Healthy Brownies? Yep, these brownies are made without oil, nuts or flour. You won’t believe the secret ingredient. Black beans! They are quick to put together and you can make them just a little sweet or super sweet depending on your taste. No nuts, no…
Happy New Year!
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. I’m still vegan and still cooking. In July 2017 my life changed drastically when my husband Anthony passed away. All my plans changed in a moment. I’ve been busy figuring out what the rest of my life will look like.
One thing I’ve learned along this difficult road is that taking care of yourself first is key. When you lose your spouse, it affects every part of you. At first, I would forget to eat. I wasn’t hungry at all. I’d take a bite and feel sick. With my unique diet I had to figure out how to feed myself. My friends gently nudged me to eat something. I needed something easy to put together as I wasn’t thinking straight.
Simple & Quick Meals
Because I was grieving my meals were very simple. Oatmeal loaded with all kinds of healthy fats like pumpkin seeds and flax along with raisins and berries. Lunch was often a sandwich made with sunbutter and raspberry jam on Ezekiel bread. I would buy precut carrots and apples to munch as snacks. Dinner might be a packaged vegan soup and crackers. If it took more than 5 minutes to prepare I couldn’t put it together.
I’m doing much better now. As I started to feel better I began to cook. Lots of lentil soups and chili in the winter. I’ve got a great borscht recipe to share with you. I’d never had borscht before. And I discovered chia seeds. You’ll see some new recipes here soon and I’ll be blogging regularly.
Travel Made Easy
One new thing is I’m the owner of a Cruise Planners franchise which is a full-service online travel agency. You can check out my website at Travel by Ilene. If you are looking to travel and want someone who understands all the difficulties of traveling with food allergies, I’d love to talk with you.
How to find me
Check out my Facebook and Instagram pages. You can find pictures of the meals I’ve made and get updates on what’s happening in the allergy world. I’ve just started my Facebook group where I plan to share more recipes and tips.
Join my email list for new recipes, new blog posts and lots more!
Let me know what you’d like to see here by commenting below or in the Facebook group. Thanks!
Recently I was invited to a Pampered Chef party. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The consultant handed out catalogs and I suddenly got much more interested. There were so many great kitchen tools that would make cooking plant-based fun and simple. The catalog includes…
My life is a little crazy right now. Maybe a whole lot of crazy. I hope you’ll excuse me for not including any recipes in today’s post. I promise a bunch of recipes are coming your way very soon.
I’m getting ready to make a major move. My house sold last month and I’m staying with a friend. As you can guess my friend doesn’t eat the way I do. So how am I managing to stay healthy during this crazy transition time?
I’ve got access to a kitchen which is a major help. All I’m really using is the microwave and refrigerator. Once or twice I’ve used a pan to saute some vegetables.
My first thought was to prepare some food before I left my house. I made a lot of chili and veggie burgers. The chili is gone and I’ve got 2 burgers left. Next time I’ll have a little more variety. I ate a lot of chili the first two weeks.
Breakfast is pretty easy, I make oatmeal with fruit and ground flax in the microwave. Then mix in a little soy milk and pumpkin seeds over the top.
Lunch has been a mix. Sometimes I go out. One place that’s worked well for me is a local grocery store that offers a burrito bowl. They have brown rice, black beans, and salsa over a bed of lettuce. At the house it’s usually a bowl of black bean or lentil soup with crackers.
A great afternoon snack is brown rice and edamame. I found a few Japanese fast food places that offer this option for a very reasonable price. You can also buy all of it ready to go at the grocery store.
Dinner can be as simple as a veggie burger and sweet potato. Get fancy and add some steamed vegetables.
As you can tell I’m not doing much cooking except for warming up food in the microwave. Pretty much anyone could follow this simple menu.
Don’t try to create fancy dishes when you just want something simple.
Let me know how you simplify things when your life is a little too crazy.
I love eating eggplant. It’s gotten me in trouble before. But that’s a whole other story. Whenever I go to the grocery store I check to see if any of the eggplant look edible. Lately it’s been very sad. The eggplant looks like it was in a boxing ring and lost. Bruised and battered eggplant is not edible. Last week I was very surprised to see happy looking eggplant at the store. Of course I had to buy it. This meant I needed to come up with a recipe.
Earlier in the week I was making a recipe that required brown lentils. Unfortunately all I had were red lentils. So I used them instead. Now I had lots of leftover red lentils. (You might see where this is going…)
I’ll warn you now this recipe makes a lot. Lucky for me I was going to a vegan potluck so I took most of it with me. The bowl was empty by the time I got through the long line to get food. Glad I saved some for myself at home!
I found a great broth mix at My Plant Based Family.
- 2 Eggplant, peeled and chopped in 1/2″ cubes
- 2 Zucchini , chopped in 1/2″ cubes
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 12 oz Mushrooms
- 2-4 cloves Garlic
- 1 cup cooked Lentils (red are best)
- 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp broth mix
- Bay leaves
- Salt, pepper, basil, oregano (or other spices) to taste
- Use 1 tsp broth mix to make 1/2 cup of broth.
- Cook lentils according to package.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees
- Clean and chop eggplant and zucchini. Leave mushrooms whole.
- Chop onion and put aside. (It doesn’t go in the oven.)
- In a large bowl mix eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms with broth.
- Place on cookie sheets. (You can use parchment paper to keep them from sticking.)
- Sprinkle spices on eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms.
- Bake veggies 20 to 30 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t overcook. The mushrooms will probably be done first.
- Chop mushrooms after they cool a bit.
- You can do the next part on the stove or in your Instant Pot. I used my Instant Pot.
- Saute onions until translucent, then add garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Add roasted veggies, lentils and red wine vinegar to the pot. Mix well.
- Add 1 cup of water if using Instant Pot.
- On top of the vegetables, place the tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves. Do not mix.
- Set Instant Pot to 3 minutes using Manual with natural pressure release.
I had two Thanksgiving celebrations this week. Both vegan. Both potluck. That meant cooking even though I wasn’t hosting. The first celebration was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Since I live close to Portland (sometimes known as Vegan central) there are a lot of people interested…