Make Room for SOOM Tahini & Eat Nice Ravioli in your Kitchen

Last month I posted an article on two (to me) new food companies in Philadelphia, near where I live. Here is the link to that earlier posting:

If you Google tahini, one of the results is this: ta·hi·ni (/təˌhēnē) noun – A Middle Eastern paste or sauce made from ground sesame seeds. Powered by Oxford Dictionarie (Another spelling used in the Middle East and Israel is tehina. It is often made into a treat called halvah, which is basically tahini and sugar.

The recipe below is a cooking-by-the-strings-of-your-apron offering, because the SOOM Tahini I use may be a different consistency from another brand. The one I recommend is SOOM, pictured below.


Tahini Treat: A Middle Eastern Delight

Utensils: Small bowl for soaking dates, medium-sized mixing bowl, measuring spoons, very small dish for coconut, cutting board and knife, serving plate
Prep. Time: About 15 minutes, not counting soaking the dates
Cooking Time: None
Categories: Vegan, Gluten Free, No added granulated sugar (dates provide the sweetness)


3 organic, pitted (dried) dates
2 Tbl. Soom Organic Tahini
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder (organic is possible)
2 Tbl. flaxseed meal
4 Tbl. raw, organic ground sunflower seeds
2-3 Tbl. unsweetened, dried and shredded coconut


1. Cut pitted dates in half and soak in filtered water for at least one hour to soften in a small bowl. (Feel free to use warm water to hasten the process of softening the dates.)

2. Place the tahini, cocoa powder, flaxseed meal and ground sunflower seeds in a small bowl and mix together with the back of a large spoon. Set aside.

3. Drain the dates (Soaking water can be drunk or added to another dish.) and cut into smaller pieces using the cutting board and sharp knife —- the smaller the better.  Add to tahini mixture from Step 2 and mix well. The mixture should pull away from the bowl. If not, add a little more of the cocoa powder or flaxseed meal or ground sunflower seeds. (Use what you like best!)

4. Place the mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Then remove and wet your hands well. Place a small amount of the mixture in the palms of your hands and make a ball. Then roll each ball in the small bowl of dried coconut until it is well coated. Place balls on serving plate and return to fridge until ready to eat.

Yield: 6- 7 tahini balls about the size of a ping-pong ball or a bit smaller.

Note: If the dates do not make the treat sweet enough, feel free to add a couple of drops of stevia or monk fruit liquid.

Variations: Substitute your favorite protein powder for the flaxseed meal or cocoa powder, use pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds (good for prostate in males), use ground nuts (raw) in place of seeds, roll in coconut sugar instead of or with the coconut shreds, use dried figs or other dried fruit (soaked) in place of dates.


Be creative! Use more of the ingredients you like best or try one of the variations.
I placed fresh raspberries on top of my sesame balls for color.
(Confession! I also ate a couple, so there are only 5 here instead of 6 or 7!)


Eat Nice Ravioli is the other new food company that I wrote about in the link at the top of the page. It is totally vegan, with either tofu or walnuts as the fillings.

Here are three ways I used the ravioli:

1. I steamed them and then placed them in the oven on grill for 2-3 minutes, turning once. They turned out crispy and I used them as an appetizer.

2. I steamed them and put them in soup instead of Chinese won-tons or Jewish kreplach.

3. I steamed them and served them with pestacado* instead of marinara sauce. (Photo below with link to Pestacado recipe.)

Note: Another topping is to take Soom Tahini and mix with lemon juice and miso paste, plus water to a sauce consistency and serve over the steamed ravioli. ( I added black olive on top of the pestacado.)

*Here is the link to Pestacado, pesto made with avocado (instead of olive oil), basil and garlic, etc.


For the New Year: Two New Foods from Philadelphia (Part One)

A few months ago I saw an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about a new brand of tahini (sesame paste). The name of the product is Soom Tahini and the company is owned by the three Zitelman sisters, Amy, Jackie, and Shelby.  I did an email interview with Amy and found out that she likes working with her sisters and with a product she believes in. Here is the website: Check it out for some interesting recipes.

For our New Year’s Eve open house I made some (sprouted chickpea) hoomus using Soom Tahini.  However, check out the website, because one of the reasons Soom was created was to show people how hoomus can be used for other dishes, as well. (I
am experimenting with a tahini/miso sauce or dressing that I will post when I know it’s ready to share.)


I captured this photo from the Internet, but the company also makes a chocolate tahini I haven’t tried yet.


Then, a few days ago I went to Whole Foods with my daughter who took me to a demo to try some vegan ravioli from EATNICEFOODS.COM.  The co-owner of the company, Paul Cantagallo, was doing the demonstration and we had a good conversation about his product, which he bills as plant-based comfort food. I brought home a package of walnut stuffed ravioli. The other flavor is made with tofu.  I made some ravioli and topped it with my avocado pesto (pestacado).




Both foods are created by young entrepreneurs who believe that good-for-you foods can also be nutritious as well as delicious.


In my next posting I will include my hoomus recipe and my ideas for using the ravioli not only as a regular pasta dish, but also some ideas for using it in other ways.

I wish both companies success in their efforts to introduce healthier foods for people who want foods that are good tasting as well as good for you!

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