Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Curried Red Lentil Soup

Free Lentil soup Stock Photo

Keep the soup coming!! 
Do you like the flavor of curry? 
I never used to like it, but it's been growing on me, and I'm actually beginning to really enjoy it. It has a strong intense flavor that I now find delicious in lentil soups. This recipe is delicious!

Monday, November 27, 2023

Asian Mushroom Soup- Vegan and Gluten-Free

I bought a quart of baby portobello mushrooms for Thanksgiving and never used them, so I decided to make an Asian mushroom soup to use them up. This recipe is very similar (with just a few variations) to my original recipe for hot and sour soup (link) that I published way back in 2011. 

It is delicious and easy to make!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Green Bean Salad

green bean salad with almonds  and tomatoes

This green bean salad was totally enjoyed along with the more traditional Thanksgiving fare that it accompanied on the holiday table this year. It's easy to make and light and tasty!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Thanksgiving Recipes for 2024- Gluten Free and Vegan

As I sit on the beach in 85 degree sunny beautiful weather, watching the waves, and listening to the gulls, I'm thinking about my Thanksgiving plans and my Thanksgiving recipes. 

Free Miami Florida photo and picture

We usually fly home for Thanksgiving to be with our family, but this year we are remaining in Florida. We decided not to fight the crowds in the airport or deal with hustle bustle of traveling on a holiday, despite wishing to be with our kids and grandkids. Check out my recipes!!

Free Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner photo and picture

Friday, November 17, 2023

How to Freeze or Store Bananas for Future Recipes

Free Bananas Fruit photo and picture

Too many bananas? 
Are they ripening more quickly than you can eat them? 
There are two ways to save those bananas that doesn't involve making banana bread!

Monday, November 13, 2023

Plant Based Paella

plant based paella

Isn't this beautiful? I made it for dinner the other night!!

Paella is to Spain what spaghetti is to Italy! 
While visiting Barcelona this past May, we marveled at the different varieties of paella offered throughout the city. Of course, the only paella I tasted was the plant-based paella that we found in just a few restaurants. It was delicious, and I wanted to make it now that I'm home. This is an update of my previous recipe. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Quick Homemade Tomato Soup

brown soup on white and blue ceramic bowl

Do you love tomato soup? Would you like a recipe that can be made from start to finish in about 10 minutes? 

I used a few short cuts in this absolutely delicious recipe, but they didn't reduce the taste of the soup or the nutrients!

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Zaalouk- Moroccan Eggplant Appetizer

bowl of eggplant dip with olives

Looking for an interesting dip? Perhaps something different? It's fun to try recipes from a variety of cultures such as this delicious Moroccan Zaalouk (pronounced Za'alouk)

With the holidays coming, I'm always on the look out for healthy low calorie ways to entertain.  I was originally introduced to this tasty moroccan recipe at a Moroccan friend's appetizer party a few years ago, and had totally forgotten about it!

Moroccan appetizers in little round platesIt's made with eggplant and tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic and spices; cilantro and jalapeño are optional. After searching the Internet for Moroccan bloggers, I found that every Moroccan cook has his/her way of making this popular Moroccan appetizer.

White flat bowl with Moroccan vegan appetizer

Traditionally, zaalook, is smooth and creamy. Yet, there are those who prefer it a little chunky. I am one of "those".  

Roast or Cook the Eggplant? 
I've experimented with a variety of recipes that I found on some authentic Moroccan blogs. Some of which call for broiling or roasting the eggplant; others that call for cooking the eggplant in a saucepan. Personally, I like the way it tasted both ways.

However, I found the broiling (even in my air-fryer) messier, more time consuming, and it heated up my kitchen. Then I needed to remove skin from the eggplant, scoop it out, and chop it for the saucepan to finish cooking with the tomatoes. 

Therefore, I prefer cooking it on the stove top. 
The stove top method took about 20 minutes of prep including peeling and deseeding the tomatoes. 

Free Eggplant Aubergine photo and picture
Roasted eggplant need to be scooped out, chopped, and added to the saucepan 

Peeling and de-seeding the tomatoes
Ethnic cooking is delicious but can take a little effort. In this case, it is suggested that you peel off the skin and remove the seeds of the tomatoes before adding them to the saucepan to cook with the eggplant cubes, which is an extra step in the process.

I found a Youtube Video here that will teach you how to easily peel and de-seed the tomato!

Free Tomato Vegetables photo and picture

Eggplant is very popular in Moroccan cooking and makes a tasty low calorie base for a dip. Eggplant is cholesterol-free, naturally low in fat, yet provides a nice amount of fiber. 

It is a good source of manganese which is a mineral that works together with calcium and Vitamin D to help support bone health. A deficiency of manganese may reduce bone mineral density (source).

Moroccan eggplant appetizer in a bowl

Finally, I decided to add some Kalamata olives to my za'alouk. I think it gave it a little added texture and flavor. Serve with 
(GF ) crackers or crudités. 

If you are not a fan of eggplant, try one of my other Moroccan  recipes: Moroccan Quinoa, Moroccan Carrots, or Moroccan Chickpea Olive Salad

Recipe for Zaalouk 

4 cloves garlic, pressed 
2 tablespoons of water for sautéing garlic (see notes)
1 med/large eggplant, washed, peeled, and cubed
3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded and chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of freshly chopped cilantro (or parsley if you dislike cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin 
Himalayan salt
Cracked pepper
1/4 cup of sliced Kalamata olives
*extra seasoning if needed (taste and decide-cumin, salt, garlic powder, pepper, lemon)

Add pressed garlic to a 3 qt. saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook slowly over a low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring. Add eggplant, tomato, lemon juice, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook on a low heat until the eggplant and tomatoes cook down and are very soft. Using a spoon, stir and make into a chunky paste. Add the olives and extra seasoning if needed.

My Notes: 

1. I like to keep my recipes oil-free. If you prefer, sauté in olive oil instead of water.

2. The addition of olives is my idea and not traditional to this recipe. 

3. I also saw a recipe for Zaalouk last week on a blog that I enjoy called Cocoa and Lavender. The author recently published a post featuring Moroccan appetizers that included zaalouk. You can see his recipe and his other Moroccan appetizer recipehere 

4. Keep this wonderful dip in mind for holiday entertaining. 
  •    Can be made a day in advance before serving
  •     Freeze (omit the olives) add them after defrosted
  •     Defrost in refrigerator and pour off any extra liquid
5. If you try making the zaalouk and make adaptations to the recipe, please share in the comments. 


  •                  Amazing Prayer for Israel:Sung so beautifully by a Cantor In a Florida, it brought tears to my eyes! Avenu Shabashamayim- means our father in heaven.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023


Free Vegetables Basket photo and picture

It's November which means we are now in our Florida kitchen for the winter. I'm participating in November's IN MY KITCHEN ( link)hosted by Sherry over at Sherry's Pickings.

My Florida kitchen is much smaller and completely different than my Pennsylvania kitchen.