Recipe Category Archives: Vegan Recipes

Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Mushroom Medley Levana Nourishments

gluten-free pizza

Gluten-Free Pizza. Yay!

Gluten-free friends rejoice: You can have your gluten-free pizza and eat it too!

The following recipe leaves you lots of room not only for the choice of flours, but also for the choice of toppings. No need to ever buy a commercial gluten-free flour mix, which you might not find in your neighborhood, and which will cost you much more . Rather, experiment with your favorite flours, and take good note of your favorite results. And same goes for toppings.

If it is tomato-and-cheese topping you like, go right ahead,  but if you would like to explore a little further, get exciting variations each time!

Let’s Talk Tapioca:

I urge you to experiment with the whole-grain flour gamut, but for gluten-free flour mixes, please be sure a third of your flour mix is tapioca flour. Good old tapioca, a blast from the past, is now all the rage! Made from the cassava root, tapioca is great as a thickening agent and adds a very pleasing chewiness and lightness to baked goods, and is easy to find.

Xanthan gum is an emulsifier easy to find in health food stores.

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Almond Cookie Recipe – Moroccan

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Vanilla Bean Levana Nourishments

almond cookie

The Almond Cookie is a  great Moroccan favorite, called ghriba.

Traditionally we make them round and top them with a little cinnamon.
I am including the Traditional Basic Ghriba recipe here as well, so this Moroccan Almond Cookies variation, although it takes some poetic license, is a welcome change of pace, in terms of both shape and ingredients. These melt-in-your-mouth Almond cookies are totally suitable for gluten-free and are vegan without even trying.

For some more protein and nutrients…

Add Vanilla Bean Levana Nourishments pouches to this delicious recipe. It will add protein and nutrients for a healthy and delicious dessert.

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Tehina Chocolate Spread

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Cocoa Coffee Levana Nourishments

tehina chocolate spread

In this amazing Tehina Chocolate Spread, sesame paste, or Tehina, costars beautifully with chocolate. Sort of a new age Nutella, only much less sweet and much healthier!

There’s nothing you would do with Nutella that you couldn’t do with my Tehina Chocolate Spread!

Tehina often plays second fiddle to other, more muscular ingredients,  hummus being the most ubiquitous, followed by sauces and dips. Actually it is the main ingredient in Chalva, but most commercial Chalva errs hopelessly on the sweet side (not so my Quick Chalva, loosely inspired from its cloying  counterpart, and nutritionally correct), so it hardly counts except as a guilty splurge.

Here I am using poetic license with Tehina,  sesame seed paste, and using it here just as I would use a nut butter.

Tehina co-stars on equal terms with the mighty chocolate, and stands up to it fearlessly, elevating the humble paste beyond its wildest dreams in terms of flavor and texture.  Nutella was the dessert comfort food of my expat student years ages ago, so of course I think of it very fondly, but I never buy it as it is loaded with sugar. So I make my own spread, and please forgive this bit of swagger: My Tehina Chocolate Spread blows Nutella and other chocolate nut butter spreads out of the water. Super Delicious, Super Nutritious and Super Natural, it gets whipped up in a couple minutes.  So healthy you could even use it for breakfast! One more thing: It is Super versatile, and you can take it places, as you will see below: Scroll down for all variations.

The amount of sweetener I use in my Tehina Chocolate Spread is very reasonable:

Way below the amount used in commercial spreads, naturally and deliciously augmenting the ratio of Tehina and chocolate per serving. Attention sugar-restricted friends: You’ll love to hear that you can even make it without sugar or other sweetener altogether, using Stevia or Truvia instead of the agave used here, or even a dozen plump pitted medjool dates.
Please do not use honey in this tehina chocolate spread recipe, as it adds a very good but unwelcome layer of flavor in the spread; stick with the perfectly neutral-tasting agave syrup. Likewise, do not substitute anything for the coconut milk, and use the full-fat kind, it is responsible for the amazing creaminess of the spread.
This is a nice large recipe,  and will yield you about 2 pints. It won’t last you too long: it’s that good! Here’s a perfect way to satisfy your craving, the superfoods, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, natural and delicious way. What more could you possibly ask for? You’re welcome!

Variations

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter: Substitute 3 cups toasted hazelnuts for the Tehina, but process them thoroughly in a food processor before adding the remaining ingredients. You might want to use other toasted nuts as well: Peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, pecans, even roasted chestnuts (even though it’s not a nut).  Proceed just as instructed here.

Cake Topping: Add 2-3 tablespoons rum or brandy to the mixture, and use it as top layer to ice cream cake (the rum will prevent it from freezing solid). Likewise, use it as topping or filling to any cake, like a ganache. Spread while it is is still liquid, before it firms up, so it will spread easily.

Tart Filling, Truffles: Add some chopped toasted nuts, or toasted sesame seeds, or grated unsweetened coconut, and a little coconut milk to thin the mixture, and use as a filling for a tart (bake the crust all by itself, then fill it and chill).  Or shape the mixture into little balls, and roll in cocoa powder or grated coconut.

Bars: You could also combine the mixture with 3 cups Granola or Rice Crispies, pat the whole mixture firmly into a pan, chill, then cut into squares or bars.

Dip: Slather on apple, pear or banana slices, or on berries.

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Chickpea Tajine Dates and Swiss Chard Recipe

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Garden Vegetable Levana Nourishments

chickpea tajine

My Chickpea Tajine is chock-full of delicious stuff:

Dates, Swiss chard, almonds. Does this sound fabulous and nutritious or what?
I just spotted fresh dates!
I grin nostalgically at this unusual New York site, as if I had run into a long-lost friend. Which of course I had in a way.
In Morocco the avenues are lined with majestic palm trees. So we only needed to bend and pick up the dates fallen from their branches. What a heavenly treat!
Last week I was shopping for my annual big bash which my husband and I host on the last day of Tishrei Yomtovim. So of course when I spotted the gorgeous dates in neat symmetrical rows on their stems dates, I decided right there and then to give them the rock star treatment. It was all decided: I would make a vegetarian menu, drawing liberally from Moroccan flavor influences. Trust me, this dish needs no meat or poultry, it is really powerful!

Chickpea tajine makes for a very substantial vegetarian main course:

So it is really worth the extra minimal step of soaking the chickpeas and partially cook them before adding them to the remaining faster-cooking ingredients. Still in a pinch I would say OK to use canned chickpeas. In this case, add all the way at the end of cooking.
Play with other leaves to make chickpea tajine:
Spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, etc…

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Moroccan Mixed Olive Salad

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Garden Vegetable Levana Nourishments

mixed olive salad

Mixed Olive Salad. That’s right: Not Salad with Olives!

We Moroccans grew up eating olives at every meal, not only in salads but cooked with our dishes. In this dish, they ARE the salad.

I love mixing and matching good quality olives for this olive salad.

The lemon here is not a garnish, but a real ingredient in its own right, and gets eaten, skin and all.

This recipe is in my first and most enduring book, Levana’s Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone, where you will find some fabulous classics, including a whole chapter on favorite recipes from the former Levana Restaurant, and a chapter on entertaining in style.

In this salad, the olives are the star, practically all by themselves (no other salad ingredients) If you poke around online, there’s no olives you won’t find, best quality and well priced too.

Any olive salad leftovers can be eaten in the next several days, so make the whole batch.

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