Carmelized Onion, Spinach and Lentil Stew

Carmelized Onion, Spinach and Lentil Stew
4 yellow onions
6 small cloves garlic
6 cups veggie broth
1 can lentils
1 can mushrooms
2 bunches fresh spinach
Seasonings (to taste):
Thyme
Rosemary
Tumeric
Salt
Pepper
Liquid Smoke
Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar to saute onions, or just use broth

Saute onions in liquid of choice until brown, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. While the onions are carmelizing, prepare the garlic and spinach. When the onions are cooked down, add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add broth and spinach. After the spinach is starting to wilt, about ten minutes, add remaining ingredients and season to taste. Cover and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.

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Vegan Taco-Frito Pie

I was craving Fritos, but also craving tacos, so I worked my magic and created a yummy combination of the two.  So good!!! And of course it would not be complete without a margarita, right?

Vegan Taco-Frito Pie
Ingredients:
1 small minced onion
1/2 bag meatless grounds of choice
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 tsp Mexican chorizo seasoning (optional)
1 can Rotel
1 can pinto or black beans
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup shredded non-dairy cheez
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
Brown onion in tiny amount of oil or broth. Add the meatless grounds and seasoning and stir until grounds are browned. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. You may need to add a small amount of water to achieve desired consistency. Serve over Fritos, top with more cheez, more Fritos, guacamole and diced tomato.

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Vegan Mexican Rice and Beans

  • 1 lb of rice, I used Banza chickpea rice but you can use any rice.
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilis
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 8 oz can kernel corn
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in a small amount of vegetable broth.  Add the spices to bloom them.  Then put in the rice to crisp it a little.  Add the remaining ingredients and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

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Crispy Orange Tofu with Broccoli and Cashews

1 block of extra firm tofu, pressed
3/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour (I didn’t have any corn starch)
1 Tbsp orange marmalade
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp minced ginger
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and marinate tofu for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove tofu and drain. Air fry at 350 for ten minutes, shaking or turning half way thru.  If you do not have an air fryer you can crisp it in the oven or in a skillet.
While tofu is cooking, put sauce in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to reduce. Add cooked broccoli, I used the steam in bag type, and toss in the sauce. Remove the tofu from the air fryer and toss in the sauce. Throw in a handful of cashews. You can serve over rice if you prefer. Enjoy!

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This Week’s Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole

This is yummy and satisfying!  I kind of used bits and pieces of other recipes and created my own version.

  • 1 diced onion, or frozen diced onion
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix (I make my own blend in batches using cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 can Rotel
  • 1/2 cup picante sauce or salsa
  • 1 package vegan cheese shreds
  • 1 package corn tortillas
  • 1 small can black olive slices (optional)
  • 1 diced tomato (optional)

Cook the onion in a small amount of veggie broth or water until translucent.  Crumble the tofu into the skillet and stir over medium high heat, adding the taco seasoning.  Once the onions and tofu reach the desired doneness, add the beans, corn, salsa, a quarter of the cheese and 1/3 of the tortillas cut into 1 inch squares.  Continue cooking over low heat until well combined.  Line the bottom of a baking dish with cut up tortillas.  Spoon the mixture from the skillet into the baking dish.  Top with the remaining tortilla pieces and the rest of the cheese.  Cover with foil and bake in a 350 preheated oven for about 30 minutes.  Let cool slightly and top with olives and diced tomato.  You could also add guacamole and other toppings of your choice.  Enjoy!

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New Page on Fitness

From Sedentary to Exercise Junkie

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My Newest Cookie Invention – Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookies

I have been thinking about the raisin spice cookies my mother and I used to buy in the 60s.  I can’t remember the brand, but I remember what the box looked like and that it was on the bottom shelf on the cookie aisle at the grocery store we shopped at.  So I decided to try and replicate that taste, but in a healthier way.  So this is my newest cookie invention.  Just came out of the oven and smell heavenly!

3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup applesauce
1/8 cup maple syrup
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground pumpkin spice (didn’t have any all spice)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins

Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes depending on how you like them, I like mine kind of crunchy.  Mother and I used to eat spice cookies with peanut butter.  Can’t wait till time for dessert after dinner tonight!

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Recipe of the Day

Fat Burning Cabbage Soup

  • 1 head of chopped cabbage, your choice of color (purple makes a beautiful soup)
  • 1 onion, your choice, I like sweet yellow onions
  • Minced or fresh garlic, your preference of how strong you want the garlic flavor.
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes, you can add more or use whole stewed tomatoes (I also add 1/2 can Rotel for a little kick)
  • About 2 cups of vegetable broth, you may need to add more as it cooks down
  • Seasonings of your choice to taste.  I use ground thyme, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and salt.
  • I sometimes add fresh carrots if I have any on hand.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for at least an hour.

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Bumps In The Road Are Not Roadblocks………

In the past, whenever I hit a bump in the road, I would see it as a road block and allow it to completely derail my weight loss or health goals. It is time to remember that a bump in the road does not mean you have to give up. Speed bumps are there for a reason, to make us slow down and be more cautious and observant of our path.

A week ago I woke up with a new and unusual pain in my abdomen. Pain and I go way back, so it takes a lot or a new type of pain to even get my attention. This got my attention! At first I thought it would go away and I went about my normal routine. I am very much a creature of habit and tend to do the same things everyday at the same time. But after a couple of hours the pain was not going away and it was intensifying. So much to my dismay I made the decision to dial 911. After the paramedics ruled out anything life threatening like heart attack, they recommended transporting. This was 2 days before Christmas and I was not going to miss spending Christmas with my sons. But I reluctantly agreed to the transport. It was nice to get in the ambulance and get pain medicine but I was still not happy about going to the hospital. This time of year the hospital ER was completely full, everyone was crazy busy and no one had time for me. The hospitalist decided that I had an intestinal blockage which I knew was not possible but who am I to argue with doctors, right? Although I tried they didn’t listen to me. Fighting being admitted I finally agreed to stay overnight as long as I went home the next day. After being admitted and having a tube shoved up my nose and down my throat and receiving more pain medicine, I had a decent night sleep, as much as you can in the hospital with them coming in and waking me up every hour. The next morning I felt better and decided to go home. Had a nice Christmas with my sons and thought everything was fine. However life has a way of surprising you. The day after Christmas I continued having problems with my innards. It took 4 more days of pure hell but now I am feeling pretty much back to normal.

The lesson here is to not let something like this stop me from continuing my journey of healthy eating, exercise, and regaining full functionality. In the past every time something like this happened I thought “oh well I guess I can’t do this” and I would give up and re-gain all the weight I had lost. Not this time! Now that my insides appear to be working normally again, I am right back to eating the food that contains the most nutrients with the fewest calories, and exercising as much as is physically possible for me.

I hope that this will inspire anyone going through a difficult challenge. Do not give up ever! Always keep trying and always keep focusing on maintaining and improving your health and well being.

Wishing all of my readers and followers the happiest New Year and may 2020 bring you closer and closer to perfect health.

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