Vegan Egg Nog

Two years ago, I became reacquainted with a traditional holiday drink, egg nog. During the Christmas season, I enjoyed a nightly cup of the store purchased variety, with a splash of rum added. However, last year, adhering to a plant based lifestyle, I didn’t want to drink egg nog, at least not the sugar laden dairy version with eggs in it. I searched everywhere for a non dairy, sugar free product in the stores, without success. I looked for a recipe online, so I could make it myself, but my search didn’t turn up a good, plant based one.

Today, without any effort on my part, I found a vegan egg nog recipe, posted on a Medical Medium Support Facebook page. I knew it was completely compatible with my chosen diet, and I couldn’t wait to try it. After a busy day, tonight I created my first dairy, egg, sugar and alcohol free egg nog. My daughters teased me, when I mentioned during a group text that I was excited to try this drink, asking me what it was, exactly, since this egg nog doesn’t contain any of the traditional ingredients. It’s more properly a faux egg nog. Or a non nog!

I already had all of the ingredients on hand. Here is the simple recipe, from Incredible Smoothies.

I used unsweetened coconut almond milk. Any non dairy milk would be fine. I have whole cloves so I broke one in two and tossed half into the blender. I purchase very ripe bananas on sale at the grocery store, chop them up, and keep them in the freezer for smoothies and making banana ice cream. I had frozen bananas ready to use.

My new Ninja Blender quickly turned the assembled ingredients into a thick, cold, creamy drink. The frozen bananas sweetened the nog naturally and gave it some body. I added an additional sprinkle of cinnamon across the top, and took my first sip.

This non nog was so good! I preferred to keep it alcohol free as well, however a splash of rum could be added. The cinnamon, nutmeg and clove piece gave it that classic egg nog taste. I could enjoy it without concern about foods on my “no” list.

I am grateful that the plant based egg nog recipe I was searching for last year, found me. In the past 12 months I have come to appreciate a variety of wonderful, health boosting drinks that I can sip on in the evenings. Perhaps because of that, I had not felt compelled to hunt for a healthy egg nog this year. I’m glad for the recipe however. It is a tasty addition to my night time drink choices.

Cheers! And Merry Christmas!

4 Bean Vegan Chili

On cold winter evenings, a bowl of steaming hot chili makes a satisfying and warming meal. I have used a chili recipe for many years, adapted from one my dad created. Since going plant based, I have tried several chili recipes I found online or in cookbooks. They tasted fine. And yet I still felt compelled to keep trying, keep looking.

Ultimately, I ended up creating a recipe of my own.

This simple to make chili comes together in minutes, and uses easily found ingredients. I used organic, and non GMO, canned goods from the grocery store, with fresh veggies such as onion, green bell pepper and garlic.

Putting together this recipe gave me the opportunity of also try out a recipe maker. The app I selected works well enough, but doesn’t have a format that makes it suitable for using in my blog posts. I will keep searching.

I chose to use pinto, black, great northern and red kidney beans, however, any variety of beans could be used. I want to add lima beans next time. More, or less, seasoning could be used. And red bell pepper could be substituted for the green.

I liked the ease of preparation and the spicy aroma that filled my kitchen as the pot of chili simmered on the stove. I diced an avocado and anticipated a homey, warming bowl of chili.

I was not disappointed. This was a very tasty chili, and exactly what I have been looking for. That old adage that says “if you want something done right, do it yourself”, rings true in this case. I created what I was looking for.

There isn’t any meat in this recipe, but there is wholesomeness, goodness and lots of love. I think my dad would approve.

My First Chia Pudding

Until recently, the only thing I knew about chia seeds was that you could grow them on clay figurines, creating the look of “hair”. As a kid, I never had a chia pet, so during my Year of Firsts in 2014 I bought one and had fun sprouting the chia seeds.

Because of that connection, I was a bit dubious about consuming chia seeds. However, during my healing journey, I’ve learned these little seeds are considered a super food, full of health boosting benefits. I routinely add a spoonful to my morning smoothies. I’ve seen recipes for chia pudding, made from the same little seeds, but I have not tried a recipe…until today. Anthony William shared a simple basic chia pudding recipe and I thought, I must try this.

The basic recipe couldn’t be more easy.

Chia Pudding

• 1 cup dairy free milk ( almond or coconut)

• 1/4 cup chia seeds

Combine ingredients and let chill overnight in refrigerator. Top with favorite fruits and nuts.

I purchase bags of chia seeds at the Walmart Market. They are found in the baking aisle. And I love the unsweetened almond coconut milk blend, available in the refrigerator section wherever milk is sold. Two brands I’ve tried and like are Almond Breeze and Silk.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein, vitamins E and B complex, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. They are higher in Omega 3 fatty acids than any other food and they are particularly beneficial for chronic inflammation, heart disease, brain function, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Chia seeds also combat diabetes by helping to stabilize and control blood sugar levels.

I started chia pudding this afternoon, so I could sample it this evening. As it set up in the fridge, I searched on Pinterest for more recipes. There are many ways to create a variety of chia puddings, starting with the basic recipe and then adding fruits, nuts, unsweetened chocolate, maple syrup and other healthy foods.

Inspired, I headed back into the kitchen to create a blueberry chia pudding to have as a midmorning or afternoon treat tomorrow. For this pudding, I used a small wide mouth mason jar.

Blueberry Chia Pudding

• 1 cup unsweetened non dairy milk, such as almond or coconut

• 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries

• 1/4 cup chia seeds

Combine milk and blueberries in a blender. Process until berries and milk are well mixed. Pour into a small mason jar. Add chia seeds. Screw on jar lid and shake to mix blueberry milk with seeds. Chill in refrigerator overnight to set. Top with additional blueberries and nuts before eating.

These puddings are so easy to make! I have ideas for a variety of chia puddings. Tomorrow I will be at the grocery store, stocking up on small mason jars, chia seeds and plenty of fruits, unsweetened coconut and nuts such as walnuts and pecans. I saved recipes for such delights as pumpkin pie chia pudding and chocolate raspberry chia pudding. I will be playing with these recipes and coming up with some of my own. (The blueberry chia pudding is one I created using the basic recipe as the foundation.)

Tonight I intended to dress up the basic recipe by topping it with sliced bananas, wild blueberries and walnuts. However, the pudding isn’t completely set up yet. I don’t want to rush it. I will let it chill overnight and add an update to this post in the morning. And I’m excited to sample the blueberry chia pudding tomorrow and create more fun variations.

No more chia pets. I have a much better, and more beneficial, use for these amazing little seeds.

Sweet Potatoes with Braised Cabbage

This time of year, with its cooler, shorter days, I appreciate food that comforts and nurtures, without compromising my health. This colorful and nutritious meal is so satisfying, and it is not only full of flavor but full of health benefits as well.

This recipe comes from Life-Changing Foods, by Anthony William. In his second book, Anthony writes about 50 of the best foods to eat to heal and maintain health and wellness. Each chapter lists the benefits of the food and what conditions and symptoms it eases, and there are even sections on how that particular food provides emotional and spiritual support. For every food listed, there is a wonderful recipe to try. This book has been invaluable to me.

Sweet potatoes promote productive bacteria in the stomach, small intestine and colon, while starving out unproductive bacteria and fungi. These more colorful cousins of regular potatoes enhance the body’s production of vitamin B12. They are also packed with carotenoids, which are extremely powerful and protect against a host of cancers.

Sweet potatoes also rid the body of unusable, cancer causing estrogen that interferes with hormone function. And if insomnia is an issue, this potato will aid in a sound night’s sleep.

I’ve always enjoyed sweet potatoes, which made me an oddity as a child! As an adult I quit adding additional sweetness, in the form of brown sugar or marshmallows, nor do I douse my orange spuds in butter. I most often eat a baked sweet potato plain, with sprinkles of sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper. However, this easy to prepare recipe is a wonderful way to dress up my sweet potato in a healthy way.

These are so delicious. I love the tangy sauce that tops the stuffed sweet potato. Anthony writes that if you need some coddling, there is nothing more comforting than a baked sweet potato. I agree!

And this comfort food will not have an adverse effect on my body. What I have known in my life as comfort food rarely provided anything more a sugar rush or an excuse to overeat and twinges of guilt. Not so with the humble and benefit packed sweet potato.

This recipe will be prepared frequently this fall and winter.

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Thumbprint Cookies

I know fall has arrived, no matter what the temps are outside, when I wake up full of energy, and with a strong desire to cook! A trip to the market today yielded bags of veggies, fruit, gluten free brown rice pasta, and staples to make a variety of healthy, plant based meals this weekend.

And, I picked up the ingredients to try a new recipe from Anthony William…Thumbprint Cookies.

Among the many things that I appreciate about Anthony is that he continually offers health information and new ways to prepare foods in healthy ways. These cookies are grain…and gluten…free, dairy free, and don’t contain refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The ingredient list is wholesome and the cookies are easy to prepare.

Thumbprint Cookies by Anthony William



• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond flour

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/2 cup tahini

• 1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla

• 1/2 cup white sesame seeds

• 1/2 cup raspberry sugar free jam (or other flavor) or make your own sugar free fruit jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Whisk together and set aside. Combine tahini, coconut sugar and vanilla in a food processor and process. Add flour mixture to processor and combine until smooth and mixture sticks together. If mixture is crumbly, add a small amount of water slowly until dough sticks together. Form dough into balls and roll in sesame seeds. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and make an indentation in the center of each cookie with thumb. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool. Add a small dollop of jam to each cookie. Makes about a dozen cookies.

The cookies only took a few minutes to prepare and pop into the oven. I purchase tahini, which is a paste made from sesame seeds, from a local health food store. I also use it making homemade hummus and dressings. I bought coconut sugar for the first time today, finding it at my usual food market. It resembles brown sugar and has a rich, not-too-sweet flavor.

I could not find the white sesame seeds, so I did not roll my cookie balls in it. I will check the health food store for this item and include the sesame seeds next time. And instead of raspberry sugar free jam, I used apricot “Just Fruit” jam, which doesn’t contain sugar or corn syrup.

These wonderful treats are good for me. The tahini, and sesame seeds when included, strengthen the nervous system and improve thyroid function. Raspberries are a powerful antioxidant that removes toxic impurities from the body. Apricots are an antioxidant as well, and rich in vitamin A. They strengthen the heart, blood and bones.

The thumbprint cookies were wonderful! Not too sweet, with a taste that reminds me of molasses cookies, these treats were so rich and satisfying. The apricot jam added a nice hint of tartness. I intend to make these treats often, and try different jam fillings.

I savored several cookies tonight, with a cup of hot Scottish thistle tea with a splash of almond coconut milk. Ahhhhh…what incredible bliss on an autumn evening.

You can preorder Anthony’s newest book, Thyroid Healing, which is due out in November.

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Creamy Sage Dressing

A long, fun day away from home calls for a simple dinner upon return…and an equally simple blog post. I enjoyed a chopped salad last week, made from fresh veggies. Tonight, creating another colorful chopped veggie salad seemed ideal. And, I had a new salad dressing recipe I wanted to try. 

Creamy Sage Dressing
The thing that most appealed to me tonight, creating this summer fresh salad, was that I already had all the ingredients at home. No trip to the market was required. Any on hand veggies can go into this simple meal. Tonight my salad included chopped peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, red onion, carrots, celery and avocado. I also included pinto beans. 

I like making a big bowl of salad and having it in the fridge, ready for a quick meal. The flavor improves as the various veggies blend together overnight. 

Creamy Sage Dressing
Last week I tried a yummy homemade honey mustard dressing. This evening I was excited to try a new recipe, saved from Anthony William’s Facebook page. The ingredients for this dressing are simple and healthy. And it includes fresh sage which intrigued me. I grow sage in my herb garden. 

Creamy Sage Dressing
I soaked the cashews for an hour, then combined  all of the ingredients in my blender and blended on high until creamy. I added a little sea salt and black pepper, to taste. 

This was a delicious dressing, light, creamy and flavorful. I loved plucking a couple of leaves from my sage plant and including them in the mixture. I am compiling healthy salad dressing recipes that I can make at home. This sage dressing makes the list!

Such simple homey pleasures, chopping veggies, and puttering in the kitchen.  I like taking care of myself in this way, at a level that nourishes my body deeply and nourishes my soul as well. 

Bon appétit! 

Creamy Sage Dressing

Potato & Herb Salad

During the past few years, I’ve often expressed a desire to cook more often and learn new recipes and techniques. Ask and it is given. This is the way life works for me…I express a desire, and my outward world shifts, sometimes in totally unexpected ways, and opportunities to fulfill that intention appear.

Cooking is a creative activity for me, a way to learn new things as I play. My outward world shifted last July, as I embraced a plant based lifestyle, and all kinds of opportunities have appeared since, with invitations to prepare and cook foods in fresh, new ways.

Potato & Herb Salad
Tonight I enjoyed trying out a new recipe that I saved a week or so ago. From Anthony William, author of Medical Medium and Life Changing Foods, this savory side dish offers a healthy twist on an old summer favorite, potato salad.

Potato & Herb Salad
Using fresh herbs such as chives, parsley and dill, this potato salad is full of flavor without using sugar, dairy products or eggs.

Potato & Herb Salad
I left out the cilantro this evening, as some people don’t care for the taste. If I prepared this dish just for my consumption, I would add cilantro. I left out the optional jalapeño also, although I will try adding it next time, for a spicy kick. I did include the pinch of dried mustard.

I appreciated the inclusion of fresh dill. I love dill and inhaled the distinctive scent as I finely chopped the herb. And potatoes are an important staple on my plant based diet.

Potato & Herb Salad
Anthony shares that there are a lot of misconceptions about potatoes, which have been wrongly accused of contributing to obesity, diabetes, cancer and Candida overgrowth. It is actually the toxic oil that potatoes are often fried in and the butter, milk, cream and cheese that they are mashed with that contribute to those diseases.

Potatoes draw macro and trace minerals from the earth. They are high in potassium, B6, and amino acids, especially Lysine. Lysine is a powerful weapon against cancers, liver disease, inflammation and viruses such as shingles and Epstein Barr. Potatoes are also antifungal and antibacterial.

I often make a meal of seasoned roasted potato wedges with homemade marinara sauce, or a plain baked potato topped with sautéed veggies. Potatoes satisfy my appetite and also make me feel centered and grounded.

I sampled this easy to make potato salad before chilling it in the fridge. It was delicious, with the tang of dill and lemon, and a hint of sweetness provided by the honey. This potato dish is going to be a summer favorite!

Potato & Herb Salad
Read more about the health benefits of potatoes in Life Changing Foods. 

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Colorful Detox Salad

I was inspired to create in the kitchen late this afternoon, following the promptings of my body. I’ve been craving dark green veggies. Healthy cravings are indicators that my body needs something, as opposed to addictions, such as to sugar, when my body wants something. I’ve been eating a healthy plant based diet long enough to have eliminated the food addictions. When my body desires something now, I can trust that it is going to be good for me. 

Colorful Detox Salad
Browsing through Pinterest recipes, I found this colorful detox salad, from Eat Yourself Skinny

Colorful Detox Salad

Colorful Detox Salad

Colorful Detox Salad
I processed the veggies in two batches, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale first, and then the red cabbage, carrots and parsley.  A food processor made quick work of finely chopping the veggies and almonds. 

Colorful Detox Salad
I added the chopped almonds and sunflower seeds and then whisked together the ingredients for the salad dressing. I omitted the fresh ginger, since I didn’t have any, and increased the raw honey to 4 teaspoons. 

Colorful Detox Salad
Colorful Detox Salad
The recipe creates a beautiful salad, full of fresh ingredients and healthy benefits. 

Broccoli is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It supports the immune system, fights diseases including cancer, and aids in digestion and detoxification. 

Brussels Sprouts are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, support heart health and lower the risk of cancer. 

Kale is high in protein and fiber, vitamins and minerals. It too supports heart health, lowers cancer risks and aids in digestion, and can even reduce pain. 

Red Cabbage is one of the most powerful disease fighting foods avaiable. High in vitamins and minerals, red cabbage heals the gut, and maintains eye and bone health. 

Carrots are a good antioxidant root vegetable, full of vitamins and minerals. They reduce the risk for cancer and slow down the aging of cells. 

Parsley alkalizes the body, driving out acidity, which creates an environment for disease to occur. This herb pulls herbicides and pesticides from the body. 

Almonds and Sunflower Seeds not only provide a satisfying crunch to this salad, they also have antioxidant properties and healthy fats. 

This colorful, health boosting salad was so delicious and satisfying. I like that rather than containing a lot of lettuce filler, the salad is made up of vegetables, nuts and seeds, all of which help to stave off hunger. 

I am grateful for the inspiration that came from my own cravings, leading me to search for the perfect combination of foods. The recipe makes a large bowlful of goodness and I am grateful for that as well. I will be enjoying my chopped veggies with honey dijon mustard dressing all week! 

Colorful Detox Salad
This is the food processor I use, making food prep fast and easy!
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Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat

I am enjoying trying out the healthy, plant based recipes in Anthony William’s book, Life Changing Foods. For each of the 50 life changing foods that Anthony writes about, he includes a wealth of information plus a mouth watering recipe. Tonight I sampled the Apricot Bars.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
This simple recipe has only four ingredients and using a food processor made preparation quick and easy.

Apricot Bars

1 cup apricots, sulfur-free

1/2 cup dates, pitted

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup shredded unsweeted coconut

Combine ingredients in processor and process until well blended. Line cookie sheet eith parchment paper and press mixture into a large flat rectangle, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and store in refrigerator for up to a week. Makes 4 servings.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
This recipe was so simple to make, and took less than 5 minutes to prepare. I used organic, sulfur-free apricots. Dampening my hands with water made shaping the mixture easier as it didn’t stick to my fingers.

After chilling, the mixture cut readily into bars. I tried one immediately. Naturally sweet and chewy, these bars are the perfect treat. I’ve grabbed Lara bars in the past, treats made with a few wholesome ingredients and sold in grocery stored. These apricot bars are even better and I can make them myself.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
Apricots are high in amino acids and minerals. They help cleanse the digestive tract and lower the risk for many types of cancer. In addition, this fruit stabilizes energy, boosts the growth of red blood cells, strengthens the heart and nourishes the brain. Those are powerful benefits in a small package. And sulfer-free dried apricots tend to hold all of their beneficial qualities.

I love having a healthy option if I feel like a treat,  And I like knowing I am contributing to my healing rather than than feeding disease with sugar laden desserts. I’m looking forward to sampling each of the recipes in the Life Changing Foods books. It is creative, and delicious, play with long term benefits that go way beyond having something good to eat.

I am inspired to create lasting health.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
Check out Life Changing Foods for info about 50 amazing foods and delicious recipes for each one.

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Making My Own Mexican Bowl

Living on a plant based lifestyle, my options for dining out are limited. So it is always a joy to discover a restaurant that serves vegan food, especially when it is an old favorite. 

Such was the case with Moe’s Southwest Grill. I had avoided this restaurant that I once frequented, until I realized I could create my own special bowl as I moved down the order line, omitting meat and cheese and tortillas. I stopped by often, grabbing a bowl to go. 

I’m not sure why it took me this long to have a further realization…I could make my own Mexican bowl at home! This easy to create meal is so good, Moe’s may never see me again. 

Making My Own Mexican Bowl
Here is the simple assembly process:

Making My Own Mexican Bowl
Skip the meat and start with a base of brown rice. I am enjoying the ease of cooking rice in the pressure cooker. 

Making My Own Mexican Bowl
While the brown rice cooks, sauté thinly sliced onions and green peppers in a small amount of olive oil. Other vegetables can be added, according to preference. Good choices include garlic, mushrooms, broccoli or cauliflower. 

Making My Own Mexican Bowl
Assemble favorite toppings. Again, there are so many choices. Do your body a favor and avoid cheese, meat and sour cream. I like to include pinto beans, shredded lettuce, salsa and sliced avocado. 

Making My Own Mexican Bowl
Create a yummy Mexican bowl. I start with the brown rice and then add the sautéed veggies. Next I add beans, shredded lettuce and salsa, topping the bowl with sliced avocado. 

This colorful meal is so satisfying. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, with the rice taking the longest to cook…about 20 minutes in the pressure cooker. The food is freshly prepared and I like knowing exactly what ingredients are used. 

Healthy and delicious, this do it yourself Mexican bowl is perfect for lunch or dinner, even for those who aren’t following the plant based lifestyle. 

I may never again hear the friendly greeting, “Welcome to Moe’s”, as I walk through that restaurant’s door. However, I suppose I can shout it out at home…

Welcome to Cindy’s! Welcome to healthy eating! 

Making My Own Mexican Bowl