A Few of My Favorite Things #4

It’s time for another “Favorites Things” Post!  Whereby I share things with you I love and reccommend.

cocoa in hoodie

Some of the things on today’s list are exclusively for Israelis, and some are international. We’ll start with the Israelis.  Be patient the rest of you!

Please know that NONE of these are affiliate links.  I do not profit in any way, shape, or form by sharing these businesses with you.  I share because I like to help other small businesses that have products I myself enjoy, or that will help my clients.

1.  Super Juice by Janet

Super Juice by Janet is a super healthy, delicious, and nutritious juicing service that is made fresh each morning and delivered directly to you (delivery in Raanana only).


I met Janet through clients who buy her juice and then she came to one of my cooking classes with some green juice samples for me to try.  Now listen, I myself don’t juice.  I have an amazing juicer and I used to use it a lot.  Now it gathers dust.  I have ultimately decided that I prefer smoothies that retain all the fiber of the fruits and veggies.

BUT some of my clients swear by juicing.  They love the energy it gives them.  They love getting a major serving of green veggies in that they wouldn’t consume any other way.  They feel it puts them in a healthy mindset that makes it easier to carry through on healthy habits throughout the day.  The one thing that maybe they do not love, is the hassle and cleanup of making it themselves.  Enter Janet, who will make the juice for you and deliver to your home.  Yes, it’s Raanana only, but if we make the lady uber successful and give her tons of requests for other delivery spots, who knows, maybe it’ll be the next big thing?

Janet says, “The Super Green Juice, which is the one I sell daily, is made of Cucumber, Celery, Kale, Spinach, Mangold (Swiss Chard), Apple, Lemon, and Ginger.  I mix it up sometimes with white cabbage, fennel, parsley, and kohlrabi.”  I myself tried it and it’s good, fresh and green.

Plus, she’s a nice person, smart and lovely.  She’s also a vegan.

Please call Janet at 054-424-7387 for more information.


2.  Enjoy Frozen Fruit

berry collage

I have posted about this company before HERE but I still get comments daily from Israelis who see my recipes and say “Where did you get those blueberries?”  “Where do you get all those raspberries?”  So I figured it is time to remind.

Ellie and Josh are distributors of 2 kg bags of frozen fruits from the US.  They sell berries of all kinds, plus any other fruit you could imagine, from acai, to papaya to sabras (prickly pear) and more.  They also sell a large variety of gluten free products, organically grown oregano oil, organic olive oil, many Asian products and other health food stuff you used to buy in the states.  They now carry Rusty’s nut butters made with love by my Instagram friend which I’ve tried and are super delicious!

Enjoy Frozen Fruit makes monthly deliveries to a set point like a school or parking lot, in the following communities: Raanana, Kfar Saba, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh, Efrat, Modiin, and weekly in Chashmonaim. For more info., people should email them at: enjoyfrozenfruit@gmail.com

I order a 2kg bag of raspberries and a 2 kg bag of blueberries every month or two and use them daily in my smoothies, in my oatmeal, in blueberry pancakes, in raspberry topping for Banana Nice Cream and much more (see pics above).  Their prices are more than half of what you’d pay for those frozen berries that come from Russia or France or wherever that they sell in the groceries stores here and 100 times sweeter and yummier!  The prices can change so you need to contact them and get on their email list that lists all products and prices.  I usually pay 192 nis for FOUR kgs of berries.  There are other fruits that are cheaper of course than blueberries and raspberries but I like what I like.

If for any reason they stop delivering, I’m moving back to Indiana.  I’m kidding, but sort of not, so do not let these people go out of business!!

Again, they are amazingly nice people.

Support nice people, get healthy, and eat delicious things = win, win, win

INTERNATIONALLY AVAILABLE:  The rest of these are for everybody, everywhere.

3.  Terra Teva Superfood Cosmetics

I met Raia through Facebook.  She’s a vegan from Greece, now living in Israel.  She makes her own natural beauty products out of super foods like cacao, pomegranate, and sea buckthorn.  She also has a raw vegan catering service and teaches workshops on beauty topics and vegan cooking.  I think she might actually be a Goddess, like a “big G” Goddess. I’m not kidding.  Check her out:


And you know I am going to say it, she is in fact, a nice, lovely person!

If you want to know how my skin looks so glowy and gorgeous all the time, well I don’t really know, but I do know that Raia’s Superfood serum has certainly ramped up the glow a few notches.  The stuff is amazing!  It is this silky, magical oil with all sorts of amazing ingredients, that sinks into your face and makes you feel a little goddess-like yourself.  It smells incredible too.


Raia also sells some aphrodisiacs and intimate body butters which I may or may not have tried and enjoyed and which I’ll tell you about one day when my parents aren’t reading.  Hi Mom and Dad!

Raia delivers all over the world and takes major credit cards and paypal.  Delivery in Israel is 25nis and arrives within days beautifully packaged with lots of love and a few free samples.  Now, this is not cheap stuff.  These are handmade products made out of the most amazing and expensive superfood ingredients.  But we are talking about your skin here and your health (and not putting petrochemicals on your skin!), and maybe even your sex life, so I call “Worth It!” just like I do with those berries.

Website:  www.terrateva.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/superfoodcosmetics.co.il


4.  Definition Magazine


I have written for many magazines and websites over the years and can honestly say that Definition is the one I am the most proud of.  Here’s the backstory:  About 2 years ago, Christy Morgan (The Blissful Chef), started a Facebook group for vegan women weight lifters.  I joined it, met the most amazing women, got inspired to do some incredible things with my body, and general “changed my life” stuff followed.  Some of the ladies in the group decided to put all of their greatness and talents into an online magazine and Definition was born.  The design of this magazine is top-notch.  The articles are unique and incredibly helpful.  I am given a free hand to write whatever I want with no restrictive editing that white-washes out my quirkiness and character.  In the last issue, I wrote an article about using what you learned from 2014 to create an amazing 2015.  I used the phrase “shitstorm of suck” and they kept it in.  That made me forever grateful.  Anyway, that article is seriously one of my proudest pieces of writing of all times, and you should get the magazine and read it.  The next edition is due out on May 6th and will be all about Body Positivity.

The magazine is for active vegans/vegan curious in any sport, not just lifting.  Last edition’s cover story was on Roller Derby!  There is exercise advice, inspiration, recipes from some of the most creative chefs and food bloggers I know, transformation stories, vegan content, and even playlists to listen to while you’re working out!

Here’s the deal:  Past isues of Definition are free to read online here:  http://issuu.com/definitionforladies

But if you’d like to subscribe, for a mere $15/year (4 magazines), you get all the new editions to download and keep on your computer, plus a packet of exclusive digital freebies from our contributors, not to mention supporting our efforts to bring you our very best.

The link for subscribers is here:  https://gumroad.com/l/zPOk

The Definition website is here:  http://www.definitionforladies.com/

Facebook page (which I currently help out with) here:  https://www.facebook.com/definitionforladies

I hope you liked my recommendations and will be able to give some business to these wonderful people!

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Whip it Good? A Soliloquy on Self-Discipline

Welcome to Mount Writer’s Block, where we’ve got all Writer’s Block, all the time.


Holy moly, People. What the heck? I promise you I come here every day (OK, not really) and try to write something (or nothing), but everything’s already been said (no it hasn’t), and getting a blog written and published takes so much time that I just don’t have (yes I do).

The truth of the matter is that just like everything else in life, writing and/or blogging consistently, just takes self-discipline and commitment. I have been blasting full cylinders of self-discipline in other areas of my life (gym, food, personal growth), but I’ve let my writing drop off. So as I work to claw my way back to regular blogging, I thought it might be helpful to model the process for you. Establishing good self-discipline as you work towards anything is pretty much the same process, so whatever I do here for blogging, you can apply to whatever you are struggling to get a hold on in your own lives.

We are often lead to believe that Self-Discipline means buckling down and forcing ourselves to do the things we don’t want to do. We are going to take ourselves in hand and for once and for all, Just Do It, damn it!

Then, because that sounds like such a repulsive sort of project, it’s no surprise that we are not terribly enthused about it.

What if practicing Self-Discipline was not about strong-arming at all?

Step One: (Sorry, I have to say it:) Know Your Big Why

I know, I know, I have covered this a million times before but I cannot tell you how often people just skip it and then their efforts to enforce discipline on themselves don’t work, because they don’t have a juicy and compelling Why to propel them forward.  For example, I “should” be blogging (eating healthier, losing weight, exercising, fill in your own blank), because it’s what someone with an online business does, right? The experts tell me I must. Google rewards frequent posts and will rank me higher and everyone knows that “content is king”.  Well blah, blah, none of that excites me at all. In MY case, I get awesomely great clients from my blogs and newsletters. Mind you, I get clients via word of mouth all the time and thank you to those of you who send your friends and loved ones to me. Please keep doing that. However, the people who are the super duper funnest, best clients and who get the greatest results, are those who I have the greatest rapport with, who understand what my process is and what will be expected of them, because they are the ones who come to me through my website. They’ve read a few posts and they “get me”, understand what I’m doing here, and want to be part of it. So really, my blog is the opening salvo in a dialogue with the fabulous people I want to work with. That’s a lot more inspiring to me than yucky, boring “content is king” and page-rank.

Step Two: Make a Plan and a Commitment

Despite the strong desire to, don’t overreach here. I want to say “I will post a blog 3 times a week, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.” But considering I haven’t blogged at all in months, it might be prudent to start off smaller. I’m going with Sundays and Wednesdays. If I get more published that’s icing on the cake, but if I set 3 times a week and fell short, I’d likely get discouraged and do even less. Again I see lots of people fumble this in personal growth goals. They set the bar too high and then just quit when they can’t hit it. I ask my clients to only set goals they are 90% certain they can reach without a huge stretch. That way, we move from success to success.

Step Three: Make it Public and Get Accountability

Goals that stay in your head are goals you can just give up on. Public accountability is powerful. Tell someone or hire a coach. I’m telling my readers. Now if I don’t so as I say, I will have to write another post eating crow. Crow is not vegan. I’d rather blog.

Step Four: Push Perfection off of a Highway Overpass into Oncoming Traffic

If everyday before I left for the gym, I thought my workouts had to meet some standard of perfection, I’d just stop going. The fact is that some workouts are going to be bad. Sometimes you’ll be weak and have to scale back. Sometimes you’ll try new things that don’t really work out for you. But you just keep going, through the bad and the good. The same will be true here. If I have to write the most epic of posts every single time I sit down, I won’t get much done, because epic doesn’t happen to come out of my fingertips every day. But if I don’t write at all until I feel epic coming on, the truth is that epic won’t ever show up! Perfection is the enemy of progress. And yes, I know that I publish content with typos and errors. It’s intentionally not something I am worrying about right now. Nor do the people who end up hiring me, bad punctuation and all.

Step Five: Address your obstacles ahead of time

What are the things that could trip you up?  List them, and think of solutions now, before they do. For blogging, I can look at my calendar and plan ahead. I need to get some posts pre-written and ready to post on days when other things take all my time. I need to map out a schedule of topics but not such a tight one that I feel locked in (see above re perfection).


Self-discipline is a lot more than forcing yourself to do things you don’t want to do. In fact, if you go through all the above steps, force doesn’t really play much of a part at all. Self-discipline becomes more of a following your well-crafted, inspired and easy-to-follow plans. Eating well can be this way. Exercising can be this way. Losing weight can be this way and in fact, HAS to be this way if you want to maintain what you lose. Blogging, running a business, learning a language, no need to push and force.

Let Christian Grey keep the whip. Devo on the other hand…

Massive Motivation for 2015!


I just finished writing my latest article for Definition Magazine, an online fitness magazine for vegan women, to which I am a regular contributor.  You can check out Definition here to download all past issues, and have a gander at the stellar women I am delighted to work with here.

The article was about performing something called a Year End Review to help in goal setting for the new year.  The next issue will come out on February 4th, 2015, so you’ll have to wait a bit to read it, but basically it walks readers through the steps of evaluating everything that happened in the last year, in order to better understand your next steps and areas of growth for the year to come.  I performed my own Year End Review of 2014, and I want to share something with you.

It was almost a year ago January when I wrote a post fessing up to my intense anxiety and fears, and proclaimed 2014 the year I would “Fork My Fears”.  You can read that post here.  It was a doozy!

After I wrote that post, I received so much support and encouragement that I was able to summon the courage to get waaaaay out of my comfort zone and do all sorts of incredible things.  I also hired a new health coach for myself in February 2014, to support my fitness and health goals further.  We are just finishing up our amazing 10 months together.

I can safely say that 2014 was a record year of growth and progress in both my business and my personal life.  Fears were definitely forked!  I taught several classes and workshops – every single one of which sold out almost immediately!!  I worked with amazing, grateful, successful clients on three different continents and a multitude of time zones.  I established a group continuity program for clients who graduated their programs with me and wanted to keep in touch for accountability, motivation, and support.

In the personal arena, I completely conquered my fears of the weight room, got deep into bodybuilding, and have been changing my physique and my confidence as a result.  I made progress on the “Driving in Israel” fear and drove the car around a bit more.  I swallowed my pride and spoke (bad) Hebrew more than ever before.  I did all those mortifying medical tests you have to do but dread doing.  I got through a terrifying war with casualties, and air raid sirens, and daily rocket attacks, which also happened to coincide with my eldest son’s first call up notice for his military service and through it all, I kept my shit together.  (OK, more or less together).  I got really vulnerable and honest with my husband and we initiated some spectacular changes in our relationship.  All and all, I am deeply and reverently proud of the work I did in 2014.

But not everything was a rose garden of course.  I ignored my instinct on something and it blew up in my face in a very public and humiliating way.  It was a hard climb back from wanting to hide under the covers after that.  I wobbled on, but by the autumn, I seem to have run out of courage again.  I got sucked back into the comfort zone and forgot my business goals.  I let confusion reign.  I got a bread machine and as I joke with a friend, immersed myself in Procrasti-baking (hence the lack of blogging. I apologize, but… bread…)

So dear readers, here we stand again, at the corner of Play It Safe or Get Out There and Do It.  Who among you will walk boldly with me into a new year, not strangled by fears and insecurities?  I for one, am not prepared to live a life unchallenged, untested, unmastered, unexplored.  We have such a short time here and much to do.  We can do this.  We will do this.  Together.

I want you to get out a piece of paper RIGHT NOW.  I’m serious, go get paper and come back, I’ll wait.  Now, write on that paper ALL of the things you want to accomplish. All of them.  Next, look at the list and decide which things you want to tackle in 2015 and which will be for next year, the next 2 years, 5 years, etc.  This is important because quite often we write this giant list which in all reality we cannot possibly accomplish all in one year.  Then instead of accomplishing one or two great things, we do none of them.  So prioritize and don’t worry, you can change the list in the future if goals change.  The next step I want you to take, is for the goals for 2015, write out each and every step you’d need to take to make that happen.  The smaller the steps the better.  If something seems too hard, break it down even smaller.  Lastly, go get your calendar and write when you will take your first few steps – in INK!

I’d love to hear what you’ve got planned, so comment, or email (healthcoachemily@gmail.com) and tell me what fears you plan to conquer and what dreams you’re ready to birth.

For my part, I pledge to have some new programs mapped out and ready to roll by the start of 2015.  Watch this space.  And thank you, as always, for reading and sharing this life with me.  Happiest of Holidays to you all!

love, em

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Vegan in Italy

family collage

A couple of weeks ago my family and I spent a week traveling in Northern Italy.  Italy, particularly Venice, has been on my bucket list for as long as I’ve had a bucket list, so I was beyond thrilled to be actually taking this trip!  We visited Milan, Venice, the Italian Alps, the Dolomites, Verona, Padova, Bassano del Grappa, and village after village of adorableness.  Expectations we met and exceeded.  I foresee a long and romantic relationship between Italy and myself.

Now, after recent spontaneous weekend trips to Paris and Barcelona, where I found it challenging to find healthy, fresh, vegan food, I came into this trip better prepared and had a much better food experience.  In defense of Paris and Barcelona, there are several vegan restaurants in both cities and probably in most big cities the world around.  You can go to the website HappyCow.net, type in your destination and eat like a vegan queen.  However, my family is not vegan, and when not eating in my vegan kitchen, my husband in particular, wants animal foods.  Often we will compromise by finding an Indian, Asian, or North African restaurant where we can both order as we choose.  But other times, I am left staring at a menu where the only vegan option is bread, and maybe not even the bread.  This was especially true of Paris, where I was unable to even get soy milk for my coffee in any cafe in the tourist areas.  I’m sure it exists but not where I was.

Another great resource I have used for vegan travel in Europe is the blog Keepin It Kind.  Blogger Kristi has traveled as vegan throughout Europe and has written an extremely comprehensive guide of not just restaurants, but also of words you will need to learn and where you are likely to find vegan items on menus and in stores.  You can view her travel section here.

To start off, I knew from previous trips that in European hotels where breakfast is included, it is generally a bunch of buttery non-vegan pastries, bread, butter and jam, coffee and tea with cow’s milk, juices, meats and cheeses, and occasionally some fruit.  So the night before we left for Italy, I packed baggies for each morning of our stay with 1/2 cup dry oats, 2 Tbsp vegan protein powder (anticipating a protein-light week), raisins and cinnamon:

protein oats logo

I also brought with me small boxes of soy milk for my coffee. Our first night in Italy, we went to a supermarket to buy some fruit, and I also found some soy yogurt there. When we came down to breakfast each morning, I simply dumped my oats into a bowl, covered them with hot water and then a with a plate, and let them steam and soak while I prepared my coffee.    I generally topped my then cooked oats with a dollop of jam from the breakfast buffet, with fruit, and sometimes a soy yogurt.  My breakfasts looked like this and kept me full and satisfied for HOURS of touring around.

bfat collage


Next, restaurants:  One of the suggestions I learned on Keepin It Kind, was to order a “pizza vegetariano senza mozzarella”. It was possible to do this in almost any restaurant and it was a completely normal thing to order – no waiter ever batted an eye and my pizza always came correctly, topped with a variety of roasted veggies, tomato sauce, and no cheese:

first pizza logo

bruschetta logo


As for street food, there was always the option to get a focaccia topped with veggies and no cheese:

onion foccacia logo

pizza 2 logo


Most of the salads came with cheese or meat on top, but it was easy to ask for them without:

salad logo


The minestrone soup was made with a vegetable broth base and had no added animal ingredients.  I asked!

minestrone 1 logo

It was also possible to order plain pasta and gnocchi with tomato sauce, but again, you need to ask if the sauce is made with cheese or meat and if the gnocchi has eggs.  This one did not:

gnocchi logo


It was easy to re-stock on fruits often, as Italians seem to love shuk shopping as much as Israelis do:

shuk collage

By the way, see those chestnuts top right corner?  Although I suspect it’s a seasonal treat, we frequently bought little bags of roasted chestnuts for a hearty, warm, protein-rich snack.

The place where I could really see the advancement of veganism into Italy though, was at the gelato shops.  Almost all places we went have clearly marked “gelato vegano” signs!  I enjoyed two gelatos during the week, chocolate and hazelnut.  I’m not a big fan of ice creamy things, but these were really delicious!  The chocolate said it was made with rice milk.  The hazelnut was soy milk based.

gelato chocolate logo

gelato hazelnut logo

And of course, in Venice, we found the trademark marzipan fruits.  I am not 100% sure that marzipan is completely vegan, the colorings and glaze may have animal ingredients, so do your own research – but for me, they were vegan-enough:

marzipan fruits logo

The only thing I had trouble with was when we packed sandwiches for our family lunches al fresco.  We bought bread, cheese and pesto for the three of them, but I could not for the life of me find any hummus or tahina!  I even followed an Arab couple in the supermarket one day and finally asked them.  They laughed and said there was a Middle Eastern market, but it was not near where we were.  My other usual vegan sandwich option -avocado – didn’t work because the avocados were all hard as stones.  Clearly Italy needs to get on it and import our creamy, delicious Israeli avocados!  In one shop I finally found a carton of roasted veggie antipasti, so we just layered eggplant, peppers and zucchini into bread and I made do.  Incidentally, pesto in Italy is made with cheese so that was a no-go. (In Israel, pesto is quite often parve, or dairy-free).

Only in Vicenza, Italy, with it’s larger North African and Turkish population, did we find a falafel shop.  Actually it was a shawarma shop that sold some pretty crappy frozen falafel but I didn’t care.  I was in chickpea withdrawal.  Just be careful with Turkish falafel though, because the sauce they are about to pour on your sandwich that looks like tahina, is really yogurt.  Luckily I had been tipped off by one of our travel companions and I enjoyed my dry, but passable falafel:

falafel logo


We only had one afternoon in Milan before we flew back, and I caught a glimpse of these vegan chia puddings and soy yogurt parfaits.  I am sure there are vegan restaurants and treats aplenty in the larger cities such as Milan.

milan collage


For where I was for most of the week, in the countryside, away from tourist areas, in a group full of non-vegans, I feel like I ate really well.  A little heavy on the white flour carbs and not as much protein (beans and tofu) or green veggies as I eat at home, but I was satisfied, able to order and eat in all restaurants with my family, and never felt hungry or deprived.

One guess as to the first thing I ate when I got home…

hummus-post-2Hello old friend.  I missed you!



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MoFo 2014 Wrap-Up: Recipe Extras!

I’m so glad we had this time together,
Just to have a laugh, or sing a song.
Seems we just got started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, ‘So long.’

Can you name that jingle?  Hint:  family tv hour, 1970’s, USA.  Let me know if you get it!

So, 20 posts in 30 days and Vegan MoFo 2014 has come to a successful close.  I met lots of great new people – readers and bloggers, both.  Circle expanded, check!  I seem to have been offered a regular contributor position at a major vegan website (more on that once I make my final decision about it). Exposure and opportunity, check!  I provided you my readers with a bevy of new recipes and heard from many of you that you’ve already tried and liked many of them.  Extra points to those of you who sent pictures – I loved that!  Provided service and value, check!

But the final thing I join MoFo for – to discover new blogs and gather new recipes – didn’t really happen so much.  So many people were signed up but didn’t actually participate and many who did wrote an awful lot of product and restaurant reviews, rather than recipes.  And what was with the blogs participating and posting non-vegan content??  I think Vegan MoFo hey-day is over.  For me, at least.  This will be my last.

I don’t have a final recipe for you today.  Instead I thought I’d share some of the recipes I didn’t get around to making.  I would have held them over for next year but since deciding that there will be no next year, I am passing them on to you.  Ta da!  My Jewish readers still have the hurdle of Sukkot cooking looming ahead of them, so I’m hoping that some additional vegan recipes will help you plan your menus.

1.  First up is this Syrian Lentil and Swiss Chard dish that I was planning to make for Rosh Hashanah and then blog for you today.  Deep into my holiday cooking, about an hour after the stores had closed for the holiday, I opened my pantry to pull out the lentils and…  yeah, no lentils.  I don’t think I have been bereft of lentils EVER since becoming a vegan in 2009, but you know, Murphy had his way with me that fateful day and my lentil dish was not to be.  But it’s OK, because I can send you to the source:


 Syrian Lentils with Swiss Chard

2.  Next we have Tofu Chraime by Ori Shavit.  Ori is a major vegan blogger and animal rights activist here in Israel.  She has a full blog in Hebrew and then a partial blog in English.  Chraime, for those who are not familiar with it, is a Moroccan dish of fish stewed in a spicy tomato sauce.  When I posted this recipe on Facebook the other day, Sivan, editor of The Vegan Woman, told me it’s her favorite recipe and she makes it all the time.  Sounds good to me!


Tofu Chraime 

3.  I had planned to make the Pomegranate Tabouleh from an Israeli cookbook I own, but this one looks similar:


 Pomegranate Tabouleh

4. Cardamom Spiced Pancakes with Homemade Date Jam from One Arab Vegan were on my list:


Cardamom Spiced Pancakes with Homemade Date Jam

5.  Continuing the cardamom love, this Cardamom Rose Cold Brew Coffee caught my eye:


 Cardamom Rose Cheap-o-chino

6.  Fellow MoFo’er Zsu’s Vegan Kitchen, who did a month of vegan burgers worthy of a looksie, shared this Tempeh Gyro Burger that fit my theme:

Tempeh Gyro Burger B Zsu Dever Tempeh Gyro Burger

7.  Hearty White Bean Soup with Spinach, Rosemary and Garlic would be delicious on a cool evening in the sukkah or at home:


Hearty White Bean Soup with Spinach, Rosemary and Garlic

8.  Coconut Rice Pudding from one of my favorite blogs, May I Have that Recipe, looks divine!


Coconut Rice Pudding

9.  These Sesame and Hummus Bites from another favorite blog, Coconut and Berries, is as close as you’ll get to baked falafel on this blog.  People kept asking me “Do you have a falafel recipe?” Folks, I just could not bring myself to do it.  First of all, falafel is deep-fried, that’s what makes it taste so good.  Secondly, I have falafel abundance at my fingertips here and would never, ever even WANT to make it at home, let alone, ack, bake it.  Falafel snob, sorry.  But these look interesting enough to try:

DSC_0202_thumbSesame Hummus Bites with Mango Tahini Sauce

10. I’m planning on using my leftover freekah to make this version of Mejadra, which is usually made of lentils and rice, here made of freekah and black lentils.  This recipe uses goat yogurt but can be easily veganized with vegan yogurt or just by omitting yogurt entirely:


 Mejadra Freekah

So my puppies, that should keep you busy for awhile!  I shall be back to blogging soon, but perhaps will take a week or two off.  A reminder that MY recipe posts for several years of Vegan MoFos Past, can be found on my recipe index page and by searching posts with the Vegan Mofo category tag.

selfie 1 with logo

Here I am, oven-mitt waving at you, in front of the very stove where I have been standing all month.  And yes, indeedy, short hair happened this month too!

Thank you all SO much for hanging out with me in the kitchen!!  All the best, emily

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Persian Rice Pilaf

persian rice 1

In the excellent cookbook The World of Jewish Cooking, author Gil Marks writes,

Rice was brought westward from eastern Asia to Persia at least 3,000 years ago, where it quickly became so beloved that no meal was considered complete without its presence.  Contact with the Persian Empire brought rice to Israel at the onset of the 2nd Temple Period, and Jews became almost as passionate about it as Persians, considering its whiteness a symbol of purity. By Roman times, Israeli rice had become an important export of which the Jerusalem Talmud boasts “There is none like it outside Israel.”

For those of you who don’t know, Persia is modern-day Iran and there are loads of Jews of Iranian heritage living in Israel.  I myself, was raised in America on Uncle Ben’s orange boxed white rice which was sticky and very starchy.  Persian rice, on the other hand, is dry, not sticky, with every grain of rice, fluffy and separate.  It took me a long time and many tutorials with an Iranian friend to get the consistency right.  The best way I have found is to first soak the rice, then rinse it thoroughly, par-boil it for 4 minutes in a large pot of salted water, drain again, lightly fry in oil and then steam with no additional water.  But short of that multi-stepped method, the below recipe takes a few short cuts to produce the same result.  The bit with the towel-wrapped lid is a MUST!  The towel absorbs condensation that forms on the lid and drips back down into your rice.  Just be very careful that your towel doesn’t touch down to the burner and catch fire.

Basmati rice is my rice of choice for this dish.  You can use brown basmati or even long-grain brown rice, but add about 20 minutes cooking time and maybe 1/2 cup more water if you use brown instead of white.

Persian Rice Pilaf

Persian Rice Pilaf


  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 2 cups white Basmati rice
  • 3 1/2 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Soak the rice in water to cover for at least an hour, preferably 2-3 hours
  2. Drain the rice in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly for a few minutes until the water runs clear, not white
  3. Set rice aside in strainer to drain
  4. Saute onion and carrots in 1 Tbsp oil until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes
  5. Add rice and stir to coat completely with oil.
  6. Keep stirring for a minute until a toasty aroma begins to arise.
  7. Add turmeric, raisins, cinnamon, salt and pepper, orange blossom water if using, and water and stir to combine.
  8. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 12 minutes, or until water is all absorbed and rice is to your desired consistency.
  9. Fluff the rice with a fork.
  10. Wrap the cover of the pot in a clean, cotton kitchen towel and replace it tightly on the pot.
  11. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10-20 minutes or until ready to serve.
  12. In the meantime, saute the almonds in the remaining 1 Tbsp oil just until lightly fragranced and golden. Be careful not to burn them!
  13. Toss almonds into rice and fluff again with a fork before serving.

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Georgian Pomegranate Tofu

pomegranate tofu 1

The flavor combination of pomegranate syrup, walnuts and mint, is common in the cuisine of Georgia (and I do not mean the Peach State y’all!).

The Jews of Georgia, in the Caucasus, between the Black and Caspian Seas, trace their presence in Georgia from the time of the Babylonian exile in the 6th century BCE when my people were kicked out of Israel and dispersed throughout the world.  According to Wikipedia, since 1989, 21,134 Georgian Jews have returned to Israel.  Here in Israel, they have added to the amazing melting pot of cuisines and exotic spices and flavors.  Those flavors, along with the upcoming Rosh HaShanah holiday, in which pomegranate plays an important, symbolic role, inspired me to create this dish.

This is a super easy recipe requiring an overnight marinade, so plan accordingly.  This also uses just one box of tofu.  If you are feeding a crowd, multiply the recipe accordingly.

Georgian Pomegranate Tofu

Serving Size: serves 2

Georgian Pomegranate Tofu


  • 1 box (300g) firm tofu
  • 1 cup pomegranate syrup (rotev rimonim)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
  • more chopped mint for garnish
  • about 2 Tbsp toasted walnuts for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate seeds for garnish


  1. Slice the tofu into 6 slices, about 3/4" thick each
  2. Mix the pomegranate syrup, chopped mint and chopped garlic in a flat casserole dish that will fit all tofu slices laying flat.
  3. Lay tofu slices in marinade.
  4. Marinate overnight, turning the tofu over once to marinate the second side.
  5. Lightly oil a grill pan and heat it on medium-high heat
  6. Remove the tofu from the marinade.
  7. Place the marinade in a small saucepan.
  8. Grill tofu slices for 2 minutes per side to get grill marks and cook through. (You can do this in a regular skillet if you don't have a grill pan).
  9. In the meantime, bring the marinade to a boil and cook for a few minutes until it is slightly reduced and thick.
  10. Place the tofu on your serving dish, pour the marinade over it, garnish with walnuts, additional mint and pomegranate seeds.

OK cuties, that is it for me for this week.  I’ll be offline enjoying my family and community for the holiday.  Back next week with our final two Vegan MoFo posts!  In the meantime, I wish all of you, regardless of race, religion, non-religion, whatever, many blessings, much happiness, health and prosperity in the new year!

Here is a little video of a dude blowing a shofar, a ram’s horn, all over my beautiful country.  The shofar is blown at multiple occassions on these holidays as a wake-up call, a reminder to concentrate and focus, and a humble supplication before our Creator.  A Sweet and Happy New Year.  And PEACE, please, please peace!

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Vegan Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

stuffed artichokes 2

Artichoke bottoms filled with a meat stuffing is a common dish throughout many countries in the Middle East, from Lebanon to Egypt, to Morocco.  In my vegan version, I used crumbled veggie burgers to stand in for the meat.  But the recipe is very flexible and you could use TVP or burger crumbles or even cooked lentils.

The brand of veggie burgers I use are made by Teva Deli.  It doesn’t matter which flavor.  These burgers are made from beans and grains and I love them.  Package looks like this:


You may use whatever veggie burgers you like, or any of the substitutions listed above.  I also used a Yemenite spice mix called Hawaij.  If you live in Israel, make sure you use hawaij for SOUP, not hawaij for coffee, which is a different thing entirely!  If you don’t have hawaij where you live, you may substitute cumin. Also, I used canned artichoke bottoms, but you can always use frozen.  Finally, I did not have pine nuts but really thought they were needed in this dish so I added them to the recipe.  Toast them lightly in the toaster before using.  Keep your eyes on them as they burn quickly and cost a pretty penny.

In case you missed yesterday’s post, I did a round-up of Rosh HaShanah recipes from all over the internet.  Holiday begins in T minus 2…

Vegan Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

Vegan Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms


  • 2 veggie burgers, thawed
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (can water saute if you prefer)
  • 1/2 hot pepper (adjust to your desired level of heat or omit entirely)
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • about 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp Hawaij for marak (or cumin)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 artichoke bottoms (this is 3- 390g cans in Israel) if you use frozen, thaw them first
  • Breadcrumbs for topping (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Saute onion, garlic and hot pepper in oil for a few minutes until soft.
  3. Crumble veggie burger into pan and saute until all is mixed.
  4. Add hawaij (or cumin), toasted pine nuts, tomato sauce and just enough water to give it the consistency of a thick bolognese sauce.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Spread the artichoke bottoms on a pan.
  7. Fill with filling, heaping it on.
  8. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs if desired.
  9. Bake 20 minutes.


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Round-up of Vegan Rosh HaShanah recipes

When I sat down at the end of August to plan out my recipes and posts for Vegan MoFo, (vegan month of food blogging challenge), I faced a bit of a quandary.  I wanted my theme to be Jewish and Middle Eastern foods, veganized, and with the Jewish holidays right around the corner, I wanted to share recipes people could cook and enjoy on their holiday tables.  I composed a list of Jewish and holiday favorites – things like gefilte fish, chopped liver, challah, corn schnitzel, matzo ball soup and honey cake.  Some recipes, like mock chopped liver, I was able to not just veganize, but also healthify. (Mock Liver pate recipe).  Others, such as gefilte fish, seemed like they might be too similar to the vegan tuna salad recipe I blogged.  And still others, like challah, matzo balls, cakes, and corn schnitzels…  well, I could veganize those, no problem.  But having them be healthy as well?  That just didn’t excite me very much.  Sometimes cake just needs to be cake, and challah, challah, white flour and all.  That’s the basis of my food philosophy after all, that not everything has to be “pure” and “healthy”, you can have some fun indulgences too.  And yet, those indulgences can be confusing and triggering to my clients who are struggling with balance, and having the recipes on my actual blog seems like I am PROMOTING something.

I actually DID try a recipe for corn schnitzel as evidenced by the below photos.  It was tasty, but it was fried, used canned corn, sugar, soup mix, etc etc.  I just didn’t have the heart to blog it on a health blog.

SO, I decided that I will devote today’s post to where you can find recipes for some of your Jewish favorites veganized.  Some are healthy, some are not, but ALL are vegan.  You can choose to cook what you will.

If I were going to make a vegan challah, I would make this one by IsaChandra:  Vegan Challah


Nava Atlas makes some delicious looking vegan matzo balls!  Vegan Matzo Balls and soup

matzo balls

Rhea over at The V Word has my vote for gefilte fish:  Vegan Gefilte Fish

geflte fish (1)


Mayim Bialik has a vegan honey cake on kveller that looks good.  I might substitute silan (date syrup) for the agave though.  It would be darker and more “honey” tasting.  Vegan Honey Cake


These are the corn schnitzels I made and then decided not to blog.  Not really applicable to Rosh HaShanah, but yes, Jewish and Israeli.  The recipe needed a lot of tweaking and is in Hebrew:  Vegan Corn Schnitzel

corn schnitzel 4


This Moroccan plait looks like it would make an amazing main dish for a holiday table.  Vegan Moroccan Plait



All of my Vegan MoFo posts from the past 3+ years, most of which had a Jewish or Middle Eastern theme, are here: Triumph Wellness MoFo recipe posts

MoFo Recipe Icon


Veg Kitchen has an AMAZING round up of vegan RH recipes!  Vegan Jewish New Year Recipes



And finally, I wrote an article on Vegan RH foods for Definition Magazine (fitness for vegan women).  It included the above chopped liver, but also my Black-eyed Pea – Pumpkin Curry and my Vegan Stuffed Cabbage!  This issue of Definition is free and entirely online.  It has amazing, amazing content – aside from my recipes – there are other yummy, healthy vegan recipes and fascinating articles on fitness and transformation.  I LOVE being a part of this publication!  You can download it here:  Definition Magazine

vegan stuffed cabbage with tempeh and mushrooms


I will still be back tomorrow and Tuesday with more recipes and then a short break for the holiday.  Then we will finish this MoFo off next week with 2 more on Sunday and Monday.  MoFo finish line in sight.  Holiday cooking for 12 commenced.

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Moroccan Harira Soup

Vegan MoFo Post #15 of 20.  Homestretch.

Harira is a traditional North African soup of Moroccan and Algerian origins.  It typically uses chickpeas, lentils and meat.  Obviously I skipped the meat, but I also subbed out black-eyed peas for the chickpeas because I feel like my diet often ends up being all-chickpea-all-the-time.  Black-eyed peas make a nice change and as they are served by many Jews as one of the traditional simanim for Rosh HaShanah, this soup could be a great one to serve at your holiday table.

Today’s possibly new-to-you ingredient is preserved lemon.  Preserved lemons are just lemons that have been pickled in salt.  In Israel you can buy them where pickled things are sold. (I got mine at the pickle/olive bar at Eden Teva Market).  If you cannot find preserved lemon do not despair.  Just squeeze some fresh lemon juice into the soup before serving.

Here is what preserved lemon (limon kavoosh) looks like whole:

lemon whole


and cut open:

lemon sliced

Moroccan Harira Soup

Moroccan Harira Soup


  • 1 cup dry black-eyed peas or chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 potato or celery root or parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pinch saffron (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, extra for garnish if desired
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, extra for garnish if desired
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • z'chug, harissa, hot sauce or hot pepper to your taste


  1. Soak black-eyed peas or chickpeas overnight.
  2. Drain and discard soak water.
  3. Saute onions, carrots and celery in oil until soft.
  4. Add black-eyed peas and 10 cups of water.
  5. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam that surfaces, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  6. Add lentils, cumin, cilantro and parsley (you can save a little on the side for garnish)
  7. Simmer, adding more water if necessary, for another 30 minutes.
  8. Cut open the preserved lemon and scrape out the seeds.
  9. Place in food processor.
  10. Quarter the tomatoes and scoop out their seeds.
  11. Add to food processor with lemon.
  12. Process until finely chopped.
  13. Add tomato-lemon slush to pot and cook until all the beans and tender.
  14. Season with z'chug, harissa, hot sauce or hot pepper to your desired level of spiciness.
  15. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and/or cilantro before serving if desired.

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