Recipes

NOTE: This page is semi-updated occasionally (sort of), but not as often as I’d like (really.) It is missing recipes from many posts. Feel free to share, copy, or distribute these recipes but please post site name and contact information with each use as follows:

Recipe courtesy of Chaya Rivka at healthyjewishcooking.com.

Email: healthyblog@optimum.net.

HJC’s Tiganites (Greek Ricecakes for Hanukkah, Version 1)

Adapted from the Cookbook of the Jews of Greece by Nicolas Stavroulakis

Stavroulakis’ recipe calls for milk, I use homemade almond milk, but you can use store-bought almond milk or regular milk. I also use some brown rice flour, and add honey, not sugar.

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup white rice flour

3 large or extra large eggs

pinch unrefined sea salt, Celtic salt, or Himalayan salt

1 teaspoon baking powder (non-aluminum)

2/3 cup almond milk (I used homemade) or half almond milk, half water

1 tablespoon mild-tasting honey or 4 teaspoons Sucanat dissolved in the almond milk, egg mixture

extra-virgin olive oil

crushed or chopped walnuts

cinnamon

honey

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another. Combine, stir, and let sit for one hour or more (refrigerated).

Heat oil on medium heat in frying pan (careful, don’t burn oil). Depending on the size pancakes you’d like, use 1/3 or 1/4 cup measures. Drop onto hot oil and fry on one side, then flip. (These cook very quickly). Serve, stacked, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with walnuts and cinnamon. 8-12 pancakes.

HJC’s Fritoles (Greek Ricecakes for Hanukkah, Version 2)

Adapted from the Cookbook of the Jews of Greece by Nicolas Stavroulakis

Stavroulakis’ recipe calls for yogurt, I sour with raw honey and that vital ingredient, time.

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup white rice flour

pinch unrefined sea salt, Celtic salt, or Himalayan salt

3/4 cup almond milk (I used homemade) or half almond milk, half water; you could also try coconut milk

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 extra large or jumbo eggs

extra-virgin olive oil

crushed or chopped walnuts

cinnamon

additional honey

Mix flour and salt in one bowl. Mix almond milk and raw honey, beat well until honey is indiscernible. Stir into dry ingredients, cover loosely, and set aside at a warmish room temperature. The raw honey will help to “sour” or slightly leaven the batter. After 4-8 hours, separate eggs. Add yolks to batter. Beat whites until slightly stiff and fold into batter. Pan fry in olive oil as for version one. Top with walnuts, cinnamon, and honey. These are puffier than version one.

HJC Dips, Spreads, and Sauces

HJC’s Basic Tahina (sesame dip)

It is easy to make homemade hummus. It’s even easier to make homemade tehina. It forms the basis for a variety of dips. Why buy?

1/2 cup (approximately) plain tahini (get the one made from husked seeds, the calcium in it is more bio-available). Two brands I like best are Artisana Raw Tahini and Al Arz.

juice of one lemon, or, to taste

pure water

In a medium sized glass or crockery bowl, with a fork, stir lemon juice into tahini. Drizzle in water and whisk until mixture turns pale and is emulsified. You can make it as thin or as thick as you like.

If you want to jazz it up, add any combination of the following (optional):

1/4-1/2 teaspoon any single spice or combination of the following: ground cumin, coriander, dried mint leaves, cayenne or your favorite hot sauce, thyme, zatar, sumac, paprika

1 tablespoon* finely chopped herbs (fresh mint, cilantro, parsley work well individually or together)

1-2 crushed garlic cloves zaatar and/or sumac or paprika as a garnish

So much better than bought.Lasts 3-5 days in the fridge. 6 servings.

*Note to my British readers, you know who you are, an American tablespoon is smaller than a British one, which is more like a small American serving spoon. For conversions:  http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/cooking

HJC’s Hummus (chickpea dip)

The tahina makes a great base for hummus. To the above amount of tahina blend in 2 cups cooked (or sprouted) pureed chick peas. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and increase lemon juice and amount of spices. 6 servings. Lasts one week in the fridge.

HJC’s Babaghanoush (eggplant dip)

Make one recipe of tahina, using any spices or herbs, but be sure to use the garlic.

Preheat oven to 500°. With a fork, prick holes in a large, very firm eggplant. Place in roasting pan or wrap well in foil and place directly on oven grates. Roast for about 35-45 minutes or until very soft.

Alternately, you can broil eggplant (you may have to cut it in half in order to fit it under your broiler) until charred and soft. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, cut off ends and slice open eggplant. If eggplant is organic, you can leave in some of the peel if you like. If not, discard peel.

Scoop out flesh and mash well with fork or hand blender. Do not over-puree, a rougher texture tastes better.  Season with salt, to taste. Lasts 3-5 days in the fridge. 10-12 servings.

HJC’s Mild Aioli

Aioli, the ubiquitous, and deservedly popular Provencal sauce makes a wonderful dip that most likely hasn’t appeared on your Shabbos table. You must only use cage-free (free-range is even better), eggs, organic would be nice, the fresher the better, at room temperature.

This is delicious as a dip with non-sweet challah (especially my French-bread Challah), raw or cooked vegetables (steamed green beans, broccoli, potatoes, radishes, scallions, tomatoes, etc.) It’s also very good with salmon (especially with capers), or other fish.

Like all mayonnaise, aioli is heat sensitive so prepare this in a cool kitchen or other cool spot. If it is a bit warm, make the aioli in a stainless steel bowl, set inside another bowl filled with ice.

3-4 garlic cloves

a few grains unrefined sea salt

2 egg yolks (if using blender/food processor version, you may, if you like, use 1 whole egg and 1 yolk; be sure to wash eggshells off well before cracking eggs)

2 teaspoons or more lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/3 cup organic, hi-oleic safflower or organic canola oil

1/2 to 2/3 cup fruity, flavorful extra virgin olive oil

In a largish mortar smush the garlic cloves and salt gently with a pestle, until paste is formed. If you prefer, you can do this with the back of a wide chef’s knife on a cutting board. In a bowl, gently whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, and mustard.

For traditional aioli, pour this into the mortar and emulsify the aioli with the pestle. If you prefer, transfer the garlic into the bowl, and make the aioli with a whisk

Combine garlic and egg yolk mixtures. Begin to drizzle in the safflower or canola oil. (You can make aioli with all olive oil, as is traditional, but this recipe produces a slightly lighter-tasting dip.)

As you drizzle in the oil, mix in a slight pounding motion with the pestle or whisk lightly, very slowly so the mixture emulsifies. Then add in the olive oil, the stream can be quicker now that the basic emulsification is there. Watch carefully that you don’t add in too much oil or the aioli will break. (If it breaks, whisk an egg yolk in a bowl, and whisk in the aioli until re-emulsified).

If you prefer, you can do this in the food processor. Still, smash the garlic by knife or with a mortar and pestle, otherwise it tastes bitter.  Add the garlic and salt to the food processor, pulse in the egg yolk and whole egg, lemon juice and mustard until completely mixed. Drizzle in the safflower/canola oil while running the food processor.

For a better flavor, stop at this point and whisk in the olive oil by hand. Or, if you’re in a rush, finish in the machine.

Variations: Tarragon—With the garlic, add one teaspoon dried or one tablespoon fresh, tarragon. Excellent with salmon or crudites.

Herb—Use a tablespoon or two of a single, fresh herb (such as dill or basil) or mixed herbs.

Saffron—Add a pinch of saffron dissolved in a teaspoon of water when adding lemon juice. Very good with any fish.

Chrain—Add one tablespoon freshly grated horseradish root or prepared horseradish, to taste. Serve with gefilte fish. Obviously.

Tomato—Peel, seed and cut two perfectly ripe plum tomatoes into a brunoise (a very tiny dice made by cutting strips of the tomato (julienne) and then cutting into small cubes). Stir gently into aioli.

Blush—In the food processor, roughly pulse one perfectly ripe, medium-sized, salad tomato, a drop or two of red wine vinegar, and stir into aioli. Lasts 2-3 days, max. (Fridge). Serves 10-15.

HJC’s Skordalia

About 15 ears ago a my friend Daniele taught me how to make this Greek dip, spread or sauce. There are several authentic versions using a variety of ingredients. This one uses the typical ingredients, olive oil, garlic and potatoes, but incorporates almonds, too.

Daniele’s version used stale bread and almonds or walnuts. She used Finnish or Yukon Gold potatoes since she preferred a very creamy sauce. And tons of garlic.

Like aioli, skordalia is an emulsion, although an eggless one, traditionally made with a mortar and pestle. You can use a food processor or hand immersion blender, which is what my recipe calls for, but make sure the potatoes are completely cool or else they will turn very gummy.

Russet (aka Idaho or baking potatoes) make a lighter skordalia, but waxy potatoes can be used if you prefer. In Europe there are varieties of potatoes that are sort of in between the two, and these work best in my opinion. In America, you’ll have to get them at a farmers market or grow your own.

1 pound potatoes, boiled in skin, peeled, and cooled

Some of the reserved potato water

A lot of garlic. Seriously, at least 6 cloves. (I am not a big garlic fan but garlic is the raison d’etre of aioli and skordalia).

3/4 to 1 cup very flavorful extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 to 2/3 cup ground, blanched almonds (Bob’s Red Mill almond meal is perfect for this)

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar or a combination

Unrefined sea salt

Put the potatoes through a ricer, or mash with a light touch, but thoroughly, in bowl. Set aside.

Smash the garlic with the side of a chef’s knife or Chinese chef’s knife, and slip off peels. Smash garlic into paste. Combine garlic in food processor if using, or bowl with about a tablespoon of the water, olive oil (use the smaller amount first), lemon juice and/or vinegar, and sea salt.

With an immersion blender or food processor pulse until well mixed. Add in almonds, pureeing for a few seconds, then add potatoes and pulse or blend lightly until smooth.

If a thinner skordalia is desired add more potato-water. If a creamier skordalia is desired add more olive oil. Taste for seasoning. Excellent with challah, cooked, baked or fried fish, steamed or raw crudites, beef or lamb. Lasts 2 days in the fridge, but best eaten within 24 hours. 8 servings.

HJC’s Roasted Pepper Dip

2 large, heavy-for-their-size, fleshy red peppers

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled, and smashed into paste (with back of knife or mortar and pestle)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar (optional)

Prick peppers lightly with fork and roast in a 500 degree oven until most of the skin is charred, turning once or twice. Place in stainless steel bowl and cover with plate. Let steam for 20 minutes. Remove peppers and scrape skin off, slice peppers in half (careful of residual steam) and remove stem, seeds, and veins.

Puree until very smooth in food processor or with immersion blender along with garlic, oil, and vinegar if using. Thin with more olive oil if necessary. You can, of course, use a mortar and pestle for a more rustic texture.

This lasts up to 10 days in the refrigerator.Makes about 1 cup 4-6 servings.

HJC’s Better Tomato Dip

(I admit it. You can buy a fairly good, preservative-free and sugar-free brand of tomato dip. But still, homemade is better. )

2 large, ripe, farmers’ market (organic) beefsteak or other intensely-flavored  tomatoes—otherwise, why bother?

extra-virgin olive oil

unrefined sea salt or Celtic sea salt

freshly ground black pepper (optional)

apple cider vinegar  or squeeze of lemon (optional)

1-3 cloves minced garlic (optional)

4-6 fresh basil leaves (cut in chiffonade, optional, but very good)

Wash, quarter and blend tomatoes with immersion blender or in blender. Do not over-blend, some texture is desirable. Drizzle in some olive oil, just enough to  smooth out the texture and flavor, add a dash of salt and let sit for ten minutes. Stir and taste. Does it need more zest? Add pepper. Does it need more acid? Add vinegar or lemon. Do you like garlic? I don’t in this, not with really good tomatoes, but add it if you like. Basil is very good and gives a fragrant, slightly sweet flavor. This is better after the flavors have had a chance to meld for an hour or two. Keeps well for 2 days. Serves 4-6.

HJC’s Moroccan Olive and Lemon Dip

Commercial olive dip contains super-salty green olives and mayonnaise (containing loads of sugar and refined oils.) This version, though salty, is more exciting.  A little goes a long way.

3 Moroccan preserved lemons (you can use store-bought or homemade), finely diced

6 Middle-eastern salt-cured black olives, soaked in water to cover for about 30 minutes, drained, pitted and finely diced

18-24 Middle-eastern cracked, green olives, rinsed, pitted and roughly chopped

About 3/4 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil or blend of olive oil and sunflower oil

1 small bunch fresh mint, washed and checked for bugs, or 2 heaping teaspoons best-quality dried mint

1 bunch fresh parsley, checked for insects, washed and finely chopped (use stems and leaves)

1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or dried red chillies

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (optional)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon or 2 teaspoons apple-cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients. Let flavors meld at least two hours. Taste and add lemon juice or vinegar to taste, more hot peppers to balance flavors. Keeps in fridge for up to 10 days. Serves 8-10.

HJC’s Classic Southern Italian Antipasto with My Mother-in-law’s Sephardic Pickled Eggplant

For a dairy Shavuos antipasto that tastes like Southern Italy, choose three or more of the following:

sliced pickled eggplant (see left bottom corner of photo)

roasted red and yellow peppers (or pickled peppers, which is what I made for a change)

best-quality black and green olives and green olives stuffed with garlic

raw zucchini slices or baby artichoke hearts that have been marinated in a light vinaigrette

sliced fennel

cherry tomatoes

lemon slices

blanched almonds

and fresh mozzerella slices or balls

cooked cannellini beans mixed with oregano, minced garlic or sliced onions, extra virgin olive oil, and good red wine vinegar, salt and pepper

You might want to drizzle mozzerella balls with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with with red pepper flakes. If you have them, fresh basil, mint and parsley leaves and capers go well with the tomatoes and mozzerella. Alternately, serve purchased antipasto items.

HJC-My Mother-in-law’s Pickled Eggplant

Eggplant is an amazing food. It has the unique ability to satisfy a variety of food cravings, anything from meat or cheese to dessert. Make these pickles t least three days in advance, but beware, a half-gallon jar has just about disappeared in a week.

This recipe serves 8-10 as part of an antipasto but you can easily double or triple the recipe if you’ve got time to stand over a hot, vinegary stove! Serve leftovers in a fat sandwich on toasted spelt sourdough rolls or mash with extra garlic for a delicious dip.

1 quart jar

1 heavy medium-large purple eggplant

apple cider vinegar

extra virgin olive oil

2-3 teaspoons each dried basil, oregano, and if desired, mint

3-4 Turkish bay leaves

1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

peeled garlic cloves, to taste

Open the kitchen windows. (The vinegar fumes are quite pungent). Peel and slice eggplant about 1/3 to 1/2 an inch thick (my mother in law makes them 1/2 an inch thick.) Pat dry, if damp.

Pour some olive oil in the bottom of the jar and add a garlic clove or two. It should be about 1/2 inch deep. In a heavy skillet or frying pan, bring a “glass” of water and a “glass” of vinegar to a low boil. (I love those old “glass” and “tea cup” recipes, don’t you?) The idea is to submerge the eggplant slices part way since you’ll be turning them once, so make the liquid about 1/4 inch or less.

Without crowding, place the eggplant slices in the simmering vinegar-water mixture. They should begin to soften after about 5 minutes. Turn them, adding more vinegar and water if necessary, and simmer on the other side for another 3-5 minutes until the eggplant is soft all the way through.

Place the eggplant in the jar, enough for one layer, sprinkle with the 1/3 the spices and a garlic clove or two, and pour any remaining vinegar-water mixture over. Top with another layer of cooked eggplant, spices, and vinegar-water mixture. You may have to do a few batches, depending on the size of your pan and how many eggplant slices you have. There should be some room at the top of the jar. Pour enough olive oil over the top to submerge any eggplant and cover jar.

Place in refrigerator right away. The eggplant pickles keep for at least two weeks if submerged in oil. My mother-in-law canned these, but she says the refrigerator pickles are just as good.

HJC’s Tarator

You can make this on the thin side, and serve it as a refreshing soup (topped with fresh herbs, walnuts, and/or croutons), salad dressing, or use half the yogurt, and serve as a salad or dip with raw veggies.

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and finely diced or grated, whichever you prefer

2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the back of a knife

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

1 package fresh, bug-free dill, rinsed, dried and finely chopped, reserve some for serving

3 tablespoons walnut or extra virgin olive oil

4 cups yogurt (preferably homemade)

unrefined sea salt, to taste

Juice of one lemon (optional)

In a mixing bowl, combine cucumbers, garlic, 1/2 cup walnuts, dill, and walnut or olive oil.  In another bowl, beat yogurt with a fork until it becomes liquidy, about 1 minute (if necessary, add a few drops of cold water). Stir in salt, to taste, and lemon juice if using. Pour the yogurt over the cucumber-garlic mixture, mix well, cover and refrigerate for one hour (keeps up to 8 hours) or to serve immediately, crush three ice cubes, add and stir.

To serve: Adjust seasoning. Pour into serving bowl and top with reserved walnuts and dill. Ladle into small soup or salad bowls.

HJC’s Homemade Cultured Yogurt Cheese (Labneh) and Date Spread on Pita Toasts

Something sweet. Make HJC’s Greek yogurt recipe, omit salt, and drain in cheesecloth for 24 hours. Alternately, use 32 oz. store-bought yogurt or leben, omit salt, and drain in cheesecloth 24 hours. Even easier: Buy labneh which is available in most Sephardic groceries or use fresh full-fat cream cheese.

10-16 oz. yogurt cheese

4-5 large medjool dates, pitted and diced, reserving some diced dates for topping.

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 tablespoon orange juice (optional)

Lightly blend all ingredients with fork. Serve in bowl alongside toasted pita triangles or spread onto rusks. (Orgran makes gluten-free rice crispbreads with quinoa, buckwheat or corn.)

HJC’s Leafy Salad

This is the perfect foil to all the rich, cheesy dishes.

2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed, checked for insects, and dried (or 3 bags prepared romaine, as a last choice), torn by hand or shredded with a knife

12 oz. (2 heads) of raddichio or a blend of raddichio, arugula, chicory; washed, checked for insects, dried and torn by hand or shredded with a knife. Alternately, use 2 bags of insect-free mesclun mix.

Juice of 2 lemons

Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash and check romaine and raddichio ahead of time and store the leaves, not sliced,  in crisper, wrapped in clean dish towels in zip-lock bags. Lettuce will keep for 3 days like this. Mix in large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Toss with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

HJC’s Hortopita

Fruity, extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch leafy kale (about 4 large stems), cleaned, the thickest part of the stem should be removed, and leaves sliced in strips or roughly chopped-save stems for another use, like soup

1 bunch dandelion (about 10-12 stems), see above

1 bunch Swiss chard (about 6 large stems), see above

1 bunch arugula or watercress or belgian endive (gives an almost-wild bitter flavor), cleaned and roughly chopped if using arugula or watercress and sliced thinly if using endive

1 8-10 oz. bag cleaned, insect-free spinach (alternately, you could use loose fresh or frozen spinach)

1 bunch each: parsley, dill, and small bunch mint, cleaned and finely chopped (to save time, buy packages of insect-free herbs available at most kosher grocers)

Optional: 2 teaspoons fennel or anise seeds seeds or finely sliced and sauteed fennel bulb (The frilly tops of wild fennel are usually used, but fennel tops are very difficult to check for insects)

3-6 scallions or 2 small young onions, cleaned and very finely sliced

3 eggs

11/2 pounds farmer’s cheese or feta cheese or mixture

12 oz. mozzerella (not traditional)

Please note: Bugs are not on the menu. According to the laws of eating kosher, all leafy greens and herbs must be checked for insects, or purchased in insect-free packages.

In a large skillet or wok, pour about two tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Gently and briefly saute the greens until wilted, and pour them in a bowl lined with a colander so the liquid can drain out. Kale takes longer to wilt than Swiss chard; both take longer than the arugula and spinach. If using fennel, saute until limp. You may saute the scallions and onions, or leave them raw if you want a less complex, wilder flavor.

When most of the liquid is out of the greens (don’t press!), transfer to a large bowl and gently stir in scallions or onions if raw, fennel seeds if using, and the minced herbs.

In another bowl mix together the eggs and cheeses, and fold this into the greens mixture, with a light hand, but thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 350. Brush a 12 by 9 or 10 inch lasagna pan (about 3 inches deep) with oil and line the bottom with four sheets of defrosted filo, each layer brushed lightly with olive oil, making sure there is at least two inches hanging over the edge of the pan (brush those edges or sprinkle lightly with water so they don’t dry out).

Pour in the greens mixture and smooth out. Cover the top with three sheets of filo, also brushing each layer with olive oil, and roll the bottom overhanging layer around the edge to form a rim. Gently score the top into 12-16 squares, being sure to cut through only the top layer of filo.

Sprinkle or spray VERY lightly with water and place in oven for 20 minutes. Check and see that top isn’t getting to dark (it depends on your oven) and adjust temperature as needed. Bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until top is a rich golden brown and filling is done (test by tasting).

Serve hot or cold.

Variation: Use the filling and make little triangular pies to be eaten out of hand.

HJC Recipe: Homemade Greek Yogurt aka Labneh—Yogurt Cheese

Start with 4 cups preferably homemade yogurt or leben (you can cut the recipe in half). You can use goat or even ewe’s yogurt if you’ve got it. Pour off and reserve any whey (watery liquid) that’s accumulated for protein shakes, plant food, or other recipes (it’s the watery liquid) that accumulates. Sometimes, if you culture a long time, you may end up with a lot of whey. Don’t be alarmed, this just makes your Greek yogurt recipe easier to do.

Cover and refrigerate yogurt/leben for a few hours or overnight. If you use bought yogurt/leben to start, obviously it will already be chilled.

Fit a metal strainer (not plastic) to a bowl, there should be several inches or so, between the bottom of the strainer and the bowl for the liquid to collect. Line strainer with a double or triple layer of cheesecloth for Greek yogurt.

If you are making labneh, line it with up to six layers of cheesecloth (I use four) and add one teaspoon unrefined sea salt to your yogurt and stir. If you like saltier labneh, add up to three teaspoons one tablespoon).

Pour or spoon yogurt into cheese-cloth cover bowl with plate (better to not use plastic wrap or aluminum foil) and leave for 2-6 hours for Greek Yogurt (two should be enough with most American-style thicker yogurts) and overnight for labneh. If a lot whey accumulates in the bottom of the bowl pour off and save or discard. (What a shame to waste it, if nothing else dump it in a houseplant or your garden.)

Spoon Greek yogurt into a glass or pottery jar and refrigerate for up to about a week. For traditional Greek yogurt, stir in raw (or other) honey and fresh fruit or use as salad dressing. For labneh, unmold and  place in glass or pottery jar or bowl, cover with a half-inch of extra virgin olive oil, and keep for up to two or three weeks.

HJC Recipe: Easy Mediterranean Salad

Homemade yogurt or leben, Greeked or not, makes a healthy salad topping. Choose a mixture of wild greens, mesclun, romaine lettuce, radicchio. Add sliced organic cucumbers and ripe tomatoes. Sprinkle with sprouted seeds (almonds are good, too). Add a handful of oil-cured black olives and good quality Israeli or Greek green olives. Top salad with a drizzle of yogurt. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar. Dust with zaatar or thyme (for a Middle-eastern taste) or thyme or oregano for a Greek or Cretan flavor.

HealthyJewishCooking.com’s Raw or Living Fudge Brownies  (Vegan, Parve, Dairy-free, Gluten-free)

This grain and gluten-free recipe can be easily doubled or even tripled.

7 Dried Medjool dates (Most Medjool dates are around 1 ½ to 2 inches long)

1 tablespoon agave syrup or raw honey, optional

1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (approximately) best quality unsweetened cocoa powder (or blend of cocoa and ground raw cacao powder)

¼ cup ground almonds (blanched or unblanched are okay)

1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans

Make sure dates are at room temperature for easy processing. Pit dates and place in food processor with agave, coconut oil and vanilla and pulse until mixture is fairly smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and add cocoa and almonds. Process until well mixed. Stir in 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts.

You may refrigerate at this point until firm or shape immediately. Press mixture into a 1 ½ inch thick square. Slice into six squares. Or roll into truffles. Place in container and refrigerate or freeze. They freeze beautifully for up to three weeks. They stay fresh in the refrigerator for about one week.

Variations

Nut Brownies: Use hazelnuts,  macadamia nuts, or toasted almonds in place of walnuts for a different taste.

Fudge Truffles: Instead of shaping into squares, roll into 10 bite-sized balls. Serve plain or roll bowls in nuts, grated, unsweetened coconut or roll lightly in cocoa powder for a more sophisticated taste.

Super Balls: Add 2 teaspoons spirulina and/or wheatgrass powder.

Power Balls: After “dough” is mixed completely, quickly pulse in 1 tablespoon chia seeds and/or sunflower seeds.

Living Fudge: Instead of ground almonds, sprout whole, raw almonds overnight, slip off skins, pat dry, and grind in food processor. (To sprout almonds, place in bowl and cover generously with pure water. Do not refrigerate. When they start to swell, and little “tails” appear, they are done.)

HJC’s Grown-up Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds 

I never understood why people would take perfectly good squash or pumpkin and make sweet soup out of it. If left unsweetened and bright, hot flavors like fresh chilies, ginger and lemon or lime juice or smoky, dark flavors like chipotle and cumin (or a judicious measure of both) are added, the flavor is so much richer. We used organic vegetables for this soup—even skeptics will find that the flavor will be superior.

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1 very large leek, washed, cleaned and trimmed (Use white part; you can use the light green part if you are very careful to check for bugs) and chopped

1 small onion, diced

2 inch lump of ginger, peeled and sliced

2 small or one large butternut squash (approximately 4 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks

2 teaspoons each, ground cumin, pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1-3 teaspoons chipotle chili powder (optional, or you could use another type of chili powder such as cayenne)

Unrefined sea salt, to taste

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, lemon or lime wedges, minced habanero or serrano chili, optional

In a large pot, sauté onions and leeks in coconut oil over very low heat until limp and just beginning to turn golden. Add ginger, squash and water to cover and bring to boil; turn down heat and cook on low simmer for 30 minutes, then add spices. Cook for another 30 minutes or until squash is very tender.  Correct seasoning. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth, adding water if necessary to make the consistency you prefer.

Toast pumpkin seeds in frying pan over medium hit until they begin to crack and pop. (Alternately, soak and dehydrate pumpkin seeds for a livelier taste). Sprinkle on each serving of soup. Squeeze a lemon or lime over soup if you like and top with fresh, minced chilies.

You can freeze up to one month. Serves 10-12.

For a Rosh Hashana version of this soup, with a nod to tradition, omit the chili powder, the pumpkin seeds and the fresh chili topping. Use the juice of one orange instead of lemon or lime juice. Before you remove soup from the heat, stir in 1 to 3 teaspoons Tupelo or Orange Flower honey and sprinkle each serving with pomegranate seeds.

(How to remove the seeds from a pomegranate: I usually do this, though I hold it directly over a deep bowl while hitting it and not over my hand. Or you can try this elegant approach, complete with exotic music.)

HJC’s Lima Bean Soup

16 oz. (1 lb) small or medium dried lima beans, sorted, rinsed, and soaked for 8-12 hours

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced

4 stalks celery, washed and sliced

2 large carrots, peeled, and cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into semi-circles

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

8 -12 0z. baby bella mushrooms, cleaned, cut into half, and sliced

2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, washed and chopped or 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice

2 tablespoons tomato paste, optional

2 cups cleaned, roughly chopped kale or 2 cups frozen spinach

1 small bunch fresh dill or parsley or combination, washed and finely chopped, use stems

2 teaspoons paprika

Unrefined sea salt, pepper

In large pot, over medium heat, sauté onion, celery and carrots until onions are translucent in one half the olive oil. Add garlic and cook a few minutes more until garlic is tender. Do not brown.

Add lima beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, and tomato paste if using, and cook for at least one hour, until beans are tender. Add kale or spinach, herbs, and paprika, salt and pepper, cooking for an additional 10 minutes until greens are cooked. Correct seasoning. Freeze for up to one month. Makes 10 -12 servings.

HealthyJewishCooking.com’s GABA Rice (Vegan, Parve)

Take 2 cups of your favorite wholegrain rice. You can use short, medium or long-grained rice. Make sure it is not parboiled rice–if it is, it will say so on the package or container. Check the rice for infestation–I’ve found bugs even in pricy bags of sealed brandname brown rice.  Rinse the rice well in pure water. (Always clean grains and beans).

Put the rice in a bowl and pour over it slightly warm water, about 85 to 100 degrees. Some keep the rice warmed by heating it with a light bulb, an insulated hot plate, or the GABA rice sprouter, but I have had excellent results without heating it at all, even in my spring-chilled kitchen.

I change the water every 8-12 hours and keep it soaking until I see a ”tail” beginning to form near the top. It generally takes three to four days for a medium grain rice such as Lundberg “Golden Rose” to show a little sprout. If I am going to eat it raw, I let it sprout until the little sprout-tail is 1/8 an inch long or longer, which might take a few days longer. When you change the water you will notice a strong smell. A natural fermentation process is taking place. The water might even bubble! Don’t worry about it–the rice will still taste good. You’ll rinse it before you use it.

When it has sprouted as much as I want, I drain the rice and let the moist rice sit to dry out for an hour or so. You can lightly cook this rice (it takes about 1/4 the time non-GABA brown rice takes) right away, or you can eat it raw. You can freeze it (uncooked) and defrost it shortly before cooking. It can keep uncooked in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

HJC’S Banana Crepes (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Beyle’s favorite.

(Makes 8 servings)

Banana Filling

4 ripe bananas

Juice of one medium orange

8 Passover crepes (recipe, below)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Slice bananas lengthwise. In large skillet, saute bananas (in batches if necessary) over medium heat until they are slightly caramelized on one side, turn and saute until the other side is also slightly caramelized. (The more golden the banana becomes, the sweeter it will be). Add orange juice and cook over high heat, until juice is nearly evaporated. Place one crepe on plate, place banana on crepe, and roll up. Top with chopped walnuts.

Tip: When juicing citrus fruits, peel a thick “ribbon” of peel around the fruit’s equator to avoid getting the coating from the peel (on non-organic fruits, it’s waxed, sprayed), when you slice into the fruit with a knife. Also, citrus fruit is prone to infestation. The brown, bumpy scabs on it, which look like tiny lines, are actually scale insect. Black dots, if they can be scraped off with a fingernail, are also insects.

Variation: Finely grate a one-inch piece of peeled ginger onto a plate, catching the ginger juice, too. Scrape into pan a couple minutes before taking off the heat.

Passover Crepes (Noodles, too)

Versions of this recipe appear frequently in most Passover cookbooks. I don’t even remember where I got it from, but it’s not an original recipe.

(Makes approximately 8 crepes)

3 large eggs

2/3-1 cup water

1/4 cup potato starch

pinch salt

olive oil

In food processor, blender, or mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Add water and mix well. With motor running (or while whisking by hand) add potato starch and salt, mixing until very smooth. You may make the batter thicker or thinner, depending on what you like.

Pour a about half a teaspoon olive oil (or other fat) into a 9 inch non-stick frying pan (you can use a larger pan if you prefer). With a piece of paper towel, wipe the oil around the pan and heat the pan on medium heat until hot. Using a 4 oz. ladle or measuring cup with lip, quickly pour 4 oz. or less batter into pan and swirl around until bottom of pan is evenly, but lightly, coated. You may pour off any remaining batter. Cook until top side of crepe bubbles and it is easily picked up. Flip, and cook another minute more.

When done, lay on a parchment paper lined plate and continue making crepes. (I usually quadruple this recipe and roll about half the crepes up, slicing into thin noodles. I divide the noodles into plastic baggies and freeze them and then pull them out about half hour before serving them in soup.)

HJC’s Chocolate-Orange Pudding

If you don’t tell anyone what this rich dessert is made of, they’ll never guess.

(6-8 servings)

2 ripe avocados

2-3 tablespoons pure cocoa powder, to taste

6-8 large, soft medjool dates, pitted, checked for insects, and pureed in food processor until very smooth (you may add a couple drops orange juice to facilitate blending)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, for gloss (you can substitute extra virgin coconut oil, after Pesach)

Freshly squeezed orange juice (juice of one orange, as needed to taste)

Peel and pit avocados and place in food processor with cocoa and about 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. Blend until smooth. Add about half of date paste, and process until blended will. Taste for sweetness. If necessary, add more date paste for sweetness and orange juice if the pudding needs to be thinner.

Serve well chilled in dessert dishes. (If you want, you can pipe it into dishes. I don’t bother.)

HJC’s Post-Seder or Chol Hamoed Breakfast for 2 

Technically this isn’t a dessert. But, if you feel unfocused from the late night seders, the four glasses of wine, too much matzoh, and various and sundry Passover miracles, this makes a great breakfast (or lunch). You don’t absolutely have to have a juicer, you can throw everything in the blender if you prefer, just follow the blender version.

Juicer Version

1 large, unwaxed, organic cucumber (peeled for Pesach if you prefer)

1 small organic beet, (peeled for Pesach if you prefer)

1 large organic carrot (peeled for Pesach if you prefer)

1 inch cube of ginger, peeled

Juice all ingredients. Serve right away.

Blender Version

1 large, unwaxed, organic cucumber (peeled for Pesach if you prefer)

1 ripe peach, peeled

Juice of one lemon or lime

1/2 cup pure water of coconut water, see tart recipe below

Blend until smooth, adding as much water as necessary. Serve right away or chill slightly. (You may use chilled ingredients to start).

HJC’s Refreshing Tropical Tart for Passover

Crust

6-8 medjool dates, pitted and checked for insects

2 cups blanched, ground almonds

extra virgin olive oil, as needed

In food processor, pulse dates with a dash of olive oil until smooth paste forms. If necessary, you may add a bit of room temperature water. Add almonds, and pulse until mixed. Press into parchment lined, 9 inch pie crust. Crust will be relatively thick. Chill for one hour.

Filling

4 medjool dates, pitted and checked for insects

2 young coconuts (they can be bought at Asian markets and many natural foods stores; make sure you purchase them from a place that keeps them refrigerated, otherwise they will rot)

Juice of one lime

2-3 very ripe, large mangos peeled and diced, leaving a few thin slices for top of tart

Open coconuts, and scoop out flesh with back of spoon, reserving liquid to drink another time. (Refrigerate). Yes, you do need to be confident with a knife to do this. Careful! (It’s worth it. It is perhaps one of my favorite drinks and foods).

In clean food processor, puree dates. Add coconut meat and lime, and pulse until well combined and smooth. Add ripe mango, and pulse until well mixed. Mixture does not have to be very smooth, some texture is nice. Fill pie crust with filling and top with a couple slices of mango or lime. Freeze for 30 minutes, and finish chilling in refrigerator for at least two hours. Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, and tightly covered and kept cold.

HJC’s Citrus Pie or Bars

In truth, if you make a traditional lemon curd with eggs (with or without sugar, sweetening with orange juice/apple juice), you’ll get a silkier filling. But I made this for a guest for a guest who is allergic to eggs and also doesn’t want to eat sugar, and he loved it. You may add up to 1/2 cup sugar if you want. If you do, reduce the amount of apple juice.

Make the crust from the Tropical Tart recipe, above and chill. If you prefer citrus bars, use a square brownie pan instead of a pie plate.

Juice 2 limes, 1 lemon (optional), and 2  juice orange. Add enough freshly squeezed apple juice (use peeled, very sweet apples such as Delicious or Fuji) to make 2 cups liquid. Taste! If too tart, add more apple juice.

Bring to a slow simmer the 2 cups of juice over medium-low heat in non-reactive saucepan (not aluminum). Place over low flame (on flame-tamer if you have one). Mix well 3 1/2 tablespoons of potato starch and 3 1/2 tablespoons of room temperature water in separate non-metallic bowl. Whisk quickly into hot liquid in saucepan until mixed well. Mixture should begin to thicken almost immediately. Do not boil. Remove from heat quickly. Set aside until warm, not hot and then spoon into prepared crust. Chill for at least two hours before cutting and serving.

HJC’s My Favorite Dessert

Fruit salad. Seriously. You don’t need a recipe. Just make sure you use the best quality, ripest fruit, in season. Peel and cut into bite sized pieces. That’s it.

HealthyJewishCooking.com’s Power Lunch for 2 (Vegan, Parve, Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced

1 cup mixed sprouts (clover, broccoli, alfalfa is nice)

1 cup sprouted chickpeas (optional)

2 scallions, sliced

handful of sprouted or toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley, mint

2 cups mixed lettuces

Juice of one lemon

Pinch of chipotle chile powder

1 teaspoon Bragg’s liquid aminos or your favorite soy sauce

Wash lettuce and scallions and check for insects. Toss all ingredients together in large bowl.

HealthyJewishCooking.com’s Chocolate Cream Pie (Vegan, Parve, Dairy-free, Gluten-free)

Crust:

1 cup ground almonds or Bob’s Red Mill almond “flour”

4-5 medjool dates at room temperature, pitted and checked for insect infestation

1 tablespoon x-virgin coconut oil

1 tablespoon honey, optional

Process dates, oil and honey if using in food processor until smooth. Spread evenly onto bottom and sides of 8 inch pie plate and press down. Freeze until you’ve completed the filling recipe.

Filling

1 ripe (soft to the touch) Haas avocado

1 large, very ripe banana

2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder and/or raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons raw honey or agave, or to taste

2 teaspoons x-virgin coconut oil (optional, but it makes it creamier)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whirl ingredients around in food processor or blender until very smooth. Fill pie crust and freeze for at least 2 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Serve. Don’t tell anyone what’s in it–they won’t know unless you tell them. Alternately, skip skip the pie crust and the freezer and serve the pudding chilled, in dessert dishes. Also, if you are serving it plain, as a mouse or pudding, the banana is optional.

HealthyJewishCooking.com’s Emergency Parve Ice Cream (Vegan, Parve, Dairy-free, No Added Sugars-opt.) GF/DF/P/Can be SF

2 really ripe bananas (the riper, the sweeter)

At least 8 hours

Put peeled bananas in plastic baggie the ziplock sandwich kind is good. Seal. Smoosh the bananas through the bag with your fingers so they are a mash. Lay bag flat on top of something in the freezer. Leave at least 8 hours or up to three weeks depending how cold your freezer is.

Remove from freezer and break up the mashed mass slightly through the bag. Open bag and place contents in food processor. Pulse on high until bananas are broken up and then process on high, scraping down sides of processor bowl until bananas turn white and take on a creamy consistency. (Don’t try to whip up more than 2 medium/large or 3 small bananas at once). Serve immediately. Serves 2-3.

Variations

Add maple syrup, honey or agave to taste.

Add one of the above sweeteners and 1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder or raw cacao powder.

Add 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, almond extract, mint extract or other natural flavorings.

Add chopped nuts. (Walnut-maple is great).

Add thawed, frozen strawberries, fresh diced peaches, etc.

HealthyJewishCooking.com’s Beinoni Raw Apple Pie (Raw, Living-opt., Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, No added sugars-opt.) GF/DF/P (Can be SF)

Crust

6 medjool dates

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill almond flour (or fresh, home-sprouted ground and skinned almonds for Beinoni Living Apple Pie)

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon pure almond extract, optional

Process dates until paste forms. Add remaining ingredients and process until well mixed. Spread mixture in bottom of 9 inch cake or pie pan, press down firmly.

Filling

2 cups apple juice or water

2 rounded tablespoons of agar (kanten)*

2 tablespoons or to taste raw honey or agave if using water (I find with sweet apples this is completely unnecessary)

Sweet apples (8-10 small, 6-7 medium, 5 large)

Juice of half a lemon, optional, but if you are using rather ordinary apples, the lemon juice helps pick up the flavor

1 tablespoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or less if your apples are flavorful

Pour apple juice or water in saucepan, sprinkle 2 rounded tablespoons agar (kanten) flakes on the surface of the liquid. Heating gently until simmering, stirring occasionally until agar is dissolved. Let cool slightly until just warm. At this point, if you used water instead of juice, you might want to stir in 2 tablespoons raw honey or agave syrup.

Peel apples and coarsely chop. You can do this in the food processor if you like, but a knife and patience works just fine. You want at least 3 cups chopped apples. Place apples into large bowl, sprinkle on lemon juice, and stir in 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Pour cooled agar-liquid over apples, and stir well. Pour into pie crust and spread evenly.

Chill for at least two hours before serving. Serves 6-8.

*Agar or Kanten, as it is called in Japanese, is a prepared seaweed gelatin often used in commercial ice creams and puddings. It has no flavor (but smells slightly of sea-minerals as it cooks). It gels quite firmly. The best kosher brand, I think, is Mitoku which has not been bleached or dyed.

HealthyJewishCooking.com’s French-bread Challah (My regular recipe, makes 6 medium loaves). DF/SF/P

Yes, there are a lot of steps, but read the recipe in advance. You’ll see that each step is actually very simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. I give the measurements here in cups, though weighing the flour gives more professional results (most people ask me for cup measurements). You can use 100 percent whole wheat flour, (I like King Arthur’s “white whole wheat” flour which is a softer, lighter-colored whole wheat flour) or all purpose flour, or a mixture. This is a very digestible challah for those who don’t want rich ingredients. It is delicious toasted during the week, as well.

For the starter:

4 cups warm water

1/2 tspn. instant or active dry yeast (When using 5 lbs. flour, still use no more than 1 tspn. yeast, depending on variety of yeast used.)

4 cups flour (see notes, above)

Make a starter in the mixing bowl. (Whisk yeast into warm water.) When yeast is dissolved and active (a couple minutes) add in the flour and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for 2-8 hours. (Should be at least doubled in size).

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For the sponge:

3 cups warm water

½-1 tspn. active dry yeast

8 cups flour of your choice

starter, above

In a clean mixing bowl, stir yeast into the warm water. Stir in starter, and flour and mix very well. Cover with plastic wrap and keep 4-8 hours at room temp until tripled in volume.

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For the dough:

8-10 cups flour (here you can add bread flour if you prefer, which is higher in gluten and gives a “breadier” texture, but requires more kneading)

1 Tablespoon unrefined sea salt, not coarse (Redmonds brand is kosher)

Optional: 1-2 Tblspns extra virgin olive oil (you could also use any other oil you prefer-Sunflower or Safflower is okay, even XV coconut is nice). I don’t use Canola oil. I’ll tell you why in a later post.

Additional XV Olive or other oil for bowl.

Gently add flour to sponge in small amounts.  Mix in salt. Coat hands in some of the olive oil, and knead gently on work surface or right in bowl until smooth. This requires a quick knead. It produces a shaggy, medium-soft dough.

Tips: You can keep dipping your hands in the olive oil—this is a nice way to add oil to the dough. Add more flour if dough is very rough, or too wet or soft. Of course, if you have a mixer this can made very nicely in the mixer. Also, if you have a scale, it is best to weigh ingredients, and then build up your recipe from your weighed ingredients to duplicate.

Lightly coat dough with oil, place in clean bowl, cover, and let rise until fully doubled in size. About one hour, depending on your kitchen temperature.

Cover dough with large kitchen towel and “take” challah. Without taking challah, you don’t have challah, you’ve got bread. Here are some links to directions for how to take challah.*

Gently shape dough into challah. This is a soft dough and can’t take fancy braids. A simple three-strand braid or two-strand twist works best. Do not twist too tightly or challah will split.

Tips: This recipe responds well to a thick three-strand braid or a two-strand twist. Do not twist too tightly or Challah will split. You can very, very lightly dust individual strands with a bit of flour to help keep them distinct. I don’t bother usually. I don’t put a lot of effort into shaping this particular dough, though I should, I suppose.

This dough  works best in a loaf  pan. Braid, and then place gently in your loaf pan. This is not a great shaping-type dough.

Cover well with oiled plastic wrap, and let rest about 1-2 hours depending on the temp in your house. You can even refrigerate the loaves for longer, but bring to room temperature before baking. You can place loaves on thin baking sheet if you like (and then place thin baking sheet directly on thick, preheated baking sheet in oven).

Preheat oven to 450-500 half an hour before baking.  Use middle rack.

Tip: Maggie Glezer, who wrote the absolutely wonderful James Beard award-winning book, A Blessing of Bread, says at this point lightly press dough with fingertip. If dough does not spring back, but stays indented lightly, the challahs are ready to bake. This test seems to work well with all types of dough.

Place loaves gently in oven. Even though they say it doesn’t make a difference in a home oven, I usually place a pan of boiling water in oven, and/or mist oven quickly if it is a very clean oven. I find this crisps the loaves. Immediately turn down to 350- 375 degrees and bake for about 45-55 minutes. Experiment with oven temp.

Optional: Half-way through the bake, beat whole egg or yolk (with 1 Tablespoon honey or agave syrup, optional) and brush on challahs. At that point you can sprinkle on sesame or poppy seeds, etc. if you like.

You can use a thermometer (210 degrees when done.) I don’t have one so I just remove a loaf from a pan, and tap bottom to make sure it is firm and hollow sounding. On Erev Shabbos, the day before Shabbos, I also like to give the challahs a little extra bake of 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees to crisp up bottom and sides. I generally make large batches and freeze.  I defrost what I need a couple hours at room temp. Then I crisp in the oven.

I have used white whole wheat, spelt, all AP flour and other mixtures to experiment. I would use all bread flour, but when kneading 5 pounds of it, you really need a commercial mixer with this dough and I don’t have one, so the AP is easier to kneadA mixer designed for home-use, even a Bosch, will have a hard time with such a heavy dough, though a friend who has one says the new Bosh Universal Plus can do it.

No matter what other delicious eggy, sweet, rich or fluffy Challah I experiment with, my husband keeps requesting this rather spartan one because he finds it the easiest to digest. Also, it’s plain taste and satisfying texture is the perfect foil for rich Shabbos foods.

HealthyJewishCooking.Com’s Sweet and Sour Shabbos Fish GF/DF/P

4 salmon steaks or fillets (also works well with trout and salmon trout)

Juice of one orange

Juice of one lemon

1 Tablespoon *Maple Syrup or Agave, optional

2 teaspoons Tamari or Shoyu

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds

Sliced scallions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a roasting pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, and sesame oil (and sweetener if using). Pour over fish. Sprinkle on sesame seeds. **Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Turn down oven to 350 degrees, cover pan, and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes until fish is done, depending on the thickness of the fillets or steaks.

To serve: Top with sliced scallions.

HealthyJewishCooking.com’s Garlicky Tomato-mint Dip GF/DF/SF/P

1 1/2 pounds ripe or over-ripe tomatoes

2-4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander, ground cumin

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, optional

1 soft, pitted medjool date, chopped finely, optional (add if your tomatoes are more acidic than sweet)

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped (I always use the stems, too)

6 -8 large fresh mint leaves, roughly torn into a couple pieces, or 1-2 teaspoons dried mint

unrefined sea salt, to taste

Blend using stick blender or in food processor until chunky or smooth as you prefer. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve as dip for Challah, pita bread, or crackers.

HJC’s Ossvo (Bukharan Cholent, Adapted from Yanna’s recipe )

2 medium yellow onions, diced

4 cloves garlic (optional, Yanna’s recipe doesn’t call for garlic)

vegetable oil (I omitted this, but Yanna browns her onions in the oil)

1 1/2-2 pounds lamb neck or stew, on the bone if possible

1/2 pound additional lamb bones (optional)

6-8 cups good chicken, veal, or lamb stock or water (Yanna uses chix-style soup mix)

1 12 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 cups brown rice, washed, sorted (I use Lundberg’s Golden Rose but basmati or Persian rice is more traditional)

salt, pepper

2 teaspoons each, cumin, paprika (optional, I added the spices because the ossvo was bland to my taste)

4-6 prunes, pitted

1 cup fresh cranberries (washed, sorted) (In Bukhara, they use fresh barberries which aren’t available in Brooklyn)

1 green apple, peeled and diced

1 or 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated (optional)

2 large potatoes, washed, peeled, quartered.

1/2 to 1 cup cilantro (wash, check for insects, and chop) (optional, my husband doesn’t like cilantro so I leave it out)

In a heavy pot (cast iron is ideal), cook the lamb until browned on all sides. Remove the lamb, leaving the fat behind. Sauté the onion in the fat from the lamb until golden. If there isn’t enough fat, add a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil. Add the garlic if using and cook until lightly golden. Add the stock or water, tomatoes, rice, salt, pepper and spices. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then lower to a simmer. Stir in the prunes, cranberries, apple, carrots if using and potatoes. Place on a flame tamer for an hour, and taste for seasoning. Add cilantro if using and additional water to cover, if needed. Place on hotplate or blech and keep overnight until Shabbos lunch. A chewy-crispy crust called tadigi usually forms in the bottom of the pan, make sure you give everyone a taste of the tadigi.

HealthyJewishCooking.com Parve Zucchini Parmesan  GF/DF/SF/P

3 lbs. ripe plum tomatoes, pureed in blender or 1 28 oz. can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons each: dried basil, thyme, oregano or 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (Frontier Salt-free, Organic Italian Seasoning is a good choice)

Salt and black pepper

2-4 finely diced shallots or 4-6 large cloves garlic, minced

*Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

4 very large zucchini, sliced in 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices

2 medium tomatoes (very ripe), sliced thinly

2 cups ground almonds or fine, whole-wheat bread crumbs or combination of the two

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix tomato sauce with half the spices and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté shallots or garlic in about one teaspoon of olive oil. When translucent but not browned, stir into tomato sauce.

Mix the remaining spices with the almonds or crumbs. Line a medium lasagna pan with parchment paper. Spread about 1 cup of the seasoned tomato sauce onto the bottom of the pan. Lay zucchini down in one neat layer. Top with sliced tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of the seasoned almonds or crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Spread 1 cup the remaining tomato sauce and top with another layer of zucchini. Spread 1/2 cup of the remaining almonds/crumbs over this layer, the remaining tomato sauce, and then drizzle with olive oil. Top with the remaining almonds/crumbs, and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Bake covered for one hour or more. Remove cover—zucchini should be very tender and liquid-y. Bake an additional 45 minutes to one hour uncovered, until golden brown. Serves 8-12 as a main dish or up to 16 as a side dish.

* I use about 1 cup total. Although this is quite a lot of oil, and way more than I normally use, I serve small portions of the dish. It is very filling.

Live-Wire, 7 Fruit Pie GF/DF/P (Can be SF)

Crust

6 medjool dates, room temperature

2 teaspoons extra virgin coconut oil

2 cups fresh, ground almonds, home-sprouted and peeled (or 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill almond flour)

Process medjool dates, adding enough coconut oil to make a paste. Mix in ground almonds or almond flour, and press into 9 inch pie or cake pan. (Line pan with parchment paper, first for easy removal). Rinse food processor.

Filling

1 ripe banana (the riper, the sweeter the pie)

2 cups chunked, ripe, fresh pineapple

2-3 heaping tablespoons organic coconut butter (I used *Artisana brand) or unsweetened, preservative-free creamed coconut

Agave, to taste (optional)

Process ingredients until smooth. If the banana and pineapple are really ripe, you will not need any sweetener at all. A ripe banana is heavily spotted with brown on the outside. A ripe pineapple smells very sweet. Scrape into bowl and refrigerate. Rinse food processor.

Mango Glaze

1 very ripe mango (Tommy Atkins, Francis or Haden are the best varieties for this glaze).

Agave, to taste (optional)

Puree mango in food processor until smooth. A ripe mango is very soft and fragrant, the color of the skin will vary depending on the variety. You may add agave or honey if you like but the tart-sweet mango flavor really complements the creamy filling without added sweeteners. Scrape into bowl, refrigerate.

Macadamia Nut Cream

3 oz. raw macadamia nuts

8 whole (or 4 halved) macadamia nuts

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Up to 2 tablespoons cold water

Process nuts until finely ground. I use a mini-processor for this. Add vanilla and a pinch of sea salt, and process until cream is formed, adding cold water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if needed. Scrape into small bowl. Refrigerate.

Spread banana filling into pie crust. Smooth on mango glaze. Wrap well and freeze for at least four hours. Up to one hour before serving, remove pie from freezer. Using teaspoon, make 8 evenly spaced circles of macadamia nut cream on top of mango glaze, and top each circle with a whole (or half) raw macadamia nut. Slice into eight to ten even servings.

You can make the almond sprouts tonight unless you want to use the ground almond flour,  make the pie tomorrow, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and an outer layer of foil (to foil freezer-rummagers), and it will keep beautifully for Shabbos.

HJC’s Easy Borsch or Cultured Beets

Adapted from Pickl-it.

If you’re from Hungarian, Russian, Czech, or Polish background, you’re probably heard of (or even made) “borsch”, a naturally fermented beet drink.  (If you use the “t”, as in borscht, it usually refers to the soup, not the fermented drink.)

It’s important to make any fermented-cultured-pickled foods in clean glass containers—if you use plastic containers the toxic chemicals from the plastics seep into your recipe, literally “poisoning” it. It is also extremely important to avoid the growth of mold—you’ll need an anaerobic (oxygen-free) seal on your fermenting jar. Skimming mold off the top is like removing the tip of an iceberg, invisible mold spores still remain throughout your borsch. Mold can trigger allergies, headaches, and even serious illnesses in susceptible individuals.  Never heat the beets or the borsch in order to preserve the healthy probiotics.  Never add sugar or vinegar.

Ingredients:

Three (3) Pounds Medium or Small Beets, preferably organic and freshly picked, scrubbed and peeled, quartered and sliced for borsch OR grated, for cultured beets

2 Tablespoons unrefined finely ground sea salt (Himalayan Pink Sea Salt or Celtic Sea Salt-Do not use any refined or processed salt, even refined sea salt). Do not be tempted to add more salt than recommended. However, I’ve added less salt (as little as half) and have got good results. I think the environmental temperature is key, but the exact science eludes me.

Method:

Pack a 2 to 3 liter clean, glass pickling jar with beets alternated with salt. Cover and allow beets to macerate for an hour or two in room temperature. Open jar and press down with clean wooden spoon or dowel to release more brine. If using grated beets there will be enough brine. If using sliced beets you might have to add more. For additional brine mix 1 Tablespoon salt with 3 cups water. Stir well and add what is needed to come up to shoulder of pickling jar in order for water to rise between ½ and 1 inch above beets. Weigh down beets with very clean, small glass plate so beets are beneath brine. Seal jar and let sit at a cool room temperature in a dark place (a basement or linen closet work great) for 3 days to 7 days for sliced beets and up to 2 days for grated beets. Open, taste test, and seal well and refrigerate for several weeks.

For Borsch: Pour out liquid and drink a small amount each day. Meanwhile, refill jar with brine and make an additional batch as above.

For Cultured Beets: Ess! (Eat.)

Easy Miso Rooties (Cultured Root Veggies) For Beginners

This is a healthy, easy alternative to vinegar pickled turnips (Tarshi) and other vinegar pickles, which don’t contain healthful probiotics. Miso is fermented bean paste, frequently made with soy but might also/instead contain chickpeas, rice, barley or other ingredients. Natural miso contains beneficial enzymes and makes a delicious, quick pickle. Miso is one of the few foods containing soy that is healthful—that’s because the natural culture breaks down the harmful phytates, enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients in soy. Unfermented soy products, including most tofu, soy milk, and soy beans and chips, contain natural toxins that block the action of trypsin and other protein-digesting enzymes. Limit the use of most soy products and only eat fermented soy products.

Ingredients:

1 pound organic turnips, and/or daikon, rutabaga, carrots, etc.*

Miso, any mellow-tasting variety, preferably unpasteurized

Fresh ginger, optional

Method:

Wash vegetables. (You can leave peel on clean, organic veggies—peel non-organic veggies).

Mix with a few slices thin, peeled ginger, optional.

Coat with miso and place in glass jar or bowl. Make sure all surface area of vegetables is covered by miso. Cover with a saucer or plastic wrap, and let sit at least 24 hours or for up to one week. Scrape off miso (you may reuse it for another recipe) and serve immediately.

*Try cucumbers, zucchini, garlic cloves, and other veggies, too.

For more information, workshops, or nutritional consultations contact Chaya Rivka at healthyblog@optimum.net.

HJC’S Tahina Dip

Lots of people buy prepared tahina, but I always make my own because aside from tasting better many of the prepared brands contain preservatives. (Come on, you don’t think they get those extended expiration dates without a little chemical help, do you?)

1 cup raw tahini

Juice of two lemon

1/2 to 1 cup water

Pinch of each: ground cumin, ground coriander, to taste

1/2 teaspoon good quality dried mint leaves or 1 tablespoon freshly washed and minced mint leaves

Cayenne pepper to taste, optional

Paprika for serving

Blend tahini, lemon juice, and water to desired consistency. Tahini seizes up at first when mixed with liquid, but after blending well produces an emulsified sauce. I just use a fork and a bowl, but you can use a hand blender or food processor.

Add spices, herbs, and cayenne pepper if using. Place in bowl or spread on plate, middle-eastern style and top with cured black olives and sprinkle with paprika.

Serve with crudites, pita bread, or as part of a mezze spread.

Variations:

Garlic Tahina-Add one or two cloves pressed or minced garlic.

Herb Tahina-Add 2 tablespoons minced, fresh parsley and/or cilantro.

Smoky Chile Tahinia-Add 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (omit cayenne) and increase cumin to 1 teaspoon.

Serves 4-8 as a dip.

HJC Tahini Salad Dressing

1/2 cup raw tahini

Juice of one lemon

2 teaspoons organic apple cider vinegar

2/3 to 1 cup water

1 tablespoon Zatar (middle-eastern spice mixture available at many supermarkets)

Blend tahini, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar with as much water as you need to reach desired consistency. Add zatar and mix well.

For a high-calcium, high-fiber salad, mix 1/2 cup dressing with 4 cups romaine and radicchio salad, top with 1/4 cup each sprouted or toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Makes 4 to 6 servings of salad dressing.

HJC Living Hummus

2 cups sprouted chickpeas (recipe follows)

1/2  recipe HCJ Tahina Dip, omit dried/fresh mint

1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

Juice of one lemon

2 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon each, cumin, coriander

Chilled water

1/4 cup minced, flat-leaf parsley

Unrefined sea salt, to taste

Blend all ingredients except parsley and water with stick (hand) blender or in food processor. (Blender produces smoother hummus). Add enough water to make a smooth paste. Stir in minced parsley and salt. Serve with felafel, veggie burgers, pita bread, or crudites.

Easy Sprouted Chickpeas

1 1/3 cup organic chickpeas

You can use a jar with cheesecloth or a sprouting kit, but you can easily sprout chickpeas in a bowl. Rinse chickpeas well and remove any small stones or other matter. Discard cracked or damaged chick peas. Place chickpeas in jar or bowl, cover with plenty of cool water (must be at least several inches above the peas to allow room for expansion). Cover lightly with dish towel, and leave overnight (8-12 hours).

Drain chickpeas in strainer or colander, and rinse well. Place in strainer or colander over bowl, cover with dish towel and place in cool spot in kitchen. Rinse and drain 4 times per day.

They chickpeas will usually produce 1/4 inch tails within 24 hours. Sometimes, it can take as long as 2 days.

You can use the chickpeas as is or drop them for one minute into boiling water to lightly cook if you find beans hard to digest. Although raw sprouts have been linked to outbreaks of salmonella due to poor quality controls on the seeds or beans used, if you buy high quality beans (in this case packaged is often better than bulk) and discard any cracked or damaged beans, there should be no problem).

3 responses to “Recipes

  1. First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.

    I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Cheers!

  2. Pingback: Five Parve Recipes For The Nine Days | healthyjewishcooking·

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