World Vegetarian Day (Part 1)

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, and just in case you want to become a “veg-head” for the day, I went through my recipes and picked out a possible menu for you to try. By posting it today, you have a heads up in  the event you need to shop for some veggies you don’t normally eat. Instead of your going through the archives, I did it for you in the hope that you would give vegetarianism a try! I am not suggesting you go “all the way (vegan), so feel free to add eggs and dairy to whatever dishes I post.  Today I am posting breakfast and salad ideas. Next I will post some main dish and side veggie ideas.

Here are some breakfast ideas:

Pearple Sauce

Apples and pears are popular fall fruits. Unfortunately, when pears become too ripe, they turn very soft, quite quickly. When my kids were little and they wouldn’t eat the “mushy” pears, I used to make them pearple sauce, a combination of pears and apples. This is delicious over holiday pancakes, over gingerbread, or just by itself.

Utensils: Cutting board, knife, pot for cooking fruit, bowl for serving.
Prep. Time: About 20 minutes
Cooking Time: About 20 minutes
Category: VeganÂ

3-4 organic pears, peeled & pitted, then slice
2-3 organic apples, peeled & pitted, then slice
cinnamon to taste
water or apple juice

(Note: If you want to add a raisin topping to your sauce, as in the picture, soak the organic raisins in hot water while the apples and pears are cooking.)
1. Place washed, cored and peeled apples and pears in a large pot with a very small amount of water or apple juice. Cook over medium flame for about 15 minutes, or until fruit is very soft. Add cinnamon to taste.
2. Allow to cool before placing in a serving bowl.
3. Drain raisins and place on top of pearple sauce. Serves 4-6 or more, if using only as a topping.

Cooking Tip:The cooking will go quicker if the slices are thin. Also, you can start cooking the apples and pears as you cut them. Just place slices in pot and keep adding the fruit and cook until desired texture. I like mine a little chunky. In addition, you can simmer the skins in water or juice, drain, refrigerate, and use the “juice” when baking desserts, or just drink it at breakfast instead of commercial juice.


Holiday* Fruit Salad

The pomegranate is a perfect  holiday food.* It is available in the fall and is bright and cheery, similar to holly berries, only these you can eat! According to a book entitled, Apples and Pomegranates by Rachel Musleah, the pomegranate is mentioned in the Bible, in art, and in literature as a symbol of beauty and fertility because of the large scarlet flowers, the glossy greens leaves, its round red fruit, and its numerous seeds. *Pomegranates are suggested for JEwish holidays, although this recipe was originally posted for the December holidays

Utensils: Cutting board, knife, bowl or plate
Prep. Time: 20 minutes – 1/2 hour*
Cooking Time: none
* You can now buy pomegranate seeds in a container in the cooler section, which cuts down prep time by half.

1/2 pomegranate, seeded
2-3 red-skinned organic apples
2 Organic green kiwi (also comes in yellow)

Optional toppings: yogurt, dried (unsweetened) coconut, walnuts, honey

1. Wash all the fruit well, even if you are peeling it and it is organic.
2. Place pomegranate seeds in a bowl. (Remove all the membrane when you peel it.)
3. Peel and cut kiwi into small pieces and add to bowl.
4. Cut apples in half, remove core and seeds, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with some lemon juice to avoid discoloration. Add to bowl.
5. Toss all the fruit and place back in the bowl or on a plate. Add topping of your choice, or serve as is. Colorful, crunchy, and delicious! Serves 3-4.

Banana Nut Muffins
(This recipe is from my cookbook The Whole Foods Experience, and I never took a photo when I first posted it. )Â

Dry Ingredients
4 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1-2 tsp. allspice
1 Tbsp. flax seeds

Wet Ingredients
3-4 very ripe bananas
Dash of vanilla extract
one cup oil (ex. Macadamia)
1/2 cup liquid sweetener (ex. maple syrup)
one cup pitted dates, chopped and tossed with a little flour.(Makes them easier to toss as individual pieces.)
oil for muffin tins

1. Oil muffin tins and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Place wet ingredients (except for dates) in the blender & puree.
4. Pour wet ingredients intothe bowl with dry ingredients & combine well. Add flour-coated dates and mix into batter.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Yield: 1 1/2-2 dozen muffins.

1. Substitute soaked raisins or pitted prunes for dates.
2. Add one cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts or pecans.

Note: Instead of pomegranates, you feel free to use cranberries, which are perfect for the holidays, as well. It may make the dish too tart, so drizzle on some honey or maple syrup.

Here are some salad choices:

Asian Cabbage Slaw

Utensils: Pot for boiling water, large bowl, grater or food processor, cutting
board & knife
Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes to boil water

4 cups shredded cabbage
one grated carrot
2 cups snow peas, cut in half crosswise
2-3 minced scallions (white part)
sesame seeds

Dressing: Whisk together:
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. wasabi powder

1. Bring 3-4 cups water to a boil while preparing cabbage, snow peas, and dressing. Place veggies in a large bowl.
2. Pour boiling water over cabbage and snow peas and allow to soak for 5 minutes,
3. In the meantime, grate the carrot and dice the scallions.
4. Drain cabbage and snow peas. Add grated carrot and diced scallions.
5. Toss everything with dressing and garnish with sesame seeds. (I use black ones for color.)
6. Chill until ready to serve.

Variations: Feel free to use some hot pepper sesame oil for some of the regular toasted sesame oil. Add water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and mushrooms with the carrots and scallions. (Do not pour boiling water over these.)

Minced Salad, Israeli Style

When we lived in Israel, most salads were served minced with lemon juice. The ingredients were displayed whole on what we would call a salad bar, and each family took the ingredients and minced the veggies at their table, serving it immediately. Delicious! (This is similar to the cucumber salad above, only with more veggies and less herbs.)

1 cup organic cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and sliced into halves
one large organic cucumber, peeled and diced
one small yellow squash, minced (optional for color)
3 scallions, washed, trimmed,and diced
one cup cooked chick peas, drained well
one garlic clove, minced
dash of cayenne pepper
juice of one organic lemon
olives and sesame seeds for garnish (Again, I used black sesame seeds)
Sprouts (also optional)

1. Wash, trim, mince and prepare all fresh veggies as described above. Place in a bowl.
2. Add drained chick peas, salt & pepper, cayenne, and garlic clove and toss with veggies.
3. Place in a bowl, surround with sprouts (optional) and garnish with sesame seeds and olives. Serve chilled.
Yield: About 3-4 servings as a side salad, 2-3 as a main dish salad


Herbal Garden Salad


one head of organic lettuce (I used red-tipped curly lettuce)
one ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
one organic cucumber, peeled and sliced
one half cup grated yellow summer squash
one-two thin slices of red onion
(Feel free to add or substitute veggies of your choice)
2 cups fresh herbs (available in most markets; these are from my patio):
sweet marjoram
(I cut several stalks of each, removed their leaves but kept them intact. I removed the leaves and washed and gently dried them. With the chives, I merely cut the stalks at the base and cut them into smaller pieces.)

1. Wash and spin dry the lettuce, ripping leaves into bite-sized pieces.
2. Wash, peel, pit, and slice avocado into slivers. (I wash before I peel so when I cut into the avocado, none of the outside “dirt” goes into the flesh.)
3. Wash, peel and slice the cucumber. (If large, cut slices in half crosswise.)
4. Prepare herbs as notes above, keeping the leaves intact. In this salad, the herbs are major ingredients.
5. Right before serving, toss with your favorite light dressing. (I use olive oil and lemon juice.)

Note:The 2 cups of herbs impart a different-tasting salad, because the herbs come on strong. Feel free or start with one cup. Salt & pepper may or may not be necesary.

In Book, Film, and Website Reviews I review a book called Main-Dish Salads by Marsha Rose Shulman. By using the guide in Shulman’s book, you can select fresh herbs that are more sweet, more pungent, or more bitter, which will definitely change the taste of this salad above. I used more pungent/bitter herbs and I could definitely taste the slightly bitter flavor. Next time I would probably use more dill, chives, and basil and less marjoram, parsley and thyme.

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