Thursday, February 15, 2024

Stunning Flower Design at Yume Japanese Gardens

One of my favorite pastimes is to walk outdoors to commune with nature, and unwind in a serene place that captures the essence of the season. 

Last October I had the pleasure of seeing a flower arrangement exhibit, Fall Ikebana 2023 Festival at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, AZ that was sublime. I'm excited to share my photo essay with you.

For those unfamiliar with the term Ikebana, it is the traditional Japanese art form of flower arrangement. To learn more, read

The gardens are located at 2130 N. Alvernon Way in central Tucson, AZ. The picture right above shows the entrance. The gardens may be difficult for first time visitors to notice, since signage is small. My tip is to drive slowly, once you're on the 21oo block of N. Alvernon Way.

The gift shop, book store, museum, and 8 garden areas are concealed in the back. Parking is free but limited, although there is neighborhood on-street parking nearby.

Hours, days of operation, and admission fees vary depending on event. Check ahead by calling 520-303-3945 or see the website.

Stunning Flower Design at Yume Japanese Gardens

Ikebana Flower Arrangement

Fountain Landscape Yume Japanese Garden

Ikebana Flower Arrangement

Ikebana Flower Arrangement

Display Yume Japanese Garden Museum
kimono is part of museum collection

Ikebana Flowers

Ikebana Flower Arrangement

Ikebana Flower Arrangement

Ikebana Flower Arrangement

Paper flower designs (Oribana-combo of Origami and Ikebana)) exhibited in museum

Sign for Ikebana Exhibit
Next Ikebana Exhibit Feb. 22, 2024 through Mar. 3, 2024

See Ikebana Flowers at Yume Japanese Gardens for additional flower arrangements.

I love the minimalist look of Ikebana flower arrangements, graceful lines of museum memorabilia, eye-catching décor ideas, and serene and refreshing landscapes at the Yume Japanese Gardens. 

This flower design exhibit in Arizona was food for my mind, body, and spirit.

Have you ever been to a Japanese Stroll Garden or Ikebana Flower Exhibit? Please share about it in the comments section below.

Which flower arrangement do you like best or least and why? Please share below.

Note: I read and appreciate every comment. Just refrain from putting links in your comments, as I can't publish them that way.

Thanks for your visit and please share the love on social media.

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Thursday, February 1, 2024

Vegan Fajita Recipe that's Colorful, Satisfying, and Fun to Eat

Simple to prepare plant-based fajita recipe

A fajita is a Tex-Mex term for a delicious grilled entrée, usually served with flour or corn tortillas.


Both savory and spicy, this plant-based fajita recipe features hearty-tasting marinated portabella mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, zucchini, jalapeño pepper, garlic, onion, and a mix of additional seasonings served sizzling hot.


Rather than use the traditional strips of beef or chicken, my veganized fajita rendition is budget-friendly and chock full of colorful, satisfying, and fun to eat mushrooms and veggies.


Colorful, Satisfying, and

Fun to Eat


Vegan Fajita Recipe


Some ingredients for vegan fajitas


6-8 oz. Portabella Mushrooms

1 Red and 1 Yellow Sweet Pepper

1 Large Red or Yellow Onion

1 Medium Zucchini

1 Tablespoon Whole Wheat flour or naturally gluten-free corn flour, with 2 Tablespoons of water to mix away lumps.

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil (use water or veg broth if you want dish to be oil free)

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika

1 small jalapeño pepper (clean, de-seed, and chop)

2 Tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 or 3 cloves minced fresh garlic or to taste

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley if preferred

2 teaspoons tomato paste or 2 teaspoons tomato sauce

Juice from 2 fresh limes or lemons (reserve 8 drops of juice to sprinkle on at the end)

8 Corn or flour tortillas

Guacamole or sliced avocado


Optional Ingredients: beans, brown rice, corn kernels, tofu, tempeh, greens, and other colorful veggies.



What to do:


Make the marinade first. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour and water until lump free. Add lime juice, oil, spices and seasonings, Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce, tomato paste, and salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Mix it or whisk well.


Clean veggies and mushrooms, and cut into strips of approximately the same size. The variety and amount of veggies you use is flexible.


Place in a storage container and blend in marinade until fajitas are well coated. Cover with a tight fitting lid, and shake well.


Select a cook method that's practical and easy for you. 

The first method I suggest is to find a broiler safe pan. Put a few drops of water in the bottom of the pan so veggies don’t stick. 

Place marinated veggies in the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Roast in a preheated 400° F oven for 15 minutes. Then uncover and place veg fajita mixture under broiler for 4-5 minutes or longer to give this dish that grilled look.

Ingredients for vegan fajitas in a roasting pan

A second way to cook fajitas is to spread marinated veggies and mushroom strips on a piece of parchment paper that covers a sheet pan. Then roast the fajitas in a preheated 400° F oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Note: do not put parchment paper under broiler as it will burn.

A third way to cook this dish is on an indoor or outdoor grill. 

I prefer to use the first cooking method, because it's easy to keep fajitas juicy this way. I also don't want to be bothered with running outside in the winter to use the grill. 


Cook fajita mixture immediately or refrigerate until ready to cook. The longer the veggies marinate, the more flavorful they get. Before cooking this dish, shake the fajita mixture again. Use within 3 days.


When ready to plate cooked fajitas, scoop a portion of this mixture into a flour or corn tortilla, one that's already been warmed in a 350° F oven for 5 minutes.

Drizzle on a drop of fresh lime juice, dollop of guacamole or avocado slices, and salsa onto the veggie mixture. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro or parsley and lime slices. Two tortillas make one serving.


Another way to serve it is to put it all on a bed of brown rice and black beans. That way everyone can help themselves. 

Serving Suggestion-Vegan Fajitas on Bed of Rice and Black Beans

Vegan Fajitas are a healthy south of the border treat. Serve it on Meatless Monday, for weekday lunch or dinner, weekend meals, and fun gatherings.


Satisfy even the heartiest eaters, by serving this dish with a portion of whole black or pinto beans, and rice or corn. Why not include a tossed green salad as well?


This recipe serves 4 people. Leftovers can be refrigerated and eaten within 3 days. If you'd rather freeze extra food, place is an airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to a month.

Please comment below.


Have you ever made fajitas? Even though this recipe has many ingredients, it's a snap to put together and cook. It can be ready in no more than 30 minutes, and is brimming with bold and bright flavors, interesting textures and colors, and has a tantalizing aroma.


Kids, adults, and the pickiest of eaters are sure to say Vegan Fajitas are one of their favorite meals. In my house, I get raves.


Do you think you'd like to add additional veggies to this recipe or substitute others? Please share those ideas below. 

I have made this with veggies including strips of carrots, Calabacitas, beets, and broccoli stalks.

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So delighted with your visit. Please come back again. 

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