Tea: Apple Cider Vinegar

Although I’ve used apple cider vinegar for numerous years, it wasn’t until about seven years ago until I decided to do more reasearch on it’s numerous benefits. I first learned about apple cider vinegar when I was a child. My grandmother that used it religiously, she told me some of its benefits and encouraged me to try it out too.

Apple Cider Vinegar contains Vitamins C, E, and A. It also contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many other trace elements and nutrients. There have been numerous claims made about apple cider vinegar. I’ve listed a few below.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Improves skin tone
  • Improves circulation
  • Detoxifies and purifies the body
  • Fat burner
  • Natural household cleaner
  • Soothes mosquito bites

Sipping it straight from a cup is something most people won’t do, since it still has that strong vinegar tast. However you can mask the taste of Apple Cider Vinegar by including it in your teas and juices. I’ve included a simple recipe below for those who might be lookiing for natural ways to eliminate constipation.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tea

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon black strap molasses or honey

Sip and enjoy!

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Moondancer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Natural Remedies

Savory Lentil Soup; Soup that started out a salad


Savory Lentil Soup

Some say that lentils are to India as meatloaf is to America, it’s the ultimate comfort food. I’ve been Vegan since 1992, I haven’t eaten meatloaf since the late 80’s, however, I’ve made numerous dishes that included lentils.

For the past few days I’ve been craving lentils. I prepare Lentils in creamy Dhal. They make an appearance in sauces, and occasionally you’ll see them popping up in salads too. Regardless of how I prepare them, lentils usually have the starring role in dishes I prepare, and for good reason.

Despite their small size, lentils are a nutritional powerhouse. Serving up a variety of healthy and tasty, nutritional options that will keep you (and your loved ones) clamoring for more. Over 80 nutrients can be found in this tiny bean. Important minerals like iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus, folate, and molybdenum. It also boasts two types of B vitamins. Let’s not forget about fiber, just like most legumes you’ll find lentils far ahead of the pack serving up a healthy dose of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Yesterday, after my daughter’s piano practice was over, we stopped by the store and I purchased some dry lentils. I prefer purchasing my beans dry, unlike other dried beans it lentils don’t take as long to cook. So if you don’t have a pressure cooker, your beans won’t take hours to prepare.

A few days ago, I stumbled upon Pig in the Kitchen’s truly delightful virtual community. Although many posts caught my eye, I couldn’t help but to chuckle at her latest post. In that post, she wrote about her competitive nature (I can completely relate) and at the end of her post she shared a recipe for a truly delightful lentil salad. Although I had every intention of making some type of salad, my lentils had a mind of their own and I found myself making a savory lentil soup. Ahh, no worries, I haven’t made lentil soup in a long time.

Savory Lentil Soup

  • 2 cups of dried lentils
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups of corn
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice (I used freshly squeezed lemon juice)
  • 1 tbsp curry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • organic sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large stock pot, add lentils, water, garlic, onions, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour.
  2. Add the corn, tomatoes, lemon juice, and curry.
  3. let simmer for two – three minutes
  4. Add salt and pepper, season to taste
  5. Serve and enjoy

I tend to add my vegetables towards the end of the cooking time because I like the fresh taste of vegetables. They’re so flavorful. The good news is, there are so many different vegetables you can add to this dish. I had every intention of adding carrots, but checking my vegetable crisper I realized I didn’t have any. Although I love my dark leafy greens, I chose not to add them to this soup. It didn’t stop me from munching on them throughout the day.

Oh, I did add about six leaves of fresh lemon balm to this dish. We have it growing in our yard; it’s right next to the bee balm. I wanted to see how it turned out. I liked it, but think I should have added more leaves. There’s always next time, right? Cumin was purposely left out of the dish, simply because I wanted to see how I liked the soup with curry, it still tasted great and my daughter wanted more.

I had no intentions of making soup on an extremely hot day, but I really enjoyed the results, and we have leftovers!

By the way with the exception of the seasonings, lemon and garlic, everything else came from our garden. Now how’s that for fresh?

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Moondancer, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, whole food

Vegan Veggie rolls (Egg-less); Cooking and bonding with my daughter


Vegan Veggie rolls (Egg-less)

Do you ever plan your meals in advance? If I’m going to be extremely busy, it’s something I do. I believe it’s important to have healthy food options available and so when I know I’m going to have a few days/weeks of nonstop business, I prep my meals in advance.

With myself, it usually means combining vegetables or fruit together, storing them in a glass container and tossing them into the freezer until it’s ready to use. Beans are soaked and cooked in bulk so if we’re craving some type of bean dish I only need to get the beans I need to prepare a meal.

Speaking of food, we had eggrolls this past Saturday. I make two verions; baked and fried. We don’t eat too much fried foods but this past Saturday… we did. The oil was hot; so after a few seconds the rolls were done. I drained the oil, and set them aside into one of my pyrex glass containers. The rolls had a crispy outer shell, and the filling was only slightly cooked. They were a big hit with my daughter (they always are) and so my daughter is clamoring for more.

This evening I pulled out my Kitchen Aid food processor and added the following vegetables to it.

  • Carrots
  • Collards
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

I pulsed the vegetables until they were chopped finely. Instead of soy sauce I added Bragg Liquid Aminos, curry, & cumin to the filling. *sidenote* For those who might not be aware, Braggs is a replacement for soy sauce. It has the same taste and it has the added benefit of having essential amino acids are bodies need too. You can’t beat that, something that is delicious and healthy. 😉

Food Storage
When it comes to storing food, I only use glass storage containers. You won’t find plastic containers in my house. I put the filling into one of my Pyrex storage containers and set it in the refrigerator. I’m currently soaking Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) too. I’m thinking I’ll make Chickpea cutlets tomorrow. Oh, my daughter wants me to make the eggless egg rolls too, we’ll see!


Vegan Veggie rolls (Egg-less)

I’ve included a few shots of the vegan eggrolls we made this past Saturday. They were delicious; pairing the broccoli and carrots together was a great idea. They really worked well together, and the carrots added mildly sweet taste to the eggrolls.

Cooking & Bonding

My daughter was happy. She helped me make them, so she was bursting with pride at how well they turned out. She enjoys helping me prepare meals. It’s a great time to find out what’s going on in her world, and I also talk about the benefits of the vegetables and fruits I use in our meal preparation. I really don’t have to tell her too much anymore, when it comes to nutrition/health she knows more than a lot of adults I know. I believe it’s important to not only educate adults, but children too, about the foods they eat, the benefits of following a healthy diet, and the possible problems that can arise if we constantly abuse our bodies by consuming the wrong things.

Making healthy choices

If we keep making poor health choices, in time it can take a toll on our bodies; Allergies, weight gain, heart attacks, cancer, etc., too many to list, but I hope you get the idea. Depending on the ailment, many can be avoided (and at times reversed) if we would only make healthier choices. Sadly, many of us think we have all the time in the world. There’s such a huge disconnect between food and the effects it can have on our health. It seems that many people have the misconception that healthy food simply doesn’t taste good. This is simply not true. I love preparing meals that are not only delicious are a healthy choice for my daughter. Naturally, I want the best for her, and one of the ways I show this is by the foods I prepare.

Regarding that Vegan Chana Masala recipe, I’ll still be posing it. In fact it would have been published on the day I posted the curried zucchini noodles recipe, however I accidentally deleted it, whoops! I haven’t done something like that in years, lol.

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Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, whole food

Vegan: Curried Zucchini Noodles w/Steamed Vegetables (Gluten-free)

World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer.jpgDuring the warmer months, one of my favorite go to vegan dishes is a simple pasta. They are simple, delicious, and a unique way to introduce vegetables at your meal.

I’ve never been a fan of the traditional pasta. Way too much flour for myself, but I’ve always loved the vegetables pastas. Naturally, since you are using vegetables in place of the traditional pasta, your pasta is gluten-free.

I’ve been using vegetables, in place of the traditional pastas for several years. However, it wasn’t until about four years ago that I purchased a machine to make my ‘angel hair’ pastas. In order to make the pasta I use a spiral vegetable slicer.

I’ve tried the Saladacco, but didn’t like it at all. The spiral vegetable slicer I use is the World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer. Thanks to this slicer, I can make vegetable pasta in seconds.

It’s a hot day in Maryland, and I thought I would share one of my raw & cooked dishes. Although we’ve made a raw & cooked version before. Today my daughter and I ate this dish raw. Enjoy!

Curried Zucchini Noodles w/Steamed Vegetables

  • 2 cups of zucchini noodles
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms
  • Pinch of salt(optional)


  1. Put noodles & tomatoes in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add a few tbsp of water or vegetable broth
  3. Add remaining ingredients stir for a few minutes
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Combine with noodles and tomatoes
  6. Serve & Enjoy!


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Raw food, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, whole food

Vegan: Creamy Dhal with lightly sauteed collard greens and tomatoes


Creamy Dhal with lightly sauteed collard greens and tomatoes

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Chana Masala I created. It was fun to make, and my daughter and I enjoyed eating it too. I love Indian food. You’ll usually see me preparing at lest one Indian dish weekly.

Yesterday, I decided to create another Indian dish, this time I choose Dhal. My daughter and I both love Dhal, we don’t eat it as much as we might like. There are so many other delicious and healthy vegan recipes out there; I definitely don’t limit what I prepare. I like variety.

Initially, I didn’t know what I wanted to accompany the creamy Dhal. There are so many choices; potatoes, zucchini noodles, rice, carrot salad, etc. but I finally decided on collard greens. Collard greens, along with many other dark leafy greens, are plentiful in our garden. Additionally dark greens are delicious and nutritious too. Don’t overcook your greens. Trust me, they taste great! I headed to our garden and picked four large collard greens. I stepped over to our row of onions and pulled up one yellow onion.

Once I was back in the house, I grabbed my favorite stainless steel skillet, added some olive oil to it and started to lightly saute four cloves of garlic, three basil leaves, and some freshly ground cumin seeds. I must say, the aroma that filled the house was heavenly. 🙂 After a few minutes I added one freshly chopped yellow onion. Once the onions turned clear I stirred in the collard greens and tomatoes. I lightly cooked them for about three minutes.

My sauteed collard greens with tomatoes served as the bed, and I topped it with the creamy Dhal. I like creating dishes that are on the table within minutes. If I didn’t count the cooking time of the Dhal (lentils), this meal was made in less than fifteen minutes. It was short on prep time, but definitely not lacking flavor-wise. I made enough for leftovers! No surprise there, since I usually do.

In yesterdays post, I mentioned that I’d be attempting to post one recipe weekly. In addition to that, you might see posts of the food I eat. In many cases, I won’t post a recipe at the time, but eventually it might get here at Celebrate Life!

After all not only am I posting the recipe via MarsEdit. I’m also storing the picture in MacGourmet Deluxe. As I mentioned in an earlier post, MacGourmet Deluxe is a recipe and wine management software program devoted solely to the Mac platform.

A few days ago, my daughter asked me what was my favorite cuisine? I was stumped, there are so many different types of cuisine I enjoy. I couldn’t narrow it down to just one, but three of my favorites are; Caribbean, Indian, and African.

Question? What’s your favorite cuisine?

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Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, whole food

Celebrate Life: One recipe per week

recipe-book-place-mat.06.22.10.gifYou want to know something? I’ve been finding it hard to sit down and write down the vegan recipes I create.

A few years ago, I created a vegan cooking website where I created and posted Vegan recipes. Thanks to a personal website I owned, I had gotten into the habit of writing down the measurements of whatever I prepared so now it’s simply a matter of doing that again. I’ll admit it’s not easy. At times when we break a routine, it can be hard getting back into it again, yah know?

I’m not one to follow a recipe; I’ve always created my own, when I was a little child I took directions from my mother. I’ve been doing that since I could remember. During childhood, I can think of many bombs I made in the kitchen. I wasn’t afraid to explore, and try new ingredients in whatever I created. However, as I got older that didn’t happen, I knew what would work.

I guess that’s understandable; I’ve been cooking for 35 years now and I enjoy being creative. I first learned to cook on a wood stove. I started cooking when I was four years old. Naturally, I was supervised at that age, and for a few years after that too. I can still remember the excitement I experienced creating simple meals that people actually enjoyed eating! These days I’m passing my love of cooking on to my daughter. It’s wonderful to see that she truly enjoys being creative in the kitchen.

Even though I don’t follow recipes, I do have a lot of recipe books. I find it inspiring to read what others are making, reading their thoughts on techniques, and listening to the stories they have to tell.

Since I’ve always come up with my own recipes I do find it hard to take the time to write down what I’m preparing. My natural tendency is to just create, but I’m trying to change that. Again, I find myself trying to remember to write down the measurements as I cook, so I can pass on the created recipe to others.

The good news is I remembered to do that with the Chana Masala recipe I made earlier this week, so yes Janet I’ll be posting it on Celebrate Life! sometime this week. 🙂

If you like creating jewelry, or simply love looking at pretty things be sure to check out Janet at her virtual home, Singing Woods. Janet’s a jewelry maker and has created some gorgeous pieces, and yes she has an Etsy shop too.

All right back to my cooking ramble, the Chana masala I made a few days ago didn’t last long in our house. It was delicious when it was hot, and amazing the next day when I served it as a cold dip.

Oh, one last thing… I’m publicly challenging myself to post at least one recipe per week on this website. Initially, it will be tough but after a while I know it won’t be an issue.

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Recipe, Vegan, vegetarian, Vegetarian, whole food

Enjoying our Chana Masala

ChanaMasala_1_06.21.10 .png

Chana Masala

About fifteen years ago, I was introduced to really amazing Indian food. Of course, I had tasted it before but it was the watered down Americanized version that frequently plague restaurants.

Although the Indian cuisine I tasted was fine, I wasn’t thrilled. Fast forward a few months later when I started dating a man who just happened to be from India. At that time, they had lived in the USA for about 15 years. A few months after we started dating, he introduced me to his mother.

I recall being slightly nervous, wondering what she would think of me. I knew his mom wanted him to date an Indian girl, and I definitely wasn’t that. His mother wore saris which I’ve always loved and she made the most amazing traditional Indian dishes too. The first few moments were slightly awkward, but as we started chatting We discovered that we shared a few passions; Cooking and gardening. It wasn’t long before we became friends.

I learned a lot from her, asked numerous questions and soaked in all that knowledge. She opened my eyes to a new world of spices, tastes, flavors, new techniques, and a multitude of recipes. Which was perfect for a foodie like myself, right? The boyfriend and I eventually, parted ways, on friendly terms, and the mother and I? We still keep in contact with each other.

For the past few days, I’ve been craving Chana masala. I haven’t made this dish since my daughter was about two years old and so yesterday I gathered up the ingredients, pulled out my stainless steel skillet and switched into creative cooking mode.

Although I love colorful and flavorful sauces that accompany quite a few of the dishes, I create. I also love the dry dishes too, and the Chana Masaa definitely delivers here. For those who aren’t aware, Chana Masala is a fairly dry dish, it’s overloaded with chickpeas (garbonzo beans), it has an abundance of fragrant spices, combined with the slightly sour citrus taste that I love.

As I prepared the Chana masala the aroma from the spices filled the house and my daughter came bounding into the kitchen wondering when the meal would be ready. I smiled and said,”It won’t be long now!”, not satisfied she perched herself on a bar stool and watched while I finished preparing the meal.

The Chana masala was amazing. I savored mine, while my daughter gobbled hers quickly. We had a great time hanging out together & bonding while we ate that Chana Masala. What made it even better was knowing I had made enough for leftovers…


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Recipes, Vegan, vegetarian, Vegetarian, whole food, Chana Masala