Aloo Matar

I tried this wonderfully comforting, fragrant meal recently. Aloo matar is a Punjabi dish from the Indian subcontinent, featuring potatoes and peas in a spiced tomato base. It is easy to prepare and a delight to savor.

This aloo matar recipe was created by Anthony William, author of several books including his latest, Thyroid Healing.

I found garam masala in the spice section of the grocery store. I added a bit more garam masala and curry powder…a double pinch, or approximately 1/4 of a teaspoon. The recipe was not only simple to create, and adaptable, it was fun. And the spicy scent that filled the kitchen created great anticipation.

I loved this aloo matar. It had the taste of India that I was craving, without being too spicy. The cilantro and squeeze of lime on top was the perfect finishing touch.

I used all organic ingredients, making this tasty meal a nutritious one as well. And is there anything more comforting than dining on potatoes and peas? I don’t think so. I will be fixing this wonderful recipe often!

Yummly App

My daughter Elissa introduced me to this fun and helpful app called Yummly. She successfully tried it out for the first time as she prepped for Christmas dinner, using recipes from the app downloaded on her phone.

I’ve played with the app since downloading it myself. Yummly is my Try This Tuesday suggestion.

Check out these great features:

In the Just for You section, I customized the app for my dietary needs. The recipes Yummly pulls up for me are vegan only, with further restrictions eliminating sugar and soy. The app can be customized to suit any diet or list of restrictions. This delicious looking Vegan Carrot Soup with Ginger popped up for me. I can also search for recipes, such as “vegan potato soup”, by typing in the search bar.

This screenshot shows the list of ingredients for the recipe with nutritional info and options for creating a shopping list and scheduling a time to eat.

I can save this recipe, adding it to one of the collections listed on the right. I added the category Soups.

This is a very helpful feature, in the Explore section. I can click on ingredients that I have on hand, and the app will pull up recipes using those ingredients. I clicked on potatoes, garlic, onion, lentils and rice.

The app listed a dozen recipes for me to try. I love the Moroccan Lentil Rice suggestion!

I saved that yummy looking recipe in the Dinner collection.

Once I’ve saved the recipe, the app asks if I want to set a time to eat? If I had, the app would notify me when I need to start cooking!

Yummly can be downloaded from the App Store located on your phone.

I have had fun discovering new recipes using Yummly . It is handy to have them saved on my phone. I know they will meet my plant based guidelines, meaning I won’t have to adapt the recipes.

I will be making the Moroccan Lentil Rice soon!

Vegan Black Bean & Corn Salsa

I was looking for a healthy salsa to share at my family’s Christmas Day Smorgasbord. I contributed plant based snacks, sides and desserts. My family members brought their favorite sides or main course dishes, however, they got to sample my plant based recipes too.

I had in mind to make my sister’s Cowboy Caviar. But when I saw that the recipe called for bottles of salad dressing, I opted for this easy to make salsa that includes the fresh juice of two limes instead.

The recipe, from SparkPeople, on my first official Try This Tuesday, is not only quick to throw together, and healthy, it is pretty to look at too! And, it is incredibly delicious, as the flavors all blend together.

I omitted the cilantro, because of a family member’s dislike of it. And the salsa was still excellent. In fact, the recipe made a large bowl of salsa and I brought home a very small bowl of left overs. I used only organic, non GMO canned goods. Del Monte brand now has non GMO canned goods, as do other brands found in health conscious grocery stores, like Natural Grocers. I diced the avocado and added it right before serving.

The salsa was accompanied by organic, non GMO tortilla chips, made by Tostitos, and available in the chips aisle at any supermarket. These bite sized scoops are perfect for dipping.

The black bean and corn salsa was so good that I will be making this recipe often. It is a great side dish to take to parties or family gatherings. I can know that I am contributing food wise, and also to the health of everyone present!

Dairy Free Turmeric Milk

I enjoy a warm drink in the evening, year around. During the summer, my drink of choice is a cup of hot herbal tea, brewed from herbs freshly picked from my garden. With the arrival of cooler weather, I look for additional nighttime drinks to sip on. It is essential to me that these bedtime drinks be warming and soothing and also full of health boosting benefits.

I was excited to try this dairy free turmeric milk. I found the recipe on Facebook, in a group I am part of called Avocado. This delicious and easy to prepare recipe comes from Anna Davis.

Warm Turmeric Milk

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon dried turmeric

• 1 tablespoon raw organic honey

• Dash of coarsely ground black pepper

• Dash of cinnamon

• 1 cup of unsweetened dairy free plant based milk such as almond or coconut

In a small bowl mix together honey, turmeric, black pepper and cinnamon, making a paste. Warm plant based milk. Add small amount to turmeric mixture, stirring until smooth and thinned out. Add turmeric mixture to remainder of milk. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and enjoy.

I used unsweetened almond coconut dairy free milk. The coconut adds a subtle flavor that I like. Plain almond milk can be used as well. As the milk heated, I whisked the honey, turmeric, and black pepper together.

The spicy aroma was wonderfully tantalizing as I added a small amount of warm milk to the honey mixture. After it was thinned out, I poured the mixture into the cup of milk.

A sprinkle of cinnamon on top and my bedtime turmeric milk was ready to savor. And savor it I did. This drink was so good that I had to pace myself. The taste is full of flavor but mild.

Turmeric is considered one of the most effective medicinal herbs with powerful benefits for the body. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The body absorbs curcumin much better when black pepper is ingested at the same time.

Curcumin is linked to improved brain function and a lessening of brain diseases, less risk of heart disease, cancer prevention, depression prevention, inhibition of Alzheimer’s, improvement of arthritis through lessening of inflammation and it has anti-aging properties.

That’s a lot of health benefits packed into a tasty nighttime drink. In addition, turmeric soothes the digestive tract, which contributes to a better night’s sleep.

Raw organic honey, locally produced, is a good source of antioxidants. Health benefits of honey include soothes the digestive tract, eases seasonal allergies and sore throats, protects the body from cell damage, and it is antibacterial and anti-fungal.

Best of all, this drink centers me as it warms me, preparing me for a time of deep rest. My body craves it, encouraging me to sip on a cup every evening. Turmeric milk has become my favorite bedtime drink!

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake

I tried this recipe based on the photo that accompanied it! Offered on Anthony William’s website and Facebook page this healthy version of mac & cheese appealed to me. Comfort food provides just that…comfort. However, most comfort food is packed with ingredients such as dairy products, gluten and added sugar that are unhealthy for the body. What an ideal recipe for me that combines healthy ingredients to create an upgrade on an old favorite. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
Here is the simple recipe, from Anthony William:

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
This was such a warm and satisfying meal! I have used cashews often as the base for sauces and dressings and you really don’t taste the nutty flavor. I am amazed everytime, by how creamy and yummy the sauce or dressing is, using cashews. This blend was so tasty that I think it would make an excellent dressing or dip for veggies. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
Does this dish taste exactly like regular macaroni and cheese? No, it does not have a traditional cheesy flavor. Does it taste great? Yes! The dish is creamy and hearty and makes an ample amount, providing leftovers for another meal. I used brown rice pasta, which is gluten free. (Pictured below, except for this recipe I used elbow macaroni.) And I sprinkled paprika on top after the casserole baked. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
I love good food that is in turn, good for me. When I say that I follow a plant based lifestyle, people assume I only eat salads! Not true. In fact, I rarely eat a lettuce salad. I savor a wide variety of dishes and foods, that all happen to be plant based.

I firmly believe that nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. That belief enables me to pass up foods that I used to eat that contributed to my poor health and my aches and pains. How wonderful it is to discover that eating healthy doesn’t mean I sacrifice on taste and satisfaction. The broccoli and macaroni bake will become a new favorite!

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake  

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

This summer, my go to meal has been a chopped veggie salad. I fill a big bowl with a variety of fresh veggies, chopped up into bite sized pieces, and store it in the refrigerator for ready to eat meals. 

The beauty of the chopped veggie salad is the simplicity of it. Any on hand veggies can be combined, and the longer it is in the fridge, the more the flavors blend. I frequently combine green, red, yellow and orange peppers, banana peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, celery, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, kale and spinach. Mushrooms, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sunflower seeds, walnuts or jicama could be added as well. For increased protein, I include cooked pinto or black beans, or garbanzo beans. The possibilities are vast! 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
What to put on these bowls of goodness? Truthfully, the combined flavors of the chopped veggies are sufficient without additional dressing. However, here are three wonderful dressings that are simple to make, full of flavor and healthy too!  

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
If you enjoy ranch dressing, try this dairy free, sugar free version. It is amazing, using cashews as the base, how flavorful this dressing is. Use on salads and also as a dip for fresh vegetables, roasted potato wedges or as a topping on veggie chili or soups. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
This light, tasty dressing begins with a cashew and zucchini base. Always soak the nuts first, to make blending easier and the dressing smoother. I grow sage and other herbs in my garden. I love picking sage leaves to include in this dressing. I am looking forward to adapting the recipe and substituting other fresh herbs for the sage, for variety. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
Three Healthy Salad Dressings

I like honey mustard dressing, so I was delighted to find this easy recipe on Pinterest. Combine the ingredients in a mason jar and shake to blend. The dressing can be stored in the same jar, in the fridge. I have a vintage cut glass cruet that I enjoyed using to store and serve the dressing in. This light and tangy accompaniment is perfect on a chopped veggie salad or used as a dip for vegetables or roasted potato wedges. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
I feel good about creating these healthy versions of favorite dressings. Taking the time to care for myself by preparing food that nourishes my body goes beyond eating in a healthy way. It becomes a soul nourishing experience as well. 

Bon appetit! Here is to our continuing good health and wellness, and our healing journeys. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

Easy Classic Hummus

I’ve shared this recipe before, including it with other party recipes. However this classic hummus is so good and so easy to make at home, that it deserves its own post. I make my own hummus at least once a week. With a food processor, a few pantry staples become a healthy and delicious snack or meal, served up with fresh veggies or gluten free crackers. 

Easy Classic Hummus
Here is the simple recipe:

Easy Classic HummusEasy Classic Hummus
Use fresh lemon juice. I cut one large lemon in two and use my aunts glass juicer, however each half can simply be squeezed into a measuring cup or directly into the food processor. 

Easy Classic Hummus

Tahini is sesame seed paste and can be purchased at health food stores or in the international section at larger grocery stores. A future project is to make my own tahini. This paste is great also as a base for salad dressings. 

Drizzle olive oil over the hummus, after transferring it from the processor to a bowl, and sprinkle with paprika. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

There are so many ways to vary this basic recipe, by adding olives, red peppers, more garlic or additional spices. The possibilities are many! 

Enjoy with fresh veggies, apple slices or gluten free crackers. Most of all, simply enjoy! 

Easy Classic Hummus

Try out this food processor:

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