How to Cultivate Consistency

In the last post, I explained how making common dieting mistakes, will keep you dieting forever rather than succeeding at permanent weight loss. Today I want to boil it down to really the number one thing you need to do to succeed at ANYTHING ever in your life, weight loss included. Weight loss, especially!

Be Consistent.


The thing that almost everyone says to me is that they want to be the kind of person to whom eating healthy and exercising comes naturally. But if you look at the people to whom it DOES come naturally, all you will see is that they practice a series of habits and have been doing so regularly for so long that it has become second nature. That’s it. They are not stronger than you or better than you or more self-disciplined or whatever. They just have practiced their desired habit over and over and over.

For example, I started exercising in the mornings 14 years ago when I began my weight loss journey. It was really hard at first to establish that habit! But as you can imagine, after FOURTEEN years of practicing it pretty nearly every single day, I don’t even have to think about it anymore. I wake up and I work out. Yes, I still get all kinds of mind monkeys trying to talk me out of it, but because it is so ingrained in who I am and what I do, it generally just happens despite the resistance. Plus, I don’t negotiate with monkeys. EVER.

When you think back over past weight loss attempts, you probably remember that you were so on track for awhile. You were just burnin’ it up! Staying on plan with food, going to the gym every day… And then one day you missed the gym. The next day you fell off the wagon with food. Hey, it happens to everyone!  But for the person with the ingrained, consistent habit, or accountability system, picking herself back up and getting right back on track is likely to happen pretty quickly.  For the person who is lacking in consistency and accountability, well, that can be the end of the diet right there.

So, how can you build consistency? Basically by deciding on one or two habits you want to pursue, doing them over and over, and tracking your results somewhere (like a spreadsheet or planner).

But do you know what works even better? Hiring a coach. Seriously. I know that for me, I could never have become consistent with my healthy habits alone. I needed a coach to report to – someone to hold me accountable, as well as help me pick appropriate habits (people tend to over-reach, then crash and burn).

If hiring a coach is not in the cards for you right now, come join my free Facebook group where we work on daily habits and consistency, and give each other the support and accountability to get it done, over and over and over and….


Pin It

Are You Setting Yourself Up to Fail on your Diet?

“Why will this time be different? How can I know that this time I will succeed when I never have before?”

I get that question a lot.

And I understand it on a very personal level. I too, had a million and a half failed attempts at losing weight and keeping it off before I finally succeeded.

But before I began that last attempt that ended with success (70 lbs gone, 14 years maintenace), I consciously decided that I would do everything completely different from all prior attempts. I decided that first of all, I was D-O-N-E-done, stick-a-fork -in-it done with dieting! After 30 years of diets, I didn’t have to be Einstein to understand that diets are temporary solutions that always bring the weight back.

I decided I was done with anything not entirely sustainable for life. I decided that I would rather it take LONGER if it meant it would be LASTING. And I looked at everything that had failed before (doing crazy diets, losing weight fast, not eating enough calories, not addressing the emotional reasons I was eating, being in isolation with no support, white-knuckling, being mean to myself, feeling stress about it all…) and I decided to do everything opposite.

Instead of

…doing crazy diets with all sorts of food restrictions, I decided to eat the things I love.

…losing weight at a rapid pace, I took my time to learn how to EAT, not how to not eat. As well, as how to actually BE smaller. No one ever talks about that but it’s so important!

…not eating enough calories, I ate the most I possibly could eat while still losing weight (this took trial and error to find but was so worth it!)

…not addressing the emotional reasons I was eating, I devoted time every day to mastering my emotional state

…being in isolation with no support, I hired a supportive health coach, joined an online group, and a fitness group

…white-knuckling, I stopped doing anything that felt like force

…being mean to myself, I worked at accepting and loving myself exactly as I was

…feeling stress about it all, I decided it would be an easy and joyful journey, and it if it wasn’t, that I needed to simplify things and make it more fun


So just to re-cap that for you because it’s super important: If you were to ask me “Emily, how did you lose 70lbs and keep it off for 14 years?” I would answer:

-I ate/eat foods I loved/love

-I ate/eat as much food as I could/can

-I learned strategies to control my emotions, which stopped the emotionally-led binging

-I let it be easy

-I was nice to myself

-I made it FUN.

In other words, if you are thinking that weight loss has to be hard, boring, painful, and you’ll be hungry all the time and not be able to enjoy the things you love, you ARE setting yourself up to fail.

Change it all around and finally succeed.


Pin It

My New Facebook Group

Two weeks ago I opened up a free Facebook healthy living support group and invited some folks – personal friends, past clients, present clients, people I am somehow connected with and thought might be interested. I got the idea from a book I was reading on the benefit of community in making habit change. (Hi Dad!) I thought it would be a cool experiment. I anticipated that at first it would just be me, posting all by myself while others lurked or just didn’t interact at all. Despite the fact that I had invited some of my seriously favorite people in the world, I didn’t dare hope that they would all think each other equally awesome right off the bat.

Just a couple of days after setting up the group, a freak storm knocked our power out for 36 hours and I was unable to get online to communicate with my group. When I came back online, instead of finding dead air, I saw people chatting, supporting one another, sharing info and just being overall amazing. It has certainly been a majorly pleasant surprise!

Every day I am getting private messages from group participants telling me how the group has re-focused them on their health goals and given them the needed support to get and stay on track. Friends, I don’t want to curse such a delicate and darling thing, but it appears the time has come to start opening it up to a wider audience so that more of you can experience that kind of success and support.

Here’s the scoop: This is a habit-based group. Participants pick a healthy habit they’d like to work on for 1-2 weeks, such as eating 3-4 meals a day and no snacks, or not eating after a certain time of night, exercising a certain amount each week, daily meditation or journaling, or whatever they’d like to work on. Each person tracks his/her success with the goals, and if they are succeeding, they can add another habit. If they are struggling, they are encouraged to scale the goal down until it is more doable.

Here is part of the official description. You can find the rest of it on Facebook:

Triumph Wellness Revolutionary Health Circle is a support group for clients (past, present, and future) and other friends and affiliates of health coach Emily Segal and

In this group we work on daily health habits regarding food, fitness, and having a positive mental outlook. There is no diet attached to this group, in fact, we are anti-diet and pro-healthy eater, whatever that means to each person. Slow, Steady, Sustainable is our progress motto.

We believe that all bodies are beautiful and whatever size you choose to be is entirely your own business. Our focus is on healthy habits. If you are working to change the shape or size of your body, we believe that shame and self-loathing are not effective motivators and encourage radical self love instead.

Our goals:
-Healthy Daily Habits with food, physical movement, and a positive mental outlook.

We have all had the bad experience of trying to make changes in our life by piling on too many unrealistic changes all at once, then crashing and burning all the way back to square one. In this group, you get to practice your habits one at a time until you nail them. You make steady progress towards your goals in a way that is comfortable, fun, achievable, and sustainable.

One thing that clients often say to me is “I wish I was just the kind of person who ate healthy and exercised without even thinking about it.” Think of a friend of yours who is like that already. That person is not more disciplined than you, or superior to you, they just have practiced those desired habits over and over again until they became second nature.

If you’d like to learn more about the group, go here. Read the rules and regulations listed and if you feel it’s a good match for you, and you can play nicely with others on Facebook, click “Join Group” and join our healthy revolution!

FB free group banner 2

Pin It

Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles

Before I share today’s recipe, I just wanted to give a heads up to those of you who didn’t read my last newsletter, that I’ve got an Autumn Coaching Special going on right now. Woot, woot, special deal!!

Normally, every potential client starts with a one-hour intro session where we discuss their food/weight/health situation in depth, come up with a plan to help them reach their goals, while at the same time, giving both myself and the potential client a chance to see if we have good working chemistry between us. It is an extremely valuable, action-packed one hour , whether it leads to a client signing up for a 4-month program or not, and I have always charged $100 (or it’s equivalent in NIS) for it.

I have decided that for the Fall of 2015, I am going to waive the fee for the session and shorten it to just 30 minutes. So it’s more of a taster session. Truthfully, I have tried it this way in the past and it didn’t really work out. People generally value things they pay for and would often just not show up for the free session they had booked, or just be tire-kickers with no intention of really working with me. But in the name of trying new things, I’m giving it another go. If it works out well, maybe I’ll keep it this way. If it doesn’t work well, I will go back to charging full price.

So… if you have had any inclination to work with me, but just wanted to ask me some questions first, or get a feel for what I’m like, or get my opinion on how you should proceed with your desires and goals, sign yourselves right up for 30-minutes of my time for freeeeeehehe! And do it before I change my mind.

You can see my calendar and book your session HERE. (Remember to put the calendar in your own time zone.)

And if you just came here for the recipe, and don’t know who I am or what I am talking about, I’m Emily Segal, founder and owner of Triumph Wellness, an international health coaching practice specializing in weight loss, healthy eating and exercise habits, ending emotional eating and sugar addiction. I myself am a vegan, but my clients don’t have to be. You can read more in the FAQ’s HERE.

OK, OK, Waffles!

Why am I, a health coach, giving you a recipe for waffles with wheat flour and oil and sugar? Well, because I believe that eating and enjoying all kinds of food in a balanced way will lead you to long-term health, control of your weight, and peace with eating. I don’t believe in staying gluten-free unless you have a diagnosed gluten intolerance. I don’t believe in fat-free or oil-free AT ALL! And I do NOT believe that the 1.8 tsps of sugar in a waffle are going to cause you to binge or gain weight or for the heavens to fall. This I believe is the main difference between Dieting and Lifestyle Change and between orthorexic obsession with food perfection and living a normal life.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you will already know that I eat a waffle for breakfast about once a week and am maintaining my lost weight just fine thankyouverymuch.

Don’t fear the waffle!

waffle with fruit logo

This waffle is topped with fruit and tahini-silan “caramel” sauce. Just 1 Tbsp tahini and 1 Tbsp silan (date syrup) and enough water to get the consistency you want.

Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles

Serving Size: In my waffle maker this makes 5 waffles

Calories per serving: 343 calories, 48gC/13gF/10gP each


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or use 1 white, 1 wheat for lighter texture)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar (or any sweetener you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 cups soy or other plant milk
  • 2 Tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or any other oil or fat you prefer)


  1. Mix soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle. Alternatively, you could use 1 1/2 cups of vegan yogurt instead of the milk/vinegar mixture.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir in curdled soy milk.
  3. Let batter sit for 10 minutes or more while you oil and pre-heat your waffle maker.
  4. Once waffle maker indicator light has indicated it is ready, pour batter in it. (In my waffle maker, I use 1 cup of batter per waffle, 1/2 cup on each section).
  5. Follow your waffle maker's instructions on cooking, but in my machine, I cook each waffle for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Remove waffle carefully with tongs, as it may be soft when it first comes out.
  7. Set on a cooling rack until ready to serve. This allows waffle to crisp up.

waffle with nice cream logo

This waffle is served here with banana-blueberry nice cream, which is one frozen banana and 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, processed briefly in the food processor, with or without vegan protein powder, and just enough water to give it a thick smoothie consistency.

Pin It

My Five Favorite Podcasts

My Favorite Podcasts

As I mentioned in a prior post, I have been spending less and less time on social media and have found it has benefited both my productivity and my mental well-being.  But disengaging from what everyone is saying, doesn’t mean I want to disengage from what some people are saying.  Whereas Facebook, Twitter and the like, became for me a sea of cluttered noise and unwanted opinions, I still want to hear opinions and ideas, I just want to have the ability to be a little more selective.  Enter podcasts.

When you subscribe to an individual’s or a company’s podcast, you get to listen to what they have to say, in depth, while not having to listen to a million other people’s opinions of it.  Yes, you could do the same on Facebook, but presently Facebook shows you all the things the people you are friends with are clicking and commenting on, whether you are interested in those things at all.  

When do I have time to listen to podcasts you ask?  I listen while working out and while doing chores around the house.  If I go anywhere with a long bus commute or time spent standing in a long line somewhere, it’s podcasts to the rescue.

These are my current favorite podcasts:

Rise and Resist1.)  Rise and Resist

Created and hosted by health coach Lacy Davis, and trainer Holly Works, both vegans living in the Bay Area, Rise and Resist podcasts cover the areas of fitness, veganism, body image, feminism, diet, weight lifting, weight issues, eating disorders, self-love, and more.  Holly and Lacy speak naturally and honestly about their lives, their struggles, and accomplishments.  They share their favorite tips, short-cuts, snacks and ideas.  Podcasts are about an hour long and come out every 1-2 weeks. I normally hate podcasts that have tons of small talk and at first I wasn’t sure about this one because they start each podcast with a re-cap of their weeks. But as someone in a similar field of work, their days quite often resemble mine, and it was fun to hear how other coaches manage their day-to-day.  After the first 20 minutes or so they settle into the day’s topic and then end each podcast with a cute segment called One-Rep Snacks which has given me lots of fun snackage inspo.


rich roll2.)  The Rich Roll Podcast

Rich Roll is a vegan ultra endurance athlete and the author of autobiographical book Finding Ultra, which I very much enjoyed.  Rich has been podcasting for many years. I know this because I can remember listening to episodes while training for marathons, and I haven’t run one in years.  While not every one of Rich’s podcasts speaks to me personally, I still tune in to catch the start of each and am often surprised when an hour or more has passed and I am enthralled.  

Recently on Facebook, I recommended his 2 hour interview with Iron Cowboy, James Lawrence, all about Lawrence’s incredible, mind-boggling accomplishment of 50 Iron Man distance Triathlons in 50 days in 50 different states.  I mean, yeah, read that sentence again and think about what that really means!!  I was enraptured by this podcast, literally forgot where I was, stayed at the gym an hour longer than usual just to keep listening and it has been rattling around in my brain in the week since I listened.  Game-changing.

Rich’s podcasts are not all about veganism or even about fitness.  His goal is to interview the outliers and success stories across many different fields of human development and achievement. Because he has been at it for so long, this is a polished and professional podcast.


the moth3.)  The Moth

My sister told me about The Moth Story Hour and even herself presented a story at a Moth story event (which she ahem, never sent me the recording of, hint, hint).  What is the Moth? It’s straight up story telling.  People get up in front of a live audience and tell a 10-20 minute personal true story.  Some are hysterical and I laugh out loud, others are so sad, I am left weeping. Most are a little of both.  If you like stories (and who doesn’t) you will be riveted.  If you are a writer or anyone who works in a business that uses stories in their marketing (every business), you will also enjoy thinking about what makes a good story and how you can apply that in your own work.


muscles by brussels4.)  Muscles by Brussels Radio

Vegan coaches, body-building competitors, and owners of, Dani Taylor and her partner Giacomo Marchese, host this weekly podcast on fitness, veganism, body building, dieting, and health.  In the last podcast, they gave a super detailed peek behind the curtain of body building competitions that was just fascinating.  Dani also sells one of the best books on Flexible Dieting I have ever read and that is a frequent topic.  (Which reminds me I need to do a post on Flexible Dieting!).  I also love that in their podcasts you get the unique interplay of how men and women view and talk about things differently. As with Rise and Resist, there is no dietary dogma or faddish, woo diet stuff here. Just science-based info which I much appreciate.


lift like a girl5.)  Lift Like a Girl

Nia Shanks is a body-positive fitness coach for women and I must confess, although I follow her blog, I have yet to have a chance to listen to her podcasts.  But I have subscribed and wanted to mention it because I think it’ll be good.  I like the things she writes about.  Take a listen and let me know what you think.



I’m sure there are tons of other great podcasts and I’d be delighted to hear any recommendations you have, although there are only so many listening hours in a day!

In the next post I am going to share my favorite youtube channels, so please stay tuned!

Pin It

Eggplant Hummus

First of all, I want to thank you all for your incredible support and encouragement toward my last post about The Dark Side of Running an Internet-Based Business.  The same day, another writer and internet entrepreneur I follow, happened to post her own experiences with internet-bullying in a harrowing blog post. That post by Leonie Dawson, includes an incredible video on internet trolls made by Shane Koyczan who did another video on bullying that went viral awhile back.  Read it at the previous link.

One Facebook fan wrote to me the following:

so sorry that the people you inspire, like myself, aren’t as loud as those who cut you down. thank you for all you do to bring life, vitality, and inspiration to so many.

Which brings up a really great point.  No, we cannot stop people who find entertainment value in being mean to other people online, but we CAN make sure we put as much positivity out there as possible.  So when you read something you enjoy, tell the writer about it! I was thinking this morning, that what feels amazing is writing something and having it be heard and understood.  It feels like being seen and recognized.  It’s easy to think that someone who publishes something gets a lot of mail and you don’t want to bother them, but I’m willing to bet that words of encouragement, “likes” and shares are never a nuisance.

OK, recipe time!

Eggplant Hummus is a cross between Babaganoush and Hummus and therefore I call it Babagahummus, which is also fun to say.  Why would anyone want or need to combine these two foods that are marvelous on their own?  Calories for one, carbs for another.  With roughly 1/4 the calories of traditional hummus and significantly fewer carbs, eggplant hummus makes it easier for those of us watching our weight to enjoy without worry.  And it also tastes amazing and is good for you!


Here is some seitan, steamed broccoli, couscous, and eggplant hummus.


And this is a red lentil flour omelette topped with eggplant hummus and cauliflower.

Eggplant Hummus

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Calories per serving: 54 calories 0.9gC/4.5gP/2.3gP


  • 1 medium sized eggplant, washed and dried
  • 1 (500g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • salt and peppe


  1. For best results, char the whole eggplant on all sides on top of a gas stove or grill.
  2. If you don't have either, just prick it and bake it in the oven until soft.
  3. If the charred eggplant still seems hard in the center, pop it into the oven at 180C for 20 minutes or so until soft.
  4. Allow to cool enough to handle and peel off charred skin.
  5. Place eggplant flesh into food processor with all other ingredients except the water.
  6. Process until smooth.
  7. Add water to desired consistency.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Pin It

The Dark Side of Running an Internet-Based Business

dark side of running internet based biz

Several people have written to me and asked me why I haven’t been blogging.  The official answer is that I am still struggling to balance all of the things one needs to do when running a service-based business.  I am not just a blogger.  I have actual clients.  My clients (thankfully) have very real and pressing needs, and those obviously come first.  Then there are the other publications I write for that have actual deadlines and editors, and guess what? Deadlines and editors make you get your articles written. Not having either here on a personal blog, there is always another load of laundry to run, or another snack to eat, before I sit down to write.

Although all of that is true, there is something more insidious that has honestly distanced me from this space and from Facebook.  I want to take a minute to write about it, because I know many of my readers are struggling with the same issue, either as health coaches or other internet-based business owners, or just regular folk feeling the Facebook Burn.


When Facebook first appeared on the scene, I was so delighted to suddenly be connected with and exposed to so many creative thinkers the world around. It was thrilling! It was also super fun to re-connect with people I had lost touch with over the years.

But the Facebook honeymoon is now over and the internet has become a place where everyone has an opinion that they MUST broadcast, while being completely intolerant of anyone holding a different opinion. It is all shouting and noise and bullying and arguing.  I was going to write out some of the comments I have received but decided that would be too “righteously wronged victim” -ish, so suffice it to say that I am too vegan, not vegan enough, too right-wing, not right-wing enough, too religious, not religious enough, amazing, inspirational and life-changing, as well as, disgusting, brainwashed, and stupid all at the same time.  I am apparently some sort of walking contradiction to be all those things at once.  Maybe that’s my bona fide super power – the ability to simultaneously aggravate all people everywhere!

I just post one word and it is either completely ignored, or simply wrong, wrong, WRONG and you are going to tell me why, I just know you are!  It will likely start like this “It is because of people like you that ….” (insert shockingly awful thing to say to someone here)

Now,  I understand this is all membership fees for participation on the internet playground and I wear my Duck’s Back Hate Repellent to help me ignore and delete, ignore and delete. But truthfully, I come to my website daily to do all the back-end stuff and I stare at the “new post” button and think “Is it really worth it?”

I am writing today to apologize for that.  I need to take an ego-check and remember that any talent I may or may not have, isn’t actually mine.  It comes through me from Higher Up and it is my job to be the faucet through which it can pour.

I have been a bad, bad faucet.

We cannot change the internet or the way people behave on it. But, as in all things, we can control our reaction to it.  We can also control how much time we spend on it.  We can evaluate daily if we are spending our precious time, adding something positive to the world or wallowing in the ugliness other people parade as “free speech” and “entitled to my opinion”.  

As for my personal facebook page, for those who have asked, at the moment, I am no longer using that page.  I keep it to post my blogs since more people see that than see my business page.  Months ago I disabled my news feed so the only way I see any of my friends’ posts is by going to their actual page.  So if you’ve had a baby and I didn’t wish you a mazal tov, I’m not a total schmuck, just an ignorant one.  I also deleted hundreds of “friends” who were not really friends at all. I did that last summer when I was spending my days running from rockets and those facebook “friends” were saying (loudly) that I deserved it. (I am generally fine with people having different opinions than mine, but there are uncrossable lines and that was one of them. Honestly, I think last summer changed the internet for a lot of us, especially those of us here in Israel).

Now, for those of you who have internet businesses and get stuck behind that wall of wondering if it’s worth putting yourself out there in a vast sea of haters and criticizers, I want to remind you of something:

It is not about you.

The criticism is usually not about you, but even more so, the service you offer is not about you.  If you believe as I do, that you are here to help people, then you have got to stop letting fear of criticism block you from doing so.  Here is a quote I jotted down today from Gina DeVee’s Divine Living Magazine:

I stopped asking “What will everyone think of me?” and instead asked “How can I best serve others?” Allowing myself to be guided by this simple question, I stopped thinking so much about what others thought (which is what caused my insecurity), and instead I concentrated singularly on my Purpose. ~ Gina DeVee


I chose two videos to share on this post.  In the first one, a youtuber who makes how-to make-up videos, shares a montage of the hate she receives when she appears in her videos without any make-up on.  Then she puts on make-up and is hated on for that as well, thus demonstrating the can’t win for losing state of affairs mentioned above.

The second video is an interview with one of my fitness heroes Dana Linn Bailey on how she handles all the internet haters. This is a stunning video reminding all of us the immense amount of inner strength it takes to put yourself out there in the internet age:

Final thoughts:

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
― Aristotle

“Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.”

-Andy Warhol

I am back to blogging.  Thanks for waiting for me.  More to come…

Pin It

Vegan Kubbeh

kubbeh 1 logo

Kubbeh are an Iraqi/Kurdish semolina and/or bulghur dumpling, stuffed with meat and served inside of variety of  soups.  Among many varieties, there is the extremely popular Kubbeh Hamousta, which is a sour green soup. There is also Kubbeh in Pumpkin Soup, Kubbeh in Beet Soup, kubbeh, kubbeh, kubbeh.

Yesterday afternoon, while trying to think of something to make for dinner that would be comforting, nourishing and easy to digest for my husband, sick with a tender tummy, I thought “If I were an Iraqi mama, I would have a pot of kubbeh bubbling.”  (Yes, I often pressure myself for not living up to the standards of glorified stereotypes).  I surfed through my pinterest boards and found this recipe (in Hebrew) for vegan Pumpkin Kubbeh stuffed with a mushroom stuffing.  Well, as these things usually go, I didn’t have pumpkin and I didn’t have mushrooms, so I had to get a little creative.

The end result was delicious, but I have to tell you, the kubbeh were a little too firm.  I looked at some other recipes online and all of them say to mix half semolina and half bulghur, so I am going to suggest you try that.  Or use all semolina, as I did, but don’t pack the balls too tightly when you are forming them.  Despite the hard balls, the soup was deeply perfect, soothing and divine.

Here is what they looked like on the inside:

kubbeh 2 logo

Vegan Kubbeh


  • 250g Semolina (Solet in Israel)
  • 250g Bulghur (or use all semolina)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Filling:
  • 1 tsp oil or spritz of spray
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Soup:
  • 1 tsp oil or spritz of spray
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped (Or you can use pumpkin, peeled and cubed)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, coconut sugar, molasses, or silan (optional)
  • 5 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, mix ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Set aside while you prepare the filling and the soup
  3. Filling
  4. In a large soup pot, saute the onion until soft
  5. Add the chickpeas and walnuts and stir fry until starting to brown
  6. Add the spices and mix thoroughly.
  7. Put into food processor and process until smooth.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Soup:
  10. In the same bowl you made the filling in, saute onion and carrots until soft.
  11. Add remaining ingredients.
  12. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  13. With an immersion blender, blend about half of the soup until smooth. You want to leave some texture. (This step is optional).
  14. Keep soup simmering while you assemble kubbeh.
  15. Assembly:
  16. With wet hands, take scoops of the dough and roll into ping pong size balls.
  17. With wet hands, flatten a ball, add about 1 Tbsp of filling and pinch ends up around to completely enclose the filling so it won't open in the soup. Just be careful not to compress the balls too tightly as I think that's what made mine so tough.
  18. Gently drop each filled kubbeh into the simmering soup.
  19. Stir a few times gently to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  20. Cover the pot and simmer for another 20-30 minutes to cook kubbeh through.


Pin It

Vegan Shavuot Recipes

Vegan Shavuot Recipes

Vegan Shavuot Recipes

Shavuot is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the giving of the 10 commandments to the Israelites at Mt Sinai. For various reasons that I won’t get into here, it has become associated with a dairy-laden feast of blintzes, cheesecakes, quiches and pasta-dishes. (It is also the last feast-based holiday in the Jewish yearly calendar, until Rosh HaShanah rolls back around in the Fall. For those of us watching what we eat and constantly challenged by our religion’s obsession with dietary indulgence, this is a real hallelujah! Yay!)

If you are a vegan, or are having vegan guests, have lactose intolerance, or just want to incorporate some dairy-free dishes into your Shavuot meals, I have assembled several options from my very own blog, plus a few others. Enjoy!

Please Note: Just because something is vegan does NOT automatically mean it is more healthy!  Some of these recipes contain white flour, sugar, margarine etc (although I tried to pick healthier recipes overall). If you are working at weight loss, healing a sugar addiction, diabetes or other health issue, some of these recipes might not be for you.

Appetizers, Starters and Sides:

non-dairy baked nut cheese

Baked Almond (or Cashew) Cheese

vegan pizza rolls, vegan pizza roll bourekas

Pizza Roll Bourekas

 mini tofu quiches

Tofu Mini Quiche Cups

mushroom bourekas 12

Creamy Eggplant and Mushroom Bourekas

vegan jerusalem artichoke soup

Sunchoke Potato Soup with Chives

sun-dried tomato bean dip, pesto bean dip

Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Bean Spreads


vegan moussaka, eggplant, potato moussaka

Isa’s Vegan Moussaka

swiss chard quiche

Swiss Chard Quiche with Sesame-Oat Crust

spanikopita final

Spanikopita with Nut Feta

cheesy kale logo Cheezy Kale


Creamy Spinach Tagliatelle and Mushrooms by Vegan Miamstuffed-shells-1 Spinach-Stuffed Shells (no nuts!)


Artichoke-Hazelnut Cannelloni with Lemon-Soy Bechamel Sauce


rice pudding 2

Coconut Cardamon Rice Pudding with Rose Water and Pistachios


 Raw Cashew Cheezecake by My New Roots

(by the way, cashew cheesecake is like 100 times easier to make than dairy cheesecake and will fool everyone!)


 Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie by The Gentle Chef


Blueberry Lemon Pie Bars by Namely Marly

For MORE vegan Shavuot recipes, including some real dietary indulgences, see my pinterest boards as follows:

Vegan CheezesVegan PizzasVegan PastasVegan Sweets

Happy Holidays!!

Pin It

Review: Vegan Start Passover Cookbook

cookbook3-500x579Today we have a review, guest post and recipe sample all wrapped up in one! Rena Reich of the VeganStart blog, has written a very special e-cookbook of Vegan, Non-Kitniyot Passover recipes. Before I hand it over to Rena, I wanted to say a few things: First of all, although there is an affiliate program for this book (ask Rena for details if you are interested in that), I am NOT enrolled and not receiving financial reimbursement for sales. I did however, receive a free copy of the cookbook to review as is customary. (Just wanted you to know I have pure intentions in recommending this book).

The second thing is that although every year I put up a post or two directing readers to vegan Passover recipes, I have not shared my own recipes for a very particular reason. The whole vegan, plus kitniyot-observant, plus Israeli issue is complicated and I am uncomfortable discussing it. I figured my Jewish readers already know what I’m talking about and my non-Jewish readers probably don’t care. But maybe I presume too much so let me explain the issue here briefly: for a food to be kosher for Passover, it cannot contain leavening of any sort. But there is an additional prohibition for some people based on one’s ethnic heritage, and that is against Kitniyot, which includes all legumes, and other some other non-wheat seeds and grains like rice and corn. So that means, a vegan Ashkenazi Jew (that’s someone who identifies as from predominantly European heritage), who follows their tradition’s prohibitions, cannot eat any beans, rice, corn, soy or derivatives of those during the week of Passover. So for instance, they cannot have hummus on their matzoh, nor can they spread it with peanut butter or tofutti cream cheese, or pretty much anything else save for jam. The only proteins this person can eat for the week are quinoa, non-legume nuts, and vegetables.  While, no one in a developed nation will die of protein deficiency from one week of low protein consumption, for someone like me, who feels like ca-ca without a substantial amount of vegan protein daily, it makes for a long, hungry, and sad week.  Personally I found my own “unauthorized” solution (I have adopted Israeli/Sephardic tradition and eat kitniyot) but for many, that is not an option.

What Rena has done with this cookbook then, is to throw many vegan Jews a life-line.  She has created some very creative vegan Passover recipes for those who do not eat kitniyot.  If you are in this boat, or know someone who is, honestly, this cookbook is going to give you hope. She’s got mayo and spreads, and kugels, desserts, and even matzo balls!  Nothing uses strange ingredients or things not readily available in a supermarket. Most of the recipes are quite healthy, others, like some of the desserts, less so.  Here are the details:

The cookbook is in e-format only.

  • You can download a kindle version from amazon HERE.
  • Or the PDF, MOBI or Epub versions from Rena’s website HERE.
  • The PDF version is 95 pages.
  • There are seder tips, suggested seder menu and seder recipes, then additional recipes for the intermediate days.
  • Recipes include: Matzo Meal Pancakes, Matzo Brei, Chopped “Liver”, several salads, soups, spreads, kugels, “meatballs”, burgers, gnocchi, and desserts such as Turtle Bars, Chocolate Truffles, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Almond Mousse and several other cookies and cakes. Yes, ALL vegan and all kitniyot-free.  It’s a little mind-boggling actually!
  • Not just for Passover, as these recipes are naturally gluten-free, these would also be great for gluten-free vegans year-round.
  • The price is only $4.99 (some readers have told me it comes up as $6.99 from amazon for those ordering from Israel).

Now, let’s hear from Rena herself and get that sample recipe!

Hi, I’m Rena. I’m so happy that Emily has given me the opportunity to write a blog post on Triumph Wellness about my new Vegan Kosher for Passover Cookbook. Let me tell you where this brain child came from: I became vegan after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, about 5 years ago. There are some books out there that have a profound effect on your life. This was definitely one of them. I grew up with animals all my life. I’ve even built a website completely devoted to pet knowledge. It’s just one of my things. Once I had the knowledge of how our food was treated before it made it to the table, I stopped eating animal products cold turkey (I see the irony here).

When I became vegan, it was just starting to become a thing. You couldn’t go out to a restaurant and get more than a salad, and even then you had to ask them to hold the cheese and eggs and salad dressing. I can’t tell you how amazing it is now to be able to go out now and get a good meal, feel full, and not have to ask what’s inside it. Those of us that are in the know, are in the know.

Because being vegan wasn’t as popular as it is today, there was really no place to look for vegan Pesach recipes that had no kitniyot (legumes). I thought about asking my Rabbi for an allowance to eat kitniyot, but that really wouldn’t help me all that much – I still needed to make food for my family. Even if I got the OK for myself, there was no way that my children (who are vegetarians) or my husband (who is an omnivore) would be able to as well. I was not willing to cook twice – food for me and food for them. I had to come up with another solution.

That’s where my blog (Vegan Start) and cookbook have come in. All the recipes in my book are completely kitnyot free and Ashkenazi friendly. I like to call what I’ve put together Jewish Soul Food. They are mostly recipes that I have grown up with, with a vegan twist.

Passover is my favorite holiday. I hope that everyone has a fun and stress-free time. Perhaps now you will also know what you are making before the holiday starts. I hope that this recipe and my cookbook give a good place to start.

I want to wish everyone a Chag Kasher v’Sameach. ~ Rena

Here’s one of my more popular Passover recipes that I’d like to share with you:

Vegan Kneidlach – Matzo Balls (Kitniyot free)

Vegan Kneidlach – Matzo Balls (Kitniyot free)


  • 1 cup matzoh meal
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic


  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour
  3. Roll into balls and place in boiling soup
  4. Simmer in soup until they grow (about 20 minutes)
  5. Take out of soup with a slotted spoon and let harden for 30 minutes to 1 hour (If you don’t take the balls out of the soup, they will fall apart. Taking them out gives them a chance to get firm. Once they have firmed up, you can put them back in the soup without any fears.)
  6. Put the balls back in the soup about 1/2 hour before it's ready to be served to heat up
  7. Serve

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Pin It