When people hear we are vegans they often ask me how I feed my children, or say, “I could do it for myself, but my family would never go for it!” This blog is the explanation. It is a record of all the wonderful foods and recipes we discover, invent and evolve as a family. But most of all, it is food made into visible love.
Simple vegetable lunch, 15-20 minutes to prep and cook:
Steamed (in the microwave) asparagus laid over a bed of salad (lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, cabbage shreds, and toasted pumpkin seeds tossed lightly in lemon juice and olive oil and some kosher salt)
Quick sauté in olive oil of corn cut off the cob, sliced mushrooms, sliced red peppers, salt and red pepper flakes.
Set up the sauté first, then as it cooks, prep the salad and steam the asparagus, while occasionally stirring the sauté. The corn dish is unbelievably tasty.
The remainder of the asparagus bunch was left out on a plate in the center of the kitchen butcher block and was completely scarfed up by 3 15-yr-old boys as a snack.
I was avoiding the fairly empty refrigerator before dinner and thinking about how much I didn’t want to go shopping. In my usual head-on approach to a necessary task, I was sneaking a read on my iPad Kindle app when a pop-up notification appeared telling me the July issue of BHG was on my ipad. In some fit of domesticity I ordered an electronic subscription several months ago and had kind of forgotten about it. I went straight to the recipe index and noticed a whole section on broccoli. Hmm, thought I, I have broccoli in the fridge…
A few tweaks of the recipe to “veganize” it for Irad (whole wheat flour, flax seed in place of eggs, rice milk in place of milk), and voilà!
Optional: Add-in fresh corn kernels
I decided it was time to update our hummus recipe, because we have changed our own recipe over the last few years. This version does not require a Vita-mix to make your own tahini, but it does require access to a store that sells tahini. The best tahini is usually found at an Arab specialty market, but markets like Whole Foods also sell it.
Thorough research, which included eating hummus in numerous places around Tel Aviv, exchanging tips with fellow hummus makers, and receiving requests from people who do not have a Vitamix, and a lot of experimentation, led to the following winning recipe:
1 cup dry chickpeas
1 tsp baking soda
3 garlic cloves
1 cup tahini paste
1/3rd fresh Jalapeño pepper
1 tsp salt
paprika, ground cumin
1. Soak the chickpeas overnight
2. Drain the soaked chickpeas, and cook in plenty of water, with 3 garlic cloves and 1 tsp baking soda, until soft (about 40 minutes, but will vary according to beans)
3. IMPORTANT! The baking soda will cause a stiff foam to collect on top of the boiling water. SKIM THIS FOAM OFF AND DISCARD. This is the magic secret process for good hummus.
4. Drain the of beans, set aside the cooking liquid
5. Set one cup of cooked chickpeas aside, and place the rest in a food processor
6. Add the tahini, the juice of one lemon, salt, very little ground cumin, Jalapeño, and 1.5 cups of the cooking liquid
7. Blend until you get smooth consistency. Add liquid if necessary
8. Pour the fresh hummus into 3 bowls. Sprinkle the whole beans, set aside in step 5, on top
9. Add olive oil and the juice of one lemon on top. Sprinkle with Paprika.
Nothing could be simpler than roasting brussel sprouts.
1 lb brussel sprouts1 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt (sea salt, Himalayan salt—a coarse grinding salt.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prep brussel sprouts by trimming stem off and slicing in half. Lay them out single layer on a jelly roll pan. Sprinkle the olive oil on to the pan and shake and roll them around to coat them and the pan. Grind salt over the top.
Put in heated oven for 10 minutes. Open oven and grab pan (with pot holder!) and shake them around, or flip them with a spatula. Heat another 10 minutes.
Serve immediately. I often lay these out right as kids get home from school and are hungry for snacking and… they disappear.
This is a salad I learned to make in Israel. Most recipes from Israel are either eastern European in origin, or middle eastern, and this belongs to the former. In Israel there are hundreds of ways to prepare beets, and thousands of ways to prepare eggplant. This salad lands on the sweet side of the spectrum.
6 good sized beets
1 Cup walnuts
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 fresh lemon
salt to taste
Cook beets in the skin. Remove beets from pan and reserve cooking water for borscht. Run beets under cold water and slip skins off. Chop beets into cubes on cutting board – plastic cutting board is good because a lot of red beet juice will soak into your wooden cutting board. (It can be removed with a good scrub.)
Cube apples and chop walnuts. Mix together with beets, add lemon juice, olive oil and salt (lemon and olive oil and salt is the ubiquitous middle eastern dressing). Chill and serve!
BONUS RECIPE: Borscht
Also in Israel, Borscht is served as a cold drink, not just a soup.
Take the reserved cooking water from your beets, mix in juice of 2 lemons and 1/4 cup of sugar. The juice will take on a bright red color. Chill and serve as refreshing drink.
Garnish: Often sour cream is added to this. I like it as is, but it is possible to add a vegan tofu sour cream and whip in with whisk.
These middle eastern beans are a wonderful source of protein. I call them the steak of the bean family. We do a very simple preparation:
1 Cup of large fava beans (called ful in the middle east)
Water for boiling
2 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs salt (or more to taste)
Soak beans overnight. Cover with water and boil for 2 hours.
Drain and set aside.
Saute large onion to point of carmelization.
Combine cooked beans and carmelized onion with 2 Tbs cumin and salt to taste. Cover with water and simmer for another hour until the beans are sitting in a thick broth.
Serve with lemon juice and parsely. Eat them plain or over couscous, or grain of your choice.
This is a colorful and simple salad with a high “wow” factor.
Julienne dinosaur kale, red cabbage and carrots (I use a hand grater to quickly grate the carrots,) mix with a splash of olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Add kosher salt. Slice an avocado over the top, mash it in and mix it all together. For added punch throw in some toasted sunflower seeds.
The result is an incredibly tasty, highly colorful and very nutritious raw salad that will complement any meal. Or pair it with crusty, fresh baked bread for a light lunch. Kids actually love it, too!