This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

You are invited to keep coming back to A Cup of Kindness to share your experience, strength and hope; fears, doubts and insecurities; and to pick up information, inspiration … and have a little fun!

My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


Chicken, beans, and greens… Oh yes!

Photos by LaDawna! Thank you, Sister.

As my Virginia ancestors would say, “I ain’t got no dog in this hunt.” This is not an advertisement. There are no kickbacks involved. I just love my 6-quart Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker (CPC-600 Series). I use it almost daily. It’s fast and easy to clean. And the food turns out the same every time.

It comes with a recipe booklet which I use for cooking time and pressure release method – quick or natural. The food ideas are my own.

This is what I do with chicken. I get a whole chicken that’s been well-raised – organic, free-range, happy, joyous and free. I cut up a yellow onion, some celery and carrots, and toss them into the pressure cooker pot with a dozen or so pepper corns. Then I take out any gizzards, etc. that have come with the bird, and put a cut-up lemon in its cavity. The chicken goes into the pot with a cup of water or chicken broth. I load and lock the lid in place; choose High Pressure; and set the timer for 9 minutes. Once the beeps alert me, I let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes; then use Quick Pressure Release to let any remaining pressure come down; and open the lid – always carefully and away from my oh-so-delicate face. Once the chicken is cool, Gregory does the work of separating the meat from skin and bones. We save the broth. It’s good stuff.

Beans. No more canned beans! No soaking dried beans! Saving lots of money! I buy beans in the bulk foods section at my favorite grocery store, My Organic Market. Black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, and red beans. Each has slightly different cooking times. I cook black beans most often. So easy. I weigh out 1 pound of black beans; sort through them for any little stones; rinse them; throw them in the pot; add 8 cups water; drizzle a little oil on top (so the frothing doesn’t clog the cooker’s valves); set the timer for 30 minutes at High Pressure; let the pressure release naturally after the beeps sound; drain excess liquid; serve with salsa and eat with brown rice and greens.


We eat greens often. Collard greens, mustard greens, and kale are among our favorites. My go-to cooking method starts with filling the sink with cold water. I separate the bunches of greens and push them down into the water; let the dirt drop to the bottom of the sink; pull out a handful of the greens, roll them up in a bunch and use a big knife to cut them into 1-inch strips. They go into a very big bowl where I toss them with sliced yellow onion, chopped fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, a few grinds of nutmeg, and a pour of Tamari. Sometimes I have so much that I have to cook them in a couple of batches. I fill the pressure cooker with the greens; add a cup or two of water or broth; load and lock the lid; set the timer for 3 minutes; go for Quick Pressure Release as soon as the beeper sounds; open as soon as the pressure drops; and pull the greens out into a nice bowl to stop the cooking. I’m a spicy girl. I use Tabasco on my greens.


By the way, my friend LaDawna is making a generous offer to help me learn to take my own pictures. I’m going to study and practice to get better (as I am working to get better at lots of simple things). In the meantime, if you have food photos that might fit according to the food plan here, please share!

Love & Light,


4 Comments to Chicken, beans, and greens… Oh yes!

  1. Luanne Paynick's Gravatar Luanne Paynick
    February 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    LOVE this contraption and I don’t even own one yet (but I will)!!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Holly K's Gravatar Holly K
    February 5, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    My mother used her pressure cooker all the time when I was growing up. Thanks for reminding me what a useful contraption this is – kind of the yin to my crockpot’s yang. Love the recpies – they help me understand all the possibilities for quick, healthy meals. Will start searching for one in Amazon!

  1. By on March 11, 2012 at 11:10 am

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