wake-up call

This is the post excerpt.

STOP and make a changeSometimes we need a gentle nudge to make changes, right?  Or maybe not so gentle…

In this case, the nudge was a very strong push….or shove….

On Friday, October 14, 2016, my husband of 23 years had a heart attack resulting in 3 stents and a directive from the cardiologist to  begin a vegan diet to reduce and reverse heart disease.

I love beef.  We both love beef…. We even had a quarter of a grain-fed, hormone-free cow in our freezer.   Hmmmmm…


wedding dayOn his first day home from the hospital, my husband held my hands and asked me to help him with his nutrition and life change.

To me, that was earth-shattering…and even romantic… then it sank in…..He wanted my help, but, to me, this means he wanted me to help keep him alive…

Scary times…

John was referred to hospital’s Cardiac Rehab, and we chose the Ornish program.(Ornish’s research suggests cardiac disease can be reversed by Continue reading “wake-up call”

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bark

I have been experimenting with vegan sweets, looking for something quick, easy, and tasty.  I have played with  variety of almond butter cups (recipe coming soon), but they can be somewhat time-consuming to build.

So I’ve been playing with making my own bark…and this recipe only uses 3 ingredients: vegan chocolate chips, dried cherries, and almond slivers. Continue reading “Chocolate Cherry Almond Bark”

Seed & Spice Blend

Want to spice up entrees and salads, but without using croutons?  Give this seed and spice blend a try.

We sprinkle it on our salads, on bean & rice, on chili… any time  I want a crunch…and a little extra protein from the seeds. Of course, additional B12 from the nutritional yeast is never a bad idea.

Experiment with this….try other seeds, other spices…and  try it on lots of different foods!

If you like a little more heat, increase the amount of chili powder.


  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast


  1. Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat, then add the sunflower and sesame seeds.
  2. Toss gently until the seeds begin to pop.  They will smell heavenly and should turn golden in color.
  3. Once the seeds are toasted, aromatic, and golden, turn off the heat. While the pan is still hot, add the spices and nutritional yeast and toss thoroughly to combine.
  4. Once the mixture has cooled, store in a sealed container.



Chocolate-covered almond butter-stuffed dates

I am always playing with recipes, looking for those that are quick, taste great, and are healthy (well, mostly).

I also look for those recipes that use ingredients I keep on hand.

These chocolate-covered stuffed dates use ingredients I always have: medjool dates, vegan chocolate chips, coconut oil, and almond butter.

Continue reading “Chocolate-covered almond butter-stuffed dates”

3 Bean QUICK Chili

There are times when I truly enjoy spending an hour or more crafting a dish.  I love to see the various layers of the creation come to fruition.

At other times, I need speed.

Those are times when I just want to throw something together with minimal fuss and sit down to the table in about 30 minutes. While this chili cooks, I make a salad, thaw out some gluten-free rolls, and we are good to go.

I use black beans, red kidney beans, and white kidney beans and keep canned varieties on hand just for “quick” meals. I also tend to cook up a pot of beans ahead of time and freeze them in 1-cup measures, but unless I have them already thawing, I simply use thoroughly rinsed canned beans for this meal.

Let’s get started. . . . Continue reading “3 Bean QUICK Chili”

Vegan Christmas Candy

I’ve been on a sweet kick, lately, and have been experimenting with flavors. I love cinnamon in my hot chocolate, and I love almonds….so….. why not combine them into a candy?

And since we are midway through December, Christmas Candy it is!

Vegan chocolate chips…cinnamon…coconut oil…unsalted almonds… loaf pan….parchment paper…that’s all you need.

Continue reading “Vegan Christmas Candy”

Black bean Brownies – Yummy!

OMG.  Brownies.   I have really missed brownies…the chocolate…the moisture…the decadence…

Meet the black bean, savior of vegan brownies…

I have tried a variety of vegan brownie recipes, trying to avoid black beans. I mean, come on – back beans in brownies?  Then I caved in, and I’m glad I did!

Continue reading “Black bean Brownies – Yummy!”

Slow-cooker apple butter

As a young girl, I remember spending hours with my mother learning how to can and freeze from the garden.   One of these memories revolves around apple butter. Father would bring home bushels of apples – yes, bushels – which we would then turn into applesauce, apple pie filling…..and apple butter.

Eating apple butter was one of my favorite pastimes. Making apple butter conjures memories of standing and stirring – continuously – a huge pot of apples for what seemed like hours.  This, of course, came after peeling, coring, and slicing apples into a huge bucket filled with salt water. I still have my mother’s apple slicer/peeler/corer.  She would attach that machine to a counter top, and we spent the next few hours with our hands immersed in salt water and apples. The concept was great: this machine peeled (mostly) and cored (mostly) and sliced (mostly), saving us time 🙂 Continue reading “Slow-cooker apple butter”


Sometimes we miss the convenience of a making a sandwich…particularly when we need portable food.

We always are looking for new ways of getting protein, and I hate to waste a meal or snack without getting some protein from it. Add in my grain sensitivity issues and this portable meal can become quite interesting.

Other vegans had mentioned they make “mock tuna” sandwiches, so I once again searched and tweaked. Continue reading ““tuna-free”boats”

gluten and grain sensitivity

Gluten and grainOver the past year we have made a lot of diet changes, dropping meat-based protein, dairy, fat, and oil.  We eat all plant-based, including beans, grains and vegetables.  We eat far more of these plant-based foods than we ever did before.

I knew I was lactose intolerant with allergies to soy, corn, and white potatoes….and a myriad of other foods. When we first went plant-based, I noticed an immediate improvement in my breathing and skin.

Nine months later I am noticing the rashes and asthma returning even though I am eating healthier than ever before. I often eat oatmeal for breakfast, and I make hearty whole grain breads….and I am covered in rashes and itch all of the time….sometimes I even have blisters in my Continue reading “gluten and grain sensitivity”

vegan fudge


My father was the candy maker of the family. Fudge… pecan divinity…..other made cakes and icings from scratch, but my father made the candy.   He was the one to introduce me to the candy thermometer and the “soft ball” stage.

Eventually I mastered using a candy thermometer and cooking my chocolate just the correct amount but my fudge was often at risk of staying soupy. Other people made fudge, so I was content to make cookies and cakes and leave the fudge to them.

This fudge recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and 2 hours to set up in the refrigerator before cutting.  Continue reading “vegan fudge”