Virginia Willis Blog

Living Well: Whole Grain Recipes

quinoa on www.virginiawillis.com

Several weeks ago I was asked by Dr.Oz’s website to do a 7-day Vegan challenge. I approached it with a plan of eating as many minimally processed fruits, vegetables, and grains, as possible. I knew that bean, umami-rich vegetable, and toothsome whole grain recipes would the keys to my success. (more…)

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Eat Right for Your Sight on National Kale Day!

eat right for your sight on www.virginiawillis.com

Eat Right for Your Sight on National Kale Day!

A year or so ago I helped edit a cookbook called Eat Right for Your Sight for the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. It was a fascinating project and increased my awareness of this incurable disease. (more…)

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My Day in NYC on 9-11

NYC on 9-11

This picture of my sister was taken in August, just a few weeks before the horrible tragedy in 2001. In 2010, when I wrote my original post, I had not written a word about 9-11. It all stayed bottled up for a long while. Today, this anniversary, I do what I do every year. I call my friend Claire and tell her I love her. Her home was my refuge that tragic day. And, I reach out to my friend and colleague, Faye. She was my mouth and ears to the world. Somehow she could reach me via cell when no one else could, so she called my family for me to let them know I was okay. 

I reworked this piece just a bit, but, I think, at least for a while, this will remain my blog post for 9-11. 

NYC on 9-11

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Save the Flavors: Easy Summer Ratatouille

Easy Summer Ratatouille on www.virginiawillis.com

Easy Summer Ratatouille

A recent evening’s garden harvest rewarded me with the ingredients for a vibrant, tasty, and easy summer ratatouille — as well as the realization that the garden has suffered a bit from all of our recent travel. Much of the broccoli is flowering and the collard green leaves have grown large and tough. The chili peppers have had a bit too much competition with the weeds, yet there are a couple of scraggly volunteer cherry tomato plants that will likely continue to perpetuate until the end of time. The summer squash are doing sub-par, which thankfully means they are producing amounts that we can keep up with! I do get extreme garden guilt when I see our little patch choked with weeds. As a cook, there’s nothing more satisfying to me than harvesting from the garden and walking immediately into the kitchen to prepare it. The vegetables sing and easy summer ratatouille is the perfect way to save the flavors of the season. (more…)

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Salmon Fishing in Alaska + Salmon Recipes

salmon recipe on www.virginiawillis.com

Salmon Fishing

For the past two weeks I have been on a working vacation in Alaska. I was offered the opportunity to be the guest celebrity chef on Holland America. Anywhere in the world, mind you… and I chose Alaska! I’ve wanted to go to Alaska since the 3rd grade. My grandparents traveled there often when I was a child. Listening to their stories and watching slides on the old-fashioned projector, Alaska seemed to be a great wild land of mystery. My grandparents loved to fish and I do, as well. I think that’s one reason Alaska held such enchantment for them — the fishing. (more…)

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