Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Shopping at Fresh Market and a Beautiful Cookbook!

Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time to shop and find delicious yeast-free items to eat or use in recipes.  A few weeks ago, I went to Fresh Market located at 1500 North Mills Avenue in Orlando. I love that store!  There is plenty of parking, beautiful fresh flowers, and so many healthy items on their shelves.  I have taken advantage of $2.99 Chicken and Chuck Tuesdays.  This is the day each week that there is fresh ground chuck, as well as all-natural, 99% fat free chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound.  The chicken breasts also come from chickens that are fed an antibiotic-free, 100% vegetarian diet.  The selections are already wrapped for you and ready to go!  No waiting!  I usually buy enough to stock my freezer.

I also LOVE their salsa.  The ingredients are tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice, garlic, salt, and cilantro.  Nothing else!  That is about as healthy as you can get in a jar.  And, it is delicious!

Salsa jar

Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Cute description!

One way I like to use salsa is on a salad.  Because of its moistness, it serves as a salad dressing.  No need for olive oil.  I have to give credit to my sister for that tip! 

This salad is so fast and easy to make.  It contains shredded lettuce, chopped onion, 1/2 cup of black beans, cherry tomatoes (halved), topped with Fresh Market Salsa.  If you are counting Freestyle points on Weight Watchers, this salad is Zero Points! It is a great meal to eat for lunch if you know you are going out for dinner with family or friends.

One thing that I do is read a lot of cooking blogs.  I scan them for recipes that I can use or substitute yeast-free ingredients and still have them taste great.  One of my favorite blogs is by Jessica Merchant.  She is the creator of How Sweet Eats.  I subscribe to her blog and receive an email nearly every day with recipes.  She also has a feature once a week called "Current Crushing On" in which she scans the internet for interesting recipes, organizing tips, advice, etc.  I love all of the inspiration I receive from her blog.  Today is a big day because Jessica's cookbook, The Pretty Dish, finally arrived!  I pre-ordered her cookbook a few weeks ago.  It is even more than what I expected.  Every recipe has a gorgeous picture.  I can hardly wait to read every word!

Isn't the cover beautiful?

I hope you will check out Jessica's blog and her new cookbook.  It is available many places including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

One last thing for today.  I can't resist sharing this cute picture of Milo at the dog park.  He looks so regal, like he owns the place.  Milo makes me laugh all the time.  Well, since he's a puppy, he sometimes makes me cry, too, but mostly laugh!

Have a wonderful week!


Monday, March 12, 2018

Vegan Rob's -- A Great Yeast-Free Snack

You may not know this, but I have quite an international audience reading my blog.  Naturally, most of my readership is in the United States, with Russia coming in second.  The rest of the audience rounds out with Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Poland, Germany, and the Ukraine.  So, I'd like to say "Ola", "Hola", "Bonjour", "Zdravstvuyte", "Czesc", and "Hallo" to all of my international readers.

Recently, I went to Chamberlin's Natural Foods in Orlando.  They moved their flagship store from Winter Park, FL to Orlando. http://chamberlins.com/  I really liked the new store.  It was clean, they have fresh produce, and a juice/smoothie/coffee bar.  Employees were helpful, too!  They have quite a selection of items that could be used on a yeast-free diet, similar to Whole Foods and Fresh Market.  As I was leaving, I made my newest "find"--Vegan Rob's Probiotic Cauliflower Puffs, Brussel Sprout Puffs, and Asparagus Chips.  All of the puffs/chips are Certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Certified Vegan, Kosher, and have zero trans fats. In addition the Cauliflower Puffs contain GanedenBC30 probiotic.  http://www.ganedenbc30.com/  And the best news yet is that they all taste great!  My favorite are the Asparagus Chips. 

I paired them with Lucky's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.  It is a great snack or something to add to your lunch. 

Brussel Sprout Puffs (top), Asparagus Chips, Cauliflower Puffs (bottom), Hummus (Center)
Vegan Rob's has many other flavors of puffs/chips you can check out on their website. https://veganrobs.com/  You can purchase them from the Vegan Rob's website, Amazon, and QVC, as well as some health food stores. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I recently tried Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza Crust.  You can find it in their frozen food section.  I have a homemade cauliflower pizza crust on my blog (see March 26, 2015 entry).  That particular cauliflower pizza crust follows the yeast-free diet completely.  The Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza Crust lists cauliflower as its main ingredient followed by corn flour, water, cornstarch, potato starch, olive oil, and salt.  Corn flour, cornstarch, and potato starch are normally ingredients that you are to use minimally or avoid on a yeast-free diet.  This cauliflower pizza crust is gluten free, but I want to emphasize that it is not completely yeast-free.  Depending on where you are in your diet, you may or may not want to use this crust.

Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza Crust


The instructions on the box for the cauliflower pizza crust are easy to follow.  Take the crust right out of the freezer, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, remove all packaging, flip it over, and bake it on a sheet pan for 10-12 minutes.  Then you flip it over, and bake it another 10-12 minutes.  The directions say the crust can then go under the broiler for another 4-5 minutes until it is browned.  I put it under the broiler for 2 minutes, and it was perfect.

Ready to go into the oven.

Browned and out of the oven after broiling.

I added sauce and toppings and then placed the pizza under the broiler for 4-5 minutes. I used 365 Organic Pizza Sauce from Whole Foods, Organic Girl Baby Spinach, crumbled goat cheese, onion, and Lucky's Market rotisserie chicken breast.  I do eat goat cheese, but some people may not want to do that on a yeast-free diet.

Pizza sauce, baby spinach, goat cheese, onion

Yummy Chicken!!

Finished pizza!!

The good thing about this crust is that it holds up well, and it is tasty.  I really liked it, and I will buy it again. Because it is not totally yeast-free, I would have it occasionally.  There are 80 calories for 1/6 of a crust, and the total sugars are less than 1 gram.

Nutritional Information

Ready to eat!!

Milo wants some pizza, too!  Love that face!

I hope you try Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza Crust, and enjoy it as much as I did!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

I hate to tell you, but it is 80 degrees in Orlando, Florida right now!  And it is 6:20 pm EST!  Spring is already here!  It is such a gorgeous time of year.  I enjoy sitting outside on the patio with my puppy, Milo.  I really have to watch him since he wanders around the yard looking for sticks, acorns, and bark to chew!  He certainly keeps me busy. 

This morning I woke up, took Milo for a long walk, and then started thinking about my breakfast.  I had an overripe banana, so I thought I would make 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes.  I saw a recipe for these pancakes online a long time ago, but it recently came across the weekly email I receive from The Kitchen.  www.thekitchn.com  This is one of my favorite websites for healthy recipes.

Basically, as the title of the recipe says, there are two ingredients for the pancakes.  They are gluten-free, dairy free, and of course, yeast-free!


1 medium ripe banana

2 large eggs

Optional extras:

1/8 tsp. baking powder, for added fluffiness
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup nuts
1 cup fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.)
Butter, oil, or a cooking spray such as Pam for the pan
Truvia (Stevia) instead of maple syrup or honey

My Extras: Baking soda, Vanilla, Truvia


1.  Mash the banana with a fork.  You should have no large lumps; small lumps are okay.

2.  Add extra ingredients.

3.  Whisk the eggs and add to the batter.  Note:  The consistency is different than regular pancakes.  Don't worry!  They are yummy!

4.  Heat the pan or griddle over medium heat.  Add the butter, oil, or cooking spray.

5.  Drop about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan or onto the griddle.

6.  Cook for about 1 minute.  The edges will be brown, but the middle will be loose.

7.  Flip the pancakes.  Note:  Use a thin spatula to flip the pancakes.  Sometimes I use two spatulas to flip them. 

8.  Cook for another minute or so.  You can flip the pancakes again, if needed.

9.  Serve the pancakes warm.

Cooking the pancakes!

The final product! Notice the fresh Florida strawberries!

Milo thought they smelled great!

I forgot that my placemat contained these words:
Inspire, Imagine, Dream, Achieve
Perfect for a Spring-like day!

The recipe says you could also put the bananas and eggs in a blender and make slightly larger pancakes.  They would come out more like a crepe!  That would give you even more options for this recipe.  Let me know if you try the pancakes.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 -- A Year of Changes!

The new year has brought about many changes.  One of the changes started last fall. I bought a new collie puppy, Milo, in September, 2017.  He is adorable!

Milo at 5 weeks

Milo's ride home!

Milo's 1st week home.

Which toy should I play with next?
What a cute face!

Milo and his Giraffe
Milo at 6 months

Milo likes long walks, finding sticks, watching birds and airplanes fly, and his toys!  Milo finally learned how to jump in and out of the car last week.  He is a little "fraidy cat" at times.  He has brought me so much joy!

The other news is that I retired from teaching!  I taught 2 months short of 40 years!  Retirement is a huge change, but a good one.  I'm spending a lot of time with my mother, getting my house in order, and playing with Milo.  I think it hit me that I was retired when I wasn't doing lesson plans or grading papers while watching football games on TV!

Stay tuned for my next post which will include a yeast-free recipe.  Until then, Happy 2018!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Trader Joe's and Yeast-Free Living

This summer I have expanded my shopping to Trader Joe's. I've been frequenting the store in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando, Florida.  The parking lot is large, and I usually go early on Saturday mornings.  This blog entry will focus on many of the food options I have found.

One of my favorite finds is Trader Joe's Chile Lime Chicken Burgers.  A box contains 4 frozen burgers and the cost is $3.49.  You can cook them several ways, but I take them out of the freezer and put them in a pan coated with olive oil spray. I cook them on medium heat for five minutes on each side. That evening I served the chicken burger with avocado, strawberries, and blueberries.  They are very tasty, and they are on many lists of people's favorite items at Trader Joe's.  The burgers are 3 points on the Weight Watchers SmartPoints system.  The listed ingredients of the burgers are ground chicken, onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, salt, lime juice concentrate, and red pepper flakes.  It also says "Natural Flavors", so I want you to be aware of that.  I usually stay away from as much processed food as possible, but if you want something delicious and fast, this could be a go-to item that is about as good as it gets as far as additives.

Trader Joe's Chile Lime Chicken Burgers

Easy Dinner!

Turning to the produce section, I found Trader Joe's Broccoli and Kale Slaw.  You could easily make this into a traditional slaw by adding Vegenaise, Truvia, possibly some onion, salt, and pepper.  This comes in a kit, but I did not use the dried blueberries or cherries, because of the sugar content of those items.  The slaw sells for $3.49.

Trader Joe's Broccoli and Kale Slaw


Trader Joe's also had Mini Heirloom Tomatoes when I shopped.  They were $3.99 a pound.  I bought them, even though they were a bit pricey, because they are seasonal and they looked wonderful.

Trader Joe's Mini Heirloom Tomatoes

Below is the salad that I made with the Broccoli and Kale Slaw Mix and Mini Heirloom Tomatoes. I also added avocados that I bought at Trader Joe's (4 count bag for $3.49) and almond slivers from the Broccoli and Kale Slaw Mix.  I added one teaspoon of olive oil as dressing, along with salt and pepper.

My finished salad!

Here are the strawberries I bought at Trader Joe's that I had with the Chile Lime Chicken Burgers. The strawberries were $3.29 a pound.  They were not organic, but Trader Joe's does sell organic strawberries.  


These are just a few of the items I found at Trader Joe's that would go along with a yeast-free diet. Stay tuned for more finds!  Let me know if you have found any great items at Trader Joe's, too!  Also, thank you to the many readers who have "Liked" and follow my page on Facebook.  I really appreciate it!  Happy Summer!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Yeast-Free Egg Muffins

Happy New Year!  I'm excited about 2017!  I am starting this year with a commitment to eating yeast-free as much as possible.  I got a bit off from my good health habits over the last year and a half.  I think that planning in advance what I am going to eat is crucial to success.  I try to think about my week in advance before I shop.  That way I will buy just what I need, and I won't be throwing away food.  I sometimes get too overzealous in my buying of produce, only to have plans change. Then when I am ready to cook, it is no longer fresh.  I have also tried to make some meals in advance.  It is great to come home from work and just have to heat things up for the evening meal.

A few Sundays ago, I made these eggs in a muffin tin.  I saw several of these recipes come across my Facebook page and Pinterest.  I modified the recipes I found to fit a yeast-free diet.

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, find your muffin tin that you may not have used in awhile!  I sprayed each cup with cooking spray so they would not stick.  I placed fresh spinach leaves in the bottom of the cup.  I cut grape tomatoes into slices and placed them on top of the spinach. Then I poured liquid egg whites into each cup.  I poured the egg whites until I saw them come right up to the top, being careful not to overflow.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

This is a great grab-and-go breakfast for those hectic mornings.  I ate two as soon as they came out of the oven on Sunday.  Then I stored the rest of the egg muffins in the refrigerator in the muffin tin covered with plastic wrap for the rest of the week.  I had two each morning that week.  They reheat great in the microwave in a matter of seconds.  I would not keep them any longer than 5 days in the refrigerator.  The recipe I modified said you can also freeze the egg muffins and reheat them later.  I haven't tried that yet.  You could also put 2-3 egg muffins in storage containers to make it more of a grab-and-go breakfast.  Just grab a storage container and go!  If desired, you could heat the egg muffins in the workplace microwave.

You can be as creative as your want with the egg muffins.  Add peppers, asparagus, onion, etc. to the cups. Whisk together 12 eggs or use a liquid egg substitute.  Have some precooked spinach (maybe from the previous night's dinner) or avocado on the side.  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

After dealing with the loss of my beloved nephew and sweet collie over the last year and a half, I wanted to leave readers with a quote I found that really helped me.  When it says "move on and leave it behind me", I interpret that as I will never lose the love I feel for them, just that I have to move forward with life.  Michael, my nephew, would want me to be happy.  He would have been the first to "like" this post today because he was all about healthy eating.  Happy 2017 everyone!