eat right and enjoy it

moving away from GERD to surviving and thriving on a plant-based diet: follow me and learn from my challenges and as I take this journey

1 Comment

Chili with Cucumber Salsa

Sometimes the weather drives what I cook for dinner.  It’s really cold out today so it’s Chili time.  I believe Chili is one of those dishes that can be very personal.  We add the ingredients we like and we omit the ones we don’t.  This is my version I hope you can use something from it.grassfed_beef

I always use grass fed beef.  I know it costs more but it is worth it, it just tastes better.


Baking Chocolate

I use 1 oz. of 100% cacao.  It gives the chili a depth of flavor and some body.

I prefer to use beef cubes over beef broth.  The cubes seem to intensify the beef flavor.

I make a cucumber salsa and add that to the chili.  It gives the chili that taco-ish flavor that compliments the chili and the cucumbers give it a texture that I love.

Because the beef granules have their own salt and there is salt in the salsa I don’t really add salt to the chili.


Cucumber Salsa

1 or 2 Cucumbers chopped

1 or 2  Small cans of green chilies

1 or 2 Tomatoes chopped

1 Onion chopped

Cilantro (dried or fresh)

Lime Juice


Add the ingredients together to your taste!  Make enough for at least 2 cups.  This salsa is even better if allowed to sit overnight before adding to the chili.

Olive Oil

1 Onion chopped

1 Bell Pepper chopped

2 lbs. Ground Beefchili_seasonings

6 Beef Cubes

2 Cups of Cucumber Salsa

4-5 Cups of Water

1 oz. Baking Chocolate 100% Cacao chopped

Chili Powder to your taste (I use about 2-3 tbsp.)

Cumin to your taste ( I use about 1 tbsp.)

Chipotle Powder to your taste (I use about 1 tsp.)

1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Can of Pinto Beans (optional) (one of our beneficial foods)


Cooked Beef

Cover the bottom of a pot with the olive oil

Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes

Next add the grass fed beef and cook for 10 minutes

Add the beef cubes, use a large spoon to break up the cubes as they cook down, do this until the beef is thoroughly cooked

Mix in 2 cups of Cucumber Salsa, and the water then bring to a boil

Add the chocolate, once the chocolate has melted add the next 4 ingredients to your taste

Finally, let the chili simmer for 10 minutes

If you want to add the pinto beans do it at the very end and simmer until the beans are thoroughly heated

You can top your chili with green onions and or mozzarella cheese.  Serve it over quinoa or gluten free noodles.  Put the chili inside a taco shell made from a grain that doesn’t offend your diet.  Layer the bottom of the shell with spinach leaves and top it off with some of the cucumber salsa.  I could not find a shell that didn’t offend my diet so I used a corn shell (oops!)  beef_taco


Leave a comment

Something A Little Sweet

I’ve been back from vacation for a few weeks now and everything went great.  The strategies I put in place to help me not totally wreck my diet worked.  Instead of gaining weight I actually lost a pound that week!  I decided that sharing meals and making wise choices works anytime you have to stray from your diet. Well enough about that – now it is time for something a little sweet.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but every now and then I do get a bit of a craving.  I discovered “Black Bean Brownies” a while ago.  I really like the brownies and the recipe doesn’t offend my diet too much.  I found the recipe here, but of course I’ve made the suitable substitutions.

I used canned black beans and I’ve tried different types of flour such as:  Quinoa, Spelt, or Brown Rice.  You really can not taste the black beans – these brownies are delicious.  Go ahead and experiment!



That Sneaky, Sneaky, Sneaky WHEAT!

The other day I decided to make what I call “Seaweed Wraps”.  I was so proud of myself I was going to amp up my calcium, protein, zinc and iodine intake.  The seaweed wraps were delicious on their own, but I decided to make a dipping sauce.  I used soy sauce in the dipping recipe, afterwards I discovered soy sauce contains wheat. 😦

This taught me a few valuable lessons.  I need to keep it simple – I didn’t really need the dipping sauce.  I need to really read product labels, who would of thought there was wheat in soy sauce.  I need to cut back on processed foods this includes sauces and spice blends.

Wheat is very sneaky it hides in things such as:  condiments (ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce), beverages (wine, beer), and spice blends.  Spelt is another product that I have consumed and it also contains wheat, even though sometimes it is touted as a gluten-free flour.  Anyway it’s not the end of the world – you live and you learn.  Check out the recipe below – I enjoyed it!  No recipe for the dipping sauce though.

2-3 shredded carrots (I used a vegetable peeler)
2 cucumbers slice thin into sticks
2 stalks of celery chopped thin
the white parts of a bunch green onions chopped (optional)

1 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Szechwan 5 Spice Seasoning
1 tsp. Triple Blend Sea Seasoningseaweedwrap_shrimp_crab

2 cups of salad shrimp
2 8oz containers of crab claw meatseaweedwrap_seaon
2 packages of Sushi Nori Seaweed Sheets

Thaw the salad shrimp.  Remove shells and cartilage from the crab claw meat. Rough chop the shrimp and gently mix with the crab meat.  Add the seasoning to the crab/shrimp mixture and set aside.

Cut the Nori sheets in half lengthwise.  Layer a small amount of the vegetables in the middle of each half sheet.  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the crab/shrimp mixture on top of the layered vegetables.  Roll each sheet enclosing the ingredients and tie off with green onions to secure the wraps.  Please make this recipe your own.  Substitute the ingredients for your favorites and add seasonings that delight your taste buds!

seaweedwrap_nori    seaweedwrap_one                        seaweedwrap_two



Leave a comment


It’s the weekend and I’m feeling a little like GUMBO.  Gumbo is a great dish because essentially you can add whatever you want to it.  I made my roux using buckwheat flour, olive oil and a little butter to give it a rich depth of flavor!  This dish is a lot of work but it’s worth it.

i gumbo_4 gumbo_3 gumbo_5

I used turkey smoked sausage, and I seasoned the salad shrimp with Old Bay seasoning.  Delicious!