So many passions, so little time!

I am new to blogging and didn't want to just pick one passion since I have so many! I love cooking gourmet and ethnic foods for family and friends. I have been low-carbing (Atkins or low glycemic diet) for 15 years. I have four young children ages 8, 7 , 3 and 1. I try to be environmentally conscious. I use cloth diapers, make my own non-toxic cleaners, and have a compost bin in the suburbs. I am a healthcare professional, working part-time, so I have plenty of advice on health, sometimes unsolicited. I also love to save money. I clip coupons, shop at discount stores, and I am an avid online shopper. I can find the best deal around! I am sure that is not all, but if I get the hang of this everyone will be privy to what I am passionate about...(doesn't this thing have spellcheck?)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day four: 7 day Vegan/Eco- Atkins challenge

The falafel was a huge hit!  By far, this was the week's favorite meal.  Everyone loved it and fought over the leftovers.  I wasn't keen on making homemade baba ganoush, because I thought it would be difficult and time-consuming, but I just charred the eggplant on the grill and it was done in no time.  The vegetable soup really doesn't have a recipe, but I can just make one up, I guess.

Day 4:

Breakfast: Blueberry whole wheat/flax/oat  pancakes for kids with syrup – flax/almond low carb pancakes for me (these were not very good.  I just mixed some flax, almond meal, baking soda, and almond milk, and fried on the griddle.  )  See Day one for pancake recipe I used for the kids- those on the other hand were enjoyed by the rest of the family.

Lunch: Vegan vegetable soup with whole wheat penne (no pasta for me) with leftover corn muffins.
I just sauteed some onion, celery, and put vegetable bouillon in, frozen mixed vegetables,  cabbage, and cut tomatoes.  I made whole wheat pasta for the rest of the family to put in the soup, but I did not eat this.

Dinner: Falafel with tahini sauce, homemade hummus & baba ganoush served with cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes.  Whole wheat pita for the kids. 
Falafel was made according to the box directions (Zyad, I think).  It was inexpensive and delicious.

Tahini sauce:

1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
4 gloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt ( 1/2tsp + 1/4tsp or 3x 1/4 tsp)
2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoon cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon warm water


Use food processor to combine garlic and tahini. Then add salt, parsley, cilantro, and cumin to the mixture.

Add olive oil, lemon juice, and water. If the mixture is too thick slowly add more warm water until you get the thickness that you like.

I make hummus so much, I actually don't use a recipe, but here goes:

Easy Hummus

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained

1 tsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil



In a blender or food processor combine garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Blend on low speed, gradually adding water, until desired consistency is achieved. Taste to see if extra salt/lemon juice is needed.  Enjoy!  You can add roasted red peppers, cayenne, or any other spice you desire to mix it up.

Baba Ganoush


1 eggplant (large or 2 –small)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil


1.     Char eggplant on gas grill or on gas stovetop.  Cook until soft. 
2.     Peel skin off.   If some char remains, it is OK, it will add smokey flavor.
3.     Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil.


  1. Shreen,

    Neat blog. I've copied a few of your recipes for the upcoming local produce season. Just a thought you might want to explore for shopping is the Clinton Bailey market. You can't beat the prices and quality on produce. If you go early enough on Saturday you can get a bushel of apples for the price Wegman's sells a few pounds and its a great experience for the kids.


  2. Jim,

    We actually joined a CSA again this year so we get fresh organic veggies each week that are in season (we share with another family). It is Porter Farms & we pick up at Zion Church in Clarence. It is plenty of produce for a great price & we get to try things we wouldn't normally buy. The market does sound like fun- will have to check it out. We just took them and my family from SC to the Broadway market & they loved it. I have a few more days of recipes if you want to check back. Thanks for the comment!