Eating Vegan: Middle Eastern Food!

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Posted December 1, 2010 by Rachelle Owen

OK—I’m biased. Yesterday when I told you about our new “Eating Vegan” international food series, I made sure to schedule Middle Eastern food first. Why? Well, two reasons, first: I grew up in Detroit, MI—where Lebanese food is EVERYWHERE, and second: Middle Eastern food is usually cheap, easy to find, and DELICIOUS … not to mention, healthy! Perfect, right?

The best part? Common and popular dishes in Middle Eastern culture—like falafel, tahini, fattoush, tabbouleh, muhammara, and of course, hummus are naturally vegan! No “minus the cheese, please” here. And other delish options that are usually vegan are grape leaves (or dolmas) and lentil soup.


Photo credit: peta2 and QuarryGirl

Where can you get it? Everywhere! Google a Middle Eastern restaurant near you ASAP!

Must-have dish? If you haven’t had falafel, you haven’t lived. Falafel is a ball or patty made up of spices and chickpeas—and usually wrapped up with tahini or hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickled vegetables, in pita bread. My personal fave dish is fattoush—a salad made up of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fried pita chips, doused in lemony olive oil and spices. YUM! My stomach is growling, is yours?

Which international food do you want us to dish on next week?


P.S. Live in the Detroit area? Head to Cedar Garden in Dearborn Heights … seriously.  Thank me later.

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  • 1551 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Hey Christina–I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about! I go to several Arabic restaurants in the Detroit area and from what I know, this paste/dip is vegan. You may want to check each restaurant but I’ve looked into it and it’s made of a blend of olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice–and that’s it! It definitely LOOKS creamy! FYI the best Middle Eastern food is definitely at Cedar Garden in Dearborn Heights, if you’re ever in the area :)

  • 1552 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I also grew up in the Detroit area, thanks for this posting! Quick question though…I’m in love with the garlic paste (perhaps ‘paste’ isn’t the ride word, but for lack of a better one…) they serve with some dishes or just with pita bread. Is it vegan? Everytime I ask, I get confused looks : It’s definitely got that “creamy” texture that most vegans run screaming from, but it might just be pureed garlic with a little potato or something. Any thoughts? Thanks!!

  • 1604 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Mmmmmmmmm :P

  • 1605 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Not Italian please. the food is obviously delishious, but there’s no shortage of vegan italian recepies. Middleeastern sounds great :o) Id be more impressive to the omnivores.

  • 1605 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Looks delicious!

  • 1606 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I love falafel! :)

  • 1606 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Little_Lotte – Traditional Neapolitan “Pizza Marinara” is vegan!

    And falafel is one of the best foods on earth!

  • 1606 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Mmmm….falafel!

    Are there any traditional Italian dishes that are vegan?

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