"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

September 29, 2021 -- International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

United Nations / Food and Agriculture Organization announce:
29 September 2021
International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

FAO's Nine Tips for Reducing Food Waste

1. Start Small – Take smaller portions at home or share large dishes at restaurants.

2. Leave Nothing Behind – Keep your leftovers for another meal or use them in a different dish.

3. Buy Only What You Need – Make a list of what you need and stick to it. Don’t buy more than you can use.

4. Don’t Be Prejudiced -- Buy “ugly” or irregularly shaped fruits and vegetables. They are just as good but look a little different.

5. Check Your Fridge – Store food between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius (33.8 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit) for maximum freshness and shelf-life.

6. First in, First Out – Try using produce you bought previously (freeze or pickle). Stack up your fridge and cupboards moving older products to the front and newer ones in the back.
7. Understand Dates -- “Use by” indicates a date by which the food is safe to be eaten, while “best before” means the food’s quality is best prior to that date, but is still safe to eat after it. The "Sell by" date is helpful for stock rotation by manufacturers and retailers.
8. Compost – Some food waste might be unavoidable, so why not set up a compost bin.
9. Donate the Surplus – Sharing is caring.

#ZeroHungerHero #NotWasting #KitchenMemories

Monday, September 20, 2021

Quick Meals

Busy people often don't have time to make healthy meals.
This is a quick list of some meals I grab when I am focused on a project and want to spend my time on the project and not on cooking and cleaning up.
Overnight Oats - add a layer of oats in a dish with a lid. Cover oats with milk, add some cinnamon and stir, add lid, store in fridge overnight. When ready to eat, add a bit more milk and eat plain or top with fruit, fresh, dry, or canned.

Mug O’Scrambled Egg with Salsa - crack an egg into a mug, add a dollop of milk, some black pepper and a bit of salsa. Whip and stir egg mixture. Microwave on high for two minutes. Eat straight from the mug or use as a toast topping.

Pasta Salad - Bring a pot of water to boil, add package of pasta (macaroni, ribbons or shells, for example), Stir and simmer for 8-10 minutes until pasta is cooked. Drain and store pasta in covered container. Take a portion of the pasta and stir in black pepper and mayo or pesto.
Salmon Salad - Drain a can of salmon, place salmon in a covered container. Add mayo and stir.
A Dish of Fresh or Canned Fruit
Tip: Add a dollop or two of canned fruit juice to a glass of milk and yogurt to make a fruit lassi. Add cinnamon and cumin and stir, if desired.
Cream Cheese and Fruit Toast Topping - Spread cream cheese onto a piece of toast. Top with pieces of fresh, dry, or canned fruit.

Baked Potato Salad - Pierce potato with a fork. Microwave one or two potatoes for 4-6 minutes or until cooked. Let the potatoes cool. Dice potato into cubes. Add mayo and black pepper, and stir.

Beans on Toast - On toast, spread a layer of canned or cooked beans. Top with Parmesan Cheese.
PB&J - There are dozens of ways to make a PB&J but the simplest is to spread a thin layer of Peanut Butter on one slice of bread and jelly or jam on the other slice.

Friday, September 17, 2021

September 17 -- Talking Health But Doing Sickness

Talking health but doing sickness
—Patricia Kinloch, Health Services Researcher in Samoa

The quote above is the title of a book on Samoan health. I find it to be a very profound epigraph.

How often do we talk health and do sickness. We talk about ridding our people of disease and we support industries that release carcinogens into the air. We talk about healing, and we use drugs that have side effects that are later found to be lethal. We talk about raising healthy children and we isolate our young mothers with little or no support.

The Samoans see sickness as a disruption in the social order. Illness, in Samoan culture, is much bigger than germs and biology. They recognize that illness is not just an individual issue. It affects the community and the group to which the person belongs.

It is important to see that even our ideas about illness are culturally based.

From: Native Wisdom for White Minds by Anne Wilson Schaef

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Hotplate: Tindade

One of the things I love about @bootstrapcook, is Jack Monroe believes even people on a tight budget should be able to eat well.

When I read Jack’s Tindade recipe in Cooking on a Bootstrap, I guess I did not really understand what it was. For me, it turned out to be a tasty spread for bread chunks or crackers.
Hotplate: Tindade
(Adapted from: Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe)
Jack’s recipe ingredients were in metric, I converted the measurements to ounces.

300ml milk = 10.14oz
500 grams fish = 17.6oz
330 grams potatoes = 10oz
400g Beans = 14oz

I looked for canned mackerel in 3 different stores but could not find any, so I used 2 cans of salmon. I think I could have added one more can.

Also, I made a lot of changes based on what I had.


4oz milk
Salt /pepper to taste
1 Tspn Thyme, dry
1 Tspn Parsley
2 Cans Salmon, drained
1 Can potatoes, diced, drained and rinsed
10oz Peruano Refried Beans (white beans)
A Dab Vegetable oil
Lime juice


In a medium pot, add milk.
Set hot plate on medium low.
Let milk warm up.
Add spices.
Stir well.
Add salmon.
Add potatoes.
Stir mixture well.
Use a spoon to scoop out the beans from the packet and add to pot.
Add oil.
Stir mixture thoroughly.
Let mixture cook on medium-high for 5-10 minutes.
Stir frequently to keep mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Mash the mixture, if you want it creamier.
Pull pot off hot plate.
Add lime juice.
Let it cool a bit.
Taste mixture, stir in more s/p and/or herbs, if you’d like.
Use as a dip or spread with crackers or chunks of bread, or as side dish.

See Jack’s original recipe for recipe tips and his suggestions for how to use the empty leftover cans.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Refrigerator: Carrot Relish

I was surprised, this simple recipe is quite tasty and a great addition to many recipes.
I, first, saw Chef Susanne Duplantis on the short-lived Netflix Cooking Show Leftovers. A search found her website, Makeover My Leftover.

I will never be a real cook, so I depend on the advice and ideas of real cooks and chefs.

This is my first Chef Duplantis's recipe to try. Of course, I had to adapt the recipe based on the tools and ingredients I had.


3-4 TBspns grated carrot, peeled
1/2 Tspn Lime Juice
Lime Zest*
1/2 TBspn sugar


Peel carrot with grater.
Grate carrot into a bowl.
Add the lime juice and zest.
Add sugar.
Stir ingredients thoroughly.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Made a turkey lunchmeat quasidilla with one slice turkey lunchmeat, shredded cabbage and 1/2 TBspn carrot salsa. It was great.
Lime zest is grated lime peel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Microwave: Mug O'Rice & Pineapple

Microwave: Mug O'Rice & Pineapple
(Adapted from: Baked Pineapple Rice by A Cookbook by Ted)

I mugified the original recipe because I am cooking for one.

3 TBspns Butter
3 TBspns Honey

In a small dessert bowl, add butter.
Microwave for 15-20 seconds to melt butter.
Add honey.
Stir ingredients to mix well.


Vegetable oil
Cooked rice
Canned Pineapple chunks
Butter and honey sauce


Add a dollop of vegetable oil to mug.
Add a small layer of rice.
Add a small layer of pineapple  hunks.
Dribble a little of the butter & honey sauce over layer.
Continue to make layers until mug is almost full.
Top with a bit of the butter & honey sauce.
Put mug on a plate before putting it into the microwave to catch any overflow.
Cover with a saucer.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Leftover idea:
Skillet: Fried Rice and Pineapple with Shrimp and an Egg
In a baggie, add about 4 TBspns of small, thawed shrimp. Add a bit of lime juice and ground black pepper.

Close bag, shake a bit to coat all the shrimp. Let it sit in the frig for about 1 hour.

Remove shrimp.
A Dollop of Vegetable Oil
3-4 TBspns Leftover rice and pineapple mixture.
3-4 Seasoned Shrimp
1 Egg
Ground Black Pepper (Optional)


Add a dollop of vegetable oil to a small skillet.
Add about 3-TBspns of rice and pineapple mixture.
Spread rice mixture over bottom of skillet.
Add 2-3 TBspns of small seasoned shelled thawed shrimp.
Add Ground Black Pepper to taste.
Stir ingredients thoroughly.
Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Uncover, stir mixture.
Crack an egg into the mixture.
Gently, and slowly stir the egg into the mixture.
Using a wooden spoon, gently push and pull small portions of the rice and egg mixture around on the bottom of the skillet. The goal is to scramble and cook the egg.
Cover skillet and let mixture cook for about 1 minute.
Uncover, stir mixture.
The egg mixture should be cooked.
Make a:
Microwave: Mug O'Rice, Pineapple, Shrimp and Egg

Using the same ingredients as above, plus a dollop of Coconut Creme and consider Cilantro dressing as a topping.

Add a dollop of oil to a mug.
Add about 3-4 TBspns of Rice and Pineapple mixture.
Add Shrimp.
Add a dollop of coconut creme.
Add an egg.
Stir and whip the mixture vigorously.
Add Ground Black Pepper to taste.
Stir thoroughly.
Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.
Tip contents into a bowl or onto a plate.
Top with some Cilantro dressing.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Microwave: Mug O'Faux Treacle Bread Pudding

Hot from the microwave. Hmmm, it's tasty but I'd call it Honey Bread Pudding.

Of course, because I watch a lot of British TV shows, Treacle Pudding or Treacle something is often mentioned, so I had to try some version of it.

The recipe called for Black Molasses. I could not find any molasses, so I tried some heavy Sugar Syrup.

Microwave: Mug O'Faux Treacle Bread Pudding
(Adapted from: https://www.thespruceeats.com/easy-treacle-tart-recipe-435039)


1-2 Slice Bread, various, torn
2-3 TBspns Sugar Syrup or honey
1 TBspn Dark Thick Syrup or Black Molasses
1/4 Tspn Lime zest
1/4 Tspn Lime juice
1 Capful Vanilla flavoring
1 Egg
A Dollop of Coconut Creme
1 Tspn Bread crumbs
Topping: Plain yogurt

Essentially, mix all ingredients thoroughly for a minute or more.
Cover mug with a saucer.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Serve with yogurt, or crème fraiche, or vanilla ice cream.

Obviously, very high in sugar and calories.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Carrots, Carrots, Carrots

Never thought I’d be so happy to see a carrot.

For some reason, I don’t recall, I, recently, grated one carrot. I don’t usually grate carrots.

But, I had been gathering carrot recipes and one, a carrot relish, required grated carrot.

But, instead of making the relish, I added half of the grated carrot to a can of salmon (drained) with a tablespoon of mayo and a bit of lime juice and made a salmon salad which I used to make a few mini sandwiches.

Then, I got the bright idea, let’s try using the remaining grated carrot in my version of Jack Monroe’s Carrot Cake Overnight Oats.
When I first made her recipe, I fell in love with overnight oats. But, where I live now, I can’t find canned carrots, a necessary ingredient in his recipe. I had tried sliced and cooked carrots but could not achieve the same taste.

When I used the grated carrot in a batch of "Carrot Cake Overnight Oats", the result was just about right.

So, now I have ribboned or made curls, and grated another carrot and some of the recipes I hope to try are:

(Weird, my pictures came out too red.)

Carrot relish
Carrot cookies
Vegetable Skewers
And for the umpteenth time, maybe I will try Jack’s infamous Carrot, Cumin & Kidney Bean Burgers, with modifications of course.
Plus, there's more I want to do with a carrot, like:
Use curls, or diced or sliced carrots with sliced apples and cucumbers for a fresh salad.
Add carrot slices to DIY Pickles.
Add diced or grated carrot to macaroni salad.
Cut thinly sliced/julienned carrot, add to a bowl of raisins, almonds, and yogurt for a tasty salad.
Add oil and honey to a dish of carrot curls as a side salad.
Try making a Mug O'Carrot cake.


Monday, July 12, 2021

Microwave: Mug O'Spinach Frittata (Anti-Inflammatory)

Ok, Now, I have to search for Anti-Inflammatory recipes.
Here's my first attempt.
Microwave: Mug O’Spinach Frittata
(Adapted from: Spinach-Tomato Frittata https://www.consumerreports.org/cooking-baking/anti-inflammatory-diet-recipes/)
1 Tomato Bouillon
1 Cup Water
In one cup of water, add Tomato bouillon, microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir until bouillon has dissolved.


1 Dollop Veg oil
1 Grind Black Pepper opt
1 Tspn Onion Flakes
1/2 a Small Dessert Bowl Frozen Spinach
1 egg
1 Tspn Milk
1 TBspn Parm
1 TBspn Tomato Bouillon
Topping: Sprinkle with Thyme

Add oil to Mug.
Add Ground Black Pepper.
Add Onion Flakes.
Add Frozen Spinach.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds.
Stir ingredients thoroughly.
Return to microwave, cook on high for about 1 minute.
Add egg, milk, Parmesan cheese, tomato bouillon.
Stir, whip and mix ingredients vigorously.
Cover mug with a saucer.
Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
When cooked, use a fork to loosen egg mixture from sides of mug.
Tip contents onto plate.
Slice cooked mixture.
Sprinkle with Thyme.
Then, there are the dirty dishes :-) and the remaining Tomato bouillon for later use. Decided to freeze leftover tomato bouillon in an ice cube tray.
I added too much spinach but it was still tasty.
Note: I am not a dietitian, nutritionist etc.
I just try to eat as healthy as I can. Many of my recipes are GERD-friendly and now I am focusing on Anti-inflammatory-friendly recipes.
I do use a bit of dairy products which are on the GERD and Anti-inflammatory Do Not Eat lists.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Stovetop and Microwave: Shrimp, Spinach & Cheese Quesadillas

Lately, I've been trying several recipes from Budget Bytes (https://www.budgetbytes.com/) or using Beth Moncel's recipes for inspiration.
I am always on the lookout for easy and GERD-Friendly recipes.
While I do not always adhere to the GERD Do Not Eat Foods List, but I do try to modify recipes and minimize the use of forbidden items.
Stovetop and Microwave: Shrimp, Spinach & Cheese Quesadillas

A Dessert Bowl of Frozen Shrimp.
Squeeze some lime juice over shrimp.
Sprinkle Shrimp with a bit of Garlic Powder.
Sprinkle Shrimp with a bit of Ground Black Pepper.
Microwave on high 30 seconds to 2 minutes to cook shrimp.
Drain and reserve.
Fill a dessert bowl with frozen chopped spinach.
Microwave on high for 1-3 minutes.
Drain and reserve.

Alternative cooking method: Add shrimp with a bit of oil to skillet. Season as desired. Cook on medium. Stir shrimp as they cook. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and drain. Add spinach to skillet with a bit of oil, cook on medium, stir as the spinach cooks. Cook until all the spinach has thawed and is warmed throughout. Remove and drain.

Cooked Shrimp, dice, if necessary
Cooked Spinach
Mozzarella Cheese, grated
Vegetable Oil for frying Tortillas
1-2 Tortillas
Add oil to skillet.
Add tortilla.
Fry until bottom is light brown.
Top tortilla with 1-2 spoonfuls of shrimp, spread in center.
Top shrimp with spinach.
Top spinach with cheese.
Season with additional Black Pepper, if desired.
Fold tortilla.
Cook for a short time to melt cheese.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Stovetop and Microwave: Hug-A-Mug - Spicy Ramen Noodles with Leftover Chicken & Vegetables

Hug-A-Mug - Spicy Ramen Noodles with Leftover Chicken & Vegetables
(Adapted from: https://www.budgetbytes.com/chicken-yakisoba/)
Obviously, I adapted and reduced the size and ingredients of this recipe going from a bowl to a mug.
This is Not, Not #NotGerd-Friendly.
Use a large mug.
A Dolllop of Vegetable Oil
1/2 Tspn Ginger powder
1 Tspn Onion flakes
1 TBspn Soy Sauce
1 TBspn Worcestershire Sauce
2 TBspns ketchup
1 Capful Hot Sauce
1 Tspn Sugar
2-4 TBspns Leftover Canned Mixed vegetables
2-3 TBspns Leftover Cooked Chicken, diced
2 TBspns Sauerkraut
3/4 Packet of Cooked Ramen Noodles
Noodle water
In a pot, add enough water to cover ramen noodles, bring water to boil, add noodles, cook for about 2-3 minutes until noodles are done. Drain and reserve some of the noodle water.
Add spices to mug, stir and mix well. 
Microwave for 30 seconds.
Add vegetables, chicken, sauerkraut.
Stir and mix ingredients thoroughly.
Add about half of the cooked noodles.
Add about 2 TBspns of noodle water.
Stir and mix all ingredients, thoroughly.
Microwave on high 1-2 minutes. 
This was an interesting recipe. It was much spicier than I imagined. 
But, it was a great recipe for leftovers.


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Microwave: Creamy Chicken and Vegetables

This recipe adaptation was inspired by a recipe from @BudgetBytes. This a great recipe website. The author, Beth Moncel, writes in a fresh, clear, fun, informative style. Her recipes are always interesting and easy to make.
Also, I make miniature meals because as a single person, I don't need to make large meals. Plus, miniature meals reduces food waste.
As usual, I don't have all the ingredients. In this case, I was able to use several leftover items, so my measurements are a guess. Being frugal is a creative and adaptive process.

Microwave: Creamy Chicken and Vegetables

1 Cup Leftover Cooked rice
1/3 Cup Canned Salsa
2-3 Heaping TBspns Canned Mixed vegetables
1/3 Cup Cooked Chicken, diced
1/2 - 1 Cup Chicken broth (or use broth made from Chicken bouillon and water)
1 TBspn Crushed Dry Thyme
A few grinds of Black pepper
Plain yogurt
2-3 TBspns Mozzarella Cheese, grated (or use more if you desire)
In a medium bowl, add ingredients, except the yogurt and cheese.
Stir and mix thoroughly.
Because, at the moment, I only wanted to taste the end result, I scooped out about 3 TBspns of the mixture and placed them into a dessert bowl.
Then, I microwaved it for 1 minute on high until hot.
After removing the bowl, I stirred in 1-2 ounces of plain yogurt and added cheese on top.
Then, I microwaved the mixture, again, for about 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
While it may not be clear, I made a larger batch than a dessert bowl and only microwaved a portion to make a miniature meal.

I can't say enough about the herb Thyme, I should use it more, it really makes this dish heavenly.


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

No Bake: Peanut Butter Balls with Chia Seeds Rolled in Oats

I do tend to repeat myself by making various versions of recipes I like. This is a pretty simple recipe with few ingredients.
Once made, these little balls are great to pop in your mouth when seeking a sweet treat.
No Bake: Peanut Butter Balls with Chia Seeds Rolled in Oats
Makes 10-12 balls.


Two bowls
2-3 TBspns honey
2 heaping tablespoons  peanut butter
2 heaping tablespoons dry milk
2 TBspns Chia seeds
1/2 cup oats
1 dab of vegetable oil


Pour oats in a small bowl.
Mix honey, peanut butter, dry milk, chia seeds, oil in a soup bowl.
Chill for 5 minutes.
Take 1/2 a spoonful of mix and roll in palms to create a ball.
Roll ball in oats.
Place in freezer container.
Freeze and eat at any time.
Note: The Peanut Butter Balls do not really freeze. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Skillet: Chicken, Vegetables and Fruit Skewers

Here’s a recipe that illustrates when a recipe search takes me down a rabbit hole.

I took to calling bits of food on a stick a skewer but what was a kabob or kebab?

See notes after recipe for options gathered from various sources.

Also, this recipe uses a gift of shrimp and a salvaged food item. (See Garlic Spread post).
After excessive research, this is the result.
Skillet: Shrimp Skewers with Vegetables and Fruit


A large handful of frozen shrimp in a baggie
Marinade: add enough lime juice, crushed dry parsley, garlic spread to coat shrimp
Vegetable oil
A Dab of Butter
1/4 Squash, cut into chunks
A few Canned Pineapple chunks, drained
1 Cup Cooked rice
Add marinade to baggie with shrimp.
Close and shake baggie to coat shrimp with marinade.
Place in refrigerator to allow shrimp to defrost and marinate for 1-2 hours.

Cook Marinated Shrimp
Heat skillet at medium-high.
Add butter and oil.
Add shrimp to skillet.
Stir and spread over bottom of skillet.
Cook 2 to 4 minutes until shrimp are opaque.
Remove and reserve.

In the same skillet, add slices of squash and chunks of pineapple in remaining vegetable oil.
Cook on medium-high until browned, flip, so both sides are browned.
Remove and reserve.

Thread shrimp, and pieces of squash, pineapple onto skewer.
Serve over rice.
I know I did this backwards, usually the uncooked items are threaded onto the skewer and then cooked. Then the items are removed and topped over rice.
But, my skillet was too small to fit a skewer, so I just did it for looks. Plus, I enjoy using the skewer like a utensil.
I was surprised, this recipe was tasty.

Notes from Various Sources:

Use one of several marinates:

- lime, parsley, garlic, veg oil, pepper
- butter, paprika, salt, garlic
- lime, garlic oil, parsley, worcestershire sauce, honey, salt, pepper

Other Addition Options:
Along with individual pieces of shrimp, add one or more of these items: chunks of cheese, cucumber curls, pineapple chunks, seared squash slices, bell pepper slices, olives, seared corn on cob, sausage, or items of your choice.

Optional: sprinkle with basil and feta cheese, mushrooms, onions

Variation: marinate cucumber curls in lime juice

Other shrimp cooking methods:

- Bake at 400F for 4-8 minutes.

- Broil in the oven if you don’t have a grill. Once the broiler is preheated, place the shrimp skewers on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Broil for 2-3 minutes, then flip and broil for another 2-3 minutes; watching it closely so it doesn’t over-cook.


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

DIY Garlic Spread

This was a delightful experiment.

Where I live, often some of my spices like garlic powder, get clumpy, or dry and hard.

As I was cleaning out some drawers, I picked out that jar of hardened garlic powder I had hesitated to toss out. Hmmm, what if I made a garlic dressing using the hardened garlic powder?

So, I got a small jar and filled it 3/4 with vegetable oil, then I scraped the garlic powder into the jar. Next, I filled the jar with apple cider vinegar.

With the lid, I closed the jar and shook it vigorously. I did not know what to expect. What I got was something like a thick garlic spread.


It didn’t taste bad. It had a milder garlic flavor than I expected.

The first recipe I used the garlic spread was in a marinade for Skillet: Shrimp Skewers with Vegetables and Fruit. It came out great!

Great Save!


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Toaster Oven: Milk Toast

Got this idea from The Cook Book of Left-Overs.
1-2 Slices of bread, toasted
Milk or milk substitute
Sugar (Optional)
Topping: Cinnamon

Just make some toast, make it brown but not burnt.
Tear the toast into small chunks and add to a cereal bowl.
Add milk or a milk substitute.
Add Sugar, if desired, and topping.
Note: I used integral bread and a mixture of 1/2 Horchata & 1/2 milk (dry milk mix).
While this was a fast & tasty breakfast, you need to eat it immediately before it gets soggy.