Category Archives: Events

Pharaoh’s Friday #16: Holiday Feasting Egyptian Style and Vegan!


Fridays are “Pharaoh’s Fridays“!  We like to take traditional, Egyptian recipes and adapt them so they are entirely plant-based!

Today is the last Friday of Ramadan.  Next week, many Egyptians will be celebrating the end of the holy month.  Family and friends will have special meals together, just as they do in any other culture, no matter what religion.  Eating brings us together.

One of the things we like to do at Alf Hana is make it possible for Egyptians interested in eating plant-based foods to still be able to enjoy their traditional favorites and comfort foods.  So, we have, over these last 10 months, posted many of our plant-based versions of Egyptian favorites.  Today, we’ve gathered them into one post so you can easily access them as you plan your holiday menus!

Appetizers:

Main Dishes:
Desserts:
Of course, you will find many other NON-traditional items on Alf Hana.  Feel free to search for your favorites!
Whether you are celebrating next week or not, we hope you enjoy or vegan versions of Egyptian favorites!  For our Muslim readers, we wish you all a happy holiday!!!
What’s your favorite food to eat during the holidays?
Alf Hana!!!

Try new plant based recipes during St. Mary’s fast


Yesterday we were invited to a dear friend’s house to break the fast.  It’s such an honor to have friends who, even though they have been fasting all day long, break the fast with us on a meal of  plant-based foods!  She made koushari, foul, fried eggplant, and  ateif.  Oh it was so good!!!!While we were there, we started discussing how today starts the Coptic Orthodox fast in honor of St. Mary, in which Egyptian Christians will be fasting at the same time as Muslims, albeit different kinds of fasts.  Coptic Orthodox Christianswill be fasting from animal products during these next two weeks.Our Muslim friend told us the story of how her mother used to fast with her Christian friends during the St. Mary fast.  Yes, she would also avoid animal products during those two weeks in honor of Jesus’ mother.  It was a reminder to focus on the common ground and the things we share together.

Alf Hana is full of plant based recipes and is a rich resource for Christians during this fast.  In honor of St. Mary’s fast, we would like to feature OUR top 10 favorite posts on Alf Hana.  Mary chose 5 and I chose 5 to share with you today.  We hope you like them!

Mary’s top 5:
Apple Cake
Fudge Babies
Spicy Traditional Style Chili with Beans and Cornbread
Barbecue Tofu and Mushroom Salad
Guacamole

Jennifer’s top 5…and one extra for good measure! 🙂  (I just couldn’t narrow it down to 5!):
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brown Lentil Soup
Macaroni with Bechamel Sauce and Mushroom Filling
Olive Lentil Burgers
German Potato Salad
Hawowshi

What are YOUR favorite recipes from Alf Hana?

Coming soon….Vegan CHEESECAKE [made with ingredients available in EGYPT!]

Happy fasting and feasting!!!
Alf Hana!!!

Another Veggie Meetup in Cairo!


Dear readers, if you’re looking for a chance to meet some other vegetarians, learn more, or just have some yummy veggie treats, don’t miss this event!

A potluck will be held by some members of the previous Veggie Fest on Friday, March 18.  There are limited spaces available at the location in Zamalek, so if you want to go, you need to reserve your place today!

Don’t forget to say what you’re bringing when you sign up!

Alf Hana!!!

Veggie Fest Cairo: A community!


Yesterday we attended the first Veggie Fest Cairo.  It was a real blast!!!  With informative speakers, delicious food, some fun artistic expression, and opportunities to make some connections with like-minded folk, it was really a great success.  If you missed it, here’s a little bit about what we experienced:

Three speakers started out the evening, each with their own specific input about vegetarianism.  First, Mr. Ahmed El-Dorghamy, an environmentalist helped us understand about the “life cycle” of our food.   From planting, to packaging, to transporting, to refrigerating, to disposing of our food, each process has an impact on the environment.  Mr. Ahmed encouraged us to buy locally, fresh goods and, of course, to avoid animal products in order for our food to have the least negative environmental impact.  You can find out more by contacting Mr. Ahmed at ahmed_dorghamy(at)yahoo.com or call 0109666240.

Ms. Leslie Zehr also spoke about food and how it affects our bodies.  Focusing on the spiritual aspects of eating, Ms. Leslie emphasized that our bodies are like temples and we need to be more conscious of the choices we make about what goes in them.  What are we putting in our bodies and why?  Where did it come from?  How was it made?  These are all aspects of our food that will affect us and should be part of our food-choosing process.  Another thing we really liked that Ms. Leslie focused on was how preparing food is a sacred experience.  If you’re cooking and you’re angry – better stop because the results may not be so good :)!  If you’re interested in learning more, you can reach Ms. Leslie at www.theessencesofegypt.com, www.egyptianflowerremedies.com, www.universaldancer.com, and lesliezehr(at)yahoo.com.

Finally, Ms. Nadia Montasser, representative of PETA in Egypt, spoke to us about some reasons to try vegetarianism: for our health, for the environment, and for the animals.  She also shared some video and resources for those who are interested.  You can find out more by contacting info(at)petaasiapacific.org or Ms. Nadia directly at nmontasser(at)me.com.

Everyone who attended brought a dish along.  And what a delectable spread it was!!  We always love to share goodies.  Here are the recipes for the vegan delicacies we brought.  Chocolate Chip Cookies,  Apple Cake (muffins), and Vegan sushi.  There was also a live mural, a jam session, and a little poetry….

If you couldn’t make it but would like to find other vegetarians in Egypt, you can connect to the Veggie Fest community in these ways:

Alf Hana!!!

Veggie Fest Cairo!


It was with great anticipation that we learned of an event to be held on this Saturday, January 8, from 7-10 pm.  Called “Veggie Fest Cairo”, the festival will be open to vegetarians, vegans, and non-vegetarians alike.  There will be veggie goodies, music, and speakers!

Here’s what an article from ecooptionsegypt says about the speakers:

The spiritual guru Leslie Zehr will be one of the two speakers of the evening. Leslie has International Certifications in Hypnotherapy, Touch for Health and Aromatherapy as well as Diplomas in Homeopathy and Sandplay therapy.  She has published a book and many articles on the various topics of her specialty.

There will also be a talk by the environmentalist Ahmed El-Dorghamy about the 360 degree impact of food choices on the environment. This would provide good understanding to all of us consumers to make better informed every day choices when it comes to food. Check out this past entry about the link between food and the environment.

For more information, you can check out Veggie Fest Cairo’s twitter feed, their Facebook event, or their blog.

We intend to go and since it will be a pot-luck, are trying to decide what our new Egyptian friends will most enjoy….What do you think we should bring?

Resolve to be healthy and compassionate!


Happy New Year, everybody!  Have you made a resolution?  Are you planning to get healthy, stay fit, eat right?  Maybe you’re thinking of trying to move toward a plant-based diet, but don’t know where to start?

Well, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has exactly what you need!  They run a program several times a year called “21-Day Vegan Kickstart Program“.  It’s full of recipes, tips, messages, encouragement and community for anyone who wants to try the benefits of a plant-based diet for 21 days.  Here’s what they say on their website:

“Based on research by Neal Barnard, M.D., one of America’s leading health advocates, this program is designed for anyone who wants to explore and experience the health benefits of a vegan diet. Low-fat vegan—plant-based—diets are the easiest way to trim excess weight, prevent diabetes, cut cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevent and reverse heart disease, and reduce cancer risk. They even trim our carbon footprint.”

When you sign up, you will receive daily emails, recipes, and have access to all their very valuable information.  I participated last time and it was really great.  You can connect to them on Facebook and watch their webcasts!  You will find that it is a great resource!

Make this year’s resolution one that will keep you healthy AND compassionate towards our animal friends.  Sign up today – it starts tomorrow!!!

Alf Hana!!!

November and the Vegan MoFo


Tomorrow is an extra special day. First, it is World Vegan Day.   Also, November 1st also marks the beginning of World Vegan Month.  Finally, November is a month set aside for vegan bloggers (like us!) to share as much as we can about being vegan.  It’s a way to create community, support each other, and raise awareness.  Affectionately known as ‘Vegan MoFo‘, or Vegan Month of Food, 2010 is the fifth anniversary of this way of celebrating.  The Post Punk Kitchen was the first to begin this celebration and although it is our first time to participate, we are really quite excited!

Here at Alf Hana, we will be celebrating by sharing lots of recipes throughout the month.  It is our goal to veganize as many of your favorite Egyptian foods as we can.  So, from fava beans (foul) to red lentil soup to creamy macaroni with bechamel sauce, we are ready to celebrate!

If you want to check out the other bloggers (over 500!) who are participating in Vegan MoFo, just click here.