Category Archives: Cooking

Vegan Lentil Loaf

If you are a meat eater, this dish probably isn’t going to look too appetizing to you. But, for us veggie’s, this is a little piece of heaven. Regardless, my carnivorous eating family enjoyed the dish. I’m not vegan, but this recipe happens to be such. Easy to make, serve with a side salad or bowl of soup.

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Here’s how to make it:
1 1/2 cups lentils
3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth (I used broth)
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups pre-cooked rice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ketchup or bbq sauce
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees.
In a large soup or stock pot, simmer the lentils in water or veggie broth until cooked, about 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly then mash the lentils until they are half mashed.
Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.
Combine the onions, garlic and olive oil with the mashed lentils, rice, salt, sage, ketchup and Italian seasoning.
Gently press the mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan (I used a 9×13 dish). Drizzle a bit of ketchup and bbq sauce on top.
Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly before serving, as this will help the lentil loaf to firm up. Serves about 6 adults.

Vegetarian does NOT = Boring!

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Tofu chili, with a delicious “sweet” tamale.
My tummy is happy after eating this veggie chili. I grabbed a home made tamale out of the freezer and threw it on top of the chili, yum!!

TOFU CHILI
1 package of tofu, baked (see recipe below)
2 15 oz cans of pinto beans (or refried beans) (do not drain)
2 15 oz cans of red kidney beans (do not drain)
1 15 oz can of of diced tomatoes
1 medium sliced zucchini
1 2.25 oz can of sliced olives
1 packet of taco seasoning (1 tsp for tofu, the rest for the pot)
1/3 cup of whole grain brown rice (any rice is fine though)
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
2 green onions diced
3 TBsp olive oil.

Baked tofu:
Drain tofu and lightly press with paper towel to absorb a little of the water. Slice tofu length wise and place on greased cookie sheet. Using about 1 teaspoon of the packet of taco seasoning, Light dust top and sides of tofu with taco seasoning. Safe the rest of the taco seasoning for the cooking process. Place in pre-heated over 400 degrees, for 20 min. After 20 min, turn tofu to brown on another side, bake for another 15, repeat one more time. Total baking time about an hour. Let tofu cool and dice into small chunks. Set aside. You can bake up to a day ahead of time.

Heat olive oil on high, until hot. Toss in the onions, garlic, rice and cooked tofu. Stir constantly while browning, about 2 min. Turn heat down to medium heat. Put in all ingredients except the zucchini. Bring to a quick boil, then put on low heat. Cook for five minutes, then toss in the sliced zucchini, then turn off heat. DONE! Let sit for up to half hour before serving, it will thicken up nicely while waiting. Salt to taste πŸ™‚ Even better the next day!!
Enjoy!

Cold Pasta Salad

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I don’t eat pasta too often, but this is well worth the calories!
Boil 12oz of your favorite pasta, as directed. Put pasta in refrigerator to cool down. Once cold, pull it out of refrigerator, and add all ingredients. Easy!!
Here’s what I put this time….
1 can of small olives
A hand full of salami (chopped)
1/2-3/4 cup of your favorite Italian (oil based) dressing
1 bag of shredded Swiss cheese
2 firm avocado’s diced
A couple of small home-grown bell peppers
1/3 cup diced cucumber
A small handful of cherry tomatoes (from my garden)
1 small red onion-diced

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Quick & Easy Pizza-Audrey Briggs

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What you will need
1 can of crescent dough
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1 tiny can of sliced olives (just about 1/4 cup)
5 large basil basil leafs, minced
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Other toppings you can add; crushed garlic, sliced tomatoes, peppers, onions, zucchini, pretty much anything that you like to eat.

Heat oven to 400 Fahrenheit

Spray pizza pan with oil spray.
Pop open canned dough, lay on pan and use a rolling pin make the dough larger.
Spread cheese over entire dough
One at a time, spread remaining toppings.
Place in the middle of your oven. Check after 10 minutes for doneness. The pizza is done once the dough is a nice soft brown. Slice immediately. Serves about 4 adults, or 1 hungry teen-aged boy! Hahaha!

Audrey’s Fancy Egg Salad Sandwich

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Boil 4 eggs, peal and chop
2 avocado’s chopped-Avo’s should be firm, not squishy, if possible
1 Table spoon blue cheese
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard
3 Tablespoons plain, non fat yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients. Toast 2 pieces of your favorite bread, place a piece of iceberg lettuce to cover toasted bread. Scoop desired amount of egg salad onto lettuce, top with 2nd piece of toasted bread. Yields about 4 sandwiches.

Try a variety. You could also add any or all of the following; pickles, relish, black olives, green olives, garlic, finely chopped cucumber. Play with it πŸ™‚

Signs Of Happy Times

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These ugly cookie sheets mean more to me than a mess to clean up! It reminds me of all the years my mom spent with me, teaching me how to bake. My 3 children (ages 20, 17, 11) still love to help me in the kitchen, or at least be the first to take a hot cookie off the cooling rack!

I took a 1/2 dozen to my nail girl today. Want to know a way to an angry, hurt or lonely person? HOME MADE COOKIES!

Ps. I will be blogging a new, fantastic cookie recipe very soon! (peanut butter with Nutella, swirl!)
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Healthier Food Choices at Disney Parks

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I very rarely eat “fast food”. Sometimes when I travel I eat foods that I’m not use to, then I don’t feel so great. You know what I mean. You get that heavy, bloated feeling. It’s easy to find the fun stuff like pizza, churros or popcorn (see my upcoming post about that! LoL), but it’s not as fun as it use to be. I usually bring some food with me when I travel. Such as trail mix, instant oatmeal, protein bars,etc, but those aren’t meals. I like to have a least one real meal per day. When I took my niece to Disneyland a few weeks ago, she really liked to have 3 meals a day, LoL! I don’t like to eat that much, but this trip was about her, so we ate 3 square meals every day.

Look at this beautiful salad! That was my dinner. Complete with craisons, nuts and golden California raisins, my tummy was so happy! The dressing was a simple vinaigrette. Jessica chose a pesto and cheese filled ravioli, topped with pine nuts, tomatoes and a bit of Parmesan! Of course I had to try one πŸ˜‰ I stay away from pastas and cheeses, but this was a relatively “healthier” alternative to say, nacho’s or something.

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You may have to search a bit to find healthier types of food, but it’s out there πŸ™‚

Eating “Clean”

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1/2 cup of cooked (boiled) pinto beans, 1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese and 1/2 of an avocado. Dash of salt and pepper to taste.
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This meal breaks down as follows; 90 calories for the cheese, 120 calories for the avocado and 120 calories for the beans. That’s a good and healthy meal under 400 calories, and it’s filling! Men would need a bit more volume and calories.
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If your stomach can handle hot sauce, I would put some salsa verde to this! Or maybe some pico de’gallo πŸ™‚

In California I am lucky to have so many fresh foods at my finger tips! As a vegetarian avocado’s are a big part of my life. In the past 6 years I have cut out soda, fast food and processed foods to the best of my ability. The change of my eating habits have caused me to feel a lot less bloated (yes, even eating the beans, lol!), fewer headaches, and an over all “healthy” feeling.