Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cow Boy Caviar

 Champagne taste and caviar dreams? Not THE DUKE!

This recipe is for my dad, the eternal John Wayne.

Whip it up in less than five minutes for your favorite Cow Boy (or Cow Girl) and enjoy.

Cow Boy Caviar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • salt
  • pepper  
  1. Combine first six ingredients.
  2. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and add to the vegetable mix, toss to coat.
  3. Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips
Recipe from Just Best Recipes  

Real honest-to-goodness grub and.... Cynfully Good......

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tomatoes Stuffed With Rice

Tomatoes are abundant in my garden right now so I am enjoying them with and on everything: in salads, on toasted whole grain bread with sliced avocados, in pasta dishes. Today it's raining so it's nice and cool out there. I really don't mind turning on the oven on a day like today.

Here's what I am making for dinner: Tomatoes Stuffed With Rice.

Here's the recipe (I converted it slightly from one I found on

1 cup brown aroborio rice (short grain)
6  large, firm, ripe tomatoes
4 Tablespoons olive oil + extra for drizzling
black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh italian parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup grated vegan parmesan-style cheese

Cook the rice in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, stirring periodically, until just cooked through, about 20-30  minutes. Don't let it over cook; it will cook a bit more in the oven later on. Drain. Rinse the rice under cold running water. Set the rice aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut a 1/2-inch thick slice off the top of each tomato; reserve the tomato tops. Cut and scoop the seeds, pulp, and juice from each tomato into a small bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the tomato juice and pulp.

Oil the bottom of an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the hollowed tomatoes in the prepared dish.

Toss the rice with the reserved tomato juice and pulp. Add garlic, basil, parsley, Parmesan, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Combine well.

Spoon the rice mixture into the hollowed tomatoes, mounding slightly. Sprinkle leftover stuffing on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle entire dish with olive oil. Place the reserved tomato slices atop the tomatoes. Bake until the rice is heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

A Cynfully Good, quick, easy, healthy dinner, gorgeous enough to serve to guests. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Have Your Cake........

By now, you all know I am all about health, wellness and healthy eating. But, I am also realistic and would never expect or insist that everyone eat exactly the same way I do! I do not believe in starvation or deprivation as a means to weight-loss (or weight release, as I call it).  I believe in lifestyle change. That is the only way! Once in awhile, in moderation, everything is okay-- the key is MODERATION!

That being said, every once in awhile, we want cake! In a perfect world (MY PERFECT WORLD) it would be something home made, baked with love, whole wheat pastry flour and fruit instead of sugar. But I know that can't always be the case.

In my travels today, I found something so ingenious, so perfect. I could kick myself a hundred times for not coming up with this idea myself! Tiny mini cakes. They look exactly like big cakes (the kind you buy at the bakery for birthdays and special occasions.). They are just mini versions- enough to feed two or three people.  

So there I was in the grocery store, snapping photos with my Blackberry of these of little mini cakes. I just couldn't get over what a clever idea this is.

Sometimes you want cake. But, you don't want the whole cake. After your special occasion and a slice or two, what happens? Unless you are the most disciplined person in the world or throw the rest away, YOU ARE GOING TO EAT MORE CAKE! It's there, on the counter or in the fridge, calling you. All your healthy eating or weight release efforts fall apart over a cake! 

The solution? Bring home one of these mini cakes! Problem solved!

And as I searched through the bakery case, look what else I found?

Cheese cake! Two perfect slices packaged and ready to go! So now you can enjoy a slice and share one (or don't share it) and then it's gone. Isn't this better than having an entire cheese cake around the house?

I found these little mini-cakes at Compare Market. It's a Latin grocery store near my home. I shop there because they carry a large variety of organic fruits and vegetables. If I happen to see them any place else, I will let you know.

Having your cake and eating it too? Definitely, Cynfully Good!

Cool Cucumber Soup

Looking for ways to cool off? How about Cool Cucumber Soup? It's light, refreshing and easy to make.

This recipe calls for yogurt but you can substitute with plain soy yogurt, if desired.

Here's the recipe:
Cool Cucumber Soup

Using fresh herbs in this recipe makes all the difference so make the extra effort.

Serve your soup with warmed whole wheat pita triangles for a summer lunch or light supper. Or, plan it as a first course followed by grilled tofu and veggie shish-kebabs.

Either way, it's Cynfully Good...........

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Toasted Barley Salad with Red Peppers, Corn and Grilled Portobellos

It's summer. It's hazy, hot and humid out there. We naturally crave lighter foods durning this time of year that are also quick and easy to prepare. Here is a toasted barley salad loaded with gorgeous red bell peppers, sweet corn and grilled portobello mushrooms.

Did you know that besides good old-fashioned sunshine, mushrooms are the ONLY natural source of Vitamin D?  Get your 'D' on with this amazing dish. It's completely vegan, nourishing, and delicious!

Here's the recipe:

Serve this with a tossed green salad or cold gazpacho soup and you have a Cynfully Good summer meal!

Udon with Tofu and Asian Greens

I don't know about you, but when I overindulge in too many rich, fatty, processed foods or junk food (occasionally I cave to Doritos), my body cries out for meals that are simple, green and nourishing. 

Rich, fatty foods, too many sweets or junk food put too much stress on my body and  I feel the effects almost immediately. I become sluggish, bloated and nasty. I must have fruit, vegetables and simple, food right away! 

As as rule, the majority of my diet consists of plant based protein (tofu, beans, etc.), lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, and brown rice. I steer away from sweets, processed, packaged convenience foods and white flour, white sugar carbs. But, just like everyone, I occasionally make poor eating choices. When I do that, I know it's time to bring my body back into balance by cooking nourishing food.

Here's the recipe (from for one of my favorite nourishing, balancing meals:  Udon with Tofu and Asian Greens. It's nothing fancy, so easy to prepare and full with protein and plenty of nutritious greens. Also, a little heat from red pepper flakes to rev up your metabolism.

Here's the recipe:

8 oz Udon noodles
3 T sesame oil mixed with 1 T vegetable oil
12 oz firm tofu, cut into 12 pieces
kosher salt
11 oz Asian cooking greens or baby spinach
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
pinch red pepper flakes
3 T tamari or soy sauce

Cook the udon noodles as the label directs. (Don't overcook or they will get mushy.) Drain, reserving about 1/3 cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Pat the tofu dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Add the tofu to the skillet and sear until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon oil and the greens to the skillet. Cook, tossing, until just wilted. Add the scallions, red pepper flakes, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and the tamari sauce.  Add the reserved cooking water; heat to create a broth. Divide the noodles and greens among 4 bowls and top with the tofu.

If you have been indulging a little too much lately, try this delicious healing meal. It's Cynfully Good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is Diet Soda Making You GAIN Weight?

Before you reach for that next DIET SODA, you really should think about it first.  As far as I am concerned, you might as well take cola syrup, add seltzer for fizz, and stir in a few teaspoons of rat poison. That's what it is: POISON!

If that isn't dramatic enough for you, maybe this will change your mind about diet soda. Studies show it can actually make you gain weight.

Wait a minute.....say WHAT?

Almost every single person I know (especially women) drinks diet soda. Why? Tasty, refreshing, no calories! Diet soda is nothing less than a miracle! You can drink it by the gallon and never gain a pound!

Did you really think you could get off that easily? :)

I never drink diet soda. I believe it is the worst drink I can put into my body. If I do happen to have a soda ( a very rare occurrence), it's the regular kind. With REGULAR sugar! And that's only when there is nothing else around for me to drink. ( I hate tap water). When and if I do drink a soda, it's the clear kind: ginger ale, Sprite, 7UP. Usually it's regular old seltzer with a splash of orange or cranberry if  I am at a party and not drinking alcohol. Never, ever cola.

I won't get into all dangers of  diet soda (all those artificial sweeteners are so bad, bad, bad) because no matter how often I talk about that, people still can't seem kick their diet soda habit.

So let me hit you where it hurts.

If you drink diet soda because it's calorie-free and therefore it's helping you to lose weight (or preventing you from gaining weight), eventually it will do just the opposite.

Here's the article to support all this! Read it and weep......

Is Diet Soda Making You Gain Weight?

Okay, you can dry your eyes now! I would never take something away from you without replacing it with something else!  There are other products out there just as refreshing and low in calories as your beloved diet soda. I need to be honest, though. You might need to fine-tune your taste-buds a bit and acclimate yourself to REAL flavor. You see, you are so accustomed to that artificially sweet and syrupy pleasure of diet soda, that you no can longer enjoy the taste of simple, natural and healthy.

You can make your own calorie-free soft drinks. That's the best way. If you are addicted to fizz, try making your drinks with sparkling spring water. It's better for you than seltzer. Seltzer has no calories, but it does have sodium. And watch out for flavored seltzers and waters. Those are loaded with artificial ingredients and if the bottle says sugar-free, usually that means artificial sweeteners. You want to avoid those.

Buy yourself a bottle (glass- not plastic) of plain sparkling spring water and add your own fresh fruit. Lemon slices, orange slices, lime. You can even squeeze some of the juice from your fruit into it. Pour your drink in a big pitcher or a wine glass and enjoy.

If this isn't flavorful enough for you, add a few splashes of juice to your sparkling water: orange, graperfruit, apple, pomegranate, cranberry. Buy the healthiest, most natural, organic brands of juice you can find. Again, stay away from the ones that say sugar free or zero calories. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS!

You are probably having a slight panic attack right about now because you believe juice is FATTENING! It could be,  if you drink it in excess. It's loaded with sugar- whether it's white processed sugar or natural sugar - it's still sugar. Here's the way I look at it. Juice is not calorie free, however, you are cutting the juice with the water. Enjoying a glass or two a day is NOT GOING TO MAKE YOU FAT!!!

If mixing your own drinks is way too much work for you, here's an alternative.

R. W. Knudsens makes the best natural "soft" drinks. This one happens to be my favorite: Cucumber Sparkling Essence. Talk about refreshing! I can pronounce all the ingredients listed on the can, therefore I can enjoy this drink occasionally without worrying what it's going to do to my body. 

This company distributes a whole array of healthy products. You can find them in any health food store and some regular grocery stores, as well.

Here's their website:

R.W. Knudsen Family

You only get one body. Nourish it and treat it well. Fill it with food and drinks that are Cynfully Good......

Monday, July 25, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Cilantro Pesto Beans

Get your dose of lycopene with this tasty salad. Heirloom tomatoes and bright green french beans tossed together in a cilantro pesto with toasted pine nuts and a good sprinkling of grated cheese (vegan grated "cheese" works, too).

Perfect for Meatless Monday!


Cynfully Good............

I just had to post this recipe. Doesn't this look delish?
Raw Jaffa Cake with Orange Icing.......sounds sinful, right? Well, this cake is VEGAN, raw - as in NOT cooked (who wants to turn on the oven in this heat?) and naturally sweetened. No processed white flour or  sugar here.

Here's the recipe:

Raw Jaffa Cake with Orange Icing

We all need a little sweetness now and then and this sweet treat is Cynfully Good.............

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Warm Potato Leek Salad

I am always looking for non-traditional potato salad recipes and here is a unique one from It's potato salad with leeks served warm. The best part, no mayo needed. This is totally healthy and vegan.

For those of you who don't know- a leek is a vegetable, closely related to onions and garlic. 

Here's what they look like when you buy them:
 The edible portions of the leek are the white onion base and light green stalk. The dark green portion is usually discarded since it has less flavor. As the leek grows, this part becomes woody and very chewy. One of the most popular uses for the whites and light green stalks is for adding flavor to stock. Chefs rarely use the darker part of the leek for stock because of its bitterness.

There are different ways of preparing leeks:
  • Boiled, which turns it soft and mild in taste.
  • Fried, which leaves it more crunchy and preserves the taste.
  • Raw, which can be used in salads, doing especially well when they are the prime ingredient.
Here's the recipe:

Warm Potato Leek Salad Recipe

Cynfully Good.............

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What's in Your Soap?

Because I believe what we put ON our body is just as important as what we put IN it, have you thought about your soap lately? That's right, that big block you use to wash with every day.

Have you examined the ingredients in your soap? Do you know what they are? Do you need a college degree to actually pronounce the ingredients? Are they natural,wholesome, good-for-you? Or are you basically washing your precious skin with nothing more than a bar of harmful chemicals? Do you care?

Your skin has pores- little portals if you will. What you put on your skin (soaps, creams, lotions, perfumes) gets absorbed. It goes inside.  If you are constantly using products loaded with articifial ingredients and chemicals, you are inviting toxins into your body. Why would you want to do that?

I found this wonderful company. Prem Soaps. Everything they make is organic, vegan and wholesome. Real ingredients like basil, fresh mint, olive oil. And they don't only make soap. They have salt scrubs, lip balm, candles. All made in a little kitchen in Brooklyn. Made with love. For you.

Here's the website:
Prem Soaps

Cynfully Good natural, organic, vegan skin care products. Your body, mind and spirit will love it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Eat Your Seaweed!

I happen to be one of those weirdo people who absolutely LOVES seaweed! I don't mean that slimy stuff you get tangled up in while swimming in the Great South Bay.

Seaweed is a staple in most Asian diets. Besides being absolutely delicious, seaweed also has many health benefits. You might want to consider adding it your diet, as well.**

Here's an article all about it:
Eat Your Seaweed!

Eat your seaweed. It's Cynfully Good.............

**Note: Seaweed is naturally high in salt. It's perfect to flavor and season dishes instead of regular table salt. A little goes a long way, however, if you suffer from hypertension, double check with your doctor first before adding seaweed to your diet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vegan Black Bean Soup

Now doesn't THIS sound great? It's summer so we naturally crave lighter meals. How about soup? Soup is perfect for late-night suppers out on your deck, patio or firescape (for all you city apartment dwellers). Loaded with blackbeans, onions, corn, spices... Mmmmmm. And this is so easy to make.

Serve it with cornbread or if you cannot bear to turn the on the oven, pick up some fresh crusty wholegrain bread at your local bakery. Or skip the bread and serve with a tossed green salad, some sliced fresh avocado, vegan or regular sour cream, salsa, tortilla chips. Cut up a mango or two for dessert. PERFECT!

Here's the recipe:

Enjoy!  This is Cynfully Good............

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Healing Power of Epsom Salts

I am forever on the hunt for Cynfully Good stuff to share with you.  Most of the time, I find good, healthy, vegetarian recipes that even the most hard-core meat-eater can enjoy. Once in awhile, I just have to rave about other things: cruelty-free skin care or cosmetic lines,  can't live without products that benefit our body, mind, or spirit (hopefully all three at the same time), a website or an article. 

Today I read about Espsom Salt. That's right. That stuff Grandma used to use!

Dirt cheap, readily available, and so healing, Epsom salt has a variety of uses. Soaking in tub of it will provide relaxation and comfort to your aching joints and muscles. Why spend money on expensive oils, scrubs and treatments? Epsom Salt does the job and does it well, without all those added chemicals and heavy perfumes.

Here is a list of all the wonderful uses for Epsom Salt. Give it a try.

Epsom Salt

Monday, July 11, 2011

Potato Salad with Tomatoes and Quick Pickled Red Onion

Now THIS is what I call potato salad! Hold the mayo- PLEASE! Who needs it? I don't! You don't! Mix in fresh, gorgeous tomatoes and quick, pickled red onion and a few other ingredients instead and you have a beautiful dish! So good and so good for you, you can have a second helping. Potatoes are not the enemy when you enjoy them this way! It's all the other stuff we mix in with them or pile on top of them that makes the poor little potato a "forbidden food!"

No one will say no to THIS potato salad. Serve it at your next summer event!

Here's the recipe:
Potato Salad with Tomatoes and Quick Pickled Red Onion

In Honor of National Blueberry Muffin Day- a recipe

Today is National Blueberry Muffin Day! But don't rush out to your nearest Dunkin Donuts or bakery just yet! The majority of mass-produced muffins are just fat and calorie packed, unhealthy, bricks of artifical ingredients. Some of them don't even have real blueberries! The same goes for those boxes of muffin mix you buy at the grocery store. Just dump in a bowl and add eggs and oil? Simple. Yes! Wholesome and nutritious? NO!  

Just because you are trying to eat healthy doesn't mean you can't have a blueberry muffin now and then. With a cup of hot tea, they are so satisfying, slightly sweet, and bursting with gorgeous, nutritious, fresh blueberries in every bite. Make them yourself. It doesn't take much time or effort  The beauty of baking your own muffins is: you know every single ingredient in them because you added everything yourself.

That being said, here is a wholesome, VEGAN recipe for Blueberry Muffins. They are made with all-purpose flour (to help make them lighter) and whole wheat flour (to boost the nutritional value). If you want to use only whole wheat flour, go ahead but in keep in mind, your muffins will be very heavy if you do. And don't skip the flax seed and water. This is your subsitute for eggs.

Dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
5 Tbsp sugar

Wet ingredients:
3/4 cup plain soy milk
3oz organic,unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tbsp water
1 cup blueberries
Mix 1 Tbsp ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp water. Set aside.
In one bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix together.
In another bowl combine wet ingredients and stir around.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients together with 1 cup blueberries and mix until combined but not smooth. Do not over mix,  few lumps are absolutely fine.
Spoon mixture into greased muffin pan filling each tin 3/4 full. Bake 20 min in the oven preheated to 375°F

Enjoy. These are Cynfully Good!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Seared Brussel Sprouts with Smoked Gouda Sauce and Horseradish

Oh my Goodness! A Facebook friend posted this recipe today and I am literally drooling! I must make this dish! I LOVE LOVE LOVE brussel sprouts (I have some on hand) and horseradish? I could eat it on everything.

The only drawback? The Gouda cheese sauce. I don't DO cheese. But, thankfully, there are alternatives so those of you who eat a plant-based diet (VEGAN), rejoice.  I have an excellent Gouda "cheese"substitute that works just as well.....

Here is the recipe:
Seared Brussel Sprouts with Smoked Gouda Sauce and Horseradish

And here is the source for the Vegan Smoked Gouda.....
Sheese Smoked Gouda

Enjoy...... this is Cynfully Good............

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Indian Baked Beans

Your traditional bacon-flavored, sugary sweet baked beans get a healthy, delicious, exotic, VEGAN 

Try serving this dish at your next BBQ or picnic!

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 14-15 oz  can Vegetarian baked beans
  • hot chapattis, naan, pitta or toast, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over a moderate heat and fry the onion for a couple of minutes.

2. Add the chilli and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously, until the onion begins to turn golden brown.

3. Stir in the spices and fry for a further minute, before adding the beans. Reduce the heat and cook for 3 minutes.

4. Taste and season with salt, if necessary. Serve with hot chapattis, naan, pitta bread or toast.

Yummy! Healthy! And Cynfully Good..........

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gazpacho Soup

Soup? Who wants to eat soup in this summer heat? Trust me, you will want to try this recipe. Gazpacho soup is served cold and is chock full of fresh, raw veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and more. You can spice it up as much as you want by adding more cayenne pepper or even a dash or two of hot sauce.

This refreshing, healing soup recipe literally takes about five minutes to prepare. Nothing is cooked so you are getting pure vitamins and minerals in every spoonful of this soup. If you want to make it even more spectacular, serve it in baked tortillas bowls (instructions below) and top each serving with diced avocado and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.


  • 1 cucumber, sliced into chunks
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 bell pepper, any color
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 sweet onion, quartered
  • 3 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, except the fresh herbs and process until smooth. Stir in the herbs, refrigerate until cool and serve with bread.

Baked Tortilla Bowls:

You will need corn or flour tortillas. One tortilla for each person.
You will also need tortilla baking shell pans (see ad below) 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

 Spray the inside of the shells with cooking spray and gently arrange tortilla inside the shell, pressing it in to take on the form of the shell.  Then bake in oven at 450 for ten minutes until slightly browned but not dark..

Let the tortilla cool completely in baking shells before before removing.. The tortilla is still pliable when warm, and moving it will result in it losing its bowl shape. As the tortilla cools, it will harden until crispy.

Serve the cooled bowls filled with taco salad, soup, or any food served at room temperature, if desired.

Cooling, healing soup served in adorable, edible bowls.....Cynfully Good.