Pickled Eggplants

This simple recipe will amaze you. All you need is eggplants, garlic, salt, and some dried herbs if you have them. The result is a slightly sour, complex, earthy, and tender pickle that complements almost anything on your plate. Achar!

  • 4-8 small eggplants (baby eggplants, fairytale eggplants, or Japanese eggplants will work)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp dried basil, optional
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • A rock or weight, boiled

Put the garlic and optional herbs+chili into a glass jarPickled mini-eggplants

Cut the steps off of the eggplants and halve them, or cut them down so that they fit nestled into the jar, and add them to the garlic in the jar.

In another jar, shake 2 tbsp sea salt with 2.5 cups of water until the salt has dissolved. Pour this brine over the eggplants + garlic until it is fully covered. Weigh this down with your rock so the eggplant does not pop out of the water.

Cover the jar with a tea towel, and secure the towel with a rubber band or lid ring.

Keep in a dark place in your kitchen, and check each day to make sure the eggplants aren’t popping out of the water and they’re weighted down with the rock.

After 3 days, begin tasting the eggplant. When it tastes good and sour to you, it’s done! Remove the rock, add a regular lid, and transfer to your fridge. Eat anytime!


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Arielle in 5778

Hi cleanse world –

I am feeling SO appreciative of you all to take on this yearly challenge with me. It’s cyclical, it’s rejuvenating, and it comes at the perfect time every year. Time to reset, question my habits, and create new rituals. I love that no matter where we are in the world we can make changes in our little lives and share them. It makes me feel powerful!
Are you incorporating new habits or foods into your diet during these 10 days?
Here are some things I’m making this week:
  • Pickled eggplants — This was a very successful experiment!! Recipe on the blog soon.
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  • Hot and sour pickles
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  • This funny pumpkin…
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  • Became this roasted pumpkin that I’m putting on everything.
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My plan is to make some buckwheat granola, and use a fruit puree in place of whatever sweetener would normally be added. I’ll send an update once I’ve tried it out…
If you’re not sure what to cook up, consult our Recipes page. Craving something sweet? Try Shaina’s Raw Fudge Truffles.
Today, we’re challenging you to take 5 minutes and call your representative about something that’s important to you. This website, https://5calls.org/, has everything you need to do that – a list of timely issues, contact info for YOUR rep (in the US), and a call script. I already called Representative Issa to urge a hurricane relief bill for citizens in Puerto Rico and the USVI.
Let us know what you’re eating, what you’re feeling.
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Eggplant and herbs dip

I’ve been dipping everything in this, and putting a spoonful of it on every savory dish I eat. It’s creamy, herby, delightful.

  • 4 medium eggplants
  • 2 big handfuls of fresh herbs – I used dill, chives, rosemary, basil
  • 2 tbsp tahini or seeds 4C8BD81B-56EB-42BB-A46B-9A246808DBCE
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Wash the eggplants, prick them a few times with a knife, and place them under a broiler on a baking sheet. Turn them every 10 minutes for 30 minutes. Once they deflate when prodded, remove them from the oven. Discard the charred skin and remove the flesh from inside.

Puree the eggplant meat and the rest of the ingredients in a high-powered blender until creamy. Eat on everything!

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Dear loyal cleansers,

Thank you for your interest in the 6th (!!!!) annual mind/body/spirit reflection during the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Our New Year is creeping up on us fast!

Most of you are familiar with The Cleanse — our annual annual whole foods diet intended to provoke reflection on the mind/body/spirit connection during these ten days. Year 5778 is round 6, and it’s the 3rd year we’re asking participants to join in on an additional challenge. This time, we’ll be raising money for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The challenge has many steps so PAY ATTENTION!

1. Pledge a donation amount (write it in an email to be held accountable! Or pledge here: https://donate.splcenter.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=463)

2. Take an action each day of the cleanse. We will provide a list of actions including: call a representative, participate in a community-building or charity event, talk to people you might not normally talk to. Each time you take an action, subtract $5 from your pledge. A generous, anonymous donor will match the dollars you subtract for actions (up to $50 per person), so everyone wins!  Pledge high and take lots of action!

3. Tell us about it! Blogs are passe, but we’re continuing it anyway and would love to hear about your actions. Shoot us an email and with your permission, we’ll write a post  from you to the people.

4. Eat a whole foods, vegan diet (see rules below)

We (cleansers live all over the world!) have raised nearly $1000 for global food justice via American Jewish World Service and Kitchens for Good. Let’s double our impact for 5778!

We hope that this cleanse will not only spark reflection on our own, personal health, but also on how we can contribute to the well-being and safety of others. We think that this challenge will inspire gratitude and reflection on the resources in our lives.

We will continue to post recipes and send resources that we find related to social justice, anti-racisim work — we encourage you to do the same. Shoot us an email with a reflection, recipe or question, and we’ll throw it up on the blog (and give you credit unless you specify otherwise). Also, send us your beautiful food photos to share! And if you’re a I-grammer tag your posts #10yamimclean

If you’re interested in joining the Cleanse this year, please let us know so we can include you on the list with updates and inspirations. It only lasts ten days: shortest newsletter ever. Even if you’re planning to challenge yourself for one of those days, we want you along for the ride.

Thank you for coming along on this adventure with us.


Arielle and Shaina


For the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we will undertake an intensive reflection of the mind/body/spirit connection. We will only consume:

  • Vegan foods – no products derived from animals (no meat, eggs, dairy, honey, etc.)
  • Gluten-free foods – nothing made with wheat
  • Unprocessed foods – nothing packaged with more than three ingredients
  • Unsweetened foods – no added sugar, honey, agave, etc.
  • Alcohol-free beverages

An exception to the above rules above is the inclusion of organic eggs and/or yogurt that is organic, plain, stabilizer- and additive-free. This is a personal choice.

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Kimmy’s inspiration

Thank you Shaina, Arielle, Aviva and KFG for the inspiration!

I agree with you Shaina—it has been much easier to have an “excuse” to avoid eating just anything in my path! Having RULES helps immensely. I think I’ll stick to most of the rules, most of the time after the 10 days (keeping my balance is key). This is my third year attempting the cleanse and I have grown a bit more will power and health-savvy each time.

Arielle’s buckwheat porridge has been the sweetness that has saved me from craving processed goodies & processed gluten. Dates are one of the ingredients I like to use in the recipe. Much to my joy, I discovered choice Medjool dates on sale for two dollars cheaper than usual. When I was checking out, the cashier rang them up at the usual pricey price. If I wasn’t tracking my food expenses so diligently for the cleanse, I may not have caught it and asked the cashier to double check.


I feel strong, clean and I have felt more energized since I’ve been eating clean. I’ve had much more endurance to run 3 mile jogs around my neighborhood, which used to tire me out! I wonder how much of that is mental and how much can be attributed to the nutrient-dense diet! Probably a lot of both 🙂


I went over budget about $15 as well.


Below are a couple of simple meals I’ve enjoyed, with photos attached.

Gmar chatima tova and thanks for the inspiration!




Swiss chard (organic, chopped & steamed)

Lentils (pre-cooked)

Sweet potato (organic, baked)

Cost= $2.75


Spaghetti squash (baked in half)

Diced canned tomatoes (organic)

Basil (from the garden)

Drizzle of olive oil

Cost=$1.70 per person per meal; 1 squash could make 3-4 meals

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we did it!


Dear cleansers,

What happened? It’s the last day of the cleanse and it feels like we just started! I feel great. So good that I’m going to continue after Yom Kippur. Who’s with me?
What always surprises me about the cleanse is how relieved I feel to have an excuse NOT to eat everything in front of me. Usually when I walk through the shuk I constantly put things into my mouth. It’s stupid and stressful and not fun. I don’t want a gross sample of coffee flavored halva the miserable Halva King guy pushes, but I can’t not put it in my mouth. Or like…  I know the pile of brownies in front of me isn’t going to make me feel good, but they’re going into my mouth and I can’t stop and I hate myself. On the cleanse, I’m not even tempted to dip my hand into the candy bin or eat the brownies or try to figure out when to stop eating the brownies. I know it’s kind of messed up, but whatever. I have issues and the cleanse helps. Does anyone else experience this?
Another surprise was the how much easier it was for me to stick to the budget this year! Old, rotting vegetables are conveniently sold in bulk right outside my apartment in the Old City at night. My first purchase was  10 shekels (about $2.60) of tangerines… walked away with two full plastic bags. I had to give some to neighbors because I couldn’t carry them up the stairs. I tried to ask the sellers where the produce comes from, but couldn’t get a straight answer. Still working on it.
I’ve been feeding off a big pot of rice/dal mush. Super economical and packs a big nutritional bang for its buck. It’s like a mix of mujadara and kicheree…. basmati rice, mung dal and beluga lentils. Recipe below.
I went over the budget about $15. Because Kitchens for Good is so great, I’m going to donate $50. Thanks for the extra inspiration this year!
Kicheree Mujadara 
  • 1 cup mung dal
  • 1 cup beluga lentils
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 inch ginger finger, finely chopped
  • pinch of turmeric
  • tsp salt
Put into pot, boil, simmer, enjoy!
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Kitchens for Good – why are we donating to them?

Hello Cleansers,

My name is Aviva Paley, and I am the Director of Programs at Kitchens for Good, a social enterprise that works to break the cycles of food waste, poverty and hunger in San Diego. Having participated in the cleanse several times myself, I feel honored and humbled this year to be writing on behalf of Kitchens for Good, and to be the beneficiary of the Food Stamp Challenge.13901588_1078376568917884_3377165445357032009_n-1

The cleanse is a meaningful exercise that pushes participants to reveal the power of food in their lives. By paying acute attention to our diets, we can see how food affects our mental and physical health. The practice hits the restart button on all of our habits and eating practices, and even our mental state.

However, this practice, to carefully decide what nourishing foods to put in our body­,  is of course a privilege. For many facing hunger, the questions are not, is this food good for my body, or does it taste good,  but rather- is there enough?

That is what the Food Stamp Challenge is all about. By trying to stick to a $4.10 a day food budget, we are made aware of how difficult it is to eat a whole foods, nutritious and filling diet with such limited resources.  The challenge inspires gratitude for the current abundance of resources in our lives and makes us reflect on the health of the community.

Above all, for me, the Food Stamp Challenge points out that health and wellness is not a guaranteed right to all, but a freedom only given with financial security.

img_7582This idea is core to the ethos of Kitchens for Good and what inspires my work everyday: hunger isn’t just about food, but rather hunger is a symptom of poverty and lack of economic opportunity.  To truly alleviate hunger, we must help people reach self-sufficiency, employment, and independence.

Here at Kitchens for Good, we insist on looking at food not just as fuel for the body or a resource to feed the hungry, but rather- as a tool to empower, uplift, educate and employ.  We do this through a culinary job training program that prepares hard to employ populations like formerly incarcerated individuals, youth aging out of foster care and individuals leaving rehab, to launch their careers in the culinary and hospitality industry.  During the training, the students practice their culinary skills by preparing surplus food that might otherwise go to waste into thousands of healthy meals a week for children and seniors experiencing hunger.

I feel blessed everyday at work, to witness students transform their lives, from one of addiction, incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment and food stamps, to lives of stability, good health, employment and a brighter future. For me- this is the real power of food- to uplift and empower. Your support of Kitchens for Good is truly making a difference in the lives of our students, their families, and our community. On behalf of all those whose lives will be changed by our work, I am deeply grateful for your investment in the future of Kitchens for Good.

-Aviva Paley


About Kitchens for Good:

Kitchens for Good’s (KFG) mission is to break the cycles of food waste, poverty and hunger through innovative programs in workforce training, healthy food production, and social enterprise. KFG builds a bridge to close the gap between wasted food and hunger by rescuing and purchasing surplus food from wholesalers and farmers,  and then engaging students in its culinary job training program to transform these ingredients into nutritious meals and products for hungry families. Each week our students prepare 1500 meals for seniors and children suffering from hunger across San Diego county.  This approach not only addresses the most immediate needs of hunger through healthy meals, but also tackles the root cause of hunger- poverty, through a workforce training program that provides individuals who are typically considered difficult to employ the skills to become self-sufficient.
Kitchens for Good ensures its own sustainability by building a profitable food enterprise at the core of every kitchen, including catering, contract meals services, and retail food products. Through this robust enterprise model, KFG creates livable wage jobs for culinary graduates, and generates significant profits to reinvest into its social programs.


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