Sunday, September 18, 2011

Welcome back, me! ;-) - Talkin' 'bout the REBBOOT YOUR LIFE juice fast.

It has been awhile since I've updated this blog, and to my regular readers, I apologize. I will be making more frequent updates from this point forward.

Today, I want to espouse the benefits of juicing.

3 weeks ago, I purchased a new Breville IKON juicer and began a 15-day, Reboot Your Life vegan cleansing fast. Nothing but juiced fruits and vegetables and cooked fruits and vegetables. Nothing fried, of course, but small amounts of olive oil and soy sauce were ok, so I did one light stirfry at night. My husband participated with me for 12 of the days. Then, he had to go out of state to teach his fall term, so graduated (no pun intended) to just basic healthy eating habits.

The program has all kinds of juice recipes. However, I found myself juicing anything and everything organic that looked fresh and seasonal. Each day, I would go to New Season's Market and look over the produce section. One day, I would juice kale, chard, broccoli, apples, pears, ginger, lemon...and the next day, it would be something else. Regardless of what other fruits and veggies I may use in a batch of juice, I always add at least one apple, one lemon and a big chunk of fresh ginger. That makes the juice very palatable.

In the evenings, I would either bake a yam, open it, and place salad on top of it, or I would make the aforementioned stir fry. Always delicious. Every single time. One of the many benefits of doing this cleanse is that it awakens the taste buds and makes one begin to appreciate the wonderful flavors of organic produce, like never before. I have avoided white potatoes, except yesterday, when I had them at Papa G's vegan restaurant, with wild mushroom gravy. I could not help myself. In addition to the dinner, we would split a big heirloom tomato and an avocado, arranging them beautifully on plates and putting a couple of twists of smoked sea salt on top.

Yum-o! The tomatoes were incredible this year. We compared them to what a carnivore would probably compare steak to something. The avocados were also very good this year, and the oil in them was essential to our diets.

All told, my husband lost 14 pounds, and I have lost 16. I am still juicing, eating other foods occasionally, and supplementing. Each day, I drop another pound or two. It's really great!

I feel good. My complexion and hair are glowing, and all is well.

I did try to do a gaspacho juice one day....fresh, organic tomatoes, celery, fresh horseradish, a small onion, cilantro....and it sounded good in theory...but it was not. Not at all! The onion and horseradish really upset my stomach. Other than that, however, each day's juice has been a real surprisingly good treat.

You HAVE to watch this film! Fat, Sick and Almost Dead. Mind you, I was none of those things when I began this whole juicing thing...but I did, instinctually gravitate toward it. Amazing film. Absolutely amazing!

More another day...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings

Dumpling recipes can be found in virtually any culture. They are high in nutrition and quick & easy to make. This recipe for Asian steamed vegetarian dumplings can be made with direct substitutions of vegan ingredients, if desired. THIS web site lists vegan substitutions for many ingredients.

Feel free to add other ingredients, as desired, or to switch the types of mushrooms that you prefer. As for the Asian Seasoning ingredient, many different kinds can be found on the shelves of the larger supermarkets. Just be sure to read the ingredient list before purchasing it as some of them contained powdered anchovies.


1 package wonton wrappers
about 5 baby portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 pepper - red, yellow or orange pepper, finely chopped
shredded cabbage and carrots
1/2 sweet white onion, chopped
sesame oil
vegetarian soy sauce
salt and pepper

Dipping Sauce:

vegetarian teriyaki sauce
vegetarian soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon fresh orange or lemon juice
Asian seasoning of your choice.

Mix all ingredients together (expect wonton wrappers). Fill wrapper with about 1 teaspoon of mixture and wet edges with water, fold and seal.

Place small amount of water in pan until it steams, add dumplings, cover and cook about 12 minutes, adding additional water as needed. You may also use a bamboo steamer.

For the Dipping Sauce:
Mix the vegetarian versions of the soy and teriyaki sauces and the citrus juice.
Add seasoning and the dumplings are ready to enjoy!

Makes: Varies, Preparation time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: 12 minutes

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cucumber Mango Salsa a la Bruce Barone

Thanks goes out to my pal, Bruce Barone, in Massachusetts, for this cool and refreshing addition to my list of salsa recipes. ( This one appeals to me now especially, because we are having an unprecedented heat wave in the Bay Area!)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 large, ripe mangoes (about 1 pound each), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large seedless cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced (I used 1 small red & 1 small green jalapeno)
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
In a bowl, mix the lime juice with the vinegar, sugar and a generous pinch of salt. Add the mango, cucumber, jalapeño and basil and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Make Ahead
The relish can be refrigerated overnight. Add the chopped basil just before serving.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Polenta time!

Polenta has become a favorite staple in my diet because of its versatility as well as its ease in preparation. It can be served soft, hard, grilled or fried. It can be topped with a myriad of sauces and vegetables and can have various ingredients folded in while it's still soft. Italians often spice-up their polenta by substituting water with broth. It is easy to make from scratch, but I find the Trader Joe's pre-packaged polenta is great. It has all-natural ingredients and is packaged similarly to sausage in a plastic "tube" sort of thing. This form of polenta is a little on the firm side, which I enjoy, and can be sliced into individual medallions.

My favorite way to cook this type of polenta is to layer it in a baking dish with fresh basil and my favorite vegan red sauce and sauteed mushrooms. Heat it through in a 375 oven for about 30 minutes and a tasty treat ensues. Not quite vegan? Add a high quality parm/reggiano and you have one delicious entree!

A good polenta dish with a Mexican twist can be made by layering it with chili or black beans, sauteed onions, salsa and cheese, if you're not a vegan, or vegan cheese sauce if you are.

This is a good recipe for Vegan "Sharp Cheddar Cheese" that calls for agar agar, (easily located at a natural foods store such as Whole Foods....or "the Food Hole" as we like to call it) :



  1. Begin by combining the agar and tap water in a small sauce pan.
  2. Heat over a medium flame, stirring often.
  3. When the mixture boils, reduce the heat a bit.
  4. Allow the agar to boil gently for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir often to prevent burning and to make sure that all of the agar dissolves.
  6. Meanwhile, measure all of the other ingredients into a blender container.
  7. When the agar is finished boiling, carefully pour it into the blender container.
  8. Blend on high for about 2 minutes.
  9. Stop, scrape down the sides, replace the lid and whizz again, for about another minute.
  10. The mixture should be very smooth and the same orange color as dairy cheddar.
  11. Pour the mixture into a small, lightly oiled loaf pan.
  12. Refrigerate overnight and allow it to chill until firm.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Couscous with Lemon, Mint and Garbanzo Beans

This nummy delight is what we had for dinner at my house tonight. Try it! You'll love it!

Couscous with Lemon, Mint and Garbanzo Beans. Created for BUSH’S ® Beans by Connie Guttersen, R.D., Ph.D., nutrition instructor at The Culinary Institute of America, mom and author of "The Sonoma Diet."


  • 1 10 ounce box couscous
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 16 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cups chopped cucumbers
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Prepare couscous per directions on the box.

Place couscous and raisins in a large bowl, set aside.

Combine water, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small pot. Bring to simmer, pour over couscous mixture and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, let sit for 15 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap, gently fluff with fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine beans, red pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes. Pour in lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Combine fluffed couscous, garbanzo bean mixture, parsley and mint in a large serving platter. Gently toss to combine. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Its Vegan Muffin Time! ...and they're GOOD!!!

I find that it is incredibly simple to use egg replacer and soy or almond milk to make egg-free and dairy-free vegan muffins, and no one ever complains about the substitutions. They vanish just as quickly as the ones made with dairy products.

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes:

Stacy's Yummy Vegan Strawberry Banana Muffins


* 3 ripe bananas, mashed
* 3/4 cup light brown sugar
* Ener-G egg replacer for 2 eggs
* scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. good vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened
* 2 1/4 cups flour
* 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp baking soda
* dash nutmeg and cinnamon
* dash sea salt
* 1 cup diced organic strawberries (for some reason frozen works best)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line a muffin tin.

Beat together the bananas ( I let them get really soft and overripe first) , brown sugar, egg replacer, vanilla bean or extract and vegan margarine.

In a separate bowl, combine together the flour, baking powder and baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Add to the banana mixture and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the strawberries.

Fill each muffin about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Stacy's Tangy Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

This is both a sweet and tart muffin recipe, chock full of zesty lemon flavor - just the way lemon poppy seed muffins should be! Be sure to use a vegan margarine when making this vegan lemon poppy seed muffin recipe.


* 2 cups flour
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 2 tbsp lemon juice
* 1/2 cup soy milk
* 1/2 cup margarine, slightly softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 3 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer
* 1/2 tsp vanilla or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
* zest from one lemon
* 1/4 cup poppy seeds

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line a muffin pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together then lemon juice, soy milk and vanilla.

Add the margarine and sugar, then add the egg replacer. Stir in the lemon zest and poppy seeds.

Gently combine the flour mixture with the soy milk and margarine mixture just until mixed.

Pour into prepared muffin pan. For extra sweet muffins, sprinkle the top of each muffin with a pinch of extra sugar.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Ta daaaaaa! Vegan muffin goodness!
Mmmmmmmmmm! Good!