Post 41: My conversation with the substitute pharmacist ;Vegan cream cheese, Egg Substitute, Many vegetable dishes for the 8 days of Chanukah some from India: Savory Vegetable Cake from Farm on a Plate (handvo) and RICE KAYU BREAD

Today I visited the pharmacy of my health care provider, Meuchedet.  I stepped up to the amdah when my number was called. The order took a while to complete. I was in no rush. The pharmacist was very care full to get the order correct. I stumbled over some words in Hebrew and it occurred to me that his Hebrew sounded a lot like the Arabic spoken on my CD. After the transaction was completed, I tried to catch his name from the ID hanging from his neck. Then I asked if he was an Arabic speaker and he looked surprised and he replied with a smile. I shook my head and shared  that I  am an Arabic student. Of course threw in that the ability to speak Arabic is very important. He wished me good luck.
I sure do need it.
Surprising, that evening I received a call from the pharmacist. He had made an error and over-charged me. Then we looked thru the inventory and saw that there was another error. This week many of the regular staff take vacation because the schools are closed and who’s to watch them? This means the chances of getting errors at the pharmacy go up. We’ll see the kinks worked out when Moshiach comes.
This Shabat, Shabat Chanukah is a challenge preparing for guests. Latkas are traditionally served with sour cream. With an eight day holiday I’ll skip the dairy sour cream and  try the cashew sour cream recipe. The chocolate cake is another version of my vegetables in a cake. Today made a compote of apples, blueberries and cherries. It’s a sour mix, and a nice foil for a cake. Included in the menu will be a range of latkas made from potatoes, spinach, and broccoli.
 Vegan cream cheese


Serving: 1 cup

  • 1 cup soft or medium tofu
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 tsp. sweetener
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • or other possible combination
1 lbtofu2-3 Tumeboshi plums4-6 T cashew butter2 t coconut oil1-2 t agave syrup


  1. Make Vegan Cream Cheese Step 1.jpg

    Blend all the ingredients specified in the ingredients section in a blender until the mixture is both smooth and thick.

  2. Make Vegan Cream Cheese Step 2.jpg

    Pour the mixture into a sealable container, and place in the refrigerator.

RICE  KAYU  BREAD My version is imbedded in an earlier blog.


Larger amount makes two large loaves.

Smaller amount makes two small ones.


2C/6C  cooked brown rice (see recipe below) or barley or whole oats, spelt etc may be several days old.

2C/6C  whole wheat flour or whole spelt or mixture of spelt and rice flours etc. must contain some gluten.

1 scant teasp./3 scant teasps sea salt

1C/3C  water or more if needed

  1. Put flour rice and salt in bowl.  Rub rice into the flour with your dry fingers.
  2. Pour in the water and mix until a fairly thick dough is achieved adding more water as necessary to hold the dough together.
  3. Grease one or two loaf pans. silicone needs no greasing.
  4. Place the dough in the pan/s shaping with damp fingers.
  5. Cover with a damp towel and leave for about 3 days in the winter.
  6. Keep the towel damp.  I leave mine on the counter near the stove.
  7. When they have risen, place them in an oven preheated to 150oC. and bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Increase oven to 175oC and bake for another 30 or so minutes.
  9. Turn out leave 10 minutes, slice and eat.  Keeps well in refrigerator or freezer.


1C /3C any rice or barley or whole oats, spelt etc.

2C/6C water

Pinch sea salt

1.Soak rice in water overnight or for up to 22 hours.

2.Bring to a boil in regular pot or pressure cook in winter.

3.Add a pinch of salt and simmer on a low light using a flame diffuser for 40 minutes, 50 in winter.

NB Michio Kushi and Denny Waxman say to use the soaking water.

Recipe adapted from Esther Frumkin Sukkot Kennes Macrolovers Jerusalem. Submitted by Shulamit Slatkin, Macrobiotic teacher

Savory Vegetable Cake from Farm on a Plate

India is a busy place. 1.2 billion people living in one third the size of US makes for a crowded country. The first thing a traveler to India notices about India  is how close everyone stands to each other. Starting from the Immigration and Customs lines at the airport, you can not help avoid an awkward proximity with strangers. If you are still in your “western” mind set, and leave too much space between you and the person in front of you, someone might just remind you to move up in the line a bit! India is a country on the move – everyone is rushing to be somewhere!

IMG_3436 IMG_3454

handvo, a savory vegetable cake made out of semolina/rice/buckwheat & chickpea/adzuki bean flour and fresh vegetables. This is one those dishes that go well with a variety of condiments. I have eliminated the semolina as many people are wheat intolerant.

IMG_3386 IMG_3381

This cake is perfect as a pre-meal, the thing you want to be eating while talking about what you want to eat for dinner! It also travels well,



Savory Vegetable Cake-Handvo

Cook time: 90 Mins

Recipe (serves 6-8):

1 cup coarse rice/ buckwheat flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour/adzuki bean flour
1 cup tempeh steamed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp baking powder

2 tabs. flax meal

Dice all the vegetables finely
1 carrot
1 small sweet potato
1 small onion
1 zucchini
2 scallions
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup shredded green cabbage/ 1/2 cup shredded white cabbage
1/2 cup coriander leaves

1 lemon juiced

2 tbsp rice malt
1 tbsp salt

Pound following ingredients in a pestle mortar/food processor to paste.
2 roasted garlic cloves
1 inch ginger piece grated
3 green chillies-paste
1 tsp cumin seeds

For tempering
2 tbsp ghee/vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp asafotida/Hing

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Peel the carrot, sweet potato and onion, dice them finely along with cabbages and scallions. Add peas  add chopped coriander leaves.

Pound garlic, ginger, green chillies and cumin seeds in a pestle mortar/food processor to paste.

Mix buckwheat flour, chickpea/adzuki bean flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add mashed steamed tempeh and olive oil and mix well.

Add all the vegetables to the batter omitting the garlic-ginger-chili paste. Add lemon juice, malt and salt. Mix well, batter should be thick at this point.

Next, heat 2 tbsp oil, add the mustard seeds and let them pop (it will make popping sound). Now add the cumin seeds and asafoetida/hing, cook for only few seconds. Add this to the batter.

Add 1/4 cup of hot water to the batter plus the flax seed meal and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Pour the batter in the oil greased cake pan. Sprinkle generous amount of sesame seeds on top. Place in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes than reduce the temperature to 300°F for another 45-60 minutes until cake has a dark brown color and toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the pan, cut into slices and serve warm or cold.

Serve the combination garlic-ginger-chili paste cumin seeds on the side as some don’t love the spices.

This dish will stay well in the fridge for up to 3 days.



Adapted from Vegrecipesof India:

Here’s a simple moong dal recipe. This dal is extremely good with some steamed basmati rice accompanied by a side vegetable dish or raita.

moong dal tadka recipe

Moong Dall Recipe

  • ¾ cup moong dal/spilt skinned mung lentils
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium size tomato, chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ⅓ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 cups water
  • salt as required
for tempering
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 garlic, crushed lightly
  • ¼ or ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 or 2 green chilli – slit
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 2-3 tbsp oil or ghee or butter
  • According to Web M.D. Asafoetida is a plant. It has a bad smell and tastes bitter. That probably explains why it is sometimes called “devil’s dung.”People use asafoetida resin, a gum-like material, as medicine. Asafoetida resin is produced by solidifying juice that comes out of cuts made in the plant’s living roots.Asafoetida is used for breathing problems including ongoing (chronic) bronchitis, H1N1“swine” flu, and asthma. It is also used for digestion problems including intestinal gas,upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irritable colon. Other uses include treatment of “whooping cough” (pertussis), croup, and hoarse throat.Some people use asafoetida for hysteria, insanity, convulsions, and as a nerve stimulant for ongoing mental and physical fatigue with depression (neurasthenia).Women sometimes use asafoetida to restart their menstrual periods after menstruation has stopped for some reason.Asafoetida is sometimes applied directly  to the skin for corns and calluses.In manufacturing, asafoetida is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and as a flavoring ingredient in foods and beverages. Asafoetida is also used in products meant to repel dogs, cats, and wildlife.

    How does it work?

    There is some scientific evidence that the chemicals in asafoetida might help treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and also might protect against high blood levels of certain fats including cholesterol and triglycerides. Chemicals called coumarins in asafoetida can thin the blood.

  • I will not be using asafoetida in the recipe!
  1. take all the ingredients listed under main ingredients except salt in a pressure cooker.
  2. stir well and pressure cook till the dal is cooked and soft.
  3. once the pressure settles down, remove the lid and stir the dal.
  4. if the dal looks thick, then add some water and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  5. add salt and keep aside.
  6. in a small pan, heat oil or ghee or butter.
  7. first fry the cumin seeds.
  8. next add the garlic and green chili and fry for some seconds.
  9. don’t brown the garlic.
  10. switch off the flame.
  11. now add the garam masala powder, red chili powder and asafoetida.
  12. switching off the flame ensures that the spice powders don’t get burned.
  13. you can also fry the spice powders on a low flame.
  14. make sure you don’t burn them.
  15. stir and immediately pour the tempering mixture in the dal.
  16. stir the moong dal and serve hot moong dal with steamed rice or chapatis.
  17. the moong dal tastes better as it is and there is no need to garnish or add coriander leaves to it.


    ~ Wheat berries(sprouted) – 1 cup
    ~ Sprouted moong dal – 1 cup or tofu steamed with spices.
    ~ Garbanzo beans – 1 cup
    ~ Carrot – 1
    ~ Cucumber -1
    ~ Golden raisins – 2 tablespoons
    ~ Balsamic vinegar and olive oil – for the dressing
    ~ Salt and pepper – to taste


From Lovewellblog:

Did you know tofu is an acceptable substitute for eggs in most baked goods?

The process was simple: 1/4 cup of pureed tofu equals 1 egg. I cut the tofu into chunks, threw them in the food processor, gave it a good whirl and added the resulting goo to my recipe at the appropriate time for eggs.

The cake didn’t suffer for it. In fact, it might have been even more deliciously dense. Plus: extra protein. Between the tofu and the zucchini, this cake is practically health food. Eat it for breakfast and start your day off right.


Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup butter/margarine
1/2 cup canola oil/fruit juice
1 3/4 cup sugar or other sugar-dates syrup
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup pureed tofu) or reconstituted ground flax meal/ground chia seed meal
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream or avocado
2 1/4 cup flour (not wheat)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups grated zucchini/or roasted

Cream butter, oil and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy.
Stir in eggs/substitute, vanilla and sour cream/avocado until well blended.
Combine all dry ingredients. Add slowly to batter and mix until blended.
Add grated zucchini.
Smooth into greased 9×13 cake pan.

Sprinkle with a topping of
1 cup chocolate/ carob  chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar/powdered sugar or omit

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. The cake will be dense and moist but will spring back slightly when touched in the middle.

1. You can substitute margarine/fruit juice for the butter.
2. I have taken to using plain Greek yogurt/avocado in almost all my dishes that call for sour cream. I can’t tell the difference.
3. I often add a tad more than 2 cups of zucchini to the cake, owing to the fact that I’m trying to use up all the monster zucchini I’ve been gifted.
4. Feel free to use your discretion with the toppings. If you don’t like nuts, leave them off. If you’d rather not have so much chocolate, then use fewer chocolate chips.
5. Be creative with your sweeteners use rice malt or fruit syrup.
6. Store this cake in the fridge, lest it get bubbly.

Cashew Sour Cream:




  1. Cover cashews with water and soak for a few hours, or overnight.
  2. Pour off all water, and place nuts in food processor.
  3. Add 1/4 cup cold water, salt, vinegar and lemon juice.
  4. Puree for 3-4 minutes or until completely smooth and creamy in consistency.
  5. Use in any recipe that calls for sour cream.
  6. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.


String Beans and Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 pound green beans, stems removed and cut on the bias in 2-inch pieces
  • Dash of tamari or pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 11 minutes

Heat sesame oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, stir one minute, and add green beans. Stir one minute, add tamari and water, cover, and cook for five minutes or until beans are tender and water is evaporated. Discard the garlic.

Serves 4-6

Copyright 2009 by Jen Hoy

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