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

Upcoming experiment: Baked veggie chips

Produce.06.17.10.jpgIn an earlier post, I mentioned how I went 100% raw for a little over a year. During that time, I purchased a food dehydrator and started experimenting with raw treats. Being the savory diva my snack of choice was the raw veggie chips I made.

At the time, I was working out of the home so I brought a lot of my creations into work. Being the only one that was vegan or vegetarian, it was always a thrill when my snacks/treats went over well by those that didn’t just eat vegetables.

Dehydrated snacks were a treat, they weren’t something I ate daily but they were healthy treats. It’s thrilling to know that no matter what I eat, it’s good for me. I don’t eat excessively. Combine that with daily exercise and I feel pretty much unstoppable. You would think that’s enough, right? Well it isn’t, how we treat ourselves and others is extremely important. How can we expect to be healthy emotionally, if we constantly feed off or spread negativity? So yes, at times we need an internal workout too. 🙂

Anyway, back to the veggie chips…
The majority of my veggie chips have dark leafy greens. I’ve written briefly about the importance of eating dark leafy greens before. Being the green lover that I am, you’ll see me writing about greens a lot. They are important, include them in your meals. They can enhance your health. 🙂

Although I’ve been meaning to make a baked version of the veggie chips I used to make, unfortunately, I’ve never gotten around to doing that. I can blame the lack of following through with that for many reasons. The number one reason is simple. I prefer a lot of my foods raw, so well the yummy vegetables are in our tummies before they even make it into the ingredients pile. However, I do have some free-time over the next few days, and so I’m thinking I’ll make some baked veggie chips. I’ll be sure to post pictures, and I’ll try to remember to measure everything and post it on this site.

When it comes to documenting my creations I do it all in MacGourmet Deluxe. I’m a Mac user. It’s a Mac based software application. I’ve been using this application for a few years, and enjoy it immensely. Since acquiring it, I’ve used it to hold many of the recipes I’ve created. I enjoy creating simple, nutritious, and delicious meals. I’m even happier when others enjoy what I prepare too and realize that eating healthy doesn’t have to be a ‘bad thing’ it can be quite delicious — and it’s good for you!

Publishing a book focused on whole food vegan recipes is one of my long-term goals, and the recipes that will be featured are all stored in this application.

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Vegan, Vegetarian, whole food

Vegan Cuisine: Spicy Black Beans & collard greens

Black Beans & Collards.06.08.10.jpg

Spicy Black Beans & Collard Greens

When I think about the foods that I enjoy eating, I would have to put black beans and any type of leafy green high on that list. I really enjoy eating my dark greens. It wasn’t always that way.

Years ago I would eat dark greens because I knew they were healthy. However, if I were to be perfectly honest, I didn’t enjoy eating them. Which is why I tended to ‘cook them to death’ so I wouldn’t have to taste them, crazy I know… 🙂 I favored the lighter greens, which weren’t as healthy. Over time, my taste buds changed. That tends to happen the ‘cleaner’ and healthier you eat, and I began to crave dark leafy greens and now they’re part of my daily eating habits. Beans and greens can be made in numerous tasty dishes. They’re loaded with vitamins and nutrients, and if prepared correctly they are delicious.

Yesterday morning, I went out into the garden and picked a few leaves of collards. I decided I would prepare a simple breakfast of black beans and collards. Since our collards are huge, I only needed 4 leaves.

Calcium, vitamin A, B6, and vitamin E are a few of the nutrients you’ll find in Collard greens. Dark leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals and should be included in your daily eating routine.

After picking the collard greens I decided I would add black beans to the meal too. I’ve included the recipe I made below.

Spicy Black Beans & sauteed collard greens

  • 2 cups collard greens; rinsed and chopped or shredded
  • 2 cups of black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly chopped ginger root
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup of water


  1. In a deep frying pan or large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, sautee until clear.
  3. Add garlic, pepper, and all other spices except for the sea salt
  4. Stirring frequently, cook the spices for a several minutes
  5. Add the collard greens, making sure to coat the greens with the spices and oil
  6. Sautee for about two minutes
  7. Add the remaining ingredients
  8. Turn heat to medium low
  9. Stir frequently, so the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

If you like you can add the greens right before your serve the dish. In doing so, they are only lightly cooked. This is how I normally make any dish with greens. I enjoy the raw taste of greens. However, I did something differently and actually cooked the greens for a few moments. Since I drink them daily you know a green smoothie accompanied the meal.

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Recipes, Smoothies, vegetarian, whole food