Hot Sauce to taste
2 Bay leaf

Note: Clean and rinse lentils to ensure they are clean and tender for cooking.


· Heat oil and butter over medium heat in soup pot. (butter is optional)
· Sautee onion, carrot, celery & 2 bay leaves until tender but crisp
· Stir in Tomato Paste for 1 minute
· Add dashes of hot sauce for taste (optional) and stir
· Stir in Lentils and Barley for 1 minute
· Add diced and stewed tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes
· And beef and chicken broth or boullion and bring to slow rolling boil over medium heat.
· Lower heat to simmer for 1.5 – 2 hrs stirring every 30 minutes. (Longer cooks, the better)
· Add basil and cook for final 30 min.

Makes a little over 4 quarts. Ready to serve. Great with hard crusty bread.

Mushroom Vegetarian Chopped Liver

September 15, 2014



From Cousin Stuart Bank

Makes about 2 ¾ Cups


6 Tbs Canola oil 3 Hardbolied Eggs
1 lb. White mushrooms sliced ¼ inch thick ½ tsp Kosher salt
2 or 3 Medium onions (Chopped) ¼ tsp Ground black pepper
½ Cup Shelled walnuts pinch Garlic salt w/parsley

Fry chopped onions in 3 Tbs Canola oil in 10” or 12” skillet until browned, sweet and caramelized. Remove from pan and place in bowl to cool.

In same skillet, heat 3 Tbs. Canola oil over medium-high heat until very hot (but not smoking). Add mushrooms slices, tossing constantly. Cook until mushrooms release their moisture and the juices evaporate. Cook for approximately an additional 5-10 minutes until mushrooms have shrunk and browned. Remove from skillet and place in bowl until cool.

Once onion and mushrooms are cooled, place in food processor. Add walnuts, eggs, salt, pepper and pinch of Garlic salt w/parsley.

Pulse until mixture is coarse. Scrape mixture from top/down and then bottom up to blend well. Pulse again until mixture is fine, but not pasty. Just enough to hold it together for spreading.

Cool in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. Mixture will last up to 1 week in refrigerator.


Warm Chocolate Tart from Chef Jacques

December 23, 2011


one 6-7 inch Sweet Pie Crust
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup milk
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 whole eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the heavy cream and milk in a heavy saucepan. Place over high heat and bring contents to a boil. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Beat the 2 eggs in a bowl. Slowly pour the warm chocolate and cream mixture into the bowl, whisking constantly. Pour the contents into the Sweet Pie Crust and bake in preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes until the custard is set. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the custard. The custard is ready if toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

Courtesy of Chef Jacques of Chez Francois in Virginia at

More recipes from Chef Jacques who recently appeared on the Today Show!

Cranberry Pear Muffins

October 9, 2011

Prep time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Mini muffins help cut down portion sizes

Cooking spray
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teas ground cinnamon
1/4 teas baking powder
1/2 teas baking soda
1 1/2 cup peeled and shredded pear
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 teas lemon zest
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teas granulated sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 12 muffin tin cups (2 1/2 inch) with cooking spray. Combine flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In another bowl, comine pear, cranberries, egg, oil and lemon zest. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and dip tops in additional granulated sugar. Cool and serve.

Serving: 150 calories, 5g fat, 20mg cholesterol, 25g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 2g protein

Courtesy of Giant Food.

MonaVie Active French Toast with fruit

October 9, 2011

This French Toast is so good! You’ll want it everyday.

1/2 loaf challah, white bread, or any bread for making french toast that you like
6 egss
2/3 cup skim or your favorite milk
2 teas of either Splenda, Equal or sugar
1 and 1/2 teas MonaVie Active Premier Acai Juice Blend

Beat, mix or whip everything listed above except the bread in a large bowl. Preheat a griddle or large pan. Spray bottom with butter or cooking spray. Dip slices of bread in MonaVie egg mixture and cook on griddle or in the pan until done.

Serve with sliced banana, blueberries and strawberries. Top with a bit of honey, syrup or a dash of powered sugar. If you don’t have fruit you can also top with pecans.


Acai is a fruit that grows only on the Acai Palm Trees in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. The Acai berry is small in size (smaller than a grape) and is dark purple in color. Acai has a berry flavor with a subtle chocolate after taste. Acai is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Many natives of the Rainforest could eat a diet of only acai and live till an old age without many illnesses found in modern society. Acai is widely considered by many scientists to be a SuperFood, but you can’t get it anywhere. MonaVie has the most potent form of acai boasting a compound that is 10 times the polyphenols of traditional acai. MonaVie Active has glucosamine in it to help with joint health.

E-mail to try great tasting MonaVie.

Gazpacho – Great low carb summer soup

August 11, 2011


If you grow vegetables in your garden, this is a great way to use them. Gazpacho is naturally low in carbs, and loaded with vitamins and fiber. It’s cold and refreshing on a hot summer day. My step-father use to live in Mexico when he was young, and he learned to make Gazpacho there.

2 cups tomato juice – We use Campbell’s. V8 is also good
4 – 5 fresh tomatoes – washed and cut in chunks
1 cucumber – seeded and sliced
1 bell pepper – seeded and chopped
1 stalk celery – chopped
1 clove garlic – minced
1/2 carrot – sliced
1/2 large red onion – sliced
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teas salt
pepper to taste

Throw everything in a food processor and blend it well. Stir in olive oil slowly. Add more tomato juice if it is too thick. Transfer to a large bowl and chill before serving.

You can add a dash of red pepper or tobasco sauce, if you wish, or a dash of ground cumin.

Garnish with 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or other fresh herbs, i.e. basil, chives, mint, thyme, etc.

Feel free to experiment. Farmers in the field throw in whatever they have to make Gazpacho.

Serve with warm crusty bread. Serves 6 to 7 people.

Perfect Paella

June 15, 2011

Perfect Paella
My son got this from a student in his class. The kids loved it and it’s now a great meal for our family too.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teas crushed red pepper flakes
2 Cups white rice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken broth or stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 and 1/2 pounds chicken tenders cut up
Salt and ground pepper
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 pounds chorizo, casing removed and sliced at angle, or
instead of chorizo Andouille sausage.
1 pounded peeled and deveined large shrimp, about 24 shrimp
(optional – 18 green lipped mussels, cleaned)
1 cup frozen peas
2 lemons zested

For Garnish:
1/4 cup flat leaf chopped parsley and/or cilantro
4 scallions, chopped
lemon wedges

In a very wide pan or paella pan, preheated over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and coat bottom of the pan with it. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Saute the rice for 2 or 3 minutes. Add saffron, bay leaf, broth, thyme, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan with lid and reduce heat to simmer.

In another nonstick skillet, over medium high heat, use more olive oil or spray pan with Pam or similar product, and brown chicken on both sides. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chopped red bell pepper and onions and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or so. Add chorizo or sausage to the pan and cook a few minutes more and remove from heat.

After rice has cooked for about 10-15 minutes, add shrimp to the rice pan, nesting in the cooking rice. Do the same with mussels if you are using them. Pour in peas, and scatter lemon zest over the rice and shrimp mixture, and cover the pan. Continue cooking. After 5 to 10 minutes, when rice is done, remove cover and discard any unopened mussels if you are using them. Stir rice and seafood and take out the bay leaf and thyme stems, now bare of their leaves. Arrange rice and seafood on a large plate. Arrange cooked chicken and peppers with onions and sausage around the rice. Top with garnish. Serve with lemon wedges and warm crusty bread.

Call Julie at 703-978-6028, or e-mail for info on MonaVie. We serve MonaVie, EMV Action Drinks, and RVL in Northern Virginia, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Richmond, Fairfax, Burke, Maryland, Springfield, and Washington, D.C. We can assist you in shipping MonaVie products to other areas as well, or throughout the world, where MonaVie is provided.

During a stressful and busy day, most people do not get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet. But just 4 ounces of MonaVie’s premier acai juice blends daily equals 13 servings of fruit which can help boost your nutrition with loads of antioxidants that fight free radicals. Many of the fruits in MonaVie are hard to find from around the world, and work together to give you a wide variety of nutrients. Lose weight with MonaVie’s new RVL! We are looking for people who just want to be customers where MonaVie products can improve their own nutrition, and we are seeking other bloggers or smart business people who want to set up a small home based MonaVie business too.

Remember MonaVie products make great gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day too.

As a way to give back to the land where the acai berry comes from, MonaVie’s MORE Project helps disadvantaged children in Brazil and their families by providing them with education and safe environments for them to learn and grow. When you purchase MonaVie products, you help to support the MORE Project and poor families in Brazil.

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