Monday, July 26, 2021

Vegan Lentil "MeatLoaf" Recipe

Who's mom made meatloaf? 

Probably everyone's from the 1950's-1970's -right? 
Growing up in the 1960's, we had meatloaf once a week. 

Retro, Housewife, Family, Cooking

Meatloaf was a frugal meal that stretched the meat to feed the whole family. Now(being vegan), I make a vegan lentil "meatloaf" which we simply call a lentil loaf. I'm not trying to make it to stretch anything, I make it mainly for the convenience, texture, and taste. 

Very few vegan/meatless meals (that are whole food) can be sliced- but vegan lentil loaf can-which makes this loaf easy to serve and easy to eat. Sometimes I just get tired of stew-like meals and look for a burger or loaf. 

lentil loaf

Lentil loaf is also convenient to pack for lunches for a day at the beach, shopping, visits, work or school.

Background, Food, Fruit, Bol, Vegetarian

For those just wanting to add some healthier plant-based meals to their diet, vegan "meatloaf" or lentil loaf is a good tasty choice. 

This recipe handles before cooking like mom's meatloaf and cooks up easily.

Best of all it's very low in saturated fat and high in fiber which is perfect for heart healthy living. 

It holds together well, sliced well, freezes well. I often make two and after I slice them up, I freeze the slices in baggies. I'll take out two slices when I want a quick lunch. 

In the past, I've tried a great deal of "lentil loaf" vegan lentil loaf recipes before I created this one. I use chunky salsa and sun-dried tomatoes to give the recipe flavor.

Salsa, Canning, Glasses, Bottling

My lentil loaf is gluten-free, oil-free, dairy-free, nut-free, parve, and vegan- a perfect allergy friendly recipe.

sun dried tomatoes

I think this one is a winner. 

To cook the lentils:

2 cups of dry lentils, washed well 
3 cups of water
2 cups of chunky salsa 

Instant Pot : 
Add lentils, water, and salsa to your Instant Pot and cook set to pressure cook for 11 minutes. When done, allow to slow release for 5 minutes and then manually release steam according to manufacturers directions. When all steam has been released, carefully remove lid. Drain any liquid and use in the recipe.

Stove top: 
Add lentils, water, and salsa to a medium sauce pan. Add an extra cup of water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to as simmer and cook covered until lentils are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. (about 20 minutes). Drain off any extra liquid before using in the recipe.

Notes: Cook the lentils first, even the day before. Once your lentils are cooked, pour off any liquid or allow the lentils to sit to soak up the liquid. I often make my lentils the day before to absorb liquid, but I still allow to sit in a colander if they seem wet. 

Ingredients for lentil loaf
2 cups of cooked lentils using directions from above
2 cups of grated raw zucchini squash, squeezed well to remove liquid or 
any vegetable such as raw grated carrots but make sure it is not wet.
1 cup of oatmeal (1/2 blended to flour and half left whole)
1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)- soaked for 15 minutes and then drain. (see notes)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1/4 cup of tomato paste or ketchup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line a baking dish with parchment paper
Mix all ingredients by hand in a large serving bowl. Remove and shape into the parchment lined baking dish. 
Cook for 40 minutes in a preheated oven.
Remove, allow to cool somewhat. The loaf with become firmer as it cools. Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool to become completely firm.  

1. Sun dried tomatoes- find sun dried tomatoes that are dry in a pouch as opposed to a jar with oil. 
2. Soak sun dried tomatoes for at least 15 minutes in water, then drain and pat try to use in the recipe.
3. Chunky salsa- When I don't make my own, I use organic chunky salsa from Aldi- inexpensive and very tasty. 

Vegetable Corn Chowder - Vegan and Oil-Free

vegetable corn chowder

Do you love corn? Corn chowder is one of my favorites, especially when I use fresh sweet farmer's market corn right off the cob. 

Sweetcorn, Summer, Corn, Maize, Cob

You are going to love this flavorful high fiber, low fat easy Instant Pot soup that of course can also be made in a regular pot too. The bonus is that not only does it taste good hot, the next day, leftovers taste really good chilled as well. 

I grew up in New Jersey. the Garden State, and during the summer the local farmer's market supplied us with lots of ripe delicious produce all season long. 

Pop Corn, Yellow, Popcorn, Food
When I got married, we moved 10 minutes away across the bridge to Pennsylvania where we still seem to have lots of farmer's markets and fresh beautiful produce.

ears of corn in a crate

Mid July begins corn season in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and our corn is sweet and plentiful. We can't get enough of it and eat it a few times a week until the season is over. A local farm grows non-GMO corn which is a big plus!

I usually get to the local farm stand about once a week to purchase a dozen ears of corn that last us throughout the week. 

sign: corn is here

In addition to eating the corn on the cob raw or lightly cooked, I like to try to find other recipes to enjoy it. 

This week I made a delicious and very easy vegetable corn chowder.

I used a variety of vegetables including carrots, cabbage, parsley, celery, potatoes and the fresh corn. 

bowls of vegetables diced

In addition to cooking corn in the soup, I topped each bowl with fresh corn kernels (uncooked) that I cut directly off the cob. They were crunchy and sweet.

corn cut off the cob

bowl of corn chowder

Eating raw kernels right off the cob without cooking them is like eating fruit.

In the past, I've also used raw corn kernels in salads such as my recipe link: black bean and corn salad with artichokes and tomatoes.

corn and black bean salad

Do you like corn on the cob? How do you eat it? Do you get it fresh and locally grown?

1 cup of chopped onions 
2 cups of sliced or diced carrots
3 cups of sliced green cabbage
1 cup of sliced or diced celery
1/2 cup of parsley
2 cups of corn kernels (freshly cut off the cob tastes great) 
4 cups of vegetable broth (or more to cover vegetables)
1 cup of water
1/8 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
Optional: nut milk of choice for blending to add creaminess to the soup. 

Add the onions, carrots, cabbage, celery, parsley, corn, broth, water, and seasoning to the Instant Pot. Set to pressure cook for 5 minutes. When done, allow steam to release naturally for 5 minutes and then release steam manually according to the manufacturers instructions When all steam is released, carefully remove the lid. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until almost creamy but leaving some
chunkiness. If desired, blend in nut milk (1 cup) for a creamier texture.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Birthday Celebration With Exotic Fruit Salad Platter

Happy Birthday, Cake, Candle, Celebrate

How do you celebrate a birthday without a birthday cake? 

My son, Jonathan, is very careful with his diet and avoids inflammatory foods. For the past 2 years, he has not been eating sugar or anything made with sugar. 

It is a challenge to think of what to make to celebrate his birthday. We already know that he will not indulge in a birthday cake, so what to do? 

Well, his wife, Wendy, and their two daughters came up with the perfect solution. The pictures are worth a thousand words, so I will let you see the photos of Jon's birthday celebration in lieu of a cake !

exotic fruit platter

birthday celebration
Happy Birthday Jon 💋💋

The exotic fruit salad platter included :  
Dragon fruit, papaya, kiwi, guava, mango
strawberries, and star fruit. His candles were place in a banana. 

Everyone enjoyed a healthy celebration made with fruit salad instead of cake!!

I did make Jon my sugarless/flourless oatmeal cookies which only contain mashed banana, oats, and cinnamon and are very tasty. Optional chopped dates, nuts, raisins. 
I put a candle in a few of the cookies and we sang Happy Birthday!
Link to Recipe for Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal breakfast cookies

1. I always use certified gluten-free oats. If oats are not certified gluten free, they may cross contaminate and actually contain gluten and not be safe. I purchase these certified gluten-free oats-affiliate link.

2.  The oatmeal cookies are very quick and easy to make.

3. I eat the oatmeal cookies on the Starch Solution Diet-They are  Oil-free.

Shared on Weekend Cooking at The Intrepid Reader and Baker where anyone can join in and share a food related post.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Potato Kabobs

potato and zucchini kabobs

Vegetable and potato kabobs are fun to make, and they are a delicious vegetable side dish. 

I thought of the idea because I wanted something I could serve to company that wasn't being served out of a communal bowl that everyone had to touch and share using the same serving spoon.

Decoration, Invitation, Elegant 
Kabobs are individual and perfect for pandemic serving.

I simply roasted a few different vegetables in my air fryer (could use the oven too). I chose zucchini, potato, and tomato. I considered broccoli and mushrooms but I just didn't have any.

Vegetables, Zucchini, Food, Eat
I like making them with roasted potatoes because they are more filling than exclusively using lighter vegetables.

It is a great idea for outdoor dining too or a BBQ. They are very allergy friendly and will meet the needs of anyone vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, or nut free.

Potatoes, Potato, Food, Agriculture
As you can see from the photos, I simply layered the roasted vegetables on a kabob skewer long stick.

Each skewer can be picked up individually and then the vegetables could be slid onto the plate or consumed right from the stick.

potato kabobs

I cut the zucchini thick and in half moons, I cut the potato into wedges/slices and the tomato into half moons.

I air fried my zucchini and potatoes and left my tomatoes raw.

I've also made raw kabobs. Again, I made it so each guest could pick up a kabob instead of everyone helping themselves from the same crudités plate or bowl.

Vegetable Skewer, Paprika, Tomato

Soup in the summer? Check out my (link to how to order) 
Soups Cookbook " Summer" sections for chilled summer soups.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Vegan Salad Nicoise

vegan salad Nicoise

Hot weather? Do what the French do- eat salads. 
Not every salad has lettuce in it. Salad Nicoise has a base of potatoes. 

I was introduced to authentic French cuisine and the famous Salad Nicoise on our first trip to the Cote D'Azur (French Riviera). We enjoyed our 10 day car journey (with our French cousins) along the beautiful Mediterranean coastline and visited Nice, Cannes, the village of Eze, Saint Tropez and Monaco. 

Nice, France, Sea, Mediterranean, French

Originating in Nice, France, the popular Salad Nicoise has become well known in the United States as well. The hearty salad typically includes potatoes, French green beans, wedged tomatoes, anchovies and or tuna fish, olives, sliced red onions, etc. Everything works for a vegan except the fish. Perfect for a hot summer day!

Green Bean, Food, Green, Healthy

I've been eating more salad meals this summer since the temperatures have been oppressively hot in the high 90's and very humid. Salad for a meal just feels right. 

Potatoes, Vegetable, Food, Harvest
Cube potatoes

If you saw my previous blog post, you saw my vegan herbed potato salad. Since I made enough to have leftovers, I decided to turn my leftovers into a Salad Nicoise by just adding ingredients.

I tossed my basic herbed potato salad with cooked green beans, capers, and chickpeas. I could have also added wedges of tomato and slices of red onion. It turned a side dish into a full meal.

Salad Nicoise makes a wonderful lunch or light dinner. My version is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, filling and delicious. 

If you want a heartier meal, you could add a chilled soup such as my Mexican Zucchini, Corn, & Lime Soup found on page 151 of my Soups Cookbook which is eaten chilled. If you don't have my cookbook a similar recipe is on my blog link zucchini and corn soup recipe

Here is a link to : How to Order My New Soups Cookbook- Easy Plant-Based Soups from Farm To Ladle- Over 80 easy healthy soup recipes that you and your family will love with 80 wonderful quotes to give you Inspiration to live a healthier lifestyle. Makes a wonderful gift.

Mexican zucchini and corn soup
This easy soup recipe adds fresh uncooked corn off the cob and the zucchini can be made 
in the Instant Pot or stove top. Perfect with a salad.

Cookbook- Plant-Based Soups
80 recipes and 80 Inspirational Quotes 
                                                How to Order My New Soups Cookbook

This recipe is being shared on Deb's Souper Sunday Link Party where anyone can share (or find) a soup, salad, or sammie recipe. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Herbed Potato Salad - no mayo

Are you in the mood for a creamy bowl of potato salad? 
This is a simple herbed potato salad recipe that I tossed with a parsley, dill, and scallion dressing. It contains no mayonnaise or oil, yet it is moist and tasty.

Plants, Summer, Nature, Green, Dill

My mother used to always make homemade potato salad. 
In fact, when I was very young, my parents owned a corner grocery store and deli for about 5 years in Bristol, Pa. 

Shop, Store, Historic, Beamish, Heritage

In those days (1950's), neighborhoods had little corner grocery markets prior to the arrival of large supermarkets in the 1960's. In fact, many of our groceries such as eggs, cottage cheese, milk, and produce were delivered to our door by the  historic "egg man" or "milk man"- of course it was after we sold the deli.

Counter, Deli, Zucca, Shop, Fresh
All of the salads were homemade in our deli. My mother made her signature homemade potato salad every day which meant she needed to peel and cook 20 pounds of potatoes daily. My mother and her recipe are long gone, but she always sold out, so her potato salad must have been exceptionally good.

For this recipe, I usually make about 2 pounds of potatoes and we eat it over two or three days. Potato salad is such an easy side dish and is delicious and filling. 

This herbed recipe is particularly flavorful, colorful, and low in fat. 
Use baby red or white potatoes which seem to taste best. 

Potatoes, Vegetables, Food, Nature
Of course it's always the dressing which gives the potato salad its flavor. This dressing is made using fresh herbs and seasonings such as parsley, dill, scallions, mustard, lemon juice, and acquafaba. 
Cutting Board, Knife, Chopped, Parsley
If you are not familiar with aquafaba, it is simply the water in the can of chickpeas or the water from when you make your own chickpeas. If has a slightly thickening quality and adds a very nice taste. I use it instead of the oil.


2 pounds of baby red and or white potatoes, cleaned, quartered, and steamed or boiled and drained.

1/4 cup of Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup of chopped parsely
1/4 cup of scallions, chopped 
1/4 cup of dill, chopped
1/4 cup of lemon juice 
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of garlic powder 
1/4 cup of aquafaba
Optional: 1/2 cup of celery chopped small

Directions for the Dressing
Add the mustard, parsley, scallions, dill, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic powder to a food processor. Whiz until well blended carefully adding small amounts of aquafaba from the chute as needed. Remove from food processor and toss the dressing over warm potatoes. Add chopped celery if desired and mix well. 

1. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, kosher parve
2. I think the recipe tastes best at room temperature.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Quinoa Salad with Summer Produce

quinoa and chickpea salad

If you are looking for a great quinoa salad that is easy, healthy, and filling- this is it. 

Quinoa, chickpeas, and summer produce such as red and yellow cherry tomatoes, scallions, colorful mini sweet peppers, shredded carrots, sliced black olives, parsley, and fresh basil, makes an easy, light, yet filling meal for dinner. 
veggie salad

Do you like to eat light in the summer but run out of healthy salad ideas? Grains or pseudo seed grains, such as quinoa, mix well with chopped veggies to make an easy tasty salads. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and vegan.

Quinoa, Cereal, Food, Jar, Teaspoon

Quinoa Comes Out Perfect Cooked In The Instant Pot
The quinoa can be cooked in a pot on the stove top or in the Instant Pot. I always cook mine in the Instant Pot for tjust wo minutes (link to recipe) and then allow it to slow release for 12 minutes. It comes out light and fluffy every time- just perfect.

Bowl of white fluffy quinoa

For the chickpeas and you can either make your own on the stove top or instant pot or just open a can. It’s your choice!

Both quinoa and chickpeas provide enough significant protein to make this flavorful vegan salad a complete meal. 

Sometimes I use romaine lettuce leaves to scoop up the salad. 

2 cups of white quinoa, washed well and cooked
2 cups of cooked and drained chickpeas
1/2 cup of sliced scallions
1/2 cup of sliced black olives ( I used a small can of sliced olives)
2 cups of chopped cherry tomatoes (red and yellow)
1 cup of chopped mini peppers ( any color) 
1 large organic carrot, shredded ( I grated mine) 
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil

Mix everything together, toss with your favorite Italian or Greek salad dressing and serve.

Shared on

Deb's Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe. 


1. I took the photos before I added the quinoa to the salad ( Just a goof up). Sorry.

2. Since I no longer use oil (I do eat healthy fats- avocado, nuts, seeds but I am oil-free)- I dressed the salad with just lemon for myself. 

3. This salad is vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free before adding dressing.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Celebrating Independence Day with Knicky

Dog on Independence Day

We did not have many plans to celebrate Independence Day weekend this year. We kind of just relaxed and took it easy. 

We did get together with friends on Saturday night to play Rummikub. and Sunday night/late afternoon we got together with friends who were babysitting their grand-dog! 

Rummikub by Pressman - Classic Edition - The Original Rummy Tile Game, Blue

Meet Knicky (named after the Knicks team) who is 6 months old.
He kept us well entertained while the four of us attempted to eat dinner and then play couples Canasta. 

Fourth Of July, 4Th Of July, America

Knicky is full of energy and very playful. We stayed in with our friends because they were concerned and didn't want to leave Knicky alone in case he became frightened by the fireworks (which were blasting all around our area and quite loud. 

Red, White, Blue, Fruit, Berries
Surprisingly, the noise, which started at local houses as early as 6:00 PM, did not bother Knicky in the least.

Knicky on Independence Day

Golden colored dog in bushes
Knicky loves laying and sleeping in these low vine-like bushes

Fourth Of July, Picnic, 4Th Of July

How did you celebrate? What did you do ? 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Tv, Television, Retro, Classic, Old

Is anyone old enough to remember the early days of television ?

Old, Retro, Television, Tubes, Tv

My friend Maxine told me a story about a conversation she had with her 5 year old grandchild that brought back memories of TV shows from when I was a little girl.  

It was a hot summer's day and my friend Maxine was wearing a short sleeve shirt. Her grandson looked at her arms and asked why her skin on her arms was hanging. She replied that it often happens when one gets older. Her grandson continued to look and then replied. I guess that's what happened under your chin too. Kids often say such funny things innocently!

When I was young, Art Linkletter had a TV show called Kids Say the Darndest Things (1952-1969). 

The show was very entertaining and funny. Art Linkletter was the host and he would have a panel of 4 or 5 school age children that he would ask questions about life. If you have never seen or heard of the show, you can watch one of his original shows on YouTube. I've linked one of his shows below. 

After watching some of the original episodes on Netflix, I realized how much things have changed over the years. Simple behaviors that were acceptable in the 1950's and 1960's would never fly today. 
 I noticed that Art Linkletter kept touching the kids on the shoulders, their thighs, etc. Years ago that seemed very normal and harmless, but not now. He would probably be arrested for touching kids to that extent. 

Another questions addressed getting spanked routinely as if it were normal and accepatable. In the video below his question is. Who do you prefer to spank you, your mom or your dad?  Can you imagine that question today!! 

Attitudes, behaviors, and what's acceptable has really changed from the1950's and 1960's until today. 

Another show I loved and always watched was It's Howdy Doody Time which aired in the 1950's.- I'm showing my age- 

The TV screen in those days was often blank until 4:00 pm when Howdy Doodie would suddenly begin.  Have you ever heard the expressions- no comments from the peanut gallery? The peanut gallery was the large group of kids in the audience on The Howdy Doodie Show.

Kids would line up in front of the TV just waiting for a show. Kid shows also played on Saturday mornings. The remainder of the time, there were no shows or just the news. Eventually when advertising was introduced to television, the time and variety of airing began to expand.

Although television was invented in the late 1920's- it wasn't until the late 1940's that a few thousand people finally owned a TV set. We my parents purchased a TV set in 1954, there were very few shows aired- Much of the time the screen was blank. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies - oil-free and vegan

oatmeal breakfast cookies

Soft and chewy, these simple cookies make a delicious and nutritious breakfast. 

Do you like eating oatmeal for breakfast? 
These easy to make mashed oatmeal breakfast cookies are a tasty and healthy alternative to a bowl of oatmeal. Without sugar, flour or any processed additives, this flourless cookie recipe could become a family favorite.

Oat, Grains, Food, Organic, Oatmeal

Oats are a whole grain, and studies show eating oats may provide many health benefits including reducing risks of heart disease, lowering blood sugar levels, and helping with weight loss. Oats are also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants and just a 1 cup of dry oats supplies 8 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein.

The convenient gluten-free cookies (I always use these certified gluten-free oats-affiliate link) are prepared by using just a fork for mashing the banana and a small bowl. 

The best part of making these cookies is that they can be made on the spur of the moment since they use so few ingredients and require very little work. The base of the cookie is oatmeal and mashed banana which I then sprinkle with cinnamon and ground cardamom. Of course any seasoning or additions of your choice would be a nice addition such as raisins, chopped dates, chopped apples, or chopped walnuts.

Coffee, Cookies, Oatmeal Cookies

I picture eating them when I don't have time for a proper breakfast or when I'm traveling or on the run.

Yesterday, we went to visit my 96 year old mother in law in her assisted living facility.  
I had to be out most of the day, so I kept these cookies in a baggie in my purse for a healthy snack on the drive home. Having these healthy cookies on hand kept me from making a less healthy choice and filling up so I wasn't starving when I walked in the door.

Gourmet Cookies, Oatmeal, Raisins

The amazing thing is that they actually taste sweet and delicious. 
They are a soft cookie and don't usually get hard and crisp up- but I actually like soft cookies. 
A friend, (Stephanie S.), said that she adds a little gluten-free flour to the mix to achieve a crispier cookie.

You can make them in advance and they will last up to three days. 

They are very allergy friendly as they are naturally gluten-free, oil-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut free. 
It's a great treat when you are having company and someone has a food restrictions. This may be a safe cookie.

1/2 cup of rolled oats (I use certified gluten-free oats-affiliate link)
1 large ripe banana 
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground cardamom
Optional: chopped apple, chopped walnuts, raisins, chopped dates, etc. 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
In a small bowl, mash a large ripe banana. Stir in the rolled oats, cinnamon, and ground cardamom and any other mix-ins of your choice. Using a tablespoon, spoon heaping tablespoons onto a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, checking to prevent burning. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow to cool . Using a spatula remove and place on a plate.

Sharing this post on Weekend Cooking  where everyone is welcome to share a food related post. Come see what's cooking this weekend.

My Notes: 
1. This recipe makes about 9-10 cookies . Double the recipe for a larger amount. 
2. When I use a tablespoon to drop the cookie batter, I round out the mound. 
3. Make sure your banana is ripe and large- otherwise use two bananas.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to give medical advice. The information in this blog post and all my blog posts are for informational and educational reasons only. Always check with your medical doctor before making changes in your diet and for medical advice.

I am an affiliate for Amazon and if you follow a link from my site and make a qualified purchase, I may receive a small compensation at no charge to you. It helps defray the cost of running a blog. Thank you for your support.