What's Cookin'?

Budget Cooking...Comfort & Gourmet!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Getting Your Mind RIGHT for Changing to a Plant Based Diet

Thoughts precipitate actions.
A part of learning to change one's eating habits involves gathering information, meditating on it and then putting it into practice.

I watched quite a few movies on netflix to help me to get my mind right for such a change.
I neglected to share that I was raised vegan. Prior to that my family did not consume pork.
My sister and I were very underweight and the pediatrician suggested my mother incorporate eggs, fish and chicken to our diet so that we would not be anemic, and be in the proper percentiles for our age and height.
I felt deprived as a child. After all, everyone else at lunch was eating bologna and cheese sandwiches while I was eating Crazy Richard's Peanut Butter on Rice Cake sandwiches. Once I became a young adult, I decided to make my own choices regarding what foods I would enjoy. I tried a little bit of everything. Being a Vegan was the last thing on my mind.

Here are a few trailers for movies that I watched on netflix to help me make a change.
I hope that you take time to watch the movies if you are contemplating such a change for yourself.
If you make any changes or currently embrace a plant based diet, please share your thoughts on why making such a change is helpful to you personally in the comments. Thank you for your time. 


 Forks Over Knives

Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue

Food Matters

Plant Based Diet - Is it for You?

On January 1, 2014, I committed to eating a plant based diet. Every January, PCRM (The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine) launches a 21 day Vegan KickStart Challenge.
I was successful this year. I was able to complete the challenge! I am so proud of myself!
21 days is enough time to learn new habits and drop old ones.

I eliminated refined sugar from my diet. This was a huge effort for me because I love Chic Fil A Lemonade.
I convinced myself that getting the cup full of ice and half filled with water was a good thing. I justified it.
I was kidding myself. The sugar was killing me and contributing to my increasing waistline.

I am also a HUGE fan of KFC 's Spicy Chicken! This would present more of a challenge for me.

However, the main reason for my deciding to switch to a plant based diet is a close family member of mine suffered from Arteriosclerosis
as a result of Type 2 Diabetes. I share a lot of physical characteristics and dna with this family member. The family member went to the hospital to have a stent inserted in a leg because of arterial blockage. It was determined during several pre-surgical tests that there were more blockages particularly in the patient's heart. The doctors wanted to operate IMMEDIATELY. They thought they had to do a Quadruple Bypass .
They ended up only having to do a double bypass. The surgery took place on Christmas Eve of 2013. This really scared me straight! After all, this surgery involved grafting a vein from the patient's leg onto the exterior of the heart to keep blood flowing properly because of the blockages. It also involved sawing into the sternum to get to the heart. This was enough for me to make a change. I want the change for my entire family, but I cannot force any of them to do it. I can only hope that by my example, and improved health that they see the benefits. The family member is out of the rehabilitation facility and recuperating at home.

The plant based diet involves eating fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
I eliminated animal products, heavy oils, and dairy from my diet.

I have lost 10 pounds so far.

I hope to share recipes embracing my new choice here. I plan to tweak old comfort food favorites.
I hope you will enjoy what is in store for this blog! Change is coming!

If you would like to join the kickstart challenge here is the link

On February 3rd I plan to do the Engine 2 28 Day Challenge

Click the link to find out more information.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Carribean Style Burgers

I was inspired to share this recipe inspired by Brenda180 from YouTube.
She hails from New York City by way of Trinidad.
I have been making these burgers for two months. My family cannot get enough of them. I do not think we will ever go back to regular burgers.

I have used ground turkey for the meat as well as ground chicken. They both taste great.

I did not have the Trinidad Congo Pepper, so I substituted Jalepeno Pepper once and Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper other times. If you use the Jamaican pepper, please be sure to use rubber gloves with flocked backing. I made the mistake of NOT using them the first time and the capsaicin made my hands throb all the way to the bone for hours. You can neutralize the heat on hands by pouring lime or lemon juice on them and then washing well with soapy water. I also used lemon juice to neutralize the heat on my cutting board. Please be careful not to touch your eyes.


1 pound ground meat (chicken, turkey or beef)
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats (you can omit this if you like. I used it to stretch the recipe for a family of five)
1 egg
2 packets of Sazon (if you do not want to use this, you can substitute 1 tsp Lawry's Season Salt)
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 chopped garlic cloves
1 Jalepeno or Scotch Bonnet Pepper, chopped.
1/2 Bell Pepper chopped
1/4 Onion Chopped.
Fresh Thyme to taste (you may substitute dried herbs if you do not have fresh)
Fresh Oregano to taste

Whole Wheat Kaiser Rolls
Mustard (I used Spicy, but you can use Honey Mustard or whatever kind you like)


1. In a medium bowl, mix ground meat, seasonings, herbs and chopped veggies.
2. Add Old Fashioned Oats and egg.
3. Form into patties.
4. Cook burgers for 4 minutes until brown on each side.
5. Add water and steam for 4 additional minutes.
6. When water evaporates, the burgers are done.

Please enjoy Brenda's Video