so what do i eat?

Prepare to be bored to death because what I eat most days is dead set ordinary.  Not to be confused with bland because my food tastes fantastic.  It's just simple and basic and that's fine with me. I'm pretty much over complicated recipes and hard to find ingredients.  Gimme easy please.

I took this photo a couple of months ago because I was being a smart-ass.  While no one likes a smart-ass I never dreamed that one day Larry would ever give up his favorite takeout. This would be a typical Friday or Saturday night dinner around here. Larry would go get his beloved In-N-Out burger and fries and I'd live it up with a veggie patty and steamed broccoli.  To be honest that is one of my favorite meals.:)

But now that he's full-on hardcore vegan there is no more In-N-Out around here. I can hardly believe he has given it up.  He has replaced it with a good black bean burger which isn't the same but I know that in time he'll come to love his veggie burgers.:)

What I eat daily is so mundane, so utterly boring but I know some of you are interested so here is what an average day looks like around here.


Overnight oats.  I mix 1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal with 1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk in a cereal bowl and stick it in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning I'll add fresh or frozen fruit like blueberries or apples and a handful of nuts.  It's so delicious and so easy.

Potatoes with onions, bell pepper and soyrizo.  I chop up some onions, peppers and 2 small/med potatoes and mix in about 1/2 cup of soyrizo.  I cover it so the steam cooks the potatoes.  This is fabulous with sliced avocado.


Mostly big salads or veggie wraps or a tofurky sandwich.  These salads contain anything and everything in the refrigerator.  This has been the biggest surprise for Larry.  He never thought a salad at lunch would fill him up but it does.

When it gets cooler I'll always make soup or veggie stews for lunch.

The old standby which is leftovers are also often on the lunch menu.


Dinner almost always involves beans or pasta or another grain.  We make our own beans from scratch so I always have baggies filled in the freezer with white, black and pinto beans.  They defrost quickly for tacos or burritos.  There are literally dozens of ways to make burritos.  Some of our favorites are...

Bbq black bean burritos
Green burritos
Red burritos
Bean & rice burritos
Bean and Potato burritos

The key is to know what to do with the beans once they are cooked.

In a saute pan...

1/2 cup diced onion
1/4-1/2 cup diced jarred jalepeno (I like mine hot)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups beans (any kind)
Salt, Pepper and any other seasoning you like

The beans will absorb the broth in about 5 minutes.  Mash them as much or as little as you want. Now you have a good base to start with.

For bbq black bean tacos or burritos just add beans to your tortilla and add your favorite bbq sauce and fresh diced onion.  Fresh off the cob corn is delightful on these.

For green burritos I always use white beans and add green enchilada sauce as the topping.

The rest of the burritos are pretty self explanatory.  Once you have your basic bean recipe down, the sky is the limit.

Other nights we will have veggie stir fry over rice.

And then there is pasta which can be made one zillion ways.


tortilla chips and salsa
PBJ sandwich

So there you have it.  This is what I eat.  How are you doing with your new commitment to being vegan?  Thank you for all your fabulous comments.  That documentary really opened a lot of eyes. See you soon...xo


  1. How do you cook your beans for freezing? Thanks in advance!

    1. since so many have asked i will do a post on that. but it's simple. we put about 2-4 cups of beans (depending on how big of a batch we want to make) in a large pot and rinse them,pick out the bad ones and cover with water and bring to a boil and then shut off the heat. we leave them covered for the rest of the day or at least 3 to 4 hours and then add water if needed and bring them back to a v slow boil until done. this takes about an hour to an hour and a half. it's so easy!

  2. Hi Janet
    I was hoping the documentary would produce your menu. We are on the bandwagon as well.

  3. OMG! I love this post. I had already gone vegan since January, but have cheated a lot, especially since recently moving right near In and Out, since I absolutely love their burgers. But after watching the video "What the Health" on Netflix, I am totally on the bandwagon. No more cheating for me! And a friend also watched it with me and she said she would never eat meat again! Thanks for all the great meal ideas.

  4. Hi, Janet. This is a great post! I really like things simple, too. We were about to embark on a major change to our diet, getting rid of so many things that had become part of our cuisine, when we suffered a terrible flood. We lost everything in our fridge when they cut the power and we had to evacuate. (You should see what we found in our microwave when we moved back in. So gross.) We lost everything in the refrigerator. But it has been a perfect chance to start again. We are slowly restocking with better foods, healthy foods. Your daily choices give me a good idea of what to add to the pantry. I have been reading simplicity blogs and healthy living blogs for some time. Now is the time for me to make it happen. Sometimes adversity makes things happen!

  5. Hi Janet, my husband and I have been eating mostly plans based....still using small amounts of oil and cheese. I would also be interested in how you prepare the beans for freezing. I didn't know you could freeze the. We recently purchased an Instant Pot which makes it so easy to prepare beans fresh every time but there are those times when I'd love to pull some out of the freezer. I'm also interested in knowing if you have a brand of veggie burger you like above others. Thank you for all the useful info you've provided. I love all your posts!

  6. I pretty much eat the same thing. And like to keep it simple, too, now that my kids have moved out. I cook my beans in the oven in my le crueset dutch oven. Works great. I also eat a lot if hummus and falafel.

  7. I pretty much eat the same thing. And like to keep it simple, too, now that my kids have moved out. I cook my beans in the oven in my le crueset dutch oven. Works great. I also eat a lot if hummus and falafel.

  8. Would like to hear how Janet prepares dry beans for freezing, but I also cook mine in the oven. Better than the stove top because: it's gentle (no agitation from boiling water); works for all types of beans; no pre-soaking required; and you can set and forget.

    1. that method sounds great for the winter when i can turn on the oven!

    2. I just wanted to add that I got the idea for cooking beans in the oven from an episode of America's Test Kitchen. I always add a bit of olive oil and a pinch of baking soda along with other seasonings to my black beans, they said it keeps them from looking too gray. Also sometimes I like to add a bottle of amber Mexican beer when cooking brown beans and top them with fresh pico de Gallo. Really good! I bought a knock off version of Instapot at Sam's and hated it. I don't like cooking with nonstick and it absorbed odors. I find that if I use really "fresh" dried beans, they cook quicker in the oven. You could do a whole post on beans, Janet!😊

  9. Thanks so much for giving ideas to us "newbies".

  10. Thanks for the menu ideas. I'm committed to going vegan and the sample menu's are not boring but ideas that a newbie might not know. Now that i've watched " What the Health " there is no turning back. Thanks for enlightening me about what not to ever eat again and what i can start eating without cookbooks and such.

  11. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your ideas of clean living and health. I'm so pleased with the progress I've made as a direct result of your posts. The real biggie came when my husband(Mr. Burgers and Meat at every meal)agreed to watch What the Health with me. I was pleased and surprised that he would watch it but I was shocked when he said "let's do it!". 43 years of marriage and I don't know this man! I'm over the moon!!!
    It's hard to express my gratitude for you and your blog but Thank You!!! It may be life saving for us!
    Also, I want to add what I have been living on to some degree since last fall. I make a chopped salad/grain bowl almost every day. It takes time but I'm so addicted. Arugula or mixed dark greens, lentils or quinoa, carrots or sweet potato, cauliflower or broccoli, tofu, cheese, onions, soy beans or red or black beans and I add olive oil and balsamic vinegar and s & p. It never goes wrong but it doesn't keep overnight.

  12. Hi Janet, we eat lots of beans too. I notice some on here cook without soaking. I recently became aware of The Plant Paradox, a book waiting for me at the library. Beans have lectins that are reduced with soaking and discarding the water through several changes, and should be cooked at high heat, too. There's an interesting article here

    Also, on your journey to improve your diet, you may be interested to look into the ingredients of soy-based meat substitutes– most contain excitotoxins (the reason they taste so good), which are bad for our brains. I apologize if I seem to be lecturing. That's not my intent. We've been vegan for over 30 years and have learned a lot about the health aspects along the way (our impetus was animal rights), and I just wanted to pass those 2 on.


    1. thank you cara. i know meat subs are not the healthiest so i try to keep them to a minimum. thanks for the heads up! x

  13. GREAT ! How about simple variety ! 2-3 starches, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, or grains. For veggies, there are a ton of frozen veggie mixes that provide a swath of different veggies already chopped up and ready to heat (green and yellow veggies, leafy greens, less dense starches, etc...) And of course a few different fruits is nice that you can simply eat as they are.

    soups are important. bean soups, veggie soups, lentil soups - all
    these are nourishing and satisfying. so if you like soups you can make
    a few in large amounts every so often and freeze what you don't eat in a day or two.
    that way you'll always have some soups on hand.

    In the old days, for most people, meals were simple: porridge for breakfast, soups for lunch, and a stew for dinner.

    Easy to 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.

    Eating this way has taught me to think of food as fuel rather than as a means of entertainment, so I no longer need constant variety and elaborate recipes. Putting a few complimentary ingredients together is simple and easy and I'm happy.

    Simple and variety Simple to prepare and eat, a variety of real food goodness. No need to fuss and
    make food complicated.

  14. We eat a ton of beans around here too, but I have been reading about the lectin problem that Cara mentioned above, and I want to learn to cook my beans correctly! So, like everyone else mentioned, please share how you do it Janet. I do not like all the fake meat products (just don't care for them), but I will occasionally eat a Morning Star black bean burger. They are the best in my opinion.

    1. i'm going to have to google this emily bc i didn't know anything about that. i only rinse the beans once so that doesn't sound like enough. larry loves that black bean burger too. i like almost all the meat subs so i really have to watch it. xo

    2. This whole bean discussion has been very revealing and I've gone through the links other readers posted here. As a result, I bought an Instant Pot this week and a couple of books on how to use it (vegan cooking with an Instant Pot). I want to cook beans in a better, healthier way.

      I LEARN SO MUCH ON YOUR BLOG, JANET. Thank you for another great post; you bring out some really caring readers here so it's a win-win, both you AND them.

  15. I think you should have a BURRITO making class with two or three people once a month!!!
    CHARGE for this cooking class.I think YOU may ENJOY THIS and have a waiting LIST!!!!!!!

  16. I have enjoyed your simple menus since I started reading your blog. I love this post and now feel it's more simplified. use any special rice😁

    1. we use brown basmati rice. it cooks quite fast and it's got a lovely flavor.

  17. Still love your white bistro chili enchiladas and lasagna recipes-----the best! Janie

  18. Well...I, for one, never think you're boring, Janet; and I love your quirky menu board. I've waited for a post like this from you because I need the daily menu refresher; you've always been a very good role model but I just wish I had your talent for cooking so that everything tasted really good! Thank you for the 'compilation'. I do SO admire your commitment to veganism. You've been dedicated and have never slipped.

    My husband and I were both largely 'raised' on beef in the 50s & at home with our parents. And then the 70s with more and more fast-food restaurants. So, it's been a disaster. I've stopped with beef and he is FINALLY cutting it out (but, oh yeah, In & Out, like his whole-entire life in SoCalif; I luved 'em too at one time; still the best beef burgers out there). For him, it's totally due to health reasons after enough doctors have told him to ditch the red meat (he's tall & skinny but it still caught up with him as 'bad' in other [all!] ways.

    I will say, even though it's beastly hot & humid up north here from where you're located, I'm having good luck with roasting (in the oven; I do it at night after the sun has gone down and it's ever-so-slightly cooler in the kitchen)...roasting a lot of my garden veggies since 'raw' doesn't always 'agree' with my tummy. I've got a prolific garden right now with an abundance of tomatoes and squash, particularly. I don't roast the h*ll out of them and often I just steam them...but they're my own version of burrito filling, or piled high on a burger bun if I allow myself some bread...or mixed in with pasta if I allow myself some prob is trying to cut down on carbs at any given meal...

    Stay cool down south; sheesh, I already can't wait til Fall...

    Oh, for the umpteenth time, could you please write again somewhere about what B-vitamin supplement you take each day? Thanks, Janet! It's a liquid, right?

    1. they are Liquid Health Vit B12 drops. i really should invest some money in this blog and get a better layout. that way i'd have a sidebar with direct links to things like the b12 drops.

    2. Thank you, but the prob is me; I've read you enough to know from before what you were taking; I just got off track and couldn't find where I wrote it down.

  19. Love the "beans or pasta duh". Laughed so hard. Your meals always sound delicious!

  20. That is fantastic news about your husband. It has been so many years since I ate a burger (Wendy's big bacon classic was my favorite) that the thought of biting into one now is sickening to me. I have been big on burritos this summer, but mine consist of just throwing together beans, rice, corn, avocado if I have it, salsa, and possibly some soy sour cream. Will definitely try your base recipe for the beans. Thanks!

  21. I love this post Janet, so inspiring to hear that you go for simplicity when it comes to cooking. I will take a similar approach to our weeknight dinners. I would love to get more recipes from you as my husband and I are planning to go vegan full time.


  22. Hi Janet, I can't believe Larry gave up meat! Good for him. I have been having a hard time cooking lately...still have ongoing foot issues. I used to spend a lot more time in the kitchen than I do these days. :/

    Hope you manage to stay cool this next's going to be a yucky one.


    1. so sorry you are still having trouble with your feet linda. this week is actually turning quite nice weather-wise! x

  23. Where can I find your white bistro enchilada and lasagna recipes?

    1. you can google gardeners cottage and then the recipe or scroll thru the food archives. i need to improve the layout of this blog i apologize for the hassle it is to find things. x

  24. Janet, do you have a favorite brand of soy chorizo or tofurkey or any other items, for that matter? I have noticed a soy chorizo at Trader Joe's in the past. Thanks for this post.

    1. my favorite is Cacique. it's a mexican brand sold in southern california so i don't know if it is widely available.

    2. Thank you, Janet. Should be easy to find here in Arizona. I love all of your posts and this has been really helpful for a new vegan.

  25. I admire your attitude towards food and your efforts to live simple. When growing up (and still today) my mom always made meals up from scratch and it taught me a lot. I'm Austrian and what I love most about its traditional recipes is the ability to create marvellous dishes with just the most humble ingredients and left overs. Real crowd pleasers for the single person or to feed big families.

    As an adult I've developed histamine intolerance symptoms and I've to be careful about what I eat. I rarely eat out but prefer to cook my own very basic meals just like you. Just bought one of these vegetable spiralizer thingys - best invested 20 Euros in long time! Since I don't tolerate pasta too well, spiralized zucchini are a splendid alternative. It's easy to make and tastes so good. Yummy! So yes, enjoying a meal in the comforts of one's own home is a luxury I appreciate a lot.


  26. I've been a vegetarian since circa 1980, but haven't yet been able to go full vegan. I still like quite a variety in my menus, but have really been adding more beans, greens and onions this past year. Have you read the book "How Not to Die" by Dr. Greger? He has a website where he has research articles on science-based nutrition and advocates a vegan diet.

    Anyway, this last time I made a pot of beans, I rehydrated them overnight and then put them on "high" in a slow-cooker. Once cooked I drained, then cooled, then placed them in a 2-cup zip-loc freezer bags and froze them. I made sure to get all the air out of the bags, then placed them flat on a tray and patted down (so it's nicely flat and even in the bags) before I froze them. It's then really easy to store the bags of beans in the freezer in a plastic shoe box, where I can easily see what I've got and break-off chunks if I don't needs the entire 2 cups worth. I've been keeping bags of frozen fruit, frozen vegetables and frozen meat substitutes in those plastic shoe boxes and my freezer is so much better organized. Now nothing gets lost in the back! I hope this helps anyone wanting an easy way to make and store beans. Oh, and I always make sure to drain and rinse the beans thoroughly after rehydrating and then again after cooking and it seems to help with any flatulence issues... :)

  27. I just read The Plant Paradox and Dr. Gundry is all for vegetarian & vegan diets. He says beans must be pressure cooked to destroy lectins. There are lots of YouTube videos with him. Here's a very interesting interview

    One of the most striking bits of info from the book is that there's a sugar molecule (Neu5Gc)that humans do not make, but is found in large amounts in human tumors. That means the source is the cows, pigs or sheep those humans ate. This was amazing to me.

  28. hi dear, your menu sounds about like mine, minus the veggie burgers and soy, cancer runs big in my family and a dear naturopath who gives me health advice told me research has proven that soy can cause cancers. I am a veggie wrap queen over here making my own dressings organic and fresh, one posted to my Instgram right now. I will even skip the tortilla and make a veggie burrito with everything in it fresh and diced and spicey wrapped in a big romain lettus leaf.
    My daughter loves them. We call them veggie tacos lol

    I make my version of a smoothie yet more creamy iced, I will take frozen acai and throw it into a blender, with All frozen berries. Berries frozen with reasearch proven have more vitamins then off the berry stands in our markets unless they are picked local and in our hands writhing 24 hours. To then freeze up ourselves. The frozen organic berries leave the fields and off to a wash and freezing factory where they hold their vitamins.
    So I then blend a package of
    Lots of strawberries,
    Blue berries,
    Black berries,
    And drown them in cherry juice....
    Blend well, and poor single servings in lidded containers and then freeze.
    Ready for a great tart yet sweet dessert by thawing while eating dinner and then topping it with some granola and drizzled honey across the top and a couple of Fresh sliced strawberries, and banana if you wish, or eat plain.
    So enjoying eating clean, raw, and vegan and plant base what ever my mood is.
    I also buy walnuts, macadamia nuts lots of protein in a palm full of macadamia nuts, I keep them in my freezer I love them cold, crunchy and fresh.

    Thank you for your tasty share. Enjoy your summer salads


kindness is never out of style.

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