Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Parents Getting Old

Let them grow old with the same love that they let you grow.
Let them speak and tell repeated stories with the same patience and interest that they heard yours as a child.
Let them overcome, like so many times when they let you win.
Let them enjoy their friends just as they let you.
Let them enjoy the talks with their grandchildren, because they see you in them.
Let them enjoy living among the objects that have accompanied them for a long time, because they suffer when they feel that you tear pieces of this life away.
Let them be wrong, like so many times you have been wrong and they didn’t embarrass you by correcting you.
LET THEM LIVE and try to make them happy the last stretch of the path they have left to go; give them your hand, just like they gave you their hand when you started your path!
Author unknown
“Honour your mother and father and your days shall be long upon the earth”

Monday, July 15, 2024

Asian Cold Noodle Salad : Beat The Heat

Chopsticks  over a Bowl

It's going to be 98 humid degrees again this week here in Philadelphia area, which is feeling oppressively HOT!! Since it's too hot for me to want to do any real cooking, I'm started thinking about making an Asian cold noodle salad. 

individual bowls of vegetables

If you like noodles and like vegetables, you will probably like this wonderful summer salad.

The recipe is light, requires minimal cooking, and is satisfying and filling. With the sun blazing and temperatures rising, chilled noodles, crunchy vegetables, and a zesty dressing is very appealing to me right now.

I've always liked Asian noodle salads. They can be nourishing  provide a generous amount of fiber (important), and are quite tasty.

Asian cold noodle salad in a bowl

Although traditionally made with peanuts and peanut dressing, I've decided to switch things up and make a tahini dressing (instead of a peanut dressing) for this recipe. But it would taste good with a peanut dressing too. 

a bowl with tahini sauce on a wooden background

Once the noodles are made, it's a matter of simply chopping and assembling and then blending the ingredients for the dressing. Use the vegetables you have on hand, the recipe is very flexible and versatile.  For example, you can use peas, chopped mint, or sliced radishes.

large pink bowl with salad vegetables and noodles
Before I mixed it with the dressing

I make this cold noodle salad in different ways each time I make it but the basics are always the same: cooked noodles, vegetables, sauce! I have even made it using gluten-free spaghetti as the base! 

Asian Cold Noodle Salad
After mixing it all up

A Brief Background of Asian Cold Noodle Salads

The practice of eating cold noodle salads originated in the culinary traditions of various Asian countries, predominantly in East and Southeast Asia. Over time, these salads have evolved based on the availability of local ingredients. Today, cold noodle salads are a staple across all of Asia, from Japan to Vietnam, with each region adding its own unique touch. A typical noodle salad usually features thin noodles like soba or rice vermicelli, paired with fresh veggies and a some sort of a savory sauce.

Noodles salads are enjoyed as street food in many Asian countries offering a nice alternative to hot foods in their very hot summer months.  

Typical salads usually offer a variety of colorful vegetables such as shredded carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, and bean sprouts, complemented by herbs like cilantro and mint, and often topped with nuts or sesame seeds for added texture. Varieties range from the tangy Thai glass noodle salad with lime dressing to the savory Japanese soba noodle salad with soy-based dressings. 

 Although originally designed to combat the heat and humidity of Asian summers, these salads are now enjoyed worldwide for their simplicity and deliciousness.

 Asian Cold Noodle Salad with Creamy Tahini Sauce


  • 2-3 cups of uncooked gluten-free noodles (rice noodles or buckwheat noodles work well)
  • 1 cup shredded white or red cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Optional: 1/3 block of tofu, cubed (optional for xtra protein)
  • Fresh cilantro and sesame seeds for garnish

For the Creamy Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice of 1 fresh medium lemon or large lime
  • 3-4 cubes of tofu for creaminess 
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  •  1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  •  3-6 tablespoons of water (to thin out the sauce)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the Noodles: Cook the gluten-free noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking and set aside.

  2. Prepare the Creamy Tahini Sauce : In a small bowl, whisk together (or put in a small Bullet type blender)- tahini , lemon juice, tofu, Dijon mustard, and garlic powder. Gradually add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.  Taste and season with salt and pepper. 

  3. Assemble the Salad: Add the cooked noodles to a mixing bowl and toss well until coated with half of the creamy tahini sauce. In a large mixing bowl combine the well coated noodles, shredded cabbage, carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, optional tofu, and green onions and toss well..

  4. Toss with Tahini Sauce if need: Pour a tablespoon or two of the tahini sauce over the salad ingredients. Toss gently with the sauce (less is better, you can always add more)

  5. Chill and Serve: Cover the salad and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

  6. Garnish and Enjoy: Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro and sesame seeds for an extra burst of flavor and crunch.

Why Tahini Sauce?

While peanut sauce and crushed peanuts are traditional in many Asian noodle salads (and taste amazing), tahini offers a rich, nutty alternative that pairs beautifully with the fresh vegetables and noodles providing an allergy friendlier dish (peanut allergy).

My Notes: 

Taste the tahini sauce before tossing it on your salad. If you do not like it, don't waste it on the noodles and vegetables because you won't eat it. Save the tahini sauce for a dip for crudit├ęs and make yourself a gluten-free peanut sauce such as  this one link to recipe.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

7 Easy Sweet Potato Recipes

a brown paper bag filled with sweet potatoes

Do you enjoy a good sweet potato? I do and I often steam a batch of 4 or 5 them at one time in my Instant Pot to eat throughout the week. I eat the sweet potatoes as needed- sometimes plain or with toppings or adding sweet potato to a variety of recipes. I'm sharing seven of my favorite recipes.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Oat Flour for Easy Waffles or Pancakes

Waffles or pancakes anyone? 

There is nothing easier or faster than making your own oat flour in the blender, and then making this simple no fuss 3 ingredient healthy recipe which can be used for delicious waffles or pancakes. 

a skillet with pancakes cooking

I like oatmeal and especially like the heart healthy benefits of eating oatmeal, but I sometimes get tired of the same bowl of oatmeal everyday. In the past, I've tried to mix it up with  overnight oats, oatmeal bars, oat granola, and now I'm trying oatmeal waffles/pancakes. 

You know what? I really enjoyed the waffles/pancakes!!

Free Blueberries Berries photo and picture

These waffles/pancakes are easy, deliciously satisfying, and still offer the wholesome goodness derived from eating oatmeal. Although they are perfect for anyone with food restrictions who doesn't eat eggs, diary, or gluten,  everyone will enjoy them. 

two vegan waffles on a plate

Why Oats Are So Healthy?

Oats have long been celebrated as a nutritional powerhouse. They're rich in fiber, particularly beta-glucan, which is known for its heart-healthy properties and the ability to promote feelings of fullness. Oats are also a great source of a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a fantastic choice for starting your day on the right foot.

Making oat flour in less than a minute in your blender
It literally takes seconds to turn (GF) rolled oats into (GF) oat flour which can be used to make waffles, pancakes, cookies, or in a pinch if you run out of breadcrumbs for a recipe.

*Certified Gluten-Free Oats

For those who need to eat gluten-free, it's crucial to use certified gluten-free oats. Regular oats can sometimes be cross-contaminated with gluten during processing or growing, so opting for certified gluten-free labels ensures you're staying true to your dietary needs while enjoying all the benefits oats have to offer 

Surprised At The Huge Price Increases At Trader Joes

I purchased a large bag of old fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free) at Trader Joe's. Two years ago their bag of oats sold for $1.99, and today I paid $3.49. It wasn't the only item that significantly increased in price. Another reminder of how much our food bills have escalated in the past 2 years! The bag is large, so it is still economical and probably still the cheapest way to buy gluten-free certified rolled oats.  

Of course, I still enjoy a good bowl of oatmeal.

Blueberries on top of oatmeal in a bowl

My waffle maker is small, and that is why I only have a pic of one little waffle at a time because I eat them as I make them. 

waffle maker
If I am going to continue eating waffles, I'll need to buy a 4 section waffle maker 

gluten-free vegan waffle with blueberries on top

The Recipe: 3-Ingredient Vegan Waffles/Pancakes


  • 1/2 cup *homemade oat flour (made in your blender)
  • 1 ripe medium banana
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup any nut milk 
To Make Oat Flour 
For this recipe, I put 1/2 cup of rolled oats into the blender and blended the oats until they turn to flour (about 1/2 minute).

  1. Mash the ripe banana in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Add the oat flour and nut milk to the bowl and stir until well combined or just put everything into a mini blender to make it even easier and blend it together- that's what I did!
  3. Heat your waffle iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray slightly with oil if needed. ( I did not need oil in my non-stick waffle maker) 
  4. Pour the batter onto the hot surface and cook until golden brown on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side for waffles, and 2-3 minutes per side for pancakes).
  5. Serve warm with your favorite toppings such as fresh berries, maple syrup, or a dollop of dairy-free yogurt.

Additional Tips:

  • Customize your waffles or pancakes by adding extras such as cinnamon, vanilla extract, or dairy-free chocolate chips to the batter or as a topping.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for longer storage. Just pop them in the toaster or microwave to reheat.

My Notes: 
1. Someone told me to use the waffle maker with shredded frozen potatoes to make potato waffles. I'll be trying that soon!

2. All recipes on this blog are: gluten-free, vegan, oil-free

3. The first photo is Ai generated by Deep