Mango Monday and More

 Hoping you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and it wasn’t too difficult returning to reality, today.  We had some quality beach time, our first 4th of July in 14 years without the bigredguy trying to find a place to hide, good food (lots of mangoes) and much rest and relaxation.  It was nice to see our kids celebrating the holiday with their other families out west and out in western Florida, where Nicole went for her final dress fitting with her parents.  Emotions are running high for all of us as the big day is now less than 4 weeks away!!!!

 I did want to share the simple mango salsa/salad I made this weekend.  With mangoes in abundance this is the time to make this.


Crispy corn tortillas with black bean & mango ...

C (Photo credit: Amy Groark)

 1 mango cut and diced into cubes

 2 ears of cooked corn (ours were grilled and leftover from the night before)  You could use a can of corn if you had to

 1 can black beans rinsed and drained

   juice of a lime (or 2)

 chopped cilantro


Mix all ingredients and refrigerate.

Delicious as a side dish, or on chips– or good all by itself!

Great to bring to a picnic as it has no dairy to worry about spoiling :)


Our home land phone line was out for the holiday weekend and then some.  There were some really nice aspects of that.  Today AT&T came out to fix it, so our internet was off for a good part of the day.  No landline, no internet.  Still between Mitch and I that left 3 cell phones and a landline in Mitch’s office.  It’s really kind of crazy when you think about it.  I know that we never want to go backwards in life.  Technology has in many ways plunged us forward and I can appreciate that, but I admit to often wishing we were all a little less plugged in.  We have our main house phone working again, and are back on line, but of all the things I saw as I caught back up on what I “missed” I loved this and had to share.  Thanks, Andrew.  And thanks to all that make me forget to look at my phone.   You are all way more important.  I will try to be the kind of person that makes you forget to look at yours……….Namaste


Weekend Wrap Up

Q.  What’s the NUMBER ONE question vegans are asked?

A. “Where do you get your protein from?”

I believe, after about 5 or so years of getting my nutrition from foods other than animals, that I get enough of most all my nutrients, pretty easily.  The past few weeks, I have been revisiting some bean salads that I make on Sunday and have for most of the week.  There truly is NO recipe for this.  Since I always keep canned beans in the house, I just open a few different kinds, rinse them well and throw them in a big bowl with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I generally use a combination of northern beans, garbanzos, black beans and whatever else I might have handy.  I usually add some diced red onions and a little salt and pepper. Yesterday, I added some diced hot and sweet peppers out of a jar.  It can be eaten right away, but gets better as it sits in the fridge.  It can be eaten alone or thrown on top of a garden salad.  While just 1/2 cup of beans are a nice bang of protein (about 8 grams) the even better part is that same half cup gives you about 8 grams of fiber!!  Where else can you find that much fiber in small serving?  It helps keep your digestive system healthy, and definitely helps keep you full, a big bonus if you are looking to lose some weight.  Since canned beans are so inexpensive you can whip up a salad like this for about 5 bucks and it will make enough for many servings!  If I happen to have a ripe mango, I like to dice it up and throw it on top of this salad for some sweetness.  Be creative and let me know what you come up with.

If you are still in the ab challenge….100/150/58/90seconds  and tomorrow we rest.  PHEW!

I will be at the gym for my 2 regularly scheduled classes and will be subbing for Ellen at 10.  She will be back to work tomorrow.  What a beautiful job her family did memorializing Ellen’s dad.  I will keep in mind the quote that the oldest grandchild, Justin, opened and closed his speech with and pass it on to you:

Hey, What’s Shakin’ on VFT??

Because Mitch and I have been doing the 30 day ab challenge in the morning, and I have been out to early classes and clients AND my computer was sooooooo slow, I have missed blogging the last couple of mornings, but I can’t possibly miss checking in on Vegan (Feast) Thursday.

Black and Blue Shake

Black and Blue Shake (Photo credit: Brimley)

After a conversation with Rita, earlier this week, I have been revisiting shakes in the morning before work.  This time of year, they are so refreshing and so easy to make.  I always start mine with some almond milk and half a frozen banana (which means I need less ice).  With all the beautiful fruits and veggies that are in abundance right now, it’s hard to decide which way to go with my add ins.  Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries…I usually add a big teaspoon of peanut butter (because that makes everything better) and I always add some ground flax seed.  What a great way to start any day, but perfect for those looking for alternatives to breakfasts with animal products.

Last night I made something like a caponata, but without any sweetness added, and I opted to keep it chunky.  It was really delicious, filling and comforting!  I chopped up 3/4 of a large sweet onion, some garlic, a large zucchini, a large tomato, and a whole peeled, eggplant.  In that order, I added them to a pot with some olive oil in the bottom.  I let each veggie cook down a bit, before adding in the next.  I added just enough jarred pasta sauce to keep things from sticking and/or burning.  When things were starting to soften (after about 15 minutes) I added a box of sliced button mushrooms and some sliced calamata olives.  I covered the pot and let everything continue cooking down, on a low heat.  I also threw in some chopped up fresh basil and oregano from the garden and some red pepper flakes from the pantry.  I don’t know how long it cooked, but not so long that everything mushed together as in a traditional caponata, which you can spread like a brushetta.  I ate it with a Gardein burger chopped up in it, but it really is a meal in itself!  It would be great over brown rice, or even cold!  If you want to make it as a spread, keep cooking it and mash it as you do.  YUM!!!!

Tonight I get to have the leftovers…and though I am going to grill some marinated tofu I assure those of you that don’t care for it, there is so much more to a plant-based diet than tasteless tofu!  (Tofu actually takes on the taste of whatever you marinate it in or cook it with, so you can look at that white block of nothingness).  You can definitely do the plant-based lifestyle without it, though admittedly, it is a great source of protein.  But hopefully you realize we don’t need nearly as much protein as we were led to believe!

If you are doing the ab challenge, today is day 5.  We do 30 sit ups, 12 crunches, 12 leg raises and 20 seconds in plank.  I’ll probably be back in the morning and will remind you what day 6 holds….

Yes. You CAN Have Your Ice Cream!

When I woke up this morning I found this link from our friends at the  I will DEFINITELY be trying this soon.  When I step away from the computer I am going to immediately freeze some bananas.  I just peel them, break them in half and wrap in freezer wrap.  They are always a great way to thicken a shake, and now this….Thanks to Alexis and her gang for this one.  Don’t forget to visit her sight for all kinds of great beauty tips, recipes and so much more!

Try this recipe for lip-smacking vegan banana peanut butter ice cream. ‪#‎Dessert‬

By Julia Argenti Summer is officially in full swing and nothing says…