Category Archives: Weight Loss

Pharaoh’s Friday #8: Beetroot Salad – Egyptian Style

Honestly, I have never been a big fan of beets.  But now, I understand that sometimes when you eat something prepared in a certain way, you might develop a bad impression of that thing and shun it unfairly!  Yes, if you try it again, cooked in a different style, with different spices you may actually like it!  AND as we go through life, our tastes also change and develop, so you may find yourself really enjoying a food you disliked only a few years ago.

And so it is with me and beets.  But now, I have discovered not one but several ways I really enjoy eating them!  Here’s one….Egyptian style!

250 grams of beets, raw (about 3 small beets)
water for boiling
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon lime (or lemon) juice
½ teaspoon corn oil
½ tablespoon vinegar

Serves 2
Prepare the beets
1.  Wash the beets.  Boil (with their skins still intact) in a large pot for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  When a fork slides in and out easily, they are ready.

After boiling

2.  Let the beets cool and then gently peel away the skins.

The peeling process

3.  Chop the beets into cubes and put in a medium bowl.

Vegetables that are dark in color are high in antioxidants and help prevent disease!

4.  Add the parsley, salt, pepper, lime juice, corn oil, and vinegar.  Mix well.
5.  Cool in the refrigerator for a while (the longer you leave them, the more the flavors will combine).

Serve cold.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

There are many variations for this recipe.  One of our readers suggested adding mustard and scallions!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
Nutritional information:
70 calories; 1 g fat; 0 g cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 2 g protein

Alf Hana!!!


Spicy Traditional Style Chili with Beans

If you like chili, you will love this recipe!  It’s such a tasty way to get loads of protein.  We especially like it on a cold day.

2 cups TVP
6 cups water, divided
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
5 tomatoes, fresh
1 package of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans
Serves 6-8.
Prepare the TVP:
1.  Heat 2 cups of water and the bouillon cube until the cube dissolves.
2.  Pour the bouillon mixture over the TVP.  Leave it to rehydrate about 15 minutes.
Prepare the chili:
3.  Cook the onion, garlic and green pepper in the olive oil until the onion becomes transparent.

4.  Add the rehydrated TVP and soy sauce.  Cook until the mix is well browned.

5.  Transfer this to a large pot.
6.  Add the chili powder, jalapeno pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, 4 cups of water, cumin, marjoram, thyme and beans.  Mix well.
7.  Cover and cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:
1.  Serve with garlic bread, corn bread, or pita bread.
2.  Serve on a baked potato.
3.  Experiment with different kinds of beans – black beans, chick peas, white beans, adzuki beans.
Nutritional Information:
193 Calories, 0 g Cholesterol, 3 g Fat, 26 g Carbohydrates, 9 g Fiber, 18 g Protein

Alf Hana!!!

Green Bean Casserole

One of our favorite meals during the holiday season is this green bean casserole.  It’s really delicious and full of winter flavors.

Serves 4-6


1 bag of frozen cut green beans

1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 cube vegetable bouillon cube
3 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 carrot, diced
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon thyme


1.  Heat soy milk and veggie bouillon in a saucepan, stirring until bouillon cube disintegrates. Do not let it boil.

2.  Fry the onions, carrots, and mushrooms in the oil in a skillet for 3-5 minutes. 3.  Add salt, pepper, and herbs and spices.

4.  Mix the starch and water well, and pour into the soymilk/bouillon.

5.  Stir well, because this will get thick quickly.

6.  Add the green beans to the sautéed veggies, along with the milk and bouillon mixture. Cook for about 7-8 minutes or until the green beans are tender.

7.  Pour that mixture into a casserole dish or pan and top with bread crumbs or crumbled crackers.

8.  Bake in oven at about 375 degrees (F) or gas mark 5  (190 degrees C) for 30-45 minutes.

This recipe is originally from VegWeb.  We changed some things since not everything in the recipe is available here in Egypt.  You can see the original here.

Nutritional information 1 serving (157 g):

Calories: 101; Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 0 g; Carbohydrates: 13 g; Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 3 g

Alf Hana!!

Creamy Tomato Soup

Well, winter has finally arrived in Cairo! That severe sand storm yesterday brought with it the cold weather. What’s the perfect remedy for the cold noses, toes, and fingers?  A warm, rich soup!!!  So, here’s our favorite tomato soup just for you!  It’s low in calories and provides 22% of your recommended daily intake for Vitamin A and 51% for Vitamin C!

Serves 6-8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup celery stalks and leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup water
4 cups tomato juice
½ teaspoon sugar
2 cups non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup water
2 tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1.  Heat the oil and add the onions, garlic, and celery.

2.  Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
3.  Add the salt, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Cook for another 5 minutes.
4.  Add 1 cup water, tomato juice, and sugar.  Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes on low heat.  Stir occasionally.

5.  Heat the non-dairy milk in a pan until hot but not boiling.
6.  When 25 minutes are up, strain the vegetables and broth through a sieve.  Set the vegetables aside.  [You can use them for any number of other recipes…]

Here's what's left after straining...We're going to use ours for pizza!

7.  Return the broth to the pan.
8.  Mix the all-purpose flour and ¼ cup water until smooth.
9.  Whisk the mixture flour mixture into the broth.

10.  Cook the soup on medium heat until thick.   This should take about 5 minutes.
11.  Add the warmed non-dairy milk.
12.  Add the tomatoes and basil and heat the soup until it is just about to boil.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:
*Serve with garlic bread.  Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, of Compassionate Cooks, has a wonderful recipe in The Vegan Table.
*Add more or remove the red pepper flakes, according to your love of spicy flavors.
*Serve with herbed croutons.

Nutrition Information (275g):
Calories: 92; Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 3g

We veganized this recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special.

Egyptian Style Zucchini Stew

Have I mentioned that I love zucchini?  Well, I do!!!  In fact, I like it every single way I’ve tried it!  Here’s the most common way Egyptians serve zucchini.  It’s a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.  So, eat up!

Serves 4
4-5 medium zucchini (about 400 grams), sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 vegetable bouillon cube
500-700 ml water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste

1.  Fry onion in oil, for about 5 minutes.
2.  Add the bouillon cube, crumbled, to the onion.  Add the tomato paste.  Cook for another 3 minutes.

3.  Add the zucchini and tomatoes and cook another 5 to 10 minutes.

4.  Add the water.
5.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:
Serve with rice or balady (pita) bread.
Put the tomatoes in a blender before adding them to the stew for a smoother texture.

Nutritional Information for 100 grams:
Calories: 21; Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 3g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 1g

Alf Hana!!!

A Traditional Egyptian Whole Food Sweet!

During this last month, we’ve been posting all Egyptian recipes in celebration of VeganMoFo

One traditional way to eat dates is to take a dried date, split it in half just enough to not break apart, stuff it with a nut of some kind, and enjoy the balance of protein and natural sweetness.  A favorite of ours is the almond filling.

Simple Perfection

High in Calcium and Iron!

Nutritional Information (for 5 dates stuffed with almonds):
Calories: 141, Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 75g; Fiber: 8g; Protein: 2g


Alf Hana!!!

Eggplant Casserole (Moussaka)

Do you like eggplant?  It hasn’t always been one of my favorites, but tastes change!  In the last week, we’ve had eggplant in three different ways!!!!  Yum!

I must admit that this recipe is not the traditional Egyptian moussaka.  We have changed it up a bit.  The results have given us a dish very low in fat and calories, very high in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese.  So, here’s our version of moussaka with a huge nutrient kick!!

Serves 4-6

1 large eggplant, skinned, and chopped in large chunks
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ kilo mushroom (about 500 grams), chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 cups of tomato juice
2 cups of water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 potato, chopped

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (400 degrees F or 200 degrees C)
1.  After skinning and chopping the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and set aside for about 15 minutes.

2.  Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 2 minutes.
3.  Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, parsley, cinnamon, and sugar.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes.

4.  Heat the water.  Mix in the tomato juice and vegetable bouillon cubes.  Heat until boiling.

5.  Mix the eggplant, tomatoes, mushroom, green pepper, and potato in a large bowl.

6.  Add the fried mixture to the vegetables in the bowl. Mix well.

7.  Spread into a casserole dish 12 inches (30.5 cm) by 7 inches (18 cm).  Pour the hot soup mix on top.

8.  Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until vegetables are tender.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:
-Serve with rice.
-Serve with baladi (or pita) bread.

Nutritional Information (for 100 grams)
Calories: 30; Fat: 1g; Carbohydrates: 6g; Cholesterol: 0g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 2g

Alf Hana!!!