Tuesday Teaser #14: Grilled Eggplant


Tuesdays are always “Teaser Tuesdays” at Alf Hana.  We try out other people’s recipes and share our impressions and recommendations with you.

Oh, tonight we had an Italian feast!!!!  I can still smell its spices in the air….

Having bought some beautiful purple eggplants (or aubergines), we decided to try out a new recipe and share it with you all.  So, here is our deliciously flavored grilled eggplant:

Doesn’t it look amazing?  The recipe (find it here) is really easy!  Just mix the spices and oil into a sauce…

…Brush onto both sides of your sliced eggplant.  (We suggest making your slices a bit thick…)

Then, grill for about 15 minutes (turning once).  Now, we have a very small grill – only big enough for about 2 slices at once.  So, you may need to grill these in batches.  But, we also tried putting some in the oven at the highest setting for the same amount of time.  It worked just as well, but didn’t get those brown stripes – no biggy – they still tasted delicious!

These turned out so tasty!  We served them up with some home-made tomato sauce (from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau) and spaghetti!

We did make one small change to the recipe.  Instead of using 3 tablespoons of oil, we only used 2.  At 220 calories for half the recipe, you can’t beat it!

So, check out the original recipe here and let us know what YOU think.

Alf Hana!!!

Advertisements

Vegan Cherry Crumble


Don’t you love summer fruits?  There are so many delicious, colorful, nutritious options to choose from!  We are especially enjoying the CHERRIES!!!  We recently posted one recipe using cherries – black forest bars.  But we didn’t stop there!!!  If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love these crumbly squares!

Download the print-friendly version here.

Makes:  12 bars
Ingredients:
For the filling:
2 cups cherries, pitted and chopped
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
½ tablespoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon vanilla

For the crumble:
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
⅔ cup brown sugar
¼ cup ground flaxseed
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup canola oil

Instructions:
Make the filling:
1.  Mix the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch.  Let sit for 15 minutes.
2.  Add the lemon juice and vanilla.
3.  Heat over low heat for about 5 minutes until thick.  Remove from heat and set aside.


Make the crumble:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C or gas mark 4).
4.  In a bowl, mix flour, oats, brown sugar, ground flaxseed and baking soda.
5.  Add the oil and mix until thoroughly combined.

6.  In a 8 x 8 – inch pan (20 x 20 cm), firmly press half the flour mixture, making a base for the crumble.
7.  Bake for 20 minutes.
8.  Spread the filling on the cooked base and press the other half of the flour mixture to make the top.

9.  Bake for another 20 minutes.
10.  Cool completely.
11. Cut into bars and serve.
Nutrition Information: (for 1 of 12 bars)
258 Calories; 11 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 37 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Fiber; 4 g Protein

Inspired by recipes from The Joy of Vegan Baking and Color Me Vegan, both by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

How do you like to eat YOUR bowl of cherries?
Alf Hana!!!

Do you or someone you love suffer from heart disease? You can eat your way to health!


Recently CNN’s Sanjay Gupta did a documentary called Last Heart Attack.  In it, he investigates how diet can prevent, reverse damage from, and even protect against heart disease.  Among Gupta’s guests is former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who recently lost a significant amount of weight from a change to a more plant-based diet.   To watch the entire documentary, click here.

Several important, and perhaps surprising points presented in the documentary are:

  • According to some research, you can actually become ‘heart attack proof’ as a result of a plant-based (or vegan) diet.
  • Since eating is the reason we are suffering from high cholesterol, heart disease and heart attacks, eating could and should be a solution.
  • “Your genes are not your fate.”  No matter how much ‘risk’ you have, you are not bound to your genes.  Your diet makes a difference!
  • 1 heart attack happens every 30 seconds in the United States.
  • Even doctors who do see the benefits of an entirely plant-based (or vegan) diet may not recommend it to patients. (They think it’s too hard and people won’t do it).
  • Some people who appear healthy can have a heart attack with no warning symptoms.
  • New technology, coronary calcium scans, can help detect the presence of plaque early.
  • Heart attacks are the biggest killer of men and women in the United States and are “COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE”.
  • Your cholesterol number is not necessarily what is important.  What is important is the size of the ‘bad’ cholesterol particles (small is bad!).
  • “Stents, drugs, and bypasses are not the cure – because they do not treat the CAUSE of the illness.”
  • A lot of women don’t experience classic symptoms of heart attacks.
  • Certain cultures around the world have no incidence of heart disease.  NONE! (Could diet be the reason?)
  • Research shows that the more people changed their diet or lifestyle, the more they improved – in DIRECT PROPORTION.
  • Plant-based (or vegan) diets can not only prevent heart disease but actually REVERSE it.
  • Plaque starts building in childhood!

We decided to share this documentary with you because the realization of how much of an impact diet has on our health is almost revolutionary.  What is now a number one killer is entirely preventable.  Changing your diet may seem difficult, but it can be done with support, resources, and faith in yourself.  

We want to offer you a bit of that support and resources so that you can make those small steps toward a healthier diet.  Although there was not much discussion about the TASTE of the plant-based (or vegan) foods making up these healthier diets in the documentary, as vegans, we can assure you that THEY TASTE DELICIOUS!  Not only the recipes on our blog, but many cookbooks, other blogs, and internet resources (please see our resource page for some), provide an abundance of ideas for creating delectable and nutritious meals.

As Dr. Dean Ornish says in the video, once you start to make the change, you “reframe the reason for making these changes from ‘fear of dying’ to joy of living.  And joy is what’s sustainable!”

So be joyful!!!

Alf Hana!!!

Related articles

Tuesday Teaser #13: Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie


Tuesdays are always “Teaser Tuesdays” at Alf Hana.  We try out other people’s recipes and share our impressions and recommendations with you.

Oh, last night we had a special treat!  We were craving something with chocolate, creamy, and COLD!!! Ice cream would fit the bill!!!

We found this amazing recipe on Lindsay Nixon’s happyherbivore site.  It’s really a superb site with lots of low (or no) fat recipes and amazing pictures to tempt you!!!

Here’s a picture of the smoothie we tried (this is Lindsay’s picture):

Actually, we didn’t take our own picture because it was SO AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS we were distracted!  It was so much like soft-serve chocolate ice cream we couldn’t believe ourselves!!! We ate it with a spoon!!! MMMMMMMM!!!!  Go get the recipe now and try it yourself!!!!

Now one word of warning: If you do not have a high-power blender, you will need to blend this one for quite a while – it took us about 10 minutes.  You may also need to add some extra milk (we added about 2 tablespoons extra).  But it is definitely worth it!!!!

Alf Hana!!!

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!!!

30-Day Vegan Challenge: A Complete Tool for the Curious


Dear readers,

We know many of you are not vegan.  Maybe you are interested in trying out plant-based recipes every now and then, you may practice abstention from animal products during a religious fast, or you may be trying to eat healthier foods.  Do you think you could try a vegan diet for 30 days?

Our dear friend, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, has just released her new book, the 30-Day Vegan Challenge.  
After so many years of being vegan, using available materials to help support a plant-based diet, I can say I have never seen a more comprehensive book for people interested in making the transition.  The 30-Day Vegan Challenge covers every aspect of the vegan experience.  Any question you may have is addressed here.  (If you have ever thought you couldn’t be vegan because you’d miss cheese, there’s a chapter for you!)

Not only does Colleen cover these issues, she also provides essential information about nutrition (reviewed by dietitians), menus for the entire 30-Days, and recipes that are tried and true.  We know because we’ve been using these recipes for years now!!!

Colleen starts out by encouraging you to do a bit of preparation – get a buddy (this is important!), take some measurements (some of the changes you will experience can be measured!), and take a 3-Day food diary before you start (to see what you really normally eat).  Then, each of the 30-Days has a chapter full of specific, detailed, researched information about an issue surrounding veganism.  Some of these include: Eating healthfully and affordably (Day 2), Eating out and speaking up (Day 8), Discovering that there is life after cheese (Day 12), Putting to rest the great protein myth (Day 15), Celebrating the holidays (Day 25), Achieving and sustaining weight loss (Day 28)…..

Colleen ends with the menus, full of favorite recipes from her cookbooks and ideas for easy, simple meals.

This book is now available electronically – yes even in Egypt.  You can purchase it through Amazon and read it on a Kindle reader (either on your computer, your iPhone, iPad, etc.).  For more about this, read this post. (***Not all publishers allow their books to be downloaded in Egypt, but the 30-Day Vegan Challenge is available, so click away!)

If you are interested in checking out other works by Colleen we would suggest her podcast, Vegetarian Food for Thought (it’s free!!! and can be downloaded to your computer or any other mobile device).  Of course, you might also find her other books useful:

Black Forest Bars


What do you do with your bowl of cherries?

Yes, cherries are in season in Egypt and we have been having lots of fun finding way to make special treats with our cherries!

Here’s a cherry recipe that features that most amazing combination: cherries and chocolate!  Who could resist?

Makes 30 bars. Download a print-friendly version here.
Ingredients:
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup apple sauce
2 tablespoons of oil
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons of water
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
½ – 1 cup of nondairy dark chocolate chunks or chipsInstructions:
1.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
2.  Beat applesauce, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl.  Add the cornstarch and beat.
3.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and cherries.
4.  Spread into a large cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.


5.  Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until firm.  Let stand for 2 minutes.
6.  Remove and cool completely on wire racks. Cut into squares.
Nutrition Information:
118 Calories; 3 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 23 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Fiber; 1 g Protein

Alf Hana!!!