Meatless Monday: Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

Sautéed cauliflower topped in a tangy, sweet and sour sauce served over brown rice. This dish is incredibly healthy and delicious. 

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 3 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ – 1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce (depends on how hot you like it)
  • 1 Tbsp. gluten-free tamari
  • 2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Instructions for the Sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook 2 minutes until softened. Add the ginger and garlic, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the pineapple, brown rice vinegar, ketchup, chile sauce, tamari and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the water and the cornstarch until smooth. Add to the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute and turn off the heat. Set aside until ready to eat.

Ingredients for the Cauliflower 

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • spring onions, for garnish (optional)

Instructions for the Cauliflower 

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and let brown for 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until softened and browned, anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your stove and how al dente you like it (you should definitely go by the texture of the cauliflower, not the time). Add salt, pepper and turmeric to the skillet. Mix well. Add the pineapple juice to the skillet and heat through.
  2. Plate the cauliflower and top with the sweet and sour sauce. Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds. 
  3. Serve over brown rice. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from


Meatless Monday: Portobello Mushroom Fajitas 

These Vegan Portobello Mushroom Fajitas come together in a flash and will please even the pickiest meat eaters!  

  • 4 portobello mushrooms, cut in half and sliced
  • 4 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 large onion, sliced
  • salsa
  • guacamole
  • cilantro
  • 6-8 Tortillas (use corn tortillas if you eat Gluten Free)

Marinade for Mushrooms:

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (low sodium) vegetable broth
  • 1.5 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes 


  1. Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Place the sliced portobello mushrooms in a large plastic bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Zip the bag up and shake the bag to get all the mushrooms coated in the marinade. Place the bag in the fridge for a few hours to allow the mushrooms to soak up all the spices.
  2. In a large skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray, sauté the sliced onions until translucent. Add in the bell peppers and sauté for about 5 more minutes. Lastly add in the mushrooms and marinade and sauté until the mushrooms have softened.  
  3. Serve the pepper and mushroom mixture warm over tortillas with salsa, guacamole and cilantro.
  4. Enjoy!!!

Summer Skin Care Tips: 5 Easy Options for Sun Protection

Summer means sun, shorts, sandals, bathing suits, and bronzed skin. Who doesn’t want to be outside, sunbathing, swimming, playing catch on the beach or just grilling out in the backyard?   
While summer means fun in the sun, make sure you’re not getting too much of a good thing. Whether you’re spending your time lounging by the pool, swimming in the ocean or enjoying a walk through the park this summer, you’re bound to be out in the sun. 

Although some exposure is healthy, too much can be harmful. Avoid the consequences of overexposure to sun like sunburns, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, and skin cancer, by practicing proper sun protection. 

The hours between 10am and 4pm are the most hazardous for UV exposure in the continental United States. UV rays are the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America.

The CDC recommends these easy options for sun protection:

1. Wear Sunscreen
Use a sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher (up to 50) and that says “broad-spectrum” on the label (means it will provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays). 

 Sunscreen wears off. So, you should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Because most people use too little sunscreen, make sure to apply a generous amount.

Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.

2. Protect your Skin with Clothing:

When you are out in the sun, wear clothing to protect as much skin as possible. 

Loose‐fitting long‐sleeved shirts and long pants made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection from the sun’s UV rays. A wet T‐shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one. Darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. 

If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T‐shirt or a beach cover‐up. Keep in mind that a typical T‐shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.

3. Wear a Hat 

 Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.

For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.
A baseball cap protects the front and top of the head but not the neck or the ears, where skin cancers commonly develop. So if you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using sunscreen with at least SPF 15, or by staying in the shade.

4. Wear sunglasses that block UV rays 

 Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.

Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard.

5. Seek Shade 

 Seek shade, especially during midday hours.

You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade.

Follow these summer skin care tips to ensure that your skin is protected and stays healthy this season. Don’t Get Burned!!!

For more information visit


Meatless Monday: Fruit Sushi! So Amazing you will be speechless !


This is an excellent Meatless Monday recipe that I can wait to try myself. I love sushi and fruit. Fruit Sushi… Brilliant!!!

Originally posted on Vegan Needs:

Hi Everyone..

yes I am sharing another recipe by Youtube Gemma stafford!! I found this recipe on her lovely channel ” Bigger Bolder Baking” She does not focus on Vegan desserts all the time, but she has some fantastic recipes that I absolutely adore and keep making!


thanks Gemma for the lovely recipes :)

If you have not yet please check out her channel HERE! 

& Here is a link to her video and a list of ingredients and instructions from her channel written below!


1 1/2 cups Sushi Rice ( regular rice will not work)

2 cups Water

3 Tbsp Sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

(1 cup) 8 oz Coconut Milk

1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract

Fruit Mango, pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, raspberries.

Choose any fruit you like including banana, orange, peaches, etc


For the Rice: Using a strainer, rinse the rice to remove the milky…

View original 322 more words

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Nutrition and Anxiety: Is Your Diet Making You Anxious?

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. (affecting over 40 million adults). 
You may think that the stress in your life is just a result of your hectic schedule or financial worries. But what you may not realize is that the food you eat for comfort could not only be adding stress to your system, but could also be causing you to see the challenges in your life as more stressful than they are.

Symptoms such as insomnia, irrational fears, and chronic worrying are red alerts that your body and brain are stuck in “fight or flight” mode. But how did you get there? We often blame our jobs or family life, but what’s on our plate can also turn up the tension. Although there are many causes of anxiety, there are some common foods that may be making your anxiety worse. So, I have put together a list of 3 common foods that might be making you anxious.

1.  Caffeine 

Millions of people rely on a regular caffeine fix to jump start their day or to perk up when their energy nosedives. Caffeine is a stimulant (which can be bad news for someone with anxiety). Caffeine’s jittery effects in your body are very similar to those of a frightening event. That’s because caffeine stimulates your body’s “fight or flight” response. Studies have shown that consuming too much caffeine can make anxiety worse and even trigger a panic attack (racing heartbeats, shortness of breath, etc). Similar to the symptoms of anxiety, consuming too many cups of coffee may leave you feeling nervous, moody, and unable to sleep! 

Try this instead: 

  • Drink more water, and decaffeinated tea and coffee, and ask the barista for only a single shot in your long black. 
  • Avoid energy drinks. Some have the equivalent of five cups of coffee in one can.
  • Wean yourself off caffeine over time to avoid symptoms such as headaches, and switch to drinks such as dandelion coffee and herbal tea.

2. Sugar 

The Standard American Diet, which is full of sugar and fat, does not necessarily cause anxiety but it does appear to worsen anxiety symptoms and impair the body’s ability to cope with stress. Individuals who suffer from panic attacks, for example, are hyper-alert to signs of impending danger. Sugar can cause blurry vision, difficulty thinking and fatigue, all of which may be interpreted as signs of a panic attack, thereby increasing worry and fear. A sugar high and subsequent crash can cause shaking and tension, which can make anxiety worse.

Try this instead: 

Make a goal to eliminate sugar for 1 week (or 2) and see how you feel. You might not even realize how bad it makes you feel until you add it back in. Try it out for yourself!

3.  Food additives: Aspartame, Food Coloring, Dyes  

Many people suffer from mood swings after eating food additives like artificial flavors, colors & sweeteners. Avoid them where possible or if you do have something with an artificial dye or sweetener try to monitor how you feel afterwards. Many artificial sweeteners & colorings are neurotoxins and can disrupt the normal functioning of your nervous system resulting in increased feelings of anxiety.

Food for Thought:

If you experience stress and anxiety or panic attacks, making some modifications to your diet may help alleviate your symptoms. 


Meatless Monday: Indian-Spiced Potato & Pea Patties

These potato patties are 100% vegan and they make a great appetizer or you can serve them as a main dish! 



  • 3 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
  • ¾ cup frozen peas (uncooked)
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbs. grated ginger
  • 1 handful fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbs. bread crumbs (I used panko)
  • 4 tbs. flour (I prefer chickpea flour)


  1. Once the potatoes have been boiled and mashed, add in all the other ingredients.
  2. Form into patties (you should be able to get 8 large patties or 10 smaller ones).
  3. Heat a little oil over medium-high heat and fry a few minutes on each side until golden brown. 
  4. Drain and cool on paper towels.
  5. Serve with any kind of sauce you like.

Poison Ivy & Other Poisonous Plants

7 out of 10 people are allergic to poison ivy, making this the world’s most common allergy. People who have the allergy are sensitive to an irritating resin that’s found in poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.   
A rash from poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac is caused by an oil (resin) found in these plants called urushiol (you-ROO-shee-all). When this oil touches your skin, it often causes an itchy, blistering rash.

See a Doctor

Most people can safely treat the rash at home. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, go to the emergency room right away. 

If you have any of the following, go to the emergency room right away:

  • You have trouble breathing or swallowing
  • The rash covers most of your body
  • You have many rashes or blisters
  • You have a temperature over 100 F
  • If the rash spreads to your eyes, mouth, genital area, or covers more than one-fourth of your skin area
  • You experience swelling, especially if an eyelid swells shut
  • Much of your skin itches, or nothing seems to ease the itch
  • If the itching keeps you awake at night

Tips for Treatment

If you do not have the above symptoms, the rash appears on a small section of your skin, and you are absolutely certain that your rash is due to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, you may be able to treat the rash at home. To treat a rash from poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac and help stop the itch, the following recommended:

  1. Immediately rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water. If you can rinse your skin immediately after touching poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, you may be able to rinse off some of the oil. 
  2. Wash your clothing. Thoroughly wash all of the clothes you were wearing when you came into contact with the poisonous plant. The oil can stick to clothing, and if it touches your skin, it can cause another rash.
  3. Wash everything that may have the oil on its surface. Besides clothing, the oil from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can stick to many surfaces, including gardening tools, golf clubs, leashes and even a pet’s fur. Be sure to wash your pet’s fur, and wash tools and other objects with warm, soapy water (this is also discussed in “Tips for Prevention.”
  4. Take short, lukewarm baths. To ease the itch, take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore. You can also draw a bath and add one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help.
  5. Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. You can make a cool compress by wetting a clean washcloth with cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then, apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin.
  6. Leave blisters alone. If blisters open, do not remove the overlying skin, as the skin can protect the raw wound underneath and prevent infection.
  7. Try not scratch, as scratching can cause an infection.

Other Home Remedies include:

  • Moisten a plain old tea bag (black or green, it doesn’t matter) and apply it to the itchy skin. The tannic acid in tea, which is astringent, helps contract inflamed tissue and relieve the itching.
  • Dab calamine lotion onto the rash. This classic poison ivy remedy relieves itch and will help dry up blisters. If you find the lotion too runny, just mix in a little cornstarch.
  • Using a cotton ball, treat your rash with witch hazel, which has a great reputation as a skin soother. The kind that comes in an alcohol solution cools your skin as it evaporates.
  • Use a vinegar compress to dry the rash and relieve itching. Mix a half-cup white vinegar with 1-1/2 cups water. Chill in the refrigerator. When you need cool relief, moisten a cloth in the solution and press it onto the rash.

Remember: If your rash is not improving after 5-7 days, or you think your rash may be infected, seek medical treatment. A healthcare professional can treat your rash and any infection and help relieve the itch.

Tips for Prevention 

Learn what poison ivy, oak, and sumac plants look like so you can avoid them. The following explains how you can identify these plants so you can avoid these plants. But, keep in mind that the appearance of each of these plants can vary considerably from region to region and with the seasons. 

What poison ivy looks like:  


  • Each leaf has 3 small leaflets.
  • It grows as a shrub (low woody plant) in the far Northern and Western United States, Canada, and around the Great Lakes.
  • It grows as a vine in the East, Midwest, and South of the United States.
  • In spring, it grows yellow-green flowers.
  • It may have green berries that turn off-white in early fall.

What poison oak looks like: 


  • Each leaf has 3 small leaflets.
  • It most often grows as a shrub.
  • It can grow as a vine in the Western United States.
  • It may have yellow-white berries.

What poison sumac looks like: 


  • It has 7 to 13 leaflets per leaf stem. The leaves have smooth edges and pointed tips.
  • It grows as a tall shrub or small tree in bogs or swamps in Northeast, Midwest, and parts of the Southeast. 
  • Leaves are orange in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange, or red in fall. 
  • It may have yellow-greenish flowers and whitish green fruits (berries) that hang in loose clusters.

Other Tips for Prevention:

  • Wash your garden tools and gloves regularly. If you think you may be working around poison ivy, wear long sleeves, long pants tucked into boots, and impermeable gloves.
  • Wash your pet if it may have brushed up against poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Use pet shampoo and water while wearing rubber gloves, such as dishwashing gloves. Most pets are not sensitive to poison ivy, but the oil can stick to their fur and cause a reaction in someone who pets them.

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