VEGETARIAN CHICK PEA, SQUASH AND LENTIL STEW

Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

SUPER DUPER EASY AND DELICIOUS!

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas**
  • 2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used frozen organic butternut squash that was already cubed)
  • 20 baby carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt*
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper*
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)

*You know my advice: Don’t add salt and pepper in cooking.  You can always add salt and pepper to taste when eating if needed.

**If you are highly sensitive to gluten you should drain and rinse the chickpeas well.

Preparation

  1. Place all ingredients except lime juice, peanuts and cilantro in slow cooker.
  2. Put on the lid and cook on LOW until the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 1/2 hours.
  3. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro if desired.

Nutrition

Per serving: 294 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 14 g protein; 11 g fiber

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (310% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Folate (30% dv), Potassium (27% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2.5 starch, 1 vegetable, 1.5 lean meat

ADAPTED FROM: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/squash_chickpea_red_lentil_stew.html

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A POOR EXCUSE FOR STEAK

MY HUSBAND STARTED DOING SOME GROCERY SHOPPING AND FOUND THESE DELICIOUS LOOKING STEAKS – 6 (6OZ) STEAKS FOR $12.  WHAT SOLD HIM WAS THAT THERE ARE ONLY 3 GMS OF FAT PER STEAK COMPARED TO 20-25 GMS IN A TYPICAL NEW YORK STRIP STEAK.  WE ARE WATCHING OUR FAT AND CHOLESTEROL SO THOUGHT IT WAS WORTH A TRY.

WHEN I OPENED THE PACKAGE I WAS SHOCKED TO FIND 6 INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED STEAKS THAT WERE ABOUT THE THICKNESS OF A TILAPIA FILET (MAYBE 1/4 INCH THICK)!  COOKED ON THE GRILL FOR 2 MINUTES A SIDE AS DIRECTED WAS STILL RATHER RAW SO MY HUSBAND COOKED SOME MORE.  THEY HAD LOTS OF GRISTLE AND SOME FAT YOU COULD CUT OFF.  THEY ARE DEFINITELY NOT WORTH TRYING.

THE NEXT 2 I WILL SERVE WITH A GREEK QUINOA SALAD AND TRY ON THE GEORGE FORMAN GRILL.  THE LAST 2 I WILL HAVE WITH BLACK BEAN SALSA AND HAVE THEM SOAK IN THE SALSA SOME SO THE TOMATOES CAN WORK ON THE TOUGH MEAT.

SORRY TWO THUMBS DOWN FOR THESE “STEAKS”!!!

AWESOME CHOCOLATE CHUNK BREAD

FROM A BOX – UNBELIEVABLE!

chocolate chunk bread (1)

I KNOW I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT EITHER!  SO EASY AND STILL SO GOOD – IT’S KRUSTEAZ:

ALL YOU NEED IS:

chocolate chunk bread (1)

1/2 C WATER

1/3 CUP VEGETABLE OIL

3 EGGS

PREHEAT OVEN AT 350 F.  STIR EVERYTHING TOGETHER AND POUR INTO GREASED LOAF PAN.  BAKE 50-55 MINUTES.

WHY WOULD I TRY TO MAKE SOMETHING FROM SCRATCH WHEN THIS IS SO GOOD?!

DOES IT HAVE MUCH NUTRITIONAL VALUE? NOOO! BUT:

  1. I COULD HAVE IT WITH A 4 OZ. GLASS OF ORANGE JUICE OR A PIECE OF FRESH FRUIT TO GET MY DAILY VITAMIN C ALLOWANCE
  2. I COULD HAVE IT WITH A LOW-FAT OR GREEK YOGURT FOR SOME ADDED PROTEIN
  3. I COULD ADD SOME SOLUBLE FIBER POWDER LIKE BENEFIBER
  4. I COULD ADD SOME WHEAT GERM TO GIVE A LITTLE NUTTY FLAVOR AND ADD B-COMPLEX
  5. I COULD ADD SOME NUT BUTTER FOR PROTEIN AND WHAT IS BETTER THAN PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE.

MY HUSBAND IS LIKING IT FOR NOW IN THE TOASTER OVEN HEATED JUST ENOUGH TO MELT THE CHOCOLATE CHUNKS FOR A DESSERT KIND OF BREAKFAST!

POTATOES WITH PEPPERS AND ONIONS

Potato Pepper & onions (2)
4 Red Potatoes, Quartered
1/2# Mini Sweet Peppers (yellow, orange and red)
1/2 Red Onion, sliced and quartered
3 Celery Stalks, coarsely chopped
1/4 c Italian, Balsamic or Greek Salad Dressing (use “lite” if desired)
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.  Coat a 13″ X 9″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Add potatoes, peppers and onion. Drizzle salad dressing on top and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes until the onion is carmelized. potatoes are soft and veggies are tender crisp with some blackened areas.

SERVE AS A VEGETARIAN MEAL WITH A LITTLE SHREDDED ITALIAN STYLE CHEESE ON TOP OR AS A SIDE DISH WITH BEEF, PORK OR POULTRY.  IT WOULD ALSO BE GREAT WITH SOME HOT TURKEY SAUSAGE!

I SERVED IT WITH A HAM I GOT AS A DEAL TO HAVE WITH COMPANY AND I ALWAYS SERVE A BIG FRESH SALAD WITH MY MEAL.

THIS DISH IS ALSO GLUTEN FREE!  ENJOY!!

YOGA YOUR WRINKLES AWAY!

yoga for your face

Do yoga for your face.
As strange as it sounds, face yoga is a new anti-aging trend. Across the country, yoga instructors are teaching special face yoga classes or incorporating it into their regular routines. Experts say that a lot of tension can be carried in the face. They suggest that performing these simple facial exercises may improve the look of your face and help you appear younger. So, get stretching!

5 REASONS WHY BUFFALO IS A GREAT TRAVEL DESTINATION

I came across a blog that had 5 reasons why Turkey is a hotspot for travel and it sounded so much like Buffalo I had to share!

1) Buffalo is the second largest city in New York State and has a rich historical and cultural background.  President McKinley was assassinated right here on Delaware Avenue!  And we have the Wilcox Mansion – Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.  We have the world renowned Albright Know Art Gallery, the Historical Museum and the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.  Don’t forget  the zoo, the Science Museum, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park as well as Shea’s Buffalo Theater and Shakespeare in Delaware Park!

2) The summer sunshine shines May until October giving tourists the chance to sample the delights of this inimitably interesting city throughout the spring, summer and autumn.  Check out Elmwood Village and Allentown.  Picnic in our Olmstead Parks and even take a tour or Forest Lawn.  Try the Allentown Art Festival, A Taste of Buffalo, and Wing Fest.  Visit the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens too!

3) In the winter Buffalo plays host to winter sports fans and those in need of some ski fun in a wide range of ski resorts where prices are affordable and the quality of facilities and amenities are substantial.  There are also plenty of places to cross country ski and snow shoe for free or low cost.  There’s the Labatt’s Blue Pond Hockey Tournament.  You could try sledding in Chestnut Ridge Park or right down the skyway off ramps during the Winter Festival.

4) Our Waterfront is finally being developed. Canalside is really changing and growing and there will be more and more things to do.  You can even take historic tours of Buffalo by kayak or stand-up paddleboard.  We have loads of nice beaches too.

5) Buffalo is located very close to a Niagara Falls, a Wonder of the World!  Check out the power plant there.  And it is a stone’s throw to visit Toronto or spend the day betting the horses at the Fort Erie Racetrack or strolling and eating fudge in beautiful Niagara On The Lake.

The accessibility of Buffalo is improving all the time as more airlines open up more routes to and from Buffalo from across the USA.

LET EVERYONE KNOW HOW SPECIAL BUFFALO TRULY IS!!

HERE IS A GREAT RESOURCE FOR THINGS TO DO IN BUFFALO!

HATE THESE BUGGERS

mosquito pic

With all this rain and standing water, this summer is bound to breed loads of mosquitoes!  Here are some tips for using repellant safely and how to prevent getting bit.

For the safe and effective use of pesticide products, always read the product label before using the product. Apply just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Remember these important points to use repellents safely:

  • Follow the label directions to ensure proper use.
  • Repellents should be applied only to exposed skin and/or clothing. Do not use under clothing.
  • Store insect repellents safely out of the reach of children, in a locked utility cabinet or garden shed.
  • Do not apply near eyes and mouth, and apply sparingly around ears.
  • When using sprays, do not spray directly into face; spray on hands first and then apply to face.
  • Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Do not spray in enclosed areas. Avoid breathing a spray product, and do not use it near food.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin and clothes with soap and water.
  • Do not use any product on pets or other animals unless the label clearly states it is for animals.
  • Most insect repellents do not work on lice or fleas.
  • Use other preventive actions to avoid getting bitten .
  • Read more about active ingredients.

insect repellant

Repellents and Children

EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on pregnant or lactating women, or on children, other than those listed on the label. For example, some repellents are eye irritants and those labels would have a specific caution about keeping the product away from your eyes.

Because children frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouths, EPA recommends that all repellent products have the following precautionary statements related to children on their labels:

  • “Do not allow children to handle this product, and do not apply to children’s hands. When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on the child.
  • After returning indoors, wash your child’s treated skin and clothes with soap and water or bathe.”

According to the label, oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under the age of three.

Always store insect repellents safely out of the reach of children.

If you are concerned about using repellent products on children you may wish to consult a health care provider for advice or contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) through their toll-free number, 1-800-858-7378 or npic.orst.edu

Prevention & Control

The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease is to prevent mosquito bites. Be aware of the West Nile virus activity in your area and take action to protect yourself and your family.

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions.

More information about insect repellents can be found here.

  • When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
  • Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it.
  • Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

Help Your Community West Nile Virus Surveillance and Control Programs

  • Support your local community mosquito control programs. Mosquito control activities are most often handled at the local level, such as through county or city government. The type of mosquito control methods used by a program depends on the time of year, the type of mosquitoes to be controlled, and the habitat structure. Methods can include elimination of mosquito larval habitats, application of insecticides to kill mosquito larvae, or spraying insecticides from trucks or aircraft to kill adult mosquitoes. Your local mosquito control program can provide information about the type of products being used in your area. Check with your local health department for more information. Contact information may be found in the blue (government) pages of the phone book.

More information about mosquito control can be found here.

Resources for vector control professionals are located here.

  • Report dead birds to local authorities. Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in an area. By reporting dead birds to state and local health departments, you can play an important role in monitoring West Nile virus. State and local agencies have different policies for collecting and testing birds, so check with your state health department to find information about reporting dead birds in your area.

Additional Information about Insect Repellents

mosquito pic