Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice

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The fresh pineapple I bought yesterday inspired this oh so simple recipe, Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice. I’d never bought and prepared a fresh pineapple before. The experience came about as a result of my 62 outrageous birthday activities. Check that post out here. It proved remarkably easy to cut up that pineapple.

I intended to use my delicious pineapple in a fruit salad today. However, a new idea arose. What about creating a simple pineapple fried rice, free from egg and soy? I liked that idea!

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice title meme

Cutting Up a Pineapple

I love pineapple. I’m one of those that used to request it on pizzas and mix it in with cottage cheese. Currently I add frozen pineapple chunks to smoothies most mornings. And for good reason. Pineapples reduce inflammation in joints and muscles and protect against constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. They prevent infections while wounds heal and improve oral and eye health. Pineapple boosts the immune system and helps to prevent arthritis, cancer and heart disease. And finally, this fruit reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

When I purchased a pineapple yesterday, I did so knowing I don’t own a corer. I do own a knife, and that was good enough. Fortunately, the tag on the pineapple offered four easy steps for preparing the fruit. Cut off the top of the pineapple. Divide it in two and then divide those halves again so that you have four sections. Slightly trim away the center and then slide the knife between the outer skin and the fruit. Cut down through each section of pineapple and slide the segments into a bowl. See the photo collage below. Easy peasy.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice Cutting the Fruit

Pineapple Fried Rice

I frequently prepare stir fried veggies, without a recipe. I adapted what I know to create this simple dish. It’s perfect for a quick evening meal. Use any veggies that you have on hand. Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice is also a great way to use leftover brown rice. Prepare brown rice with water, or use this veggie broth recipe.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice

This easy to prepare recipe is adaptable. Use whatever veggies you have on hand.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Fried Rice, Pineapple, Vegan
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Non stick skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks, fresh or canned
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp raw organic honey
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together liquid aminos, sesame oil, ginger, honey and red pepper flakes (if using). Set aside.
  • In a large non stick skillet, saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery in coconut oil until veggies are crisp tender. Add pineapple and cashews, stirring and cooking until heated through.
  • Add cooked rice and liquid mixture. Stir well, simmering for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice Saute

Adapt This Recipe

The Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice was so good! The recipe was the perfect use for my fresh pineapple. The beauty of this simple recipe is that it is so adaptable. Use whatever veggies you have on hand…peas, non GMO corn, fresh tomatoes, snow peas, broccoli. Saute the veggies first and then add the pineapple and cashews and the cooked rice. Leave out the red pepper flakes, for a no spice dish. Or add more if you like the heat!

I enjoyed the Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice. Grabbing a set of chopsticks, I savored this delicious meal. It goes into my meal rotation.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice with Chopsticks
Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice with chopsticks

 

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Aloo Matar Soup

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If you enjoy Indian food, Aloo Matar is a delicious meal, robust with potatoes, peas and tomatoes in a garam masala and curry sauce. However, have you ever tried Aloo Matar Soup?

Over on my other blog, Cindy Goes Beyond, I’m sharing 62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday…in January. Pop over there and see what the adventure is all about. The short version is, I wrote 62 fun and outrageous activities on slips of paper, folded them up and dropped them into a jar. Every day I draw a piece of paper, randomly, and do what is written there. It’s fun. It pushes me beyond my comfort zone. And I’m learning and growing from the experience.

Last week one of the activities I drew out was this: Create a New Recipe

One of the perks of a plant based lifestyle is that I cook at home most of the time. I’ve enjoyed learning new ways of cooking along with new ways of eating. As a first born perfectionist type, I heavily rely on recipes, so that the dish turns out right. The past couple of years, though, I’ve experimented with recipes more, followed my intuition while cooking and just had fun.

Creating a new recipe sounded fun…and it challenged me to rely on what I’ve learned and what I know. No peeking at recipes allowed.

Aloo Matar Soup title meme

Aloo Matar Soup

As the day progressed, I considered what recipe to create. Suddenly, into my head popped an idea…Aloo Matar Soup. The original easy to make recipe came to me by way of Anthony William. It’s a favorite of mine. I wondered how making Aloo Mater into a soup would be? I could use the pressure cooker and create dinner in minutes.

Here is the recipe I came up with:

Aloo Matar Soup
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Aloo Matar Soup

Wonderful soup featuring peas, potatoes and tomatoes in a curry flavored broth
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Aloo Matar Soup
Servings: 6 Servings

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cans peas, drained
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp raw organic honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 cups vegetable broth may substitute water
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Instructions

  • In uncovered pressure cooker, saute onions and garlic in coconut oil on high heat, 3 minutes or until softened.
  • Add potatoes, peas, tomatoes, honey, sea salt, garam masala, curry powder, ginger and vegetable broth.
  • Lock on lid and bring to pressure on "soup" setting. Cook for 15 minutes. Use quick release. Makes 6 servings.
  • Can make on stove top as well. Saute onions and garlic in large soup pot, in small amount of coconut oil. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.

Aloo Matar Soup Cooking

Enjoying Aloo Matar Soup

I enjoy soup and I can eat it every day. It’s especially nice to have a big container of soup ready to go in the fridge, for a quick and healthy meal. This wonderfully flavored Aloo Matar Soup is perfect! I love the blend of spices and the simplicity of the recipe.

It’s Aloo Matar, eaten with a spoon. That’s a win/win for me.

Aloo Matar Soup Bowl

Pick up your soup items below:

 


 

 

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Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread

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Today is National Gingerbread House Day. This celebration recognizes a Christmas tradition for many, creating a house out of gingerbread. An Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, brought gingerbread to Europe around 992 AD. Gingerbread, cut into shapes, sold in Christmas markets and shops during the holidays.

It was the Brothers Grimm who introduced the gingerbread house though. In the classic and somewhat dark fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, the witch in the story lives in a house made of gingerbread. After the publication of Hansel and Gretel, inspired German bakers created and sold ornamental gingerbread houses. The holiday tradition came to America by way of German immigrants.

I love spicy, fragrant gingerbread. My grandson Dayan and I made gingerbread last Christmas for gifts, which prompted me to adapt a recipe. The result is a vegan and gluten free gingerbread that is delicious, with all the feels of the tradition version.

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread title meme

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread Recipe

Whether you make a house, a man, bars or cutout cookies with your gingerbread, this easy recipe supplies the perfect foundation for creating. The key ingredient in gingerbread is…ginger! This warm spice creates the subtle, distinctive flavor. Ginger also offers a host of health benefits. It relieves indigestion and nausea, contains anti-inflammatory properties, cuts the risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol levels.

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread

This delicious treat is vegan and gluten free.
Prep Time15 mins
Chill in refrigerator30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gingerbread, Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread
Servings: 12 servings
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil spread or 1 1/2 sticks plant based butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax + 3 T water. Set for 5 min)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups gluten free flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • In large bowl whisk together olive oil spread, coconut sugar and molasses. Stir in flax egg. Add salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda.

  • Using a wooden spoon add flour, half a cup at a time. If baking as bars, don’t allow dough to form into a ball. Chill mixture for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

  • Press dough into baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean and edges are slightly browned. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Makes 12 - 16 servings.

  • Or for cookies, add enough flour so that dough forms into a ball. Chill for 30 minutes. Then roll dough out, between two sheets of parchment paper, to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and bake 8 – 10 minutes. Cool completely. Makes approximately 30 cookies.

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread batter
Whisking together ingredients for Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread.
Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread ready to bake
Ready to bake.

Enjoying Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread

The whole house smells wonderful as gingerbread bakes! And the flavor is amazing. You can add icing to the bars or cookies or cut out shapes and assemble a house with icing and a variety of candies.

My favorite way to savor the deliciousness of fresh gingerbread is with a cup of hot peppermint tea. Truly, this is bliss.

Enjoy vegan and gluten free gingerbread during the holidays…and beyond. And if you make a gingerbread house, send me a photo. I’d love to see your creation.

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread Baked
Fresh gingerbread, warm from the oven.

Check out these fun gingerbread house kits:

 

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Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods

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After embracing a plant based lifestyle, I heard a lot about alkaline foods vs acidic foods. I understood enough to know that one is better for health than the other. But why? My curiosity led me to investigate.

Do you wonder which foods contribute to creating an alkaline body…and which create acidity? Or perhaps you wonder…what difference does it make anyway?

Check out alkaline foods vs acidic foods and discover why they DO matter to health.

Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods title meme

Alkaline Foods

Alkaline and acidic refer to the pH level in the body. All systems, tissues and fluids range from 0 to 14 on the scale. A lower pH level is more acidic and a higher one is more alkaline. A slightly alkaline pH of 7.35 – 7.45 for the body is considered ideal for health.

Our kidneys help to regulate pH by maintaining electrolyte levels and either excreting or absorbing acidic and alkaline ions through urine. However, a diet high in acidic foods can have a negative impact on health while one higher in alkaline foods provides benefits.

And by benefits, I mean that eating enough alkaline foods helps to promote an optimal environment within the body for health. The kidneys work well. Weight is easier to maintain. An alkaline body lowers the risks for heart disease, strengthens bones, balances hormones and improves brain functions such as memory and cognitive abilities. There is also evidence that consuming more alkaline foods eases pain and inflammation in muscles and joints.

Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Berries
Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Berries

Foods that are Alkaline

Choose foods from this list of foods, adding them to the diet weekly. They help to neutralize the effects of acidic foods.

  • green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale, lettuce, celery, parsley, arugula and mustard greens
  • cauliflower and broccoli
  • sea vegetables, such as Atlantic dulse, nori and kelp, and sea salt
  • root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and beets
  • fruits such as kiwi, watermelon, berries, nectarines, apricots and apples
  • nuts such as almonds, cashews and chestnuts
  • onion, garlic and ginger
  • beans and legumes
  • citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes and oranges

Citrus fruits may come as a surprise, however they are actually one of the best alkaline foods. Citric acid has an alkalizing effect on the body, providing relief from acidity and heartburn.

Alkalizing lemons
Alkalizing lemons
Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Processed Meats
Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Processed lunch meats

Acidic Foods

A diet that is high in acidic foods creates an environment in the body that contributes to disease and feeds pathogens. Acid forming foods typically include animal proteins, wheat products and alcohol.

Too many acidic foods throw the body out of balance. The results are lower bone density, acid reflux and heartburn, kidney stones and disease, chronic pain in muscles and joints, headaches, back pain, muscle spasms and hormonal imbalance. An acidic body is at higher risk of heart disease and brain impairment.

Acidic coffee
Acidic coffee

Foods that are Acidic

The typical American diet is highly acidic. Limit these foods, to reduce acidity and improve health.

  • milk and dairy products such as cheese
  • meat
  • eggs
  • alcohol
  • caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda
  • artificial sweeteners
  • wheat products including breads and pastas
  • lunch meat
  • highly processed foods such as cereals, frozen dinners and store bought snacks
Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Greens
One of the best ways to get your greens…in a smoothie.

Tips to Help

One way to support a healthy alkaline body is to switch to a plant based diet. However, if you are not ready to do that, these tips can help.

  • substitute beans or legumes for meat two or more times a week
  • try eating only fruits and veggies for breakfast and lunch
  • combine fruits and greens into a nutrient packed…and alkaline…smoothie
  • eat fruit instead of highly processed store bought snacks
  • cook more at home, to avoid processed foods
  • reduce coffee and soda intake by switching to water or unsweetened herbal teas
  • try chicory tea in the morning instead of coffee
  • sweeten herbal teas with organic honey or maple syrup instead of artificial sweeteners
  • focus on whole foods rather than processed foods
  • use wild caught salmon in place of farmed fish

I can’t personally recommend bottled alkaline water. For one thing, I’m eliminating plastic use from my life. And I prefer eating foods that naturally balance the body, over drinking alkaline water. Will it hurt? No, not if you occasionally drink alkaline water. Again, grab a piece of fruit instead or enjoy a fresh chopped salad. Gain the health benefits that those foods provide, beyond contributing to an alkaline body.

In the battle of alkaline foods vs acidic foods, I’d love to see you on the side that promotes health, wellness and vitality.

Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Veggies
Fresh veggies

Pick up dried chicory below, by clicking on the photo.

 

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Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes

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Yesterday, December 4, was National Cookie Day. Purposefully situation during the holiday season, Cookie Day encourages people to bake and create treats to enjoy and to share.

To celebrate the day, I tried out two gluten free cookie recipes, thanks to my blogging associate Rebecca. She regularly posts gluten free, vegan and allergy free recipes on her site, Strength and Sunshine.

These easy to make cookies are perfect for snacking or sharing during the holidays.

Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes title meme

The Origins of Cookies

Did you know that the word cookie originates from the Dutch word koekie, meaning “little cake”? The treats themselves originated in Persia in the 7th century, shortly after the use of sugar became common in the area. From there cookies spread to Europe. Cookies were regularly consumed throughout Europe by the 14th century.

In the 17th century, cookies arrived in America. Early favorites included macaroons and gingerbread. Most English speaking countries, other than the United States, refer to cookies as biscuits. American biscuits are a different food entirely, and often covered in gravy!

During this joyful season, bake cookies with family and friends. Share some. And try these two gluten free cookie recipes.

Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes with Tea
Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes – shortbread and loaded.

Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes

These recipes use gluten free flour. You can blend your own, see this post for suggestions, or you can purchase gluten free flour that can be substituted for regular flour. For these two gluten free cookie recipes, I used gluten free flour that was a 1 for 1 brand, meaning 1 cup of gluten free flour equals 1 cup of regular flour.

I also used plant based butter and a flax egg, making these cookies vegan as well.

Rustic Shortbread

I love shortbread, partly because of its association with Scotland. These simple treats are a traditional Scottish biscuit made with sugar, flour and butter. I’ve been experimenting with gluten free shortbread since I switched to a plant based lifestyle and eliminated white, refined sugar from my diet. I occasionally eat something with a small amount of sugar in it, however for the most part, I avoid it and feel better for it.

I slightly adapted this recipe from Rebecca, using coconut sugar in the recipe instead of erythritol. As a result, my shortbread is rustic looking, due to the brown coconut sugar, but oh so delicious. This is the best recipe I have found, for gluten free, plant based shortbread. Check out Rebecca’s version HERE.

Rustic Shortbread

This rustic shortbread is the perfect accompaniment for a cup of hot tea.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Chill in refrigerator1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Scottish
Keyword: Gluten Free Cookie, Shortbread
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar may use erythritol or other granular sweetener
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, butter cut into chunks, coconut sugar and vanilla.
  • Mix and knead dough by hand, making sure butter is fully incorporated.
  • Chill dough for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
  • Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator and let warm for a few minutes.
  • Press dough into pan, to 1/2 inch thickness. Smooth top. With a sharp knife, score dough into bars and prick centers with a fork. I made 12 bars.
  • Bake in 325 degree oven for 35 minutes, until slightly golden.
  • Remove shortbread from oven and while still warm, fully slice along score lines. Lift cookies out by parchment paper and allow to cool completely. I found that the cookies held their shape better if I left them on the parchment to cool. Store in an airtight container.

 

Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes Shortbread
Rustic Shortbread

Loaded Cookies

When I saw Rebecca’s recipe for these gluten free cookies, I knew Greg would love them. Use an egg substitute, such as a “flax egg”, nut milk and dairy free white chocolate chips to keep them plant based. Check out Rebecca’s original recipe HERE.

Loaded Gluten Free Cookies

These treats combine pretzels and white chocolate chips to make a scrumptious cookie.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free Cookie, Loaded Gluten Free Cookie
Servings: 9

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar erythitrol
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water) or other egg replacement
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter, softened slightly
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened non dairy milk such as almond coconut
  • 1 cup gluten free pretzels, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dairy free white chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and coconut or brown sugar.
  • Add flax egg. (let ground flax and water set for 5 minutes before using), vanilla, softened butter and milk. Mix well with hands.
  • Fold in crushed pretzels and white chocolate chips, mixing until combined well.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Divide cookie dough into 8 - 10 mounds and place on cookie sheet. I made 9 mounds.
  • Bake for 13 minutes, until cookies are slightly browned.
  • Remove from oven. Use a spatula to move cookies to a wire rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Celebrating Cookie Day

The two gluten free cookie recipes came together easily. I made the shortbread dough and while it chilled in the refrigerator, I made and baked the loaded cookies. As that batch of treats cooled, I popped the shortbread into the oven.

Both cookies are excellent! I’m grateful for Rebecca’s recipes. For those who are not concerned with consuming gluten, dairy products, eggs and sugar, it is simple to switch out the ingredients. However, I’d encourage you to try these two gluten free cookies recipes. They taste amazing, just as they are.

You can find gluten free flour, ground flax, coconut sugar or erythritol in health conscious grocery stores or even at most Walmart Stores. Or check out the Amazon links below.

And happy…and healthy…baking this holiday season!

Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Supplies

 



 

 

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