Monday, September 16, 2019

Carrot, Jicama,and Apple Coleslaw Recipes

carrot apple coleslaw

If you are looking for an easy, but healthy simple fall side dish, think about sweet and juicy apple coleslaw! Everyone seems to enjoy it, and it can be made in minutes.
I've made two different coleslaws that are so easy, they can barely be called  recipes!!

I'm not talking about the commercial mayonnaise drenched coleslaw that you get at the store. These recipes are fresh, low calorie, (zero points on WW), raw, nourishing and versatile!
Both recipes are made with sweet apples.

Apples Are A Symbolic Food for the Jewish New Year

Apples are one of the symbolic ceremonial foods eaten for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah,  which is always at the beginning of fall. It's traditional to dip apples in honey,  make Jewish apple cakes, apples kugels, and other foods made with apples. Apples are sweet and they are one of the foods we eat to hope everyone has a sweet New Year!

This year I'm making a simple apple coleslaw for a side dish for the first night dinner. I'm using my new food processor that I'm loving because it making shredding a cinch.
In addition, I'm making my vegan and gluten free Jewish Apple Cake and we will be dipping apples in honey.

purple cabbage coleslaw

Another Variation: Purple Cabbage and Apple Slaw

This is a two ingredient bright purple slaw that is made with purple cabbage and an apple. Interestingly, the cabbage is a little sweet and when combined with the apple, it is delightful. Personally, I like the two ingredients just mixed together without dressing.
You may like a dressing- which I've provided at the end of the post.

carrot and apple coleslaw

Carrot, Jicama, and Apple Slaw

This is a 3 ingredient slaw and is made from shredded carrots, shredded jicama, and shredded apple. All three were really fast and easy to shred with the shredding blade in my food processor. 

When I got married over 40 years ago, my mother gifted me with a large bowl sturdy Cuisanart food processor. It was top of the line and expensive. I've used it in two homes and for many holidays. It has served me well over the years. However, last year the bowl began to crack, and it slowly fell apart. I needed to replace it. 

Realizing that I am now only cooking for me and my husband, I felt that a simple food processor  and a much less expensive one would do. I actually tried a few before I found this one. 
I've used the food processor to make my homemade hummus and to shred vegetables for salads. I'm very pleased with it, and it was only $39.00 !! 

My husband and I are coleslaw lovers! It's something that I can make quickly (with a food processor) that is healthy and tasty. If I am really pressed for time, I purchase a bag of shredded cabbage slaw. My husband likes the pre shredded cabbage slaw mixed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper; I like it with usually a prepared low calorie salad dressing. 

When I shred my slaw myself, I find the fresh vegetables  are so flavorful and juicy, I don't need a dressing.

For a more substantial slaw side that is made with quinoa try my popular Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad or my delicious Asian Peanut Coleslaw. Could serve as a meal or to bring to a pot luck

Author: Judee 
Serving Size: 4-6 sides

Carrot, Jicama, Apple Slaw
3 organic carrots
1 small jicama, peeled
1 small organic apple

Cut the jicama and apple to fit the tube of your food processor. Using the shredding blade on your food processor, shred your carrots, jicama, and apple. It should take about 1 minutes to shred everything. Remove from processor and mix together and serve. 

Purple Cabbage and Apple Slaw
Ingredients :
1 small purple cabbage (organic if possible)
1 small organic apple
optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cut the cabbage and apple into pieces to fit the tube of your food processor. Using the shredding blade of your food processor, shred the cabbage and the apple. Remove from processor and mix together in a bowl. Add chopped walnuts if desired.


Simple Olive Oil And Lemon 
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
Pink salt and cracked pepper to taste

Healthy Bottled Salad dressing of your choice.

My Notes: 

1. You can be as creative as you like with these basic recipes. Sometimes I make the carrot, jicama, and apple slaw and add 2 cups of shredded white cabbage or 1/2 bag of shredded store bought cabbage. for a totally different taste with add a drop or two of sesame oil and some sesame seeds! Mix well and enjoy. 

2. I am back to following Weight Watchers (strictly) to take off the 6 pounds I gained over the summer! Thus, you will notice that I'm making low calorie sides such as my simple shredded slaws that are served plain or with a low calorie dressing. I like my sides zero points or 1 point!!

3. I purchased the Hamilton Beach 8 cup food processor for 39.95 and am using it almost daily for shredding cabbage, carrots, or other hard vegetables for coleslaws or to add to salads. I also use it to make my own hummus in minutes (see recipe)which is creamy and amazing. Since I'm on WW I adapt my recipe by leaving out the tahini and oil and add more lemon juice and water. It is still creamy and zero points!! 

Hamilton Beach Food Processor, Slicer and Vegetable Chopper with Compact Storage, 8 Cups (70740), Black

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click on a link on my site that takes you to Amazon and you make a purchase, I receive a very small compensation at no cost to you. I appreciate it as it helps defray the costs of running a blog.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Vegan and Gluten Free Shabbat Dinner

This was Friday night Shabbat dinner for our Sabbath.

It's vegan, gluten free, filling, and healthy. 

Lots of greens and protein rich foods

A delicious vegan apple cake for dessert.

I think the photos say it all!

From Left to Right

It was a wonderful evening with family welcoming peace and light into our home.

Friday night is family night for us. My son Jonathan, his wife Wendy, and the grandkids Jordyn and Lexi live nearby and join us almost every Friday night for Shabbat dinner during the summer and fall ( we are snow birds) . My mother in law Toni usually joins us as well.
During the 5 months, I need to come up with a variety of Friday night menus. 
Being gluten free and vegetarian/vegan , I am always on the lookout for interesting ideas. 
Of course, sometimes I make things that everyone else can eat, but that I can't. I am the only one who is vegetarian and gluten free. However, my son and daughter in law are very health conscious and use organic healthy foods.

The menu that I shared is an example of a filling delicious meal that is all healthy, enjoyable, and vegan!

Ceremonial Challah Breads and Challah Cover and Challah Board

Traditionally, the Friday night Shabbat meal has a few ceremonial items. 

Before sundown, we light Shabbat candles in a family Shabbat candle holder, often passed down from generations, to bring the light and harmony of the Sabbath into our home. I've included a link  NSW Board of Jewish Education  that explains all the symbolic foods and customs in detail. 

 We have two loaves of bread, usually challah twisted bread,  a challah cover and a challah board. 

 We have two loaves of bread, usually challah twisted bread,  a challah cover and a challah board. 

Kiddush Cup:
We say traditional blessings and include a blessing over wine from a family Kiddush cup often made of silver. More modern Kiddush cups are  made from silver, other metals, glass. 

My Notes:

1. The Balsamic Reduction Sauce that I use on my green beans is especially delicious and can be used for many different types of vegetables.

2. The Vegan and Gluten Free Jewish Apple Cakis perfect for Rosh Hashanah ( The Jewish New Year) . It is moist and delicious and perfect for anyone who is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, or vegan. 

3. The  Vegetable Soup  literally takes 10 minutes using frozen vegetables. 

4. If you like a sweet dressing, the apple the Apple and Honey Dressing which I developed for Rosh Hashanah ( the Jewish New Year, last year is wonderful. 

5. When I was growing up from a family with an Eastern European background, my family traditionally ate chicken soup and chicken for the Shabbat meal. 

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Energy Bites and Book Review - Eat Live Thrive Diet

energy balls for snacking
Photo not from the book
These delicious energy bites are a recipe from the Eat Live Thrive Diet Book, by Danna Demetre and Robyn Thomson . The bites are made of healthy, real food ingredients, are easily assembled , and then simply rolled into balls- no cooking necessary!

They make a delicious grab and go treat or carry with you snack that provides solid nutrients for lots of energy. Recipe is at end of post, with permission. 

I am reviewing their book today. 

Book Review

Eat Live Thrive Diet Book

Eat Live Thrive Diet is a well written, well researched, well organized, inspiring book. 

It guides the reader through a three phase diet and lifestyle program intended to "rev up your midlife metabolism."  The reader is encouraged to do self exploration using the authors' suggestions to discover the individual needs and best approach for personal weight loss.

Changing Habits for Ageless living

The suggestions are sensible, do-able, and science based. They are designed to help the reader achieve permanent weight loss and lose inches while building health and vitality. I like that part. As I am getting older, I realize that nutrients are vital to boost immunity and provide ammunition against the effects of aging. I can't bounce back the way I did 20 years ago!

I was interested and impressed by the cutting edge ideas on nutrition and healthy living, and loved the easy to read format, easy to follow charts, and helpful worksheets. These practical tools make the program easy to follow. 

The authors' provided a significant amount of explanation and information while getting to the point quickly. 

The Book is Like Having a Personal Coach

Following the book is like having a personal coach and includes lots of recipes for meals, snacks, and sides.

The Authors', Danna Demetre, RN, and Robyn Thomson, clinical weight loss practitioner,   are testaments to this diet and lifestyle plan. After seeing their photos and then watching them live on Youtube I was totally impressed and sold at how amazing they look!
They look vibrant, healthy, fit, and energetic! 

The Authors' Bios Are Impressive

Both Danna and Robyn's bios explain each of their struggles with weight and diet. It is clear that their work is a result of finding a healthy solution that worked for each of them and has worked for the many clients they have coached.

Danna has co-founded a website called, Lean Healthy Ageless! 

I was totally shocked when I read Danna's bio- she shared that she is in her mid- sixties!! 
She looks much younger.

The book really interested me because I'm always looking for ways to take my health to the next level, increase energy, and thrive!! I wasn't disappointed in what I read ; I feel this book delivers!

Weight Loss with Thriving Vitality 

Although the book's target group  is for those over 45 who want to lose weight, it is an excellent resource for any adult who wants to eat healthy real food to have more energy, feel great and thrive.  

With permission from the authors to share this recipe from their cookbook: If you would like additional free recipes, they offer some more on www.//  

This photo is not from the book

Energy Bites: 

1/2 cup of almond butter
1/8 cup raw honey
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut , plus extra for coating
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1/16 teaspoon pure monk fruit extract or sweetener of your preference to taste (optional)

In a medium bowl, add the butter, honey, coconut, chia seeds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and salt. Mix well. Form rounded tablespoons of the mixture into balls, and then roll them in a little shredded coconut or cocoa powder and refrigerate.

Makes 16 bites. Per bite approximately 100 calories, 5 g carbohydrate, 3 g sugar, 3 g protein,  8 g fat.

My Notes:
I added some extra cocoa to the batter for a  chocolate flavored ball.

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

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the authors for review, all the thoughts are my own in this honest review.  

Monday, September 9, 2019

Best Homemade Hummus

homemade hummus

Have you ever thought about making your own hummus? 
It is really easy, and the taste surpasses anything you can buy in the store. 

There is no comparison between what you purchase in the store and a batch of hummus that you whip up in your own kitchen!

Why? Homemade hummus is much creamier, tastier, fresher and has much more flavor than any commercially prepared hummus.

Trust me, homemade hummus is a real crowd pleaser. Whenever I serve a plate of it, there are no leftovers! 

creamy homemade hummus

Provides protein and calcium 
Hummus is a plant based appetizer made with cooked chick peas and tahini. Chick peas provide protein and the tahini provides calcium. In a addition, the recipe contains freshly squeezed lemon juice and aromatic spices which add Vitamin C and lots of antioxidants. It is a delicious and healthy dip/spread that is nourishing as well as tasty.

History of my family recipe

My husband was born in Cairo Egypt, where homemade hummus is an everyday staple. He came to the United States at the age of 18; We met when he was 21. The first time I visited his home and family, his mother served homemade hummus. That was over 40 years ago. I was very intrigued with the hummus as well as all of with all of her exotic, interesting food. 

homemade hummus with roasted tomatoes

Once we were married (I was 21), my mother in law taught me to make her homemade hummus recipe. This was long before this now popular dip was barely known here in the US. 

In fact, we had to travel to a Middle Eastern market in New York City (we lived an hour and half away and had friends and family in New York) to purchase some of the ingredients such as tahini , cumin, and  Za'atar Seasoning . They just were not available in our local markets.

Of course now tahini and cumin can be found in most markets and  Za'atar Seasoning which is an optional spice in the recipe can be ordered online or can be found in the kosher section of many supermarkets.

If you have a food processor, this outstanding recipe can be made in just 10 minutes!

I'm sharing our family recipe which is not an exact science and needs to be tasted and adjusted before you serve the finished product.

Zero Points: Omit the Tahini and the oil drizzle

When I make this recipe just for me, I leave out the tahini- it cuts the calories and makes a minor change  to the taste. When I do not add the tahini and the oil drizzle, it becomes a zero point dip on Weight Watchers! It's still creamy and delicious!  Of course you can't eat the whole recipe.. but I double what I would normally eat since it's zero points..

Author: Judee


3 cups of cooked chick peas (I cooked my own from dried chick peas in the Instant Pot in 20 minutes- see how)
2 tablespoons of tahini
Juice of 1 juicy lemon + more to taste
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
1/4 cup of water or juice from the cooked chick peas
another 1/4 cup of water or chick pea water drizzled into the food processor as your are pulsing it to get a creamy consistency
olive oil
optional :  Za'atar Seasoning 


Use a 8 cup or larger food processor
Add the chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water or liquid from the chick peas. Pulse on and off until the mixture is completely smooth.

 Carefully remove the lid of the food processor and using a spoon scoop out enough to taste the mixture. Add another tablespoon of water, another 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

 Taste and add another tablespoon of water if not creamy enough. Replace lid and pulse again until smooth and creamy, adding another tablespoon of water if needed. Taste, adjust seasonings and place on a flat plate. Use a spoon to smooth the paste in a circular motion.  Dust with paprika, cumin, and drizzle olive oil. Decorate with olives and serve with gluten free crackers, cucumber slices, or any vegetable stick.

Other family recipes from the Middle East

Bamia- Egyptian Okra Recipe
Stuffed Grape Leaves - 
Lemonade with Orange Blossom Water
Lebanese Stuffed Onions - my mother in law's father was from Lebanon
Chamid- Lemony artichoke soup

My Notes:

2. Za'atar Seasoning  a spice blend that is popular in many Middle Eastern countries. Although the blends for za'atar vary, Za'atar may be made of any of the following spices: ground thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, hyssop and toasted sesame seeds.  Each country has its own blend.. I frequently find Za'atar in the kosher food section of some markets or it can be purchased on Amazon

3.  If you are reading this post on any other site other than Gluten Free A-Z Blog, it has been stolen.
Please click to read it on my blog - thanks

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click on a link on my blog that takes you to Amazon and you make a purchase, I will receive a very small compensation. This helps defray the costs of running a blog. Thanks for your support

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Butternut Squash Sage Soup- Instant Pot

Butternut squash and sage soup

Butternut squash seasoned with fresh sage makes a delightful soup that is both soothing and delicious. The temperatures are getting a little cooler, and I'm starting to think about fall flavors and comforting soups. I made my soup in the Instant Pot, but it can also be made on the stove top for those of you or are still holding out. 

The recipe has only 7 ingredients and is easy to make. It's a light soup and is a zero point soup of Weight Watchers ! 

Butternut squash and fresh sage soup

Where did I get my fresh sage?

For the past 3 summers, I've grown herbs in pots on my deck. I use my herbs regularly in all of my cooking. My thyme, rosemary, parsley, basil, and mint seem to find their way into many of my recipes. However, there is one herb that I grow that I haven't really used at all this summer, and that is my sage. 

 I love my beautiful sage plant and admire it daily, but I just haven't made any recipes that call for sage. I decided that before the frost sets in and kills off my sage plant, I will make a recipe that calls for sage. If you can't find fresh sage, you can use dried sage in the recipe.

Sage is an interesting plant that is part of the mint family. Who knew ? -since it doesn't smell or taste like mint. It has it's own unique pine type of flavor that is warm and mellow. Great with butternut squash and\or apples.

How to peel a butternut squash

A sharp peeler is essential for peeling butternut squash
You will have to peel and chunk the squash. Seriously, if you have a sharp peeler, the skin is off in seconds. I really struggled in the past. I now use the OXO Good Grips Y Peeler. It is inexpensive and works great for me! If you are really in a hurry, you can purchase pre-cut cubed butternut squash in the market.

bowl of butternut squash soup

The combination of flavors in this easy soup:
Sweet butternut squash, mellow onion and shallots, a small apple, and the subtle pine-like flavor of sage.  

This soup is good warm or chilled

The great thing about this soup is that it tastes equally delicious piping hot or chilled because it has a little bit of a sweetness to it.  So if it's a cool fall day, eat it warm. If the temperatures rise, as they sometimes do in the beginning of the fall, you can still enjoy this soup chilled. 

Butternut squash and sage soup in Instant Pot

Author: Judee Algazi @ 
Prep Time: 5-15 minutes (5 minutes if you buy pre-cut cubed butternut squash)
Instant Pot Cook Time: 7 minutes ( + will take time to heat up as well)
Serves: 6 bowls /8 cups 


1 medium Butternut squash, peeled and cubed ( about 8 cups)
2 shallots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced 
1 cup of carrots, sliced 
1 small apple, peeled and quartered
8 sage leaves, chopped (3/4 teaspoon dried)
5 cups of vegetable broth ( I use Tabatchnick vegetable broth found in the kosher isle- so good)


Spray the bottom of the insert liner of your Instant Pot with olive oil spray. Add shallots, onion, and sage and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add butternut squash, carrots, and apple and toss and stir for a minute.
Add vegetable broth. Cancel the saute function, secure lid, close steam valve, and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 7 minutes. When done, carefully release steam according to manufacturers instructions. When all steam is released, remove lid. 
Blogpost © by Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog. 
If you are reading this post on any other site, it has been pirated.

Joining Deb's Souper Sunday  where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie. 

Joining  Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads Blog where anyone can share a food related post. 

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Carrot Apple Muffins - Gluten Free and Vegan

apple carrot gluten free muffins @

Anyone in the mood for carrot /apple muffins? 

These gluten free muffins are a reliable recipe that come out good every time. It's a basic recipe that can be varied according to the season and your preferences. I sometimes make carrot\apple, sometimes blueberry or strawberry, sometimes pumpkin, and sometimes chocolate chip. 

It's beginning to feel like fall. The temperatures are cool in the early mornings and late evenings. This morning it was 56 degrees!

Do you like the warmth of fall spices? 

These carrot apple muffins are delicious and are seasoned with warm spices such as cinnamon and ginger. One bite will have you thinking of fall!

The healthy combination of carrot and apple make it a perfect quick grab and go breakfast, a side for lunch, or a delicious snack. 

a gluten free muffin @

Having company for brunch? 

Personally, I usually make muffins when I am having company for brunch. They make a lovely presentation in a napkin lined basket and seem to go well with whatever I'm serving. Most everyone likes a good muffin

A quick and easy recipe to pin for later

Muffins are quick and easy to make and usually will come out well even for the most inexperienced baker. It's a nice project for the grandkids who sometimes have little patience to wait for a taste of a finished product. They freeze well and can be popped out whenever desired. 

gluten free muffins @

Do your muffin tins get rusty? I found that using a stainless steel muffin tin doesn't get rusty. I bought the  Fox Run 4868 Muffin Pan, 12 Cup, Stainless Steel


1 and half cups of gluten free flour (see my notes below)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup oil 
1/2 cup nut milk (I use cashew milk)
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of grated carrot
1/2 cup of grated apple ( with liquid squeezed out)
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground gingerCinnamon and coconut sugar mixture for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degreesPrepare a 12 muffin pan with paper liners for 10 muffins.Combine gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.In a small bowl, combine oil, nut milk, apple sauce, and vanilla.Mix the wet ingredients into the dry with a spoon. ** if batter is too dry, add a tablespoon at a time of extra nut milk.  When mixed ( do not over mix) add grated carrot and grated apple. Using a spoon, divide batter between 10 muffins. Sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon and coconut sugar mixture. Pour some water in the two empty muffin holes in the muffin pan. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. 

Don't forget to pin the recipe for later!


My Notes: 

1. Gluten Free Flour: 

I find that I get the best results with Bob's Red Mills Gluten Free All purpose Flour. I like the texture and the taste. I get it in the supermarket in the gluten free isle and it is reasonable for gluten free flour.

To Make Pumpkin Muffins 

2. For pumpkin muffins, substitute pumpkin puree for the applesauce and add pumpkin spices and chocolate chips!

To cut back on the coconut sugar

3. If you want to cut back on the coconut sugar, try adding raisins or chopped dates to the batter and omit either the apple or carrot.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon and if you click on a link from my blog and make a purchase from Amazon, I receive a very small compensation at no cost to you. This helps me defray the cost of running a blog.

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Fox Run 4868 Muffin Pan, 12 Cup, Stainless Steel