Do you believe that as man has the right to live on this earth in peace without being exploited of anything, other animals too has the same right? If you do, you must be a vegan! While vegetarianism is associated to avoiding eating animal products for people’s own good, veganism is more expansive and involves a more humane approach that endorses the right of all other animals to live on the planet without man grabbing any substances produced by them, not even eggs, milk and other dairy products, honey, wool, leather and so on.
So, do you believe that veganism will make life more peaceful? Well, considering the thought behind veganism we can believe that we’ll be more considerate towards others because if we start considering the rights of other animals, we’ll naturally be considerate towards the rights of other humans too. & this will give rise to a world that will be more peaceful, more joyful, more fearless and more stress-free.
With this very belief, Kifa Dasuki has penned a wonderful book named “Recipes for Peace” which contains traditional Arabic dishes made in a vegan way.
As you may know Arab cuisine is extremely delicious. This is because Arabs make abundant use of various aromatic spices and herbs in their cuisine and prefer using fresh produce (whether meat or vegetables or grains) in the cuisine. The combined effect of the freshness and aroma creates a magical gustatory gamut that can delight the taste buds of any person no matter how choosy he is.
While turning a basically non-vegetarian food tradition into vegan cuisine is quite a challenge, Kifa Dasuki has completed it quite successfully. In her book, she has included every type of food, including appetizers, main dishes and desserts which will enable you to prepare an entirely vegan meal without any difficulty or confusion regarding what to make when you cannot use any animal product. Visit her Facebook page too.
Here’s a delicious sample recipe from the book which will give you an idea about the creativity and expertise of the author.
Malfouf – Stuffed Cabbage
The name “malfouf” comes from the Arabic word for “wrapped,” because of the way the cabbage leaves are wrapped around each other. Once you’ve perfected this dish and added just the right amounts of garlic and lemon, the result is addictive.
1 medium sized cabbage
- 1½ cups jasmine rice, washed
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup crushed cashews
- 3-4 cups vegetable stock
- 9-10 peeled garlic cloves
- Juice from one big lemon (or more to taste)
Make a hole at the bottom of the cabbage by cutting around and removing the stem. Boil the cabbage in a deep, large pot for 30 minutes, until soft. Carefully remove the cabbage from the water, let it cool and separate the leaves gently, so they don’t break. In batches of four, return the leaves to the pot for 2 more minutes over low heat. Let the leaves cool.
For the stuffing:
Mix the (uncooked) rice with the spices in a bowl. Then add the cashews.
Slit every leaf along the middle, and cut out the stem. Put some rice at the far end of each leaf and roll. Prepare all the leaves in the same manner.
Empty the water you used to cook the cabbage leaves from the pot and arrange the stuffed leaves inside in rows. Between each layer put 3-4 whole garlic cloves.
Pour the vegetable stock over the stuffed leaves, making sure all the leaves are completely covered. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.
Cover the pot, bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes, until the liquids have been absorbed.
Serve with sour vegan yoghurt.
Here’s what Kifa wants to say about her book “Recipes for Peace”:
“I have a dream… to build a small peace corner of my own – a vegan cook book straight from the Arab Cuisine written both in Arabic and Hebrew side by side.
This book is one of its kind and unique by the “veganisation” of already existing recipes from the Arab kitchen. Needless to say, the dishes will be delicious to meat-eaters as well.
So you may wonder, where this idea came from. I strongly believe that food and music are the connective tissues between cultures. An Arab and a Jew can sit and talk about these topics for hours without erupting in an argument. So for once, let’s listen to our gut.
My words might seem big and fancy, but I truly believe that this book will bring forth the true definition of peace. Peace with animals and peace among us humans.
I’m aware that we don’t have the much-desired political peace at the moment, but in the interim I plan on building this little world, this book, in which I intend to plant seeds of peace.
I invite you all to come and join me in this peaceful world.
In this book you’ll find an abundance of healthy vegan recipes for main courses, appetizers and desserts, as well as additional surprises from the rich Arab cuisine.
Through this book you’ll discover the dishes born out of my so-called lifelong romance with the Arab kitchen. The book can be used as a gift for a loved one or for yourself. Who knows… it may be used in some faraway place, igniting change, a passionate conversation or a touching smile. Come and discover the existence of vegan recipes, that are not only delicious but most importantly, healthy and violence free, untouched by the violent food industry.”
Is Vegan Food Nutritious?
Many people may doubt about the nutritional value of vegan food because it’s natural to think that as we cannot eat meat, eggs and dairy products under veganism, we will be deprived of many essential vitamins, minerals and most importantly proteins. However, the truth is that a properly planned vegan diet is perfectly nutritious. It contains all the necessary nutrients including proteins because it includes sources like chickpeas, soy milk, rice, spinach, broccoli, lentils, tofu, peanut, almonds, peas, kale, peanut butter, whole wheat bread and many, many more. The key here is to bring a variety in the food and this is what exactly Kifa Dasuki has tried to achieve in her book “Recipes for Peace”.
So, have you planned to turn to the delicious combo of veganism and Arab cuisine? I have already!