Tumeric Latte

Me and my tumeric latte are watching the first snow fall on Philly today. Tumeric is so great for helping reduce inflammation. Research has linked its benefits to reducing symptoms of Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, and others (check out nutritionfacts.org for more information).

I try to have some tumeric each day and am more successful on some days than others. I don’t beat myself up about it, but try again the next day. When I can have a tumeric latte, I’m golden (pun intended)!

Warning, revealing something personal: I’m allergic to cinnamon. There, I said it. It gives me a rash, which is a real bummer since it’s delicious.

What you need:

2 cups non-dairy milk, I have been using sweetened soy

1 Tablespoon tumeric powder

1 teaspoon maple syrup (more if using an unsweetened non-dairy milk)

If not allergic, a couple shakes of cinnamon.

Heat milk (don’t boil), stir in maple syrup and tumeric (cinnamon if you want). Whisk all together to get a froth or blend in the blender. Yummers!

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Sloppy Joes

I recently found vegan challah. Gasp! Yes! It’s a thing for a future post. Anyway, thinking about what I wanted to do with the yummers challah I decided Sloppy Joe’s. Mmm…

I’ve written before how I don’t usually go for meat substitutes, but this recipe could easily use TVP (textured vegetable protein) with less simmer time to make a more traditional meaty Joe. I opted to play with lentils.

What you will need:

1 cup green lentils (sort out any non-lentils and rinse well)

2 cups water + 2 Tablespoons

1 not-beef bouillon cube

1/2 red onion, diced

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 whole red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced

15 ounce can tomato sauce

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

2 Tablespoons vegan Worcestershire Sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the 2 cups of water, rinsed lentils, and bouillon cube in a medium pot. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer uncovered until soft, about 20 minutes. There should not be any water left, but drain any remaining once the lentils are soft.

In a pot or pan with a lid, place 2 Tablespoons of water at the bottom and add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cover and let cook over medium heat until soft, stiring frequently. Add a little more water if needed. Add everything to the vegetables and mix well and let heat up. Taste to make sure you do or don’t want any additional salt or pepper.

Serve warm on buns with sliced onion and lettuce or as a stew with crusty bread. Yummers!

Açaí Bowl

I adore açaí bowls. So yummy that I decided to figure out more on what it means to make and eat one.

Açaí is similar to other berries in that it has lots of antioxidants. But if really wanting high antioxidants, go for the wild blueberry. Açaí can be found in a powder or as a pulp in the freezer section.

The other thing I learned is that many bowls have quite a bit of sweetener added. It makes the experience taste like ice cream, but be mindful of the sweetener. An açaí bowl that is more true to the flavor of the açaí fruit will be more tart.

I picked a tart approach and this is what you will need:

2 sleeves of frozen açaí pulp

1 ripe banana divided in half

1/4 cup milk alternative, I used soy

Toppings, I used a 1/2 Tablespoon of chia and 1/4 cup of my oil free granola

Blend half the banana with the açaí from 2 sleeves of frozen pulp and 1/4 cup soy milk until smooth. Pour blended açaí into bowl and slice the other half of banana onto the top. I made a row of banana slices down the middle of the bowl. To one side of the banana I added a row of chia and the opposite side got a 1/4 cup of oil free granola.

There is lots of room to be creative with the toppings of an açaí bowl. All kinds of fresh and dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate can be added to the top. Have some fun with it. Yummers!

Oil Free Blueberry Chia Granola

I’m trying to cut oil out of my diet to see what happens. It gets me closer to a Whole Foods Plant Based diet and has so far been a fun journey. I’m not an extremes person, so it’s just a fun personal challenge.

Hubby really enjoys granola for breakfast and I adore it on an açaí bowl. But most granola has oil and the few I have tried that didn’t, were not very tasty. I thought maybe I could figure this out myself. It’s yummers!

What you need:

1 and 3/4 to two cups rolled oats, uncooked

1 cup puffed rice cereal

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries, any dried fruit will work

1/2 cup quality dark maple syrup

If you want cinnamon, I didn’t, then a 1/2 teaspoon will work

Preheat oven to 375. Mix everything together in a large bowl so there is plenty of room to get maple syrup on everything.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and pile on the granola. Try to get about a 1/4 inch layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Until the edges begin to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break up everything with fingers and move to an airtight container.

As with most things, the longer you take to eat it, the more stale it will get. Especially since there are no preservatives or oil.

Yummers!

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I adore winter squashes and end up buying several without a plan for how to use later. This acorn squash had been sitting on my bar for a few weeks and hubby was wondering when we would eat it. I decided to make something pretty, easy, and yummers.

What you will need:

1 acorn squash, washed

1 cup uncooked rice, I used Jasmine

1 bouillon cube, I used vegetable with herbs

1 4oz can diced hot green chilies

1 small onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 small box of button mushrooms, washed and sliced/chopped

1 Teaspoon avocado oil, or other oil you prefer. The chilies and vegetables provide a lot of moisture, so not much oil is needed

1/2 cup pine nuts

Cook the rice with the bouillon cube, according to the directions that accompany the rice.

Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat until slightly browned, set aside.

Place the squash in a microwave safe glass dish with lid. Cook on high for 10 minutes. If soft when touched, it is ready. If still stiff, cook another 2 minutes.

Sauté all other ingredients in a large pan on medium until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off heat. Add pine nuts. Add rice when it is ready and stir all together.

Once squash is cooked, slice through the middle and let cool for a couple minutes. Careful, it’s very hot. Using a spoon, remove the seeds from each half. Place each half on a plate and spoon in the rice mixture to the squash crater. Place more rice mixture on plate and serve. Yummers!

Tip: This makes enough stuffing for two acorn squashes.

Chili

When I first started this blog I asked my friends, because of course I started by sharing this with friends, what they would like to see. A dear friend I have known since 1996 requested a chili recipe. I honestly cringed. Every chili attempt I had made was mediocre to not great. Every recipe I explored had so many ingredients that I was uninterested. So I just didn’t do anything with that request, but kept it in the back of my mind.

I’m happy to say that I have cracked the code to easy and delicious chili. It fills my home with a smell that makes my mouth water. I place everything in my crockpot and come home at the end of the day for yummers!

What you will need:

1 and 1/2 cups dried beans, your favorite, or two cans of your favorite. I like to mix it up. Red beans, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans all work well.

1 4oz can diced green chili, Hatch is still my favorite

2 16 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 small onion, diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced, choose the amount based on how much you love garlic

2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder, based on how hot you want it 

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

If starting with dried beans, sort and rinse them, and set to soak the night before, at least 8 hours.

Place everything into the crockpot and add a can full of water. If ingredients are not yet covered with fluid, add a bit more water.

Turn on crockpot to low and let cook at least 8 hours. Before serving, check that the beans are fully cooked.

If cooking in a pot, simmer at least 30 minutes if using canned beans. Dried beans need to be cooked before cooking with chili on the stove.

Serve with your favorite toppings such as avocado, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, or corn chips.

Yummers!

P. S. & Co in Philly

P. S. & Co was my favorite brunch spot in Philly. All vegan and gluten free, this gem has good food and an outdoor garden to sit in. The staff was super nice and the food case endlessly tempting!


For my first trip I ordered pancakes. Mmm… Then I still had some room and got a piece of cake. Because, cake. My second visit I got breakfast tacos and learned why they are a local favorite. I would absolutely order those tacos again.


The space is rustic and clean.


I absolutely recommend trying out P. S. & Co when in Philly. It gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. Four is because although the food and experience are good, it’s not quite as playful as other places. But, again, totally worth checking out and enjoying.

Pesto Pasta

Pesto pasta is currently my go-to fast meal. Takes as long to make as it does to cook the pasta. And hubby loves it every time! I have been buying pesto at my local farmers market, but any pesto will do great. What you will need:

1 box of favorite pasta, I have been enjoying quinoa penne pasta

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and sliced in half. Can use regular tomatoes, but the juice will make the dish a bit watery

1 container baby spinach

1 block mozzarella cheese, diced or torn into smaller pieces. I usually use Miyoko’s mozzarella, but any will work. If using Daiya, the flavor is stronger and thus less than the entire package might be good

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

4oz of pesto, more if you love pesto like I do

Cook pasta according to package directions. Place beans, pesto, cheese, and spinach, with the spinach on top, in a large microwave safe bowl and cook for 90 seconds to wilt the spinach. Stir in pasta and tomaoes. Serve immediately. Yummers!!

What To Do With Rainbow Chard


I’m sad I haven’t been able to post any new recipes recently. I have been cooking, just nothing new. Life has been keeping me happily busy. Then I got inspired at the farmers market, again.

Lots of people are unsure what to do with chard and can find it bitter. I think the leaves are incredibly beautiful and the stems stunning. I buy it every time it looks yummy.

This dish is very simple, as follows my entire approach to cooking. And not at all bitter. Just put everything in a pot and cook. What you will need:

One bunch of rainbow chard, cleaned and chopped into ribbons

One onion, diced

2 tbs garlic, minced

Polenta, one tube cut into bite-sized pieces

One can white beans, drained and rinsed

Pepper to taste

Chili powder, three shakes

1 tsp liquid aminos, more to taste

Smokey Parmesan cheese, shredded, or other flavorful vegan cheese, for topping

One pint baby yellow tomatoes, rinsed and sliced into halves

Put everything but the cheese and tomatoes in a large pan. I use a wok shaped pan to easily hold everything. Cook on medium to medium-high heat. Stir frequently until the onions are soft. The polenta will break up a bit and make the dish creamy. Turn off the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top. Yummers!

Organic Avenue take 2


Organic Avenue closed about 9 months ago. I was so sad. The location in my neighborhood is now a chocolate shop that I have not explored.

There was/is a location across the street from where I work and one day I noticed it was back open. Happy day!

The menu is very different, with new options like mac and cheese, but some of my old favorites are still available, live avocado soup. Still all grab and go, but can get a fresh smoothie and kombucha.


And they have vegan baked goods too! I tried a cookie and a brownie. Not my favorite, but I’m glad they have them, especially since several options are gluten free.

I’m thrilled to have this place back open. I pick up lunch at least once a week to take back to my desk and am really digging the salads. The location is also perfect for Bryant Park, Movies in the Park, but they close at 6:00, so don’t wait too long after getting a spot on the grass to get some food. Yummers!