Saturday, December 22, 2018

How and Why To Cook Dry Beans in the Instant Pot

One of the benefits of owning an Instant Pot is the ease and health benefits of cooking your own  dry beans as opposed to the downside of using canned beans which I will explain.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Low Carb Tomato "Cauliflower Rice" Soup

Roasted tomatoes, sweet carrots, and hot pepper to taste, makes a delightful soup that is sure to warm you up on a damp chilly day.

Healthy and Easy

This delicious rich orange soup is easy to make and provides an excellent variety of health building nutrients, antioxidants and vital fiber! For the record it's vegan, parve, nut free, soy free and gluten free as well- perfectly allergy friendly!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Shirataki Noodles- no calories and tastes great

If you haven't tried Shirataki noodles, run don't walk to your nearest supermarket for a package of these delicious no or low calorie noodles! 

They are found in the refrigerator case next to the tofu. That is because some of these packages are made from tofu and some are made from white yams!

Friday, November 23, 2018

New York City Candy Sculptures and Hot Chocolate

The 22 degree temperatures didn't stop me from strolling around Manhattan the day before Thanksgiving. The change in temperature encouraged a lot of coffee and hot chocolate drinking by both the locals and the tourists. It noticed organic coffee shops springing up throughout Manhattan.

My 40 minute  walk began at Penn Station and then  towards Bryant Park on 42nd Street and eventually towards Central Park. Along the way to my destination, I passed all the newly decorated store fronts for the holidays!

Macy's Window

The windows of Macy's, Cartier, Saks 5th Ave, and lots of other NYC stores were very exciting and musical. ! In addition, I stumbled upon a delightful sculpture display in the Garment Center.

The  exhibit at the New York City's Garment Center's Art On The Plazas is called Candy Nations and features 20 sculptures by Laurence Jenkell, a well known French artist. 

The colorful national sculptures are each 9 feet tall and weigh 1450 pounds. Each sculpture looks like a piece of candy wrapped in the colors of the country it represents. 

On a warmer day, visitors would be sitting at the tables having coffee or lunch
The artist wants to share “an optimistic message of unity beneath external differences”

The exhibit is at Broadway between 36th and 39th streets. It is free and will be available until Dec 9-2018.

Next I enjoyed a little shopping in Bryant Park where the Holiday Village is open for Ice Skating, shopping kiosks, and food vendor kiosks that were in full swing.  With the exceptionally cold weather,  hot chocolate seemed to be in demand!

Skaters of all ages were enjoying a variety of types of regular and gourmet hot chocolate available and encouraged at the kiosks near the ice rink. 

Here are some of the kiosks with regular or gourmet hot chocolate
1. Max Brenner 
2. No Chewing Allowed 
3. ‘Wichcraft 42nd Street and 6th Avenue 
4. Crêpe Café 
5. Wafels & Dinges 

Despite the extreme cold, I had a wonderful walk in Manhattan - I was all bundled up but glad to finally reach my son's house to warm up!

Sharing on Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Healthy Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

This Thanksgiving be thankful for your health and prepare a meal that is good for you, light on calories and carbs, and still delicious. Recipes do not have to be dripping in fat or carbs to taste good.

I'm making 5 plant based recipes ( all gluten free of course) that can accompany the turkey or be eaten as the vegan meal.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dazzling Thanksgiving Salad

Dazzle your guests with this beautiful and healthy salad that I made for Thanksgiving with roasted acorn squash.

I recently tasted this fabulous salad at a friends' house. It looked like a side dish, but she called it a salad! Maybe because it served at room temperature which is great for freeing up the host from last minute heating. I enjoyed all the flavors of fall in this one salad.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Acorn Squash Seeds -Easy and Tasty

acorn squash roasted seeds

Do you discard the seeds from the acorn squash? - Don't-

The seeds from any kind of winter squash can be roasted in the oven and are delicious and nutritious.
Learn how to make your own tasty seeds!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Roasted Garlic Bulbs For Taste and Health

roasted garlic

Have you ever had roasted garlic in an Italian restaurant? Amazing Right?

Unlike raw garlic, roasted garlic is soft, mild tasting, and creamy. It is delicious eaten alone, spread on bread ( gluten free of course), added to pasta ( gluten free) or vegetable dishes.

It's really easy to make and makes a beautiful interesting presentation when served as a bulb!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Wordless Wednesday- Professionally Carved Pumpkins

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

My neighbor is a professional pumpkin carver- 
His work is amazing! He does them all by hand!
Take a look at these amazing carved pumpkins!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Lip Smacking Butternut Squash Soup- Instant Pot

The combination of butternut squash, sweet organic carrots, and tart green apple produces a bright orange lip smacking fall soup.

The temperatures dipped to 35 degrees last night making it truly soup weather. I hosted a family dinner for my brother in law and sister in law who were visiting us from Florida .

Badass Affirmations and Real Life Mindfulness- Book Reviews

The holidays are around the corner and if you are thinking about stocking stuffers, these are two pocket size books that you will get a big bang for the buck. Anyone who is into self care and self help books would appreciate these helpful uplifting guides.

I am a firm believer in taking time for self care. Prevention is the best medicine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Creamy Parsnip Soup- Instant Pot or Not

Are you familiar with the parsnip? It is a root vegetable that looks like a carrot but is white.
It's loaded with nutrients and tastes mild and delicious especially in soup. It is sold in a bag in the produce isle of the supermarket.

I but them in the supermarket in a bag

I frequently add a parsnip to soup recipes to give a soup a little extra sweetness, but this is the first time I actually made a parsnip soup. It's a nice soothing comforting creamy soup.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Turn Acorn Squash Into A Soup Server

If you are looking for a good idea for Thanksgiving, look no farther.
Acorn Squash and mini pumpkins make beautiful decorative serving pieces for fall holidays!  This delicious server is easy to make-

Thanksgiving vegan soup in acorn squash

Colors of Joy : A Woman's Guide for Self Discovery- Book Reveiw

A few years ago, I came across a blogger who shares many of my beliefs about healthy lifestyle. I've enjoyed reading her blog, interacting with comments, and becoming blog friends. Nancy is the author of the book Colors of Joy and the blog Colors 4 Health.

Colors of Joy

Friday, October 12, 2018

Roasted Chestnut Mushroom Soup

Looking for something a little different for the holidays? Chestnuts are in season, and they make a rich tasting holiday soup! It's definitely something unique that will delight your family and friends. I plan to make it for Thanksgiving! Bags of chestnuts are available in the supermarket this time of year and the recipe is easy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

My Lentil Soup Hack

lentil soup

Sometimes I just don't have the energy, desire, or time to wash, trim, and chop the vegetables for a homemade soup. Yet, I still want a nourishing bowl of soup that is homemade. This is a quick and easy hack to substitute for chopping veggies. Of course I used my Instant Pot- I always do- but you can use the stove top too.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Beware of Organic Produce- Scary

Yesterday while shopping in the supermarket, I picked up the package of roasted chestnuts that I saw  was labeled USDA organic. As I continued to shop, I began to wonder which country my roasted chestnuts were from.- I was shocked when I read on the back that they were USDA organic from China. CHINA?????? 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Braised Red Cabbage, Apple, and Walnut Side dish

www.realfoodblogger- red cabbage and apples

Looking for a simple but healthy fall side dish? 

I was craving red cabbage today and now that it is fall, I didn't feel like eating it raw.
I decided to make a simple side that was colorful, healthy and delicious. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Instant Pot Acorn Squash and Apple Soup for fall

Instant Pot acorn squash soup

It's official! It's fall and I am eager to start enjoying the beautiful seasonal produce in my soups!
Gala apples and acorn squash are two favorites that are key players in this light autumn soup recipe. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Author Interview Benjamin H. Berkley- In Defense of Guilt

I just finished reading this suspenseful novel with a very interesting twist. The attorney becomes the person being judged and the judge turns into G-d. It's a novel that makes us think twice about recognizing our own behaviors and being confronted with facing our own imperfections.

The following is an Interview with Benjamin H. Berkley- author of his new novel In Defense of Guilt

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Carrot Ginger Soup with Lime

cup of vegan carrot soup

Are you a ginger lover like me?
Carrot ginger soup is one of my favorites, and now that I can make it in minutes in the Instant Pot it is easier than ever- ( of course I included directions for the stove top as well)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Instant Pot or Not Cholent- Vegan and GF

cholent -

If you like beans, you will LOVE this amazing vegan cholent/chulent recipe that is made with a mixture of pinto beans, red kidney beans, and navy beans. The Instant Pot transforms an ancient recipe into modern times.

bean stew cholent

Chulent or cholent is a old traditional Sabbath day meal that has been made for centuries by observant Jews. (Cholent recipes can be traced back to 1180 in Vienna). 

Before the invention of electricity, the town baker had a big oven that he would keep burning through the Sabbath which started Friday at sundown and ended Saturday at sundown. Since it was forbidden to light a fire on the Sabbath, the townspeople would bring a crock of beans to the baker's oven before sundown on Friday and let it slow cook to eat as their Saturday hot Sabbath meal. 

The word cholent is thought to be derived from the Medieval French word "chaud" meaning hot and "lent" meaning slow. Thus a slow cooking hot meal.

cholent in the instant pot
Before cooking in the Instant Pot filled about 1/4 of the 6 quart pot

After the invention of electricity, people started using slow cookers to make their cholent or would leave their oven on a low flame all night to cook their chulent/cholent for the Sabbath day meal. 

bean stew cholent

Jews from different countries developed variations of the recipe using chickpeas or a variety of different beans, meat, eggs, dumplings, chicken etc. Almost every country has their variation of cholent. There are probably as many cholent recipes as there are cooks. 

Indian Cholent may contain turmeric, cardamom, lentils, and chicken. 
Italian Cholent may contain rosemary, brisket, potatoes, and cannelloni beans.
Polish Cholent may contain potatoes, flankin, a variety of beans, garlic, paprika, and dumplings
Eastern European Cholent may contain barley, potatoes, butter beans, brisket, and garlic
Vegetarian Cholent may contain sweet potatoes, potatoes, dumplings, a variety of beans

I make a vegan version that is absolutely delicious and because I am not " religious, " I make mine ahead of time in the Instant Pot!!!! Of course you could use the slow cooker and cook it for 8 hours. You might need to add more water for the slow cooker. 

3 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil spray 
1 large onion sliced into 1/2 moons 
2 large organic carrots, sliced into thick slices 
10 whole baby portobello mushrooms , halved
1 teaspoon of ground ginger ( not fresh) 
1/2 teaspoon of Trader Joe's 21 Salute ( salt free seasoning mix) 
1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt 
1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper
3 cups of vegetable broth ( I use Tabatchnicks or Whole Foods 365)
2 cups of water( or an extra cup if needed to cover the beans) 
1 pound total of dry bean mixture ( pinto beans, red kidney beans, navy beans) * see note below

Spray bottom of the Instant Pot with olive oil spray. Add onions and garlic and sautee until onions become soft. Add beans, carrots, mushrooms, ginger, 21 Salute, salt , pepper, vegetable broth, and water. Cancel the saute function and press pressure cook for 50 minutes. Make sure the steam knob is closed. When done cooking, allow steam to release naturally according to manufacturer's directions for about 30 minutes. When done, remove lid and serve.

chulent mix of beans

My Notes: 
1. Many supermarkets carry pre-made bags of cholent bean mixture in the kosher foods section. 
2. There is no need to soak the beans for the Instant Pot 
3. If you prefer to soak the beans overnight, pressure cook for 25 minutes 
4. This really tastes amazing if you like beans
5. You could make this in the Instant Pot before the Sabbath and keep it on warm until after sundown on saturday. 
6. ** Beware- some cholent mix packages contain barley which is not gluten free- read the ingredients

Sharing on Beth Fish Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. 

Sharing on Souper Sundays where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Easy Banana Bread Loaf- GF

banana loaf pan bread

How many times have you had too many overly ripe bananas and had to do something with them quickly? Sometimes I slice and freeze them, and sometimes I make this delicious banana loaf.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Why I Visited A Dietitian

Why I visited a dietitian?

I consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition. After all, I have an undergraduate degree in health education, a graduate degree in higher education, with a certification as a nutritional consultant ( ND) .

However, with all the hype on what to eat and all the books and blogs that range from Paleo to Vegan, I was beginning to want some straight down to earth new ideas!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Gluten Free and Vegan Jewish Apple Cake

vegan and gluten free Jewish apple cake

Do you love Jewish apple cake? 
This gluten free Jewish apple cake is moist, easy to make, and delicious! It is very allergy friendly as it is egg free, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and nut free as well. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Victory Garden Soup and a Review of Food Fight by Tanya Steel

Today I'm serving up a bowl of delicious Victory Garden Soup that I made from one of the recipes in Tanya Steel and National Geographic's new educational book, Food Fight, intended for kids 10 +.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Easy Gluten Free Bundt Cake

This is one of the easiest gluten free (vegan) cakes I've every made. The recipe was given to me by a vegan friend.

I mixed the simple ingredients by hand in a large bowl and just poured the batter into a greased bundt pan. It literally took me less than 10 minutes prep and then 25-30 minutes to bake the cake.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Mango Peach Summer Salad or Salsa

party appetizer - mango salsa

My good friend Vicki made a fabulous mango peach salad and brought it to a Friday night dinner at my home. She usually brings guacamole, but she wanted to change things up a bit.

eating mango salsa
Vicki and my grandkids

Friday, August 24, 2018

Vegan Breakfast Idea | One Point on Weight Watchers

apple slice with peanut butter

What does a vegan or someone gluten sensitive eat for breakfast?
That's a good question, and I have a great suggestion- Apple rings (slicing the apple through the middle) are fresh, healthy, delicious and no points of Weight Watchers. I use the apple as my base for this delicious breakfast.

slices of apple

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Instant Pot or Not Chilled Zucchini Corn Lime Soup

Corn LIme Soup at

Corn and zucchini are at their peak right now, and the duo are sensational in this light summer soup which can be eaten chilled or warm.

I cook the soup in my Instant Pot and then blend the it with an Immersion blender.  ***If you do not have an Instant Pot, follow my stove top recipe at the bottom of the page. ( But what are you waiting for?)