No meat, No wheat

Archive for April, 2015

Carrot Cake that you can’t stop Eating!

carrot cake with ricemellow creme

Carrot Cake

You can’t stop eating this cake, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. But it happens to be one of the very best gluten free vegan cakes I’ve ever tasted. Moist, chewy, dense, and filling. And it goes together quickly, thanks to the food processor.  Definitely worth making.  I like the shredded organic carrots I buy at the supermarket, to save time. I adapted this recipe from Gimme Some Oven,  and only made a few changes. My family couldn’t believe this was a vegan gluten free cake, and really ate it up!  Since the recipe as listed below makes a large volume,  this time, I’m going to try to put some aside and see if it freezes well.


  • 2 1/2 Cups gluten free all purpose flour blend
  • Gluten free flour to dust the pan
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon organic ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon plus one pinch organic ground ginger
  • Pinch cloves
  • 5 Cups Shredded organic carrots, packed tightly, which s approximately 18 ozs. of shredded carrots
  • 2 Cups pure unrefined coconut sugar (makes a very sweet cake so you can probably use less)
  • 1/4 Cup ground flaxseed meal and 3/4 cup water to make “4 flax eggs”
  • 3/4 Cup light vegetable oil (olive oil, walnut oil)
  • Optional: 1 Cup chopped walnuts, pareve chocolate chips, raisins, or craisins

Carrot Cake, gluten free, vegan, amazing


  • Baking pan- 13×9″
  • large bowl for mixing dry ingredients and carrots
  • food processor
  • rubber spatula
  • small bowl for flax eggs


Prepare your “flax eggs” in a small bowl by combining 1/4 cup flax seed meal and 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Refrigerate to thicken. Spray pan or pans with no stick and dust with gluten free flour until the pan is covered. In a large bowl, mix the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and ginger. Add the shredded carrots.   Measure the coconut sugar into your food processor with the bottom blade only, and add the refrigerated “flax egg” that has become thick and begun to gel. Pulse with the processor until combined, and add the oil through the top, all at once. Process for about one minute, and add this to the flour and carrot mixture. Stir until everything is combined, and if using nuts, chocolate chips, or raisins, add them and work through with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into the pan or pans and bake until toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. My 13×9″ cake took 36 minutes. The round cakes require less baking time since they’re smaller and thinner. The original recipe I read online suggested a vegan “cheesecake frosting”, and I thought I might like to try that. While making the cake for Shabbos, I realized the cake was already so sweet and moist that it probably didn’t need to be iced. The original frosting called for a lot of sugar and also a lot of fat, so I knew I did the right thing by avoiding it.  Then I found the brown rice mello cream that I’d been dreaming of and that was a delicious topper for this incredible cake. Enjoy!

carrot cake

Vegan Chili and Gluten Free Cornbread “Shepherd’s Pie”

Chili and Cornbread Shepherd’s Pie

Chili Shephards PieLast week’s Corn Chowder came out so good, I wanted to stay in the corn mode. My latest creation consists of a layer of cornbread, a layer of chili and another layer of cornbread topped with shredded Daiya cheese, that I baked in in a cast iron skillet in a hot oven. The Daiya “cheese” topping actually did harden and get a bit crusty, which I found to be a nice contrast to the moist delicious chili within the crust.

I wound up topping the whole thing off with some guacamole. It reminded me so much of the whipped potato topped meatloaves I’ve made in the past, that I named this recipe Chili and Cornbread Shepherd’s Pie. It may sound like a lot of work, but it goes together quickly if you have all the ingredients, and none of the steps are complicated. I hope you like this one as much as my family did. Betayavon!

Ingredients for the Chili

  • 1 Can Organic Black Beans or 1+1/2 cup beans sorted, rinsed, soaked and boil
  • 1 Can Organic Dark Red Kidney Beans or 1+1/2 cup sorted, rinsed, soaked and boiled
  • 1 Can Organic Pinto Beans or 1+1/2 cups sorted, rinsed, soaked, and boiled
  • Two small or one large onions, chopped
  • Two small or one large yellow pepper, chopped
  • Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 cups of Crumbled Soy Protein (I used Gardein Brand)
  • One large can tomato paste
  • One box Pomi Crushed Tomatoes
  • Chili Powder, 2 Tablespoons, or to taste
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Additional seasonings to taste: crushed red pepper flakes, minced poblano or chipotle peppers, hot sauce, cayenne pepper
  • gloves so you don’t hurt your hands, if you’re going to chop peppers


  • Large bowls for soaking beansChili Beans
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Cutting Board and Knives
  • Large Pot with Lid

Instructions for the Chili

For the Chili: Open the cans of beans or else sort, rinse, and soak beans by placing them in a bowl or pot and cover with cold water for several hours or overnight. You can use all the same type and color of beans, or go for variety, as I like to do.  After soaking the beans, change the water, cover the beans with water since they will expand when cooking, and bring them to a boil in a large pot. Lower the light to simmer for 35 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans. It’s important to skim all the white and grey foam that forms and floats on top of the water in the pot when cooking dried beans in order to remove the gas producing quality of the beans. Try not to skip this important step.

Chili (Sauteeing Onions, Yellow Peppers, and Soy Crumbles.

In a large pot, sauté chopped onion and yellow pepper til soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add crumbled soy protein and cook ten minutes. Add chili powder, salt and pepper, and mix to combine seasonings with crumbles and vegetables. Add in the beans, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, and stir. If too thick to stir, add water, one or two tablespoons at a time. Add additional seasonings is you want to “turn up the heat” on the chili. Possibilities are crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, chopped poblano or chipotle peppers.

Ingredients and Instructions for the Cornbread

Here’s a great vegan gluten free cornbread recipe I created.

Combine in a large bowl:

  • 1 Cup White Corn Meal
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Packet Organic Stevia, 1 gram

In a separate bowl:

  • Make one egg substitute by combining 1 Tablespoon of flax seed meal and 3 Tablespoons of water. Let it congeal.
  • Add 1/4 cup grape seed oil or some other mild tasting oil
  • Add one cup almond milk. Stir all liquid ingredients together to combine.
  • Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients together, just until combined, and press into an oiled baking pan.
  • Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes.

To assemble the chili and cornbread, simply alternate layers of fillings. Start by pressing a layer of crumbled cornbread into the bottom of a well oiled pyrex dish or cast iron skillet. Layer with chili and then another layer of cornbread. You could also use polenta in place of the cornbread to layer beneath and on top of the chili. This works equally well with either polenta you make yourself, or the type that comes ready made in a tube. If you use polenta, start with a layer of that, then a layer of chili, and a final layer of polenta. Whether you’ve opted to use cornbread or polenta, bake in a hot oven for at least 30 minutes. You can sprinkle Daiya shredded vegan cheese substitute, if you like, before the casserole goes into the oven. I also added guacamole to the finished product.

Smoky Corn Chowder: Slightly Smoky; Cheap, Easy, Delicious

This Smoky Corn Chowder was inspired by a recipe I saw in Vegan Planet. This chowder is not only easy and delicious, it is very cheap to make. We were having guests last week for Shabbos, and everyone loved it.  Keep this recipe handy! Betayavon!

IMG_0285 Ingredients

  • Six Ears of Corn on the Cob
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Small Onions, chopped small
  • 2 Celery Stalks, chopped small
  • 2 Small Potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Box Imagine Vegetable Broth
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke, or to taste
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped, as garnish


  • Baking Sheet
  • Large Heavy Pot with lid, Spoon
  • Peeler, Knife and Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cup and Spoon
  • Immersion Blender or Potato Masher



Peel down the husks of the corn and remove the silky covering of the fresh corn without destroying the husks. Stretch the husks back up the cob and place them on a baking sheet. Don’t worry if the husks don’t cover the entire stalk of corn. It’s nice if some of the corn gets a little more well done and adds a real roasted flavor to the chowder. Bake the corn on the cob at 350 for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, brown chopped onion and celery with a half teaspoon of salt in the olive oil until soft and slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and the raw potato pieces. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 8-10 minutes. I didn’t bother mashing the potatoes at this point, because I was going to use the immersion blender near the end. If you prefer to mash the potatoes by hand, do so, right in the pot they’ve bee in,  at this point. Remove the corn from the oven, pull back the husks and allow the corn to cool. Once cooled, cut the corn off the husks with a sharp knife, and place in the pot with the other vegetables. Next, add the liquid smoke, but do it slowly, adding just one tiny drop at a time, which will give the corn chowder a slightly smoky flavor. Because liquid smoke is an item with quite a distinctive taste, using too much can be overbearing. You will detect it’s presence even if you just add a drop, which is why I recommend adding this slowly. Once you’re satisfied with the smoky aspect of the corn chowder, add about half a can of lite coconut milk, or more, if you want a more milky soup, stirring the pot to combine all the flavors. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow soup to cool, and then use the immersion blender, pulsing just until about half of the soup is pureed. i like a soup that doesn’t have a uniform consistency so that I’ll have both small chunks and puree in the same spoonful. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving. Will keep well in the refrigerator for several days.

Roasted Root Veggies; A Delicious, Easy Winner

Roasted Root Vegetables 

Raw Root Veggies to Roast

Roasted Root Veggies are a favorite at our house. I’ve been making them for many years, varying the vegetables I use based on the vegetables I’m in the mood for, or else whatever  I have in my refrigerator at the time.  I made this the first time for Rosh Hashanah, because root vegetables are so fresh and abundant in the fall.  The idea of vegetables with savory herbs was a brand new concept to me, but now I see this is very popular. My recipe is a fast and easy method for creating this entree. I make a lot and then we eat it all week, but the amount you make is up to you.  Served with rice, quinoa, or buckwheat (groats or kasha), all of which are gluten free, this makes a great meal, and shows up very often on my Shabbos table. I paired them here with mushrooms, and then made sautéed string beans with garlic, and mashed turnips, so we would have a delicious assortment of gorgeous veggies. Not only are the vegetables delicious, they’re beautiful and very colorful. Betayavon! 


Roasted Root Veggies

  • 12 carrots, scrubbed or peeled, ends removed, and then halved lengthwise
  • 8 parsnips, peeled, ends removed, and halved lengthwise
  • 3 Pounds Mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and halved
  • Other options you may like: sweet potatoes, leeks, onions, fennel, or turnips
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh or dried rosemary, or to taste. Substitute rubbed sage or thyme if you don’t like rosemary or a combination of these savory herbs is good
  • 2 Teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • Garlic cloves or garlic powder, optional
  • Olive oil-enough to thinly cover bottom of roasting pan and then sprinkled throughout veggies, about 1/4 cup total in pan above


  • Roasting pan
  • Cutting board and knife


Preheat oven to 350. Scrub carrots (I use organic so I’ve finally stopped peeling them), remove the ends, and halve them lengthwise. I prefer the slimmer carrots because I find them easier to cut, but if the carrots you’re using are very thick, you may need to cut them into thirds or even fourths lengthwise. Follow the same exact procedure for the parsnips (which we refer to in my house as petishka, because that’s what my bubby always called them). You have to peel the petishka!

I added one pound of shitake mushrooms and two pounds of baby brown crimini to this batch of vegetables, which required checking and cleaning, trimming the ends, and then halving each mushroom. Remember I make a huge batch that we can eat all week (or at least a few days, because we love our veggies), but you can make whatever quantity suits your needs. Choose from the list of options above and add fennel, leeks,onions, turnips, and/or sweet potatoes, all of which taste great cooked this way with savory herbs.  I was already using a lot of those ingredients in separate dishes this week, so I omitted them here.

Wash, check, chop or just use dried rosemary, according to how much you like rosemary, or one of the other options for savory herbs listed above, and sprinkle over and throughout the veggies.  Drizzle olive oil on top of and throughout the vegetables, giving them a good stir so you scatter some oil and the herbs throughout.

Bake at 350, 45-50 minutes, or until desired tenderness. You may prefer them crunchy, but personally, I like them a bit caramelized, so I allow them to remain in the oven for at least an hour.

$3.00 makes the best Lentil Soup I’ve ever eaten!

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup in slow cooker

  Red Lentil Soup

On Monday, my daughter Emily created an amazing lentil soup. Besides being a “machaya” after all the Passover food, it was the best lentil soup I’d ever eaten.  Before going to work that morning, she’d put all the ingredients into our slow cooker.  She left it cooking all day, and within a few hours, the house smelled wonderful. I liked it so much, she asked if she should make it again today. This time I asked her to write down the ingredients she used so I could post this recipe. Lentils are really nutritious, and I’m so happy with this soup. Emily deserves all the credit for this recipe.

Except on Shabbos, I hardly use my crock pot. But lately, I’ve created many wonderful soups and vegan main course meals. I’ll start posting crock pot recipes not only for Shabbos, but weekday meals, as well.  This lentil soup is not only delicious, it requires very minimal preparation, and as Emily pointed out, the ingredients cost less than $3.00!


  • 1 pound bag of red lentils, rinsed
  • 3 small or 1 large onion, chopped small but not minced
  •  Olive Oil, enough to thinly coat bottom of crock pot, about 2 Tablespoons
  • 6 cups of water to cook the lentils all day, and then another 1-2 cups, depending on how thick or thin you like your soup


  • 6 Quart Slow Cooker (Crock Pot)
  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Colander or strainer
Lentil Soup in the crock pot

   Red Lentil Soup in the Crock Pot


Cover the bottom of a 6 quart crock pot with a thin coating of olive oil. Rinse a bag of red lentils using a colander or strainer that has holes smaller than the lentils. Remove any dirt, stones or irregular lentils and place them into the crock pot. Chop the onion into small pieces and add them to the lentils. Add 1 Tablespoon of salt, or as much or little as you want. Add 6 cups of water and cover the crock pot. Let it cook on the low setting all day, for about 6-8 hours. At that point, the soup was very thick, so Emily added 2 more cups of water,  bringing the total water added to 8 cups. It’s up to you how thick or thin you want your soup, and that will determine how much water you’ll add after the original 6 cups of cooking liquid. Betayavon!

Lunch Today at The Dairy Cafe

THE DAIRY CAFE, Lunch today Weeks ago, my friend Dee suggested we make a date for lunch to try  The Dairy Cafe in Bala Cynwood after Pesach.  Today was our lunch date, and we were so fortunate that Sarah, another friend, was able to join us. With the knowledge that a vegetarian restaurant/pizzeria would most probably pose a challenge for someone who doesn’t eat wheat, I called and spoke to both the manager and the chef yesterday to discuss my situation. I’m really glad that I did, and was even more pleased today to enjoy a wonderful lunch. It’s always a good thing when I can explain what I can eat and what I can’t, and be able to enjoy a nice meal out with friends. I didn’t want to have to start pulling the cheese out of my salad or feeling there really wasn’t anything for me. I had a nice lunch today.  Without a hassle; without a fuss; without changing the food routines that work to keep me healthy and happy. As my friends selected their pizza and salad entrees, I spoke to Josh, the chef. He really listened to what I liked and what foods I need to avoid. He made me something off the menu; I had a salad consisting of baby mixed greens topped with crunchy chick peas and kalamata olives. The salad was paired with a nice serving of braised kale and broccoli raab (something I’d never eaten before that the chef, suggested, and it was really delicious). The greens were sautéed with garlic and topped with mushrooms. The vegetable soup was also vegan as well as gluten free; a tomato base full of diced fresh veggies. There were three pareve gelato choices today: pina colada, pistachio, and coconut. I tried the pistachio!

Passover Menu for “The Last Days of Pesach and Shabbat”

Here is my menu for “The Last Days of Pesach and Shabbat”

Thursday Dinner

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup- recipe posted

Fresh green salad

Mushroom-Walnut Burgers on Pesach Rolls, served with sliced avocado, tomatoes, onions, Passover ketchup and grilled eggplant slices- recipe posted

Sweet Potato Fries

Homemade applesauce

Chocolate covered almonds, walnuts, and raisins 

Fresh fruit salad

Friday lunch

French onion soup (thanks to our having a Passover crock pot)

Mushroom mock liver and raw vegetables

Israeli mock couscous topped with Eggplant Caponata- recipe posted

Lemon sorbet 

Chocolate covered bananas

Shabbat Dinner

Carrot Ginger Soup- recipe posted

Mushroom walnut burgers with grilled peppers on Passover rolls-  recipes posted

Homemade Cole Slaw

Homemade Potato Salad

Gluten free brownies

Lemon Sorbet

Shabbos Lunch

Vegetable Kugel- recipe posted

Mushroom Burgers and Roasted Peppers

Crunchy tangy cabbage slaw

Homemade Potato Salad

Fresh garden salad

Strawberry Sorbet

Seudah Shlishit

Raw veggies and baba ganoush

Passover rolls with almond butter and no- sugar- added apricot preserves

Watermelon slices


Amazing gluten free Kugel for Passover that’s delicious

Delicious Kugel that’s vegan and gluten free 

Veggie KugelI wanted to create a new kugel recipe for the end of Pesach that would use a lot of colorful vegetables and be able to be enjoyed by everyone at our meal.  As a word of caution, this recipe is not 100% vegan, and should be thus noted by anyone with an egg allergy- egg yolks are listed as the ninth ingredient in the Yehuda brand toasted onion gluten free matzo used in this recipe.  Betayavon!


  • Gluten free matzo, six boards (I used Yehuda brand toasted onion flavor)
  • 1 cup each:  Bodek’s frozen Broccoli florets, frozen spinach, and frozen cubed butternut squash thawed at room temp.
  • Fresh Leek, one huge leek, soaked, washed, checked, and then cut into small pieces and sautéed with the onion, below.
  • Onion, one small, chopped and sautéed
  • Two cloves of garlic added to chopped onion, above
  • No stick spray or oil to coat baking pan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Pan and spatula to sauté onions and garlic
  • Baking pan for kugel

Veg Kugel


Preheat oven to 375.

Spray baking pan with no-stick spray or lightly grease with oil

Layer bottom of pan with matzo. Break matzo into pieces to cover entire surface of the pan. sprinkle with warm water to soften matzo.

Lightly mash thawed butternut squash cubes onto the matzo.

Follow this with a thin layer of the other thawed veggies: the spinach and broccoli.

Finally, add a thin layer of the sautéed onions, leeks, and garlic.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and more garlic powder, if desired.

Repeat above steps, beginning with another layer of the matzo, followed by the thawed mashed butternut squash, thawed spinach and broccoli, and then the sautéed veggies.

Finish with another sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, according to taste.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, but check it every so often, so it doesn’t get crispier that you like it.

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup for the end of Passover

My friend, Dina Eliezer, first introduced me to this sweet and spicy carrot ginger soup, and I’ve been making it ever since.


Carrot ginger soup for the last days of PesachIngredients

  • One large onion, chopped into small pieces
  • Three to four cloves of garlic, sliced
  • Olive oil, 3 Tablespoons
  • Ten large carrots, peeled and cut into coins
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh minced ginger root or ground powdered ginger
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • Cilantro, chopped as garnish, if desired


  • Large pot with tight fitting lid
  • Spoon for sautéing vegetables and stirring soup
  • Immersion blender or food processor


Chop onions, garlic, and carrots.

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. If using fresh ginger root, add it here.

Add the carrots, and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes, til soft.

Add enough water just to cover all the vegetables and sprinkle in the ginger powder, if using the ground powder type. You can add more or less ginger root or ground powder, depending on how much you like ginger. Using a lot of ginger will make a spicy soup.

Put the lid on the pot and simmer an additional ten minutes.

Remove lid, turn off heat, and let the soup cool.

Using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor to puree the soup. Here is one example when I prefer my immersion blender over my food processor.

You’ve got a thick puree now that has to be thinned out to make your soup. Add another four-six cups of water to dilute the mixture.

As an option, you can clean, check, and then chop cilantro (or use the thawed frozen cubes) to serve both as garnish and give additional contrasting flavor.

Three incredible new recipes for the end of Passover

Burgers in Buns

Every year, I find myself wondering how Passover goes by so quickly. This year is no different, as the time really flew.  After spending so much time preparing for this holiday, I wouldn’t mind another week or at least another couple of days to enjoy family, friends, and our beautiful rituals and traditions. Before I go further, I know I promised you frogs, and never posted them. Everyone needs ice cubes with mint in them, don’t they? So here they are: this year’s frogs….


In honor of the end of Pesach, I wanted to create some new recipes. I apologize I couldn’t post them sooner (the mushroom-nut burgers went up last night, and now, I’m posting the buns to go with them, an amazing gluten free vegan kugel, and sweet and spicy carrot ginger soup for the approaching Yom Tov and Shabbos meals.) I don’t want to post a recipe that isn’t yet perfected, or that can’t be duplicated.    Bitayavon!

Passover Rolls that you can use as buns for my burgers

Growing up, my mom made Passover rolls each year created from eggs and matzo meal. What else are most Passover foods made from? So it was a bit of a challenge coming up with a gluten- free vegan version, and I’m not even sure what to call them, but they sure are good.  Of course the ones Emily created for me are not puffed up and airy, like my mom’s used to be.  But don’t be fooled because they are flat; they happen to be very moist and flavorful.  Emily adapted this recipe for Passover rolls for me from a biscuit recipe she found at Elanaspantry; a gluten free website that’s really helpful and very healthy.


  • 2  3/4 cups almond flour, and more for dusting pan or if sticky
  • 1/2  teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce


  • Large bowl and mixing spoon
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking pans
  • Parchment paper, four sheets
  • Spatula


Preheat oven to 350. Line baking pans with parchment paper, and cut two extra sheets that you will form the rolls onto before transferring them into the pans.

Mix dry ingredients together and add the oil and the applesauce. The dough will hold together, and begin to form a ball.

Roll half the dough onto one large piece of parchment paper. Emily used an empty clean seltzer bottle because we don’t have a rolling pin for Passover.  If the dough is too sticky, you can lightly sprinkle more almond flour onto it, until it rolls out smooth and doesn’t stick. Use a cup or container to cut out the rolls.

Using a spatula,  carefully transfer the rolls onto the parchment lined pans. Repeat with the second half of the dough, and reuse all the scraps until you make between 10-12 rolls. Bake at 350 for 18-28 minutes, depending on how thick you want your rolls or buns to be.

Passover Rolls

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