She and her husband moved here from Milwaukee three years ago. They have two daughters -- one is an attorney in Hong Kong and the other works for the British Consulate in Chicago.
In Milwaukee, the couple owned a children's bookstore for seven years. She grew up on a dairy farm in Door County, Wisconsin, the youngest of thirteen children. "We grew our own vegetables, butchered our own meat, drank our own milk, and lived between a cherry farm and a strawberry farm. How's that for healthy living?" Paula says.
Aside from volunteering for us, she is also volunteer at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and tutors children at the Detroit Leadership Academy, where she recently volunteered as a class assistant.
"I wanted to volunteer for Cooking Matters because I love to cook and think it's important to help people get comfortable and creative in the kitchen. As a new resident to Detroit, I was able to pick and choose the organizations where I would devote my time. Gleaners has a wonderful reputation and I'm proud to be associated with this organization."
Her favorite classes have been with kids, particularly at the Detroit Leadership Academy where she knew many of them personally.
"The perk of being a class assistant is getting to know many of the coordinators, chefs, and dietitians. Each bring a unique talent to their classes and I've enjoyed working with them all."
Coming from a large family, Paula says her mom was an excellent cook. "I have a cookbook that is a culmination of 35 years of recipes. I have recently been giving relatives and friends copies and encouraging them to share as well."
Here she shares her recipes for black bean soup as well as asparagus soup. "Most people don't realize how easy soups are to make and certainly are a healthy way to get your veggies," says Paula.
1 cup onion, chopped 6 green onions, sliced 3 tablespoons butter 1 ½ cups fresh mushrooms, sliced 1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into ½ inch pieces 1 can (49 ½ ounces) chicken broth ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon dried thyme ¼ teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 cups cooked wild rice 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/3 cup water
In a 3 quart saucepan, sauté the onions in butter for 4 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook until tender.
Add the asparagus, broth and seasonings; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the rice.
Dissolve the cornstarch in water; stir into the soup.
Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Black Bean Soup
3 cans (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained, divided 3 ribs celery with leaves, chopped 1 large onion, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cans (14 ½ ounce) vegetable broth 1 can (14 ½ ounce) diced tomatoes 3 teaspoons cumin 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon hot sauce ¼ teaspoon pepper 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon lime juice sour cream chopped green onions
In a small bowl, mash one can of black beans and set aside.
In a large pot, sauté the celery, onion, red pepper, jalapeno and garlic in oil until tender.
Stir in the broth, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, hot sauce, pepper, bay leaf, remaining beans and reserved mashed beans.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the lime juice.
Garnish each serving with sour cream and green onions.