Jul 102014

Fresh summer produce gave me the idea for this Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad. There is nothing better than vine ripened tomatoes, hearty edamame and garbanzo beans, and crisp-tender green beans dressed simply with olive oil and sea salt.

Perfect Pot Luck Salad!

Perfect Pot Luck Salad!

For cookouts, beach days, and everyday life, this is the PERFECT summer base salad. What is a base salad? Something you can add to; sautéed tofu, cashew cheese, or any protein or cheese you like.

July 4th was a whirlwind.

There was lots of time for fun and a few points of reflection.

The holiday kicked off with a cookout, followed by a beach day complete with paddle boarding and body surfing, and later that evening we watched our daughter see fire works for the first time on the boat….now THAT was cool.  There was even an unexpected limo ride the next day!

We were at our second cookout of the weekend, when suddenly there was a limo at the front door. Our friend’s landscaper/part owner of a new restaurant had sent a limo by to fetch us to enjoy food and drinks at his new place.

Then the unthinkable happened.  I got a call from my mom who had been rushed to the emergency room with chest pain.

With thoughts of my Dad‘s sudden passing in my head, I drove to the hospital. After many tests and a weekend of hospital food, she was diagnosed with severe gastrointestinal issues (not from the hospital food, but that’s a whole other story). Since she never complains about aches and pains, the pain must have been really bad at the time.

On the way home I reflected how fragile life is. After losing Dad so suddenly, I could clearly see the possibility of losing both my parents, and what was left was devastating. It made me so grateful that she is ok and back home and that I have been able to make the changes I had yearned for – leaving Corporate America, becoming self-employed, loving every minute with my small daughter and relishing the ability to be creative. Every. Day.

Has it been easy? Not always. But worth it? Yes.

I further reflected on what kept me where I was for so long.


Fear that I might fall flat on my face, fear that I might be embarrassed, fear that I would have to work so hard and hate it, fear of failure.

There’s an old saying, if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. 

It is SO true. Yes I work hard, but I enjoy every day now.

And guess what else I found out. Failure is part of success.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. ~ Wayne Gretzky

This is my wish for you. Live every day as if it is your last. If you don’t like where you are in life now, begin to take steps to change it. Don’t stay where you are out of fear. Turn off the TV. Read books that will help you in life, like How to Win Friends and Influence People. Study people like Marie Forleo and Tony Robbins. Get up early, start dreaming, planning and taking action. Take a chance, let yourself fail, get back up and keep on going.

Don’t wait.

And while you’re dreaming, I have the perfect salad to fuel you.

Are you where you want to be? Do you have changes you need to make in life? What is holding you back?

Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad

Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

Serves about 10 rounded 1/2 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
12 oz fresh green beans
12 oz shelled edamame
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup red onion (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp coarse ground sea salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 to 3 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


1. Steam green beans until crisp-tender; about 10 minutes; remove from steamer and run under cold water and let drain. Cut into bite sized pieces.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 151.6
Total Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 234.8 mg
Potassium 233.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 0.8 g
Protein 7.3 g

Vitamin A 13.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 14.1 %
Vitamin C 18.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.9 %
Calcium 6.2 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 12.6 %
Iron 9.7 %
Magnesium 6.6 %
Manganese 20.1 %
Niacin 2.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.6 %
Phosphorus 6.5 %
Riboflavin 4.0 %
Selenium 2.4 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 4.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Three Bean Salad 

Nov 282012

Ready to get a little crazy?

How about THIS instead of your same old green bean casserole?

Fresh green beans, Meyer lemon from the tree out front, a hint of aromatic garlic and some crispy onions – what is not to love?

According to one of my favorite websites, World’s Healthiest Foods, green beans are full of carotenoids – just like carrots and tomatoes! They are high in vitamins C, K and A and even have some of those B Vitamins that many of us just don’t get enough of in our diets.

Green beans are also the perfect diet food – high in fiber and low in calories.  I confess that I wasn’t too excited about green beans –  I had gotten bored.  I needed a new and fresh way to prepare them, so I broke out one of my favorite cooking tools, the Flavor Bible.  It is a must have for every cook that wants to create their own recipes.  For each ingredient, the book offers what flavors pair best and there was quite a list for green beans.

The Flavor Bible

I have a feeling that if you are bored with the same old casserole, with this recipe you will fall in love with green beans all over again!

Green Beans

Simple Lemon Garlic Green Beans with Crispy Onions

Serves 2
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


10 oz fresh green beans
1 tsp coconut oil
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced finely
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp crispy onions, (Loebs)


1. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in large skillet; add green beans and salt; cook about 1 minute; reduce heat to medium low, add 1 Tbsp water and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes.  Uncover, stir; cook an additional 5 minutes; add fresh lemon; spoon onto plate and top with crispy onions.

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 90.5
Total Fat 4.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 116.3 mg
Potassium 313.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Sugars 0.3 g
Protein 2.7 g 

Vitamin A 18.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.4 %
Vitamin C 47.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 5.5 %
Copper 5.2 %
Folate 13.3 %
Iron 8.3 %
Magnesium 9.0 %
Manganese 16.3 %
Niacin 5.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.5 %
Phosphorus 5.6 %
Riboflavin 8.8 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 8.3 %
Zinc 2.4 % 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

May 242012

Got tons of veggies from your garden or the farm?  Freeze them for soups, baking and stews later!

**Freezing will change the texture so it’s best to eat them fresh if you want a firm veggie.

Step 1
Preheat a big pot with a steamer basket.

Step 2
Wash and dry your produce well.

Step 3
Chop it into bite size pieces.

Step 4
Steam the produce for three minutes and then pour it into an ice water bath to stop the cooking then DRY well.

Step 5
Freeze the produce on trays lined with parchment paper.  This will make it so they don’t freeze into a giant block if you only need to cook with a small amount.

Step 6
Remove veggie from freezer and place into FREEZER SAFE zip top bags labeled with the date and what type of veggie it is.

Try to use your veggies within a month so they don’t get freezer burn.  A little extra time won’t kill them though so don’t stress.

Apr 272012
Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta
A while back I wrote in a post that I wasn’t going to buy and cook meat for my family any more. I will admit, sticking to my guns was tough at first – particularly because my daughter is allergic to soy and nuts.  I’m still working to overcome all the reservations of my family – but what has made the transition a lot easier is that my daughter absolutely loves Nutritional Yeast (a.k.a. “cheese”).  I know I’ve said this before, but don’t deterred by the name. It’s such a wonderful product!
I’ll only steal one bite Momma.
Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta
Nutritional Yeast has 8 grams of protein, 4 grams fiber, tons of B vitamins and only 70 calories per serving it is the perfect quick and healthy alternative to meat and delicious substitution for macaroni and cheese.
Can’t I eat YET?
Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta
My three year old daughter will eat just about any vegetable as long as it has Nutritional Yeast on it, so my go-to, super quick and no-thinking meal for when I’ve got lots of fresh veggies is this sort of pasta dish.   It is simple, takes only 15 minutes and dirties only one dish and one strainer.  I chop up whatever veggies I have on hand, throw them in with the cooking pasta to blanch, and top with Nutritional Yeast.
All three of us went back in for seconds.
Kid Friendly Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta

 Kid Friendly Vegan and Gluten Free Pasta with Mixed Beans, Sugar Snap Peas and Garlic

 Serves 6 (about 1 1/4 cup) servings
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free


3 cups gluten free brown rice pasta, I use Tinkyada (or any pasta will do)
3 cups fresh beans and/or peas; I used wax beans, green beans and sugar snap peas from KYV Farm
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch broccoli rabe, sliced into ribbons; I used KYV Farm
½ cup nutritional yeast, I use Red Star
Salt, pepper and garlic powder – to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat and add rice pasta; set timer to package directions. During the last five minutes of cook time add the beans, garlic and broccoli rabe. Pour about ¾ of the mixture out at the end of the cook time, reserving some of the liquid. Rinse the strained veggies and pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and return to pot to warm through. Stir in ½ cup nutritional yeast; season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 202.0
Total Fat 1.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 276.4 mg
Potassium 445.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.8 g
Dietary Fiber 7.8 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 12.7 g

Vitamin A 68.3 %
Vitamin B-12 88.7 %
Vitamin B-6 320.0 %
Vitamin C 66.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.0 %
Calcium 16.9 %
Copper 7.3 %
Folate 46.2 %
Iron 18.1 %
Magnesium 7.2 %
Manganese 12.6 %
Niacin 196.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.7 %
Phosphorus 13.8 %
Riboflavin 381.2 %
Selenium 21.3 %
Thiamin 437.2 %
Zinc 14.0 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 272011
My goodness I’m running behind with my posting! I hope you can forgive me…life has been crazy lately.  Before I get to my FABULOUS “turkey” tempeh I made for Thanksgiving I’ll share some of the photos from our weekend trip to the Keys right before the holiday.
We stay at a wonderful place called the Islander in Islamorada but next time I go down I vowed to be camping!

Sunset at Lorelei
Day trip to Key West to visit the Butterfly Conservatory.

Lunch at El Meson de Pepe in Mallory Square.
This appetizer of Cuban bread and two dips that seemed to be sort of  a marinade were my favorite part.  There was an amazing garlic one and a spicy tomato based one.
Back at the hotel I made dinner in our room.
It has a wonderful kitchen in each of the rooms which is perfect if you have kids!

I made a lovely makeshift salad from some fresh lettuce from KYV, onions I caramelized with apple juice and white wine, fresh strawberries, sautéed green beans and some of my fish left over from the previous night’s dinner. 
View at dawn from the room.
My daughter and I visited Theater of the Sea in Islamorada.  If you are there I HIGHLY suggest going.  It was a great deal.
Here is a trainer feeding and petting nurse sharks!

They had a parrot show that was wonderful but I wanted to tell the guy to put some shoes on.
This was my favorite part….the dolphin show was seriously this close.  Everyone in the audience that wanted to pet or kiss a dolphin got to!
The Sea Lion show was really cute.
The last night we ate at my favorite restaurant in Islamorada called Morada Bay. 
I’m so lucky to live close enough to the Keys to take a short trip like this!
The night I created my makeshift salad that utilzed our CSA green beans and fresh lettuces was spontaneous but delicious.  I used only what I had on hand so there was no oil or seasonings, but the Bolthouse Farms balsamic vinaigrette I had bought added plenty of flavor without tons of fat.
Strawberry, Green Bean and Caramelized Onion Salad
Serves 2


1 head lettuce
5 to 8 strawberries, sliced
Handful fresh green beans
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Splash of apple juice
Splash of wine
Balsamic vinaigrette

Crispy fish fillet (optional)


1. Heat a small amount of apple juice in a skillet over medium low heat; add thinly sliced onions and green beans and cook down, stirring regularly, about 20 minutes, alternately adding a bit of wine, apple juice and balsamic vinaigrette to prevent sticking, until caramelized.

2. Arrange lettuce, strawberries, onions and green beans on a plate; top with balsamic vinaigrette and crispy fish (if using).

Jun 042010

It’s Friday!  And….I have a girls night tomorrow night!  I can’t wait. I’ll be trying out a new restaurant at the beach called Salt Life.  Hubby has been out of town on a golf trip since Wednesday so it’s just been us girls at home (my daughter and I).  My mom is coming over tonight for pizza, salad and wine and then tomorrow we’re all heading out to hang out at the beach, mom will take the baby back and I have a night out with my friend Justine! 

Do you have any big plans for the weekend?  Let me know….I love comments!

Tofu, tofu everywhere….

I came across this version of curry tofu and thought I would try it out on one of my own salads.  It was really crispy.  I’m not sure if the cornstarch is what did it but this tofu had such a nice crust.  

Serves 4


1 block extra firm tofu, drained, pressed (overnight if possible) and cubed into desired size
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
Organic extra virgin olive oil spray

4 Servings

Mixed salad greens
2 carrots, chopped
2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed
1 cup grilled green beans
2 cups grape tomatoes
Handful of fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced onion
4 Tbsp Annie’s Naturals Organic Goddess Dressing
4 Tbsp Annie’s Naturals Light Gingerly Vinaigrette


1. Mix the corn starch, curry, turmeric and salt in a baggie large enough to hold all the tofu.  Close it and shake to mix. 

2. Toss the tofu cubes into the bag and shake gently to coat.  Set in refrigerator 20 minutes to overnight if possible.

3. Spray a large skillet with olive oil spray and heat over medium high heat.   Add the tofu cubes in an even layer in the pan.  Once the first side is browned, toss with spatula and spread evenly so the remaining sides crisp up.  
***I sprayed additional olive oil spray several times over the tofu to prevent sticking.

4. Layer the salad greens through diced onion divided evenly over four plates.  Top each serving with 1 Tbsp of each dressing.  Toss to coat. 

5. Top salad with tofu.