Saturday, April 20, 2024

Happy Passover and Recipes


The Passover Seder (Ceremonial meal)
Picture a table adorned with a crisp white tablecloth, shimmering in the soft glow of candlelight. In the center, there's a decorative plate filled with three matzos, symbolizing the unleavened bread eaten during Passover. Surrounding the plate are vibrant green sprigs of parsley, a bowl of salt water, and a roasted shank bone, all symbols representing different aspects of the Passover story. Glasses of deep red wine or grape juice stand ready to be raised in celebration, and a joyous family gathered around the table, remembering our history, telling the story of our redemption from slavery, and sharing the blessings of the holiday of freedom!

 

Since we give up eating bread, cereal products, and crackers during this 8 day holiday, I'll be eating a lot of salads and vegetables during Passover. I'm not much on eating matzah and matzah products.

I'm including a few of the recipes that I will be making. I love this carrot salad!

raw carrot salad, vegan, plant-based



This is a favorite of my husband's family that we make every Passover. Very tasty!!

red cabbage and potato



vegan stuffed grape leaves



quinoa summer tabbouleh salad


asparagus and cherry tomatoes


potato salad



vegan mushroom soup



Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Creamy White Bean and Mushroom Appetizer

appetizer, white bean spread topped with mushrooms


An ordinary appetizer? Not this bold and magnificent dip/spread! Sautéed mushrooms, pine nuts, creamy white butter beans, fresh herbs and tasty seasoning make up this delightful blend. Got company coming? This will be a hit!!

EASY TO MAKE 
It's simple and wonderful and a perfect choice if you, a guest, or a family member needs to eat a gluten-free or dairy-free diet but of course everyone can enjoy it.  

Free Parsley Leaves photo and picture

               


HEALTHY TOO!
White beans such as navy beans, butter beans, or cannelloni beans are high in protein and fiber, and provide many essential nutrients. A great choice instead of a high fat commercially prepared alternative.

Enjoy this herbacious dip with colorful cut up raw vegetables or your favorite (GF) crackers. 

Free Fresh Cut Vegetables on a Plate Stock Photo




Ingredients for the dip/spread 
1 can of butter beans, drained (available in most supermarkets)
1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves, chopped (cilantro) or 
     1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped - your choice
1/4 cup of freshly chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (or 1 fresh clove of fresh garlic)
1 tablespoon of tahini or nut butter
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Sea Salt or Himalayan pink salt 
Cracked black pepper

Directions:
Blend everything in a food processor until smooth and creamy. 

Ingredients for the topping: 
1/2 cup of pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 cups of sautéed white sliced mushrooms with salt and pepper


A favorite soup recipe using white beans 

My Notes: 
1. Butter beans are readily available in most supermarkets in the canned bean isle. They are larger than other white beans and very creamy and delicious. 

2. Make this dip in advance and refrigerate until needed. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Creamy Asparagus and Cauliflower Soup

soup, asparagus and cauliflower soup

As you know (or may not know) I love soup and am happy to eat it even in the spring and summer! 

I was recently introduced to a delicious asparagus soup at a friend's dinner party! I couldn't wait to get the recipe and share!

Green Asparagus Asparagus photo and picture

If you are a soup lover, it's time to get your soup pot going and make a bowl of this hearty, comforting, healthy soup. It combines two healthy favorite vegetables: cauliflower and asparagus. 

white cauliflower on black textile

This plant-based soup is creamy and each bowl can be garnished with small sprigs of seasoned roasted cauliflower and tender tips of asparagus. 

It's easy to make and it is certainly a soothing crowd pleaser. 
If you are looking for a comforting soothing soup - this is it. 

It's also low calorie, low fat, and high in fiber. If you are caring for an elderly parent or someone convalescing, this is an easy to eat nourishing soup. 


That being said, I'm sure you too will enjoy this easy to make soup. 

In addition, the ingredients in the soup provide substantial  protective anti-oxidants and vitamins! 

Ingredients: 

2 cups of chopped onion 
2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 pound of asparagus, cleaned and hard tips snapped off and then broken into thirds
1 russet potato, peeled and diced very small
1 16 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower florets or 
1 small cauliflower broken into small florets
3 cups of vegetable broth 
3 cups of water
Salt 
Freshly cracked pepper
Garnish: a few raw asparagus tips in each bowl is a must! It's crunchy in the creamy soup.
Optional: a pinch of chili powder in each bowl 

Directions for soup pot: 

In a 4 quart soup pot, sauté onion in 1/2 cup of water or vegetable broth on a low heat until onions are translucent (about 4 minutes, stirring). Add garlic and heat for another 2 minutes. Add asparagus, potato, and cauliflower florets, broth, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes covered until vegetables are soft. When done, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Directions for Instant Pot: 
 
Saute onions in 1/2 cup of water or vegetable broth in the insert liner of the Instant for about 4 minutes, stirring. Add garlic and sauté another 2 minutes. Add remainder of ingredients, secure the lid, and set to pressure cook for 4 minutes. When done, release steam according to the manufacturer's directions. When all steam is released, carefully remove the lid. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.  

My Notes: 

1. For a variation of this soup, try roasting your asparagus and cauliflower before adding it to the soup. It will produce a different tasting soup that will require additional time for roasting the vegetables..

2. This spring soup could be an ideal soup for the upcoming Passover holiday especially if you are looking for vegan recipes. 

3.  It's important to eat foods that provide necessary anti-oxidants that may help increase our immunity and thus may play a roll in helping to prevent common degenerative diseases.  

There is a quote by Ann Wigmore that I love (and included in my soups cookbook) that says, 
"The food you eat can either be the safest & most powerful form of medicine or the slowest poison" 
I like to think that this type of soup could be a form of powerful medicine. What do you think?  Do you give it any consideration to high antioxidant foods when you prepare your meals? 

4. This soup is gluten-free, vegan, oil-free, and also very suitable for a kosher for Passover meal. 











Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Shopping With Dogs at TJ Maxx



How do you feel about shopping in a supermarket or clothing store such as TJ Maxx and people putting their dog or dogs in the shopping carts? 

Lately, I see it all the time in my local stores.

I don't like the fact that people can even shop in supermarkets and stores with their dogs, but I have accepted it (bc I have no choice bc the law is on the side of service and emotional support animals) 

However, I think it is ridiculous to actually be able to place the dogs in the shopping carts that everyone uses.

two dogs sitting on maroon area rug

Is is even sanitary? 

Personally, I do not like the idea of bringing new clothing home that has dog hair on it. 

The carts are not even cleaned between customers!

Am I the only one who feels this way?

I asked the manager of my local TJ Maxx  about it and she said, "sorry, we are not permitted to ask them to remove the dog or dogs from the cart"!  Places are actually afraid of getting sued and they do get sued- which is bad for business.


It has nothing to do with liking or not liking dogs, but some of these animals smell, some shed, and some keep barking in the store !!!!

I have seen a sign in the supermarket prohibiting dogs in the carts, but the rule is often not enforced.  In fact, the manager of the supermarket has gotten into huge arguments with service animal owners to the point of calling the police and by then the owner is gone. Since the store does not want to lose customers, they tend to look the other way most of the time. This rule just applies to supermarkets, not other types of stores. 

This sign applies ( but is not enforced) in supermarkets

I'm curious how you feel about dogs in the shopping carts in stores such as TJ Maxx, and if you have any suggestions... 

I could stop shopping there, but I would have to stop shopping everywhere in Florida where dogs rule and go EVERYWHERE including restaurants with their owners. I have even begun to see more dogs in stores and restaurants in Philadelphia area too. 

It does not matter if you are allergic to dogs. 
The law protects the emotional support owner. 

Just a "pet peeve" of mine. I would love to hear your comments. 

I also get outraged with people who bring their "emotional support dogs" to the beach where we walk barefoot. The signs clearly say, " NO PETS"  on beach- but emotional support dogs are not pets and the lifeguards don't get involved and are not rule enforces( I have found out) bc you are not permitted to question people about their emotional support dogs . So people end up bringing a dog to the beach and yes they pee and poop on the beach ( and the owners cleans up the poop) but we walk barefoot and children play and dig in the sand. 

Free Dog Beach photo and picture

Please don't call me a dog hater. I actually like dogs. This is a whole other issue. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Turmeric Tea -3 Ways


Crop hands adding turmeric in glass of hot water in morning Stock Photo

When you are feeling under the weather, brewing up some turmeric tea using ground turmeric powder is very soothing and comforting for your throat and stomach. 

The bright yellow spice can be found in the spice isle in most supermarkets or in greater quantity in Indian grocery markets.

Sometimes you can find turmeric already in tea bags. 

white ceramic teacup with turmeric tea

Popular in Ayurvedic Medicine in India
The use of turmeric goes back centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and has recently begun to be recognized as beneficial to boosting immune health in the United States as well. 

Clear Glass Tea Set With Honey

Home remedies have always been popular and these are a few home remedies that may actually be beneficial.  

This bright yellow turmeric contains many nutrients and is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Using turmeric in a tea may be very helpful.

Of course turmeric is very popular in Indian cooking. It is often paired with black pepper for optimal absorption. You could add a little black pepper to your tea if you are able to tolerate it. 

Tastes Good
I was surprised how good this bright yellow tea tasted. There are many variations of how to make the tea. I used turmeric powder as my base.

turmeric powder on a spoon


Sea Salt + Turmeric
I was surprised that this one was my favorite. It actually tasted like a vegetable broth more than tea. I was able to whip it up quickly with very little effort. 

Turmeric, Honey, Lemon- 
This one tasted more like tea. The lemon provides lots of vitamin C and the honey has antibacterial benefits that feels soothing for sore throats and or coughs.


clear glass jar with yellow liquid inside

Turmeric, Honey, Ginger- 
This tea is similar to the previous tea above but uses fresh ginger. Ginger is loaded with antioxidants to help boost immunity and good for soothing the stomach.

***One caution: 
Turmeric stains. Do not get it on your clothing, counter tops, etc. 


Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to diagnose or make medical claims. The information in this post is strictly for educational purposes only. If you are not feeling well, consult your medical doctor before trying any of these teas.



Monday, April 1, 2024

IN MY KITCHEN APRIL

I'm joining Sherry at Sherry's at Sherry's Pickings Blog for IN MY KITCHEN April 2024 . 

Free Daffodils Flower Background photo and picture

What's IN MY KITCHEN this month? 
A friend came to visit and brought me a lovely white serving dish. I also covered some of the food I made .

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Chickpea "Mock Tuna" Sandwich


mashed chickpea sandwich with sliced tomato
Chickpeas are really versatile. The high protein beans taste great added to salads, soups, or casseroles. Sometimes, I simply mash them with a fork and eat them on a sandwich like a mock tuna sandwich.

mashed chickpea salad

The mashed chickpeas taste great combined with chopped parsley, vegan mayo, diced celery, and spices.

It makes a simple, yet really good tasting plant-based lunch.  It is a great substitute for a "tuna fish" sandwich. 

Soybeans in Sack

I'm often asked, "Where do you get your protein if you don't eat meat, fish, or chicken?" 

Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber
A cup of cooked chickpeas contains about 14 grams of protein. Just as importantly, a cup of chickpeas contains about 12 grams of fiber as opposed to meat, chicken, and fish which contain 0 grams of fiber. 

Fiber is essential for good health!

O'Dough's Thins Gluten Free Bagels, Everything, 100 Calorie Bagels, Presliced, 10.58 Ounce [3 Packs]

Great Bagels: Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Low Calories 
I buy gluten-free bagels at most supermarkets in the frozen section. The gluten-free bagels are made by a company called. O'Doughs. They taste great and are low in calories and fat. 
1 bagel has 100 calories. They are also vegan. I am able to get them in Florida and in Pennsylvania.

The bagel is perfect for a chickpea sandwich. I like to top it with some sliced tomatoes. 

mashed chickpea salad, vegan, gluten-free

Sometimes I eat the fork-mashed chickpeas on a plate with some salad instead of making a sandwich. 

Recipe for Chickpea Mock Tuna Sandwich

Ingredients: 
1 can or chickpeas, drained
or 2 cups of cooked chickpeas 
1 cup of diced organic celery 
1/2 cup of chopped organic parsley 
1/4 cup of vegan mayo ( or more to taste) 
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper 
1/2 teaspoon of paprika 
optional: 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric 
Variation: for interesting taste, add 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder 

Directions: 

Using a kitchen fork, coarsely mash the chickpeas
Add celery, parsley, mayo and seasoning and with the fork mix well. 
Eat on a sandwich using gluten-free bread or gluten-free bagel topped with sliced tomato.

Try some of my other chickpea recipes: 

12 delicious chickpea recipes  (link to recipes) 


My Notes: 
I make my own vegan mayo from silken tofu. Check out the recipe here for Easy Vegan Mayo or you can find a vegan mayo in the supermarket.
chickpea salad and sliced tomato, vegan, GF


This is a whole food plant-based oil-free recipe!!  








Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Purim Party Spectacular


Free Purim Bakery Products photo and picture

Yesterday was a Jewish holiday called Purim. 
It is celebrated to remember and commemorate the defeat of an evil person who called for the annihilation of  the Jewish race in Persia in the year 5 B.C.E. 
The name of the person who made the decree was HAMAN. 

Coincidently, today thousands of years later, the Jews seem to be facing another group that wants to destroy the State of Israel and the Jewish race. This group is called HAMAS.

What seemed like an ancient story and victory to celebrate, unfortunately now seems like more of a threat again and the names are is similar. 

The holiday of Purim is celebrated with merriment, costumes, parties, and wonderful food. 

We were invited to a party of a very wealthy family near Miami. I'm sharing some of the food arrangements and decorating from the party. They were spectacular! She put up drop cloths to make it look like the city of Persia. I've only seen things like this at Disney!!!

Persian pastries
Middle Eastern pastries, dried fruit, and nuts 

fruit display
A table of all kinds of fruit. Yes, all the fruit is real!!
There were about 200 people at the party

=



salads, red pepper display

A table full of bowls of salads such as coleslaws, hearts of palm, kale salads, carrot salads, 
etc. 

There was hot food in the chafing dishes such as meats and falafel. I forgot to take a pic of the gigantic chicken paella and the various rice and vegetable stations. As you can see, the food and display were amazing. And it all took place in her backyard. 

Oh there was music and a singer too !!

roasted vegetables and bread
Roasted vegetables, breads, humus, salsa etc.

It is traditional to bake three cornered triangular cookies called 
Hamantaschen to eat on the holiday of Purim. 

Free Purim Bakery Products photo and picture

I didn't bake this year but I found these vegan hamantaschen recipes online vegan gluten free hamantaschen (but I have not tried the recipes). To make the first one gluten-free, you would need to adjust the flour in the recipe.










Thursday, March 21, 2024

Baked Marinated Tofu


tofu, vegan,

Would you like a new delicious easy recipe for making tofu? 

This recipe is an adaptation from a recipe I saw online for baked marinated Covina (a white fish). I loved the flavors of the marinade so much, I decided to give it a try using a plant-based protein such as tofu. 

Oranges Citrus Fruits
The easy marinade is simple and consists of the juice of freshly squeezed oranges, lime, seasoning, and optional white wine. It is a citrusy marinade that adds a tangy flavor to the baked tofu.                       

limes

Once the tofu marinates for a minimum of 2 hours (but you can do longer), it is then garnished with halved cherry tomatoes or chopped red pepper (or both), crushed garlic, scallions, sesame seeds, and seasonings and baked in a pre-heated oven, toaster oven, or air-fryer (if you have a bake capability) for about 20-30 minutes until slightly crispy.

Green Onions sliced with knife

Tofu is convenient to buy, very easy to use, and is a great. plant-based substitution for animal protein. 

Ingredients: 
2  14 ounce blocks of tofu from a container -Each block cut into 6 pieces ( drain the tofu from the water)
2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice
juice of two large limes
1 container of cherry tomatoes or 1 large red pepper chopped 
1 and 1/2  cups of chopped scallions
Minced fresh garlic
Paprika 
Sesame seeds 
Salt 
Freshly cracked pepper

Directions: 
In a medium bowl, mix the orange juice, lime juice, and minced garlic. 
Place the tofu pieces into a rectangular pyrex baking dish and cover with the marinade for a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove pyrex dish from the refrigerator and cover the tops of the tofu with tomato, red pepper, or both, scallions, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, and paprika. Pour optional white wine over the tofu and bake for 1/2 hour.

Feel free to use any seasonings that you prefer

Another gluten-free, oil-free, vegan recipe


My Notes: 

What are two reasons to eat less animal protein?  
  1. Your health- Do you know that continued eating of red meat may contribute to heart disease
  • Do you know that raising cattle to feed the demands of meat lovers requires deforestation (destruction of our forests) to provide grazing space for the cattle? 
  • Do you know that cattle and sheep release gases into our atmosphere that actually heavily contribute to global warming.  
Concerned about global warming ? 
The meat industry is a major contributor to the problem and yet those same people are not willing to give up beef consumption. As long as their is a demand, the problem will continue and we are part of the problem.
 











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