Thursday, December 30, 2021

Rice, Tomato, and Avocado Salad- Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-free

A healthy plant-based delicious dinner without a lot of effort? 
Yay! I love combining healthy ingredients to a make a quick and easy delicious plant-based dinner.

Rice, Top, Cook, Having Lunch, Rice

Eliminating or reducing eating animal protein is not difficult. 
After all, many foreign countries eat much less animal protein than we do in the United States and their cultures have some mighty tasty recipes using beans, vegetables, and grains. 
Tomato, Food, Foodporn, Foodie, Tomatoes

The recipe is a quick and simple go-to recipe of mine. It is made using a bed of cooked rice (white, brown, or basmati), topped with chopped tomatoes and chopped avocado, seasoned with freshly squeezed lime, salt, pepper, sesame seeds and cumin seeds, and a can of drained chickpeas ( or 2 cups of cooked chickpeas) for protein.

Don't like rice? Substitute quinoa

My husband likes white rice, so I made white rice (this time) because this meal was for him. Perhaps a healthier version would be to make the identical recipe using brown rice. 

I make my rice in the Instant Pot . It needs about 10 minutes to pre-heat before cooking and then 12 minutes to cook. The rice comes out just the way we like every time and clean up is minimal and I don't have to ever watch the pot since it will turn off itself when done and keep warm till I'm ready to eat it. 

Guacamole, Raw Food, A Healthy Diet

Tomato and Avocado Salad Topping

2 large vine ripe tomatoes, chopped 
or 1 container of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped (Florida style or Haas avocado) 
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 small lime
1/4 cup of chopped parsley or cilantro
1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste  

2 cups of raw rice washed and cooked  (white, brown, or basmati)

I can of drained chickpeas

After cooking the rice or using leftover cooked rice, layer the cooked rice, chickpeas, and tomato avocado salad mixture in a bowl starting with rice on the bottom. Add the seasonings and dig in. 
If you want more vegetables eat with steamed broccoli. 

This quick meal is not only plant-based vegan, it is also gluten-free, and oil-free. 

What's all the hoo-ha with oil-free? 
Oil-free does not meal fat-free. Oil is a HIGHLY concentrated HIGHLY caloric condiment that contains zero fiber AND according to many cardiologists and doctors should not be part of a heart healthy diet. It took years to convince us that sugar is not our friend. Now if you start to read about "oil " (olive, canola, sunflower, etc.), you will start to understand why "oil" is not your heart's friend.

 Quote From Naked Food Magazine

"All vegetable-based oils, which pretty much follow the same model as processed sugar, are pressed from plants. All the nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water, have been stripped away. Oil is nothing but fat. Oil has more calories per gram than any other food. A tablespoon contains about 14 grams of fat." (source)

I stopped using "oil" (but did not stop eating avocado, olives, and nuts and seeds) about 10 months ago. I find that I got used to it quickly and have lots of good alternatives and have lost and kept off 15 pounds just eliminating oil. The hardest part has been giving up salad dressing with oil- but now I don't even miss it.  

More Sources: 

The Ultimate Guide to cooking and baking without oil

Dr. Gregor- Nutrition Facts (excellent)

Dr. McDougal

Dr. Essylton

My Notes and Shortcuts:
1. The rice can be made the day before and just assembled
2. Rice can be made in advance and frozen in packets. . How I freeze my own rice packets (link). Remove from freezer as needed for cooked rice
3. You can make your own chickpeas in the Instant Pot (link)instead of using a can of chickpeas. 
4. Big Shortcut: 
You can take out a container of cooked white or brown rice in most Chinese restaurants. Just bring it home and assemble for this quick and easy delicious meal.


Sunday, December 26, 2021

Buckwheat in the Instant Pot (Kasha)

buckwheat, gluten-free sides, kasha I love my Instant Pot for making grains such as buckwheat. It uses only one pot, it cooks rather quickly, and the end product is a light fluffy delicious grain that can be enjoyed as a side dish. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Is It A Cold, The Flu, or Covid?

 Sniff, Cold, Healthy, Immune

There is nothing more frightening than getting sick right now. 
We all fear it might be Covid. 

Despite being double vaccinated, boosted, wearing a mask, and not eating inside of restaurants, I did indeed contact Covid.

MY PCR Covid Test #1 was negative (Friday)

I went to get a professional Covid PCR test on Friday morning  (not because I had any symptoms but I was going to visit someone who had cancer and wanted to make sure I was ok). The test came back negative for me (and my husband) thankfully we thought.

My PCR Covid Test #2 was Positive- (Monday)

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Monday, December 13, 2021

It's Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Decorations are popping up all over this Miami beach Florida community, and the main roads are looking beautiful. I live in an area on the beach with lots of high-rise condos that are privately decorated for the season. 

Did you know that poinsettias are a sub tropical plant that originally came from Mexico? Although they are popular in cold climates during Christmas, they are actually tropical and love heat.

Christmas tree

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Asian Style Healing Broth

Asian style soup

Do you love soup? 
This Asian style healing broth is just what the doctored ordered. I like to warm up with a bowl of Asian style broth, especially when I'm feeling a little under the weather with a cold or the sniffles.

Friday, December 3, 2021

In My Kitchen- December

I'm joining Sherry's IMK (In My Kitchen) "blog share" for the month of December. IMK, as the name implies, is an opportunity for bloggers to give readers a peek into what's going on in their kitchens. 

This is the second time I am participating in IMK, but my kitchen has significantly changed since last month. 
I am a snowbird and spend 6 months in Florida. 
Last month you took a peek into my kitchen in my home in Pennsylvania. This month you will be taking a peek into my Florida condo kitchen and its contents. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Vegan Potato Latkes and Oil-free

Oll-free Vegan potato pancakes

Latkes without oil? Yes, it was a first for me, but they were not bad at all! 

Mediteranean Tomato and Red Onion Salad

Tomato and red onion salad is simple to prepare yet makes a lovely presentation and is very delicious. It's made of a few ingredients and can be thrown together quickly. With all the rich heavy food for the holidays, why not serve some healthy low calorie salads as well. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Turkish Shredded Carrot Salad

Turkish shredded carrot salad

Salad is a good choice for the holidays. Since holiday meals often mean heavier richer food, we need some tasty lighter foods for the mix. One interesting low in calories but rich in taste salad is a family favorite- Turkish shredded carrot salad.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Scottish Oatmeal Vegetable Soup

Scottish Oatmeal Vegetable Soup

Oatmeal soup? 
Sounds strange, but it is a popular dish in Scotland where oats have been grown for centuries and is a staple of the country. Scottish oatmeal vegetable soup is simple yet unusual. It's fast and easy and worth making. It often includes carrots, cabbage, turnips, onions,  leeks or even tomatoes. It comes out creamy and filling.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Vegan Gluten-Free Stuffing- Delicious and Easy

Thanksgiving is "stuffing time" and this vegan recipe will knock your socks off. Guaranteed not to stuff you with calories or fat, this delicious stuffing can be eaten as an entree on it's own or used to stuff any kind of vegetables (stuffed peppers, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed acorn squash).

Friday, November 5, 2021

Stuffed Peppers - Vegan and Gluten Free

stuffed peppers, vegan, gluten-free

Stuffed peppers are impressive to serve, easy to make, and taste divine. Looking to eat less meat?  This vegan recipe will make a filling side dish ( Thanksgiving??) or you can turn it into a meal by adding the optional walnuts and or chickpeas. All of the ingredients that I use are naturally gluten-free too. 

Monday, November 1, 2021

In My Kitchen (November)

I'm joining Sherry's IMK (In My Kitchen) "blog share" for the month of November. IMK, as the name implies, is an opportunity for bloggers to give readers a peek into what's going on in their kitchens. 

I've been looking at fall tablescapes on some blogs recently, and love all the beautifully set tables for the season. I started digging out an old set of pottery that I had packed away that I haven't used in many years. They look and feel like fall dishes to me. 

It was my very first set of "good" dishes when I first got married. I wasn't into china. I remembered that the pottery was from a company called  Rocky Mount Pottery from the 1970's, but I couldn't find anything like it online. Anyone recognize or know if it is Rocky Mount? 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl- Different But Delicious

Sweet potato, bananas, cinnamon

Tired of the same old/same old for breakfast? 
Try a breakfast bowl featuring moist and healthy mashed sweet potato. 

Who said you have to eat traditional breakfast foods?

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Baked Crunchy Tortilla Chips, - GF and Oil-Free

baked tortilla chips with za'atar

These crunchy seasoned tortilla chips are baked, not fried, and taste really awesome. I make them frequently because they are a fast, EASY, and convenient. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Homemade Apple Pie Filling in a Roasted Acorn Squash

acorn squash and apple pie filling

Sweet juicy apple pie filling and tender acorn squash are a match made in heaven in this tasty seasonal fall side dish. I find that roasting vegetables is a great way to warm up the kitchen somewhat before we officially feel ready to turn on the heat

Monday, October 18, 2021

Italian Escarole Soup- Vegan

escarole soup, oil-free soup, gluten=free soup

Have you heard of escarole but never cooked or tasted it? 

My husband's Italian grandmother, born in Livorno, Italy, used to make escarole soup. She is the inspiration behind this simple family favorite. It cooks up very quickly and can me prepped, cooked, and enjoyed in under 25 minutes.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Lazy Person's Lentil Dal

I try to make a lentil dinner (which is rich in protein, iron, and fiber) about once a week, and this lazy man's   person's lentil dal with rice and vegetable is simple, quick and easy. 
I served my lentil dal with (link) aromatic cardamom rice and some broccoli raab.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Cardamom and Cumin Seed Spiced Rice

Ordinary rice is transformed into extraordinary when cooked with cardamom and topped with aromatic toasted spices that are frequently used in Indian cuisine such cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds As Easy As 1-2-3

Jack-O-Lanterns, Lit, Pumpkins

When I was a kid, we always carved a jack-o-lantern for Halloween, scooped out the pumpkin seeds from inside the pumpkin, and roasted the seeds for a delicious healthy treat. The process is easy as 1-2-3 and a great project to do with kids. 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Tomato Potato Soup- Vegan and Oil-Free

tomato potato soup

This delicious tomato potato soup will keep you coming back for more. It's light, yet filling, and a perfect hearty recipe for fall and winter.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Romanian Potato and Tomato Stew

romanian potato stew

Whether you say potato or "pa-tah-to" or tomato or "to-mah-to", you will love this easy Romanian tomato based potato vegetable stew which could end up being a meal in a bowl.. read on

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Citrusy Acorn Squash with Roasted Red Grapes

Roasted acorn squash with seeds

Healthy and seasonal, acorn squash splashed with an orange citrus wash and roasted red grapes- is a family favorite. Yes! I said roasted red grapes!! 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Sugar Snap Peas With Sesame Seeds and Ginger

Do you love sweet sugar snap peas? 
I usually enjoy them raw, but this time I decided to stir fry them and made a quick, simple, yet healthy side dish. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Pumpkin Spice Cocoa Smoothie

Pumpkin season is finally here, and I'm enjoying my annual chocolate pumpkin smoothie. 

This cocoa/chocolate pumpkin smoothie might look simple, but it's rich and delicious tasting. Unsweetened cocoa has all the chocolatey flavor of chocolate without the fat and sugar.

Cocoa Powder, Snack, Cacao, Powder

I sweeten the smoothie with a ripe banana and it is flavored with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices.

Shake, Chocolate, Banana, Drink, Drinking Straw, Cute

As soon as it starts to feel like fall, everyone starts looking for pumpkin recipes. Truthfully, I have one basic recipe for this delicious smoothie, and I vary the spices and add-ins seasonally. 

Pumpkin, October, Halloween, Autumn

So in the fall, I add in pumpkin puree- link to easy recipe (make my own ) and pumpkin pie spices; in the summer I might add frozen blueberries or frozen strawberries to the basic recipe. 

Pumpkin, Autumn, Harvest

Pumpkin is a vegetable that contains a significant amount of nutrients and is rich in Vitamin A. It's a nice addition to fall recipes.

Glitter Leaf, Fall, Autumn, Glitter

I love this tasty smoothie, and I think you will too. Drink it for a pick me up that provides excellent nourishment which we all need to avoid burnout and fatigue. Actually, I often drink one for breakfast if I'm in  in a rush. Kids love it too.

Banana, Good Food, Healthy, Fruit

I make my smoothie in a blender or in my Nutribullet. 

The recipe is flexible and you can add add a variety of ingredients to it depending on your personal preferences and needs. 

I always include a handful of fresh greens such as baby spinach or baby kale for calcium, alkalinity, and body cleansing.  The slightly 
"green" flavor of the spinach is overpowered by the other ingredients, and I don't detect its taste at all.

Spinach, Herbs, Rosemary, Cooking, Food

I'll share my basic recipe with you first and then add the choices for my seasonal variations.

Pumpkin, Orange, Harvest, Food, Autumn

Basic Cocoa Smoothie Recipe Ingredients : 
1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened (link) organic cocoa powder ( I use this one)
1 ripe banana (or a frozen banana if you want a cold smoothie)
1 handful of fresh baby spinach
1 and 1/2 cups of nut milk 
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 date (which I soak in the nut milk for 15 minutes if it needs softening)

For a pumpkin smoothie I add: 
1/8 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

or go crazy with any of these additions for other seasons

  • 1-2  dates for a sweeter taste
  • 1 cup of frozen wild blueberries - these are not sweet but contain a host of health antioxidants (Costco or BJ's sell them)
  • 1 cup of organic frozen strawberries
  • 1 handful of baby kale
  • pinch of cardamom 
  • drop of rose water 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of PB2 (peanut butter powder) 
  • chia seeds (link)- lots of health benefits such as Omega 3 fatty acids- I buy these chia seeds
  • flax seeds (link), ground -I use a coffee mill and grind mine fresh each time - also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids- I buy this one
Blend everything until smooth; I use a blender or NutriBullet

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Friday, September 17, 2021

Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge Sauce

chocolate fudge sauce- sugar free

This chocolate fudge sauce is rich and chocolaty. 
It is very easy to make, has no added sugars, and is gluten-free, vegan, oil-free, dairy-free and parve. Yes, you have seen it before.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Mini Blueberry Muffins-Vegan, GF, Oil-Free

If you are looking for the perfect mini blueberry muffin, this is it! 
Who would have ever thought that these vegan, GF, oil-free mini blueberry muffins would taste so amazing. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Fresh Corn and Blueberry Salad

corn and blueberry salad,

Got corn on the cob? 
Talk about an unusual yet tasty salad! Sweet corn and sweet blueberries mix beautifully in this colorful summer salad. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Middle Eastern Zucchini with Lemon and Dried Mint

Middle Eastern lemon zucchini

This simple sliced zucchini side dish has a surprisingly robust flavor when cooked the Middle Eastern way with garlic, lemon, and dried mint. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Watermelon, Cucumber, Tomato, and Mint salad

watermelon tomato salad with mint

When temperatures start to rise to over 90 degrees, you will welcome this refreshing watermelon, cucumber, and tomato salad seasoned with chopped scallions and freshly chopped mint-  it is sweet, savory delicious and takes advantage of end of summer produce.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Zucchini Noodles, Spinach, and Salsa - an easy side dish

zucchini noodles and spinach

Looking for ways to eat more healthy green vegetables?

Chow down on this easy vegetable side dish. made with zucchini and baby spinach. It is low in calories, spicy and amazing. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Fresh Carrot Cake Bars

These are interesting and unusual fresh carrot "cake" bars.
They do not require cooking, just freezing. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Wellness Wednesday - Great Tips From Women's Magazines

I love reading the women's magazines- such as the ones stacked at the checkout counter at supermarkets. Headlines such as "Easiest Detox Ever",  "Drop 10 Pounds in 10 Days", "New Virus Fighter",  "Bye Bye Stress", and The Vitamin that turns flab into firm" surely attract my attention. 

I usually end up buying the magazine. Now I'm sharing some of the great ideas.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Quickest Lentil Soup Ever

It looks like an exotic feast, but it was one of the quickest and easiest soups I ever made. Nourishing, delicious, and filling, you'll love this plant-based, oil-free, gluten-free, easy soup recipe. 

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Arulgula, Spinach, and Strawberry Salad

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy flavorful healthy greens and sweet produce. I've made this beautiful arugula, baby spinach, and strawberry salad with an option of including some colorful chopped mango or sliced almonds.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Easy Vegan Parmesan "Cheese"

Food, Plate, Spaghetti, Pasta, Dish

I'm excited about this easy 4 ingredient plant-based vegan Parmesan "cheese".  It's delicious and has the look and texture of the real thing. 

Great for anyone who is vegan, dairy-free, kosher or if you are looking to cut down on sources of unwanted animal fat.

Monday, August 2, 2021

A Peek At My Week in July/August

I'm Watching:     Made In Heaven on Amazon Prime

A series set in current day India. Deals with women's rights, gay rights, and the evolving rights in general in a closed society for those who have the courage to challenge the norms. The story is based on two unrelated individuals who open a bridal planning agency called, Made in Heaven for the wealthy which takes us into the lives of all kind of individuals, both the clients and the staff. Strictly fiction, but interesting and exciting. I'm enjoying it. 

I'm Reading : 

97 Orchid Street : An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement. 

It's a historical fiction based on the lives of a German, Italian, Irish, Orthodox Jewish and Reform (From Russian and Germany) who live on 97 Orchid Street in NYC from 1863-1935. Though their food we learn about their lives and the struggles to readjust to life as new immigrants in America. 

I found this on Wik
"The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, located at 97 and 103 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, is a National Historic Site. The Museum's two historical tenement buildings were home to an estimated 15,000 people, from over 20 nations, between 1863 and 2011"

97 Orchard Street: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement

The Flowers In My Yard :
Since we are spending more time on our deck and less time out this summer due to Covid, we decided to surround ourselves in beautiful summer flowers. This is a sampling of some of our hanging baskets and planted flowers. 

hanging basket of summer flowers

field of black eyed Susans

hanging basket of red flowers

What I'm Cooking : 

You may not normally think soup this time of year, but there are many summer soups which are either chilled or take advantage of the seasonal corn, tomatoes, and zucchini. I eat soup any time of the year, but it's a good time to FREEZE soup to take advantage of the summer crops. 

Corn LIme Soup at

This week I made Mexican Zucchini Corn lime Soup ( P151 of my cookbook) or a similar soup you can find on my blog for (link) chilled zucchini corn lime soup and a Cucumber Grape Mint Gazpacho (P.163 in my Soups Cookbook) which I haven't put anything like it on my blog- yet. If you want the recipe, leave me a note in the comments. 


1. All of my recipes on my blog from 2021 have now graduated from vegetarian to vegan.

2. All of my recipes have always been and are still gluten-free

3. My recipes are whole food plant-based and easy using normal ingredients.

4. My recipes are low fat