Saturday, February 15, 2020

Vegan Eggless Egg Drop Soup

Egg drop soup was always one of my favorite easy soup recipes to make until I stopped eating eggs.  It was so fast and easy, soothing, and delicious. I truly missed it.
However,  I found a way to make a vegan version that tastes almost the same, but of course eliminates the eggs. I wanted to call it , "you forgot the egg in this egg drop soup"

Actually I think the vegan version is just as good as the original egg drop soup.
It's equally as easy to make, is just as soothing, and just as delicious. 
If you do eat eggs and want the more traditional soup recipe, here is a link to my old recipe for authentic vegetarian egg drop soup. 

Add cooked rice or cauliflower rice to the soup
I like adding cooked rice or frozen cauliflower rice to my soups for added texture, heartiness, and fiber. When it's just for me, I prefer to save the calories, so I add cauliflower rice. When it's for my husband or company, I add rice. Although many times, my husband cannot tell the difference once it's in the soup! 

Of course all of my recipes meet gluten free standards! 

Feel a cold coming on? Very little prep for this soup
It's a wonderful recipe if you have a cold and just don't feel up to prepping the vegetables and cooking a pot of soup.  You can make this recipe start to finish in less than 10 minutes

2 cups of vegetable broth or Judee's Classic Chicken-less Soup 
1 tablespoon of potato starch or non gmo cornstarch mixed into a 1/2 cup of warm water 
1/2 cup of frozen cauliflower rice or cooked regular rice
1/4 cup of chopped scallions

Bring broth to a boil in a 2 quart pot. Slowly pour in and stir the potato starch mixture. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir until the soup begins to thicken (about 3 minutes). Add in frozen cauliflower rice and chopped scallions. Stir and continue to cook for 1 additional minute. Serve piping hot.

My Notes: 
Do you have a leek?  Clean it very well, cut off the white end with the hair growth, and then make 8 thin slices. Push out the middle of the slices and it will look like small little round rings. I throw them into the soup at the same time as the scallions, and it looks and somewhat tastes like noodles. Try it - you 'll see. 

This is a great recipe if you are having guests that a vegan, dairy free, gluten free, nut free etc. ( just make sure you read your label if using commercially prepared broth- buy one that is labeled gluten free and Kosher Parve (which means it does no contain any dairy). I doubt there are eggs in vegetable broth, but be sure to read the ingredients. 

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

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Mehalabeya- Light and Silky Pudding


Mehalabeya is a light and silky Middle Eastern pudding traditionally flavored with orange blossom and rose waters. It has a unique perfumey, yet appealing taste that most people enjoy.
The great part is that is gluten free and egg free, and I made my version dairy free!

The first time I tasted Mehalabeya was at a party at my mother in law's house when I was a newlywed over 40 years ago. Middle Eastern cooking and flavors such as turmeric, cumin,  coriander, rose water, and orange blossom water were totally new to me at the time. Although, I had a hard time adjusting to the taste of cumin in some of her cooking, I embraced the orange blossom and rose water flavors in this recipe immediately.

Sweet and Creamy Pudding 
Last week, I was invited to indulge in a decadent Middle Eastern luncheon made by our friend Vivi who is also a Jewish refugee from Egypt like my husband's family who came legally over 50 years ago.  

Her spread was amazing and included homemade falafel, homemade babaganooj, homemade foul medemas, ratatouille, eggplant dishes, chick pea dishes, Israeli chopped salad, pickled beets, Do-ah spice blend (dukkah), feta cheese, kenafa, and this Mehalabeya for dessert!!

Middle Eastern pudding
Sweet and Creamy 

I hadn't eaten it in many years, so her Mehalabeya brought back wondeful memories. When I asked Vivi for her recipe, I was surprised how simple and easy it was to make. In fact, it was so easy to make, I made it the next day to bring to an American friend's party. Everyone who tried it, actually loved it and wanted the recipe!!

Mehalabeya is an easy to make light and delicate dessert that can be made for a crowd in a large container or it can be made in individual bowls, glasses, or cups. It is traditionally made with milk, cream and sugar. 

Fast forward over 40 years- I converted it to a vegan pudding substituting coconut milks for the milk and cream.. Guess what ! It came out great! 

Next time you are looking for a somewhat exotic dessert that can be made in advance, is easy, gluten free, parve and dairy free, Mehalabeya is it!! Your guests will love it and so will you!!

Author of the blog: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 8-10 portions 

3 cups coconut milk ( refrigerator case in the market or Whole Foods )
1 cup coconut cream  ( refrigerator case at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup of monk fruit sugar (Costco or Whole foods) or 1 cup of sugar.
4 tablespoons Non Gmo cornstarch 
2 tablespoons orange blossom water ( affiliate link)
1 teaspoon rosewater (affiliate link)
1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped in food processor or blender

Pour coconut milk and coconut cream into a 3 quart pot. In a separate small bowl, combine cornstarch with the 1/2 cup warm water and mix well so there are no lumps. Add the cornstarch mixture and the monk fruit sugar ( or sugar) to the pot and turn on the heat to medium. Using a whisk or a large spoon, stir until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Remove from heat immediately. Mix in the orange blossom water and rose water. Pour into a large pyrex, Corning ware, or individual glass containers of your choice. When cool, refrigerate for 24 hours. Top with crushed unsalted pistachio nuts before serving. 

Vivi's original recipe
3 cups milk ( not lowfat)
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons orange blossom water 
1 tablespoon rose water

My Notes: 
1. If you are ok using sugar, you can use 1 cup of sugar in the recipe.
2. I bought the 50 calorie refrigerated coconut milk at Whole Foods 
3. I bought the coconut cream in the refrigerator case at Whole Foods (2 T is 15 calories)
4. If you don't mind it dairy, you can use regular milk ( not low fat) and half and half. 

5. Go easy on the rose water if you are not familiar with it or leave it out and just use the orange blossom water. 

I've made other recipes using orange blossom water.
Try my mango and orange blossom popsicles that make a beautiful presentation . I also use orange blossom water (Mahzar) in a special family recipe for Special  lemonade, a watermelon, mint, and orange blossom water fruit salad, and beet and pomegranate salad. 

Shared on Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related blog post. Come join in . 

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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Hearts of Palm Salad

Dinner salad with hearts of palm

Hearts of palms are a perfect addition to any salad. They have a great taste, are low in calories and fat but high in nutrients.  This is a picture of the salad that I shared with my husband last night for dinner before we mixed it.

Not only did I use hearts of palm, but I added some of my other favorite vegetables:
purple radicchio, cucumber, artichoke, spring mix, avocado. walnuts, and sunflower seeds. You can use any proportion according to your own tastes and preferences.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Za'atar Spiced Cauliflower Rice

I am obsessed with cauliflower rice, and this za'atar (zahtar) spiced recipe is easy and delicious.
I love the taste, texture, and fluffiness of cauliflower rice. 
For me, it is a perfect substitute for regular white rice, which is high in calories, carbohydrates, and high on the glycemic index,  as opposed to cauliflower rice which is low in calories and low in carbohydrates and has a low glycemic index.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Vegan Eggroll in a Bowl

One of the things I love about Chinese egg rolls is the delicious filling. Being gluten free, it's difficult to find egg rolls that I can eat. I did find one brand (Lucky Brand) in the freezer section of some supermarkets that offers a vegan and gluten free choice for only 45 calories per egg roll. However, it's on the pricy side ($6.00 for a package of four small ones),  and its not always available.

Therefore, I decided to make my own Egg Roll in a Bowl which is the newest craze, and its all over Pinterest. It's basically a stir fry that is quick and easy to make, especially if you use a bag of coleslaw mix instead of grating your own cabbage.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Wordless Wednesday- Oleta River State Park

 Oleta River State Park is in South Florida and offers camping, hiking, kayaking, bicycling for sport. There is also a lagoon type beach that is calm as a lake. It is located in North Miami and very close to the beach.

Last week when my older son and his family was visiting we hiked one day and kayaked another day. Here are some of our photos.