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Lake Oswego woman converts traditional Jewish recipes into vegan fair

SUBMITTED PHOTOS: ESTEE RAVIV - Estee Raviv has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her cookbook Oy Vey Vegan!

Today’s plate on our virtual global dinner table is exactly what I’d hoped for: foods packed with exotic flavors and ingredients that have a delightful story behind them. Sharing her heritage and culinary style today is Lake Oswego resident Estee Raviv, who was born in Israel on the sandy shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

“Meals when I was young were influenced by flavors of the Middle East, along with my Jewish heritage and the Eastern European traditions of my Romanian mother and Polish father,” she said. “My culinary experience was further enriched by my family’s travels around the world, exposing me to wonderfully diverse foods and traditions.”

The timing couldn’t be better, as Passover begins April 22.

Art has been a lifelong love of Estee’s; she had a successful career in the custom jewelry business in Israel before moving to the United States with her husband and children. She now focuses her artistic talents on works of polymer clay, and photography.

But cooking has always been her passion; it’s a relaxing and satisfying outlet for her creativity. Some time ago, after experiencing tremendous discomfort eating a traditional diet, she began eating a vegan diet, and turned her creativity to modifying the traditional dishes from her youth to vegan recipes. A vegan diet consists of fruit, vegetables and grains and avoids meat and meat products, including dairy. Estee said eating a vegan diet made her feel healthier than when she ate meat and dairy.

“I make good food that is good for you,” she said. “Food that is creative and healthy, inspired by family and diverse cultures.” At the urging of family and friends — who serve as her testing board — she starting a blog titled “From Estee’s Kitchen,” which uses her own photographs to capture the beauty of her foods. And the blog has morphed into a cookbook, “Oy Vey Vegan.” She recently held a taste testing party to launch the cookbook project and invited many members of the community to sample the dishes. Estee said responses were positive, so much so she is going forward with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book. You can learn more about it here:

If you visit Estee’s blog at, you can view more recipes and read more about her philosophy about foods. Chopped liver is a traditional Jewish food that Estee dearly enjoyed eating. She made a vegan version that is close, and tasty. She shared the recipe as well as one for a rice salad that is colorful and flavorful.

Give Estee’s recipes a try. You will discover that vegan foods are indeed delicious.

Bon Appetit! Make eating an adventure!

A traditional Jewish recipe Estee has converted to vegan is chopped liver. This recipe uses black beans, onions and walnuts to create a similar taste and texture to chopped chicken liver paté.

Vegan Chopped Liver

Growing up in a Jewish home means eating chopped liver during every holiday! The taste of chopped liver is very distinct. The main ingredient in chopped liver, besides liver, is onion. The onion basically creates a yummy sweet flavor, and you will not believe how easy it is to make a vegan alternative to chopped liver. The version that I’m making has no aftertaste versus eating real liver. The crunchiness from the walnuts with the sweetness of the sautéed onions combined with the creaminess of the beans, produces a perfect delicious vegan chopped liver. It’s packed with proteins and vitamins. It is a great appetizer, and it’s elegant and gourmet.

Check it out:


1 cup black beans soaked overnight and cooked

2 cups chopped onion

1/3 cup walnuts

1 tablespoon olive oil



Another 1 teaspoon olive oil to the food processor.

Directions: In a nonstick pan, add olive oil, onions, salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Pour into the food processor; add beans, walnuts and a teaspoon of olive oil. Pulse until you get the right consistency. Spread on crackers or on slices of peppers and serve at room temperature.

Rice Salad

Rice salad is great to make from leftover rice, and all the veggies/fruits you have in your fridge. Don’t be afraid to add whatever you have. It can’t go wrong! The dressing is what gives that dish its unique flavor and combines it all together. Growing up I never ate cold rice, only traditional hot rice dishes. It is a very refreshing way of eating your veggies, and a healthy way.

This salad will surprise you with how good it is. I find it a great dish to take to work. No need to heat, just pour into a plastic container, and it’s that simple. Being prepared with lunch the night before is my biggest strength. Lunch is always the time of day that I’m most hungry, and having my lunches prepared saves me from eating unhealthy.


2 cups brown rice, cooked

3 celery stalks, cubed

1 mango, peeled and cubed

1 turnip, peeled and cubed

1 cup parsley and cilantro, chopped

2 cups kale, chopped

1 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

1 cup red cabbage, thinly cut

2 cups bean sprouts


Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Salt, pepper


Mix all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well and serve.

Recipes courtesy of Estee’s

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter @barbrandallfood.

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