Friday, September 28, 2018

Instant Pot Acorn Squash and Apple Soup for fall

Instant Pot acorn squash soup

It's official! It's fall and I am eager to start enjoying the beautiful seasonal produce in my soups!
Gala apples and acorn squash are two favorites that are key players in this light autumn soup recipe. 

I was able to get 2 pound bags of organic apples very reasonably priced at Trader Joe's this week. In addition, the farmer's markets are starting to display their colorful winter squashes.

acorn squash at

I am a big fan of acorn squash and usually try to make a least one soup recipe with it during its season. You may remember my previous post for roasted acorn squash and pear soup. This year I decided to try an acorn soup with apples in my Instant Pot.

Acorn squash can be green or orange.  I picked up an orange one, but the flavors are the same.

Hard squashes like butternut, acorn, carnival, spaghetti squash, baby pumpkin, and Hubbard squash tend to be called winter squashes although they grow late summer to early fall.

For this quick and easy Instant Pot recipe I used acorn squash, cinnamon or cumin, apples, carrots, celery, and onions. I like to tone down the sweetness with a little celery and sauteed onion. I was pleased with the results.

Personally, I prefer the soup seasoned with cumin. However, many friends enjoyed it a little sweeter with cinnamon. Both ways are good. It's your choice.

I actually quartered and then halved each quarter for the apples and squash

Zero Point WW Soup!!
This is another zero point soup on Weight Watchers. That means I can eat a portion, and I don't even have to count it in my daily points. Yet, it provides excellent nourishment with lots of beta carotene and vitamins and minerals.

One more thing. If you are concerned about flu and colds, start pumping up your immunity now with protective antioxidants by eating more vegetables. I do believe there is a correlation between what we eat and how we feel.

Don't Have an Instant Pot? 
I have been making all of my soup in the Instant Pot because IT'S SO EASY but of course this soup can be made on the stove top. You may need additional liquid to account for the stove top evaporation which doesn't happen in the Instant Pot.

 1/2 onion, sliced in half moons
 olive oil spray
 1 acorn squash cut in half  peeled and sliced in quaters
 2 medium organic apples, quartered ( I left the peel)
 1 cup sliced carrots
 1/2 cup sliced celery
 4 cups of water

Spray the bottom of the Instant Pot with olive oil spray. Add onions and saute for 4 minutes, stirring. Add remainder of ingredients and stir. Secure the lid, seal the steam valve, and set to pressure cook for 5 minutes. When done, release steam manually according to manufacturer's directions. When all steam is released, remove lid. Using an immersion blender, blend to desired consistency adding either cinnamon or cumin to taste. Or just add the spice each bowl individually.

My Notes:

1. I always use organic apples.  If you must buy regular apples,  soak them in a mixture of water and baking soda for 10 minutes to at least remove some of the surface pesticides. 

Why Apples Must Be Organic
Apples are on the dirty dozen list published each year from EWG which tells you which fruits and vegetables contain the highest concentration of pesticides. Since apples are one of the fruits that contain the highest amount of pesticides, I always buy organic. I can usually pick up a 2 pound bag that runs about $2.99 at Trader Joe's.

2.  I use a really good peeler ( not expensive) to peel my squashes- It works like magic
      OXO Good Grips Y Peeler.

3. This soup is vegan and naturally gluten free

4. Other acorn squash recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash

5.  If you make this recipe, I would love to have feedback. 
Did it work? What adjustments did you make? Did you like it? 


The 8qt Instant Pot is on sale right now on Amazon about $50 off - $89
Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer

The 6 qt. is regular price at $79  I
nstant Pot LUX60V3 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer

I have both and like them both; the 8 qt is larger and takes up more space

peeled butternut squash
This is a really great peeler that works so fast and easy- no struggle

acorn squash soup and apples

sharing on Weekend Cooking on Beth Fish Reads where anyone can share a food related post.

and also on Souper Sundays, where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe

Disclaimer: Like most bloggers, I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click on a link from my blog and make any purchase, I will receive a very small compensation at no cost to you. This helps me defray the costs of running a blog . Thank you for any purchases you make - Judee

Monday, September 24, 2018

Author Interview Benjamin H. Berkley- In Defense of Guilt

I just finished reading this suspenseful novel with a very interesting twist. The attorney becomes the person being judged and the judge turns into G-d. It's a novel that makes us think twice about recognizing our own behaviors and being confronted with facing our own imperfections.

The following is an Interview with Benjamin H. Berkley- author of his new novel In Defense of Guilt


Question: What inspired you to write In Defense of Guilt?

Benjamin H. Berkley: I have known too many friends and colleagues who were workaholics; sacrificing time they would’ve had with their families. Then, a divorce occurs, or there is a medical crisis, and they wake up and wonder where the time went and lament that they cannot get it back. Lauren, the main character in the novel, is a lawyer who has never lost a case, and is forced to reckon with this same problem—in an unexpected way!
Q: What sets In Defense of Guilt apart from other novels?

Berkley: Although the principal location is a Los Angeles courtroom, and the novel is ostensibly about a case where a man is accused of throwing his wife overboard a boat, the defense attorney is ultimately turned into the defendant and the presiding judge morphs into God. I think that’s pretty unique.

Q: In Defense of Guilt tackles real life themes about family, love, and justice. Why do you think it is important for there to be books that acknowledge these themes?

Berkley: Life is a daily struggle for survival for all of us, and there are no shortcuts. We are all trying to figure out how to have it all, but in the end the only way to have a successful career and family is by learning to compromise and live according to our own moral code in the best way we can. Life is a balancing act and, when push comes to shove, justice and what is right always prevails.
Q: As both a layer and storyteller, did you find yourself basing characters in your book on real life people you’ve encountered?
Berkley: The book is loosely based on my experiences representing clients and the judges I have appeared before.  I’ve woven pieces from real people together and turned them into stories. I’ve always been a great storyteller, but some of the best stories that I tell cannot be made up. They are too crazy to be anything but real.
Q: If you hadn’t been an attorney and author, what career path would you have taken?

Berkley: A life on the stage! I wanted to sing and act, I was in all of my high school and college productions. I also dreamed of playing center field for the New York Yankees.
About the Author:
From as far back as he can remember Benjamin Berkley was always fascinated by law. Growing up in Long Beach, New York, his daily schedule revolved around grainy black and white reruns of Perry Mason, who with the help of Della Street, solved the most complicated of crimes imaginable – wining cases for their all but convicted clients. It came as no surprise to his family and friends that upon high school graduation, young Berkley chose law as his career path.

After years of intense study, Berkley earned his Juris Doctorate degree and has practiced law for over forty years. In Defense of Guilt (2018) is Benjamin Berkley’s second novel. He is also the author of four self-help books as well as his first novel, Against My Will, (2012) and is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. Berkley lives in southern California with his wife Phyllis and their cat Riley. He has two grown children and is always bragging about his five amazing grandchildren.  

Connect with Benjamin Berkley on Facebook @AuthorBenjaminBerkley, Instagram @benBerkley, Twitter @benber150, and
I'm linking this post with one of my  food related posts about understanding the issues with GMO food- the food industry will one day really have to face the guilt related to that one. In fact, Monsanto one of the biggest offenders has recently lost a major law suit for farmer's claiming that their cancer's are related to the pesticides.

Are  you concerned about GMO food in our food supply? Perhaps we all should be -
Who  is Guilty???? What you don't know

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Carrot Ginger Soup with Lime

cup of vegan carrot soup

Are you a ginger lover like me?
Carrot ginger soup is one of my favorites, and now that I can make it in minutes in the Instant Pot it is easier than ever- ( of course I included directions for the stove top as well)

The bright orange color, the tangy twist of lime and the subtle hint of ginger makes this delightful soup perfect for the beginning of fall. It's definitely a fall day. It's 62 degrees, cloudy, and the leaves are starting to fall.  Perfect time to make an easy soup for dinner.

carrots with tops

I have to admit that this soup is not for everyone- you gotta like carrot soup and you gotta like ginger. 

Personally, I love both- but my husband and my friend Laura were not fans! I was disappointed that they didn't love my soup and considered not posting the recipe, but I had another bowl and still loved it!! Then I served it to some ginger lovers and they raved!!


Because ginger and garlic both have antiviral and antibiotic properties, I almost feel like this soup is therapeutic for colds and flu. 

So it's up to you- it's an quick and easy soup that is loaded with antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamins and fiber.

In addition, carrots are one of the five vegetables that actually are easier to absorb their nutrients when they are cooked, not raw. Do you know the other four? ( see notes at bottom of page)

If you try this simple healthy soup, let me know what you think
.By the way- it is a zero point soup of weight watchers !!

vegan carrot soup
Zero point soup on Weight Watchers

6 large organic carrots, scrubbed and sliced
1 knob of ginger, peeled or 1 frozen ginger cube * see notes
3 cloves of garlic, sliced or 1 cube * see notes
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/8 teaspoon of cracked pepper
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of water
Juice of one fresh lime
Optional: coconut or almond milk

Directions for Instant Pot: 
Place carrots, ginger, garlic , broth and water in IP. Secure lid, close steam gadget, and set manual to pressure cook for 4 minutes. When done, release steam manually according to manufacturer's directions. When all steam is released, remove lid and if you used fresh ginger, carefully remove from soup. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy. Add fresh lime juice and serve.

Stove Top Directions:
Place carrots, ginger, garlic, broth and water in a soup pot. ( you may need additional liquid for this method as some will evaporate while cooking.  Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are soft. Remove ginger ( if used fresh) and blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. 

My Notes: 

1. What is a garlic or ginger cube? Trader Joe's and many supermarkets sell a brand of frozen cubes of herbs like basil, ginger, parsley, dill and garlic that are really convenient. I like to use fresh, but I keep some frozen cubes in the freezer for convenience if I am out of the product or just in a hurry. Their website shows their products Dorot Herbs.

3. I use #Tabatchnick vegetable broth or #Whole Foods 365 Organic vegetable broth

2. Five vegetables whose nutrients are absorbed better when cooked: 
carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, pumpkin, spinach.

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Instant Pot or Not Cholent- Vegan and GF

cholent -

If you like beans, you will LOVE this amazing vegan cholent/chulent recipe that is made with a mixture of pinto beans, red kidney beans, and navy beans. The Instant Pot transforms an ancient recipe into modern times.

bean stew cholent

Chulent or cholent is a old traditional Sabbath day meal that has been made for centuries by observant Jews. (Cholent recipes can be traced back to 1180 in Vienna). 

Before the invention of electricity, the town baker had a big oven that he would keep burning through the Sabbath which started Friday at sundown and ended Saturday at sundown. Since it was forbidden to light a fire on the Sabbath, the townspeople would bring a crock of beans to the baker's oven before sundown on Friday and let it slow cook to eat as their Saturday hot Sabbath meal. 

The word cholent is thought to be derived from the Medieval French word "chaud" meaning hot and "lent" meaning slow. Thus a slow cooking hot meal.

cholent in the instant pot
Before cooking in the Instant Pot filled about 1/4 of the 6 quart pot

After the invention of electricity, people started using slow cookers to make their cholent or would leave their oven on a low flame all night to cook their chulent/cholent for the Sabbath day meal. 

bean stew cholent

Jews from different countries developed variations of the recipe using chickpeas or a variety of different beans, meat, eggs, dumplings, chicken etc. Almost every country has their variation of cholent. There are probably as many cholent recipes as there are cooks. 

Indian Cholent may contain turmeric, cardamom, lentils, and chicken. 
Italian Cholent may contain rosemary, brisket, potatoes, and cannelloni beans.
Polish Cholent may contain potatoes, flankin, a variety of beans, garlic, paprika, and dumplings
Eastern European Cholent may contain barley, potatoes, butter beans, brisket, and garlic
Vegetarian Cholent may contain sweet potatoes, potatoes, dumplings, a variety of beans

I make a vegan version that is absolutely delicious and because I am not " religious, " I make mine ahead of time in the Instant Pot!!!! Of course you could use the slow cooker and cook it for 8 hours. You might need to add more water for the slow cooker. 

3 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil spray 
1 large onion sliced into 1/2 moons 
2 large organic carrots, sliced into thick slices 
10 whole baby portobello mushrooms , halved
1 teaspoon of ground ginger ( not fresh) 
1/2 teaspoon of Trader Joe's 21 Salute ( salt free seasoning mix) 
1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt 
1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper
3 cups of vegetable broth ( I use Tabatchnicks or Whole Foods 365)
2 cups of water( or an extra cup if needed to cover the beans) 
1 pound total of dry bean mixture ( pinto beans, red kidney beans, navy beans) * see note below

Spray bottom of the Instant Pot with olive oil spray. Add onions and garlic and sautee until onions become soft. Add beans, carrots, mushrooms, ginger, 21 Salute, salt , pepper, vegetable broth, and water. Cancel the saute function and press pressure cook for 50 minutes. Make sure the steam knob is closed. When done cooking, allow steam to release naturally according to manufacturer's directions for about 30 minutes. When done, remove lid and serve.

chulent mix of beans

My Notes: 
1. Many supermarkets carry pre-made bags of cholent bean mixture in the kosher foods section. 
2. There is no need to soak the beans for the Instant Pot 
3. If you prefer to soak the beans overnight, pressure cook for 25 minutes 
4. This really tastes amazing if you like beans
5. You could make this in the Instant Pot before the Sabbath and keep it on warm until after sundown on saturday. 
6. ** Beware- some cholent mix packages contain barley which is not gluten free- read the ingredients

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Easy Banana Bread Loaf- GF

banana loaf pan bread

How many times have you had too many overly ripe bananas and had to do something with them quickly? Sometimes I slice and freeze them, and sometimes I make this delicious banana loaf.

It's an easy batter recipe that I simply mix with a fork. I've done more baking this past week than I've done in a long time.  Last week I made the easy bundt cake and the Jewish apple cake- both easy recipes and of course both gluten free.

Gluten free banana bread loaf
I sprinkled some coconut crystals and cinnamon on top 

This loaf can be made with any gluten free flour ( or any regular flour if you are not gluten free) but my gluten free blend of choice is the Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour that I purchase in the gluten free section of the supermarket. It works great for me!

This is a dense cake with a rich banana flavor. It contains no oils and is gluten free and egg free.
Aside from the applesauce and banana, it has no added sugar.

slice of banana bread
There was a thick layer of banana on the bottom; it was a mistake but delicious- I needed to mash the banana better and mix it in better. Great taste but not uniform..

The banana tended to concentrate on the bottom because I mashed it on the coarse side.

If you like something sweeter, you can add a sweetener or add some chocolate chips. Walnuts would also taste great in this cake!

Personally, I love it just the way it is.
How many points on WW?
 I figure about 2  points per slice- ( total 12 slices)
Let's see- bananas - zero   vanilla = zero  nonfat Greek yogurt = zero
 flour is 24 points for the entire loaf - unsweetened applesauce=zero
I figure 12 slices at 2 points each

2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
2 cups GF flour
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional: chocolate chips or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large size bowl mix GF flour , baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and set aside.
In a medium bowl mix bananas, vanilla extract, Greek Yogurt and applesauce.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or a fork until smooth.
Pour into greased loaf pan. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Why I Visited A Dietitian

Why I visited a dietitian?

I consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition. After all, I have an undergraduate degree in health education, a graduate degree in higher education, with a certification as a nutritional consultant ( ND) .

However, with all the hype on what to eat and all the books and blogs that range from Paleo to Vegan, I was beginning to want some straight down to earth new ideas!

Free Services 

Surprisingly, many of the larger chain supermarkets in our area have started to employ dietitians who teach classes, meet with customers individually to address personal needs, and give food demonstrations - all for free. 

I decided to make an appointment for a free personal consultation. I didn't expect much- in fact I didn't expect the dietician to know much about vegan/vegetarian eating.

Was I ever wrong!

I told her I was trying to transition from a vegetarian diet to more of a vegan diet. I explained that I wanted to cut down on the cheese and eggs in my diet. But vegan food often translates into higher carbohydrate foods. My concern was my weight gain- so I needed ideas !!

What did she suggest? 

 Samantha emphasized that it was important not to eliminate any food group. She explained that each food group ( fat / protein/ carbs) has it's own job to do in the body. If you cut out carbohydrates which the brain uses for fuel, the fat will have to convert to energy for the brain while the original job that the fat was supposed to perform for the body is never addressed. If you eliminate carbs or fat long enough, you can create an imbalance in the body. 

Simple- but it made sense!! 

So we explored ideas for meals that included some protein, some good fat, and some good carbohydrates at every meal- 

The dietician introduced me to a five gluten free foods  that I was familiar with  but had not been using: 

Hemp seed hearts- high in fiber, omega 3's, GLA. Add to smoothies, desserts, breakfast etc.

Nutritional yeast - high in B-12 which a vegan diet often lacks- taste like cheese and can be added to recipes. Tastes somewhat like cheese and can be added to casseroles, sprinkled on veggies, or added to any savory recipe.

Watercress- a little used super green that is great in salads, smoothies, or sandwiches. Very high in nutrients and taste great on some gluten free bread and vegan cream cheese.

Tempeh-  a vegan alternative that is high in protein. I bought a package and I haven't used it yet. Use as a side or added to vegetables like tofu.

Peanut butter powder- This is my favorite!! peanut butter with the fat is removed- she adds to smoothies and oatmeal- I created a vegan chocolate pudding recipe that is quick and very tasty; Although I've never used this powder before, I really like it and 2 Tablespoons is only 50 calories = 1 point on WW. I add it to desserts , banana bread, puddings, etc. 

Samantha also introduced me to Ripple Milk- a vegan milk alternative made from pea protein  and is gluten free- a glass has 8 grams of protein as opposed to almond milk that has only 1 gram of protein. I haven't really seen it in the stores lately.

In addition, she shared a recipe for overnight peanut butter banana oatmeal that sounded really yummy!!   I had been using my own recipe for creamy overnight oats but liked the idea of the peanut butter..

We discussed breakfast ideas and general lunch and dinner ideas- Although it wasn't specific, she shared two blogs that she thought had great vegan or easy to make vegan ideas. #Oh She Glows which has always been a favorite of mine and #NutritionStripped  which was new to me. ( she shared some of her favorite recipes from the blogs like cauliflower Alfredo and some crispy quinoa baked tofu.  She also gave me lots of recipe handouts booklets with some interesting recipes developed by the store chain ( Shoprite) 

Samantha was knowledgeable, interesting, and fun. She is a yoga instructor in addition to working as the dietitian at Shoprite in Yardley, Pa.  ! Before I completed my appointment, Samantha helped me find all the items in the store that we talked about.  I had been shopping at the Shoprite since they opened a few years ago and had no idea they sold hemp seed hearts, chia seeds, and nutritional yeast in their bulk sections- I was able to get a small amount of each to give them a try! 

I considered it a worthwhile hour and half of my time and look forward to implementing many of her suggestions.!  Thanks Samantha!! ( the photo is not Samantha - it is another dietitian)

#vegan #glutenfree  #breakfast  #dietitian

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Gluten Free and Vegan Jewish Apple Cake

vegan and gluten free Jewish apple cake

Do you love Jewish apple cake? 
This gluten free Jewish apple cake is moist, easy to make, and delicious! It is very allergy friendly as it is egg free, dairy free, soy free, and nut free as well. 

It will be our dessert for our Rosh Hashanah ( Jewish New Year) dinner this Sunday night ( Sept 9- the holiday lasts this year until Sept 11.)  During the holiday we attend Synagogue prayer services and invite family and friends for holiday lunches and or dinners.   

I don't bake much anymore, and I gave my Kitchen Aid mixer to my daughter in law Wendy.  Now on the rare occasion that I do bake,  the recipe really has to be simple and be able to be mixed by hand.

It doesn't get easier than this apple cake.  I mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Then I pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a fork or spoon. I pour the batter into a greased pan. 

I have a bundt pan and a loaf pan. I decided to use the bundt pan. This recipe fills the bundt pan to about half and makes a small cake that serves about 8-10. I haven't tried to double the batter, but I have made the batter twice when I wanted a bigger cake.

In addition to eating apple cake, we will to ceremoniously be dipping apples in honey. 

apple and honey for Rosh Hashanah

Apples play a major role in celebrating the Jewish New Year along with pomegranates, dates, and figs. Traditionally, we make sweet food in hopes of a sweet new year. In previous years I have posted  Rosh Hashanah recipes for apple and honey citrus salad dressing beets and pomegranate salad, and mini honey cakes.

Not sure how many Weight Watcher points but it serves 8-10. You have to count the oil, flour, sugar, and the almond milk is really nothing if you buy 30 calorie unsweetened.
Cake Recipe: 


1 1/4 cups of gluten free flour 

3/4 cup of coconut crystals sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder ( I always buy aluminum free) 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup ( or more if batter is too thick) almond milk ( unsweetened)
2 cups of diced apple 
1/2 cup of coconut crystals sugar 
1 and 1/2  tablespoon of cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together the 1/2 cup of coconut crystal sugar and the cinnamon. Toss the apples in half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture and set aside.

Mix gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. In another small bowl mix the oil, applesauce, vanilla, and almond milk. 

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a spoon until batter is smooth. If it is too thick, add a little more almond milk.  Put 3 tablespoons of apple mixture on the bottom of the greased bundt pan. Pour half the batter on top and then another layer of apple. Pour the remaining batter on top and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar.  Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

gluten free Jewish apple cake at
I'm Getting Ready for Fall

It wouldn't be Rosh Hashanah without some other traditional foods like my Mock Chopped Liver  and my  Gluten Free Matzo Balls .

My husband's family is from the Middle East. Their custom is to say a prayer over each of the symbolic food. Then the food is passed around the table for each person to taste. 

Symbolic Foods for Rosh Hashanah 

 A new seasonal fruit- We recite a blessing of appreciation giving thanks for something new for the season-we usually use pomegranate seeds or fresh figs since they both come out around this time of the year!

2. Pomegranate seeds- symbollic that we should be fruitful and multiply- my mother-in-law always warns us to be careful not to consume too many pomegranate seeds on Rosh Hashanah, as you may have as many children as the seeds you eat! Others say the pomegranate has 613 seeds- the same number as the good deeds ( Mitzvot)  Jews are required to abide by.

3. Leek patties Chopped up leeks made into patties- so that your enemies/or your bad habits should be chopped up and kept far away from you. This is a Sephardic Jewish custom.

4. Dates- Sephardic custom for a sweet new year- European custom is apples with honey

5.  A fish with the head and the tail - symbolic that we should always be at the head not the tail in all our endeavors. ( not at my table- I use a head of broccoli)

6. Black Eyed Peas- symbolic that our good deeds and fortune should increase like the number of peas- This is a custom that originated in Mizrachi ( Middle Eastern Jews) , Sephardic ( Jews from Spain, and is practiced with Jews in the Caribbean Islands as well.

My Notes: 
1. I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour - 22 oz - 2 pk from Amazon but it is also available in many supermarkets. 

2. Coconut sugar crystals are lower in glycemic value than regular sugar and contains more nutrients. It is available at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and I have seen it in most supermarkets in the health food or gluten free isles.

apple and honey dish
I put the honey in the center bowl and on the perimeter of the plate I put sliced apples 

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Victory Garden Soup and a Review of Food Fight by Tanya Steel

Today I'm serving up a bowl of delicious Victory Garden Soup that I made from one of the recipes in Tanya Steel and National Geographic's new educational book, Food Fight, intended for kids 10 +.

:Review of "Food Fight" by Tanya Steel

Tanya Steel, award-winning food journalist, outdid herself with this educational kid's book that explores important periods of history through the food they ate. An interesting read for both kids and adults alike, this colorful hardback book includes thirty delicious global recipes that focus on real food and healthy eating based on food eaten throughout history.

Starting with Prehistoric cave-kids and ending with present day, the author addresses food, politics, culture, class differences and economics of major periods of world history. There are lots of photos, quizzes, and fun woven into the written material.

There are interesting facts and trivia in sections like "A day in the Life of Paris 1793", " Menus of the Rich and Famished," "Bite-Size History" and "Common Foods eaten in Ancient Rome". It's a read that foodies, future chefs, and history buffs of all ages will devour!

The book is large, colorful, well illustrated, well written, and interactive. It was published in conjunction with National Geographic Kids whose mission is to help teach kids about the world and how it works. National Geographic Kids targets young readers through award -winning magazines, books, games, videos and their website."Food Fight" is recommended for ages 10 and up.

About the Author: 
You may recognize Tanya Steel's name as a leader in the global food industry. Tanya worked with First Lady Michelle Obama to start the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and the annual Kids" State Dinner" at the White House. In addition, the author is a former editor of Bon Appetit and Food and Wine, former editorial director of Epicurious, Clean Plates and

How I decided on this recipe

While browsing through the book,  I enjoyed reading about food during  the Prehistoric Era, ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Medieval Times, the Renaissance, The French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, World War I, American's Great Depression, WWII, and the 1960's.

There were many interesting recipes that sounded appealing including  Heavenly Humus, King Tut's Not Fishy Cakes, and Revolutionary Potatoes. 

I eventually selected "Victory Soup" from World War II section. I selected this recipe because I am a backyard vegetable gardner at heart and love a good bowl of soup. This is a simple vegan and gluten free vegetable soup that would be easy and fun to make with your kids or grandkids!

I liked this tidbit from the WWII section about kitchen tools.

        " Amazing technologies were invented during the 1940s including the first microwave                            (weighing in at 600 pounds), the first crockpot, and the trash compactor. But none of these                   were available to the home consumer until after the war."


Victory Soup  - A recipe from the book
(which called for vegetables from people's victory gardens during the war )

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas or edamame
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernals
2 quarts vegetable broth
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro or parsley

Ask an adult to warm the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for two minutes. Add the carrots and potato and cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, peas, and corn and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the broth and vinegar and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cilantro. Divide into bowls.

It turned out to be a very easy and delicious soup

Shared on Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.

Also sharing on Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe.

Disclaimer : I received a copy of " Food Fight" from the author and publisher for review on my blog.  I was not compensated for this review and the opinions are my own.