(Makes 1 – 2 Quarts)


  • Dried chickpeas, 1 lb.
  • Garlic, 2 tsp. or 2 lg. cloves
  • Tahina, 1 cup
  • Lemons, 1/2 cup juice, about 2 lg. lemons
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup
  • Bean liquid, 1/2 – 2 cups, depending on how much water beans absorbed during cooking (dilute bean liquid with water if too strong)
  • Sea salt, 2 scant tsp
  • Cumin, 2 tsp.
  • Szeged hot paprika, 1 tsp.


  1. Prepare the chickpeas. Read my post –
  2. When beans are cooked, which usually takes a couple of hours, pour them into a strainer over a bowl this time so the bean liquid drains into the bowl. Reserve the liquid.
  3. Place the drained chickpeas into a food processor.
  4. Add all other ingredients except reserved bean liquid to the food processor bowl (garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, tahina, seasonings).
  5. Have the reserved bean liquid ready in a cup with a pour spout. If it is too dense, dilute it with water.
  6. Run the food processor briefly, and then beginning adding bean liquid, no more than 1/2 cup at a time, through the feed tube.
  7. Let processor run for a minute, scrape down the sides and let run for another minute, adding liquid as needed.
  8. When desired consistency is reached, let processor run for 2-5 minutes more to make the hummus as smooth as possible.
  9. Remove hummus from processor, put on a plate, garnish with olive oil, parsley, paprika, sumac, za’atar or additional chickpeas as desired.

I like to serve this delicious hummus at room temperature or even slightly warmed with toasted Lebanese pita.  Hummus is a wonderful, vegan, protein-rich addition to any sandwich or meal.

Sweet Pepper Salad

peppers final

I love the colors in this salad, and I love the color contrasts among my salads! I usually use red bell peppers, but orange or yellow bell peppers or any mix of the three will work equally well.


  • 6-8 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, hand minced
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Szeged hot paprika
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped


  1. Wash peppers.
  2. Smoke or brown peppers under the broiler. I usually use a broiler for this and turn the peppers several times so they are evenly “burned” and the skin starts to wrinkle.
  3. Remove the skins. I also cut away a little of the white pulpy material that attaches to the core but leave most of the seeds.
  4. Slice peppers into strips. Cut across the strips into shorter pieces.
  5. Place pepper strips into a mixing bowl with their juices and some seeds.
  6. Add remaining ingredients to taste.

 peppers cut


First cut the peppers lengthwise into strips, then across  into shorter pieces. Makes about 1 quart of salad.

Lebanese Potato Salad

Lebanese Potato Salad - Final

This potato salad is my version of a Lebanese classic. It is the vegan version of my Dill Potato Salad, also posted in this blog. I like to use turmeric with potatoes whenever I can, leave the peels on potatoes and take advantage of the beautiful variety of colorful potato skins these days. I always start lighter with my seasonings and adjust them up to what is listed in the recipe if needed.


  • 6 lb. potatoes (2/3 white/yellow skins, 1/3 red and/or purple skins)
  • 1 TB salt
  • 1 TB turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped dill
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 2-3 Middle Eastern dill pickles chopped
  • 4-5 TB lemon juice (juice of about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Using a variety of potatoes to give color to the salad and leaving the peels on, dice into 1″ pieces.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and add 1 TB turmeric.  Add diced potatoes, bring back to a boil, reduce heat and cook until done (can be pierced through easily with a fork).
  3. When done, remove potatoes from water, drain, chill quickly in ice water bath, and drain again.
  4. Place chilled potatoes in bowl. Sprinkle olive oil over them, then lemon juice, then chopped dill, green onions and seasonings.
  5. Fold all together gently, adjust seasoning, enjoy!

Lebanese Potato Salad - Dressed

These potatoes are cut in a 1″ dice and cooked in boiling water with tumeric.

Lebanese Potato Salad Additions

These are additional chopped ingredients. Take a look at that 3d printed lemon juicer that my son printed for me! It sits on a cup and is the best juicer I’ve ever had. The shape of the “cone” makes the difference.

Lebanese Potato Salad - PreMix

Potatoes with all ingredients waiting to be folded in to complete the salad.

No-Meat Loaf

 I started this meal with a recipe from Chow Vegan on Pinterest (Home-style Vegan Meatloaf). I noticed there was a discussion associated with the recipe about a gluten-free version (the original was not gluten-free).  I came up with the following by substituting flaxseed and water for the breadcrumbs and using Tamari wheat free soy sauce. Although I am not personally gluten-free, many of my customers are, and when it’s possible to make something taste just as good without gluten, I try to do it.


  • 2 lg onions
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 8 carrots
  • 4 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1+ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 2 TB salt
  • 8 TB Tamari wheat free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup reserved chickpea liquid
  • Organic catsup


  1. Wash and dice the onions and celery and saute in extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Wash and chunk the carrots and process with the garlic until they are in small pieces (not pureed).  Add the carrots and garlic to the onions and celery and continue to saute.
  3. Add seasonings to mixture in the pan.
  4. Cook the chickpeas until al dente (fairly soft).  Drain (reserving liquid) and pulse in the processor until they are a rough chop. Place in a bowl.
  5. Stir the veggie and seasoning mix into the processed chickpeas and mix well.
  6. Add flaxseed to veggies, seasoning and chickpeas and mix well.
  7. Add reserved chickpea liquid and salt and mix well (you can start with a reduced amount of salt and bring it up to your taste).
  8. Form into loaves and coat with a good, organic catsup.
  9. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 475 degrees for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven.  Place about 2 tsp catsup on top of each loaf and spread over top and sides.
  11. Remove each loaf carefully from the baking sheet with a spatula and turn to the opposite side.  Place about 2 tsp catsup on top of each loaf again and spread over top and sides.
  12. Return loaves to the oven to bake another 15 minutes or until the catsup has darkened some.
  13. Remove the loaves from the oven and, using a spatula, from the pan to a serving platter.
  14. The loaves are most attractive when they are cut.  They will cut more easily with a serrated knife when somewhat cooled – best if cold. They can be served cold or warm.


This recipe yields 28 1/2 cup mini-loaves.  Extra loaves can be frozen for another occasion, or the recipe can be reduced to 1/4 quantities for a family meal.

Chermoula Eggplant ala Yotam Ottolenghi


In Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, this dish is called, “Chermoula Eggplant with Bulgur and Yogurt.” The book is filled with exquisite photographs, and this dish is an example of food that is not only beautiful and delicious but easy to make and healthy.  On our vegan days in the Cafe, we substitute Tahini Sauce for the yogurt.

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (I used 1 tsp hot paprika)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 TB finely chopped preserved lemon peel (I used the same amount of fresh lemon peel – another time a whole preserved lemon, chopped)
  • 2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil

Bulgur “Filling” Ingredients

  • 1 cup fine bulgur (#1 cracked wheat)
  • 2/3 cups boiling water
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 3.5 TB warm water
  • 1/3 oz. (2 tsp) cilantro, chopped, plus extra to finish
  • 1/3 oz. (2 tsp) mint, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sliced pitted green olives*
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1.5 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Labne (Middle Eastern yogurt) or Tahina
  • Salt

2 medium eggplants (I used 6 of the narrower Japanese eggplants)



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Crush the garlic and mix with the other ingredients for the Chermoula, or blend all in a Vitamix.
  3. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the flesh of each half with deep, diagonal crisscross cuts, making sure not to pierce the skin. Spoon the Chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, and place the eggplant halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Put in the oven and roast for 40 minutes or until the eggplants are completely soft. Time may vary considerably depending on the size of the eggplants. Watch that sauce doesn’t burn.
  4. Meanwhile, place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover with boiling water.
  5. Soak the raisins in the warm water. After 10 minutes, drain the raisins and add them to the bulgur along with the remaining oil. Add the herbs, olives, almonds, green onions, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  6. Serve the eggplants warm or at room temperature. Place 1/2 eggplant, cut side up, on each individual plate. Spoon the bulgur on top, allowing some to fall from both sides. Spoon over some yogurt (or Tahina), sprinkle with cilantro and finish with a drizzle of oil.

*Middle Eastern olives have a different flavor from American olives, and I prefer them.  They also tend to be made without chemicals and preservatives.