Monday, October 31, 2016

Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Cumin Soup

Do you want to eat more cruciferous vegetables and add low calorie soups to your diet? So do I-

This low calorie and delicious easy to make soup will fill you up while helping you lose weight!

The first time I made this soup, it was a cold Halloween night. I wanted to make a fast and easy seasonal soup to keep us warm before venturing out with the kids on the damp windy night.

For some reason, despite it being 75 degrees the day before, we experienced another cold Halloween. It was only 44 chilly degrees for the little ones to do their trick or treating.

It's always been my custom to make soup for dinner on Halloween.
I feel a big bowl of piping hot soup hits the spot before venturing out in the cold.

My soup this year, was created from vegetables that I received from my organic CSA:
Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, onion and fresh dill for the garnish. I blended in some white beans to give the soup some heartiness and at the same time make it creamy.

My good friend and fabulous cook , Laura, who co-authored Food No Matter What!  was visiting while I was making this soup. At her suggestion, I seasoned the soup with lots of cracked pepper, a little turmeric, and cumin. ( lots of nutrition and antioxidants there)

Freshly cracked black pepper and aromatic ground cumin really bring out the flavor of this otherwise bland soup, making it taste slightly spicy. As Laura reminded me, black pepper optimizes the absorption of the nutrients from the turmeric- so always use black pepper when using turmeric. 

My intention was to make a low calorie soup. ( I'm trying to lose weight again)
So I decided to sautee my onions in vegetable broth instead of oil and cooked the vegetables in a water right in the soup. If you are not concerned about the calories, sautee your onions in some tasty olive oil.

Cabbage and cauliflower are fall vegetables that create a mild flavorful soup full of antioxidants. Adding salt, cracked black pepper, turmeric, ginger and cumin really perks up the soup, making it robust without adding extra calories. 

Low in calories; high in nutrients
I'm estimating that a bowl of this creamy vegan and naturally gluten free soup is about 100 calories , very low in fat,  provides a good amount of fiber, some protein, and a significant amount of nutrients and antioxidants.  It's perfect for my weight loss and my health concerns!

I love making naturally gluten free recipes from healthy real food.
I had a bowl again today for lunch and really enjoyed it! I hope you like it too-

Author: Judee Algazi

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Blend time: 2 minutes
Serves: 6-8


4 cups Chinese Cabbage, chopped ( any kind of cabbage will work)
4 cups fresh cauliflower, broken into small flowerettes
1 large organic onion, sliced in half moons
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tsp of ground ginger
10 cups of water ( or enough to just cover the vegetables)
5 cups flavorful vegetable broth + 1/4 cup for sautéing
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 cup and half of white beans, drained
Himalayan Salt to taste
Optional: Garnish with chopped dill, or chopped parsley


In a large soup pot, sautee the onion slices in 1/4 of vegetable broth until translucent. Add the cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, water and ground ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer cook until the cauliflower is tender. Add the cracked pepper, turmeric and cumin and beans. Using an immersion blender, blend until creamy.

** I prefer to add my beans and blend my beans into my soup just before eating it so I can measure how many beans I am eating calorie-wise. I take 2 cups of the soup and place it in a small soup bowl. I then add 1/4 cup of the white beans and blend. The beans are the most fattening ( yet healthy) part  of the soup-I want to make sure I only eat 1/4 cup-

** I love fresh dill and received lots of it at my CSA. I smothered the soup with it.

I adore dill - so I loaded it as a garnish

Linked on : My Blog Carnival List and Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen and Vegan Fridays

Friday, October 28, 2016

Healthy Halloween Snacks using Vegetables & Fruit

Halloween is definitely the season of too much candy and an overload of sugar. 
With the best of intentions, it's difficult to avoid the temptations of Halloween candy. 
There are some things you can do to help bring some balance to the season! 
 If you are having a party at home or at school, why not focus on some Halloween type snacks that are good for you and fun too! The folliowing non candy ideas are gluten free/ grain free and can be made vegan. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Miracle of Green Smoothie

It seems that everyone is drinking green smoothies. But why and why do I call green smoothies a miracle smoothie? There are basically 4 reasons. 

1.  They are fast and easy to make.

2.  They are packed with nutrients, enzymes, and taste great.

3.  They help energize, rejuvenate, and heal

4. They work great for weight loss and detox.

With most people's hectic busy schedules, they can begin to rely on what can be made quickly- that often translates to prepared food that they pick up on the way home for dinner. But not in this case- you can prepare an enzyme rich, alkaline, nutrient dense, antioxidant superfood smoothies in minutes.  They taste great and are filling. You can drink one for a meal or a snack.

If you are looking for a powerful green smoothie that both energizes and stabilizes blood sugar, look no further. This great tasting " miracle" smoothie is the perfect way to start your day. It is made from a variety of greens in an almond milk base.

Do you ever feel stressed, overextended, frazzled, or exhausted?  A nutrient dense power smoothie will not only taste delicious but will also nourish your body with energizing vitamins, minerals, live enzymes and antioxidants that may help supply needed energy and nutrients in this one glass. I call it my miracle smoothie because it's a real pick me up when I'm run down !

We know breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day,  but sometimes I just don't know what to eat or don't have time to cook. This green smoothie can be made in minutes and gives you the start of the day that your body is craving. It can be made quickly and is easy to digest and absorb.

You can include greens, seeds, probiotics etc right into your smoothie! One drink with everything you need. Since you can vary the ingredients- you get to decide what works best for you.

We all want to eat right. I usually start out with good intentions, but I get sidetracked, busy, and stressed. I find myself going in a million directions with a mile long "to do" list. This is where this power shake comes in. 

It satisfies my need for fruit and vegetables. Once I drink my shake it not only nourishes, it also keeps me full. I can run on this shake for 3 hours! So if I have my shake at 9:00, I'm good until 12:00 or if I have it at 7:00 am , I'm good until 11:00. When I say "good"- I mean my blood sugar feels balanced, my energy is up, and I feel clear and focused. 

You could make this shake for breakfast, lunch, or if when you need a pick me up- but I like my energy to start early in the morning an sustain me as the day goes on. Remember a smoothie is made with raw vegetables which provide the greatest benefits!

My Basic Shake: 

Liquid : almond milk + water

Greens: choose from: organic kale, collards, spinach, sprouts, romaine lettuce, parsley, arugula, etc.

Fruit: organic berries, banana, organic peaches, organic apple, etc.

Healthy Fat: 1/4 avocado, 6 soaked almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, 5 walnuts

Spices: choose from: cinnamon, turmeric, ginger,

10 Reasons to Make a Miracle Smoothie

1. Quick and Easy
2. Grab and Go
3. Alkaline
4. Extremely nutrient and enzyme rich
5. Helps detox and elimination
6. Vital vitamins and minerals 
7. Provides good fats
8. Recipe can be varied for taste and nutritional benefits
9. High in fiber  
10. Easy to digest and absorb
11. Alkaline

My Basic Power Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 large organic kale leaves
  • 2 organic dandelion leaves
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk, 
  • Desired amount of water 
  • 1/2 organic green apple with peel and seeds or 1/2 cup of organic blueberries or a banana
  • 1/4 cup of organic parsley
  • 1/4 organic lemon with juice and peel ( the peel is very rich in vitamins- only use organic) 
  • 1/2 organic cucumber 
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 slice of organic beet ( raw beet is very cleansing- go easy) 
  • Add ins of your choice ( see below) 

Blend everything in the Vtiamix and drink immediately. 
**I vary my greens each week to avoid alkaloid buildup- raw leafy greens contain a mildly toxic substance called alkaloids which help protect the plant from predators- By varying your greens each week , you don't get too much of any little toxins! 

  • Choose from kale, collards, spinach, dandelions greens, romaine lettuce, etc. bok choy, carrot greens, parsley, etc.

Add Ins: 
The beauty of a Miracle Smoothie is that you can add anything you like to it!
1. Probiotics - ( I open the capsule ) 
2. Nuts, seeds
3. Flax oil
4. Blackstrap molasses 
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
6. All kinds of greens 
7. All kinds organic fruit - strawberries, raspberries, mango, banana, pears,  ( use frozen organic fruit for variety) 
8. Soaked and peeled almonds ( why it's important to soak almonds before eating

I call it my miracle smoothie because of the vital nourishment and raw enzymes that I receive when I drink it_ compared to a bowl of cereal, it wins hands down..

Don't stop eating raw at breakfast-
Here's the easiest and quickest way to keep eating healthy greens the rest of the day.  

Tips for the Make Ahead Salads for Lunch and Dinner

Another way to get my greens, enzymes and nutrients 
Planning goes a long way- In addition to starting the day with a miracle shake another time saver is my salad in a jar for a week- one prep and salad for 5-7 days! You make your salads in advance and seal them in a mason jar- so easy and so healthy. I make all kinds of salads and they are convenient and ready for me every day for lunch or dinner- you can even add protein and avocado to your mason jars-  click here see the salad post

With a power smoothie and a ready salad for lunch or dinner, you are on your way to a healthier way of eating!

“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” ~ Alfred E. Newman

Do you make a daily green smoothie? What do you use in your smoothie. Please share your thoughts...

Linking this post to these  weekly blog carnivals

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. The information on this blog is for educational information only. If you have a medical problem please consult your doctor. Do not change your diet without asking your doctor.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Candied Butternut with Pecans and Cranberries

Tis the season to be experimenting with a variety of butternut squash recipes.
One of my favorites is this medley of roasted butternut squash cubes,  pecans, and dried cranberries in a maple syrup sauce that are dusted with cinnamon and vanilla. Can you imagine???

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mild and Creamy Cauliflower Kale Soup -

I love making easy seasonal soups that are both tasty and healthy. In this recipe cauliflower and kale, two cruciferous anti cancer vegetables, team up with coconut milk to make a mild creamy fall soup just in time for the cooler damper weather.

 I adore soup and can't think of a better way to make sure I get my fill of antioxidant rich vegetables. In addition, this vegan soup has sauteed garlic, onions and turmeric , goes a long way, and is deliciously satisfying.

Greens are not detectable in this soup
Despite that the four key vegetables are bold flavored vegetables, the soup actually tastes mild and pleasant . It's a great way to include more dark greens into your diet, especially for picky family members who will not actually detect the taste of the kale in the soup.

Roast the cauliflower first
This time of the year when it's getting chilly outside, I don't mind turning on the oven to bring a little extra warmth into the house. This recipe calls for roasting a cut up head of cauliflower, which takes about 45 minutes in the oven . 

Then the roasted vegetable is added to the soup pot where the kale and other vegetables are brought to a boil and simmered for about 30 minutes until the soup is done!

I first tasted this soup at my daughter-in-law Wendy's house. I liked it so much I had to have her recipe. I was delighted to know it was vegan and of course gluten free. I loved it's creamy texture and mild taste. Something about it screams comfort food. Maybe it's the cup of coconut milk.

Blended with coconut milk, this soup is the perfect fall soup: healthy, comforting , delicious

1 head of cauliflower broken into flowerettes, roasted
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 large onion, sliced in half moons
Olive oil or olive oil spray
3 cups of kale, deveined and chopped
1 cup of coconut milk
2 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
Himalayan salt and cracked pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400
Toss the cauliflower in olive oil and sea salt ( or spray with olive oil spray)
Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the cauliflower over the parchment paper. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large soup pot, sautee the onion in olive oil spray until translucent,  add  water, broth ,kale, garlic and roasted cauliflower. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove from stove, add the room temperature coconut milk and turmeric . Then using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy.

My Notes:

1. This is a great recipe for flu season-since the soup has a powerhouse of protective vegetables: garlic, onion, cauliflower and kale. The garlic and onion contain allicins which are antioxidants that protect against virus and the kale and cauliflower nutrients rich , In addition, it contains turmeric.

2. Keeps well in the refrigerator for 5 days

3. Freezes well

4. If you want to reduce the calories, you could leave out the coconut milk

5. Blended soup is easy to digest making it easier to absorb the nutrients. This is especially helpful for those with absorption difficulties like those with celiac or gluten intolerance. It is a very nourishing soup for anyone who might be ill..

6. You could top each bowl with pumpkin seeds!

7. Yes, this soup is real food and and naturally gluten free. Eat it with a salad for a light lunch.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bubby's Healthy Green Sorrel Soup Recipe

Sorrel is a leafy green that looks similar to spinach but has a powerful lemony flavor. It can be cooked and eaten like spinach or made into a soup. Either way, sorrel is tangy and delicious. 

This recipe for homemade sorrel soup, or "Schav" as my Russian grandmother called it, is a simple family recipe that my grandmother made in the old country. I never thought that I would actually ever make Schav despite that my grandmother, mother, and father ate it regularly when I was growing up. I never even tried it as a child. My family ate two versions: a chilled schav or warm schav. Since it's fall, I sharing the hot version.

Guess what I received at my CSA today! You got it- close to a pound of sorrel leaves!

When I first noticed the sign saying sorrel leaves at my CSA, something clicked.
I remembered them from my grandmother's soup. 

So today, I made my own schav for the first time using my grandmother's recipe with the sorrel leaves, potatoes, and leeks from my organic CSA farm.  

My grandmother lived to 107 years old in good health. When I looked up the nutritional benefits of sorrel, they were many. This chlorophyl rich green is loaded in calcium, iron, Vitamin C, powerful antioxidants, Vitamin A, plus many other vitamins and minerals. It definitely is a healthy green. 

Although traditional "Schav" calls for sorrel, you could substitute spinach. It just won't be as lemony.
It's a shame that most supermarkets don't carry sorrel. It is truly a treat!

In addition, I sauteed some sorrel with leeks to eat a side dish- it was also fabulous!!!!
I have to say that although I love most greens, this might be my favorite!

A few years ago,  in its March 2009 issue , D ( Dallas) Magazine listed Schav as one of the 5 worst Jewish recipes. I don't know why they would pick on Schav. My grandmothers' recipe is so good that I regret I never tried it before. 

Have you ever tried sorrel? How do you make it? 

Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves : 4 cups 

1 large leek, cut lengthwise in half and then sliced- use the white part and the more tender green part 
1 large red potato , diced
3 cups of sorrel, chopped into ribbons
olive oil spray or 2 Tablespoons olive oil 
4 cups of rich tasting vegetable broth 

In a large skillet, sautee the sliced leek for 2 minutes in olive oil or olive oil spray. Add the sorrel and continue to sautee, stirring frequently until it turns color. Add the chopped potato ( add more olive oil spray if necessary)  and mix well. Remove vegetables from the skillet and add to a 4 quart soup pot. Cover with 4 cups of vegetable broth and cook for about 5-7 minutes until potatoes soften. Serve immediately. 

As the bright green sorrel leaves cook, they begin to turn a khaki color
Leeks, sorrel, and potatoes are the base of this delicious recipe
linked to healthy vegan Fridays
Linked on : My Blog Carnival List and Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I soak my almonds before eating them

Almonds are a high energy food that are rich in minerals, fiber, and protein.
They can help regulate blood sugar, provide energy, and are a healthy snack. However, you can receive the most benefit from almonds when you soak them overnight and then peel them. Soaked almonds are much more digestible and absorbable, contain more enzymes, and are easier to chew than regular almonds- turning them into a superfood!

Many years ago when I was suffering from low blood sugar and adrenal exhaustion, I consulted an Ayurvedic doctor. I was very run down and was having difficulty regulating my blood sugar and energy levels. In addition to some other very helpful suggestions, the doctor  recommended that I start my day with two easily digestible super foods: soaked almonds and soaked dates in milk

He explained that according to Ayurveda ( an ancient holistic healing system from India that believes in the balance of mind and body)  almonds should always be soaked before eating them. Apparently the skin of the almond contains a toxic substance and an enzyme inhibitor. By soaking the almonds overnight, the skin will just pop off easily in the morning. In addition, the overnight soaking of the almonds makes them much more digestible,  easier to chew, and thus healthier.

Based on that Ayurvedic doctor's advice, I followed a simple breakfast routine that was very easy on the digestive tract and very rich in nutrients. I ate 10 soaked and peeled almonds followed by a hot drink made of soaked dates and milk. It was a light and easily absorbable breakfast that helped nourish me back to health. 

What are the amazing benefits of soaked almonds? 

1.  My Ayurvedic doctor was a believer that a few almonds eaten every day could help prevent cancer. Actually, almonds do contain Vitamin B17 which is thought to help fight cancer, and almonds also contain flavonoids which may help reduce the growth of tumors. 

2. Helps regulate blood sugar levels which may make them perfect for those with diabetes or low blood sugar. ( always check with your doctor first)

3. Helps with digestion. Soaking the almonds overnight releases the almond's enzymes. Enzymes are essential for better digestion. The enzymes help with digestion- especially lipase for the digestion of fats. 

4. Almonds are nutritious, satisfying and filling. They contain monounsaturated fats which may be helpful to improve cholesterol levels and thus good for the heart. 

5. Helps reduce inflammation. Raw soaked almonds provide antioxidants which may be important to help reduce inflammation in the body and play a role in anti-aging. 

6. Soaked and peeled almonds are considered moderately alkaline, which is important in maintaining a balanced ph in your body. Many holistic doctors say that disease doesn't live in an alkaline environment ( as opposed to an acidic environment)

7. Almonds are also rich in both calcium and magnesium which makes it a great source of these nutrients for vegans. 

If you need a quick grab and go breakfast- eat a piece of fruit and then 10 soaked almonds! Nothing could be quicker and yet nutritious. Almonds are filling.

How to prepare soaked almonds:

10 organic raw almonds 
1 small glass container
1/2 cup of filtered water 

Place the almonds in the glass container. Cover the almonds with the water and allow to soak overnight on the counter . In the morning spill off the water and one at a time, squeeze and pop the skin off the almonds. I eat each one as I remove the skin. Chew very well and relax.
I soak the almonds on the counter overnight
In the morning the skin literally pops right off

My Hot Date and Milk Toddy:

This is one of my favorites.  Warm dates and milk is a sweet and soothing way to begin the day. 
Dates are high in fiber. In addition, dates contain many nutrients that help nourish the body. After I soak them in milk, the dates never seem as sweet, which makes them even better for the morning.

2 organic medjoul dates ( soaked overnight in 6 ounces of milk) 
6 ounces of milk ( or use plant based milk substitute) 
1 mug

Pour 6-8 ounces of milk in a coffee mug. Add the dates and soak overnight. Some people leave it out on the counter overnight, but I think it is safer to put the mixture in the refrigerator. In the morning, remove the mug and pour the contents into a saucepan.

Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 2 minutes- turn off the heat. Pour the mixture back into the mug and sip on the hot mixture until finished. The dates will melt into the hot milk. This drink is relaxing and more nourishing than hot chocolate. Add a pinch of turmeric or cinnamon if desired before drinking.

While I was healing, I ate soaked almonds and soaked dates and milk every morning for breakfast. 
The breakfast was light, yet highly nourishing and beneficial for blood sugar. 
I could feel my energy returning daily. 

Every now and then if I am under stress, perhaps eating improperly, or not sleeping well,  I always return back to what I call my Ayurvedic breakfast to help me get back on track. It is a great rejuvenator and health builder for me.

What else can you do with soaked almonds? Make your own almond milk - Healthy, easy, and  delicious

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to diagnose or give medical advice. The information in this post is strictly for educational purposes. Always consult your medical doctor if you are not feeling well and before making any changes in your diet.

I'll be linking this post to these  weekly blog carnivals

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Got Leeks? Make Sephardic Leek Patties

skillet with leeks sizzling in the panF

Got leeks and don't know what to do with them? 
Make these fabulous Sephardic leek patties. 

If you are a reader of my blog, you may have remember that my husband is from the Middle East, and that some of their Jewish holiday customs differ from those of Jews from Eastern European descent like me.

Middle Eastern Jews ( Mizrahi/Sephardic Jews) make a small "Seder" plate for the Rosh Hashanah ( the Jewish New Year ) dinner and use a variety of foods that take on a symbolic meaning to wish in a good new year!

Leek patties are one of those symbolic foods! They are simple to make and everyone looks forward to eating them.

It is an easy gluten free vegetarian recipe that requires chopping up leeks. These chopped leeks symbolically represent  chopping up our bad habits so we can make positive changes in our lifestyle. (Ok, the original meaning was that our enemies should be chopped up and far away from us - but we have evolved.)

There are as many variations for Sephardic Leek Patties are there are cooks. Some recipes include a potato, chopped meat, other spices, etc.; this recipe is very very simple, vegetarian, and gluten free- but still delicious and perfect for the blessing!

After the holiday, we may still make these patties if we have leeks. I mean how much potato leek soup do you want to eat? This is a nice recipe for leek lovers or for when your CSA has lots of leeks!

Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 12 patties


6 medium stalks of leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of ground gluten free oatmeal (or gluten free breadcrumbs)
Himalayan or sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Sautee the chopped onion and leeks in a large skillet until soft and set aside
( I spray with olive oil spray and then add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil)
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs add the sauteed vegetables and mix well. Add the seasoning and GF oatmeal or GF breadcrumbs. Mix well.
Using an ice cream scoop to keep the size uniform, add 4 scoops to a greased teflon type skillet and sautee until browned on my sides. Remove from skillet and repeat until done. Should make about 13 patties.

diced leeks on the counter

Chopped Leeks
leeks and onions sauteeing

leek batter for patties
I used certified gluten free oats from Trader Joes and then put the oats in the high speed blender to create my flour 
bowl of leek batter for patties
Leek patties

homemade leek patties on a plate

Rosh Hashanah Vegetarian and GF Recipes

It's Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and my holiday menu includes both Eastern European traditional recipes and Sephardic or Mizrahi traditional recipes that I have adapted to meet vegan and gluten free standards.

My husband and I could be considered a mixed Jewish marriage; I am Ashkenzi (of Eastern European descent)  and he is Sephardic (of Middle Eastern descent).

Our Rosh Hashanah dinner menu reflects the rich traditions of both of our backgrounds.

Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews (Jews of Middle Eastern or Spanish origin) celebrate the Jewish New Year dinner with a Rosh Hashanah ceremonial seder plate. The ceremonial plate holds different foods that  have a special symbolic meaning. Some of these symbolic customs started as far back as 300 C.E. and were found in the writings of the Babylonian Talmud. Some of the symbolism comes from the meaning of the old Aramaic words.

Sephardic Jewish family from Cairo, Egypt 1965

My husband's family (with roots from Jerusalem, Egypt, Iraq and Italy) create a ceremonial Seder plate with the following foods and say a blessing for each food for the New Year.

1. A new fruit for the new year- 
We recite a blessing of appreciation recognizing the splendor of something new-we look for something like dragon fruit or fresh dates or fresh figs.

2. Pomegranate seeds- Ironically the pomegranate contains 613 seeds, which is is the same number as the required mitzvot (good deeds) that those of Jewish faith are required to perform. By eating the fruit we say a prayer that we should be fruitful and multiply-
** my mother-in-law, Toni, always warns everyone to be careful how many pomegranate seeds you eat at Rosh Hashanah as you may have that many children as the seeds you eat!

3. Link to Recipe: Leek patties  - Chopped up leeks made into patties- so that your enemies/or your bad habits should be chopped up and kept far away from you.

4. Dates- to have a sweet new year- Europeans Jewish custom is a little different- they dip apples with honey for a sweet year.

5.  A fish with the head and the tail - symbolic that we should always be at the head not the tail in all our endeavors. (not at my table- I use a head of broccoli or cauliflower)

6. Black Eyed Peas- symbolic that our good deeds and fortune should increase like the number of peas

There is a prayer to be said over each of the symbolic foods. Then the food is passed around the table for each person to taste. 

Eastern European customs: We do not have a Rosh Hashanah seder

My Eastern European family celebrates with the more well known Jewish Eastern European foods like chicken soup, matzo balls , chopped liver, honey cake, apples and honey. We do not do a ceremonial seder- we simply say a prayer and dip apples in honey for a sweet New Year.

MY Vegetarian and GF Rosh Hashanah Recipes: 

Vegan Mock Chicken Soup-  ( really good) 
My mother and grandmothers made chicken soup and matzo balls for every one of our Jewish holidays. Being a vegetarian, I make a mock chicken soup that tastes pretty close to the real thing and I make absolutely delicious easy gluten free matzo balls.

Click on the links to go to the recipes

Gluten Free Matzo Balls   - (The best GF matzo balls ever)
Again, this is a recipe that is from my side of the family.
My Sephardic husband had never even heard of a matzo ball when he lived in the Middle East. He ate his first matzo ball when he came to the United States. Now, he loves them and looks forward to eating them every Jewish holiday!

Mock Chopped Liver - Chopped liver was one of my family's favorites, and my mother always gave each person a full ice cream scoop of the appetizer on a big lettuce leaf and topped it with end of summer Jersey sliced tomatoes. I no longer eat meat, but I have a recipe for mock chopped liver that is better than the real thing and perhaps healthier.

Leek Patties- This is a recipe that my mother in law always makes for the Jewish New Year. It is a typical sephardic Turkish recipe that has a symbolic meaning. The leaks are chopped up to represent that all of your enemies should be chopped up! A more modern version is that our own bad habits and evil ways should be chopped up. ( recipe to be posted) 

Stuffed Grape Leaves-  My husband's family makes stuffed grape leaves for every holiday. I use a delicious vegan filling for my recipe. 

Greek Stuffed Tomatoes- This is a very tasty lemony vegetarian recipe that can be used as a side dish or entree. Makes a beautiful presentation and is absolutely delicious.

Joyci's Aromatic Salad Dressing- This is my sister in law's fresh aromatic herbed salad dressing that is delicious on salad, rice, vegetables etc. We enjoy it at every holiday meal. It wouldn't be a holiday without it. Thanks Joyci !!!

Gluten Free Honey Cake-  Many of the Eastern European customs revolve around sweet foods for a sweet new year.  Honey cakes are very popular choices for Rosh Hashanah as well as Jewish Apple Cake.  

Butternut Squash Parmesan- This sweet and savory casserole is a delicious fall recipe that is perfect for the Jewish New Year.

Lubia- black eyed peas- . We don't really have a recipe. We just cook them with salt and pepper . 

My Notes:
How did the Spanish Jews end up in the Middle East?
When the Spanish Jews were exiled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition in 1491, they settled in the vast area of the Ottoman Empire .  Remember Ferdinand and Isabella who sent Christopher Columbus out of Spain to discover America in 1492? They also exiled all the Jews out of Spain in 1491.