Monday, July 18, 2016

Italian Lunchbox Salad

Italian Lunchbox Salad
What is a Lunchbox Salad? A Lunchbox Salad is a filling entree salad that requires no cooking and can be thrown together quickly and easily in the morning. It is assembled right in the container you'll eat it out of, then thrown in the lunchbox. At lunchtime, it's ready to go!

It's the perfect lunch for those who are unable to cook or simply don't enjoy cooking, since it requires no cooking, and can be assembled with basic ingredients.

Try one of these for your lunch!

Today's feature, Italian : )

Italian Lunchbox Salad
Assemble in plastic or glass lunch container, then close the container and place in your lunchbox. Simple!
1/2 Cup Couscous
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Fat Free (or regular) Italian Dressing
1/4 teaspoon Italian Herbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
Choose from optional ingredients, adding a couple spoonfuls of each:
Diced Tomato
Diced Cucumber
Artichoke Hearts
Chickpeas from a can
Sliced Black Olives
Capers
Garnish with Slivered Almonds or Pine Nuts

Monday, July 11, 2016

Six Great Zucchini Recipes

There's an old joke that goes like this:
Q: Why should you lock your car doors & roll up the windows in the summer?
A: To keep your neighbors from giving you Zucchini!

I don't think that's a slam on Zucchini's great taste - just a commentary on how incredibly abundant it can be in a good harvest year.

If you have a bumper crop of Zucchini - or a generous neighbor - or, like me, you actually BUY the stuff at the grocery store, here are some great ways to use it:

Simply Zucchini Saute



Mediterranean Zucchini Soup






Vegan Mock Crab Cakes


 
Mediterranean Chickpeas & Vegetables



Zucchini Mini Muffins



Zucchini Bread Waffles


Monday, July 4, 2016

3 Minute Blueberry Muffin for One

3 Minute Blueberry Muffin for One
If you're one of those folks who cannot make a dozen muffins without eating all of them, then
perhaps you'd benefit from being able to make just ONE muffin. Not naming names here, but perhaps the typist of this post can relate?

You can make this muffin in a hurry -  For breakfast, lunchbox, or snack.

Besides being quick, easy, and tasty - it's healthy! Made from 100% Whole Wheat, with no added Animal Products, or Oil! : )



This is all you need to do:

3 Minute Blueberry Muffin for One

In a small, microwave safe dish (I used a Pyrex Ramekin), stir together
1/4 cup Stuffedveggies Muffin Mix  (scroll down for recipe)
3 Tablespoons Water
then fold in
about 8 Blueberries.

Sprinkle top with Cinnamon Sugar

Microwave for 1 minute. If your Blueberries were frozen, make that 1 minute, 20 seconds.

Remove from microwave, and turn out onto a plate.

Sprinkle bottom with Cinnamon Sugar.

Allow to cool JUST long enough that you don't burn yourself!

Enjoy! : )

Versatile Vegan Mini Muffin Mix

Mix together

8 cups whole wheat pastry flour OR White Whole Wheat Flour
2 cups Turbinado Sugar or other Sugar of your choice (White is fine! : )
4 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
4 Tablespoons arrowroot powder or Tapioca Starch
     (Cornstarch may be used as an emergency substitute)

After all the ingredients are in your chosen container (see below) close securely and shake well to evenly distribute contents.

Store in pantry in cooler house temperatures, or if mix will be used in a month or less. For longer storage, or in very warm weather, store in fridge or freezer.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Quick, Easy, Healthy Blueberry Muffins


These delicious, healthy muffins can be thrown together in minutes - ready to add that special note to a breakfast for guests, or to give the kids a treat.

They're easy, Whole Wheat, Vegan and Oil Free! 

Blueberry Muffins
Stir Together
2 Cups Stuffedveggies Vegan Muffin Mix
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Applesauce (one lunch cup)
Then Fold in 
1 Cup Blueberries (frozen or fresh)

Fill prepared muffin Cups to about 1 centimeter from the top of the cup.

Stir, and fill muffin tins to 3/4 full (if desired, sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar)
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, till golden brown, and they spring back to the touch
This recipe made 9 muffins in my muffin tin - using about 1/3 cup batter per muffin.

Cool just enough, and enjoy! 



Mix together

8 cups whole wheat pastry flour *
2 cups turbinado sugar or other sugar of your choice
4 Tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 Tablespoons arrowroot powder (Cornstarch may be used as an emergency substitute)

After all the ingredients are in your chosen container (see below) close securely and shake well to evenly distribute contents.

Store in pantry in cooler house temperatures, or if mix will be used in a month or less. For longer storage, or in very warm weather, store in fridge or freezer.











Monday, June 20, 2016

Vegan Week's Menu for Summer

Looking for an nice Vegan menu? Here are some ideas for your summer dining : )

Quick, Easy, Tasty - can't beat it! 

Greek Stuffed Veggies ( Gemista )




Mediterranean Chickpeas & Vegetables 





Asian Peanut Noodles 






Bulgur Pilaf ( Pourgouri )





Black Bean and Corn Salad 
Wrapped in a Tortilla with Lettuce




Peas & Artichokes Yachni 





Sausage Patties, Vegan 
Serve with Naan for Wrapping -with all the fixin's - Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Mustard, et
And Chips on the side along with Carrots & Celery for Snacking

Monday, June 13, 2016

Brownie Batter Dessert Dip (Healthy - Regular or Nut free)

Brownie Batter Dessert Dip With Pretzels


This dessert dip tasty enough to make you feel like you should "sneak" it - but healthy enough that you don't have to! Even better - it has only 6 ingredients, and is SUPER easy to make!

It's inspired by a recipe that I found on Win-Win Food, but I altered it substantially to my own tastes. Quite simply put - I needed more chocolate - a lot more chocolate! And more Vanilla. And more sweetness. I also played around with the sweeteners to suit my cooking style and varied and the nut butters - because I was very curious how this would taste with Peanut Butter added! I also wanted to experiment with a nut-free variation. But, the idea is thanks to Win-Win Food

This is a Dessert Dip - but you could probably eat it for Breakfast or for Lunch, and call it a healthy meal! 

You'll find two versions below - one with Nut Butter & one without for those who need to avoid added fats. 


Healthy Brownie Batter Dessert Dip
Blend in a food processor till very smooth - drizzling in a little water as needed to achieve desired texture
   1 can (15 oz) black beans (drained and rinsed)
    3 tablespoons Peanut Butter or Almond Butter*
    5 T Honey or Maple Syrup
       OR 8 Packets of your favorite Calorie-Free Sweetener
    3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
    1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla
    Dash of Salt

Taste and adjust sweetness as needed. (If you prefer, you can use 1/2 Honey  & 1/2 Calorie -Free Sweetener) 
   

Brownie Batter Dessert Dip with Fruit

Almond Butter allows the Chocolate to be the predominant flavor, but Peanut Butter gives a little of that Peanut Butter & Chocolate Milkshake-type effect, if that's your preference : )

Healthy Brownie Batter Dessert Dip - Nut Free Version
Blend in a food processor till very smooth - drizzling in a little water as needed to achieve desired texture
   1 can (15 oz) black beans (drained and rinsed)
   6 T Honey or Maple Syrup
       OR 8 to 10 Packets of your favorite Calorie-Free Sweetener*
    4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
    1 Tablespoon Vanilla
    Dash of Salt
    Water as needed - about 1/2 cup

Taste and adjust sweetness as needed - beware of using TOO much calorie-free sweetener, as too much may have an aftertaste. You can use 1/2 Maple Syrup or Honey  & 1/2 Calorie -Free Sweetener for the best of both worlds.


Serve with any or all of the following: Strawberries, Bananas, Apple Slices, Pretzels, Mild Cookies. Or Frozen Bananas. Or just a spoonful out of the container . . . . Use your imagination! : )

Monday, June 6, 2016

Transitioning to Bifocals

My New Bifocals
Since I was a child, I've heard people talk about bifocals. How hard they are to adjust to. Or sometimes how impossible they are to adjust to. How expensive they are. How frustrating they are. And so on.


But, in recent years, it became obvious that I was going to need bifocals. I've been very nearsighted since childhood. I got my first glasses when I was 10, and I'm one of those people who cannot see the Big E at the top of most eye charts. Without my glasses, I cannot function at all. I cannot see details of anything more than about 7" from my face.  I cannot see faces of people as they walk by. I certainly couldn't drive a car without my glasses. But, at the same time, I am becoming farsighted (developing Presbyopia). With my single vision glasses, I could not see things that are CLOSER than an arms length away. And then, if I moved them an inch or so further, they would become blurry again. Generally speaking, I had to take off my glasses to do tasks like reading or sewing, and had to hold the material I was looking at very close to my face.

This made certain multi-tasking tasks impossible. Everyday things like:

Reading a recipe while cooking.
Supervising children while reading.
Glancing at a map while trying to spot the names of roads on road signs.
Glancing up at the Priest while reading along with him in the Gospel.
Looking at my Icons while praying prayers in the Prayer book.
Being aware of my surroundings while reading labels at the grocery store.
Typing on my laptop while looking at the screen.
Write an item on the grocery list while looking at the list through my glasses.
Sewing something by hand while watching a video with my daughter.

Well, you get the idea. It was time. I HAD to have bifocals.

I dreaded it. I checked with several friends, and got the same warnings as always. If you're lucky, you'll adjust in 2 or 3 weeks. If not, you might spend a lot of money only to get headaches or other unpleasant symptoms.

I dreaded the potential price. I had heard reports of people paying $500. to $1000. or more for the things.

But, it was a necessity.

So, after I got my eye exam with a bifocals prescription,  I went to the local Eye-Mart (note, this is NOT an affiliate ad or a paid promotion of any kind - just a good customer experience).  I ordered the exact same frames that I bought last time, and the kind of bifocals that don't have a line. The bifocals without a line give me a transitional area that makes it possible to see the computer screen, as well as an area that allows me to read books. I also ordered the polycarbonate lenses because otherwise my lenses might look like the proverbial bottoms of coke bottles. 


My glasses were ready the same afternoon. Thanks to the identical frames and the no lines lenses, they looked EXACTLY the same as my old glasses.

The store personnel encouraged me to allow a couple of weeks adjustment period.

I found that the adjustment was INCREDIBLY easy! After about 1/2 hour transition time, I was able to wear the new glasses to drive home. By the next day, the adjustment was 95% done.

Occasionally, I glance down through the reading part of the lens to see steps or the floor - and of course that is blurry. I have to bend my head down to look at the floor.

If I look through the exact little spot where things are a little curvy (the sides of the reading area), and turn my head at the same time,  I can make it seem like a floor or a table has waves moving through it. But really, after a tiny bit of practice, these things just aren't problems.

To be honest - I'm wondering what all the fuss was about! This is a breeze!

The new glasses (not including exam) were about $129. - that included all extras like the polycarbonate lenses. If I had wanted a second pair, I would have only had to pay the $50. extra fee for the polycarbonate lenses, so I could have elected for two pair for about $179.

If you're needing to get bifocals, don't be scared! It can be a great experience!

Now, I can

Read a recipe while cooking.
Supervise children while reading.
Glance at a map while trying to spot the names of roads on road signs.
Glance up at the Priest while reading along with him in the Gospel.
Look at my Icons while praying prayers in the Prayer book.
Be aware of my surroundings while reading labels at the grocery store.
Type on my laptop while looking at the screen.
Write an item on the grocery list while looking at it through my glasses.
Sew something by hand while watching a video with my daughter.

And - just a side note. Some people worry about bifocals as a bad sign that they're getting "old." I am only middle aged, but if God blesses me with a long life, that is something to be grateful for!




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