Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fresh veggies and yogurt

Wow fresh tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, and zucchini what could be better!!?? I am using them in all kinds of things. Waiting for the tomatoes to ripen but the rest are coming along and I already had 10 zucchini picked.
Hopefully I will get a couple cantaloupes out of it also as they were a bit stunted with some watering issues.

I am also looking forward to a few books this winter and I am going to order from Nuts.com as I see they have chestnuts there.I also see they have maca powder, mullberries and a lot of things so there is also a wish list on that site. I will be perfecting my cashew yogurt as well I like the thickness now but would like it to be a bit thicker. This batch was made with cornstarch albeit not organic but hey you gotta work with what ya got!!! I have tapioca starch and agar agar here also. I think the agar agar will work best but it took me a couple times around the internet to see how they use it for other milks. I get it now and will be trying that also. It is rich, creamy and I added vanilla I swear it tastes just like some of the stuff I have bought in the store sans the soy!

Would you want to try it? I am in love with cashews and they also work on things in your head
I know this works I made cashew milk for two weeks and wondered one day why I was so upbeat and just found myself smiling!!! Try them they are also soft so no need for nut milk bags etc.
You can soak them if you wish but I usually don't I use 1 cup maybe 1 cup and 1 tablespoon to 5 cups of hot water put it in the Vitamix and turn it on. I use this for my yogurt, my creamer, my smoothies, over cereal, just for anything. I also make alfredo sauce out of these, white sauce, whipped topping you name it they just work for everything. 

Well enough on those as I can go on and on about the benefits of them also for your heart too.
I also like the fact that my things usually have very very few ingredients and no additives. 
So with that bit of news I will be off to enjoy my muesli and anxiously await the arrival of my new Cuisinart Yogurt Maker that also does the cooling!!!
Until next time 
Keep it Plantiful

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Happy Saturday

This is a picture of my amazing garden area at work. I work for the Earth2o bottled water company. I stack empty bottles as they come out of the blow molding machines. We inspect them then put them on a palletizer and they are ready to be filled with the absolute best water ever! The gardens there are a way to use the runoff water from the filling machines it goes into a huge tank then is pumped out to our garden area. It is also a green company as well. This is not the latest picture it has almost tripled in size. I have gotten 7 zucchini already, I have about 20 tomatoes on the plant, somewhere around 60 lemon cucumbers and my cantaloupe are also on their way. Oh and I have 4 acorn squash as well. I am having a blast with this I did not do it last year as I had already planted mine here however they grow up there like there is something going on. It must be the water LOL. 

Today I am making yogurt and zucchini chips. I am enjoying my Saturday as I usually do.  Tomorrow is yard day and then to work out a few things in my head to start making more of my own food. I have grown a lot of things so far but would like to continue this so I am looking at building some sort of  something maybe a few straw bales for sides something like that. I will think this through then keep you up on that.

Any plans? Mine are just to hang out and not do much it is headed for the dog days of summer so time to relax and then get ready for fall and winter. 

Happy Saturday everyone
Until Next Time
Keep it Plantiful

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Thursday

Good Thursday everyone
Well here I sit trying to get my house cooled off before I leave for work. It hit 100 degrees in that building yesterday and that is not a lot of fun! Very hard on my body anyway. I am hydrated but still you are uncomfortable to say the least and then in the winter it is a brisk 50 degrees so the same. It is a huge building so I understand and that is part of the manufacturing world for sure. 
I am just grateful for having a job that is 40 hours a week so I just keep moving forward.

I am also surrounded by wildfires here so the air to say the least is very smoky. This is not the healthiest time to be outdoors either. I work 17 miles away which is closer to the fires and there is ash falling in the air there. It will get here though usually does and this is a typical Central Oregon summer. Being so hot and dry and most of these are due to the 1000's of lightening strikes last weekend. I always feel bad for the displaced animals who lose their homes when this happens. This is mother nature doing some house cleaning -- but it still bothers me.

As for the food part of it well I am still drinking my smoothies for my brunch every day, my lunch at work yesterday was just some cucumbers and crackers. Heat and food with me are not to be combined well.
I did put some celery, cucumber and apple in my NutriBullet but I was not too thrilled so after trying to drink it I decide hmmmm a great base for gazpacho so that is what I am doing with it this weekend. I froze it and it will be there waiting for the rest of the ingredients. I love gazpacho.  When I have things that don't always work out well I try to think of something else they will work with or at least turn into. I don't like to waste things and it happens to me. I am trying very hard but I am not a menu oriented person but I should be would be good however when the day comes to eat a certain thing what if I am not in the same mood as when I wrote it? What do you do?  Being a trained chef it is so much easier to make something quickly and I can literally make some of the worst foods taste great so no need for the menu then? I will see if I can start this fall and get the menu thing going. It would be great for the shopping list. 

What is up next I really don't know. I always have things going on in my head -paint my shirts, work on some recipes for this blog,just some hints and tips for cooking quickly, whatever comes to my mind.
I need to really think this out. I would like to make a few bucks on the side. I have dreams of a lot of things and being close to 60 well sometimes I think it is too late other times I think HECK NO!!! My one dream is to have a food cart that just sells potato dishes period. Just spuds that is all with all kinds of toppings that sort of thing. I make some awesome potato items. Sort of a spudnation sort of thing LOL. I think it would work and it would be fairly easy to do with just potatoes. Just ides running inside my head all of the time. I am sort of a leftover hippie, listening to that different drummer for sure. 

Well here is my dessert from last night

Maple, Banana and Walnut Ice Dream

Bananas-frozen but thawed a bit for the dessert bullet
Maple syrup 
You put in according to your tastes 
This tastes like maple walnut ice cream I did this in the dessert bullet but if you add some nut milk you can also make it a shake.
Enjoy the day
Until Next time
Keep in Plantiful

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Great Sunday

I am sharing a picture of the park I literally live inside of. Yes I do this is Smith Rock State Park. It was a muggy morning but I got out and walked my 2 miles today. It sure felt good feet were rocking it!!! No pain took my Exterstrider Poles too got a great workout in. It has been hot here in the mid to upper 90's all week and the same for next week. We had thunderstorms today.

I also got my new toys a NutriBullet and a DessertBullet WOW is all I can say about them. They work wonderfully. The Nutribullet is just the best for small things and the dessert bullet well I tossed my Yonanas machine in the trash today. This is so much quieter and does a wonderful wonderful job of making fruit into a frozen dessert.  I also used my Vitamix this weekend too. I made some salad dressing without any oil it turned out pretty good really. It will get a bit of a rest though the Nutribullet is more my size and does a nice job of things. I also drank more tea thanks to the coffeemaker. So all it all my new toys are proving to be very very helpful around here. I love kitchen gadgets but am finding I am spending more $$ and getting better quality ones also. The dehydrator is an Excalibur, Vitamix, Nutribullet, Cuisinart, KitchenAid that sort of thing. The only way I afford any of this is QVC or HSN on the payment plans but I am glad I got them.
The dehydrator will get more use this winter it puts off quite a bit of heat so not when it is 81 inside am I turning that on LOL.

That has been most of my weekend learning new the new toys, walking, getting my yard work done and just relaxing a bit. I head to work tomorrow in a very very hot building as I have said usually hangs around the 93-97 degree mark in there. We do have fans but it is still hot!!!! Lots of water available though so that is nice and it is in a water cooler out on the floor so we can get nice cold water. It warms up fast though but we are drinking it and lots of it too.

Hydration is a big key for me especially if I need to get some extra pounds off from eating the salted items of which I watched very closely this weekend. Salt can just pack the pounds on me as does bread so I have given up the bread for awhile anyway. An  occasional piece here and there won't matter but other than that I am passing it up.

Well with all of that I will end this blog for today. I am off for some tea and maybe a small WFPB treat.
How about you?
Until Next Time
Keep it Plantiful

Thursday, July 10, 2014

It's Thursday!!!!

Ah this is home sweet home for me Central Oregon I love it here must I have been here 20 years!
It is going to be a warm one today and we are under a fire watch it is very very dry here in the high desert.

I am sitting here enjoying my cup of coffee(yes I do drink coffee albeit not a lot though) from my new single cup brewer. I wonder sometimes why it takes me so long to get on the bandwagon with things. I guess I have to sit back and wait and watch. 
My NutriBullet 900 and the Nutribullet dessert maker will be here tomorrow that will make it a fun weekend to finally  "NutriBlast" myself. I love my Vitamix don't get me wrong and I would be getting me a new one if it ever breaks but sometimes I want to just be able to make and take and the NutriBullet allows me to do that. 
I watched the demo for two days this weekend and am glad for my decision.

What are your favorite appliances?  I also am finding I am spending more on them and getting awesome quality ones over the less costly and buying them a lot. I did that with blenders and after you do that say 5 times you already paid for the one you thought you could not afford in the first place!!!
QVC and HSN make all of this possible anymore with flex pay oh and not to mention Fingerhut though the shipping can be a bit high from them. The products are the same, colors etc. I still have stuff from them from 25 years ago! Pick your "store" and get yourself something that will make this plantiful life easier, more fun for sure as you can do more with it and just enjoy!!! I would be lost without my cashew creamer, cashew and oat miks etc I make in my Vitamix. I do not do nut butters yet as it costs a lot for the nuts here and you have to have 24 oz to make the butter. I tried the smaller amount not the best idea but I did use my Cuisinart to finish it up. If you want the smoothest hummus you need a Vitamix or Blentec, make a "cheez" sauce or the cashew "alfredo" you need one or at least a Cuisinart/Kitchenaid food processor. 
Invest in your health that is how I think of it an investment in ME!!!!!!!!!

No added ingredients you can't pronounce just simple ingredients for a great meal. 

The Cashew "Alfredo" just fly by the seat of your pants here but it works

Raw Cashews a good handful or more
Chopped garlic
HOT water
NOTE: you can add parsley, basil, etc to this also if you so desire.
Put the cashews and any other raw nut but a peanut into the blender with the garlic 
pulse a few times to get them mixed well then turn it on and slowly add enough very hot water and watch it come to a creamy sauce consistency. Season with salt and serious black pepper. 
Toss with your favorite cooked pasta mine happens to be linguine and enjoy!!
You can top with vegan parm and if you really want a treat mix in some bacon bits that are not the real thing of course. I usually try not to add these much anymore but every now and then I like them. 

Well I had better get my work done today before I go to work but think about buying a real good appliance for yourself.
Invest in your health.
Until next time
Keep it Plantiful

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

HOT Tuesday

It is well on it's way to 95 today for sure.  I know it is not as hot as in Arizona but when you are inside a metal building it is hot enough. It will be close to 100 in there today not a fun place to be I just pace myself.
This morning has been a great one so far--up earlier as I want to start doing that I don't need to sleep more as I am now sleeping better anyway. I figured out is was the soda I gave up that was keeping me up! I do still indulge now and then but not like before. Feels good.

I made some creamy oat milk this morning which is going in my smoothies. My Cuisinart Single Coffee Maker is out for delivery today I won't get it till I get home but that is okay as long as it does not sit in the hot sun all day long. I got my Pilates in and my body will thank me. I love my reformer I am just not focused  like I used to be. I am not with a crowd of health enthusiasts anymore and that makes a huge difference. No one seems to want to learn but me! I find that odd but I still keep up or try anyway.

Today is a watermelon day for me also at work and a couple crackers. My body does not like food and heat so I take it easy in that department.

My Yogurt cultures are also on their way next purchase is the Cuisinart Yogurt Maker with the cooler in it.
I am excited I can finally make nut milk yogurts first up is Cashew of course I got a recipe off the internet that uses pectin which is found in apples to thicken it. I will try it out and then I am going to make some others.

It is going to be a great summer. Now to be able to get out and walk my long miles on Sundays that starts this weekend. I will do at least 3 miles then work up to my usual 7-12 miles. It has been a very long time but I am determined. I miss those long walks however this week I am also working 6 days and with it being such a physical job well you can imagine my body gets tired.

With that I will let you go for today.
Eat well, be well and above all
Keep it Plantiful

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Monday

Good Morning or afternoon depending on where you are at! 
I love living here! 
I am having my morning cup of Java and am excited that all of my things have shipped. I will be thrilled to get the NutriBullet I think I will use it quite a bit. I am going to try a green smoothie this morning. 
I had one almost two years ago and got a touch of food poisoning from the spinach so I have been very very gun shy ever since. However today I am going to do it!!!! I will add it in after I wash it like crazy.I buy a mix of spinach and kale and will be using that.I know I am not supposed to eat Kale in the raw form so will pick some of that out.Thyroid has to do with that and my other favorite veggies and fruits. I eat them a lot anyway but if you cook them a bit it is okay. They are goitrogens and not a good thing. 

What are you doing today? I am back to work in a very very hot building and it is supposed to hit 93 today UGH.
I will survive though I just pace myself. 
We are in the 90's all week long so welcome Summer!!!!
I even think the animals know it as the birds are not chirping outside my window today like usual. 

Up next is also how to get more pictures on here. I am not very good at keeping my camera with me at all times so I will have to learn that one!!! I am not even good at keeping my phone with me for pictures. 
This will have to be addressed when I want to share recipes and things with everyone.
I am not a fussy cook by any means. I sometimes just throw things together and don't look back :-))
I can usually take a recipe of 18 steps and get that down to 5 or so. No need for a lot of work unless you like that sort of thing and being a professional chef for years in a kitchen you really do not have time to do a lot of extra steps. Some things cannot be "veganized" but most can. 
My focus has always been on flavor and patience when cooking. Rarely do  I like to rush things other than when I get home from work. Bean dishes can cook all day long to get the flavor that is wanted. Stews need to simmer, sauces etc The upside of this is that it just wraps the house in great smells.
Quick items like a baked potato in the microwave is fine. My mac and cheese should have been baked but I was hungry so I did hurry that one up. I will put the sauce on  here this week. Get the nutritional yeast ready. I also mixed it all in my Vitamix before I heated it up it was so smooooooooth. 

Well enough rambling for this morning. Keep at your goals. I am trying to lose the last 12 pounds wish me luck. This picture says it all however I will add that it is almost all diet. Exercise is great for your heart, muscles etc however your diet will do more for your body than anything.

Until next time 
Keep it Plantiful

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Glorious Sunday

Happy Sunday everyone
Well the above picture shows what is on it's way to me!!! I can hardly wait. Yes I do have a Vitamix but it is not as portable as this. I still LOVE MY VITAMIX  oh and they are on QVC today as a special value.
I also got the Dessert Bullet and the insulated bag to go with it. I shopped a bit much this weekend!!!!!
I will use them all for sure as I am sitting here enjoying my banana,mango and coconut smoothie. These seem to do the trick for me really really well especially as the thermometer is headed for the 90's today.

I am cleaning out my pantry today and pouring the water onto my yard with 97 degrees for Tuesday it will be  glad I did. 

There is a slight breeze outside, sun is up and oh such a beautiful morning. I even got my Pilates in today.
A few more chores and I can just sit back and enjoy the day.
What are you up too? 

I won't be doing much cooking today as I am eating leftovers from the other day. The 4 bean salad with the the 3-2-1 dressing worked out really really well.

Keep it Plantiful everyone 
I will be back later
Enjoy this glorious day!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Good Saturday morning everyone!!!

Today is another gorgeous day here in Central Oregon.
I love living here lots and lots of sun and there are definitely 4 seasons. I had a great day yesterday. I spent a few bucks though last night some impulsive buys but I have looked at them for a very long time.
I own a Vitamix but I ordered the NutriBullet and the NutriBullet Dessert maker also. I love my Vitamix but sometimes I wish it was not as large, I could just take it with me etc so the bullet should address those issues. I can finally take it with me. It was a great deal on HSN also extra flex pays, free shipping etc. I also own a Yonannas but the dessert bullet seems to also do more stuff so we shall see. I have almost 12 pounds ore more of bananas in the freezer right now. I am going to continue with this tradition of buying at least 8 lbs every week and freezing them. I am lost without my smoothie everyday to keep me going till at least 6 p.m. and they do!!!!!

What are your favorite gadgets? I am quite the gadget owner however I also use them ALL can you imagine one person can use all of these.I have no regrets I am just spending a bit much this summer. My reward for working in 95 degrees and 6 days a week I guess. Well not all 6 day weeks but next week is again.
My plants at work in the garden are just growing like weeds!!! I have blossoms everywhere so I am anxiously awaiting the fruits lemon cucumbers, zucchini, cantaloupe and acorn squash. I have radishes, potatoes, Swiss chard, spinach etc growing at home. 

I am headed to town for my cashews today, some new pants as mine are worn out or too big nice problem to have. The Dollar Store for my frozen fruits they have some of the best stuff and only a dollar!!!

Enjoy your Saturday I am going to just hang out, rest my back which is on the fritz and take in the beautiful weather.

Until next time
Keep it Plantiful

Here is a recipe from Engine 2


I’ve never met a Texan who doesn’t like migas. The word is derived from the Spanish word for crumbs, and the dish is traditionally made using eggs, cheese, sausage, tortillas, and salsa. Part of the Tex-Mex food culture, it’s a dish that creates a very satisfying melody of tastes. Served with a side of healthy refried beans, corn tortillas, salsa, and fresh fruit, with this dish mornings just don’t get much better???


1 onion, chopped

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 pound firm tofu, drained, pressed with a cloth, and mashed

1 teaspoon turmeric

3 corn tortillas cut into 1 inch squares

1 can fat-free vegetarian refried beans, warmed in non-stick skillet

Salsa (see page 00)

4 corn tortillas (enjoy them the same way you would toast, or to make little tacos)


Sauté onion in non-stick skillet on medium heat with a little water or low sodium vegetable broth for 3 minutes or until translucent.

Add mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook for 7 minutes or until most of their juices have been cooked away.

Add tofu, turmeric, and tortillas squares. Cook for a few minutes, or until mixture is warmed through.

Place a generous spoonful of migas on a plate and top with salsa. Or, serve in corn tortillas for breakfast tacos!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!!!!


Happy 4th of July to everyone!!!!

I just got home and unpacked my groceries for the upcoming week. I even got all of my bananas in the freezer and I mean there were a lot of them close to 10#. I get to buy the brown ones in a bag for 99cents!!!
You can't beat that price. I love my smoothies before work so I am lost without my bananas. 

I will also be making a 4 bean salad today and using Jane Esselstyn's 3-2-1 dressing very very easy to make the recipes are to follow . I love the beans but this with a little red onion mixed in will be perfect. 

Just a cloudy day here today but oh so much cooler than it has been and the heat wave is on it's way from what I can see anyway. 

What are you making today? Grilled Corn on the Cob? salads, carrot dogs?, bean burgers, potatoes etc.
Whatever it is enjoy it and keep it Plantiful.
Here is the recipe for the dressing and visit this site for more recipes. It is also not a bad idea to read those books they are from either 

Jane's 3-2-1 Dressing

3 parts Balsamic Vinegar
2 parts Mustard -any kind you like
1 part maple syrup or other sweetener
Mix and enjoy!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Weekend ahead

Well it is finally here Thursday. I am so glad tomorrow is a day off and a day of rest for this old body. I somehow pulled a muscle in my back at work and it sure does act up at night!!!

I will be doing some cooking tomorrow, a bit of shopping at the local store gotta get my watermelon and then home to just hang out. I may go for a walk depends on how I am feeling. I miss my walks but this job has sort of just really put a strain on my body. We move 8 hours a day turning, lifting, etc.

Well enough of that now what is on the food agenda? Well carrot dogs on buns for sure, some potato salad, hummus, mac and cheez and whatever else I can find. Oh and a HUGE chocolate shake out of bananas and cocoa powder. I love those things. Maybe some popcorn later in the day. A nice salad with some hummus dressing? Oh and I will nibble on watermelon all day long. I can make myself sick with that stuff I just love it.
 It sounds like a lot but not really most of it is already made.
The carrot dogs are easy I will just pick up the buns albeit the wrong kind but oh well. I may even opt to wrap them in a tortilla instead. Seems that bread will just put weight on me. I do not like that !!!!!
It is much easier to eat potatoes and watch it fall off than to eat a piece of bread and notice the scale rising.

The carrot dog recipe can easily be googled and they do come out nicely. I do use a bit of oil with the popcorn as I do have a few exceptions to the no oil rule but I think I have two of them. Popcorn and Veganise on a sandwich now and then.

Next week the Cuisinart Coffee Brewer arrives I will be glad-- I can then enjoy some tea when I get home, a decaf coffee etc. I really don't drink much so this will be less wasteful also. It comes with a K Cup filter so I can still use my coffee not buy the pods but I want to be able to do both. It also says you can brew it right over ice for iced drinks that will be fabulous. I know I will use it and I try everything!!!

I am starting to just purchase very very good brand appliances. They make life easier and sometimes I wonder why I did not do it sooner. The Excalibur Dehydrator was one of them. It is the best I don't use it everyday but I do use it a lot when I do. I can hardly wait to make zucchini chips from my plant at work it is just HUGE.

Well I think that is all for today I am just rambling on.
Have a wonderful 4th.
Until next time
Keep it Plantiful.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday everyone.
Well it is half way for me today WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!! I got on the scale this morning which I do not do very often and guess what down another 2 lbs. Drink your water!!! I know this is what helped me a LOT. If you do not drink enough it can inhibit any kind of weight loss you are looking for. It is also great for your skin, just everything really. It is supposed to be hot here today 93 degrees first for us this summer so far. I am catching the Extended Interviews from Forks over Knives this morning before work keeps me focused. I love these doctors they make so much sense to me and it works!!!

I think I will make my kalamata hummus which is really just chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic and olives all pureed up I love that stuff. The I put it on toast with sliced tomatoes what a great looking open face sandwich. It is also very rich so be careful.

I use the base recipe from Engine 2 you can find it on line. I do not add the braggs but you can if you would like. This stuff is addictive but oh so good and you can eat as much as you would like.

Date Nut smoothie this morning then some hummus and flaxseed crackers etc life is good. I get a 3 day weekend and am so looking forward to it. Some working outside, shopping for my favorite foods and some painting of shirts.

Life is good.
Until next time
Keep it Plantiful