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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. 

Free Fat Obese illustration and picture

Plant-based eating has become more that just a trend: it becoming a new lifestyle for many- out of necessity to try to feel better. The standard American diet of highly processed food is proving not to be nourishing nor healthy. 

What I eat in a day on a plant-based diet
What does a day on a wholesome plant-based eating look like ? 
It is flavorful, colorful, tasty, satisfying and nourishing. This is a sample of what I might eat in a day.

Breakfast, Blueberries, Strawberries

Breakfast: Berry Burst Oatmeal 
A steaming bowl of hearty oatmeal is a great choice for breakfast. It is filling, contains fiber-rich goodness, and provides sustained energy. Adding a kaleidoscope of colorful berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries provides natural sweetness and many protective antioxidants. What do antioxidants protect? They help our bodies fight disease!! 

mashed chickpea sandwich with sliced tomato

This is one of my favorite spreads that I eat with a romaine lettuce leaves (like a lettuce wrap) or sometimes I'll spread it on rice cakes. It's really easy to make too. 

  • Chickpea "tuna" Salad- (protein )
  • vegetable sticks - carrots, red peppers, asparagus spears) which provide more vitamins and  antioxidants and low calorie crunch.
  • Baked Sweet Potato
salad, meditteranean salad, walnuts, chickpeas

I love a good salad and this one is not only beautiful, it offers a variety of nutrients and antioxidants. 
  • Salad - I start with a generous salad made up of a mosaic of colors and textures, featuring crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, tender baby spinach, walnuts, crunchy cucumber slices etc.
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Air fryer tofu cubes and avocado
  • Air-fryer potatoes

crispy tofu and salad

I have to admit that it takes more time to prep a healthy meal than picking up some processed food, but I find ways to prep in advance and make it work.

Free Fried Potatoes Spice photo and picture

What are your thoughts? Do you try to eat less animal protein ?

My Notes:

All my meals are also gluten-free

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?

One of the challenges of healthy plant-based eating is finding innovative plant-based substitutes for traditional dairy ingredients.

I discovered (by accident) that an ordinary block of extra firm tofu, blended with a few other simple ingredients, can provide a soft smooth product with a similar flavor and texture to ricotta cheese. So Crazy!!

How I Discovered it !

Origianlly, I was making my "tofu" mayonnaise which calls for soft silken tofu. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I only had a block of extra firm tofu so I used it instead of the silken tofu. I ended up with a different product entirely. When I tasted it, I realized it was similar to ricotta cheese!!

For me "tofu ricotta" is truly a game changer! I use my "ricotta" substitute to make a wide variety of pasta dishes, appetizers, pizza topping, spreads, etc. 

Who Might Like This Substitute?

Those who are lactose intolerant, those looking for kosher parve foods, those who follow Weight Watchers and want a zero point food, or anyone simply looking to explore new culinary horizons.

How Can You Use Tofu Ricotta?  

  1. Pasta: Use tofu ricotta as a filling for GF pastas such as stuffed shells, manicotti, or lasagna. Layer it between sheets of GF pasta with marinara sauce or toss it with shells and broccoli.
  2. Free Food Bread photo and picture
  3. GF Toast Toppers: Spread tofu ricotta on GF toast or GF crackers and top with roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for an elegant appetizer or snack. We are fortunate to have a gluten-free bakery here in Florida with all kinds of GF breads.
    Plantain pizza with roasted vegetables and tofu cheese
  1. Pizza Perfect: Dollop tofu ricotta onto GF pizza dough before baking for a creamy, cheesy alternative to traditional mozzarella. Pair with your favorite toppings for a personalized pie.

    Spread Dip photo and picture
  1. Dips and Spreads: Whip up a batch of tofu ricotta dip by blending it with herbs, spices, or roasted garlic. Serve with crudité, GF crackers, or warm GF bread for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Recipe: You will be delighted to find out how easy this recipe is to make. It's only 2 ingredients: extra firm tofu and dijon mustard.

1 block of extra firm tofu, slightly drained
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon (at a time) of water, only if needed to mix

Remove tofu from packaging and allow to drain slightly for about 10 minutes. Next, add the tofu to the heavy duty blender. Add mustard and begin to blend. Add 1 teaspoon of water if needed and continue to blend. Remove when still gritty (not completely smooth).
Use in recipes as needed.

My Notes:
When making dips and spreads, mix by hand using a large spoon. Mixture may become too thin and creamy if it mixed again in the blender. OR add parsley and herbs to the original batch.

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

Free Suitcase Luggage illustration and picture
My greatest challenge ended up being the shoes! I took 5 pairs of shoes: sneakers, shoes for during the day, 2 pairs of shoes for the evening- one white and one black and a pair of flip flops type sandals for the pool. 

Black Shoes Shoe photo and picture
I scheduled 2 posts that will show up during the 2nd and 3rd week of May. I won't be able to visit any of you. So wonderful month of May and I'll look forward to reading your posts when I get back. 

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:


    Delicious Vegan Spring Foods to Try

  1. Asparagus : Springtime heralds the arrival of tender asparagus spears, a versatile vegetable that can be grilled, roasted, or sautéed to perfection. Rich in fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K, asparagus adds a delightful crunch and flavor to any dish. 

    Try these recipes: roasted asparagus, asparagus soup,
  2. Pea Shoots: Delicate and flavorful, pea shoots are the young tendrils of pea plants that pack a nutritional punch. These vibrant greens are bursting with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as protein and fiber. Add them to salads for a pop of freshness, or use them as a garnish for soups and stir-fries. They are becoming available in supermarkets and farm stands. Try my salad recipe for radicchio salad with pea shoots and fresh mint.

    salad, pea shoots, radicchio, cucumber
  3. Strawberry Spinach Salad: Combine the sweetness of ripe strawberries with the earthy flavor of spinach for a refreshing spring salad. Toss in some toasted nuts, avocado slices, and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette for a satisfying meal that's as nutritious as it is delicious. Arugula spinach strawberry spring salad.

  4. Grilled Veggie Skewers: Fire up the grill and skewer an assortment of seasonal vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. Brush them with a marinade of balsamic vinegar, and herbs, then grill until tender and caramelized. Serve alongside quinoa or rice for a hearty vegan meal that's perfect for outdoor gatherings. Recipe: potato kabobs

    Vegetable Skewer, Paprika, Tomato
  5. Rhubarb Compote: Take advantage of rhubarb season by whipping up a sweet and tangy compote that pairs beautifully with oatmeal or even vegan ice cream. Simply simmer chopped rhubarb with maple syrup or your preferred sweetener and a splash of water until it breaks down into a luscious sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors, and enjoy a taste of spring with every spoonful.

    Free Rhubarb Jam photo and picture
  6. Artichoke Hearts: Whether fresh or canned, artichoke hearts are a versatile ingredient that adds a unique flavor and texture to a variety of dishes. Try tossing them with pasta, blending them into creamy dips, or layering them onto homemade pizzas for a satisfying meal that's sure to impress. Try my recipes: How to cook and eat a whole artichokes , frozen artichoke and zucchini soup,

  7. Spring Grain Bowl: Combine cooked grains like quinoa, kasha, or rice with an assortment of seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs, and a flavorful dressing for a nourishing grain bowl that's as beautiful as it is delicious. Top it off with sliced avocado, toasted seeds, or a dollop of hummus. Sushi in a Bowl , Quinoa Confetti Salad , Quinoa Tobooleh Salad

    sushi vegetables in a bowl
  8. Herb-infused Beverages: Elevate your hydration game with herb-infused beverages like mint lemonade, lavender iced tea, or rosemary-infused water. Not only are these drinks refreshing and hydrating, but they also offer a delightful way to enjoy the flavors of spring herbs.Try my recipes: Fruit Infused Water, Lime Refresher , Family Middle Eastern Lemonade

  9. With all the available flavorful vegan spring foods, you can welcome the season with open arms and a satisfied palate. Whether you're enjoying a leisurely picnic in the park or hosting a springtime dinner on your backyard deck, spring produce is sure to satisfy vegans and omnivores alike. So go ahead, embrace the season and indulge in the abundance of plant-based goodness that spring has to offer. Your taste buds—and the planet—will thank you for it!

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!


Since we give up eating bread, cereal products, and crackers during this 8 day holiday, I'll be eating a lot of salads and vegetables during Passover. I'm not much on eating matzah and matzah products.

I'm including some of the recipes that I will be making. I love this carrot salad!

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