Posted in Recipes

Vegan Dip Pasta

I have always enjoyed making something then changing it up to turn it into something else. When I made this dip, (see previous weeks post) I couldn’t wait to see all the ways I could use it and of course since I love pasta my mind went there and came up with today’s recipe to share.

I did use lentil pasta, making this an even higher in clean protein plus stabilizing your blood sugar, heart healthy, lowers cholesterol, digestion, and works great for all who need to eat gluten free food, but any of your favorite will work too.

I also found doing the vegan dip a day ahead of time then saving it in a jar made this a meal that can be made in less than 30 minutes and if the salad is made in the morning before you head out something cool and tasty to come home to or taken to a BBQ later.

I added the recipe for the raw vegan dip to this post for those who don’t feel like scrolling. (Please see the recipe below)

Raw Vegan Veggie Dip:

Ingredients

1-5 cloves garlic

1 15 ounce can of chickpea rinsed and drained

2 lemons juiced

2 cups spinach

1/2 – 1 full cup Kalamata olives

2 stems fresh basil

1 small bundle Italian parsley

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 yellow squash

1 zucchini

3 roma tomatoes

Salt and black pepper per taste

1 drop Oregano oil

2 drops Rosemary

4 drops Fennel oil

3 drops Basil oil

Red pepper oil per taste for on top

Optional

2 red and orange bell peppers

1/2 cup of almond or pine nuts (these nuts make a very nice addition)

Put all chopped ingredients except essential oils into a blender and pulse until smooth. When dip is smooth add essential oils one drop at a time to taste. You do not have to use all the recommended drops, top with the red pepper oil.

Lentil Pasta, Raw Vegan Dip, Tomatoes, Kalamata olives and Artichoke hearts

Vegan Dip Pasta

Time 20 minutes or less if using already made dip Serves 5-6

1 box of pasta cooked per package directions

Raw vegan dip per taste

Kalamata olives cut in half and per taste

1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts drained

Cherry or any small tomatoes per taste and if desired cut in half

Feta cheese crumbled per taste for on top (can use vegan)

After cooking pasta per package directions assemble the salad and top with feta then enjoy.

This is a great summer side salad or filling and healthy enough for a nice light cool main course and if you want to get creative the skies the limits for what you put in it.

Posted in Uplifting

My new Normal

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I have been on a long hiatus with my blog, and it feels like my life and here’s why.

I am a woman in the middle of life (and no I don’t mind growing older, it’s a privilege denied to some) …I have been married (as some know) divorced and yes still a sucker for punishment remarried. A mother and now grandmother who loves chocolate, with a huge, sweet tooth enjoys baking and to balance out my sweet tooth I have found one of my favorite pastimes, healthy cooking. I do some crafts every chance I get and go through periods when knitting is enjoyable. The great outdoors is where I find my comfort and if I could have a huge garden I would.

My list goes on, but I think you get the jest that just like you I have so many sides of me. I am such a private person, but I am trying to grow and step out of my comfort zone.
I have found that going out of my comfort zone has been thrust upon me, I have been diagnosed with a chronic condition that affects every part of my life. I understand fatigue!! I understand that you may look healthy but on the inside the list of hurt, aches and pains are too many to mention. I now am learning to ask for help and to be honest with those closest to me how I feel, not to just press on but to accept help, that is a tuff one but so needed for me now. I am also finding my voice and how to share my health journey so that others don’t feel so alone or may pick up on some tips that may help.

Because I was a vegetarian/yogi that ran miles I had the thought that I was doing everything I could to stay healthy, but that is the thing with a health condition that arises, it will take what you thought was your healthy life and turn it upside down but just because my health is what it is it doesn’t mean I will give up. I have learned to embrace my struggle and if you want to share in this wonderful journey with me, I will post the good, the bad and all in between. I can show you what has helped me to embrace my “new normal”
I will also have healthy recipes, fitness programs, a community of Wellness Marvels on Facebook, if you want to join me there, we will uplift each other up in a no judgement kind of place! Need meal prep help? Yep, I have that too and the best part is its nutritional help from experts.

I want to empower women that even with a health condition or change in direction it is not the end but just a turn in the page and a new story to be written.

Side note, I had published this in 2019 but felt I should give an update and bring it back for those who may have missed it or to let those of you who read it know that I still have my health and wellness/fitness group that is for all who wish to get healthier but need help getting there. I am also a yoga instructor now, never thought I would be but find it helps me even more in my practice. If you are curious about my groups, please message me or visit the link below.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com/?coachId=2832050

Posted in Recipes

Raw Vegan Veggie Dip

I thought that with summer in full swing I would share this dip that is the perfect light snack or a wonderful spread in a wrap for a light cool dinner. I found this great recipe off the doterra (essential oils) blog when I was in search of a great dip, I tweaked and changed a few things and made it into a meal, but I am so glad I found it, this is a great healthy recipe just in time for summer.

With the essential oils in this you will need to make sure you have pure essential oils only, if you do not have them then I would substitute the essential oils with herbs. You will reap a lot of health benefits with the oregano, fennel and basil oil they help maintain a healthy digestion. Then add the chickpea for protein and the veggies with vitamins. This dip gives you a wide range of fresh healthy goodness you can’t beat.

Raw Vegan Veggie Dip:

Ingredients

1-5 cloves garlic

1 15 ounce can of chickpea rinsed and drained

2 lemons juiced

2 cups spinach

1/2 – 1 full cup Kalamata olives

2 stems fresh basil

1 small bundle Italian parsley

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 yellow squash

1 zucchini

3 roma tomatoes

Salt and black pepper per taste

1 drop Oregano oil

2 drops Rosemary

4 drops Fennel oil

3 drops Basil oil

Red pepper oil per taste for on top

Optional

2 red and orange bell peppers

1/2 cup of almond or pine nuts (these nuts make a very nice addition)

Put all chopped ingredients except essential oils into a blender and pulse until smooth. When dip is smooth add essential oils one drop at a time to taste. You do not have to use all the recommended drops, top with the red pepper oil.

Serve with vegetables, pita bread, chips or spread on a wrap layer with your favorite veggies roll and enjoy! (I even found this makes a great sauce for a summer pasta that I will share next week)

Posted in Recipes

Zucchini Lentil Skillet

I thought that I would make a zucchini lasagna. In fact, I had all the ingredients. In place of the noodles, I would put very thinly slice zucchini, but as you can see, I changed my mind at the last minute.

I decided I didn’t want to have the oven on so I would make a one pot dinner in my skillet. This dinner is fast and great for you. with the lentils and soy chorizo you have some clean protein as well as many other health benefits then add zucchini which is high in antioxidants, helps with digestion, blood sugar levels, bone and heart health, even has been found to help with weight loss. Plus, the fact that zucchini is so plentiful you may need a new idea when you have so much of this vegetable you are giving it away.

Zucchini Lentil Skillet:

Total time 30-40 minutes, Serves 5

3 small zucchinis, 2 shredded 1 diced

1 can of diced tomatoes with onions and garlic

1 jar of marinara (I made my own ahead of time, but store bought is great too)

1 small onion diced

4 cloves of garlic diced

1 cup of cooked lentils

1/2 cup of mozzarella/parmesan

1/2 package of soy chorizo

1 tablespoon of olive oil


In a large skillet over medium high heat add olive oil, onion, garlic and diced zucchini. Sauté until onions are translucent and zucchini is half cooked then add soy chorizo and lentils stir and turn down to a low heat then add canned tomatoes, shredded zucchini and marinara continue to cook on low for about 15 minutes then add cheese and cook on low until it is melted.

Serve on a plate with parmesan if desired and enjoy.

Posted in Uplifting

God’s Timing

I have been praying on a certain issue for years. At times I feel as if God works like a crock pot, but I would rather He was a microwave.

I know God is hearing me and yes, the thought has crossed my mind that my answer could be a no but then I come across a part in the Bible that reminds me that my timing is defiantly not Gods.

 

The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath

John 5:1-15

Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.”

 

As I was reading this the other morning right after my long prayer, I got stuck on one part of the passage for the longest time. No, it wasn’t on the fact of a healing on the Sabbath, yes that’s a big one but all I could see was a man had been an invalid for not one or two years but a LONG 38!! As I reread and thought about this, I had such a deep overwhelming connection to him. This man went to the pool year after year. He didn’t give up he just went like clockwork. His miracle came with no bells or whistles after all this time of waiting, in fact he couldn’t even say who, when asked. This man with no name has made such an imprint by his unwavering faith, his name wasn’t needed his action spoke volumes.

I won’t forget this man’s persistence. My prayer will be answered, it might come on a day that I wouldn’t think it should happen on or perhaps in such a quite way I won’t realize what is happening, but it will happen. It might take a bit more time, that’s all.

Posted in Recipes

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

I think I am ready for Autumn. I know summer hasn’t even officially started yet, but I seem to look forward to Autumn coming more and more each year.  I look forward to cooler weather, comfort food, the changing of the leaves, walking in the cooler temperatures with leaves crunching under my feet and of course everything pumpkin.

So, it is no surprise that when I was in the store and found a good-looking spaghetti squash, I just had to get it. I’m sure we all at one time or another have made this quick easy recipe or some version of it but if you haven’t it is a great one to try.

Spaghetti squash comes into season early Autumn so if you try to eat with the season this recipe is one you will have to wait to try but please try it. This squash is low-calorie, full of fiber, vitamin A and C, and carotene in small amounts on comparison to pumpkins.

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Spaghetti Squash Parmesan:

1 spaghetti squash cooked and removed from shell

1-2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

4-5 cloves of garlic diced

1/2 to 1 cup of parmesan cheese

The following per your taste, salt/pepper, fresh oregano and parsley,

(I have blogged about the easiest way to cook spaghetti squash but in case you missed it.)

Cut squash in half, take out the seeds leaving the middle clean of all “guts”. In a crock pot or roster place the cleaned squash face down in a few inches of water. Cook on low covered for a few hours if using the oven cook covered for 1 hour at 425.When the squash is cool scrape out of shell with a fork into a large bowl, set aside.

In a saucepan add olive oil and garlic, sauté until garlic is fragrant then add the fresh herbs sautéing a few more moments. Add cooked squash then cheese, stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Posted in Recipes

Tofu-Chili

Thanks to the weather not knowing if it is Spring or Winter, I am once again able to enjoy a nice bowl of chili before the warm days of Summer. Not only is this high on the clean protein scale but tasty too. I was planning out my meal plans for my health and wellness challenge group I lead and needed healthy recipes but was coming up blank, so I decided to search the Beachbody recipes they offer on their site and found this one, sort of.

I changed it up a little by adding a few things and removing others but all in all I was glad that I was inspired to make a great chili.

cubed tofu with all water removed

Tofu Chili

Serves 4-5, prep 10 minutes, cook time 30 minutes

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped bell pepper or 5 small, sweet peppers

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 extra-firm organic tofu, drained, cubed

1 small can of tomato puree

1 can black beans, drained, rinsed

1 small can dice green chilies

1 cup vegan chicken broth (1 cup of water with 2 tsp of broth base)

The following seasoning per taste, red chili powder, cumin, smoky paprika, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat; add oil and heat until fragrant.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion
    is translucent, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add tofu, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper,
    and allspice. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until tofu is lightly
    browned and spices smell toasty, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomato puree, beans, green chilies. Bring to a
    simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until slightly reduced and thickened.
  5. Divide evenly among four serving bowls.
  6. Serve immediately, or store refrigerated in an airtight container for up
    to 5 days,

NOTE:
This is a spicy recipe. To make it less spicy cut the cayenne pepper in half or leave it out.

Posted in Recipes

Peppermint Black Bean Brownies

This is a great recipe to try when you want a delicious, sweet snack but also needing to stay in the nutritious lines. Baking with black beans may sound like a bad thing and a little extreme but they have a mild flavor and are extremely rich, creamy and full of protein plus when you use pure essential oils like Peppermint, Wild Orange, Cinnamon or Lavender you really boost the flavor of the brownie, not to mention you get some great benefits of the essential oil.

I use essential oils daily, take classes and read all I can on how to use them safely, so when I was on doTerra’s site shopping and learning about some issues close to my heart (women’s health) I found this great recipe on their site and thought to share it. This is similar to the black bean cake I have made (also shared on this blog) so I couldn’t wait to try it!

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 large eggs

¼ cup cocoa powder

⅔ cup honey

⅓ cup coconut oil

½ teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2–4 drops Peppermint oil less is more with pure essential oils, a little goes a really long way!

¾ cup chocolate chips, divided or depending on the essential oil you put in you can try PeanutButter or white chocolate chips.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place all ingredients, except for chocolate chips, in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour batter into large bowl and stir in ½ cup chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into greased 8×8-inch pan and top with ¼ cup chocolate chips.
  5. Bake 30–35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Posted in Recipes

Jackfruit Swiss Pepper Steak

Jackfruit Swiss Pepper Steak

Growing up I did eat some meat and for the most part when I would eat meat, I had such a hard time wanting to chew or swallow it, in fact I’d try and put it in my napkin to through it out.

This meal was different for me, I always enjoyed Swiss pepper steak. It is an older recipe from my childhood, whether my grandma or mom would make it I looked forward to eating this meat for once. So, when I started cooking for my family this was one that I would make for them but stopped for a while when I went to fully vegetarian.

I had tried various substations, but I never could find any that really did it for me, that is until I found jackfruit. This was the game changer! Not only does it make a great substitute for beef, but I think it gives it an even better taste.

Jackfruit is an excellent source for vitamins like B6 and C but it also helps give benefits to people with diabetes, and heart problems just to name a few. Jackfruit helps by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, aids in maintaining eye health, chronic inflammation. ( as always check with your provider to see how this may or may not help you with your diabetes.)

The list goes on with benefits and to read studies about this amazing fruit is interesting to me, but in short if you are looking for a healthy meal and want to replace the meat in this dish, I think you’ll be surprised at how well jackfruit works and you can always use something other than white rice with it.

Jackfruit Swiss Steak:

Serves 4 , prep and cook time total is 30 minutes

2 cans of jackfruit drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes with garlic and chilis

1 green bell pepper cut in bite sized pices

1 yellow bell pepper cut in bite sized pices

4 cloves of garlic diced

1/2 white onion diced

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

About 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

Salt and black or white pepper per taste

Rice cooked per package directions (I used Jasmine)

In a large deep skillet on medium to high heat add olive oil, onion, peppers and garlic. Sauté until onion is translucent and the peppers are half cooked then add can tomatoes salt, pepper and nutritional yeast stir together then add the washed and dried jackfruit. Turn to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then serve over cooked rice or even quinoa.

(In the traditional recipe with meat you would shake the meat in a flour mixture before cooking it but since this is jackfruit, I left that step out, but I did add the nutritional yeast in for vitamins, taste and a little thickening agent.)

Posted in Recipes

Red Lentil Chili

I have made all sorts of lentil chili. One I came up with is so close to this recipe I found on my streaming service but with one interesting twist that I never have done and that is using coco powder, I have used coco in chili sauce, but I have never just put the powder directly in the chili. This turned out great and the exact reason why I had to share.

This is vegan friendly but so good you’ll forget that part and with all the good nutrition like 19g of fiber and 16g of protein your body will thank you and is great if you are wanting to make your gut happy.

I enjoy being able to come up with my own recipes, but it is great finding healthy recipes with Beachbody, so a big shout out to them.

Red Lentil Chili

Total Time: 30 min. Prep Time: 13 min. Cooking Time: 17 min.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup / 160 g chopped onion (approx. ¾ medium)
1 cup / 150 g chopped red bell peppers
(approx. 1½ medium)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. + 1½ tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1½ cups / 285 g cooked red lentils
1½ cups / 255 g cooked unsalted kidney beans,
drained, rinsed
1 cup / 250 g all-natural tomato puree
1 cup / 240 ml water
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell
    peppers soften.
  3. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder; cook, stirring continuously, for 30 seconds.
  4. Add lentils, beans, tomato puree, water, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt; stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil;
    reduce heat to medium-low. Gently boil, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
    Nutritional Information (per serving):
    Calories: 347 Cholesterol: 0 mg (Fixate Recipes by Beachbody)