Archive for the ‘Health’ Category


Clockwise from top: Israeli Moroccan Couscous (made by my neighbor), Cantelope, Vege Sandwich with Dill Sauce, Potato Salad.

I have some of my taste back….the fruit was good. The Israeli Moroccan Couscous was pretty darn good. I will add that to my list of stuff to make! The sandwiches were so yummy. But, the star of the show tonight was the potato salad…..we all LOVED it!!

Israeli Moroccan Couscous:

Sandwich with Dill Sauce

Dill Sauce:
½ C. {Vegan} Mayonnaise
½ C. {Vegan} Sour Cream
¼ C. Fresh Dill, chopped
Spices, to taste: salt and maggi (liquid seasoning….don’t need much….one drop at a time).

Possible Sandwich ingredients: Bread/tortilla, Peppers, Red Onion, Tomato, Sprouts, Avocados, Carrots, Spinach, Pickles, Salad….the sky is the limit.

Combine all of the ingredients for the dill sauce and refrigerate until ready to use. You can use this right away; however, it is best if you can let it sit for a couple hours to let the flavors blend well.

Lay out the bread or tortilla, spread each with the dill sauce and layer the rest of the ingredients as you prefer. ENJOY!!

Yummy Potato Salad

6 potatoes, skin on and cubed
½ Red Onion, diced
3 Baby Dill Pickles, diced
1 to 2 stalks Celery, diced
½ tsp. Mustard
½ tsp. Dijon Mustard
½ to 1 tsp. Sugar (to taste)
Spices, to taste: salt, pepper, paprika, celery salt, maggi

Place the potatoes in a large pot with salt (1 tsp. Or so) and enough water to cover them by an inch. Boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and let them cool completely.

Combine all of the other ingredients and adjust seasonings as necessary. (Once you add the potatoes, everything will taste more bland….but, with some time to sit, the spices will blend nicely.) Add the potatoes and stir carefully. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

~ Recipes inspired by Avacado Sandwich with Dill Sauce and Potato Salad from “Vegan Comfort Food” by Alicia C. Simpson

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Clockwise from top: Salad, Pear Cake (made and shared by my neighbor), Apples, Taco Pasta

I can’t taste again today; however, for whatever reason, my taste buds DO work…but, for some reason I am not able to actually tell.  Very weird.  When I ate everything, my mouth watered…which told me that it was all good…just wish I could have actually enjoyed it.  😦
We all also agreed that next time I make the Taco Pasta, I will add some additional liquid…it was WAY TOO dry.  Everyone also agreed that the Pear Cake was Da BOMB!!  Mmmmmm!! 

Taco Pasta

1/2 box whole wheat noodles  (I used mini penne noodles)

1 Onion, Diced
1 Green Pepper, diced (I used multi-colored peppers)

1 Can Diced Tomatoes, with Chilies (I used one can petite diced tomatoes and one small can of green chilies)
1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Vegetable Broth (This time I did not use the broth; however, since it was so dry, I will use it next time)
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning or Taco Seasoning, to taste (I used taco seasoning from a shaker jar….it is pretty potent stuff, so I only added a small amount at a time until my family was fine with the flavor.)

In a pot of boiling water, cook about 1/2 of the box of penne pasta. Saute onions and diced green peppers with a little olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies and a can of black beans. Season with chili powder, cumin, Salt and Pepper and garlic powder. Then stir in the pasta.

Top with vegan cheese, lettuce, crushed tortilla chips and guacamole. Super quick and easy, and they love it.  (We topped it with 1/2 of a piece of Vegan cheddar cheese.)

Serves 4-6

Original recipe from www.fullplateplanet.com 
My changes to the recipe will be in (parenthesis) or will be in italics.

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Bowl:  Brown Rice (underneath) with Creole Blackeye Peas
Plate Clockwise from top: Home made Corn Bread (recipe in the book “Vegan Comfort Food”) and Caramel Apples

Honestly, I couldn’t taste it at all….but, the kids liked it (both going for seconds). 
Next time, when I make the corn bread, I will make half a recipe….it was very thick and gooey….not quite the consistency that I want.  The flavor, according to the kids, was YUMMY!!

Creole Black-eyed Peas1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon hot sauce (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke flavoring

Soak the peas overnight in cold water. Drain. Over high heat, sauté the onion until it begins to brown; add the bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Then add all ingredients except liquid smoke to the pot, along with enough additional water to cover the peas by one inch. Cook until peas are completely tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding more water as necessary. When they’re tender, add the Liquid Smoke, cook for 5 more minutes, and serve over rice.

Makes 6-8 servings.  For 6 large servings (not including rice), each contains 299 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (6% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 58g Carbohydrate; trace Cholesterol; 481mg Sodium; 12g Fiber.
*NOTE: I am not sure which website I got this recipe from….so, if you recognize it…thank you for sharing!!

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Bowl: Vegetable and Biscuit Bake (Very similar to Chicken and Dumplings)
Plate Clockwise from top: Apples with Gourmet PB (PB, Raisins, Cinnamon), Pumpkin Spice Cake and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from my neighbor.

We all loved the Vege Bake….I will tweek it again once I can smell and taste properly…but, it was still yummy as is. The cake was good; however, it certainly needed to bake MUCH longer than the 30 minutes that it called for…and it still seemed to be a little underdone…but, it was good!! Continuing the pumpkin and chocolate theme, my neighbor shared some of her homemade cookies!! (http://www.sporkorfoon.com/spork_or_a_foon/2009/09/the-softest-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies-in-the-history-of-the-world.html!!)  

from www.fullplateplanet.com

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound potatoes, diced  (I used 5 potatoes)
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered  (I didn’t use the mushrooms…YUCK!!)
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion  (I used 1 onion)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 cups vegetable broth (2 cans of vege broth is approximately 3 cups)
2 bay leaves  (I used 3)
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into 1/2 to 1″ pieces
1/2 cup frozen, shelled edamame or lima beans (I didn’t use either of these…again, YUCK!!)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (I didn’t use the parsley)
Spices, to taste: Salt, Pepper, Celery Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Maggi

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup plain almond or soy milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 3 quart (or 9×13) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute the potatoes for several minutes until they just begin to soften on the edges. Add in the mushrooms, celery and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the thyme and flour and cook until the flour is incorporated. Gradually stir in the broth, bay leaves, carrots, green beans, edamame or lima beans, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until carrots and beans are barely tender, about 15 minutes. Add the corn and peas and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the parsley.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and set aside.

Make the biscuits: In a food processor, place the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse several times to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse until crumbly. Gradually add the milk and pulse until the mixture clumps together and forms a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough to about 3/4″ thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut shapes of dough and place (sides touching) on top of the vegetable mixture. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Enjoy!

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**I don’t know that I love menu planning so much as I like to serve my family healthier foods and save money doing so!!

I don’t actually plan our menu for specific days…I plan the menu around when I will be going to town next. This particular menu was for Thursday through Monday. (I will be going to town again on Tuesday.) I usually cook whatever I am in the mood for….or what time dictates.

Thursday: Piegories, Salad, Strawberries 

Bean Burger, Roasted Potatoes, Salad, Fruit

 Vegetable and Biscuit Bake, Salad, Fruit

 Creole Blackeyed Peas, Rice, Cornbread, Fruit

 Friday: Autumn Soup, Sweet Potato Quesadilla, Caramel Apple (Made enough to share with my neighbor!!)

 Black Bean Tacos, Mexican Quinoa Salad, Fruit

 Dessert: Pumpkin Spice Cake

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Clockwise from top: My Veganized version of My Mom’s Autumn Soup, Caramel Apple, Fat Tuesday Jelly Muffin, Sweet Potato Quesadilla.

The soup was awesome!!  We liked the idea of the sweet potato quesadilla; however, next time, I will make is way more “sweet” vs. the savory that the recipe calls for.  The cupcakes were awesome, even though they didn’t turn out quite like it should.  Recipes Below….

 Autumn Soup

1 Cup Vege Broth
1 1/2 Tbl. Liquid Smoke
1 C. TVP

1 lg onion, diced
1 Clove garlic
1 C. carrots, chopped
1 C. celery, chopped
2 C. potato, chopped
1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
8 cups water
4 bay leaves
The rest of the Vege Broth from the can used above

Seasonings to taste : Salt, Pepper, Itallian Season, Celery Salt, Garlic Powder, Maggi (liquid seasoning), Thyme Leaves, Vege Bullion Cube (optional)

Combine the Vege Broth and Liquid Smoke….bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the TVP. Stir and cover until ready to use.
Put EVOO in a deep pot, add onion and cook until soft…add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the rest of the can of vege broth and the 8 cups of water. Add all veges and spices, stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until veges they are soft.  Add the prepared TVP when the veges are partically done, to allow the flavors to mix.  Add additional seasoning if necessary. 

Sweet Potato Quesadilla

1 pkg wheat tortillas
1 onion, diced
4 tbsp oil
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt

 Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and cook in the microwave until soft. Cooking time will vary depending on your microwave and the size of the potatoes. When potatoes are done, scoop flesh out of skins and mash.
Heat oil on med-hi in a frying pan. Fry onions until golden brown. 
Add potatoes, cinnamon, cumin, sugar, and salt. Mix well and remove from heat. Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. If using large tortillas: Spread a thin layer of margarine on one side of a tortilla. Flip over. Spread a thick layer of the potato mixture of half of the tortilla. Fold over. If using small tortillas: Cook the same as you would normally cook a quesadilla.  Cook in cast iron pan on both sides until golden brown. Cut into three pieces. Serve.

1 cup plain almond milk or unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

about 1/3 cup raspberry jam or other flavor jelly

confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Do not attempt to make these without the cupcake liners, which is what I did. I sprayed my pan with nonstick cooking spray and most of them stuck to the bottom.
Mix together the “milk”, apple cider vinegar and cornstarch. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Create a well in the center of the flour to pour the wet ingredients into.
Stir the “milk” mixture with a fork to dissolve cornstarch then pour into the flour well. Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. 
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Place a heaping teaspoon of jelly on the center of each cupcake. While it’s baking, the muffin will puff up around the jelly so it ends up in the center of the muffin. Bake for 21-23 minutes. The tops should be firm to the touch. 
Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks. Leave uncovered overnight so they get a little crispy. Sift powdered sugar over the tops. Makes 12 muffins

ENJOY!!!  🙂

NOTE: I added the recipes from the websites that originally posted them, because it was already posted on-line; however, please give them some love and visit their sites….they got some good eats!!  Mmmm!!

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Clockwise from top: Salad, Angel Hair Pasta with Spicy Spaghetti Sauce, Plums and Cantelope.

I have gotten to making this soon after I make the Rice Pizza, ’cause I use commercial spaghetti sauce as the pizza sauce and then use the rest for our spaghetti dinner.  The Hubs and I went to town today, so once I got home, I really didn’t want to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen…this meal is a go-to quick fix.  The fruit was okay; although, everyone is about canteloped out and no one jumped for joy over the plum.  I think I might go to one fresh fruit per meal from now on….it is getting hard to find good fresh fruit.

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Clockwise from top: Salad with Apples and Maple Vinigrette from (http://fullplateplanet.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day/) Brown Rice Pizza (Recipe Below), Apples with Gourmet Peanut Butter and Watermellon.

The salad was good; although I used LOTS more of the maple syrup than it called for….probably wasn’t as good for me as it couls have been…lol.  The Brown Rice Pizza was good, as usual….I think I am getting to be a bit of an expert at it!!  The watermellon sucked….it is just too late in the season, I think.  The apples/PB were good again!!
Brown Rice Pizza

2 Cups Brown Rice, Cooked (I used Instant Brown Rice)
2 t. Italian Seasoning
1/2- 1½ T. Olive Oil (Depending on how “sticky” your rice is)
¼ t. Sea Salt
¼ t. Freshly Ground pepper

1 – 2 Zucchini (I only used one), sliced lengthwise, then thinly sliced
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper (I used the small peppers….2 Yellow peppers, 2 Orange Peppers and 1 Red Pepper), cored and thinly sliced
½ Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
1 Tomato, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 T. Olive Oil
1 T. Vinegar (Regular, Balsamic or Apple Cider)…I used Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8-1/4 t. Sea Salt

½ – ¾ C. Good Quality Pasta Sauce (I used the leftover sauce from yesterday’s Spaghetti Dinner)
1-1½ T. Hoisin Sauce, Optional (You will find this sauce in the Oriential Sauce Section at Wal-Mart)

¼ C. Kalamata Olives, optional
1/4-1/2 C. Vegan Style Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a baking container, combine all items in the “Vege” section. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Combine all items in the “Crust” section in a large bowl. Mix well. On a lightly greased (with Olive Oil) pizza pan (or other flat baking dish), press rice mixture into a “crust.” (If you are having a hard time keeping your fingers from sticking, use a small piece of parchment paper/wax paper to press the rice down.)

Turn oven down to 375 degrees.

Bake the rice shell for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce and pasta sauce. Spread sauce evenly over the rice shell. Distribute roasted veges, olives and cheese on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Let cool for a couple minutes….divide into 4 parts (it is easy to divide/serve with 4 equal parts.)

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Clockwise from top-left: Leek and Potato Soup, Cantalope and Apples with Gourmet Peanut Butter (Peanut Butter, Raisins and Cinnamon)

The soup was pretty darn good (recipe below). The fruit was yummy as well. I really missed my vegan meals even if “eating out” was more convenient.

5 Potatoes, sliced or diced
5 leeks, trimmed, cleaned, then thinly sliced
Salt, Pepper, Celery Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Maggi…to taste4–6 tbsp. whipping cream
2–3 tbsp. minced fresh parsley or chives


1. Put potatoes, leeks, salt to taste, and 10 cups of water in a large saucepan over medium heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 40–50 minutes.

 2. Mash vegetables in the soup with a fork, pass the soup through a food mill or blend small amounts at a time.  (I blended the soup.) 

Correct seasonings if necessary.

 3. Off heat, just before serving, stir in the cream by spoonfuls (if using). Pour soup into a tureen or soup bowls and decorate with the herbs. Add a little freshly ground white pepper, if you like.  

Serves 4-6

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Clockwise from top: Homemade Tomato Soup, Peaches with Cinnamon, Caramel Apples and Grilled Vegan Cheese Sandwich.

My son had asked for tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches….so since today is his birthday, he gets the dinner he wants.  

Mmmm…Tomato Soup*

6 to 8 Tomatoes, cut in half
Salt and Pepper

1 to 2 T. EVOO
1 Lg. Onion or 1 to 2 leeks (white part only), washed well and chopped
2 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 small carrots, chopped

2 cans of vegetable broth
10 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbl. Light brown sugar
½ C. Milk Alternative (Soy, Rice, Almond, Oat, etc.)
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and put the tomatoes in a large, lightly oiled cookie sheet (with sides). Sprinkle with sale and pepper and roast until soft, about an hour. Let cool, then remove the skin of the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, saute the onions/leek(s) in the EVOO until they begin to soften…add the bell pepper and continue to saute until peppers are soft. Add the broth, carrots and garlic and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn heat to medium low and add basil, brown sugar and milk alternative. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

When the tomatoes are done, puree the tomatoes and the broth mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. (You may need to do this in batches.) Return the soup to the pot, season to taste and heat through.

*This is an adaptation of two recipes from two different cookbooks.

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