good morning


Thought I'd share a bit of my morning with you.  The front garden is really strutting her stuff right now.  So much prettier than the day we moved in...











I haven't been able to bring any roses in the house this year.  They are too strong and my allergies flare up almost immediately.  It's bumming me out.



Oatmeal without sugar.  Sweetened instead with a mashed banana and sprinkled with blueberries and pecans.  I've been in the kitchen a lot this week experimenting with some really great recipes I've found on-line.  There are So many great health/vegan websites out there.  There is much to learn about to be a healthy vegan instead of the lazy one I had turned into.  I'm enjoying it although it is more work making everything from scratch.  My hope is that I can come up with about 10 really good/simple recipes to keep on rotation.  Anyway that's about it from here.  Have a great weekend and take care. x








60 comments

  1. Janet, you really are living in the home of my dreams! I too want a small, simple, stylish house and a rose garden. It looks lovely. Your blog is such an inspiration, thank you!

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  2. What a contrast to our drab and rainy afternoon - all flattened bluebells and waterlogged violas! xxx

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  3. You will find me out in the front garden sipping a mint julup on the weekend - we have so much snow still I need to use yours! :-) it looks beautiful!

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  4. Your garden is gorgeous! I love seeing the before and after. :)
    I commiserate with you on your rose allergy . . . roses I can do, but lilacs just kill me. Mine are just now starting to bloom and it's always hard to resist the urge to bring them in.
    Have a lovely weekend!

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  5. I've been wanting to move to California lately, and your pictures really seal the deal! Where I live, the season typically goes from winter to summer (we may have like a week long spring, which is gorgeous but too short). I'd love to move to somewhere with warmer weather along with longer spring and fall seasons. The oatmeal looks great. I feel inspired to eat healthier every time I stop by here. Hope your allergies get better soon.

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  6. Cooking from scratch becomes easier as you do it more and more! Hang in there, I know you will ~ and once you get into the groove of making everything yourself you'll find any convenience foods just don't taste good and aren't worth the timed saved, if any time is really saved at all. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. What is the measurement of the oatmeal in that bowl...it doesn't look like much at all? Laura

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    1. i use 1/34 cup dry oatmeal to make 2 servings.

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    2. I'm betting that's a typo. 1 and 3/4 cups, perhaps? 1/34 of a cup is less than 1/2 tblsp. We know you are thin, but not that thin! ;-)

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  8. Gardens are so restorative. Mine also gives me deep pleasure. In the spirit of sharing recipes, this site:http://www.mynewroots.org/site/ is an abundant source of recipes and nutrition information. While it isn't strictly vegan, the author shares many vegan recipes and recipes which can be modified to be. My current favorite is the Spring Abundance Bowl. Its a keeper because it lends itself to modification depending on the ingredients you have available. I make most everything from scratch these days and find it very calming and relaxing to prepare a meal from organic whole ingredients. Best wishes to you as you forge a new path for yourself. Thanks for sharing with others.

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    Replies
    1. Just checked out my new roots and it looks amazing. Loved the travel ideas and I can't wait to try some of the other recipes. Thanks for the tip!

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    2. Absolutely- happy to share goodness. You might try the Chubby Vegetarian site, too. Great fun, and delicious food.

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  9. LOVE your garden!! It must be a joy for the whole neighbourhood to see your home and garden so well-loved and in such great shape! :)

    Thanks for idea of sweetening the oatmeal with a banana -- usually I add dried cranberries and a dash of lo-fat milk .... Can't wait to see your latest grocery finds!

    As always, many thanks for all of your hard work to keep us well-loved, well-fed and well-informed!

    Cheers! Jan at Rosemary cottage

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  10. Love the garden and that oatmeal looks fabulous.

    My advice for everyone is : KEEP IT SIMPLE

    When we first started eating this way more than 3 years ago, I would make three or four different dishes for a meal, in an effort to imitate the American-style of serving a main dish, two or three side dishes, and a dessert. But I soon learned that too much variety makes for too much work. In the old days, for most people, meals were simple: porridge for breakfast, soups for lunch, and a stew for dinner. If you plan your meals around a single dish, possibly supplementing it with a salad or vegetable side dish. Think of pasta with a topping, or rice covered with a sauce, or just plain soup and wholesome bread.

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly how we have been eating for years. Soups when it's cold, salads for warmer weather.
      So simple, yet so easy and healthy (and very few dishes to wash!).
      Standard American Diet = SAD

      ~skye

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  11. Oh your garden is an oasis of beauty...and your breakfasy looks delicious.
    When I make oatmeal I am a wee bit naughty 'cuz I splash a teeny bit of maple syrup on mine.\
    Sorry to hear that your allergies are giving you grief...I'd like to know how one might get rid of allergies...is there anything out there that anyone might know about? Just curious because i have so many friends who really suffer at this time of year.

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    1. The key for me is to take 1 Clariten 24 hour, melt in your mouth tabs every day, all year round. It works as a preventative. I do not get sleepy during the day and sleep during the night. Dr. suggested it and I do not get seasonal allergies like I used to.

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    2. i'm trying this right now jeanne. so far so good. thanks!

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  12. This looks soooo delicious. So glad you are experimenting....I loved the pecan truffles! Thanks!

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  13. The rose garden looks beautiful! I like adding a tablespoon of these to my oatmeal now and then, to change it up. http://navitasnaturals.com/product/439/Cacao-Nibs.html

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  14. Love that big tree in your front yard - how lucky you are! A perfect swing tree!

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  15. Beautiful. Also, the oatmeal looks very yummy.

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  16. I've found that fresh organic vegies, fruit, nuts etc require less effort because they are already packed with flavour. For work days, I rotate a menu of our favourite dishes on a weekly basis and typically change it seasonally. This enables us to eat well without having to think too much about it, or spend lots of time in the kitchen/at the grocer. Experimentation happens on the weekends when we have more time. We are not vegan but all of our meals are plant-based and use minimally processed ingredients. I love the following blog for fast healthy recipe ideas using only 5 ingredients (all the recipes can be 'veganised').

    http://thestonesoup.com/blog/

    Spud.

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  17. Janet, I love the idea of sweetening with mashed banana! I have been devouring healthy recipe cookbooks trying to find yummy new things for our littles and have been so frustrated at how many 'healthy' recipes include sugar! I will use your banana idea - love it! xoCatherine

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  18. I agree, had not considered a banana for a sweetener. Will try.
    Coco

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  19. Roses!!!! Hello summer. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. Clear out the spare room, I'm coming next week (still brown here). Xo

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  20. stunning garden J, you've worked wonders. Am jealous of your sun x

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  21. Lovely garden! I'm interested in hearing about the foods you come up with, too.

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  22. The roses are amazing, and like you, I cannot have them in the house. I do love to stare at them from the window though! Glad you are getting back to a more natural diet- I know that is much more work than the fast/easy route. Cannot wait to see some of your recipes.

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  23. Your garden is beautiful. I am sorry to hear about your allergies. I have family members that suffer with them, too. Lilcs are the worst for my sister. Best wishes with your recipes. Will be great to see and try what you come up with. Happy Weekend!

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  24. I often make some museli as follows: Lots of rolled oats, one chopped apple, a big spoonfull of cinnamon and cover the whole thing with non-dairy milk (I use oat milk). I soak overnight in the fridge. I eat it for breakfasts and snacks . It's sweet tasting without sugar. No cooking involved. Stays fresh in the fridge a few days.

    I make some veggie soups, but not with cashews, as they are high in fat. If I want them to be creamy, I either use some non-dairy milk or make something pureed. One of my favorite soups is a whole big pot of peeled potatoes, and two or three sliced leeks. Cover with water and cook until the potatoes start to fall apart. Add a big spoonful of dill weed (dried or fresh) and some ground caraway seeds. Salt to taste. Toward the end of cooking you can add some non-dairy milk.

    I make tabouleh as follows: pour boiling water over a bowl full of bulgar wheat. Let it stand a couple hours until it's cool and the wheat has absorbed most of the water. Drain through a strainer. Add lots of finely minced parsley, mint leaves, green onions (scallions) and tomatoes-maybe some chopped celery too and stir in. Add the juice of several lemons. Use Meyer lemons if you can get them, but regular lemons are ok. Chill well. I keep this in the fridge .

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  25. Please share your 10 recipes once you figure it out! Thanks!

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  26. That is extraordinarily disappointing to have all those beautiful roses and you can't bring them in! Oh well, they are still beautiful on the plant. Are your allergies worse because of the drought? There is a very healthy low calorie sweetener called aspartame that you could try! Haha. What is the consensus on sweetening with stevia? As in leaves from the plant, not the brand. I grow it but never end up doing anything with it. My impression has always been that one would have to make an infused alcohol that would carry the sweetness rather than just chopping up the leaves. Which hardly seems to be a healthier alternative. I was cooking all day yesterday and kept feeling sooooo guilty seeing my constant stream of olive oil! :/

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    1. stephen andrew i have no idea where they are coming from but this is the 3rd straight year. it is so sad to do that much work and then not to be able to bring even one inside. :(

      i know really nothing about stevia other than i'm not a fan of the taste. :)

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  27. I also make my own mueli these days, so much nicer without all the added sugar once you lose the taste you can't go back. I live near London where rain is plenty today, and the blossom is being washed off the trees as I type, and our roses are months away, so thank you for sharing your roses - from lilacs!

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  28. We Scots put salt in our porridge, I've never understood the sugar connection there - yeauch!
    I am addicted to pecans, my waistband tells me time to cut down, that bowl of yours looks delicious

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    1. I'm with you, Tabitha, salt and olive oil or a bit of butter. Never could manage the sweet version of oats. Must be the Gunn in me!

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    2. i wonder why americans started putting sugar on it? larry has never liked his sweetened and now i'm coming around.

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  29. Janet, your food has never looked like the lazy option to me, I wish I had your talent.

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  30. Would you be able to recommend some of the blogs you are looking at for new vegan ideas? Trying to slowly work myself in that direction and I find I get a little stumped for ideas. (Lazy vegetarian here )

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  31. Your garden looks gorgeous, Janet!

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  32. I think people can get caught up in the idea that they have to have interesting, time consuming recipes all the time.
    What's wrong with plain food ? I like to just have the "easy to prepare" food most of the time, and then
    when I'm in the mood, then pull out the fancier recipes.

    "Keep it simple " is my motto ! As someone else already posted.!

    We eat potatoes, pasta, soups, vegetables, beans, lentils, rice, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds. It's cheap and easy to make steel cuts oats type
    of oatmeal and add blueberries and a few walnuts.
    we eat a lot of soups and steamed vegetables over rice with a drizzle of Bragg's amino acids, salads with raw veggies
    and green smoothies.

    A simple meal is a baked potato with beans and salsa or bbq sauce.
    You can also now almost always find pre-cut/chopped FRESH veggies in bags - all you do is
    open the bag & rinse and then eat the veggies raw or steam. Or add to veg broth and make soup.
    Quick meal? Fix a pot of rice or soba noodles and steam some frozen veggies. ....mix together & eat with Braggs amino acids and a few
    sesame seeds sprinkled on. At the market the other day I bought a bag of fresh organic pre-cut cubes of sweet potatoes, butternut squash & beets.
    I had made brown rice with other mixed grains the day before so I just reheated the rice & grains, steamed the cubed potatoes,
    squash & beets and mixed it all together - squeezed on some fresh lemon juice and had a yummy meal. I had some raw broccoli
    [ organic cut up flowerlets ] and some organc baby carrots along with some no oil hummus to go with my
    rice/grain/potato/veg dish.

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  33. Janet, your you're garden looks wonderful as does the oatmeal. Really like the idea of 10 simple recipes to rotate.
    Have a great weekend...
    Julie

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  34. Janet, your garden looks fab! It's a shame you can't bring in any roses right now :-(

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  35. While I'm not vegan, I do make a lot of meals that are vegan. One is this wonderful spring vegetable soup. I posted the recipe on my blog a year ago (http://mylittlebungalow.blogspot.com/2013/04/spring-vegetable-soup.html). I added the scallions to the recipe and switched out veggie broth for chicken broth to make it vegetarian. You might like to try this recipe, Janet. Another favorite of mine is a polenta and bean pie (are you still eating corn products?). It's my go-to comfort food.
    Claudia

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  36. Janet, I'm glad you're focusing more on the unprocessed and healthier vegan options. I too have been refining my vegan diet. Vegan doesn't always equal healthy as I try to explain to people who offer me vegan cookies loaded with white flour, oil and sugar. I look forward for reading your recipes.

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  37. Oooh- I love oatmeal and yours looks fantastic. I am now looking forward to breakfast. Seriously, I think that sometimes the only thing we need to spice up our meals is a little imagination. The basic meal is easy to make. It just takes a little creativity to make the meal amazing. I have never liked cooking because following complicated recipes is a drag (that's a little 60's, isn't it), but if we start with something as simple as oatmeal and add a few special ingredients, even I can produce a tasty meal.

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  38. I wish your blog was scratch and sniff! Your roses look so beautiful.

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  39. When my in-laws transitioned to vegan eating they tried to find 3 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that they could rotate and really get the prep and shopping down on. Then after a couple weeks they added in a few new foods. It is working!


    I am maintaining a vegan diet now for 3+ years. What made it work well for me was actually to completely avoid what I call "fake" meats and cheeses, and instead I learned to do a lot with lentils using Indian spice mixes; and also a lot with rice and various beans. I found that dried porcini mushrooms instill a wonderfully "meaty" taste to casseroles or pasta dishes or soups.

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  40. Hi Janet! I am jealous of your warm looking photos. It's a damp and dreary weekend over here.

    My husband has bad allergies and last spring he started taking a 1-2 tablespoons of local honey daily and improved remarkably. I know vegans don't do honey but I find that taking local honey has to be a better option than medication. And I am very choosey about my honey... It helps that I live next door to my Dad who is a small beekeeper who keeps bees just for our family's personal use!
    Just a small thought. :)

    ~diane

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  41. You have certainly kept me inspired on my path to a simple, healthy, healing lifestyle!

    I have horrible allergy problems in both spring and fall. I have tried almost every over the counter and prescription medication out there including steroids (which my doctor handed out like candy). I have finally found something that is all natural that really works for me. I know this sounds a bit crazy (because I thought so at first too!) but once I tried it, I was a believer. It is 2 drops of lemon, 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of peppermint pure therapeutic grade essential oil in a shot glass of water or in a veggie capsule. If the bottle of essential oil says it is for external use only, DO NOT USE this way, the oil in the bottle is 100% pure but there are also other additives. I go through a company on line for my oils and this company also has it made up in softgels too. I have thrown away all my over the counter medications and just use essential oils. No more chemicals for me--inside my body or outside my body!

    Hope you are sitting out in your garden enjoying the beauty of it all!

    Teresa

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    1. thanks teresa. last year my allergies didn't bother me as much, i mean they were really mild but this year seems worse. altho over this weekend they were fine. i'll ask at the health food store for the oils. thanks again.

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  42. Interesting information about the natural help for allergies- timely, since it is supposed to be a bad season for them.
    The roses are so lovely, and the gardens calming. I love your goal of the 10 meals- it made me remember to try things in doable, simple steps.!

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  43. Janet,
    I cannot recommend Angela Liddon's cookbook from Oh She Glows enough! I love all of her recipes and this book (as does her blog) has some serious winners! The tomato soup recipe is to die for! Please check her out if you have not already.

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    1. thanks emily. i have been following her for awhile, ever since i saw her pumpkin pie smoothie. :)
      i will check out her tomato soup recipe as tomatoes are so plentiful now.

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  44. I eat a similar breakfast every morning......steel cut oatmeal topped with a sprinkle of ground flax seeds, a small handful of walnuts, blueberries, and a half of a banana which adds sweetness without added sugar.
    Delicious, healthy, and I have become addicted to this breakfast.

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  45. In an effort to eat more whole food I've starting doing more smoothies! I got a new blender for my birthday that actually blends and finding I can make a really healthy fruit and nut based drink for breakfast or lunch that is filling and delicious! Nice for hot days too. My current favorite has coconut, pineapple, fresh squeezed OJ, and homemade almond milk. YUM. Thought you might enjoy! Great way to use up "extra" fruit and veggies too! I just throw it in the blender:)

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    1. sounds delish!!
      i don't know what i'd do without a blender. we'd never be able to eat all the kale i'm able to blend into smoothies. i love homemade almond milk too. and now i'm wondering if i could use the almond meal leftover in the brownies i posted today. yes, i think it'd work perfectly!

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  46. One of the beautiful places I have ever seen! I’m not a good gardener, but I find myself loving flowers most especially a garden with full of love! Your front garden is stunning and I can’t take my eyes to see a beautiful garden! Gorgeous!

    Sebastian Chuter

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kindness is never out of style.

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