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


For Agnes


red cabbage 2


Especially for my friend Agnes, here is my take on a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey from her perfectly titled “Quick & Easy Indian Cooking.”

Stir-Fried Red (or Green) Cabbage with Various Seeds

Take your cabbage in hand with confidence. Remove its outer layer of leaves which can be a bit coarse. Firmly place the cabbage on a cutting board and, with a large chef’s knife, split the vegetable in half. Carve out and toss the core away. Pick up a long, serrated bread knife and shred the beast. Remove the shreds to a big bowl.

Now, prepare yourself to cry. Take a large-ish onion (red onion for red cabbage, yellow onion for green cabbage) and use your very sharp chef’s knife to peel, halve, core and slice the onion into fine half rings. (Come on! Let yourself cry!) Remove the shreds to a medium bowl. Wash the knife, the cutting board and your hands to remove all traces of tear-inducing fumes. Do like I do and dab at your eyes with a cool, damp paper towel. So genteel.

Measure out a teaspoon each of the following spices into a small bowl: cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black mustard seeds and sesame seeds. The essential seeds being cumin, fennel and black mustard seeds IMHO.

Keep handy a teaspoon of salt, a tiny amount of garam masala, and about 2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice.

Get ready to move quickly.

I use a big pot. Set it over medium-high heat for a minute. Pour in some vegetable oil without much flavor. I use walnut oil because it’s good for me. (My nutritionist, Rebecca Snow, noticed that I was relying on olive oil all the time. She suggested changing up the oil I use in salads and cooking. In our cupboard, we’ve got coconut oil, olive oil, walnut oil and avocado oil.)

Sprinkle in the seeds. Give a stir.

When you hear the seeds begin to pop, grab the onions and throw them in. Give them a stir. Fry those onions for 3 to 4 minutes.

When the onions begin to brown, toss in the shredded cabbage. Stir and toss and stir and toss, mixing the cabbage, onion and seeds.

When the cabbage has browned a little, add your salt and turn down the heat to medium-low.

Stir now and then and cook for no longer than 6 minutes… until the cabbage is just soft enough, but still with a little crunch.

Add a tiny sprinkle of garam masala. A little goes a long way. You could even be daring and add a tinier sprinkle of cayenne for spicy heat. Add the lime or lemon juice. Stir to mix.

Take off the heat and pull your Bhumi Bandh Gobi into a serving bowl.

This is going to be good.


Love & Light,



Photo by…Adam Milliron©

19 Comments to For Agnes

  1. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    May 27, 2014 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    I like your “cookbook”. It’s funny!

  2. Luanne Paynick's Gravatar Luanne Paynick
    May 27, 2014 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    Not only does this sound absolutely yummy, it was fun to read. It was light and punchy – painting great pictures in my head.
    Thanks Valerie!!!

  3. nicola's Gravatar nicola
    May 27, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    ha, i had a red blue cabbage in my frig and had contemplated fixing it for Sunday in May in Millville. I sprinkle spring onions or chives on top , on the plate. love and peace
    love and peace

  4. Pattie's Gravatar Pattie
    May 27, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Fun to read! Sounds yummy!

  5. Agnes's Gravatar Agnes
    May 27, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Thank you Valerie. It was delicious and perfect for last night’s diner. The colors were gorgeous and the mix of spices very much fun. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. May 27, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Sounds delicious and a little daring! If you were to add a teaspoon of coriander seeds to your mix, voile`! you have that magical mix for maximum digestive power, CCF: cumin, coriander and fennel; and they are major yum factor when toasted. Can’t wait to give this recipe (I love how you tame that beastly cabbage and that soul-searing onion:)), and this Jaffrey cookbook, a passionate

  7. Em's Gravatar Em
    May 29, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Valerie –

    Thanks for the inspiration. Can’t wait to give it a try.

    I know what you mean about mixing up the various oils and fats we use. So easy to fall in a rut.

    Awhile back I discovered coconut butter (not to be confused with coco butter). Wow, delicious … and a nice peanut-buttery consistency. Also fewer calories and lower fat than coconut oil. Not for salads though, I guess. Heh.


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