Monday, June 17, 2024

Enjoying Early Summer at The Farmer's Market

group of people standing near vegetables

Summer, my favorite season, is almost officially upon us! June 20 marks the date despite a severe heat wave on its way for the entire east coast starting June18. Luckily, for the past few weeks our mornings and late evening have been in the crisp and cool in the low 60's, despite rising to the 80's and 90's during the day.

Sunglasses on Sand Near Sea at Sunset

Summer for me means trips to the farmer's market, since I no longer grow my own vegetables. I made my first trip to the farmer's market in Wrightstown, Pa. this week, which is about a 25 minute ride from my house through Bucks County.

Landscape photo and picture

It's always a magical morning for me when I go there. The little outdoor market boasts about 20 stands composed of 2 organic farmers, 4 regular famers, fragrant soap makers, honey farmers, homemade specialty foods, food trucks, and a few other kiosks with people selling things they have made. In fact, during the covid years, I rented a spot and sold my healthy plant-based soups cookbook (link to see my cookbook on Amazon).

The make-shift weekly market for farmers is in a big field out in the county. 

Free Fence Wildflowers photo and picture

The merchants and people are very congenial and it feels like everyone is there to hang out, socialize, and of course buy the wholesome goods. There is always live music with a singer. I enjoy the solace of the ride out to country area, enjoy walking around in the big grassy field, talking to people - some that I now know and some that I don't. 


After the market, I drive about 1/4 mile to a little store area. There are about 6 large stores all sharing the same Parking lot in the middle of no where.
Photo

First is a large beautiful natural market (Organnons Market) where I usually get a brown rice vegetable sushi with fermented vegetables and any packaged goods that might be on sale that week. I  read all of the local business cards posted on their bulletin board ( most are holistic or homestead minded)  

Next store is  "OWOWCOW" ice cream shop which makes small batches of ice cream using many locally grown ingredients, including milk and cream, from the surrounding dairy farms.  Their lavender honey flavor is my favorite. Thank goodness it is closed when I get there around 10 am each week. (I don't need to be eating ice cream every week) . 

 
In the same shopping area is a local nursery that sells all kinds of plants, trees, shrubs, hanging baskets, flowers, and has starter plants for herbs and vegetables. 



 I bought a small pot of each : organic oregano, basil, and lemon verbena.  I will attempt to plant the herbs this week which may be difficult with my beautifully long and polished nails.

woman's hand with long nails blue polish

There is also an antique shop.  I've never gone into it, but I should some day. 

I'm excited about the new store that opened in the same shopping area recently. It is charming and exudes a peaceful atmosphere with lovely engaging people working there. It is called, "Rainbows of Healing" - A Metaphysical Boutique . Inside I found unique gifts, crystals, jewelry, singing bowls, books, etc. They also give classes and provide services such as Reiki, sound healing, and reflexology. 

(http://www.shoprainbowsofhealing.com). It was my first time in the store. I didn't buy anything but will keep it mind for gifts and I just loved being in there.

Do you go to farmer's markets? What do you buy? 


Friday, June 14, 2024

The Gilded Age Cookbook: A Review



From time to time, publishers offer me the opportunity to review new cookbooks. The Gilded Age Cookbook, by Becky Libourel Diamond, was sent to me in February. Due to my extensive traveling schedule, I am just getting around to the review.

Curiously, when I looked at the author's bio on Amazon, I noticed that Becky Diamond lives Yardley, Pennsylvania which is the same very small town where I have resided for the past 35 years (excluding our snowbird winter months in Florida since retirement). 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Unlocking Vitality: The Vagus Nerve and Energizing Techniques

                                    Free Human Employee vector and picture
How many of us wake up feeling tired, stressed, or feel our energy diminish as the day progresses? 

In the pursuit of optimal health and well-being, we often overlook the incredible ability of our own bodies to actually rejuvenate themselves. 

The other day my good friend Vicki shared a 10 minute rejuvenation video with me that Vicki found on Youtube regarding our "Vagus Nerve". 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Refreshing Cucumber Salad with Clear Rice Noodles



cucumber noodle salad- GF and vegan
Cucumbers, onions, sesame seeds, mint, parsley, and rice noodles are some of my favorite salad ingredients that I use to make this easy, light, refreshing, and healthy hot weather salad. 

As we delve into the hotter summer months, think cucumber recipes to help combat the heat and stay hydrated and energized. Cucumbers are a delicious low fat and low calorie addition to any meal that help cool you down, nourish your body, and invigorate your taste buds. 

Cucumber slices

I know it's only the beginning of June, but the temperatures in the Philadelphia area are already sunny and in the upper 80's and low 90's right now, and I'm feeling the heat and humidity!

cucumber salad with sesame seeds and onion

Truthfully since I've been traveling for over a month, I have been eating out entirely and have not been doing any cooking at all!. 

It's been a shock to have to go back to shopping for groceries, then having to bring everything home, put things away and then actually having to COOK!! It's work- 

Sunday, June 2, 2024

In My Kitchen June 2024

It's the beginning of June and I'm joining Sherry in her monthly "In My Kitchen" share. 

I've been away for about a month, so the only new things I have to share are the few kitchen items that I purchased in Paris, our last stop (6 days) before we flew back to Miami. 

Shopping in the Montmartre village with charming restaurants, artists, and stores. 
There are also neighborhoods and amazing churches. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Exploring the History and Charm of Brugge, Belgium -

street signs to Brugge, Belgium


One of our favorite cruise excursions was in Bruges, Belgium where we engaged in a tour of the medieval history of this charming city. 

Had To Eat Belgium Waffles
This included my husband indulging in Belgium waffles. I could not find gluten-free waffles, so I settled for Belgium chocolate. Chocolatiers were on every street with types of chocolate than I have ever seen. 
Read on to hear and see more about Bruges.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Home From Our Cruise and Extended Vacation in London and Paris-


I'm back!! And our adventurous three and half week vacation transatlantic cruise and time in London and Paris was wonderful!

Despite my concerns about spending 8 straight days at sea before making stops in Ireland, Portugal, and Belgium, the 14 day transatlantic cruise was fabulous and went by very quickly! Why? Read on

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

What I Eat In A Day On A Plant-Based Diet

Free Cover Plate photo and picture

Do you ever think about eating less animal protein and eating more plant-based meals? 

In a world where not just adults but even children struggle with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer etc, scientific research proves that diet as the #1 culprit of these problems. See how you can eat a full day of plant-based meals and enjoy them. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Elevate Your Dishes with Homemade Tofu Ricotta Cheese: A Versatile Vegan Delight

Elevate Your Dishes with Homemade Tofu Ricotta Cheese: A Versatile Vegan Delight

vegan ricotta cheese

Do you love cheese but are trying to cut back on high fat foods and inflammatory dairy? Try this 2 ingredient, easy, delicious alternative.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024



Cruise Ship, Night, Port, Ship


I'm leaving for my cruise to Europe in the morning. 
I'm all packed and ready to go. 
I have to admit that the packing was challenging in a carry-on suitcase and a carry on bag for this 4 week vacation

Monday, April 29, 2024

Embrace The Spring Season With Delicious Plant-based Foods



Free Lilac Syringa photo and picture 

Who doesn't look forward spring and delicious seasonal spring vegetables? 

As winter fades away and nature begins to awaken, spring brings with it a burst of colors, flavors, and fresh produce. It's a time of renewal and rejuvenation, making it the perfect opportunity to embrace lighter, plant-based meals that celebrate the season's bounty. 

Whether you're a seasoned vegan or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, there's no shortage of delicious options to explore. From vibrant salads to hearty gluten-free grain bowls, here are some must-try vegan spring foods to add to your repertoire:

Friday, April 26, 2024

Planning A Vacation


Free Suitcase Luggage illustration and picture

Next week I'll be leaving to take a cruise to Europe. It is a transatlantic cruise which means we will be at sea for 7 days before we begin making stops in Ireland, Belgium, and UK. 

Definitely a long time to be at sea on a ship before we make stops!  

Free Two Cruise photo and picture
We are leaving from Miami 

It is my understanding that the staff keeps the passengers busy and entertained with speakers, exercise classes, and many programs for a variety of interests during the many sea days.  

 I'll be taking my iPad and I have downloaded about 5 books to read.
I'm starting with one of my favorite authors: Kristin Hannah. She writes mostly historical fiction. I downloaded The Four Winds. 

I just read her new book called The Women which was about women's roles in the Vietnam War. It was excellent. Her books usually focus on people and their experiences and feelings.  Back to the cruise. 

Free Tower Bridge Wallpaper 4K photo and picture

At the conclusion of the cruise, we are planning to travel to and spend 5 days exploring London and then 5 days in Paris with family. 

We will navigate to the take a train from the cruise port in Southhampton, UK to London, UK and then 5 days later, we will take the fast train from London to Paris before we fly back to Miami. All carrying our luggage.

Free Eiffel Tower France photo and picture

The dilemma for me right now it how do I pack? My inclination is to pack as smart and light as possible because we will be carrying our luggage to and from the trains. Smart and light to me means color coordinating my clothing (mostly blacks, whites, and blues) so I can cross match outfits and wear them multiple times. 

assorted-color apparels

Laundry? We will not have any on the 2 week cruise unless we decide to pay an outrageous fee ($14- for one pair of jeans) or $75 for a very small bag of our clothes to send to their cleaning service. 

Hopefully when I get to Paris, we will be able to do wash at our cousin's house. In London, perhaps we will find a laundry facility. 

inline white and silver front-load washers

I am planning to wear gym clothes during the day on the cruise. The weather should be moderate with temps in the high 60's. 
In the evening for dinner, I will need to dress- but not dress up.  I plan to bring white pants, black pants, 2 dresses, 8 tops, and nice jeans. I'll repeat and mix and match. 

Free Legs Shoes photo and picture

It will be challenging but I can't carry too much when we are navigating to and from the trains- it will be too heavy and bulky for me. 

In my next post I should be able to share how I packed. 

If anyone has any suggestions - I am open.  I would like to pack more things!!!!

I can't end without sharing a recipe . It is one of my favorites. I make it in the Instant Pot but it can be made on the stove top. 


palak dal at http://www.realfoodblogger.com







Saturday, April 20, 2024

Happy Passover and Recipes


The Passover Seder (Ceremonial meal)
Picture a table adorned with a crisp white tablecloth, shimmering in the soft glow of candlelight. In the center, there's a decorative plate filled with three matzos, symbolizing the unleavened bread eaten during Passover. Surrounding the plate are vibrant green sprigs of parsley, a bowl of salt water, and a roasted shank bone, all symbols representing different aspects of the Passover story. Glasses of deep red wine or grape juice stand ready to be raised in celebration, and a joyous family gathered around the table, remembering our history, telling the story of our redemption from slavery, and sharing the blessings of the holiday of freedom!

 

Check out the foods and recipes I'll be making for the holiday!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Creamy White Bean and Mushroom Appetizer

appetizer, white bean spread topped with mushrooms


An ordinary appetizer? Not this bold and magnificent dip/spread! Sautéed mushrooms, pine nuts, creamy white butter beans, fresh herbs and tasty seasoning make up this delightful blend. Got company coming? This will be a hit!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Creamy Asparagus and Cauliflower Soup

soup, asparagus and cauliflower soup

As you know (or may not know) I love soup and am happy to eat it even in the spring and summer! 

I was recently introduced to a delicious asparagus soup at a friend's dinner party! I couldn't wait to get the recipe and share!

Green Asparagus Asparagus photo and picture

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Shopping With Dogs at TJ Maxx



How do you feel about shopping in a supermarket or clothing store such as TJ Maxx and people putting their dog or dogs in the shopping carts? 

Lately, I see it all the time in my local stores.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Turmeric Tea -3 Ways


Crop hands adding turmeric in glass of hot water in morning Stock Photo

When you are feeling under the weather, brewing up some turmeric tea using ground turmeric powder is very soothing and comforting for your throat and stomach. I'm sharing three ways to make it. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

IN MY KITCHEN APRIL

I'm joining Sherry at Sherry's at Sherry's Pickings Blog for IN MY KITCHEN April 2024 . 

Free Daffodils Flower Background photo and picture

What's IN MY KITCHEN this month? 
A friend came to visit and brought me a lovely white serving dish. I also covered some of the food I made .

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Chickpea "Mock Tuna" Sandwich


mashed chickpea sandwich with sliced tomato
Chickpeas are really versatile. The high protein beans taste great added to salads, soups, or casseroles. Sometimes, I simply mash them with a fork and eat them on a sandwich like a mock tuna sandwich.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Purim Party Spectacular


Free Purim Bakery Products photo and picture

Yesterday was a Jewish holiday called Purim. 
It is celebrated to remember and commemorate the defeat of an evil person who called for the annihilation of  the Jewish race in Persia in the year 5 B.C.E. 
The name of the person who made the decree was HAMAN. 

Coincidently, today thousands of years later, the Jews seem to be facing another group that wants to destroy the State of Israel and the Jewish race. This group is called HAMAS.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Baked Marinated Tofu


tofu, vegan,

Would you like a new delicious easy recipe for making tofu? 

This recipe is an adaptation from a recipe I saw online for baked marinated Covina (a white fish). I loved the flavors of the marinade so much, I decided to give it a try using a plant-based protein such as tofu. 

Oranges Citrus Fruits


The easy marinade is simple and consists of the juice of freshly squeezed oranges, lime, seasoning, and optional white wine. It is a citrusy marinade that adds a tangy flavor to the baked tofu.                       

limes

Friday, March 15, 2024

Tuscan Creamy White Bean Soup


creamed bean soup

Are you in the mood for a soothing easy soup recipe?  This traditional Tuscan soup is sure to satisfy!

It boasts subtle hints of fresh rosemary, has a silky consistency, and provides a substantial amount of plant-based protein. Although we often think of making soup in the winter, this is light enough for any season.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Frozen Vegetables Make Tasty Side Dishes


a wide skillet with broccoli and green beans, vegan

I always keep frozen vegetables on hand to make quick, healthy, and easy side dishes. 
Truthfully, I can enjoy a bowl of  low fat healthy veggies within 7 minutes from start to finish. 

So, no more excuses for not cooking veggies! 

Frozen vegetables are a great way to make sure you eat vegetables daily. 

I also freeze fresh ginger to grate in the skillet of vegetables. 


Ginger, Natural Remedies, Spice
Keep fresh garlic frozen in the freezer ( don't peel it). To use it, simply grate it with the peel.

Freshly grated ginger tastes great with sautéed broccoli. 

I keep fresh organic ginger in the freezer in small baggies. It stays fresh for about 6 months. 

I wash and dry it whole (just the way it comes) before freezing it. 

Then I simply grate it frozen into the pan as needed and return the unused ginger to the baggy and back to the freezer.  The flavor is amazing. 

This simple, healthy, easy side dish was sooooo delicious that I felt I needed to share it. 

 I cooked up a bag of organic broccoli and some organic green beans (bought at a reasonable price at Costco). 

Recipe: Quick Frozen Broccoli and Green Beans With Ginger : 
I used a wide skillet. I poured in the bag of broccoli into the skillet and then added about a large handful of frozen green beans, 1/2 cup of water and grated freshly ginger on top, salt and garlic powder. Cook uncovered on a medium flame for about 5 minutes! (adding 1/4 cup of water while cooking if water evaporates)

Why I keep frozen vegetables in the freezer?
  • Most frozen vegetables are frozen as soon as they are harvested, thus they retain the greatest amount of nutrients. 
  • Fresh vegetables such as broccoli are shipped for a few days and then sit in the supermarket often for a few days or more. By the time we eat it, the nutritional value may have deteriorated. 
  • My time schedule and lifestyle is unpredictable. I often buy fresh vegetables with great intentions, only to find out that we ate out or I just didn't cook them and they went bad!
  • If I buy frozen, they can stay in the freezer for months. 
  • I don't need to clean them and chop them, therefore I am more likely to actually make them.

sugar snap peas in a bowl covered in sesame seedsNot 
Recipe for sugar snap peas and ginger with sesame seeds 

Not Mushy 
If you cook frozen broccoli or frozen green beans in a skillet with just 1/2 cup of water to start for about 4 minutes uncovered,  they stay firm and bright green.

Green Bean, Food, Green, Healthy

My favorite frozen vegetables: 
  • Organic broccoli- Costco sells a large bag with 4 individual sized bags inside 
  • Organic cauliflower rice- Costco for large bags with 4 individual bags or Trader Joe's for one 12 ounce bag.  
  • Organic edamame - Whole Foods one bag
  • Organic cauliflower-One bag at Whole Foods 
  • Organic sweet peppers (red and green) one bag at Whole Foods which I use added to other vegetable dishes or for soup recipes.
  • Organic peas - One bag at Whole Foods 
  • Frozen organic artichoke quarters- One bag Trader Joe's
  • Frozen Baby Brussels Sprouts (for Baby Brussels Sprout Soup)-I buy a bag from Hanover brand at most supermarkets and use them in stir-fry (with broth not oil) or soup.
Plain Cauliflower Rice (Heated in skillet with 1/2 cup of water, salt, pepper, and garlic powder).
Can beused it in place of rice! Try my cauliflower rice fiesta recipe that follows.


Cauliflower Rice Fiesta Recipe Link



brussels sprouts soup

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Roasted Carrot Appetizer With Cumin Seeds and Tahini Maple Dip



I am truly excited about this roasted carrot appetizer recipe and you should be too! Why? Because it is not only absolutely easy to make, it is absolutely crazy delicious. 



If you are a reader of my blog, you will know that the last week I made a delicious dip (link)with tahini, maple syrup, and lemon juice. 

a wooden table topped with a bowl of food and spoons

Yesterday I was shopping in Costco and I noticed an interesting bag of little bag of multi colored carrots. They were from Guatemala and were hand picked and shaped. They looked so cute, I decided to buy them and make them for an appetizer for the dinner party I was having. 

fried food on black plate

At first, I thought I would serve them as a vegetable side dish drizzled with the tahini sauce which would have been great ! 


But then I realized that they would also make an amazing appetizer as well, and I needed an appetizer for a party I was giving. (I forgot to take a good photo) 


All of my guests raved about the carrot appetizer. These beautiful looking roasted carrots with cumin seeds were the BIG hit!

I served the roasted carrots as an appetizer along with my maple tahini sauce for dipping which totally enhanced the flavors of the carrots! 

Ingredients: 
1 bag of cocktail carrots (as seen above)
1/2 cup of acquafaba (the liquid from cooking chickpeas or from canned chickpeas- I use it in place of olive oil) 
2 tablespoon of cumin seeds 

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper 
Wash and dry the carrots 
Brush carrots with acquafaba ( If you use oil, spray with olive oil spray) 
Sprinkle on the cumin seeds and salt
Place in the oven and roast for  20 -25 minutes until carrots are soft.
Remove from oven. 

My Notes: 
  • For a side dish, arrange carrots in a serving dish and drizzle with the tahini maple syrup sauce. 
  • For an appetizer, arrange the carrots on a flat serving dish and put the tahini maple syrup dip in a small bowl for a dip.



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