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Fragrant, Delicious and Simple: Middle Eastern Sweet and Savory Rice by Elysabeth Alfano

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Fragrant, Delicious and Simple: Middle Eastern Sweet and Savory Rice by Elysabeth Alfano

vegan sweet rice

On #LunchBreakLIVE we show off so many different recipes from so many different parts of the world.  Veganism is a global movement and we want to show you all the amazing multi-cultural foods that are naturally vegan or can be made vegan.  Today Elysabeth Alfano shows us how to make a simple, easy, and delicious Middle Eastern savory, sweet rice.



We are all stuck at home during COVID-19, but this simple, fragrant, and rich dish by Elysabeth Alfano can be whipped up with what is sitting in the back of the pantry!  Taking a break from hosting the Plantbased Business Hour and the Awesome Vegans Podcast, Elysabeth dishes us something sweet and savory, and as easy and nutritious as one, two, three: Middle Eastern Rice.

Elysabeth Alfano is an award-winning media personality, content producer and host. A graduate of Northwestern University and the American Graduate School of International Business, Elysabeth has been bridging the gap between entertainers, influencers, celebrities, and the public for over 20 years.

After years of working with Fortune 500 companies and running her own million-dollar small business, in 2009, Alfano started her production company, Fear No ART.  Its first show, Fear No ART Chicago on PBS’ WTTW, was launched with Elysabeth as its Creator, Executive Producer, Producer and Host. The success of the show was remarkable and it branched out into a very popular web series in 2011.

Elysabeth launched a digital event series and talk show, entitled, The Celebrity Dinner Party with Elysabeth Alfano, in 2012. It aired on Chicago’s Ch. 19 through 2016. In 2014, Elysabeth began a podcast version of The Celebrity Dinner Party, which was picked up by WGN Radio. Since that time she has been guest hosting on-air on WGN and has recently been added to the roster of on-air hosts for the nightly WGN Radio show, Nightside.

Elysabeth is the winner of the following awards for The Celebrity Dinner Party: Telly Award – Best Web-based TV show, Alliance for Community Media – Excellence Award, and Best of the Midwest Video Fest – Excellence and Achievement Awards.

In 2017, Elysabeth decided to combine her media, food and business skills set with her personal beliefs, focusing her journalism and expertise on the growing plant-based movement. Now an established plant-based guest expert for radio and TV, Elysabeth reports on the latest plant-based news (business, health, politics), food and lifestyle tips. She has appeared several times on all of the following: iHeart Radio’s The Fork Report, WGN Radio, WCPT Radio, NYC’s 870AM The Answer, WGN-TV, WCIU-TV, Good Morning LALALand, KGO-San Francisco and more. Occasionally she writes for VegNews and contributes to NPR’s KCRW (Los Angeles) as a plant-based reporter. Elysabeth is a public speaker on the physical, mental, environmental and financial benefits of a plant-based diet at food festivals and national business summits.

In 2018, Elysabeth launched the Awesome Vegans Podcast and Video Series on WGN Radio. She also began reporting on the #JaneUnChained News Network while spicing things up on The Silver-Chic Chef on-line plant-based cooking series. She has done plant-based cooking demonstrations on WCIU-TV, WGN-TV, Good Morning LA and food festivals from coast to coast. Elysabeth is Certified in Plant-based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and Cornell University and is a Food For Life instructor with the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.

As the demand for Elysabeth’s recipes and TV cooking demonstrations grew, in 2019, Elysabeth began consulting to restaurants and food companies around the nation on how to enter the plant-based marketplace with product and recipe development and an ethical message. She also gives personal and group in-person and on-line cooking classes and does personal coaching on how to begin a plant-based lifestyle. Her emphasis is on #AgingBackwards with food. For more information, click here.

On January 12, 2020 The Elysabeth Alfano Show launched on Smart Talk and WCGO Radio. The show is the nation’s first plant-based radio show and will focus on food, news, and interviews. As Elysabeth likes to say, “We are taking back our health and the health of the planet.”

During the Coronavirus Crisis, Elysabeth launched a daily business show, The Plantbased Business Hour, giving a platform for consumers and investors to hear from the plant-based business leaders innovating and creating a safer (Pandemic Free) food supply through Plant-based Foods and Businesses. The Plant-based Business Hour airs on Facebook.com/JaneVelezMitchell and is archived on ElysabethAlfano.com and the Awesome Vegans Podcast.

Elysabeth is a Featured Plant-based Chef (Episdoe 5!) and one of the Executive Producers on a new Amazon Prime cooking show, New Day New Chef, a ground-breaking vegan cooking show, the first of its kind! She is also featured in the Documentary, Gray Is The New Blonde.

While always a Chicagoan at heart, Elysabeth splits her time between Los Angeles and Chicago. She is an animal lover and advocate.

See Also
Meati is so meaty, it's hard to tell it's vegan.

Follow Elysabeth on FB here.

As you can see, Elysabeth wears a lot of belts and she has great skills in the kitchen.  We hope you will try this Middle Eastern sweet rice recipe and tell us how you liked it.


vegan recipe
The ingredients for the sweet rice.


vegan recipe
More ingredients for the sweet rice.


vegan sweet rice
Delicious sweet rice by Elysabeth Alfano.


Elysabeth Alfano
Elysabeth showing off in the kitchen.


Middle Eastern Sweet Rice

Course Side Dishes
Cuisine Middle Eastern


  • 2 Cups of Brown Rice
  • ½ white/yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic diced
  • 2 inch chunk of ginger sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • ½ cup cashews salted
  • 18 chopped dates
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1 teaspoon of apple vinegar cider powder
  • Zest of one large regular lemon
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon Nutmeg and Cardamom
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • Mushroom Broth to make rice
  • Salt to taste


  • Make rice according to directions using Mushroom Broth
  • When ready, put in a bowl.
  • Sautee ginger, onions and garlic in olive oil.
  • While that is sautéing, add raisins, dates, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cardamom
  • Add in Almonds and Cashews to saute pan, to let them crisp up.
  • Add contents of pan to rice.
  • Add Apple Cider Vinegar Powder (optional) and lemon zest. Mix and serve.
  • Recipe must be served immediately. Can easily be doubled.
Keyword vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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