Tuesday, July 31, 2018

NYC Bees

pictures of honey bees

I was walking on 2nd Ave around 50th street in NYC and noticed an unusual display.

I saw a gazebo in a park with a 193 bees painted on gold panels placed on the Gazebo to make it look like bees swarming-

Artist Matthew Willey is painting over 50,000 honey bee murals in cities around the world. 
I have to say that this sculpture like display on the existing park gazebo caught my attention. 


"The Good of the Hive is an artistic initiative founded by Matthew Willey on a  personal commitment to hand-paint 50,000 honeybees – the number necessary for a healthy, thriving hive - in murals around the world. Through art and imagination, The Good of the Hive raises awareness about the importance of honeybees and other pollinators while celebrating the beauty and power of human connection."


Honey Recipe: Apple Honey Citrus Dressing for Salads- This is one of my favorite dressings

Shared on Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday

Shared on Wordless Wednesday at Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday blog carnivals:
  Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday http://thesimpleyear.com/, image in ing, ClaireJustine linky  and Saturday snapshot hosted by West Metro Mommy  Create with Joy bethere2day nanahood

Monday, July 23, 2018

Zero Point Vegan Weight Watcher Dinner

I made a zero point ( Weight Watcher's)  vegan dinner. What does zero points mean?

The latest Weight Watcher's program is called "Freestyle".  Most women can eat 23 points per day and lose weight. However, there are foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and ( white meat chicken which I don't eat of course being vegetarian)  that have a zero point value and are not counted as part of my 23 points.

I challenged myself to see if I could come up with a full dinner that was zero points.
Impossible? Not with the Weight Watcher's Freestyle plan.

The chick peas and the kohlrabi slaw were leftovers from the night before, so I simply assembled this healthy gluten free, high fiber meal. It was simple but tasty. 
It consisted of: 
  1. Chickpeas ( and all beans ) are zero points 
  2. Cauliflower rice ( and all non starchy veggies ) are zero points
  3. Spinach is zero points ( 2 cups) 
  4. My Homemade kohlrabi carrot slaw without the raisins is zero points

This meal was enough for me, but if you want more points and a slightly heavier meal, you could add a baked potato or baked sweet potato and count the extra points.

I left out the raisins for this zero point WW dinner

1. I made the chickpeas in my Instant Pot. I soaked 2 cups of dried chickpeas in advance so I was able to pressure cook them for just 20 minutes in my Instant Pot-If I did not soak them, I would need to cook them for 40 minutes in the Instant Pot.   I released the steam manually according to the manufacture's directions.. I  used 8 cups water, salt and 2 bay leaves.

 Of course, if you do not want to make your own chickpeas, use canned chick peas.

2. Cauliflower rice- I purchased frozen organic cauliflower rice from Trader Joe's. Frozen cauliflower rice is also available in most supermarkets from Birds Eye or Hanover brands. I used a large skillet. You could either sautee the cauliflower rice in 1/2 cup of vegetable broth or use olive oil spray. I saute until the liquid evaporates about 4-5 minutes and I stir occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.

3. I cook the frozen spinach in a large skillet in 1/2 cup of vegetable broth or olive oil spray. I sautee until it's ready to eat ( about 6 minutes)

Sometimes I cook the spinach and cauliflower rice together like in the photo and saute for 6-7 minutes. I add salt and cracked pepper generously.

4.I make my delicious  kohlrabi carrot slaw but I omit the raisins because a mere 1/2 cup of raisins is 6 points!!

Pressure cooked in my Instant Pot in 20 minutes ( after soaking my dried chick peas)

Shared on Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads where anyone can share any kind of food releated post. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Instant Pot on Amazon Prime Day Sale at Amazing Price


If you have been thinking about getting an Instant Pot , today is the day! 
They are on sale on Amazon Prime Day Sale for just 
$58.99 instead of 99.99 

Check it out!!! I LOVE MY INSTANT POT!! 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Instant Pot Broccoli Soup Creamy or Not

Are you in the mood for a quick and easy broccoli soup? You can have it creamy or Broth-Y..

Using your Instant Pot, you can prep, cook, and serve this nourishing delicious soup in under 30 minutes.

Making soup in the Instant Pot is a cinch, although this particular summer recipe is equally as easy to make on the stove top. You would use the same ingredients, follow the saute suggestions, and then cook in a soup pot covered until the veggies are soft.

Argument for using the Instant Pot over the stove top method

The biggest difference between the two methods is that once the Instant Pot is set and sealed, you can walk away without concern of stirring, spill overs, or burning. In addition, it doesn't heat up the kitchen.  My stove top stays perfectly clean and Instant Pot clean up is quick and easy. I prefer using my Instant Pot over my stove top. I feel like it sets me free! 

This flavorful plant based broccoli soup is very appealing.
It's light and creamy and goes well with a variety of toppings. 
The creaminess comes from the vegetables when it's blended, not milk or cream.

Don't like Creamy Soup? Make it broth-y!

I sometimes make this recipe creamy, but personally when I'm making it for me,  I like my soups broth-y rather than creamy, so I do not always blend my soup. Yes, the broccoli will be very soft because it well cooked in the Instant Pot but the flavor that it imparts in the soup is truly amazing.

I took a chance and served this soup broth-y to my son, daughter in law, and grand kids. I thought they might complain because of the very soft broccoli- but NOPE - they ooo-ed and aah-ed about how good it was.. so there you have it - If you don't mind soft broccoli don't bother to puree- If you find it too mushy just puree and enjoy.

Broth-y Version

You can enhance the flavor of the soup by adding topping of your choice. 
I've tried chopped avocado, scallions, vegan grated cheese, sesame seeds, etc.

In addition, you can stir in some nut milk like almond milk or coconut milk to the pureed version. It will make it even lighter and creamier !

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep: 5-10 minutes
Instant Pot Sautee Time: 5 minutes
Instant Pot Cook Time: 1 minute
Adjusted  for the Instant Pot from my stove top recipe: 
Adapted for Oil Free Diets


1/2 cup of diced onion
1/2 cup of vegetable broth for sautéing or olive oil spray
1/2 cup sliced leek  
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 organic carrot, diced
1 rib of organic celery, diced
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
4 full cups of broccoli flowerettes ( fresh or frozen works)
4 cups of tasty vegetable broth ( I use Whole Food 365 organic)
1 and half cups water


Spray bottom of IP ( Instant Pot) with generous olive oil spray ( or if oil free, use 1/2 cup of broth). Add onions and leeks and sautee for about 1 minute. Add garlic, carrot, celery, parsley, and stir well. Continue to sautee for 4 minutes ( adding more spray or broth if necessary). Add broccoli, broth, and water.  Turn off sautee function, change to manual and set for 1 minute! When done, release steam immediately according to your manufacturers directions . When all steam is released, open the IP.
If you want a creamy soup, use an Immersion blender and blend until creamy. If you prefer your soup brothy ( like me) serve as is-

My Notes: 

1. I always use organic broccoli

2. If organic broccoli is not available , I buy frozen organic broccoli from BJ's in a large bag and keep it in my freezer.

3. I have started using frozen vegetables again ( didn't for years) because since we retired we eat out more often and fresh veggies go bad...

4. When I don't make my own vegetable stock, I tend to buy Whole Foods Organic 365 broth 

5. Dice the carrot and celery small so they will cook more quickly in the Instant Pot

Sharing on Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie and Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related link

Friday, July 6, 2018

Stopped Bleeding With Cayenne

This is an incredible story regarding home remedies!
I found out the hard way that Cayenne pepper or cayenne liquid extract  is a great way to stop bleeding !

It all started when I bought a new chopping knife that was razor sharp.

As I was cutting tomatoes for our salad,  I accidentally sliced my finger,
Immediately, blood gushing out before I even knew what happened.

Instinctively, I pressed my thumb against the sliced flesh and pressed hard to stop the flow of blood.
My strategy worked as long as I didn't remove my thumb. When I let go, the blood began to gush again . I  tried wrapping my finger in paper towel and pressed hard on the finger.
 Results: Red , bloody, paper towel . I couldn't get the blooding to stop.

 I had a friend over who said, " you've got to stop that bleeding." "If it doesn't stop soon , you may need to get stitches".

 I decided to call my holistic practitioner who told me that he uses Cayenne  Liquid Extract or I could use regular powdered cayenne ( the spice)  to stop bleeding.

Remarkably, I had a small bottle of Cayenne  Liquid Extract in a dropper bottle in the house.
I applied it to the underneath cut part of the skin.
It burned like the Dickens, but the bleeding slowed down.
I applied it again and the bleeding slowed down even more.

Finally after the 4th application , the bleeding actually stopped! It was within 5 minutes!

Yes, I said STOPPED!!~

I couldn't believe it. That was half hour ago .. Now I'm using the finger to type.

That's my story.

This liquid Cayenne is staying in my medicine closet.

I did a little research to find out about Cayenne has qualities that help blood to clot.

PS- Yes, I had to discard the chopped tomatoes - there was probably blood in them too...

Disclaimer: You might want to do some of your own research. I'm just sharing what my holistic practitioner suggested for me. I am not a medical doctor and I am not suggesting that you try it without checking with your medical doctor to see what is best for you. Always consult your medical doctor when and  if you have a medical problem.

Cayenne Alcohol-FREE Liquid Extract, Organic Cayenne (Capsicum annuum) Dried Pepper Tincture Supplement (2 FL OZ)

Have you ever tried it? Tell me about your experience in the comments -

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Gluten Free A-Z : Best Roasted Carrot Hot Dogs

Gluten Free A-Z : Best Roasted Carrot Hot Dogs: It looks like a hot dog- but is it really  a  roasted carrot ?  Looking for a vegan and gluten free hot dog alternative for your next...

Monday, July 2, 2018

Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing -Oil Free

avocado dressing

Avocados contain a significant amount of fat- healthy good fat- but still fat. When I decided to make this tasty creamy avocado salad dressing, I decided not add any additional oil.

summer salad and avocado dressing

 Forks Over Knives, Dr. Fuhrman, and other plant based doctors say getting your fat from food, not oil is a healthier choice. They recommend getting your fat from avocados, nuts, seeds, and olives.

halved avocado

This delicious creamy avocado vegan salad dressing adds lots flavor and depth to whatever salad you are eating. .  I love it over any kind of greens.

salad and the fixings

The  salad I ate today was composed of organic romaine lettuce, tomato, parsley, kale, cucumber, and red cabbage.

This salad dressing was made from red onion, avocado, baby spinach leaves, fresh lime juice, a little water and freshly cracked pepper all blended in a minute in my Nutri Bullet until smooth and creamy.

large bowl of salad with green dressing

What a powerhouse of vegetables and it was absolutely delicious! Next time I think I'll add some raw cashews to my salad or maybe the dressing!

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None
Serves: 2

1/2 red onion
1/2 avocado
1 cup of young spinach
Juice of 1/2 lime or more
1/4 cup ( no more) of water
Cracked Pepper to taste
Optional: you could add 10 raw cashews to your dressing

Place all ingredients in the nutribullet or another small smoothie blender.
Whiz until creamy and well blended- serve over salad

Linking up with  Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series and Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday

4 Hacks to Cool Off in Hot Weather

It's been over 95 everyday this week. Here are 4 hacks that help me get through the unbearable heat wave!!

1. Hydrate- 

It's vital to keep hydrated during really hot weather. Try making some of my infused water drinks using a variety of fruit, lemon,  mint leaves. etc. which will give you the added bonus of some valuable nutrients as well as flavor. Follow the link for Infused water drinks for ideas and recipes.

Fruit infused vitamin water

  Our family recipe for Middle Eastern lemonade is a refreshing as it is rejuvenating!  Lemon is a good source of vitamin C and is known to help in hydration. Keep a pitcher in the refrigerator in really hot weather!

middle eastern lemonade

2. Chilled Washcloths - The Best Home Spa Idea

This is a favorite. I fill a bowl with ice cubes, water, and a few drops of either rose water or orange blossom water. I then put a washcloth into the bowl, wring it out slightly and use it to cool off my face and neck or use it as a foot soak!

 It is cold, peacefully fragrant, relaxing and refreshing. In addition, I believe that rose water is good for the skin, I learned this hack at a beautiful spa in Mexico ! You can purchase both rose water concentrate or orange blossom water on Amazon  or at most Middle Eastern or Indian food markets or online. There are also organic brands available online

orange blossom water

feet soaking in cold water spa
Add caption

3. Blender Ice cream 
Fast and Easy! There is nothing like cold refreshing ice cream. You can quickly whip some up  yourself in the blender. Use fresh fruit for these beautiful cooling treats - ice cream and sorbet- Three fast and easy recipes- two of the recipes are vegan-

vegan sorbets and ice cream

4. Cold Watermelon and Frozen Watermelon 
I think that one of the most refreshing hacks is just eating plain old fresh juicy sweet watermelon. If you want to try something different try my exotic watermelon balls in orange blossom water  or a frozen watermelon frosty!

Don't let leftover watermelon go bad!!If you ever have leftover watermelon, cut it into chunks and freeze it- I love to eat in right out of the freezer!

watermelon slices

watermelon smoothie
                                                     Frozen watermelon frosty!

5. Make ice cubes from left over coffee then use them to make ice coffee ! Also make ice cubes from lemonade and use it in refreshing summer drinks. Also add  slices of lemon or fruit to your ice cubes. Use these ice cubes in other drinks!
refreshing iced coffee

Cortas Combo Pack - 1) Cortas Rose Water 10 Fl. Oz., & 2) Cortas Orange Blossom Water 10 Fl. Oz - Total 2 Bottles

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