Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Veganized Gefilte Fish -Fun and Healthy!

vegan gefilte fish


Why did I veganize this gefilte fish recipe? I do not eat fish!!!!
But gefilte fish is traditional holiday food of German and Eastern European origin that is popular to serve on Jewish holidays such as the Jewish New Year, (Rosh Hashanah), Passover and the Sabbath. 
AND Passover is a few weeks away!

Cook, Cookbook, Side, Enjoyment, Meal

Interestingly, gefilte fish did not originate in the Jewish culture. The recipe for "gefuelten hechden" was a popular dish with Catholic families during lent when eating meat was forbidden. In fact, this type of recipe was found in a non-Jewish German cookbook over 700 years ago.

It only started to gain popularity in the Eastern European Jewish community in the late 1500's.

It's always fun for me to try to "veganize" familiar and meaningful holiday foods for vegetarians/ vegans/ those who are gluten-free to enjoy. 

vegetarian chopped liver

My favorite Jewish holiday "veganized" food is my vegetarian/vegan chopped liver. I think it really looks and  tastes like chopped liver. In fact, I've had meat eaters challenge me saying, " come on Judee, this is the real thing."

vegan gefilte fish

Today, I am presenting a"veganized "gefilte fish recipe. 
I must admit that it really looks like the real thing. Doesn't it??

HOWEVER, 

As much as it looks like gefilte fish, it DOES NOT TASTE anything like gefilte fish. It is not a substitute for the gefilte fish. 

But that's ok with me.  Before becoming a vegan, I never liked the taste of real gefilte fish anyway. However, I have seen recipes where they add seaweed to give it a "fishier" taste.

This "veganized" recipe triggers all the feeling of the tradition for me with the look of the traditional holiday food but with a brand new completely different vegan taste that I like better..

vegan gefilte fish

It's a low-fat healthy appetizer or side dish (oil-free) loaded with protein and vegetables. Perfect for vegans and perhaps those who do not like the taste of gefilte fish. 

Author of this blog: Judee Algazi
Recipe: Inspired and adapted from a recipe on One Green Planet
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 additional minutes for sautéing onions in water
Serves: 7 medium 

vegan gefilte fish

I adapted my recipe from a recipe on One Green Planet which did not require cooking, just chilling. 

 There are other recipes online for vegan gefilte fish. 

Jaime Geller , a popular Jewish kosher blog, has a vegan gefilte fish recipe  that is baked and made with potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.

PETA ( people for the ethical treatment of Animals) has a vegan gefilte fish recipe on their blog that is baked and made with potatoes and eggplant. 

Jewish Vegetarian Society has a vegan gefilte fish recipe that is made with cauliflower, potato, and parsnip. It is not baked. Instead it is cooked in broth for about 4 minutes.


Ingredients:
 
1 cup of chopped onion
2 tablespoons of water 
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
15 ounces (or 1 can) of cooked chickpeas
1 teaspoon of garlic powder 
1 heaping tablespoon of chickpea miso paste 
Salt and cracked pepper

Directions: 
Lightly sauté the chopped onion in the water without allowing the onion to darken for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, place in a bowl, and set aside. Place carrot and celery in the food processor and process until carrots form small pieces. Add chickpeas, garlic powder, miso, and salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Remove from food processor and place in a medium bowl in the refrigerator for about an hour. After an hour, remove from the refrigerator and shape into gefilte fish shapes and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. Garnish with cooked sliced carrots and place in a lettuce leaf to serve.

My Notes
Are these Kosher for Passover?
1. This recipe uses chickpeas and chickpea miso. Even though in 2016 the Rabbinical Assembly for Conservative Judaism ruled that it is now ok to eat kinyot (legumes, beans, quinoa etc.) on Passover, those items may be hard to find with a kosher for Passover certification for the holiday. If that is important to you, do not make these fun little gefilte fishes on Passover. Make them on Rosh Hashanah or Shabbos. 


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Monday, March 28, 2022

Beauty, Peace, and Flowers


Today I am sharing some peaceful and beautiful scenes. 

blue, orange, and blue fish illustration

Folk Art, Doodle, Houses, Village

Flowers- These are some flowers from my garden last summer

hanging basket of red flowers

Nature- I spend winters in Florida at the beach

 Thin, Sea, Fence, Water, Vacation

Beach, Pier, Sunset, Sea, Ocean, Water

Ardea Herodias, Great Blue Heron

People, Silhouette, Sunset, Looking

Sunrise, Dawn, Daybreak, Palm, Tree, Sky

Sending notes of acknowledgement for no reason- a meaningful thing to do to a beautiful you !

Writing, Writer, Notes, Pen, Notebook

My sister in law sends beautiful acknowledging supportive notes for no reason at all. She just tells or sends notes to friends and family saying how special and wonderful they are- sometimes on Facebook, sometimes by sending a card, and sometimes in an email. I am a visual person so I love to read them. I keep the notes because they make me feel so loved and supported. 

I started to think about who I could send some notes. I think I should start with my with my sister in law. 

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Ukraine!

Mango/Peach Salsa

I love this mango/peach salsa recipe (recipe link)

party appetizer - mango salsa

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Friday, March 25, 2022

Spring Potato Salad -no mayo



Looking to eat more vegetables? Spring is almost here, and so is the desire for lighter eating. Spring potato salad makes a great side dish for any meal or get-together with friends or family. It's healthy, low fat, and delicious. 

Ukrainian Dill Potatoes, Potatoes

It's relatively easy to make and contains lots of healthy vegetables and herbs, such as finely diced celery, cucumber, fresh dill, scallions, and shredded carrots. 

Potato, Food, Meal, Dinner, Lunch, Snack

This appealing salad looks pretty, tastes great and provides lots of protective antioxidants and nutrients- which lets face it, we all need. 

Dill, Cucumber, Tomato, Salad, Fresh

This recipe is oil-free and mayo-free, making it very low fat or perhaps even fat-free. (If you prefer, you could add oil- but trust me- it doesn't really need all that extra fat and calories). 

The diced potatoes and diced raw vegetables make a hearty tasty salad . 

Passover Potato salad

Fresh dill has a unique flavor that pairs exceptionally well with potatoes. In addition to taste, dill has small amounts of Vitamin C, manganese, and folate, and vitamin A to add to the nutritional value of the salad.

spring potato salad, passover


Perfect for Lent or a Passover Holiday Side Dish 
If you are looking for vegetarian recipes to eat for lent or a side dish for the Passover holiday, spring potato salad is perfect. 

In fact, my husband often makes up a large container of potato salad that we eat during the entire week of Passover because we can't eat bread products. (of course being gluten-free, I don't eat regular bread anyway) 

Vegan potato salad,


White Potatoes 
White potatoes get a bad rap because of their carb content but they actually are beneficial. They are low in fat and provide minerals and vitamins. One medium potato has a bout 110 calories and is tasty, filling and provides potassium and Vitamin C.  


Shredded Carrots
Loaded vitamin A, carrots add a sweet crunchy taste as well as other nutrients to this simple spring salad.

Resistant  Starch and Potatoes 
I like to peel, dice, and boil my potatoes the day before. Eating a cooked and cooled white potato may be healthy because it develops "resistant starch" which is thought to be digested differently and may not be as problematic for insulin resistance. It may be a healthier way to eat carbs. 

Peas, Vegetables, Green, Food, Healthy, Green Peas

Other Options to add to the salad
In addition, there are a few more variations I sometimes add such as: 
    • cooked peas 
    • chopped red onion 
    • chopped purple cabbage
    • lemon juice 
    • olive oil ( but I don't add oil) 
    • chopped olives
    • capers
What do you add to your potato salad? 

  This salad keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Ingredients 
10 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/2 cup of chopped scallions
1/2 cup of chopped cucumber 
1 cup of shredded carrot
1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh dill 
Juice of 1 lemon or lime 
Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Directions
Cook the potatoes in a saucepan until soft- about 20 minutes
When done, drain and place into a serving bowl. 
Add celery, scallions, cucumber, carrot, dill, lime, and salt and pepper. Refrigerate and serve cold or enjoy immediately. 


Notes: 
The Jewish holiday of Passover is celebrated this year (2022) from sundown on April 15 until sundown on April 23. The first Seder is Friday night April 15 and the 2nd Seder is Saturday night April 16, 2022. 

Kosher for Passover
During the 8 days of Passover observant Jews are restricted from eating anything with leaven which includes all bread! You may notice signs in the supermarkets that say, "Kosher for Passover". It simply means that that product has been produced and checked that it does not contain any ingredients that are not kosher during the holiday of Passover and has not been produced in a factory with bread or flour products. All fruit and most vegetables are used during passover. 

Passover Seder Plate


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Quote of the day: "What you eat today, you will crave tomorrow"- author unknown..

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Three Salads and One Dressing


Salads are a healthy source of nutrients and enzymes. What better way to get those nutrients and enzymes than in a delicious daily salad? 


Eating a variety of colorful salad vegetables such as greens, reds, purples, and whites contain a variety of antioxidants may be anti-aging and may protect against cell damage.

 I am sharing three of my favorites salads and one delicious salad dressing in this post today. 

Strawberry Salad

I love the colorful contrast of dark green romaine lettuce against red strawberries and purple cabbage. I also add crisp chunks of white and green cucumber. I do not add any dressing to this salad since I find that the strawberries a juicy enough to help me enjoy the salad as it is.

Strawberry, Fruit, Basket, Berry, Food

Eating a variety of colors is vital for good health. Each color provides unique antioxidants that may help prevent degenerative diseases that depend on antioxidants for cell protection.



Tomato Salad

I love this savory combination of flavors in this delicious tomato salad. I use vine ripe red tomatoes, red onion, black dried olives, and green scallion. I top the salad with salt, cracked pepper, and a frugal amount of cumin. 

Tomatoes, Vegetables, Food, Healthy, Red

Tomatoes provide generous amounts of a substance called lycopene which may be helpful to help protect against cell damage. It is a red pigment found in tomatoes, watermelon, papayas, and pink grapefruit. 


Carrot Salad

Shredded carrots, chick peas and scallions are the base of this colorful raw salad. Carrots provide beta carotene which is especially helpful for the eyes and skin. 



This sweet juicy crunchy salad is different and hearty tasting. A nice change to a green salad. 

Food, Wooden, Wood, Vegetables, Healthy
As many of you know, I have eliminated the use of oil (not fats such as nuts, seeds, and avocado) from my diet due to the extremely high caloric aspect and high fat content of pure oil. This decision is based on information found on Forks Over Knives website and cutting edge information shared by many respected doctors who are also authors, surgeons, and cardiologists such as Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Essylton, Dr. John McDougall, etc. Dr. 

Why am I telling you this again? Because my dressing today is oil-free and that may be strange to many!

My Salad Dressing (click the link) 

Thought for the Day
Your choices of action may be limited—but your choices of thought are not.- Abraham Hicks

Monday, March 14, 2022

Quick and Easy Eggplant Marinara Sauce for Pasta, Rice, or Quinoa

eggplant Marianna sauce

This is no ordinary tasting marinara sauce. 
Cooked eggplant brings it to a whole new level. Do you ever feel like  you want to find more ways to use eggplant?

This thick and rich eggplant sauce is quick and easy to make and tastes hearty and delicious. Perfect over your favorite pasta (I use GF chickpea pasta), rice, quinoa or any kind of grain. 

eggplant sauce , marinara sauce

The recipe is so fast and easy to make, I hesitate to call it an actual recipe because I use every shortcut I can (jar of organic salsa instead of chopping onions, tomatoes, and peppers, a jar of organic marinara sauce instead of making my own)

pasta and eggplant sauce 

I simply buy a large eggplant, peel it, and chop it into large bite-size pieces and set aside. I then add a 24 ounce jar of marinara sauce (I use 365 brand from Whole Foods Fat Free Marinara Sauce), 1 cup of any chunky mild salsa ( I use organic 365 brand from Whole Foods), 3 cups of water, and the chopped eggplant to a 3 quart sauce pan. After cooking for about 20 minutes, everything blends together and makes a thick delicious sauce.


Eggplant, Vegetables, Fruit, Egg Fruit

This sauce is similar to an eggplant recipe that I posted in back in May of 2017. However, that sauce required a little more chopping. I call this new sauce my quick and easy version. 

Appetite, Bolognaise, Calories, Catering

I found that I was doing so much cooking during the lockdowns that I needed to find shortcuts. Now, I figure, why not continue to use the shortcuts.





Ingredients: 
1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 cup of organic chunky salsa (I use 365 Brand)
1 25 ounce jar of marinara sauce ( I use 365 Brand Fat Free)
1 25 ounce jar of water 
1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Directions: 
Add the salsa, marinara sauce water, garlic powder, and eggplant to a 4 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer or cook on medium until eggplant is soft, stirring to prevent burning. When eggplant cubes are soft, remove from heat and serve over pasta, quinoa, or rice.

My other eggplant recipes that you might enjoy

Since 2020 all of my recipes are vegan (as opposed to vegetarian) and oil-free.  All of my recipes have always been gluten-free since the beginning of my blog in 2010. 

Notes: 

1. This recipe or my original recipe could be used for the Passover holiday. It would taste great over zucchini noodles or Quinoa! 

2. Mushrooms would taste good added to this sauce too. Imagine- eggplant and mushrooms ! Yum 






Saturday, March 12, 2022

Baked Cauliflower in Tahini Sauce

cauliflower and tahini bake

The combination of cauliflower in a tahini sauce is amazingly delicious. After assembling the ingredients, I baked it in a casserole dish in the oven for 20 minutes.

Baked cauliflower in tahini

I recently was invited to lunch at a friend's home in our condo building. Suzanne is from Morocco and is one fabulous cook. She made all kinds of salads and interesting dishes.


Moroccan salads

She served many traditional Moroccan salads, such as a cooked beet salad, a cooked carrot salad, a cucumber and onion salad, a tomato salad with cilantro and herbs, red pepper salad, and a hot rice and vegetable salad. 

Moroccan carrot salad

The star of her luncheon recipes (for me) was a baked cauliflower and tahini sauce casserole that I just loved. (she also had a platter of fish and a platter of meat- which of course I did not eat).


Like most good cooks, Suzanne's recipe was in her head and she did not have precise measurements. I wanted to duplicate it, so I had to experiment. I also wanted to reduce the fat content. This is what I did. 

Cauliflower Soup, Vegetable Soup

Tahini, like natural peanut butter, often separates in the jar when it sits on the shelf- leaving a layer of oil and a layer of paste. To reduce the calories and fat, I poured off the oil and discarded it. The thick paste that was left was not as rich tasting or creamy as with the oil, but still had the flavor.

Tahini

tahini
That's a lot of oil

However, Suzanne's recipe was made with full fat tahini - if you prefer that, do not discard the oil when it separates. Simply stir it back in. It will be a richer, creamier sauce.

Cauliflower: 
Cut up a large cauliflower into large floretes and steam the floretes  until firm soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Lower fat less rich tasting tahini sauce : 
3 tablespoons of tahini  (I poured off any oil from the top of jar)
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 cup of almond milk 
1/4 cup of aquafaba (the liquid from cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas) or water
1 tablespoon of non GMO corn starch
1/2 teaspoon of cumin

Suzanne's tahini richer sauce: 
1/2 cup of  tahini paste
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of garlic powder 
1/2 cup of water or more by the tablespoon if needed for consistency
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cumin


Directions: 
Place the cooked cauliflower in a baking dish. Pour 1 cup of tahini sauce over the cauliflower distributing oner all of the cauliflower and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Serve and Enjoy 

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Saturday, March 5, 2022

Quinoa Tabouleh -Vegan and Gluten Free

Pan, Quinoa, Multicoloured, Vegetables

Looking for a salad that is bursting with flavor? Think Middle Eastern inspired tabouleh!

Quinoa, Salad, Tomatoes, Lime, Rocket

Tabouleh recipes originated in countries such as Syria and Lebanon and were always a staple in their weekly diet. Eventually it also became popular in many other middle eastern countries such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan and now it has an international presence including its popularity in the United States. 

Tomato, Healthy, Health, Produce

I made my recipe gluten-free using a base of quinoa instead of the more traditional base of burgher wheat (which is not gluten-free) that is usually used. 


The results using quinoa (and quinoa may be easier to find) is extremely flavorful and very easy to make. 

Food, Tomato, Quinoa, Vegan Food

I usually make this recipe ahead of time such as in the morning or even the day before. Since it is consumed at room temperature, there is no need to re-heat this recipe before serving it, and it also frees up your prep time before guests arrive.

Table, Preparing, Set, Christmas

It will be a perfect salad for anyone who is gluten-free, vegan, and even kosher because quinoa is allergy friendly and is high in protein. It's a crowd pleaser and everyone will love it. 

Quinoa, Salad, Avocado, Health

Traditionally, this salad is marinated in an olive oil and lemon dressing. Personally, I just marinate with lemon juice and I love it. But you can choose.

Ingredients: 
1 cup of uncooked white quinoa, cooked
1 container of cherry tomatoes, washed and chopped
2 sprigs of green onion (scallions), sliced thin
1 cup of chopped curly parsley (finely chopped)
1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh mint
Juice of 2- 3 lemons or limes (or 1/2 cup of juice)
salt
cracked pepper
optional: 1/4 cup of olive oil (I do not use it) 

Directions: 
Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to directions on the package or (How to cook in the Instant Pot in 2 minutes). When done remove from pot, and spread out on cookie sheet to allow to cool. While the quinoa is cooling, finely chop the parsley and mint (food processor is fine for the mint and parsley), cherry tomatoes, and green onion. When the quinoa is cool add it to a large mixing bowl and mix with the chopped vegetables. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper and optional olive oil ( I do not use it). Mix well with a large spoon and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours or more. Serve at room temperature. 


**Many of my readers know that last year I stopped using oil  (not healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado) Why? For health reasons. You can see this YouTube video and olive oil- by Dr. Neal Barnard- if you want to understand this cutting edge scientific medical thinking by doctors to help reverse heart disease and or diabetes eliminating oil as one part of the approach or watch this TedX . For testimonials by hundreds of people check out the Forks Over Knives website for ideas and support for healthier plant-based eating.


Variations: 
1. Try adding avocado, mandarin orange, or finely chopped Persian cucumbers to the mixture. 



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