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Egg, Nut, and Dairy Free (Vegan) Hammentashen for Purim

purim recipes, baskets, and decor

Egg, Nut, and Dairy Free (Vegan) Hammentashen for Purim

3 Comments 03 March 2015

Meet my favorite Mom with a Mission- Rachel Orenstein Packer. Last year Rachel and I met somehow via the web, and Rachel graciously offered to write up some recipes for adults and kids that have egg, nut, and dairy allergies, which oddly seem so prevalent nowadays. Rachel was so passionate about the topic, she then started her own blog, Life is Good, Lick the Bowl and her recipes and valuable advice have been featured in many magazines, newspapers and blogs. Try this Hammentashen recipe which uses moist tofu as a useful substitute for eggs. 

 

Egg, Nut, and Dairy Free (Vegan) Hammentashen

By: Rachel Ornstein Packer

As you may know, my youngest, Ari, was diagnosed with food allergies to eggs and nuts three years ago.  At the time, Purim was just around the corner and it painfully dawned on me that he wasn’t going to be able to eat any of the hamantashen. Ari usually begins asking for hamantashen in September. Clearly, this was going to be difficult.

My attempts to distract him by focusing on Purim’s non-food related activities such as the costume and the carnival, ultimately failed.  After all, food is the cornerstone of every Jewish holiday and the iconic hamantash is the defining food of Purim.  I hated the fact that food allergies had so quickly dampened Ari’s joy of Purim, and I was very determined to change that.

It has been three years since that fateful day at the allergist’s office, and while there have been plenty of adjustments, mistakes, questions, and frustrations along the way, one thing is certain…Jewish holidays feel joyful again.

This recipe for Chocolate Hamantashen is my family’s favorite creation thus far.  It’s a kosher recipe thats egg, nut and dairy free, and if you have any vegan friends or relatives on your mishloach manot list…these are perfect.  For those who are faint of heart when they hear the word “tofu”, please don’t be.  These hamantashen are so filled with chocolaty goodness, honestly, you can’t even taste it…really.

If you are baking for a nut allergic individual, make sure that your ingredients (especially the chocolate) are truly nut free.  Please be aware that not all chocolate is the same.  Some people are highly sensitive to chocolate products even if they don’t contain nuts because they are made on the same product line as nut candy.  To play it safe, always check your products carefully and ask questions. If you would like to know more, check out www.foodallergy.org.

Rice Dream Semi Sweet Baking Chips, (these aren’t made in a nut free facility, but they use very good manufacturing processes to avoid contamination). They are also completely gluten free but do contain soy.  They pack a nice chocolate punch. They work better as a filling for larger hamantashen. OU Pareve.

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips. These chips are manufactured in a nut, gluten, egg, and dairy and soy free facility.  Can’t go wrong with these and they are great for a chocolate ganache.  They melt very well and taste amazing.  They only come in mini form.

HASHAHAR H’AOLE Cocoa Parve Spread.  This is my go to for filling hamantashen.  The container specifically states that they are nut free.  Their website indicates that there are no nuts in any of their products.    Again, if you aren’t sure, ASK!  Chag Sameach.

Cocoa Powder- I use Hershey’s without any problems, but again…some people may be sensitive. Always check the labels.

 

Chocolate Hamantashen- Makes approx. 3 dozen small hamantashen

  • ½ block Soft Silken Tofu (I use Mori-nu brand)
  • 1 cup sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

A Word about Tofu

Tofu is very easy and versatile.  In fact, I use it in many baking recipes for various holidays. Below are a few tofu pointers.

  • It comes in different consistencies.  For this recipe, soft, silken tofu is best.  Drain the tofu for a few minutes to remove any excess water.
  • Tofu comes in a vacuum-packed box in the refrigerator section of your grocery store (usually in the produce section).
  • Cut along the dotted lines at the top and the tofu will easily slide out, just gently guide it into the strainer.
  • After draining, cut the block in half.
  • Before placing it in the food processor, cut the ½-block piece into smaller pieces to distribute it more thoroughly in the food processor.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, blend the tofu, oil and sugar until ingredients are smooth and creamy.  Make sure to scrape down the sides in order to get all the little bits of tofu blended.
  3. Add the vanilla and blend again.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Combine the liquid ingredients with the dry and mix.  You will have to switch to using your hands until it becomes dough.  The dough will be sticky.  If it is too sticky, just sprinkle with some more flour while you work it into smooth dough.
  6. Place the dough into a Ziploc bag, or wrap in saran wrap and chill in the freezer for an hour.
  7. When you are ready to roll out the dough, work with what you need and keep the rest in the freezer.  The dough softens rather quickly and is delicate so you have to keep it cold and work fast.
  8. Place the dough on a floured surface (I usually cut a gallon size Ziploc bag in half and place the dough between the two sheets with a little flour, I find that the dough doesn’t stick to the bags as much.
  9. Roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness and use a round cookie cutter to make rounds.  I actually use a small juice glass that is 2 ½ inches round.  You can make them bigger if you so desire.
  10. Fill the hamantashen with a ¼  to ½ tsp. of filling.  You can use fruit preserves, jellies, chocolate ganache, plain old chocolate chips (use mini chips for mini hamantashen because they don’t tear the dough), or my favorite…Israeli chocolate spread.
  11. Bring the sides up over the filling and press into a triangular shape. Pinch the seams closed so the filling doesn’t ooze out.
  12. Space the hamantashen out about an inch apart on your baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes.  Remember, if you want them crunchy like a cookie; keep them in longer than 15 minutes.  If you are a cakey hamantashen lover, then begin checking them at around 13 minutes to see how well cooked they are.
  13. Remove and cool for about 1 minute on baking tray, then transfer to a cookie rack.

 

 

 

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The Perfect Savory Mushroom Turkey Stuffing

kosher chicken recipes, kosher recipes, kosher thanksgiving recipes

The Perfect Savory Mushroom Turkey Stuffing

1 Comment 20 October 2012

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I’m so glad that I bumped into Julie again on our weekly Shabbat walk. Always with a sweet word to say, she lets me know that at there are people out there who love The Jewish Hostess!!

Thank Julie for sending in this great recipe for stuffing! Can’t wait to put it on my Thanksgiving menu!! Marlene

 The Perfect Savory Mushroom Turkey Stuffing by Julie Esses

“Hi Marlene-

  • Two tablespoons of Earth Balance
  • Two medium celery stalks
  • One cup one medium onion chopped
  • One quarter cup fresh parsley
  • One tablespoon chopped sageor one teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • One and half teaspoons chopped majoram
  • Three quarter teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves or one quarter teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • One half teaspoon salt
  • Salt seven cups soft bread cubes (you can use challah)
  • Two medium carrots shredded
  • One and half cups one medium zuchini shredded
  • One cup one cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  1. Melt Earth Balance  in ten inch nonstick skillet over low medium heat
  2. Cook celery and onion in butter stirring frequently until onion is tender
  3. Stir in parsley, sage, majoram, tarragon, and salt.
  4. Mix bread cubes, carrots, zuchini, and mushrooms in a large bowl add celery mixture and toss.
  5. Mixture is now ready to stuff.
  6. Refrigerate turkey with stuffing until ready to roast
  7. Bake leftovers in a  pyrex at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Julie Esses”

Was Popeye Eating Kale?

kosher recipes, kosher salad recipes, kosher vegetable recipes, shavuot recipes and ideas

Was Popeye Eating Kale?

2 Comments 19 May 2012


Adele Yedid MS, RD

We all somehow inherently know that kale is good for us. From fast food eaters to health food fanatics, children to adults, dietitians to laymen…kale is pretty much a universal health food. Even my computer seems to have gotten the memo on this nutritional giant. While gathering data on kale I typed the words “nutrition” into a Google search and before I could even type the words “of kale,” a funny thing happened. The first search option to pop up was “nutritional perks of kale.” Either my computer is psychic or there’s a major buzz surrounding the health benefits of this green vegetable.

So what’s the hype? Maybe it’s because kale is just so green, or probably because most people don’t like to eat it. We all know that the best test determining how good a food is for you is how bad it tastes, right? (Loud, annoying buzzer) WRONG! I would like the opportunity to disprove that.

Let me begin with a little background information on this “superfood.” Just like your favorite superhero, kale is tender yet strong (proven by its ability to be eaten from raw to braised), fights the bad guys (diseases like cancer and heart disease), puts things back where they belong (as in cholesterol and waste- you get it), and saves the good guys (provides a plethora of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals). Specifically, kale is an amazing source of antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as one of the highest available food sources of vitamin K. It is actually so high in vitamin K (which works in blood clotting factors) that those on blood thinners may be advised to avoid it as it can be counteractive to their medication. Among the specific types of the antioxidants found in kale are the carotenoids and flavonoids, which are the primary factors giving kale its anti-cancer capabilities. I can continue, but I will spare you and simply say that going through kale’s nutritional roster makes me wonder if it was spinach Popeye was eating all that time.

I am aware that all this nutritional jargon may not be enough to convince some of you skeptics. My husband Eli was an avid kale chips hater. He would list it on his top 10 worst foods. He would make faces as I ate it at dinner. He strongly felt that I could eat it only because I am a registered dietitian who grew up on a macrobiotic diet, and I would agree to appease him. But despite that, I couldn’t prove to him that I truly did enjoy it. I had to find a way to present it to people like my husband who were on the other side.

And so, I searched and read and tested and tasted. What follows are two recipes that I feel can change your mind if it needs changing. I would like to showcase kale’s versatility by presenting it to you in both cooked and raw form. We will start for the faint of heart with a recipe for spicy kale chips, a crispy and light snack that your kids will fight over. From there we will graduate to enjoying kale in its green glory with my asian sesame kale salad, fresh, earthy and vibrant. Talk about spring cleaning!

Purchasing

For the purpose of my two recipes we will be using curly kale. Other varieties of kale are lacinato or dinosaur kale, as well as ornamental (purple) kale. When buying curly kale I like to look for a bunch that is full, firm and has tight curls. Kale that feels wilted is not fresh and will not have the flavor or nutrition that it should. The color should be deep, rich green, and free of yellowing and obvious blemishes. I choose organic kale which is free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Washing

Kale should be thoroughly washed, leaf by leaf in cold water. It can then be gathered it in a salad spinner, sprayed with a vegetable wash and allowed to soak for 2-3 minutes to get rid of any critters or dirt that may still be present. Spin it dry and you are ready to go.

Chopping

Always remove the tough center stem of the kale, then chop to your desired sized pieces

SPICY KALE CHIPS

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (in sprayer bottle such as misto)
  • ¼ tsp sea or Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash kale, remove hard inner stem, cut into bite size pieces
  3. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt (if a misto is not available, simply drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat evenly)
  4. Optional: sprinkle with any or all of the following for added flavor: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sesame seeds, cumin
  5. Place on parchment lined baking tray, bake for 15-20 min until crispy but not burnt on edges.

ASIAN RAW SESAME KALE SALAD

  • 1 bunch kale (yield approx 8 cups)
  • 2 cups purple cabbage (sliced thin)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds (I buy raw, hulled seeds and toast myself)
  • Optional: ¼ cup currants

Dressing:

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs tamari
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  1. Wash and dry kale thoroughly, cut out tough center and chop into bite size pieces
  2. Chop cabbage and scallions, shred carrots
  3. Toast sesame seeds in pan over low flame, moving pan continuously. Take out of pan at first sign of toasting. Do not allow to burn, should get tan
  4. Combine kale, cabbage, carrots, scallion and sesame seeds (and currants if using)
  5. Mix all dressing ingredients and add to salad. You can dress this salad in advance, as the kale can withstand the dressing and it will allow the flavors to develop.
  6. Serving suggestion: as seen in the photo, serve atop a bowl of soba noodles and vegetables in dashi for a balanced meal.

I hope that I have been successful in tempting you to try this nutritional powerhouse. I figured if I haven’t convinced you as of yet I will leave you with the thoughts of my macho husband texting me from the work just the other day: “Hey, is there any kale salad left? I’ll send someone over to pick it up.” Now that’s victory.

Are you willing to take the plunge?

Adele Yedid

contact me  at  AyedidRD@gmail.com

 

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Fish Fillets with Olives and Oregano

kosher fish recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes

Fish Fillets with Olives and Oregano

No Comments 07 May 2012

Re-post from 2010- A classic!

A delicious easy weeknight recipe adapted by gourmet kosher cook Raquel Franco from http://www.epicurious.com. Thanks Raquel!

  • 4 (1 1/4-inch-thick) pieces white-fleshed skinless fish fillets, such as halibut (6 oz each)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 very thin lemon slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup pitted brine-cured green olives such as picholine, halved lengthwise (2 oz)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • Special equipment: a 2 1/2-qt shallow ceramic or glass baking dish
  1. Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Pat fish dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear fillets, skinned sides down, until browned well, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer, seared sides up, to baking dish (reserve skillet), then top each fillet with a slice of lemon.
  3. Add wine to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits. Boil 30 seconds, then pour around fish. Scatter olives around fish and bake, uncovered, until fish is just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.
  4. Transfer fish to a platter, then whisk lemon juice, oregano, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil into cooking liquid in baking dish. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over fish.

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Fruity Breakfast Quinoa

breakfast recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher recipes

Fruity Breakfast Quinoa

No Comments 15 March 2012

This recipe was given to me by my nutritionist as a Passover alternative to having my morning bowl of hot oatmeal. Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain; It has a delicious flavor, and a light, fluffy texture.  After the seders you will want a light option for breakfast.

Raisins

Recipe Ingredients

1/2 cup dry quinoa, well rinsed

1  1/2 cups vanilla rice milk

2 tablespoons raisins

1 cup chopped fresh apricots, or dried apricots

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine quinoa and rice milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer, then cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender. Stir in raisins, apricots, and vanilla, and transfer about 1 & 1/2 cups to a blender and puree. Return pureed mixture to the pan and stir to mix. Serve warm or chilled.

Healthy Details

Per 1/2 cup serving

Calories 106

Fat 1.4

Carbohydrates 21.4

Fiber 1.5

Protein 2.4

Sugar 8.3

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Braised Veal Stew With Olives and Topped with Gremolata

kosher main dish recipes, kosher meat recipes, kosher recipes, kosher soup recipes, shabbat recipes

Braised Veal Stew With Olives and Topped with Gremolata

No Comments 03 February 2012

When it gets chilly out, all I want to do is eat stew. This braised veal with tomatoes and olives is delicious over wide egg noodles or papardelle and is pretty easy – once you’ve browned the meat and onions, you just throw everything in and let it simmer until it’s fall-apart tender. It reheats beautifully and is even better the next day.

I make a gremolata (the chopped herb accompaniment of lemon zest, garlic and herbs traditionally for osso buco) and sprinkle it on top for a fresh, bright finish. 

By Lisa Ades”

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs stew veal
  • 1 large onion, finely diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 2 Tbl tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  • bay leaf
  • olives ½ cup sliced, green or black or a mixture

Directions:

1) Dry the veal well with paper towels and brown on all sides in a little oil in batches. Don’t overcrowd the meat or it will steam, not brown. A non-stick pan works well for this. Remove to a bowl.

2) Saute the minced onion, carrots, celery and 1 tsp. kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in remaining fat (or add a little oil) until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

3) Add in tomato paste, minced garlic and red wine to the onion mixture, and sauté for a few minutes until the wine has reduced.

4) Add back in the browned veal, the crushed tomatoes and the bay leaf, and cover and simmer on a low heat for an hour to 1.5 hours, until the veal is very tender.

5) Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with broad egg noodles or papardelle. Sprinkle the entire stew with the gremolata when serving if desired, or pass a small bowl with the gremolata separately.

GREMOLATA:
• Zest of one lemon (about 1 tsp.; I use a microplane to zest the lemon, then chop it)
• 1 clove finely minced garlic
• 1 Tbl. minced fresh parsley, thyme or rosemary (I use a mixture of all 3)

Combine all ingredients and run a knife over all of it on a cutting board to mince further and blend.

Serves 4-6

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Warm Chickpea Salad with Arugula for Passover

kosher pareve recipes, kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas, kosher recipes, kosher salad recipes, kosher vegetable recipes, mothers day recipes, rosh hashanah pasta, salads, and lunch ideas

Warm Chickpea Salad with Arugula for Passover

No Comments 15 January 2012

Many Sepahrdic Jews eat chick peas on Passover, and I am lucky to be one of them. If you do buy chick peas in a can for Passover, make sure it is Kosher certified for Passover.

If you are of  Ashkenaz descent, then start using up your chametz chickpeas by trying this savory recipe ASAP!

To read more about  kitniyot on Passover, click HERE.

This recipe is too good to pass up.  It took 10 minutes to prepare, and took another 10 minutes for the family to devour it. Use more olive oil, salt, pepper,vinegar  and honey if you have  a lot of arugula. Serve as a weeknight tasty side dish, or as a midday main course with friends.

Check out this REVIEW of this great Mark Bittman cook book.

From : How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food

Makes: 4 side- or 2 main-dish servings

Time: 20 minutes with precooked beans

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or drained canned chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 cups arugula leaves
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered (optional)

Kosher Sephardic Passover Recipe Directions

1. Put the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the ginger, garlic, and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the ginger and garlic are soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then stir in the chickpeas until hot and coated in the oil and seasonings, about 3 minutes more.

2. Remove from heat and with a fork, stir in the vinegar, honey, and 1 tablespoon water. Mash a few of the chickpeas as you stir to add texture to the dressing. Put the arugula and red onion in a large bowl and toss with the warm chickpea dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, garnished with hard-cooked eggs if you like.
Recipe from Mark Bittman‘s BLOG.

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Low Fat Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf

breakfast recipes, kosher bread recipes, kosher dessert recipes, kosher recipes, mothers day recipes, shavuot recipes and ideas

Low Fat Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf

2 Comments 08 January 2012

I originally found this whole wheat banana bread recipe on the King Arthur website. I kept experimenting and trying to make it taste good while making it low fat and sugar free. When I tried using Earth Balance instead of butter, it really was still not low fat, and it had a bitter after- taste. I decided to try applesauce instead of the butter and it added a nice sweetness to the recipe while still keeping the banana bread moist. I also substituted brown rice syrup for the brown sugar  and it was slightly less sweet but delicious.  I doubled the amounts, and baked this delicious healthy breakfast bread into mini paper loafs and sent it over to my married kids so that they keep coming back for more…….

If you use brown rice syrup in this recipe you will taste the delicate sweetness but you will not experience the sudden spike in blood sugar caused by desserts made with regular sugar .  Natural, and made with fermented brown rice, brown rice syrup is a great source of manganese, iron, potassium and B- group vitamins. Read more about Brown Rice syrup HERE. Enjoy! Marlene

 

Low Fat Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf

Low Fat Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf

Ingredients

    Whole Wheat and Honey Breakfast Banana Loaf Recipe:
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup (or 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ or 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the applesauce and brown rice syrup until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, and bananas, beating until well combined. The mixture will be fairly smooth, with some scattered small chunks of banana.
  3. Beat in the honey and eggs.
  4. Add the flour, then the walnuts, stirring until smooth.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  6. Bake the bread for 50 minutes, then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the oven; a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
  7. *All ovens vary in temperatures so please use your discretion with baking times! Allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes; then remove it from the pan, and set it on a rack to cool completely.
  8. Yield: 1 loaf, 16 to 18 servings.
http://www.thejewishhostess.com/whole-wheat-and-honey-breakfast-banana-loaf/

 

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Sweet and Savory Hamentashen by Leah Koenig

purim recipes, baskets, and decor

Sweet and Savory Hamentashen by Leah Koenig

3 Comments 01 January 2012

Leah Koenig’s Sweet and Savory Hammentashen:

“Nothing brings out the baking spirit in me like Purim.  Several weeks before the holiday, I start dreaming up new exciting fillings to spoon onto my cookies before pinching them into the familiar tri-cornered shape recalling Haman’s hat.  Never a fan of mohn (poppy seeds) or artificial cherry pie filling, my hamentashen fillings tend to skew either towards the sweet-tart – things like lemon curd, apricot marmalade or homemade pear and ginger compote (see below for a kosher recipe) – or the all out, hands-down decadent – think spoonfuls of Nutella, or white chocolate chips swirled with raspberry jam.

But a few years ago, while in the midst of one of my pre- Purim daydream sessions, my thoughts drifted from sweet to savory.  What would it taste like, I wondered, if I cut back on sugar in the dough and replaced it with dried herbs?  And what sort of filling combinations might compliment this savory foundation?  After a few excited rounds of testing, tweaking and tasting, I hit the Purim jackpot: a rich, herb-flecked “cookie” encasing a medley of lightly caramelized mushrooms and onion, browned in the oven until golden and unbelievably fragrant (see below for a kosher recipe)

One bite was all it took to know that I’d stumbled on a new annual tradition – for me anyways!  Lest one think that savory hamentashen sounds too unconventional to try, consider the spinach knish, the Middle Eastern bureka or the Italian calzone.  All of these delicious pastries combine dough with meat, vegetables and any number of tasty fillings – so why should the hamentashen be left out of the fun?”

Savory Hamentashen

Directions, Dough:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, basil, oregano, or rosemary
  • 2 tbsp milk

Cream butter, egg and sugar. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and herbs together and set aside. Add 1/2 of dry mixture into wet ingredients and combine until smooth. Add milk, then remaining flour mixture, stirring until incorporated. If dough is too sticky at this point, continue adding flour until it is firm enough to withstand being rolled out.

Gently roll out dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a circular cookie cutter or the rim of a wide-mouthed glass and transfer to a baking sheet. Dot each circle with filling (see below).  Pinch corners into triangles. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until delicately browned.

Variation 1: This dough can be used for sweet hamentashen too.  Increase the sugar to 3 Tbs and omit the dried herbs.

Variation 2: If you would like to eat these hamentashen after a meat meal, replace the butter with non-hydrogenated margarine (e.g. Smart Balance) and the milk with soy or almond milk.

Savory Onion and Mushroom Filling

  • 3/4 pound mushrooms (white cap or cremini)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)

Chop mushrooms and onion into small dice. Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat and brown onions. Add mushrooms and salt and let cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and about halved in size. Add red wine (if desired) and salt and cook 2-3 minutes, until liquid is dissolved. Let cool before stuffing into hamentashen.

Sweet Pear and Ginger Compote

  • 2 bosc pears, chopped
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1 1/2 tsp crystallized ginger, chopped

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring regularly until the pears soften and soak up the fragrant liquid, about 8 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before using as hamentashen filling.

Happy Purim!

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Chilean Sea Bass with Mushroom Marsala Sauce

kosher fish recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas, kosher recipes, mothers day recipes, rosh hashanah pasta, salads, and lunch ideas, shavuot recipes and ideas

Chilean Sea Bass with Mushroom Marsala Sauce

No Comments 28 November 2011

Enjoy another gourmet kosher recipe from “Cooking for a Cause”, the cookbook that brought hundreds of Syrian Jewish women together to cook and freeze kosher meals for the Sephardic Bikur Holim Food Pantry.  These goumet kosher cookbooks are $36 and  available at the Sephardic Bikur Holim office in Deal, New Jersey or just email Renna Calvo for more info-  rcalvo2292@aol.com. Don’t forget to order them as the perfect Hanuka gift for your favorite Jewish Hostess! Chilean Sea Bass with Mushroom Marsala Sauce   The Marsala sauce may also be used over pasta, just add some heavy cream to get the consistency of a cream sauce. Delicious! p.s.Perfect for a Meatless Monday night!!!!

  • 3 lbs. Chilean Sea Bass (butterflied)
  • ½ cup flour
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 12 shallots (finely diced)
  • 1 48 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms (halved)
  • ½ stick light butter or Earth Balance
  • 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup  Marsala cooking wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse and dry fish, then lightly flour. 2. In a large pan, sauté fish with olive oil cooking spray. Set aside in a baking dish. 3. In a separate pot, melt butter with olive oil (prevents butter from burning). Add shallots and sauté until lightly browned. 4. Add in mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes. 5. Add in wine, salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms concentrate and there is no alcohol smell left. 6. Pour mushroom sauce over fish in the baking dish and broil no medium until fish is cooked through. (If there are a lot of mushrooms, serve as a side dish for the fish.) Sarah Chrem

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Jeweled Brown Rice Topped With Carmelized Tropical Fruit

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Jeweled Brown Rice Topped With Carmelized Tropical Fruit

No Comments 17 November 2011

 

 

This easy, jeweled vegetarian rice dish is a no-fail-no-brainer dish perfect for Thanksgiving or any Jewish holiday menu. If you are having a big Shabbat lunch, its so easy to make the day before, warm and combine nuts and fruit right before serving. The autumn colors in the dried fruits and nuts will make it especially pretty on your Thanksgiving table. This easy  delicious recipe was given to me by a very modest gourmet cook! Enjoy and please let me know how it comes out!!!  Don’t forget to buy a Jewish hostess apron for your  favorite Thanksgiving hostess!!!! Marlene

The Perfect Jewish Hostess Gift!

 

Wild and Brown Rice  With Candied  Tropical Fruit

Ingredients:

– Wild and/or brown rice

-3 tbsp. Earth balance

– You can choose from any of these fruits: dried figs, dried pineapples, dried papaya, dried cranberries, and dates

– You can choose from any of these nuts: honey roasted nuts peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews etc.

 Directions:

– Cook rice according to the directions on the bag.

– Cut all the dried fruit into same size cubes.

– Melt Earth Balance in a pan

– Caramelize the dried fruit till sticky and shiny.

–  Caramelize the honey roasted nuts till they get sticky.

– Mix the fruit and nuts with the rice and serve, or place rice in a bundt pan mold and when cool unmold and place nuts and fruit in the center for a beautiful presentation.

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Easy Low fat Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Herbs

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Easy Low fat Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Herbs

1 Comment 12 November 2011

 
 
Recipe Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Serves 6

Spaghetti squash has a unique texture that shreds into spaghetti-like strands when cooked. In this recipe, the fresh herbs are roasted with the squash and removed before serving, leaving the subtle, fragrant flavor of rosemary and sage.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 large sprigs rosemary
  • 2 large sprigs sage
  • 1 (3- to 5-pound) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour broth into a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Using a knife remove rosemary and sage sprigs  and toss into broth. Arrange squash in dish, hollow sides down, and roast until rind gives easily when pressed and flesh is just tender, 35 to 45 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook squash since it will become too soft and soggy.) Transfer squash to a large plate, hollow sides up, and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Using a fork, scrape squash out of rinds and transfer to a large bowl. Add butter, parsley, salt and pepper and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Per serving (about 11 oz) : 110 calories (40 from fat), 4.5g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 17g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 2g protein

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Maggie’s Healthy Spicy Pareve Stuffed Eggplant or Peppers- Secret Syrian Recipe!

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Maggie’s Healthy Spicy Pareve Stuffed Eggplant or Peppers- Secret Syrian Recipe!

1 Comment 25 October 2011

Maggie Bawabeh is an authentic Syrian Jewish cook, and I know that when she gives me one of her secret Syrian recipes, then it’s definitely a great one!! Mechshi is a Syrian term used for any stuffed vegetable. Squash, eggplant tomatoes, Spanish onions are frequently stuffed with a rice and meat mixture that is called “hashu”. I especially love how Maggie transformed this traditionally heavy meaty side dish into a whole grain, pareve and healthy recipe that we can add to any holiday or weeknight meal. Thanks Maggie  for this healthy vegetarian and delicious recipe!!!  Marlene

Maggie’s Healthy Spicy Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant or Peppers Recipe:

“Hi Marlene,I have a great recipe for spicy parve mechsi. Everyone loves it! You can omit the hot pepper spice if you company doesn’t like spicy. It looks like a meat dish but you can serve with parve or even dairy. You can use small(but not the mini purple ones)eggplant or Italian bell peppers. First slice off the end of the pepper and scoop out the seeds and white pith. For the eggplants, slice off the tip and using a corer scoop out the inside with a grapefruit spoon leaving about 1/8 inch all around being careful not to pierce the shell. Place eggplant pulp aside in a plastic bag in the freezer for future use. Sprinkle shell inside and out lightly with salt, set inside a colander for about half hour to soften. For the stuffing: (Depending on the amount of peppers,or eggplants:)

  • 1 cup burghol fine, or coarse, rinsed well.
  • 1 tbs parsley flakes
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped,
  • 1 red pepper cut small
  • 1 big onion diced+sauted till it’s pink,
  • 1/2 tsp mint flakes
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients well and stuff the scooped vegetables with this mixture. (may be frozen on a tray at this point) Put 4 tbs olive oil in a pot, Place the stuffed mechshi and saute on both sides covered. For the sauce- add:

  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 4 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of mint hot pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 a cup of lemon juice+salt.
  1. Add to a saucepan and let boil. The sauce should be spicy and lemony.
  2. At this point you can either add the sauce to the stuffed vegetables in the pot,or transfer to a pyrex.
  3. Personally I cook the peppers in the oven and the eggplant on the stove.The sauce needs water to cover the mehshi,so it depends on the size of the pot or the pyrex
  4. Reduce to simmer for 2-3 hrs or till mechsi is cooked well.The eggplant needs longer  cooking time  than the peppers.

image via http://www.wizardrecipes.com/recipes/stuffed+peppers.html

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Olives Stuffed With Creamy Goat Cheese on Top of A Crunchy Rainbow Salad

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Olives Stuffed With Creamy Goat Cheese on Top of A Crunchy Rainbow Salad

3 Comments 01 June 2011

by Charlie Michelle

For a dairy lover like me, Shavuot is one of my favorite holidays to spend in the kitchen. There are a millions different ways to include cheese in your Shavuot meal, but in the interest of our waistlines, I thought a bountiful salad would be the perfect way to celebrate while also tempering the indulgence with a hearty dose of healthiness.

A colorful mix of red and green Tango lettuce makes the bed of this Mediterranean inspired salad.
Nestled among the greens is a lovely blend of vitamin-packed strawberries, bright crisp carrot slivers, spicy red onion, cool julienned cucumber, and heart-healthy kalamata olives, stuffed with creamy, low fat cheese.

The beauty of salads is that they are so very versatile. You can add or subtract ingredients to your taste, adjust quantities, and spruce your salad up with any number of dressings. I used a very basic greek vinaigrette to top mine– olive oil, vinegar, basil and herbs, and a handful of crushed kosher feta.

Shavuot Salad (for 2)
– Four heaping cups of your favorite greens
– A dozen jumbo olives, halved and pitted
– 1 large carrot, shaved
– 1/2 medium cucumber, seeds removed and julienned
– 1 cup medium fresh strawberries, tops removed, quartered
– 1/2 cup kosher goat cheese or a kosher creamy feta cheese
– 1/4 small red onion, slivered

Dressing:
– 1/4 cup high quality olive oil
– 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
– 2 teaspoons dry basil
– 2 teaspoon dry thyme
– 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
– pinch kosher salt
– 3 tablespoons kosher feta or goat cheese, crushed under the blade of a knife

To stuff the olives, simply pinch a piece of creamy feta or goat cheese and roll it into a ball between your fingers. Then pack your little cheeseball into the cut half of each olive.

Making a salad is easy–just toss it all together, or arrange it artfully for presentation.
The dressing is super simple as well. Simply mix everything together in a small bowl and whisk well before drizzling over your salad.

Serve with a chunk of crusty bread, and you’re all set for a scrumptious Shavuot!

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Jewish Hostess of the Week Rachel Packer-Mom With an Allergy Free Mission

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Jewish Hostess of the Week Rachel Packer-Mom With an Allergy Free Mission

3 Comments 01 June 2011

 


When I first met Rachel Orenstein Packer, I was SO impressed with  how she turned her son’s allergies into a personal mission to educate herself  about cooking allergy free so that her son could enjoy Jewish holidays and family meals. I LOVE her mantra “When Life Hands You Lemons…Make an Egg-Free Lemon Cake.” I encouraged her to start her own  blog because I know that this is a new hot topic for many moms nowadays. Growing up we really never heard much about children’s allergies, but it seems that the topic is now coming to the forefront in many households.  Not long after meeting Rachel, I discovered that my own teenage son was also allergic to egg and dairy. What a small world! Enjoy Rachel’s recipe and Happy Holidays! Marlene

Please visit Rachel’s blog at Life Is Good Lick the Bowl.

by:Rachel Ornstein Packer

When my son was diagnosed with severe food allergies at three, it literally turned my family’s world upside down. It was a mission I didn’t want or ask for, but I had no choice.  So I rolled up my sleeves and armed myself with knowledge regarding food allergies, forced myself to learn how to bake (something I really didn’t do very well before allergies) and became an advocate/ freelance writer regarding food allergies, recipes and nutrition.

The mission of food allergies is a major focus for her family as it affects many of the decisions they make regarding holidays, school celebrations and vacations.  It’s important to not become consumed by the mission, rather, incorporate it into your life, try to achieve some kind of balance, and don’t forget to truly embrace the moments and simchas that truly deserve our full attention.  When I first started to bake, I felt I needed to prove to everyone that allergy- free food was stellar to its allergy counterparts.  I would spend long hours in the kitchen whipping up desserts to impress those who didn’t even have allergies when all Ari wanted was cupcakes.  In retrospect, that’s what I mean about being consumed by a mission.  I was missing out on time I could have spent with my family.

Balance is something we all strive for as mothers, hostesses, advocates, business professionals etc….  We are multi-tasking so much everyday that sometimes we just forget to relax and just be in the moment.  Perhaps that means letting something go in your schedule because you choose to do something fun with your kids instead, or leave work early to have dinner with the family.

Make the upcoming Shavuot holiday one that is stress free, easy and delicious.  Below is a recipe for Le Petite Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Sauce.  It’s a lovely, light, summer type dessert that is sure to impress without a lot of fuss or baking time.  Enjoy the moment with your family.

Fresh and Creamy Le Petite Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Sauce

Dairy Free and Egg Free

These biscuits are adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking-Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Allergy Free Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (you can use unbleached all purpose instead)
  • 1/3 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 TBSP wheat germ (optional, I use it for a nutritional boost)
  • 1 TBSP SUCANAT ( you can use any type of sugar or eliminate altogether)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup soymilk (use vanilla soymilk if you want a little extra sweetness)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 475

Lightly grease a cookie sheet (I line mine with aluminum foil)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, wheat germ and salt.  Use a whisk to fully mix them together.  Add the milk and oil until the dry ingredients are moistened.  It will be very thick and sticky, not like cake batter. Use a regular heaping tablespoon to scoop batter onto the cookie sheet.

The recipe originally yielded 24 smaller sized biscuits.  I doubled the scoop to make them larger as shortcakes.  It should yield 10-12 biscuits depending on how large you want to make them.

Place them at least 1 ½ inches apart and bake until the bottoms are golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Vanilla Sauce

I love this sauce.  It is slightly frothier than regular sauce, but not quite cream. I like it because it has a rich vanilla flavor but isn’t as heavy as whipping cream.  Certainly, you can use any store bought whip topping, and in the case of dairy allergies-there are plenty of good dairy free ones as well.

  • ¼-cup soymilk
  • ½-cup canola oil
  • 1-2 TBSP sweetener (I use Florida Crystals)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch (or potato starch)
  • 1 tsp. good quality vanilla (good quality vanilla makes a big difference in taste)

I have tried making this with a blender, processor and beaters.  The hand beater worked the best.

Combine the soymilk, sweetener, starch, and vanilla and beat until combined.  Slowly drizzle in the oil and continue to beat until the mixture is frothy and slightly thick.

Place in the fridge for roughly an hour or so.  As it gets colder, it thickens slightly.

Assembly

  1. Wash, hull and slice strawberries (You only need 1-2 large to fill the biscuit with extra for the plate)
  2. Make sure the biscuits are cool before splitting them in half.
  3. Place a few strawberry slices on the bottom half of the biscuit and drizzle sauce.
  4. Replace the top of the biscuit and drizzle sauce over the top.  Decorate plate with extra strawberries. Serve immediately.*This sauce is also great for any kind of fruit dipping, or to drizzle over a brownie, or even ice cream.

 

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Your Fruit Plate- How to Slice a Mango

breakfast recipes, kosher dessert recipes, kosher pareve recipes, kosher passover recipes,seder table Ideas, kosher recipes, mothers day recipes, Passover Recipes, rosh hashanah desserts, shavuot recipes and ideas, sugar detox recipes

Your Fruit Plate- How to Slice a Mango

3 Comments 02 May 2011

image courtesy of Elana’s Pantry

This Mother’s Day and Shavuot make sure your fruit platter is the hit of your dessert table. Cut your watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwis, strawberries  uniformly, and place your beautifully cut mangos on top or on the sides. When fruit is appealing, your kids and  guests will be just as temped to grab a vitamin C packed chunk of fruit instead of a sugary snack.

The video above shows several ways to slice a mango. Of course all of the different mango shapes are beautiful but my favotite are the decorative mango cubes pictured above!

How to Slice a Mango- Decorative Style:

  1. Stand the firm but ripe mango on its end, with stem side down
  2. Slice the flat sides off the mango, without cutting into the pit
  3. Place half mango on a cutting board, flesh side up
  4. Without cutting through the skin, score the mango with vertical lines
  5. Next, score mango with horizontal lines; leaving squares attached to the skin
  6. Turn the piece of fruit inside out and use a spoon to dislodge the cubes from the skin
  7. Repeat for the other half of the mango. Let the kids enjoy the pit!!!

Check out our Mothers Day Gift Ideas and Recipes!

Check out Elana’s Pantry for  gourmet gluten free recipes!

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