Spelt challah

Using my no oil vegan challah recipe I made this delicious spelt challah. It was a hit with the rabbi’s wife and with my kids!


Use my challah recipe with white or Whole spelt.  Other wheat flours can be used as well.

If you don’t have aquafaba applesauce can be used.

Top with maple syrup instead of egg wash or maple syrup and aquafaba mixture.

For garlic knots: Form dough into knots and top with garlic cloves baked in aquafaba until soft.  

For sweet challah: mix cinnamon, maple syrup or chopped dates and raisins in to the dough before braiding.






Eggplant ratatouille, vegan, wfpb

Eggplant dishes are always tricky because of the bitterness, to salt or not to salt is always the question.  However when on a low or no salt diet, salting is not even an option. The answer to eggplant that is not bitter is to cook it in tomato sauce or balsamic vinegar. Another option would be to use white skinned eggplants or an Indian/Chinese eggplant, they are bright purple and long.  In this dish any eggplant will work.

This dish can be eaten in so many ways.  Alone, on a salad, on a pizza, in calzone, on pasta, as an appetizer, on toast, on flatbread, on matzoh, on a potato or sweet potato, the options are endless.


Eggplant Ratatouille 

Vegan, no oil, no salt, fat free, whole food plant based, McDougall compliant, engine 2 compliant

  • 3 cups cubed eggplant
  • 1 cup oil and salt free tomato sauce, my recipe 
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup finely chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 finely chopped sweet white or vidalia onion
  • 2 mined garlic cloves
  • Seasonings to taste

Mix all ingredients in a deep baking dish.  Cook on 350 Degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until eggplant is soft.

Serve hot or cold.

Optional ingredients:

For more sweetness add applesauce, soaked and purred dates or maple syrup

Fresh Italian herbs work very well on this dish

For spicy add cayenne or hot sauce

For a middle eastern flavor add cumin, turmeric, coriander &/or sumac.

For a more traditional ratatouille put an equal amount of all vegetables chopped the same size.  

Cashew parmesan, vegan, raw, wfpb

Oh the memories of parmesan cheese pulled high in my tomato sauce or on my pizza.  My love of the pizza and cheese hasn’t changed, but now I eat a healthier version of my favorite Italian dishes.  This cashew parm is something I can’t seem to make enough of in my house.  My boys have picked up habit of piling it high, and often you will find plates full of sauce and cheese awaiting something to dip into it, and with my kids that usually means fingers, lol.


Cashew parmesan

  • Raw unsalted Cashews, Whole, pieces or flour
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Salt to taste (optional)

Other optional ingredients:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Dried herbs
  • Fresh or dried garlic
  • Dried onion

Blend on high in a food processor or high speed blender until the cashews are very small pieces.  If using cashew (or other nut) flour mix all ingredients by hand.

I typically leave out the garlic, as my children aren’t always a fan, and mix some seperate for my husband.  Sometimes my children will even want just cashews.  Modify to your taste,

To brown when baking broil for 2-3 min after cooking your dish.  Or put mixture on a parchment paper or silicone lined baking pan and baked at 350 F until golden brown. 

Mixed with tofu to make the tofu more cheesy flavor or a ricotta type cheese, just nutritional yeast will work as well.

Vegan marinara sauce, pomodoro, pasta sauce, no oil, raw or cooked

Tomato sauce without oil, sugar or salt is almost impossible to find, but it’s fairly easy to make.  This sauce can be served chunky or blended smooth.  I also give a recipe below on how to make it raw. Besides being sos (sugar/oil/salt) free, it’s loaded with fresh vegetables and herbs and can be catered to your taste very easily.  


Whole food plant based tomato sauce (raw version recipe is below)

Exact amounts not given because you can make as much or as little of this as you like.

  • Large can of unsalted plum tomatoes or diced tomatoes.
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Fresh or dried herbs of choice, oregano, garlic, thyme, parsley, onion, rosemary
  • Finely chopped vegetables of choice: green peas, carrots, celery, zucchini, eggplant
  • Finely chopped onion and minced garlic clove
  • 1 large steamed sweet potatoes, puréed with no skin
  • Water

In a large pot pour about 1 cup of water, minced garlic, finely chopped onion and herbs/seasoning of choice.  Sauté  on medium/high heat until the onions become translucent and soft.  Add water as needed so it doesn’t stick or burn, 2 tablespoons as a time so you dont have too much water and will continue to sauté.

Add all other ingredients and cook on medium low heat, covered, for about an hour.  

To speed up the process or to make a creamier sauce, blend all the ingredients and cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes.  

Use as you would any tomato sauce.  

I often make a big batch and freeze in silicone baking cups for later use.

Salt at the table if desired.

Raw version:  

Use fresh and sun dried tomatoes in place of the canned and paste.  Blend on high with other raw ingredients until smooth.  For a chunky sauce add the finely chopped veggies after blending the tomato and herbs.  Omit the eggplant as it needs to be prepared differently to be eaten raw.  Sweet potato or butternut squash can be eaten raw and small amounts work well in this sauce.

Optional ingredients:

For a vodka or creamier sauce add cashews or steamed white potatoes in when blending.

For a spicy sauce add cayenne pepper or hot sauce.

Roasted red peppers

Smoked paprika

Yellow squash and other summer squashes

Pumpkin and other winter squashes

For a sweeter sauce add Dates, soaked in hot water and blended.  Maple syrup will also work well.

Notes:

I often add tomato sauce to my soups to give them more texture and flavor.  

Vegan pizza and calzone, whole food plant based, no oil

Pizza is one of my favorite foods.  Now that I follow the McDougall plan and Engine 2 diet, I find some very creative ways of making pizza.  This recipe is the closest I’ve come to the NY pizza and calzones I used to love, without the fat, dairy and I’ll health.


Pizza and calzone recipe (calzone dessert recipe below)

  • For dough use my challah recipe 
  • 1 cup vegan tomato sauce, salt and oil free, or use the recipe in my lasagna post
  • Cashew parmasean, also in my lasagna post
  • Steamed then Mashed potatoes 
  • Toppings of choice

Take a ball of challah dough, roll it out into a circle using a rolling pin with flour or your hands.  

Top with sauce, cashew pamesean and other toppings of your choice.

For the calzone use a smaller amount of dough, it’s your choice how big or small you make it.  Put the mashed potatoes and anything else you would like to include in the stuffing in a ball placed in the middle.  Fold the dough over to make a half circle and pinch the edges.  Brush with aquafaba.

Bake on 350 F until golden brown, approx 20-30 min.

Topping/stuffing options:

  • Sweet potato
  • Pineapple
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Firm tofu, crumbled
  • Seasonings
  • Fresh herbs
  • Fresh tomato slices
  • Spinach
  • Chives
  • Salad greens (add after cooked)

Calzone Apple dessert:

Stuff calzone with chopped fresh apples, cinnamon, maple syrup and lemon juice.  Brush top with maple syrup and poke a few holes on top.

More calzone pictures 

Matzo lasagna, vegan, wfpb

When it comes to Passover recipes I get very creative with matzo.  The matzo in place of lasagna noodles gives this dish a cheesy texture as well.

A friend gave us a case of spelt matzo many months after Passover was over. My children love eating it, and often eat it in place of challah on shabbat.  My husband hasn’t taken too much of anliking to it until recently, when he decided to layer matzo with a lentil soup I made and baked it.  Next was a vegan matzo brei (think matzo French toast). After many other fun matzo dishes we decided to make a lasagna, and it’s become our favorite way to eat matzo and lasagna.


Vegan matzo lasagna

Whole food plant based 

  • 6-8 pieces of matzo, we used Whole spelt, any type will work
  • 3 cups of salt free diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 large steamed sweet potatoes, 1-sliced long ways, 1 left Whole.
  • 1 Cup shredded carrots
  • 1 Cup shredded zucchini
  • 6 thick eggplant slices
  • Italian seasoning blend, or fresh or dried garlic, onion, parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, black pepper 

Vegan parmesan:  

  • 1 cup Cashews
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional yeast, aka nooch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 

I’m a blender chop the cashews mixed with nutritional yeast.  Set aside.  Can be stored in fridge.

Blend tomato paste, diced tomatoes,  one whole large sweet potato, herbs/seasoning, 1/2 cup carrot and 1/2 cup zucchini.  Blend until smooth.

In a square dish put a thin layer of sauce. Top with one layer of matzo and cover with a thin layer of sauce.

Alternate every layer with a different vegetable, matzo and sauce.

Top with sauce and vegan parmesan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until it starts to dry out a little.  Add more sauce if needed.  

To brown the parmesan cook on broil for 2-3 minutes.

Cut and serve hot.

Can be stored in fridge or frozen in individual pieces. 


Optional ingredients can be added in a layer or blended in the sauce:

  • Grilled eggplant
  • Roasted red peppers 
  • Smoked paprika 
  • Cayenne pepper for spice
  • Sumac 
  • Fresh sliced tomatoes on top layer
  • Sun dried tomatoes in sauce
  • Extra firm tofu, crumbled with herbs
  • Nutritional yeast, steamed potatoes and carrots blended into a sauce.
  • Sliced steamed white potatoes
  • Grilled zucchini
  • Grilled Butternut squash 
  • Grilled onions
  • Garlic butter (roast garlic cloves in aquafaba-chickpea water, until soft and blend).

No bake peanut butter jelly energy bites

While attending a wellness fair this weekend my family ate up lots of peanut butter energy balls from a local vendor.  Today my boys asked to make some themselves, “momma style”.  They are always asking to make healthier versions of foods they like.  Thankfully the ones they ate had some great ingredients, we just changed it up a bit.


No bake pb&j energy bites

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 Cup dried dates, soaked in 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons installed natural almond butter or peanut butter or nut butter of choice
  • 1 cup dried raisins

Optional (I put these in my recipe but you can leave them out if you like)

  • 1 tablespoon peanut powder -omit if using peanut butter 
  • 1 tablespoon of soaked elderberries, I had leftover from the syrup I made

Soak the dates in the hot water for 15 minutes.

Put all dry ingredients in a food processor and mix.  Add wet and mix well.  

Scoop out a spoonful at a time and roll into balls in your hand.

Place on a dish and chill in fridge for an hour. I admit at least half of mine usually don’t make it into the fridge as my family eats them as we are making them.  So know they can be served warm or chilled.  Chilling them will make them more firm.

Enjoy

Other Optional ingredients

  • Lemon, lime or orange zest or juice, add extra oats to absorb the extra liquid.  
  • Dried fruit, if it’s large or hard pieces be sure to soak with the dates 
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Peanut pieces or other nuts
  • Hot Tea in place of the hot water, I often use chamomile and other calming herbs/teas in my recipes.  I like the hint of flavor it adds
  • Spices like ginger, cardamom, clove, all spice, pumpkin pie spice mix, etc.  use sparingly as the flavor can be stronger when used raw

Variations

Key lime pie bites:

  • Use key lime juice and zest and add creaminess by blending it with cashews. Omit the raisins
  • Or use cashew butter as the nut butters

Low sugar

  • Use black strap molasses in place of the syrup, omit the raisins and use half of the date soaking liquid.

Strawberry cheesecake bites

  • Blend dried or fresh strawberries with cashews or macadamia nuts until smooth and add to mixture, omit the raisins
  • Use cashew butter as the nut butter

Thumbprint cookies

  • Flatten the balls and make a dip in the middle with your finger.
  • Fill with jelly or preserve of choice. 
  • Sprinkle coconut flour or shredded coconut on top

Chocolate/carob bites

  • Add unsweetened carob or chocolate powder or raw cocoa nibs 

Black Forest bites

  • Use cherries instead of raisins 
  • Add carob or chocolate powder

Raw hamentashen

  • Flatten the ball on a piece of wax or parchment paper, into a circle
  • Add filling of choice
  • Fold up to make a triangle, pinching the 3 corners together, leaving space open on top.
  • Dehydration will help make it more of a dry cookie and filling like a hamensatchen 

Halva bites

  • Use tahini or sesame butter as the nut butters
  • Omit the raisins

Lemon zinger

  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest and ginger powder (or freshly grated)

Carrot cake

  • Shredded carrot
  • Lemon and orange juice and zest
  • Ginger
  • Walnut
  • Top it with cashew butter mixed with vanilla powder and maple syrup.

Your options are endless!  Enjoy 

Elderberry syrup

A great immune booster with added herbs to help with cough and congestion.

Store bought syrups just don’t seem to work for my children.  They either don’t like the taste or I see no effect.  Since my youngest has a sore throat today I decided to make my own syrup.

Typically these syrups are taken during cold and flu season to boost immunity.  They are typically just elderberries, honey, cinnamon, ginger and clove.  I added some herbs to help with coughs and congestion, making it perfect for when feeling ill as well.


I make mine in small batches just in case my children don’t like it, thankfully I know my husband will like them all, so it won’t go to waste.

Elderberry immune boosting syrup recipe

  • 1/4 Cup dried elderberries
  • 1 Cup glitter or distilled water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • Dash ginger powder
  • Dash clove powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon loose dried chamomile flowers
  • 1/4 teaspoon loose mashmallow root (powder or Whole)
  • 1/4 teaspoon loose dried echinacea 
  • 1/4 teaspooon loose dried mullein 
  • 1/4 Cup raw local honey

Mix all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. 

Stir occasionally.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until liquid has been reduced down to 1/2 or 3/4.  The more it’s the reduced the thicker it will be.

Remove from heat and strain.  Press on the berries to take out the excess liquid.

Allow to cool until just warm to the touch.  If it’s too hot it will kill the enzymes and good properties in the honey.

Mix in the honey.

Store in an air tight container in the fridge. 

Suggested use:

Take 1 teaspoon daily for immune boosting or 3x a day if feeling sick.

Disclaimer 

The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications. 

North Palm Beach County Kids-Homeschool Events Calendar

Northern Palm Beach County has lots of activities for kids, most are free, and many provide workshops and classes for homeschoolers.

See below the calendar for additionally ongoing programs and links.

Most events are all ages however for story times I only included for preschool and lower elementary ages, check with the library for more story times and events.

Palm Beach Gardens

Downtown at the Gardens: an outdoor shopping area that has a carousel and train, rides are $2, wednesdays from 11-1 it’s free.  Many family and kid friendly events.

Cool Beans Indoor Playground, Palm Beach Gardens: check website for times and admission price: ages 6 months to 6 years – After 3pm older siblings on certain days, happy hour $5 admission from 3-5 pm on certain days, open play, classes and more.

Playmobil Funpark, Palm Beach Gardens:  $1 admission per person, has tables of Playmobil toys for the kids to play with, a video game center, and at certain times they have a show and activities.  The park also sells Playmobil toys.  This is the only US funpark.

Whole Foods Market, Palm Beach Gardens:  Gives free store tours, many kid and family friendly events and classes.  Kids can get a free healthy treat from the Kids Club at the customer service desk

Gardens Library Branch:Story Time, events, free computers, tablets toys to use, and a summer reading program with prizes.

Pottery Barn Kids, weekly story time, special events.

JCC of Palm Beach Gardens: Jewish community center, classes, pool, fitness center, events and more.

Jupiter/Tequesta

Abacoa Town Center, events, ampitheature, food truck nights. Resturants, dance studio, martial arts, stem studio, art studio and many more childrens activites in this gem of an area.

Abacoa Community Garden: Community shared garden with the option of private plots facebook

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary: A local favorite.  Story times, animal interactions, feeding times and Jr. Naturalist Program.

El Sol, Jupiter Resource and Labor Center: Community Garden

Harborside of Jupiter: outdoor shopping area and amphitheater has free events, like movies, yoga, splash pad and live music.

Kids Need More Art: Abacoa, kids art studio with classes and open studio times

STEM Studio: Abacoa, a variety of programs offered by Bricks 4 Kidz, South Florida Science Center and Aquarium and other community partners.

Lego Bricks for Kids: Abacoa

Loxahatchee River Center, Public Aquarium, weekly story time, movies and crafts.

Jupiter Branch, Palm Beach Library System: Story Time, events, free computers, tablets toys to use, and a summer reading program with prizes.

Tequesta Branch, Palm Beach Library System: Story Time, events, free computers, tablets toys to use, and a summer reading program with prizes.

Jupiter Community Center: classes and rec center.

Dubious Park and Beach: two main swimming areas, kid park, pavilions, bathroom, outdoor shower. The swimming area closest to the Lighthouse is great for snorkeling. Both areas are kid friendly.
NOTE: be sure to swim here only during high tide as the bacteria count is very high during low tide.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum: Monthly story time and craft, tours, group hikes, clean-up projects.

Blowing Rocks Park, barrier island sanctuary is a well known model for large-scale, native coastal habitat restoration.

Home depot has monthly kids workshops.

Riverbend Park: nature trails, water sports, canoe, kayak and bicycle rentals.  Has programs and special events.

Juno Beach

Loggerhead Marine Life Center, Juno Beach: Turtle Hospital Open to the Public, has Jr. Vet Kids Lab, Public Guided Tours, turtle release, monthly beach clean-up, camp, nesting tours, Story Times and Crafts, admission by donation, check the website calendar for times and activity fees, many have been added to my calendar above.  Homeschool workshops started in 2016, click here for info, also listed in the calendar above.

Loggerhead Park & Beach: A great outdoor kids park, pavilions, small nature trail, outdoor shower and bathroom.  In the same area as the Marine Life Center.  Entrance to the beach is directly across the street from the park.

Juno Beach Park & Pier: family friendly, water sports and activities, a monthly clean-up, plenty of parking, a park on Markinski with a volley ball court and picnic pavilions.

North Palm Beach

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park: Most events are free with park admission, fish tank interpretation, educational reef program, live music, snake talk, nature walk and more. Homeschoolers get free admission, contact the Park for info.

North Palm Beach Library:  story times, events, clubs, summer reading program with prizes. Open to all, not part of the county library system.

Lake Park

Home depot, monthly kids workshops.

West Palm Beach

Centennial Square and Fountain Park, Clematis Street, West Palm Beach: Free Public Fountain Park

South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. West Palm Beach: a fun science center, aquarium and planetarium for all ages.  Child, family and homeschool activities can be found at this link.
Bank of America card holders get in free the first full weekend of every month (one free admission per car holder).

Palm Beach Zoo: weekly story times and special events.
Educators get free admission, homeschoolers do not, however group rates are available.

Yesteryear Village: A living history park where interpreters share their stories about life prior to 1940. Children can volunteer. Check website for current hours, usually limited. Annual events such as, Spookyville, Ghost Tours, Sweet Corn Fiesta, Spring Music Jam and more.
In the summer they take part in the LAMP pass program, which is free admission passes distributed by the Palm Beach County Library System.

Palm Beach Ice Works, West Palm Beach: Has open skate times.  Homeschool ice skating class currently is Mondays 10:30-11:30, 8 weeks $125, starting Sept 5, 2016. link to schedule

Okeeheelee Nature Center 2.5 miles of trails winding through 90 acres of pine flatwoods and wetlands. Highlights of the center include hands-on exhibits, animal encounters and a nature related gift shop. Marvel at our birds of prey, touch a live snake or prowl for owls during one of our many programs scheduled throughout the year for families, youth and adults.  Weekly story time, reptile feedings, nature walks and more.

Palm Beach Library Main Branch

Okeechobee Blvd. Branch, Palm Beach Library

Mounts Botanical Garden, education, workshops, special events and a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the garden.

Palm Beach (Island)

Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach Island: Children’s Library beautiful gardens across the street.  Has events listed on website.  The Children’s Library offers free story time programs. Preschool story time is for children 4 years of age and younger, and takes place at 10:30 a.m. on most Mondays and Thursdays, October through April. Family story time is for children 8 years of age and younger, and takes place at 10:30 a.m. select Saturdays, November through April.  Afterward, enjoy fun activities and arts and crafts that bring the story to life.

 

Event websites

Macaroni Kids: Local events listing

Hula Frog:  Local events listing

Summer only

Kids Bowl Free – 2 free games per child per day, charge for shoes is separate.  Each bowling alley has a different price and rules.  Optional:  You can purchase a family pass so adults can play as well.  I have seen an online coupon for $10 off the family pass on most coupon sites.

Cobb Theater, Palm Beach Gardens: free Summer Kids movie schedule, Shows start at 10am every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 2 new movies to see every week, doors open at 9:30am

Burns Road Aquatics Center, Palm Beach Gardens:  See website for times and fees, Great for kids of all ages, has a water park, large pool, slides and lap pool.  On the same grounds as the Burns Road Rec Center and Park.

CityPlace, West Palm Beach:  Bubblefest, Join the free fun and flurries of bubbles now and through August 2nd with 10 minute shows at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

Harborside of Jupiter: Summertime Splash – at the Amphitheater Fountain-park – Weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday,  9:00 am – 1:00 pm, also have special events – summer playdate, yoga and more

The Academy of Riding:  Horseback riding Lessons and Camp (daily or weekly) in Jupiter Farms, Daily 60$ Weekly 185$ Camp hours 9-3 extended hours available,  561-427-4502

List updated Sep 2016

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Restaurant review: Saki Endless Sushi & Hibachi Eatery, Clearwater FL

Eating out eating when committed to a whole foods plant based lifestyle can be challenging.  I have decided to start sharing my experiences of places I have eaten at.


Saki is an all your can eat sushi and hibachi restaurant in Clearwater Florida.  

We ordered to go during lunchtime which I now realize it would have been cheaper to eat at the restaurant during the lunch (more expensive for dinner), which is $11.99 per adult and $4.99 per child.  For 2 adults and 4 children we ordered 6 cucumber rolls and 6 avocado rolls for a total of $36.  The rolls are much smaller than what you get in a supermarket.  They say 6-8 pieces, we got exactly 6 pieces, and the actual size of the roll is very small.  So compared to what I would normally get, say in whole foods, one $3 roll at Saki is about half a $7 roll in whole foods. Still a better price but two rolls was not nearly enough for one person.  

The sushi itself was good.  The soy sauce and pickled ginger are not whole foods plant based, they have modified corn starch and food coloring.  Perhaps some people consider that to be ok, but I do not.

I would eat here again but next time eat in the restaurant for the lunch special, to ensure we get enough to eat.  

Menu items that are whole food plant based compliant:

  • Avocado sushi
  • Cucumber sushi
  • Asparagus sushi
  • Side of rice (note they only have white rice)

Possible compliant menu items (inquire further with the restaurant)

  • Avocado salad

Address:
Saki Sushi
Clearwater Mall, 2643 Gulf to Bay Blvd #1560, Clearwater, FL 33759