This zesty salad comes together nicely with mostly pantry ingredients. It's vegan and gluten-free.
I rarely go to the grocery store without a plan. I find it's way too expensive when I do. With store flyers, cookbook, and my pantry/freezer/frig in site, I grab an old envelope and begin my list. With a husband who works evenings, our meal plan has us eating our big meal at lunch ... not a bad idea anyway. Planning our menu often needs to factor in activities throughout the day/evening to avoid a quick drive-thru run - never a good plan!
This week's menu includes a couple new recipes which I will post if I feel they are worthy. A new friend, Darla, shared an easy Artisan bread recipe that is on the list! That and a new quinoa salad with asparagus, and an old favorite, Cowboy Caviar on top of another favorite Mexican rice and lentil tacos.
Since Tom is a new vegan, he still looks for some really old favorites like breaded chicken, burgers, etc. That's where Gardein products come in. While they are still processed they fit into our new vegan lifestyle and they give Tom that warm fuzzy feeling he looks for! Not all Gardein products pass my test, but their turkey cutlets make a great lunch. After baking them, I put them on a toasted whole grain bun (yes, Tom prefers white buns) with plenty of spring mix (Tom prefers romaine), coarse ground mustard (Tom prefers vegan mayo), tomatoes, a slice of red onion, and sometimes - if I have some - a handful of cilantro. Yummy! One of Tom's favorites.
Each time I prepare our menus and shopping list I smile. It's one of my favorite household chore, without a doubt.
Of course, when return and before I put the food away or start cooking, I scan in my products and receipt to Ibotta where I get money back! I will have to admit, however, to really make some money with Ibotta, I'd need to eat a whole lot unhealthier than I do ... but when I think about it ... I prefer health over $$ back.
If you're interested in using Ibotta, use this link: or referral code: https://ibotta.com/r/kuesikl or this referral code: kuesikl
Happy eating and remember, every decision you make matters.
This is specifically for my friend, Rachel, so if you're looking for some links to amazing vegan recipes? Try these:
This is the goto muffin around here for sure!
A fresh, simple dip that can be thrown together in under 15 minutes!
I love autumn - long walks in crisp air and crunchy leaves wakes up my senses after a long summer of 90+ degrees and high humidity. Autumn also means hearty, aromatic soups! So, here's my current favorite soup, and yes, it's vegan.
What I love about it is that it's a soup I made earlier this summer and when the weather turned and the flannel shirts came out, all I had to do was pour the ingredients from the Mason jar and add some vegetable broth.
Here is a recipe for two Mason jars - one for you and maybe, one for a friend.
Wild Rice, Mushroom, and Lentil Soup in a Jar
Attach the following to each jar:
WILD RICE, MUSHROOM, AND LENTIL SOUP IN A JAR
It's that time of year when we 'run our numbers' to determine if any changes are needed. Of course, my DOH, Tom is just fine while my cholesterol/triglycerides is slightly elevated. So, eating vegan alone is not doing it. Both of our vitamin D is also low, not uncommon for we old folks. Pretty easy to add a D3 supplement.
My stubborn triglycerides is my biggest concern since my overall cholesterol dropped 50 points in the 3 months due to eating vegan. So, I was between a rock and a hard place. I am a huge snacker and that's adding to my overall caloric intake which isn't helping at all. My only option is to skip the snacks. Period.
Need a new doctor? Dr. Robert Carnes is amazing. He is a kinesiologist, as well as a chiropractor and if you're ready to take control of your health, I can personally recommend him.
As relatively new vegans, my husband and I are often drawn to new products in the vegan corner of the Publix produce department. There was a pleasantly package vegan entree called BBQ Jackfruit. One of the foods Tom misses (besides steak) is BBQ, so I thought we'd give it a try.
I liked the jackfruit consistency and sure liked that it wasn't a soy protein or other undesirable ingredients. It felt a little slick on my tongue but on a bun with a bit of a bread and butter pickle, it was pretty good. But, I found the BBQ sauce a bit hot for me. My tongue was on fire. But, I figured since we had our own favorite BBQ sauce, why not make my own. Next time I will.
The Jackfruit Co. has other flavors, like Teriyaki, Tex-Mex, and Curry.
I just ordered 6 cans of jackfruit (see "Where can buy jackfruit?" below).
Some links for you:
I hate waste and yet our recycle bucket for compost is often full more than once a day. I already have access to three freezers and two refrigerators, but I still have usable vegetables/fruits that often get pushed back and then forgotten. I purchased some small bins from WalMart for just that purpose. It has helped considerably! Now I just pull out a bin and I can see all the way the back! So, I decided to check out what was available in my bins before I started making lunch and ... success!
"Clean out the Frig" Sandwiches
Whether you're vegan or not, this is a great dip for fresh vegetables!
While this salad isn't very colorful, the flavor is certainly there.
This recipe was a surprise for me. I'm not an eggplant lover, by any means, but Tom is ... so, here you go. Oh, Tom said to add this to our repeat list.
Notes: Since I'm not a big fan of eggplant, I used my mandolin to slice it very thin. The recipe also calls for red pepper, but I am allergic. I added mushrooms instead.
Maybe she's right. Maybe I'm right. Maybe you're right. Maybe, just maybe we're all right. So, here's what prompted this post.
I was recently at WalMart when I notice the woman in front of me unloading her groceries. I usually like to glance at what people buy - not to judge - but to learn. This woman's groceries could have been mine minus the cola and frozen dinners. Lots of fresh produce - mostly organic.
The difference happened when she asked me what my blood type was. I knew where she was going and I'm not a big fan of the 'eat for your blood type' diet. My research indicates a different approach for me.
I felt like she was judging me but fortunately I don't really care what she thinks. Now, that is what this post is about. There is so much information out there and if you Google just about anything you can find both pro and con as the answer. It's not about which diet to do or even how to eat. It's up to you. If you wake up in the morning full of energy and ready to go ... if you look in the mirror and love what you see ... if you love all there is to love about you then you're doing the right thing. When your body tells you something different, you can adjust accordingly, as it suits you. Just remember ... Every decision you make matters.
No one has the right to tell you how or what you should do. I am always quick to share recipes and what is working for us with just about anyone who will listen. I'm working on that because not everyone really cares, right?
There is a silver lining to this story however ... the cashier continued the nutrition conversation with my after the woman left ... what is funny, I think is that the cashier thought the woman was older than I ... she is not. She is fifteen years younger than me.
This is our new goto taco recipe. We both love it and it has become a favorite and we don't miss the cheese at all.
Tom's Way: Lay a large flour tortilla on the plate, Spread out a good sized scoop of rice and the lentils. Then, add a bit of taco sauce and top with a good helping of the fresh black bean and sweet corn salsa. Top with a few crumbled sweet corn chips.
A fresh, simple dip that can be thrown together in under 15 minutes!
I'm not a huge fan of breakfast since we 'went vegan.' My goto foods of yesterday no longer fit into my plan. So, it was time to think outside the box. I purchased a new vegan cookbook last weekend and while the first thing I tried didn't really wow me, this morning's breakfast did.
The first time I had avocado toast was in Decatur, Georgia at a charming new age restaurant called, First Watch. As a big fan of avocados I had to try it. I am so glad I did, too, because I'm not sure I would have been open to trying it had I not had some idea what it was all about. If you love avocados, try this!
While I am not gluten sensitive, I find this chewy morsel delightful. They have no flour and you can add whatever you love in cookies without changing the texture of the cookie. If you love nuts, dairy free chocolate chips, toasted coconut, sunflower seeds, or whatever ... all them! You may have to adjust the baking time, but in the end you will have created a family favorite! This recipe makes 16 cookies, if you opt to bypass the optional ingredients
What's your favorite vegan cookie?
... passed on stopping at Subway. But, the line at Verizon was too long to wait and I didn't want to go back out after I got home. Enter Subway ... I knew I had a blog I wanted to write - well, another recipe anyway - when I met a young woman named Ashley. She was ahead of me at Subway and don't recall how we got on the subject, but "What the Health" came up and she was all ears. I ordered my usual veggie sub, no cheese and a conversation started. We chatted about choices, eating healthier, and challenges one may face going vegan. I hope I encouraged her to start by making smart choices and doing some research. She is already way ahead of many people I meet. She doesn't drink soda, doesn't eat much dairy, doesn't smoke, doesn't take any meds - well, she is only 23 - but she has a real desire to do the best she can do for herself and her four year old son. I wish her well and hope to hear from her again. Nothing beats chatting with young people who want to be the best they can be. I wish you well, Ashley, wherever you are.
Great comfort soup. I served it with French bread and a small dish of olive oil and cracked pepper ... yummy.
Being new to veganism, salads are often a staple. While my husband isn't opposed to his goto salad of head lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and oil and vinegar, that just doesn't do it for me. In my research I came across this fabulous salad and Tom rated it a 10!! He loved it. The dressing is tangy and flavorful and you wouldn't think adding noodles, and green ones at that, would be something Tom would ask for again, but alas, I was wrong. So, here's the recipe from the back of the GreeNoodle package.
As new vegans, you will find the most recent recipes and posts are vegan related. All the old blogs, pre-vegan, are still available. I've added a search bar, too, so if you're looking for a recipe you won't have to scroll!