Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Zucchini Lasagne Recipe

This recipe uses slices of zucchini in place of traditional lasagna noodles. You can use this as a main course or as a side dish, what ever suits your needs. It takes a bit of time to put it together but it's really worth it and people love it.

I'm not giving you a measured recipe here but you'll get the idea. If it's too confusing, let me know and I'll refine this and do it again with measured amounts.  


Zucchini or yellow squash
Onion, garlic
Pasta sauce (ideas below if you want to make your own or live in Israel)
Vegan Cheeze (you can buy this or make your own, do an online search for "vegan cheese recipe" or vegan mozzarella)
Olive oil

Optional (the more you add the better!): 
  • Chopped spinach  
  • Olives (pitted of course) 
  • Eggplant 
  • Fresh tomatoes 
  • Mushrooms
Cut and saute the onions and garlic in a bit of the olive oil. You can add this to the sauce or just sprinkle in the layers.

Wash the zucchini and cut off the ends to discard. 

Slice them lenghwise so you have flat "noodles." The thinner you make them, the faster they'll cook. But you can not really make a mistake here.

Oil the bottom of a 9x13 pan (or what ever size you want to make). 

Layer sauce, "noodles," cheeze, veggies, sauce "noodles," cheeze, veggies, etc until you get to the top when you'll end with "noodles" and sauce. The "noodles" are not uniform. I layer them so that they are lengthwise in the pan for one layer, then crosswise for the next, and so on.

Drizzle with olive oil. The more concerned about your family going for this one, the more generous you should be with the olive oil. Salty, oily foods are comfort foods so if you want to make this one a comfort food, add a double drizzle. 

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 F or about 170 C for about 45 minutes. Check to see that it's cooked all the way through. Some people like crispy vegetables and that's fine. (I've found that it is eaten up faster if the zucchini is very soft.)

Homemade pasta sauce
Start with tomato paste and add water until it is the consistency of a thick sauce. For this recipe you want your sauce thick because the zucchini has a lot of water and as it cooks, it will release the water. 

To the sauce, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, a dash of hot pepper, and a small splash of balsamic if you like.

Vegan Cheese ideas

I want to tell you that when I started making this lasagne, I did not use vegan cheese, I just ground up cashews and sprinkled them in like cheese. It was still good. That said, give these a try...

You can try this recipe. Don't be intimidated. If you've never tried making something like this before, give it a go. You can get anything that isn't in your pantry at any health food store. Most vegan cheese recipes are made with nuts, but here's a recipe that is nut and seed free. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Do you know any young children? Toddlers or three year olds? This could be the perfect gift!

It's my newest book!! This sweet picture book brings comfort and gently, joyfully builds bonds. Everyone loves to hear how much they are loved. Toddler, parent, and grandparent tested, this book guarantees smiles.

Follow Frog and Duck throughout their day from the morning sunshine to sweet dreams.

I invite you to help bring this book to into your home. Head over to Indiegogo to join in the campaign. Choose the perks and rewards that you love. Something for little ones, and something special for YOU. 

​I appreciate your help in sharing this special book with people in your circle who would love to have a snuggle and a smile with the little ones in their lives. Click right here to head on over and watch the video to see a sample of 
I Love You So Much.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Easy Cabbage Sauté -- Delish!

This recipe is so simple and fast and tasty! While I give you approximate measurements below, it does not have to be exact at all, you can taste as you go. The only thing you really have to be careful about is the seasoning so be conservative and you can always add more to your own tastes.


Onion, cut in half, then sliced thin
Half a head of cabbage
Rice noodles, about a quarter of a package (eyeball it so you have proportions that you like)
     --these are the noodles you can get in the Asian section of the grocery store
1/4 - 1/2 cup Frozen peas
1 - 2 Tbs Sesame (or any) oil
1 Tbs selon
1-2 Tbs natural peanut butter
White pepper


Start water boiling in a pot (the noodles will be tastier if the water is salted)
Cut up onion and start to sauté in the sesame oil in a big pan
Slice the cabbage in thin strips to kind of match the noodles
Once the onions are translucent, add the cabbage and stir together
Add the peas

By now the water should be boiling
Add the noodles and stir until they are tender
Drain and add to the pan with the cabbage and onions
Stir in the selon and the peanut butter
Add salt and pepper to taste

Variations (can use any or all of these)

use snow peas and add at the same time as the cabbage
add a red pepper sliced into thin strips to the onions
add chopped spinach (adds color and nutrition!)
add some cayenne pepper to taste
add some coconut cream to taste
sprinkle with sesame seeds OR roasted cashews

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Raw Banana Cream Pie Recipe

The thing about a raw dessert is that you don't bake it and you can taste it as you go. Here's what I used in this one. Please note: I filled it to the top and this is kind of a double recipe because it will last longer and feed more people. I had a lot of company when I made this one.

Spring form pan (mine is 9") lined with parchment paper. You can use plastic wrap but I'm told parchment is healthier. That's how you get the "design" on the sides, from the wrinkles in the paper.

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 overflowing cup of raw walnuts
1 cup mixed golden and regular raisins
about 8 medjool dates
1/4 cup shredded dried coconut (optional)

3 cups raw cashews soaked overnight (can soak for less but will be creamier if longer soak)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
5 medium bananas (you don't have to measure, depends on the size of your pan!)
1/4 - 1/3 cup maple syrup (you can taste as you go for desired sweetness)
splash of vanilla

1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon carob powder
1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup and or honey

To make:
put the crust ingredients in a food processor with the S blade, nuts first, then raisins, then add the pitted dates one at a time while the machine is running. Process until it starts to stick together. Press it into the prepared spring form pan and place in freezer.

In your clean food processor add the ingredients for the filling, starting with the nuts and add the rest as the machine runs. Taste as you go. You might not need so much sweetener since bananas are very sweet o their own. Pour into the pan on top of the crust and put back into the freezer to set up. Let it set in the freezer for around 5 hours.

Before you take it out of the freezer prepare the topping.

With a teaspoon in a small bowl, mix the sweetener and powder. If you're using only cocoa powder, use less because it's more bitter than carob powder. You can always add more if you want to.

Remove from pan and put on serving plate. Drizzle with the topping in random swirls, down the sides of the pie, and even on the plate.

This pie will freeze hard but you'll want to take it out and keep in the fridge before you serve it so it's soft and creamy. In summer it could get pretty melty like an ice-cream cake. It's relish! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ideas for tying your pretty winter scarf

For some reason blogger isn't letting me choose the video I want to put here. So here's the link for a nice video on lots of different ways to tie scarves on your neck, rectangle and square.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Travel Foods

The longest travel time I can think of from my door in northern Israel to my parents door in Los Angeles was 36 hours including a long lay over in some airport. (Saved me hundreds of dollars) It's three hours of travel to the airport from where I live, then three hours before the flight is six hours before I am even in the air!

I have several considerations about food. One is that I keep kosher, so if they don't have my special meals, I won't eat with the other passengers. Well that's happened. The other consideration is that I don't eat dairy, bread (gluten), or sugar. So even when food is "kosher" it's not always right for me. So here are my ideas for eating healthfully and comfortably as I travel.

Please note: when you are traveling into the US, you may not bring produce, dairy, or meats. You may get fined. They actually have dogs to sniff carryon bags. So when choosing your snacks, be sure you are very careful to toss what is forbidden before you get off the plane. My best advice is that if you pack any of those things, eat them first.

So, what to bring? Here's a complete list including the things I don't eat, so do choose what works for you and your travel companions. If you're traveling with kids, bringing some good protein snacks is important.

Remember, you're not packing all of this, choose well for you and your travel companions, these are ideas that mostly travel well for hours or even days

Beef or Turkey Jerky or other kobanos (salami type of snack)
Cheese sticks (individually wrapped will not go bad without refrigeration!)
Cream Cheese (from the US) in packets 
Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit (sunflower or pistachio will give you more trash!)
Protein bars (store bought or home made)
Granola or granola bars

Fresh fruit, whole or cut up in zip lock baggies
     sometimes I make a fruit salad and put in a disposable plastic container, pack a fork
Cut up veggies: carrot sticks, celery, kohlrabi, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, pea pods
Hummus: small container, this won't last a long time if it's homemade, commercial travels really well

Sandwiches: caution: if there is a sliced tomato, meat, or cheese coming into the US you could be fined. Peanut butter and jelly travels really well.
Burritos: you can get gluten free tortillas in the US health food stores

Veggie chopped salad, dressed with tahini dressing in disposable container (pack fork)
Bean salad (heavy and hearty, pack fork)
Carrot, rice, and garbanzo salad (recipe on this blog)
Tuna or egg salad stuffed half peppers (does not travel well, so eat this early!)
Sushi (vegetarian unless you're eating it right away)

Prepared foods:
Potato or tortilla chips
Crackers (great with the hummus or cheeses)
Soup that you add hot water to in it's own container
Herbal or specialty tea bags

**One more thing: I bring a personal sized water bottle on trips. You can fill it to have in your seat and if you've got a lay over,  you can fill it before you get off the plane and have water to drink while you wait for your next flight. 

Make sure it's empty going through security but even if you have to drink it up, you'll stay hydrated so that's good. There will be bathrooms on the plane and all over every airport so don't worry about that.

If you haven't read my post about comfort bags, check it out here: Travel Comfort Bags

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Carrot, Garbanzo, Basmati Rice Salad

2 cups grated carrots
1 cup canned or cooked or sprouted garbanzo beans
1/2 cup cooked basmati rice

toss together with the following for dressing
1-2 T lemon juice
1-2 T olive oil
Parsley, dried or fresh to add a bit of green
Cayenne pepper, pinch or more to taste
Salt to taste

Alternative: if you love fresh garlic add it to this salad!

Toss this all together and serve. This salad will travel well--if I go on a day trip, it's one of my favorites to take. The carrots stay crisp and the garbanzo beans and rice feel very substantial.  I have even frozen leftover salad because I didn't want to throw it away and I was traveling. It was still good thawed a couple of weeks later.

Veggie Salad Slaw

I don't really use so much lettuce but I do love salads and this has become a staple at my house. It is really just a mix of any veggies you love and have redly available and fresh. The dressing is super simple.

White cabbage, chopped or grated
Red, yellow, orange peppers (what ever shape and size you like)
Purple cabbage, chopped or grated

Add any of the following as you like:
Cucumbers, small cubes
Kohlrabi, small cubes
Garbanzo beans
Tomato, chopped OR cherry tomatoes
Hearts of palm
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Fresh frozen peas (they will thaw if you put them in the bowl first and then cut the veggies for the rest of the salad

2-3 T Lemon juice (I use the juice of one average size lemon to a serving bowl of salad)
2-3 T Olive oil, cold pressed is always the best
Grey salt to taste

Toss it all together, no need to make the dressing first.

Tip: The timing of when to dress this salad is something to consider. I usually dress salads at the last possible minute so that they don't wilt. This one needs a bit more time (not much) so that the larger salt crystals have a chance to dissolve.

If you are not used to grey salt, it's a wonderful flavor that is most satisfying. The salt is grey because it still has all the minerals so I'm told it's so much better for you! You can find it easily at the health food store.

You can add some prepared tahini to this salad, on the side, drizzle on top of individual servings, or toss right in. YUM!

Aunt Laya's Purple Salad Delight

This is a completely unique salad that I haven't seen anywhere else. It adds color to the presentation of your meal and table. I love a blend of flavors and this one is really delicious.

5 cups shredded or chopped purple cabbage
2 small red apples, cored and cut into bite sized pieces, I think Gala are best but any kind is fine
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup almonds OR pecan pieces (or chopped)

2 T cold pressed oil of choice (sesame, olive, or even coconut)
1 T apple cider vinegar
1T lemon juice
2 T honey
pinch of salt

All in one bowl and toss so the ingredients of the salad and dressing are a nice blend.

Substitutions: of course you know you can play with this. If you really like sweet you can try candied pecans.  I have also used selon (date honey) in place of the bee honey--a great alternative if you want it vegan (it will make the salad darker).

Monday, December 23, 2013

Asian Salad Recipe

This is my version of an Asian salad and what makes it unique is the combination of sweet and salty dressing. It's a somewhat healthy version using no sugar, no msg, and good oils. Play with the veggies and amounts of things you add to make it the way you like it or follow my ingredients for a no brainer.

The base (this does not have to be exact):
1 cup purple cabbage
4 cups white cabbage
     the cabbage can be from a bag or  you can chop or grate it to your desired look

Add any combination of the following as you like depending on what you have and like:
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup raw (or roasted) cashews (or peanuts)
1/3 cup thinly sliced red (or yellow or orange) peppers

The dressing:
2 T of cold pressed sesame oil (you can also used roasted sesame oil or olive oil)
2-3 T balsamic vinegar
3-4 T selon (date honey, be sure it is pure without added sugar if that matters to you)
salt to taste
   (this is an important part of the taste of this dressing. You can use tamari or soy sauce if you use it)

Toss it all together and serve!

Here's a photo from my friend Sarah Leah who had the salad at my house and wanted the recipe (which is why you're reading it here now!). She prepared it in advance with the "Salad in a Jar" method. That means you put the dressing in first, then layer the ingredients (start with the crunchiest so the softer veggies don't get soggy). She said it was a hit at her table. I hope you love it too!