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UPDATE:  I’ve found that stir frying the vegetables for 2-3 minutes before adding the rice improves the dish’s overall texture.  Also, I have eliminated the olive oil and used 2 Tablespoons of sesame oil only.  I like the more nutty taste this produces.  Please try it both ways, then let me know which version you like better.  🙂


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Beans are good for you.  Yes, they have a high percentage of carbohydrates, and yes, they are the good carbohydrates – complex carbohydrates.  Because of that, beans have a low glycemic index, which means they do not cause a blood sugar spike and its associated health problems the way refined sweet carbs like desserts and white bread do.  What beans can cause is gassmoke-yellow-sm, but that can be eliminated by soaking and rinsing before cooking.

 I usually keep beans on hand – cooked and ready to mix or to eat.  Several of my favorite plant-based meals call for beans of one kind or another so cooking a pound or two ahead of time streamlines chow time.  After the cardiac episode, I preferred to err on the side of caution and completely omitted canned beans from grocery lists.  Also, I found cooking much cheaper $$$ if I used dry beans instead of canned.  

With the tiniest bit of planning ahead  dried beans are no more trouble to prepare either.  If you don’t already own a crock pot, this might be the time to think about it.  One of those implements does all the bean cookin’ work for you – what little there is of it.


SOURCES:  The Bean Institute

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HEALTHY EATING 2: Burg Substitute

Everybody has a go to meal – the one fixed when time is short, nerves are frayed, and everyone is starving.  Mine was hamburger on a plate with a potato and a green vegetable.  Slap the burgers in the pan, the potatoes in the oven, and steam the frozen goodies.  That was the so-called healthy quick food my former self offered regularly.    Everyone needed to dress up the naked potatoes with something  – butter, sour cream, gravy… Steamed green beans beside all that grease, well it is no surprise that vegetables were force fed.  Making a sweeping change broom-1in eating habits is very hard to do AND to maintain.  So how to make it easier?

I had to come up with something fast.  The obvious solution was a look-alike substitute.  My new go-to substitute is NutBurgs.  [My own jargon.]   I can still accessorize them with a potato and frozen vegs if I am too tired for words, or I can get a little fancier and healthier and cut up fresh vegetables with  herbs.  Either way vegetable sides are pretty easy to throw together.  More on the those later. 

 They look just like the real thing, don't they?
Ready to go into the oven. They look just like the real thing, don’t they?
Cooking in olive oil on stove top.

  I scanned the online recipes for veggie burgers and my favorite of them is the original recipe below.  The variation is a more efficient use of ingredients, but tastes about the same.  The Throw Together version is easiest, most efficient and tastes by far the best, in my opinion. 



Seasoning options:

When I throw the ingredients together to make burgers like the ones pictured, I add a couple of handfuls of chopped pecans or chopped walnuts.  It gives the burgers a nice texture.  If you like a zing in your food, add your favorite hot pepper to the mix.


Find or create a substitute meal for your go-to.  Having it in your mind and back pocket helps you through the witching hours.

Icons made by Freepik from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY
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We celebrate everything we can think to party about at our house.  So when we restricted our diet recently, I realized I needed to get creative — and fast!  Everyone needs a birthday cake after all.cake madebyoliverAfter piddling around with my family recipes for a while, I realized that substitution was the only thing to do.   I started experimenting with my favorite:  Banana Bread.  EAT_COMPLETELY VEGAN BANANA BREAD I tried many vegan and vegetarian recipes, but never got the results I wanted.  After a large pile of discarded loaves, I went back to my grandmother’s recipe and simply changed the flour to unbleached  100% whole wheat and the sugar to pure maple syrup in exactly the same proportions as the original ingredients.  The big change was in the way I stirred.  I found I could not over-mix and end up with anything edible.  So I now mix everything by hand.  Surprisingly, the stirring actually takes less time than getting out the mixer, setting up the mixer, over-mixing, washing the mixer, and putting away the mixer.  All I need is the wooden spoon.


honeymaple syrup or molasses

for sugar

Be careful when shopping for sweeteners.  Ignore the marketing label.  That is the part with the product name in pretty colors and a nice picture.  Go to the less attractive back of the packaging and read the ingredients list.  These products should have only ONE ingredient:  maple syrup or honey or pure molasses.  If the jar includes anything else, put it back on the shelf.

sugar chart for printing

image from

 Some are OK with using stevia and Xylitol, but my choice is to stick with old fashioned and pure sweeteners only.


Thank you to Madebyoliver for the b’day cake mage.

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We rececardiogramntly began eating Vegan at my house because of the HUB’s heart attack. It came out of nowhere, and he felt no particular symptoms prior to his heart failing.

My mom had been counselling him for years to cut out all that milk drinking, limit your pizza food-23and burger consumption, and ‘I am surprised you can hold another piece of pie, cake, cookies’, and food-23so on…..He wasn’t a pig,  just honestly hungry all the time.

I, on the other hand, had grown up eating healthyfruit-14 foods. We ate like stormtroopers but  my brothers and I were the skinniest of the skinny kids.   At the ball field, the fruit-23swimming pool, on hikes and all the other places, my mom packed sandwiches and fruit and juice for us insteadfruit-31 of allowing us to eat from the concession stand like the other kids.  What a drag! We ate sweets, but infrequently. We didn’t feel deprived though.  I was lucky that my mom was so far ahead of her time in her thinking.  I carry those habits still today.

Sometime in the 1990s, I suddenly realized I was feeling bizarre. I began to feel uncomfortably fullpregnant-woman after eating. Combating that, I cut back on portions, thinking I must be eating too much without realizing it. I had also begun to gain a few pounds,sumo-fighter I blamed that on unrelieved stress and increased my daily exercise. None of this seemed to help much. A lot more YOGAstretching-exercises relieved the uncomfortable-after-meals sensations for a little while, but soon I was hungry again – not a little hungry, but really, stomach-growling, tired-feeling hungry.

What in the heck was going on with me? Was I falling apart? scaredDid I have some elusive and uncommon digestive or circulatory disease? I ate the highest quality cuts of meat, concentrated on lean beef, white poultry, and fish. I loaded up on the fresh vegetables I love. I forced fruits that I do not love so much.

When the cardiologist told the HUB to discontinue eating

animal-based foods,

processed foods from the grocery store,

and restaurant foods

if he wanted to heal from his heart attack, I wondered if we could do it.

I am describing a lifestyle change…not a diet or an occasional change of meal plan or anything else small.  cutlery-set-on-a-plateIf you are thinking of changing you eating habits, and you must be or you wouldn’t have read this far into the post, you will need to go whole hog. Mixing vegan dishes with your usual salt, sugar, and chemical laden choices will never work. The vegan dishes will taste flat, and your jaded taste buds will continue to lie to you. Remember this. Your taste buds have been adhourglassdicted to refined sugar and salt in massive quantities. Your body needs to acclimate. As your body cleans itself of wastes and residue left behind and begins to heal, your tastes will change and it won’t take very long.

Thanks to    FLATICON  for images.

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