Vegan Challah, oil free

Vegan Challah, oil free

Low fat Jewish vegans no longer have to compromise with challah, thanks to amazing aquafaba I have made a delicious challah we can enjoy. Bye bye matzoh!  

I’ve searched all over the Internet for a McDougall compliant challah, meaning low fat, no oil, vegan and made from whole wheat.  I spent hours going through posts and comments to figure out what might work, but was left with nothing.  So I went to the basic non-vegan challah recipe to try and veganize it.  As I got my ingredients together I remembered the treasure cookbook I’ve had since I met the authors in Hawaii and Gentle World.

Many years ago Chris and I “moved” to Hawaii for a few weeks.  We had big dreams of starting a permaculture homestead community with 2 other couples.  My sister and mom joined us for the first week, and we had a fun vacation together. We enjoyed Maui and then went to the big island where we met some of the community members at Gentle World. They fed us an amazing vegan meal and set my husband and I up with a place to stay nearby until we got settled.  I think Dr. Michael Klaper was there, he looks so familiar to me.  He wrote the book Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple. For the next 2 weeks we stayed at a beautiful permaculture farm, trading care taking for a place to stay.  Then we went to check out the land we saved our money up to buy.  It was a wasteland, nothing like we thought from the listing. We quickly realized this wasn’t the place for us and left Hawaii.  It was a beautiful place, and I’m sure we could have found a way to start our community, but we just didn’t feel right there.  Funny enough today both of those couples live in Hawaii, and here we are in Florida, in a townhouse.  Life is interesting.

Ok enough of that, back to the challah.  Gentle world published a vegan cookbook called Incredibly Delicious.  The recipes surely are. 

And there it was eggless challah bread, page 31 in the book. I made some changes and used it as my inspiration.

Whole wheat vegan challah: makes 2 small loaves

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons organic or vegan sugar
2 cups Aquafaba-cold, liquid from cooked chickpeas (liquid in canned chickpeas can be used)
4 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping: 1/4 cup aquafaba or maple syrup

Mix yeast, warm water and sugar together until sugar dissolves. Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes or until it get foamy and doubles in size. If this doesn’t happen in 15 minutes the yeast is not good, throw it out and try another batch.

While waiting for the yeast take 1 cup of aquafaba and whisk it until it’s all foam, I found I could do this in my vitamix on medium low speed.  If it has some liquid on the bottom it’s ok, you want it at least mostly foam.

In a large bowl mix 2 cups of flour, with remaining dry ingredients.  Pour in only the whisked aquafaba (which was 1 cup before you whisked it) and yeast. Mix.  Add in the remaining flour one cup at a time.  Add the remaining aquafaba and flour as needed to get a doughy consistency and kneed for 10-15 minutes.  Dough should not be sticky.  It should be smooth and have a slight elasticity to it.

With the dough in a bowl, cover it with a towel.  Place it in a warm place in the kitchen and let it rise for about 2 hours.  

Punch it down and divide into 6 equal pieces. I divided it in 10 pieces and made some rolls on a floured surface.  Roll each piece into a rope, making them equal length.  Take 3 ropes, join at one end, tucking it under, and braid to the end, tuck it under.  Repeat to make the second loaf.  To make a challah roll make a u shape with 1 rope piece, cross one side over the other, then tuck each end into the middle.  There are many sources online on how to braid challah if you need more info.

If you have children the braiding part is lots of fun for them.  Mine made the rolls and braided one of the loaves.

Cover and let sit for an hour or longer. The longer it sits the more it will rise.  Same goes for the first rising.  I was too impatient to wait.

Once it has risen preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure the ends are tucked under, place on a silicon baking mat over a baking sheet.  Parchment paper works just as well as the silicon mat.

Brush with aquafaba, coat it well.  You can add any topping you like.  My family likes cinnamon and a dash of sugar.  Maple syrup can be used for a sweeter challah.  It also makes the crust a little more crunchy. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until it starts to get golden brown.  Check with a toothpick if your unsure if it’s ready, by inserting it into the bread and if it comes out clean it is ready.

Let it cool before serving


It can be refrigerated or frozen however it can get dry.  I prefer to make this on Friday morning or as close to Shabbos as I can, leaving one loaf for Saturday wrapped in a flour sack towel then placed in a ziplock bag.  

Frozen challah can be thawed on the counter and reheated on a hot plate or in the oven at 300 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.  You can add more aquafaba before reheating if needed.

Toppings stick very well when aquafaba or maple syrup is added.

Raisins can be added.  

Sometimes for a treat I will mix maple syrup, ground dates or sugar with cinnamon and aquafaba.  When rolling out the dough make a slit in one rope and drizzle the mixture in, then braid.

Instead of chocolate chips, which always have some type of oil in them, I make my own.  Side note oil in the ingredients list doesn’t always say oil, but cocoa butter and lecithin are 2 common ingredients in vegan chocolate chips that are oil.  I make my chocolate by mixing unsweetened carob or cocoa powder with dates.  If the dates are no soft place them in hot water for a few minutes.  I mash the dates and powder or mic in a food processor if I’m making a lot.  It will form a ball, break it apart and mix into the dough before rolling it out, or make it tiny crumble pieces and sprinkle on top before baking.

Sesame seeds will stick if aquafaba is brushed on first.  

I consider this a special occasion food and will only serve it every few weeks on shabbat.  The rest of the time we eat matzoh.  This challah is so good we can’t help but eat it all so we keep it to a minimum. This would be my advice to anyone on the McDougall maximum weight loss plan. Those who are at ideal health and weight can enjoy this every shabbat.

Tuna fish, tuNO fish, low fat vegan

Oh the childhood memories of tuna fish sandwiches.  Summer family BBQs, days at the beach and quick snacks always available in my house growing up.  

The memories stay with me but the desire for those foods is long gone.  I threw together this recipe yesterday as I was preparing a quick lunch for myself.  My son took one bite and insisted on having a a matzoh sandwich.  

Vegan Tuna Fish or TuNO fish 

Garbanzo beans (aka chick peas) cooked and mashed with a fork


Diced celery

Diced tomatoes

Optional: Bragg sea kelp delight seasoning (for extra fishy flavor)

Optional: mashed avocado (not for McDougall Max weight loss program)

I ate mine warm in a bowl with a dash of salt without avaocado
My son ate his chilled on whole wheat matzoh

I’m working on a vegan no oil, low fat mayo, once perfected I will be adding it to this recipe. 

Potatoes and Gravy: Leftovers Lunch

This meal was inspired by whatever I had in my fridge.  It was simple to put it together and heat up in a few minutes.


Chopped boiled potatoes

Fried okra (directions in my last post)

Aquafaba (liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas, or in canned chickpeas)

ketchup (really it’s what was on a half eaten potato that I threw in)

Bragg Organic Seasoning, 24 herbs and spices no salt

Mix all in a pan and heat.  

Serve hot with fresh tomatoes.

This would have been great with salad greens, I just wasn’t up for washing them.  I do know what’s for dinner tonight though!  

I was shocked that my son insisted on trying it.  He didn’t have any okra in his bowl, but he ate a whole bowl full!  He’s been surprising me lately with his more adventurous palate. We’ve seen such changes in his this past few months with our new McDougall way of eating!

Some recipes I’m working on, challah, tu-NO fish salad, French macarons, marangue.  All whole food plant based, no oil and of course, vegan!

Popcorn chicken bites, vegan oil free, low fat

Popcorn chicken bites, vegan oil free, low fat

I still can’t believe this amazing recipe is so healthy! McDougall lovers prepare for a game changer!

After learning about aquafaba I have become a little obsessed, researching all I can find about this magic ingredient. I made my first batch of beans this morning and the bean water was ready for an adventurous dinner.  

I made no-oil fried cauliflower (chicken), portobello, okra and potatoes.  All came out amazing. I learned a few things in the process on how to properly use aquafaba for breading.  Since there is no frying or oil involved the only crunch factor has to come from the breading, which gets baked. The basic lineup is flour first, then aquafaba then ground up corn flakes.  This exact order works perfectly.  But beware when the corn flakes get soft from the aquafaba or trying to change this order not only will it result in a big mess, the end product will be soft too.

Popcorn chicken bites:

Cauliflower, broken into bit sized pieces Note: any vegetables can be used in this recipe, cauliflower has the closest consistency to chicken or calamari. 

Flour of choice, whole wheat, oat, almond or brown rice work very well. Put into a bowl or deep dish. I used white whole wheat flour.  

Aquafaba: water left over after cooking beans, or in canned beans, garbanzo beans seem to work best in this type of recipe but any bean water can be used.  Place in a bowl or deep dish.  Option: Can be mixed with lemon if you want a lemon flavor.

Corn flake cereal, I use the organic trader joes brand, use a blender to crush into fine pieces.  Place in a bowl or deep dish. Option: can be mixed with seasonings of your choice. It’s best to leave the salt out and only salt this at the table.


Use about one cup of the flour and corn flakes at a time. Refill as needed, this will help keep it from getting too moist, which will result in the final product being too soft and gummy.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit 

Towel dry the vegetables if needed

Dip into flour and completely cover

Dip into aquafaba and completely cover

Coat with corn flakes

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

Use spoons in each seperate ingredient if needed.

Once the baking sheet is full bake for 20-30 min.  The underside will start to lightly brown.

Serve with lemon juice to dip in.  

Serve with sauces and condiments of your choice. 

Lemon, salt and black pepper make a mock chicken or calamari

Cocktail or marinara sauce for calamari

Cover with sweet and sour or sesame ginger for a mock Asian chicken dish.

Possibilities are endless.

Some pics of the other veggie:

Breaded fries

Cauliflower and okra

Portabello, some I did just flour twice and found that didn’t work at all.  

Okra and Portabello 

Eat this to relieve constipation naturally

Constipation can lead to all sorts of health issues. This natural food will help get you regular when eaten daily.

What is this magic food?  Well it’s not magic, it’s…

Sweet potato

You read that right.  Eating a sweet potato a day can relieve constipation and get you going to the bathroom regularly.  Which ideally should be 1-3 times a day.

One thing to remember is to eat the sweet potato plain. No butter, milk, oil, avocado or any other type of fat.  It can be boiled baked or grilled.  My favorite way is to wash it, cut the end off is needed, cook with the skin on, in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or silicone baking mat.  Cook until liquid starts coming out of it.  It’s the sweetest this way.

To ensure regularity for life consider adopting a primarily, or complete, whole foods plant based diet.  For more information check out Dr. John Mcdougall’s website or one of his great books, like the starch solution.

Potato chips, vegan, oil free

Don’t have a microwave potato chip maker?  You don’t need one with this method.

I have been seeing lots of posts on the Facebook McDougall group about a microwave potato chip maker.  It looks so cool but I honestly haven’t used a microwave in over 15 years and while the thought of having McDougall compliant potato chips was temping, I new I could figure out a way. Thanks to my cuisinart griddler I did. This method is not fast and my family ate up the chips as quickly as I could make them.  For me it was worth the effort. This is a treat for my family, I don’t want my young children getting used to eating healthy versions of junk food on a regular basis.  Ok enough of my rambling, here is how you make it.

Take a raw potato

Slice it paper thin, or as thin as you can with what tools you have.  I use this mandoline but even a slicer on the side of a box grater, or a slicing disc in a food processor will do. They are thicker slices usually so it will take a little longer to cook.

Put the sliced potato in cold water to keep them from browning.  A light sprinkle of salt will help as well and will make the flavor more enhanced, however if you follow Dr. John McDougall’s advice you may want to keep the salt for after you cook the potatoes.

Heat a cuisinart griddler at high using the flat plates. Using silicon tongs flip the potato when the bottom starts to dry.  Flip again when the side facing down starts to crisp.  Keep flipping every few minutes or as needed to get the potato chip crisp on each side.  

 If you don’t have a griddler you can use any non stick flat surface or bake them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, however keep a close eye on them, they can burn easily in the oven.   If cooking in the oven keep the light on while its cooking to keep a very close eye on it.  If needed you use a pizza screen when the chip stars to dry and not stick. 

If you didn’t put salt in the water or if the chip needs it.  Powder salt by blending it in a blender until it becomes powder. This allows for the salt to stick to dry surfaces better, great idea for air popped popcorn.

This method works for sweet potatoes as well.

Lentil stew, wfpb

Lentil stew is one meal that my whole family loves.  It’s a party pleaser too.  If your looking for a one pot healthy meal you found it.

Lentil stew recipe


Dried Red Split Lentils

Tomato paste





Vidalia Onion

Dill weed



Relaxing tea mix (my secret weapon)

Yukon gold potatoes




I do not cook with salt, instead to keep the sodium down I only add salt before I eat my food.

I love eating this over a salad, no dressing needed with a delicious stew.  I also like to put frozen spinach in before serving, and frozen peas.  It cools it down for my children and adds more veggies.

For a thick stew cook chopped potatoes in it, for a soup consistency cook the potatoes separately.

Some recipes I will give exact amounts and directions, others just ingredients. Many of my recipes will be in my cookbook, however I like to keep some up to you and your taste.  I like to feel what to put in my food, it always comes out better this way.  Not giving you the exact recipe gives you the opportunity to do the same.

Millet pizza, vegan no oil

Imagine eating a simple whole foods plant based pizza that will actually help you lost weight!  It’s plant strong and McDougall Maximum Weight Loss plan compliant


Cooked Millet & water

Yes you read that right. 2 ingredient pizza crust.  When the millet is still hot put it in a blender, add a little water if you need to get it started.  Blend until smooth.  Note: a blender with a tamper like a Vitamix will be very useful for this. A food processor will work too.

If it’s not completely blended it’s ok, some whole millet pieces will still bind.

Preheat oven and 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Line a baking sheet or round pizza baking tray with parchment paper.  Spread the blended millet onto the parchment paper about a 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  It’s best make them a small size of about 10″ diameter so they cook evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes or until firm enough to flip.  The millet won’t look wet. Flip and bake 10 minutes, if you have a pizza screen cook the pizza on it now.

Flip and Top with sauce and any toppings you like, cook another 10 min.  I buy a trader joes marinara that is vegan and has no oil. 

Vegan parmasean:

Dry Roasted or raw Cashews, make sure they do not have oil in the ingredients list.  Brazil nuts and walnuts can be used instead of cashews or in addition to.

Garlic, raw or powdered, to your taste

Nutritional yeast to your taste

Mince and blend

Can be cooked on the pizza or added before eating.

As with any food on the McDougall plan salt at the table to your taste. 

This was a half baking sheet size.  I wound up having to cut it up and serve the edges first, the middle I recooked on a pizza screen.  
Half the pizza has vegan parm, the other half is pineapple, spinach and tomato. My kids loved both sides.

Wfpb lunch: Potato marinara salad

Boiled Yukon gold potatoes

No oil vegan marinara sauce

Chopped fresh tomatoes

Added romaine lettuce and a sweet potato

Life hack: storing markers so they last longer and don’t dry out.

It happens all too often: you go to use a marker and it’s dry. This little life hack will keep markers from drying out.

How to keep your markers from drying out? 

Store them tip down.