Tag Archive | recipes

The Recovery

After a week of less-than-healthy eating on vacation, it was time to get back on track this past week. We were all feeling the effects of being off plan — bloated, fatigued, and fat! We all gained a few pounds while on vacation (truth be told, I think I’m still carrying 5 pounds from LAST year’s vacation). Off plan included “meat” (lots of lobster), butter, fried, eggs, alcohol, caffeine, sugar…  I know… you are all thinking “sounds great”!  🙂

But when you eat only plant based 99% of the time, these things definitely take their toll and we needed a week of recovery.

In order to go hard core on the recovery, I went immediately to the Forks Over Knives website.  It so happened that they were featuring an article with a week of recipes and I actually used that for my menu plan for the week.  So here are the recipes along with my adjustments/commentary (note, all recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less):

Easy Thai Noodles – I doubled this recipe because, let’s face it, 8 ounces of noodles is not enough with 2 big eaters in the house.  What I liked about this recipes was the ease — it says “ready in 30 minutes” but it took much less than that. I couldn’t find “mung bean sprouts” so I just used a mix of sprouts that I found at the grocery store. Everyone enjoyed this, but I think if I made it again, I would use more veggies and I would triple the sauce. Leftovers were a bit dry, so I think a little more sauce would be good.

Mediterranean Vegetable Spaghetti – We also enjoyed this dish (who doesn’t love pasta).  I used whole wheat pasta instead of the brown rice spaghetti, but any pasta will do. I didn’t have “herbes de Provence” so I just used thyme, a favorite seasoning, and a bit of oregano. You could really use any herbs you prefer. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of tomato puree but the smallest can I could find was 28 ounces! I did add more than the 2T to the recipe, partly because the recipe calls for 10 ounces of pasta (can we just make all recipes = 1 pound of pasta???) and I used 16 ounces.  So it definitely needed more of the puree; I froze the rest.

Orange Black Bean Taquitos – This was another tasty recipe. My only gripe was needing the food processor to do two separate tasks (making the filling and making the spiked sour cream). It required making one, cleaning the food processor and then making the other. While the sour cream recipe says to use the blender, my blender didn’t work for this and I ended up with lots of extra dishes to wash. But we loved the citrus combination with the kick from the adobo chiles. I served this with brown rice flavored with fresh lime juice.

Burrito Bowl — I didn’t use bowls, but plates. I served everything separately and let everyone make their own combinations. This dish definitely needed salsa to give it more flavor and interest, and I used the leftover spiked sour cream from the taquitos. I made bulgur, for something different than just rice, but any grain will do.  I used a mix of pinto and cannellini beans, but would flavor them next time (tamari, perhaps?). I did use steamed kale (from the garden), but didn’t love it. I would definitely use fresh lettuce next time, or fresh/chopped kale. And yes, I made my own tortillas — much preferred over store-bought.  This was the only picture I apparently remembered to take this week… IMG_1690

No Tuna Salad Sandwich – I’ll be honest, this wasn’t my favorite recipe of the week.  I have other similar recipes that I liked much better. This one was a little bland and I’m not a big fan of tahini. Plus, the bread I bought (a whole grain) was a little too doughy.

We did have one night where we ate out because our lovely Mikayla was in town from NYC, and another night we had grilled portobellos and my favorite kale salad. I did make this “oil free” by eliminating all oil, and increasing the lime juice.

As a result of this week’s eating, I am back to my pre-vacation weight. Yay! And I think everyone has otherwise recovered!

Hope you enjoy the recipes!

IMDb: The Recovery (2011)


Know Your Resources

I promised a few people over the past few weeks that I would compile a list of my favorite cookbooks and other resources for good whole food plant based eating!  So here goes!

First, cookbooks….To be fully “McDougall compliant”, I eliminate all added oils from these recipes. Typically, it just involves saute’ing in veggie broth instead of oil.

  1. Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
    This one is my go-to cookbook and the source of many of my new comfort foods.
    Favorites: Cheddary Broccoli Soup, Creamy Potato-Leek Soup, Lentil-A-Roni, White Wine Risotto and Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings
    I think there are still so many more unexplored recipes for me to try!
  2. Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon
    Favorites: Quick & Easy Chana Masala, Creamy Vegetable Curry, Broccoli & Cashew Cheese-Quinoa Burrito
  3. Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr
    Favorites: Veggie Quesadilla, Save the Tuna Salad on Rye
    Lots of beginner “know-how” in this book.
  4. The Happy Herbivore Cookbooks – my favorite is “Light & Lean”.
  5. O M Gee Good! Instant Pot Meals by Jill McKeever
    I got this one to help me better use my instant pot. I’ve only tried a few recipes so far. I love one pot meals for their ease of preparing; cooking them in minutes is even better!

While I do go to my cookbooks a few times a week, more and more I go to the web to find new recipes. I’m part of a few Facebook groups that post recipe links, so I’m never at a loss for new recipes. I have a stack of printed recipes that I plan to try, along with those I keep going back to!

If there’s a particular ingredient you want to try to incorporate into a dish, just google it along with “vegan recipes”. There’s a whole world of recipes waiting to be explored. I always review the ingredient list to make sure they are “compliant” or easily modifiable, and to see how difficult the recipe is to make. If it has too many steps or looks like it will take too long, I will skip it. I want to get dinner made in 30 minutes or less!

Here are some of my “go to” websites:

  1. 40-Year-Old-Vegan (an old college friend, now a vegan chef)
  2. Oh She Glows (yes, she has a website too!)
  3. Klunker’s Kitchen
  4. http://blog.eatplant-based.com
  5. http://www.brandnewvegan.com
  6. http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/

As a reminder, you can click on the “recipes” tab above. That will link you to all posts that contain a recipe link. And if you find any good recipes on your own, please do share!!

IMDb: Know Your Resources (1950)

Rx Recipe

I’ve been promising some recipes, so here you go!

Beefless Stew by Straight Up Food – A nice hearty meal that even my meat-and-potatoes Dad enjoyed! The only change I made of this one is to add a bit of Worcestershire sauce. With the Fall weather approaching, this was a  nice one-pot recipe that was pretty easy to make. While the recipe says 30 minutes of prep time, I don’t think it took that long.

I did try Mushroom Risotto from this same website.  The boys thought it was a little bland, even though it contained two of our favorite things: mushrooms and risotto!  🙂  They can’t all be winners.  I think this one would have been good with some additional seasonings.

Zucchini Corn Fritters – I discovered Michael Klunker through a McDougall Facebook group.  I’ve posted a few of his recipes previously, but I recommend that you peruse KlunkersKitchen.com for some additional plant-based goodness! I had made a zucchini egg fritter a few weeks ago, which we really enjoyed, but it wasn’t vegan, so I was happy to find this recipe.  Of course, I made a double batch and it took a bit of time to “fry” them up (oil free!  Ok, barely any oil… I really need to buy a new non-stick pan…) but they were well worth the effort.

Also from Klunker’s Kitchen: Tomato, Spinach & Orzo Soup – Super easy and we all loved it! Nothing more to say!

Spicy Vegan Jambalaya – Tried this one tonight for dinner and it was a hit. My only regret? Not using more jalapeño! I don’t use jalapeño often, so I’m always a little nervous about making it too spicy. I think I will add a little bit of red pepper to it next time also.

Lastly, while not a recipe, I wanted to mention our new favorite snack.  Pipcorn!  For those of you who may watch Shark Tank, this popcorn was featured and they won a deal with Barbara Corcoran. (It’s one of my favorite tv shows…)  Anyway, we saw a display in Wegman’s a few weeks ago and tried it.  It was delicious!!! And addictive.  Ethan and I devoured an entire bag — but I didn’t feel a bit of guilt.  Pipcorn is All Natural. Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, and Whole Grain.  Snacks you can feel good about.  We tried the kettle flavor, but I plan to try the other flavors. It’s already on the grocery list for next week.


IMDb: Rx Recipe (1980)


The Quiz

I saw the following Breast Health Quiz on Facebook and, of course, I was curious. There is a series of 18 questions on things that impact your risk of breast cancer.  I took the quiz based on my current lifestyle, not my pre-breast cancer diagnosis lifestyle and ended up with a result of “you’re doing an adequate job” of maintaining healthy breasts.  Yikes!  Only “adequate”?  I suppose there are some risk factors that don’t ever go away, like silver fillings in your teeth.

What I loved in the response I got were the recommendations:

#1 was “Let food be your medicine.”  How cool is that???  I love finally starting to see education on the impact that food has on your health. Word is getting out!

#2 “Reduce your toxic exposure.”  Enough said.

#3 was “Balance your energy and your hormones.”  Both are things I am working on with the Estriol, and with my energy healer!

I encourage you to take the quiz as well! It seems like there is some really good information for maintaining healthy breasts – you should get more details in an email.  Click here for the quiz.


It’s been a while since I’ve shared some recipes.  I’ve found some new sources, so here are some recent dinners:

Straight Up Food is a new blog that I found with lots of great recipes.  The first I tried tonight was Tomato Rice Soup. This was easy (minimal chopping) and delicious. You do need to allow about 40 minutes for cooking time. The only substitution I made was to use Wegman’s “Super Greens” instead of just Swiss chard. It made about 10 cups, which was more than enough for dinner, plus some for lunch for a few days!  I have a few more of Cathy’s recipes lined up to try. We’re off to a great start!

Chipotle Oyster Mushroom Tacos from “Isa Does It”. These were delicious! Everyone enjoyed them — a little kick, some chewy mushrooms (I had to use shiitake since I couldn’t find oyster mushrooms at the store), and the coolness of avocado. I had a little leftover that I put on my baked potato for lunch the next day.  I don’t have a link to this recipe, but I recommend Isa’s book. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks, although I hadn’t been using it much lately (too many great sources for recipes!).  I dusted it off recently and found this new recipe, as well as reconnecting with a few others we love but hadn’t had in a while (White Wine Risotto, Dilly Stew, Broccoli Cheddar Soup….) Mmmmm…

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream – Super easy (4 ingredients) and tasty! A healthier sweet treat and totally vegan. The only alteration I made was to reduce the maple syrup from 1/3 to 1/4 cup.  My sweetness sensors are in overdrive anymore so I didn’t want it to be TOO sweet.



IMDb: The Quiz (1994)

The Birthday Cake

Tomorrow is my baby brother’s birthday. Every year my mom made his birthday cake… vanilla cake, with crushed pineapple, vanilla pudding and Cool Whip. Every single year. And so last year, I took over the cake-making responsibilities.  For today’s birthday celebration, I figured I would make the vanilla pudding (yes, the instant kind) using almond milk. For a brief moment, I wondered if it would work but thought I was being silly.  Of course it will work!

You know where this is going, right? No. It did not work. I had a bowl of vanilla soup. Once I realized it was never going to thicken, I decided to Google my blunder and, sure enough, it tells you it won’t work… unless you use half the almond milk. That wouldn’t have left me with enough pudding anyway, so I had to make an emergency run to the store for more pudding mix and “regular” milk (aka “cow’s milk”).

Yes, I understand that none of this was really vegan or healthy, but it’s not something I do every day and I’m not going to sweat one piece of cake. My brother was happy, and that’s all that matters in this case. 🙂


I’ve written before about how I find pennies all the time. These pennies from Heaven appear in unlikely places and at unlikely times.  The other day, I found a penny in the coin return at the car wash. I was putting my quarters into the slot when I noticed the penny sitting there. They do always make my day!


No new recipes from last week and none planned for this week. My schedule has been hectic so there’s been no time to review cookbooks. I’ve been picking the quickest of my existing repertoire because I have been getting home from work late and then rushing off to band, yoga, church group, or some other appointment. I’m trying not to let the frantic pace of my schedule stress me out, but it’s not always easy to remain calm. It is important though, so I will just try to remember to breathe and do the best I can.

IMDb: The Birthday Cake (2009)

Magic Kitchen

After spending the last five hours in the kitchen, it seems an appropriate post to talk about some of the latest recipes I’ve tried.

Since we have a three day weekend (yea!), I pre-made the Oh She Glows “Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal”.  We’ll have that for breakfast tomorrow morning, plus it will give me some leftovers for Ethan’s breakfast for the week.

Today, I also made the Oh She Glows “Our Favorite Veggie Burger”. This took some prep work (grating carrots, chopping onions and cilantro, mashing black beans), but overall wasn’t too time-consuming. I served these on whole grain rolls with grey poupon mustard. You can add cheese, if desired, and all the usual burger toppings.  David and I enjoyed these burgers, but Ethan wasn’t a huge fan. He doesn’t care for “seeds” (sunflower) or onions… He did eat most of it, but the dog enjoyed the remainder. The batch made 8, so we have some for lunch tomorrow. (Won’t Ethan be happy?)

With the burgers, I made a new recipe for “French fries“. With no oil.  The trick is to partially boil the potatoes first, and then bake with some seasonings.  Everyone enjoyed these super healthy “fries”! I might mix up the seasonings a bit next time (a little less paprika, a little more kick).

Last week, I also made three new recipes:

Smoky Lentil Soup was a recipe I found on the blog, Plant Based Christian. This was a yummy soup, and the best part was the simplicity of preparation. Eight ingredients (if you count the water), thrown into my Instant Pot.  Turn on for 15 minutes. It counted get any easier.

Oh She Glows “Indian Lentil-Cauliflower Soup“. This was a big hit… except for the fact that David doesn’t like sweet potatoes. I didn’t think they were too strong/sweet based on the way they cooked in the recipe, but he noticed.  Ethan is a fan of curry and I loved everything in this recipe: red lentils (my favorite kind), cauliflower, spinach, fresh ginger…).


Oh She Glows “Tex Mex Casserole“. Everyone loved this one!  No complaints and definitely something to add to the rotation.  This dish has loads of vegetables and it’s the first time I tried out some vegan cheese (Daiya). Melted within the dish, you would never even know. I opted for spinach over kale, as always.


I also made the vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Torte that we all love. I took this to work once to rave reviews by everyone! As a reminder, I replaced the tofu with coconut milk vanilla yogurt. I think I’ll go have some now…  🙂


IMDb: Magic Kitchen (2004)