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Sabras, The Fruit

Sabras – prickly pears – opuntia ficus-indica. The reddish-purple sabra fruit is ripening in empty lots and gardens all over Israel and the Levant. But you have to know how to pick them. As one who ignored the warning cries of experienced foragers and grasped a ripe sabra with my bare hand, I know. The […]

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Soy, where to find it, how to avoid it

Soy has been touted as a source of perfect protein for decades. It was believed that soy prevents breast cancer and heart disease. Women built soy into their diets as a nutritional shield against breast cancer. Soy-based baby formula was hailed as a convenient and healthy alternative to mother’s milk. In 1999, the FDA authorized […]

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Garlicky Roasted Cauliflower Vegan Recipe

Cauliflower is enjoying a big trend among dieters and health-conscious eaters. That’s because the vegetable has almost no calories and almost no starch. And it has so many phytochemicals – biologically active plant compounds – that listing them all here would make you think you’re reading a leaflet from a multi-vitamin box. Cauliflower is such […]

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Eggplant Stuffed With Cheese And Tomatoes

Eggplant is the poor man’s meat in the Middle East, but when you serve it stuffed with good local cheese and sweet cherry tomatoes, it’s a luxury. We also do a variation on eggplant Parmesan, here. This recipe is different in that the eggplants are simmered whole in water before filling and baking, rather than […]

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Recipe: Roasted Parmesan Butternut Squash

It’s springtime in the Middle East. Afternoons are warm, but chilly evenings still make oven-roasted vegetables an enjoyable option for dinner. Butternut, and other hard-skinned squashes, are in season, and will be for at least another month. Here’s April’s seasonal produce, all detailed out for you. I picked up a medium-sized butternut squash to make […]

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Grilled Chicken Wings With Middle-Eastern Flavors

This week is when the weather finally turns warm in Israel, inviting families on Passover vacation to fire up their grills outdoors. You can hardly walk through a public park without skirting families unpacking picnics, fanning charcoals, and chasing runaway toddlers. And chicken wings are a favorite on these picnics, being easy to cook and […]

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Creamy Roasted Garlic Soup

It’s full garlic season in the Middle East. Markets display piles of the pungent bulbs, with the green stalks for you to hang up and dry, or with the greens chopped off for your convenience. I confess, I’m crazy about about garlic. Every spring, I buy 30 kg. to see me through the year. Local […]

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Beef Short Ribs In The Slow Cooker

Being vegewarian, I keep meat for holidays and special occasions. Because that’s what vegewarian means – eating mostly sustainable and local vegetarian foods, with meat dishes only once in a while. Here’s one of our typical vegewarian non-meat recipes. With Passover on the way, I’m thinking what sumptuous meat dish to cook. The problem with […]

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The Mallows Menu

Mallows are at the top of my edible weeds list. Once or twice every year, at late winter, I go out and bring home a big bag full of them. Mallows on their long stems to hang up and dry. Mallow flowers and fruit to sprinkle over salads. Mallow leaves to stuff with rice or […]

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Rose-Scented Rice Pudding Recipe

Part I in a series of 4 about eating and healing with roses. Roses have everything you desire in a flower: beauty, fragrance and the power to express, and to waken, love. Maybe it’s their mysterious beauty; a whorl of petals that enclose the unmistakable, heady scent. Body and spirit instinctively respond to rose’s soothing, […]

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The things I do to feed the world

Even the US Customs guy at the New Jersey airport gave me an approving nod: “A technology for hydroponics?” He flips over my business invitation from the NY company to see if there wasn’t something inside. “Well, you know, it’s still,” in a fake finger-wagging voice, “…illegal here?” he says, waiting for my reply. There […]

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Halloumi cheese kebabs recipe

What’s vegewarian, anyway? Answer: it’s selecting sustainable dishes based on non-meat foods at least once weekly. Halloumi is said to have originated long ago in Cyprus. Cheesemakers spread the Halloumi technique abroad of compacting milk fresh curds and curing them in brine, and now many Middle Eastern countries produce the cheese. It may be made […]

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Foraged wild greens and fatayer turnovers recipe

In the Galilee’s Arab, Jewish, and Druze communities, life has a rural rhythm, slower than in big towns. You  can tell that people like to stop and sniff the roses, as each garden displays roses and other lovingly tended fragrant bushes. And the old foodways are still alive in the Galilee, preserved by middle-aged housewives.