Category Archives: Vegan MoFo 2010

Stuffed Cabbage and Thankful VeganMoFo-ers!!!

Well, dear readers, it’s here!  The end of this wonderful month of vegan sharing has arrived.  We’d like to give a shout out to the Post Punk Kitchen, who started the VeganMoFo.  We are so thankful for the thousands of recipes we were able to share, the new people we were able to meet, and the community of which we began to feel a part – even though we are separated by several oceans / seas!

We look forward to keeping up these connections, and to continue veganizing Egyptian recipes!  We will start to feature a ‘Pharaoh’s Friday’ post where we will continue to recreate our Egyptian favorites.  At the same time, while we will continue to feature Egyptian restaurants and products, we will hopefully begin to build a strong support system for the community of vegans in Egypt.

So, to honor this last day of VeganMoFo, we decided to post traditional Egyptian stuffed cabbage rolls.  Hope you like it!

Serves 4-6 (Makes about 30 rolls)

1 large head of cabbage
1 hot green pepper, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 cup rice
1 onion, minced
2 tomatoes, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon hot powder (red paprika)
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fresh coriander, minced
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil

For the soup:
4 cups water
2 bouillon cubes

For the blanching:

about a teaspoon of cumin

Prepare the stuffing mix.
1.  Fry the hot green pepper, onion, and garlic in olive oil for about 2 minutes or until translucent.
2.  Add pepper, salt, hot powder (red paprika), cumin, salt, and pepper.  Fry a few more minutes.

3.  Remove from heat.  Place in large bowl and add the rice, tomatoes, dill, coriander, and parsley.  Set aside.

Prepare the cabbage leaves.

4.  Separate and wash the leaves well.

5.  Blanch the leaves.  [Boil water and cumin.  In groups, boil the cabbage leaves for 10-15 minutes in the hot water.  Remove and place them in another bowl of cold water.  Drain and set aside.]
6.  One by one, take leaf by leaf to roll.  Remove any thick stem parts using a knife.  Cut larger pieces into smaller ones, keeping to under 5 inches (or 12 centimeters).

7.  Place a teaspoon of the stuffing mix close to the edge of the leaf.  Begin rolling, gathering the sides as you go.   (Use the technique described -and pictured- in the stuffed grape leaves post.)
8.  Place finished rolls edge-side-down in a pot. Cover tightly with a heavy plate to prevent the rolls from moving.

Cook the stuffed leaves.
9.  Mix the water and bouillon cubes.  Bring to a boil to make a vegetable soup.
10.  Pour the soup over the stacked rolls.  Cover and bring to a boil.
11.  Lower the temperature and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Nutritional Information (for about 1 cabbage roll):
Calories:  56; Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 8g; Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 1 g

Alf Hana!!!


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!!!

Want Tasty Vegetarian Variety? Try Arabiata!

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but one of my favorite things to do growing up was eat out.  Since we’ve become vegan, we avoid eating out for various reasons, but when we find an establishment that has a variety of vegan dishes or is willing to tailor menu items to fit our needs, we become loyal customers.  That’s why we want to tell you all about Arabiata.

Arabiata is a local Egyptian chain of restaurants that serves up traditional Egyptian favorites.  Historically, they became famous for their fava beans (slow-cooked or medames and fried in the form of tameyia [or felafel].  Gradually they added a slew of other dishes, including a lot of vegetarian options.  VERY reasonably priced, you can get your fill for just a few Egyptian pounds!  Here are a few shots of the vegetarian items on the menu (*not all of the items are vegan).

And now – for the best part, here’s what we ordered:


Arabiata Salad Bar with Egyptian pickles (Mary's favorite!)

Foul Iskandarani (Fava Beans, Alexandrian style - with tahina and parsley - and other fixin's)

Alexandrian Style Tamaya (Felafel - with hot chilis)

Regular, small tameya (felafel) - I can not resist these!

I told you I can't resist them!

Foul (fava beans) with tomato sauce and garlic!!!


You can order delivery from Arabiata by calling: 16919, as you see below, or….

You can visit any of their branches all over greater Cairo including those listed below:


For our non-Arabic speaking friends: Korba, Roxy, Heliopolis Club, Tayran St., Rihab City, British University, New Heliopolis Club, Golf City, El Abour


Try it and let us know what you think.

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!!!

Stuffed Vegetables (Zucchini and Eggplant – aka Dolma)

Yes, dear readers, this is our second recipe for stuffed vegetables during this wonderful month of VeganMoFo.  If you missed it, our glorious recipe for stuffed grape leaves is here.  We decided to do a second post about zucchini and eggplant in particular because the mix is a bit different, but also because the technique for hollowing out the vegetables and filling them with mix takes a bit of practice.  So, here are our tips and tricks for successful stuffed zucchini and eggplant.

Serves 4-6

1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) zucchini
1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) small, slender white eggplant

For the stuffing mix:
4 cloves garlic
2 cups rice, raw
2 onion, minced
2 tomatoes, minced
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons dill, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 teaspoons salt

For soaking hollowed-out eggplants:

about 1 liter water
1 tablespoon salt

For cooking:
6 cups water
4 bouillon cubes

1.  Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing mix in a large bowl.

2.  Prepare the zucchini and eggplant.  You will need a special kitchen tool for making dolma that helps you scoop out the insides of long, slender vegetables.  (I actually don’t know what this is called in English or Arabic – Anyone?)  You will use it gently dig in to the flesh, twist, and tug out the insides.

3.  Start with the zucchini.  Cut off the stem.  Take your time as you scoop out the insides and put them aside.  You can use them in the soup as the stuffed vegetables cook or for some other tasty dish.

4.  In order to make scooping the insides of the eggplant easier, it is advised to roll them with a rolling pin or your hands while placing pressure on the eggplant.  First, remove the stem part from the top of the eggplant.  Then roll.  After a few rolls, the eggplant will look a bit darker and will be squishy to the touch.  This will make hollowing out the insides much easier!  Just make sure that when hollowing the eggplant, you remove all the insides and discard them.  If some remain inside, you will have a bitter-tasting result!

5.  It is important that when you hollow out one of the eggplants, you soak it in a large bowl of water and salt until you have completed all the eggplants.  This will help reduce any bitter flavor.

Soaking the hollowed-out eggplant (no need for this step with the zucchini)

6.  Prepare a pot.
7.  Fill up the hollowed out vegetables with the stuffing mix, one by one.  It’s easiest to use your fingers for this part.  Leave between 1 to 1 and ½ inches (2.5 – 3.8 cm) of empty space at the end of the vegetable to give the rice room to expand and to prevent leakage as they cook.

8.  Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the pot.  Add tomatoes between layers.  Cover with a heavy plate to avoid movement while they cook.

Ready to cook - you can see I added some of the inside of the zucchini to cook with the stuffed veggies along with tomatoes...

9.  Prepare the soup.  Mix the water and the bouillon cubes and bring to a boil.
10.  Pour the soup over the vegetables until it just covers the top layer.  Cover the pot and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Nutritional Information (for 1 of 25 pieces):
Calories: 77; Fat: less than 1; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 1g

Alf Hana!!!

Macaroni with Béchamel Sauce and Mushroom Filling

Whenever I am invited to eat at an Egyptian friends’ home, this is one of the traditional dishes I can expect to find.  And I absolutely LOVE IT!!!!  So, here is our vegan version.  It is definitely worth the extra dishes you’ll be washing…


For the Macaroni:
about 250 g of penne noodles (about half a bag)
about 1 liter of water
1 teaspoon of oil

For the mushroom filling:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 veggie cube, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 cups mushroom (fresh or canned), coarsely chopped

For the béchamel sauce:
1/2 cup corn oil
1/2 cup flour
3 cups non-dairy milk (we used soy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prepare the macaroni:
1.  Heat the water and oil to boiling.
2.  Add the macaroni.
3.  Cook until tender.
4.  Drain and rinse.
5.  Set aside.

Prepare the filling:
6.  Heat the oil.  Add the garlic and onion.  Fry until onions are translucent (about 2 minutes).
7.  Add the crumbled cube, basil, oregano and paprika.
8.  Add mushrooms.  Cover and cook 2 more minutes.

9.  Add tomatoes and tomato paste.
10.  Mix and simmer for 5-10 minutes and then set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 (375 degrees F, or 190 degrees C)
Prepare the béchamel sauce.
11. Heat the oil.  Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes.
12.  Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 1 minute.
13.  Add salt and pepper and stir.
14.  Cool slightly (just a minute or two).

Using a pan 9 inches by 6 inches by 2 inches (about 23 cm by 15 cm by 5 cm), assemble the Macarona bil béchamel.
15.  Pour a little béchamel sauce in the bottom of the pan.

16.  Put in half the macaroni.

17.  Pour in the mushroom mix.

18.  Cover with some béchamel sauce.

19.  Put in the rest of the macaroni.

20.  Cover with the rest of the béchamel sauce.

21.  Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the top is golden brown.

Nutritional Information (1 of 6 servings):
Calories: 404; Fat: 25g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 39g; Fiber: 4g; Protein: 8g

Alf Hana!!!