Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vegan Latkes

Every year I make Latkes (potato pancakes) for Chanukah. This year I tried a no-egg recipe and prepared 3 different kinds - plain potato, with sweet potato, and with zucchini. 

Easiest way is to split the the basic potato mixture from the recipe below into 3 bowls and add a cup of shredded zucchini to one and a cup of shredded sweet potato to the other, making them even more delicious and festive.

Ingredients for basic potato latkes:
(Feeds approximately 5-7 people)

10 medium potatos, peeled and grated
1 small yellow onion, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Garlic powder, salt, pepper - optional
Canola oil, for frying


In a colander set over a large bowl, place potatoes. Using your hands, squeeze out the excess liquid from the potatoes. Pour off the liquid and place potatoes in the bowl. Add onion to potatoes along with parsley, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a thin layer of oil. Take a heaping tablespoon of batter and flatten it before gently placing it in the hot oil. Make three or four more potato pancakes this way, and add to skillet without crowding pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil as necessary. Remove the cooked potato pancakes to paper towels to drain, keep warm in the oven until all pancakes are cooked.

It's real yummy with Homemade Applesauce or Tofutti Sour Cream found at most supermarkets or Whole Foods.

You can either make applesauce fresh, by peeling a few apples and mixing with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, in a blender or food processor, or steam the apples for a few minutes to get real soft, mix with spices and refrigerate until cool.

Enjoy the Holidays!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baba Ghanoush - easy and quick

Baba Ghanoush is a tasty Middleastern dish that has become quite popular here in the U.S. It's made with eggplant, most often baked or broiled, mashed and mixed with olive oil and various spices, usually eaten as a dip with Pita Bread.

It's a delicious and easy treat to make, and I found a way to make it even easier!

Instead of broiling or baking the eggplant, and then scraping the inside from the skin which is real messy and time consuming, steam the eggplant instead!


1 large eggplant, peeled
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp ume plum vinegar
1 tsp lemon/lime
1 tsp powdered garlic or one clove
1/2 tsp cumin
Dash of pepper

Peel and chop eggplant in pieces, steam on high until water boils, shut off and leave it for a few minutes to get a little softer. Put in the food processor (or mash by hand) along with all ingredients and turn it on for a few seconds. Using a spatula, scrape the sides of the food processor and turn it on again, only for a few seconds, so it doesn't get too 'mushy'.

Scoop it out and refrigerate in a closed tupperware. Serve with pita bread, chips, or sliced vegetables.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tomato-Basil Salad

Here's a recent favorite dish of mine, Tomato-Basil salad. It's a very simple recipe, but there's just something about the combination of flavors that's absolutely divine!

Vine-ripe tomatoes - chopped
Fresh basil leaves - chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Ume plum vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Measurements are up to you, depending on how many you are serving and your personal taste. Make it ahead and marinate for several hours.

This salad is perfect on it's own, in a pita with hummus, or mixed with quinoa, pasta or rice.

Hope you try it.

Wishing you blessings and excellent health!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Modest Herb Garden

To make your food and drinks more flavorful, I'd like to recommend investing a small amount of time and money to start a small Herb garden inside or outside your home.

It takes just a little bit of space, and the plants are available for just a few dollars in places like Home Depot, Whole Foods, Supermarkets and nurseries. All you really need are a few pots, some earth and a space to put them.

Our herb garden is right outside the front door which is very convenient every time I want to add parsely to the hummus, mint and lemon balm to my drinks, shakes and salads, oregano and basil to the tomato sauce or salads, and thyme for some tea.

There are hundreds of dishes to add these herbs to, and it is not only convenient to have them available at all times instead of buying them every time you need them, it is such a great feeling to water, nurture and enjoy the sights and scents.

These herbs work wonders in the kitchen, but they also enhance our health in unexpected ways. They stimulate the immune system, have anti-inflamatory effects, anti-bacterial properties, help treat respiratory illnesses, are used as diuretics, and so much more!

Here are a few great reasons to start your garden today:

  • Fresh herbs always available
  • More flavorful meals
  • A great way to boost your vitamin intake
  • Save money
  • Education for you and your family
  • Curb Appeal
  • Share with friends, family, and neighbors
  • Easy and fun to create and maintain

Start small, even with one plant, and you'll see that you'll be adding to your collection in no time.

* Tip : Put a few buckets outside to collect the rain to water your plants and save on your water bills!

Wishing you excellent health!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Flavored Ice Cubes

This may sound like a simple idea, but I recently discovered that freezing lemon and lime juice in ice cube trays saves time and energy when it comes to making certain recipes, plus it's great to have for your next cup of tea or hot water!

Freezing the juice from an orange is also a good idea, especially to add to a shake or smoothie, or to put in a glass of red wine for a sangria-like taste!

Freezing herbs like mint can be done as well and is quite practical. I recently planted mint in our garden and began using it in all kinds of drinks and recipes. If you buy mint in a package and don't use it for a while it's very likely to go bad, so to preserve it you can put some leaves in an ice cube tray with water and freeze it. It will be ready for your next cup of tea, hot or cold water, and will make it flavorful and cooler at the same time!

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Delicious Veggie Pasta!

Close your eyes and picture a mountain of angel hair pasta, tossed with your favorite tomato sauce, pesto sauce, or peanut sauce, piled high on your dinner plate...but instead of white or whole wheat pasta it's raw zucchini pasta!

All you need to make this amazing and delicious treat is about 5 minutes, and a kitchen gadget called the Saladacco Spiralizer. It's very affordable (less than $20), and the best price I found was through Amazon . Do your homework though and shop around online to see if you can do better. It's worth every penny, and you and your kids, friends, and family members will have so much fun creating and eating these beautiful dishes.

Here are a few other spaghetti 'flavors' to try along with zucchini:
carrot, cucumber, squash, radish and beets!

Toss in your favorite sauce, and you have a delicious, satisfying, healthy low-calorie and 'guilt free' meal!

I have seen recipes with other firm vegetables like sweet potatoes, onions, daikons, jicama, parsnip and winter squash, though I haven't tried them out as of yet.

Food texture plays an important part in creating our comfort foods, and the Saladacco Spiralizer brings new texture variations to experiment on vegetables that would traditionally be eaten cooked. It's a great way to eat a wider variety of raw foods which are packed full of vitamins and nutrients.

It also has a function that creates an endless ribbon of connected thin slices to make decorative flowers and borders. Your creativity can make your food as eye-appealing as it is appetizing. Hope you try it soon.

Wishing You Excellent Health!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Minty Lime Watermelon Treat!

Fruit for breakfast is a great way to start the day, and lately I have been 'addicted' to a blended watermelon drink that includes lime juice and mint. It is so refreshing and delicious, plus quick and easy to make, especially on the go...

It's also a perfect 'pick me up' any time of day.

    Blend the following ingredients together:

  • Pieces of chopped watermelon (remove seeds)
  • A few mint leaves
  • Juice from one lime
  • Chopped ice

Some of the Benefits of Watermelon:
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Lycopene
Natural diuretic
Low in calories
Made up of approx. 92% water
Enhances Libido
Sweet and delicious!

When it's hot, watermelon drinks are a great replacement for sports drinks which are high in calories. The watermelon hydrates and maintains your energy level more naturally.

Wishing You Excellent Health!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vegan Nachos

Last week I decided to create a vegan Mexican lunch for my family in honor of Cinco De Mayo and it was a huge success...here's a photo with all the ingredients:

  • Unsalted Corn Chips
  • Mashed Avocado
  • Black Beans
  • Chopped Salad
  • Carmelized Onions and Red Peppers
  • Hummus
  • Tofutti Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Rice and Lentils
  • Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce (recipe available upon request)

Here are a few of the beautiful creations using all the ingredients:

Delicious, filling, healthy and very affordable.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Veggie Burger and Cauliflower-Corn Salad

Today I have two treats for you that I think you're going to like... one is an easy and yummy vegetarian burger recipe, and the other is a light and delicious cauliflower-corn salad recipe. I served both for lunch the other day along with vegetable salad and the feedback was 'tasty, filling, and very satisfying'.

Burgers: Makes 8 servings (or 4 really big burgers!)

  • 2 cups black eyed peas
  • 3 slices whole grain bread
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • Handful of spinach
  • One egg (or one tsp egg replacer)
  • Spices - garlic, cumin, black pepper, Bragg (sea salt optional)
  • Canola oil (for frying)
  • Food Processor

Cook beans until soft. Toast bread until hard and crunchy, tear apart and chop it up in food processor. Add beans, parsley, spinach, egg and spices, and mix it all together in the food processor until consistency is good for making the patties.

Separate mixture into 8 and roll into balls. Flatten into patties, heat up oil in large pan, and begin frying. Best to do 4 at a time.

Flip burgers every few minutes and cook until crispy. Make sure to put paper towel on a plate for soaking up the excess oil.

Cauliflower-Corn Salad:

  • One head cauliflower
  • One ear of corn
  • Honey mustard dressing
  • Juice of whole lemon
Steam cauliflower and corn (you can do it in the same pot together) for about 5 minutes or until soft. Shave off corn kernels. Mash cauliflower with a fork or potato masher (easy when it's soft) and mix in the corn kernels, dressing and lemon juice. Delicious on it's own, as a side dish, or in a pita with salad.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mixed Bean Salad Recipe

This colorful and lively salad is as tasty as it looks! It's healthy, high protein, nutritious, low-fat, high-fiber, and quick and easy to make for a meal, potluck or picnic. It tastes even better after marinating in it's dressing for several hours or overnight, so you can make a large portion and enjoy it for several days.

  • Edamame (soy beans)
  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Corn (steamed and shaved from the cob)
  • Chopped carrots, tomatoes, red peppers
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped parsley
  • Minced garlic (one clove)
  • Juice of one lime
  • Ume plum Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh black pepper

Looks beautiful served plain or on a bed of lettuce with garnish.

Add your favorite beans, vegetables, nuts and dressings.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Gotta Love Quinoa!

I am SO excited! I recently learned that quinoa (pronounced "keen-wha") is kosher for Passover!

I love Quinoa, the taste, the texture, and most especially the nutritional benefits it provides. It is rich in amino acids, with a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

Quinoa was called the "mother grain" by the Incas, although it is not technically a cereal grain like wheat or oats, but has been cultivated and eaten as a cereal for thousands of years by South Americans. Quinoa is the tiny seed of the Chenopodium Quinoa, a leafy plant that is a distant relative of spinach and beets.

It contains all nine essential amino acids and is especially high in lysine, an amino acid that is scarce in most plant foods but is necessary for tissue growth and repair. It is a rich source of calcium as well as magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous, and to top it off, it’s gluten-free, so those who are sensitive to gluten can enjoy it in its whole state or made into flour, pastas, or breads. Quinoa is also a fabulous source of fiber, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin E.

Quinoa can be eaten as a breakfast food with fresh or dried fruit to provide long-lasting energy and help you breeze through your morning. It's especially good with salad, steamed vegetables, beans, olives, nuts, and can be mixed with anything you love. Best of all it is low in fat and calories!

You can see that it has a great nutritional profile, but what I like best about it is that it’s fast, cooks in about a third of the time it takes for brown rice, which makes it possible to throw together a meal at the last minute and still enjoy a hearty, healthy and filling meal.

To the left is a dish I just prepared for tonight's Seder - it's Quinoa mixed with stir-fried onions, zucchini, sweet potato, carrots and red peppers (chopped very small), cooked with Bragg, sesame oil, garlic and seasoning.

There are literally hundreds of amazing recipes on-line and I'm sure you can create some great ones on your own. Just make sure it is colorful and flavorful!

You can find Quinoa in Whole foods and in most any supermarket.

Hope You Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe

And now for an easy, filling and healthy vegetarian dish that our son Adam absolutely adores and says tastes just like the real thing...it's a product by Fantastic Foods called "Vegetarian Sloppy Joe" for under $3.00 in Whole Foods (and many other supermarkets).

This recipe serves about 4-5 people and my guess is you and your family will love it. Best of all it will take you only a few minutes to prepare.

To make the recipe, all you need on hand is a can of tomato paste and one teaspoon of oil and you're all set.

I made the Sloppy Joe for dinner recently and served it in a bun, along with tomato slices, lettuce, and sauteed Tofu slices (prepared using a bit of canola oil and some Bragg) and it was delicious!

Make sure you take the excess oil off by putting the tofu slices on paper towel after sauteeing.

This Sloppy Joe recipe tastes yummy with spaghetti as well. You may want to add more paste so the sauce isn't as thick (or spicy). You can add sauteed onions and mushrooms, steamed veggies, or anything else you'd like according to your taste.

There are plenty of great Vegetarian Sloppy Joe recipes on-line that you can make from scratch, but I thought this might be easier, especially for those who don't have as much time.

Hope you enjoy!