Shortcut Matbucha Shakshuka Video *Giveaway*

 

March 26th 2014

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I’m kind of a connoisseur when it comes to Shakshuka.  The fact that I have ordered it in most every restaurant that serves it should certainly qualify me as an expert of some sort, dontchya think?

I have had Spinach and Cream Shakshuka at Café Rimon in Mamilla, an open air mall outside the Old City of Jerusalem.  I have had Leek and Eggplant Shakshuka at Gavna an outdoor cafe overlooking the Judean Hills in the Gush and I have had the traditional tomato and pepper Shakshuka at café chains across the country and at Ikea’s kosher cafeteria in Rishon L’Ziyon.  I have eaten Shakshuka both with and without both  Feta and Bulgarian cheeses, both with runny and firm yolks and both spicy hot and not spicy enough.  I love it.  In truth, I just adore it still, this after 18 months of making it my mission to try every Shakshuka in Israel.

The ultimate Israeli one pan breakfast or anytime meal, Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached or baked in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and onions spiced with cumin, believed to be of Tunisian origin.  It’s actually super simple to make.  But you know me; super simple is sometimes not simple enough.  Inspired by Sabra’s kosher for Passover Moroccan Matbucha (a cooked dish of tomatoes, peppers and garlic) I have created a super duper Shakshuka shortcut.  No knife, no cutting board, just one pan to both cook and serve in qualifies this as fast, fearless, fabulous Shakshuka both for the un-initiated and the connoisseurs in the crowd.  Seriously, on set when we shot this How-To Shortcut Shakshuka video I served my Israeli crew the very Shakshuka I made on camera for lunch and they LOVED! LOVED! LOVED!  So this is tested, tasted and approved by the natives.

And just to alleviate your concerns I have indeed officially taste tested Shakshuka for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner so I can assure you that it works well for all times and meals.  Great for a crowd (because it kinda feels exotic – think of it like eggs dressed up in a slightly spicy sauce) it can be “beefed” up by adding feta, spinach and/or sautéed eggplant.  Serve hot, straight out of the pan with fresh bread and salad for a literal meal in minutes.  Great idea for Passover too (just serve it with Matzah)!  For a printable version of the recipe click here for Shortcut Shakshuka.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Now you can also enter to win a $100 Amex card in honor of our partnership with Sabra. Enter here with Rafflecopter.
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Passover Gift Guide – Seder Plates and...

 

March 25th 2014

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Whether you are looking for a new gift idea to bring your hosts this Passover or looking to upgrade your Judaica here are a few of our new favorite Haggadahs and Seder Plates.

Some people use the same Haggadah year after year and work to make sure everyone at their table has the same one and some enjoy adding a new one to their collection every year.  Even if you don’t use it at the Seder, every haggadah is unique and offers new insights to help you plan your seder.

The Bronfman Haggadah was published last year by the renowned philanthropist and Jewish Leader, Edgar Bronfman.  This haggadah is beautifully illustrated and is meant for people of all ages and all backgrounds.  This year they have added on a companion Haggadah app to help people prepare for the seder.  Children can listen to the story of the Exodus and learn the songs of the seder.  You can watch videos and learn in a more interactive way.

This new haggadah is hot off the presses and comes to us by Stanely Lebovic the writer and illustrator who happens to be the husband to Linda Lebovic, one of our regular contributors.  The book is a large heirloom edition with over 60 full color illustrated pages and a 3 feet illustrated pull out.  This haggadah sets an example of how to bring one’s self to the Seder table and intertwine the richness inherent in each of us with the poetry and song found throughout the Haggadah.  Stanley aims to bring the stories of old to the people of today.  Get your copy on Amazon.

This new Haggadah, The Night That Unites, is the first one that combines the teachings of three modern Rabbis from the 20th Century.  Get stories from Rav Kook, songs from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and teachings from Rabbi Soloveitchik.  Don’t miss the questions to help engage your seder guests.

This one is not an actual haggadah, but can offer some new excitement to your seder.  Many people like to do games and skits to get the children involved and even keep the less inclined grown ups interested.  This book of plays and parodies will help get everyone engaged.

This Haggadah is a new modern looking, bright and lively book.  It might be a little harder to read some of the sections, but it is worth it for the illustrations and fun colors.

There are many kinds of Seder Plates.  Some like to have one with the three levels below the plate to hold the matzahs, some need an extra plate for the ever expanding family and some just want one for decoration, let’s check out a few below.

This modern colorful Lotus Seder Plate is a real beauty, maybe more for those looking for decoration, but it can be practical too.

Most of the tiered seder plates are either silver plated domes or gorgeous artsy ones that are very expensive.  This wooden tiered Seder plate has a less traditional shape, but is pretty and functional.  Emanuel Tiered Seder Plate.

For a more classic design and easily used and cleaned seder plate, consider this white porcelain pomegranate seder plate.


 

A Passover Tablescape

 

March 25th 2014

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Before I can sit down to plan my seder night menu (or maybe we should leave that one to Jamie), I like to design my tablesetting for the evening well in advance of Pesach, as let’s face it, who has time later. Make it fun and easy so the entire family will enjoy. All you need is some cardstock, scissors, corks for the placecards, a good craft store and dollar store (shekel shop for those of us living in Israel), a computer and a little imagination.

For the tablecloth I used a piece of crushed velvet and an overlay of burlap to create the desert look (get it Yetzias mitzrayim).

I’ve made pyramids (you can find instructions on youtube) out of matzah cardstock and parchment paper.

The leftover matzah paper was used to create the napkin rings and the placecards. Simply cut strips of paper, any width you like, and glue to create rings for your napkins.

Wine corks we used to hold the placecards. Cut the bottom of the corks to make a flat surface and then cut a slit in the corks to hold the placecards in place.

Camels and frogs add a fun element to the table. I found my little green friends at my favourite shekel shop, while the camels I downloaded from the internet. If you’ve visited Israel and had the chance to ride a camel, why not include some photos of family on camels, just for fun.  Add some flowers for colour and perhaps candles in lanterns for a touch of elegance, then sit back, relax and enjoy your exodus from Egypt.

 

Flowers were provided by Mookie Cohen ( Miss Gardenia Floral Event & Design)


 

Fresh, Fast and Fancy Passover Sides

 

March 25th 2014

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I had a blast tasting and testing these 7 sweet and savory Seder sides for Passover. All ingredients are easily accessible in both the U.S. and Israel, and all recipes are non-gebrochts. Watch these simple Seder side dishes become staples at your table year-round!

Salad with Pastrami Croutons

Spring Salad with Pastrami Croutons and Balsamic Reduction

This recipe is simple and springy, but you have to follow a few rules. Balsamic vinegar will sweeten when reduced and it will also intensify in flavor, so you want good-quality balsamic — not generic or cheap brands — for your balsamic reduction. Avoid using uncoated copper or aluminum pans which can alter the flavor of the vinegar. Remember that vinegar can thicken quickly, but you can always add water to bring it back to desired consistency.

Citrus Glazed Roasted Carrots

Citrus Glazed Roasted Carrots

There’s nothing sweeter than oven-roasted caramelized carrots. The citrus brightens this dish and pairs well with thyme, another favorite and uber versatile herb that I don’t leave home without. Use small, multi-colored baby carrots with the greens on top and add pearl onions to elevate this simple side to 5-star status.

 

Eggplant Tomato Stacks

Eggplant Tomato Stacks

These individual eggplant stacks are as beautiful as they are versatile – add ground beef to make them heartier (or shredded mozzarella for a dairy dinner). I’ve included a recipe for homemade tomato sauce as well!

Colored Cauliflower

Roasted Colored Cauliflower

Year round, I add my new obsession – cumin –to this dish. For Passover I retested this recipe without it, and the caulifl ower is still beautiful,
flavorful and irresistible, straight out of the oven!

Zucchini Fritters with Tomato Salsa

Zucchini Fritters with Tomato Salsa

My Grandma “Ma” always made chremslach, a.k.a potato pancakes. Latkes are great Passover fare. You can easily substitute
potato starch for breadcrumbs or matzo meal to make your favorite recipes non-gebrochts. I was inspired by her Old Country recipe but wanted a New Country twist so I adapted it to feature zucchini, which is “free” on my diet. The fresh tomato salsa is also great on fish or chicken, or served as part of your starter course.


 

In the JOK Kitchen with Let My Children Cook! ...

 

March 24th 2014

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Tamar Ansh, otherwise known as the challah queen (at least that is how I know her cause of her book, Taste of Challah), just came out with the perfect Passover coobook for you and your kids.  Let My Children Cook!, would be a fun book for anyone and can really help get your kids get involved in the kitchen his year.  She covers all the basics, like matzah balls and charoset as well as lots of new serving ideas and recipes for the whole family to enjoy.  She even throws in a few clever crafts.  I spoke with Tamar and learned a bit more about her.

1. What inspired you to write this cookbook for kids?

Inspiration for a book can come from many sources; with each book I’ve done, Hashem sent me the idea and the inspiration in a different way.

For this book, Let My Children Cook!, the inspiration actually came from a totally unexpected angle. A friend of mine mentioned the idea to me in a short email. I read it quickly and the idea just took off nearly immediately in my head. I sat there all that day and part of the next and by just thinking about it without interruptions, so many ideas got put down in my first outline. The best part about it – the title!! THAT ‘came to me’ almost instantaneously! Every time I see it again it makes me chuckle inside – the title was so perfect that I just had to see this book become a reality; and now, Baruch Hashem, it is…

 2. What ages do you think your book is best for?

As I wrote on the cover, this book is for “kids aged 8 – 108!” BUT, the truth is that it can really be used by nearly everybody. The recipes were written and geared towards food the average kid will enjoy and want to eat. And if they like to eat it, they will also like to try cooking it.  This book’s younger cook age is around 8-year-olds and above, just as I wrote on the cover, and kids aged 11-16 will find it easiest. However, I know that anyone making Passover will enjoy it, those new to their Passover kitchen, grandmothers with grandkids coming over to visit, kids who want to make something for their cousins and friends, or mothers who want something quick and easy that their kids will eat. Just about anyone, regardless of whether there are kids in your life or not, can have a good time with this book.

Passover Chocolate Sponge Cake

3. What do you like to cook with your kids?

My kids are actually very good cooks by now. They will make anything but their absolute favorite is making sponge cakes, brownies and ice creams – in other words, desserts! Last year my girls made the most amazing potato blintzes and Pesach egg noodles (sorry, those are in my other Pesach cookbook, Pesach – Anything’s Possible!), besides lots of salads and of course, nearly every single dessert we had. They are planning to do so again…I love working together with all of them in the kitchen; it really makes it feel like the holiday is coming and the smells and the enjoyment of having them with me together is very special.

We’ll leave out mention of how many dishes we have to wash every time!!

4. What is your earliest cooking memory?

Ahem…can’t say I have one! I wasn’t much of a cook when I was a kid! Matza pizza and matza and butter were all I really did on my own…my mother was and still is a great cook, though!

6. How did you decide to add some craft projects into this book too?

I used to be a pre-school teacher and every year we made the crafts you see me listing in Let My Children Cook! The kids loved making them, I enjoyed seeing the fun they had when taking them home on that last day of school before Pesach break, and so I decided, why not share them here? Plus, kids who can do them on their own or have their parent set them up to do it, will have something productive to do with themselves while the family is so busy getting ready for the holiday. Parents of younger children are sure to appreciate this bonus to this cookbook.  Try out this Passover Placemat Craft here.

Have a great, delicious and enjoyable Passover!

Try these two favorite recipes from the book: Passover Chocolate Brownies and Fluffy Matzah Balls and Chocolate Sponge Cake from Pesach Anything’s Possible.

***Giveaway***  Enter to win your copy of Let My Children Cook!!  Do you let your kids cook in the kitchen?

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Share and Win $200

 

March 24th 2014

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Over the next month we want you to show us what you are eating and who you are eating with every day.

HOW TO ENTER:

  • Take pictures of your food, your family, and your friends
  • Submit pics below or on Twitter and Instagram with #ShareSabra
  • The more pictures you submit the more chances you have to win!

We will feature our favorite shares and select a winner on April 23rd.

 

Disclosure: This promotion is part of ongoing partnership with Sabra.


 

Passover Placemats Craft

 

March 24th 2014

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Supplies:

  • One sturdy, brightly colored piece of thicker construction paper, size
  • 8 X 11 (A4), per kid
  • One good photo of each kid who is making a placemat
  • Stickers for decorating the edges
  • Magic markers in various colors
  • Stencil for writing the letters of the name, optional

Instructions

1 Using the stencil, if you have it, write your name neatly near the top right half of the paper. You can do it in Hebrew or English letters.

2 Attach the photo to the other half of the paper.

3 Place stickers in any pattern you like all around the edges of the paper; this will be your border or frame.

4 Using the magic markers, color the name and the rest of the paper so it will be pretty. Those who know how to write can add a short love note to the person who will be receiving the placemat, such as, “Hi, Bubby, I love you! Happy Pesach!”

5 When you are done, take it to a store that does lamination and laminate it. Now your placemat is all ready for use! When it gets dirty, just give it a swipe with a damp rag, and it will be as good as new!

Excerpt from Let My Children Cook!


 

Shabbat Menu – A Clean New Year

 

March 23rd 2014

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This week in parsha Tazria we continue reading about the laws purity, but it also happens to be Shabbat Hachodesh.  The Shabbat before the first of Nissan, which is considered the first month of the Jewish calendar.  At the same time Spring is in the air and we are cleaning our homes and preparing for the holiday of Passover.  Let’s start the new year off with clean and homes and clean bodies.  This week’s menu features clean healthy foods that have no processed ingredients.

Indian Inspired Salmon Cakes

Creamy Broccoli Salad

Creamy Broccoli Salad

roasted moroccan spiced chicken breast

Roasted Moroccan Spiced Chicken Breast

Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous

Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous

Zucchini Pasta with Mushrooms and Oven Dried Tomatoes

Zucchini Pasta with Mushrooms and Oven Dried Tomatoes

Pine Apple Fruit Salad

Pine Apple Fruit Salad


 

How To Eat Pizza Like an Israeli

 

March 21st 2014

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A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Jamie Geller.  As the resident adviser to new (and not so new) olim, I get all kinds of questions about cooking and baking in Israel.  But this one made me realize, the questions are about eating in Israel, too!

Jamie wanted to know if I had a recipe for the delicious dipping sauce that frequently accompanies pizzas here in Israel, and while I was at it, if I knew how to make the tavlinim – spices – that come with every delivery.  It occurred to me that the way we eat pizza has changed since we made Aliyah. It used to be plain pizza, with a side of French fries.  Here, French fries are rarely available in pizza shops, and it is the condiments that make the meal.  Spices are sprinkled on top (green or the more spicy red combination), and sauce is drizzled over the top or on the side for dunking your slice.  But while I have a sufficient number of spice packets to cover a football field of pizzas, I would prefer to make my own spice mixes, leaving off the ubiquitous MSG and controlling the amount of salt, for a healthier result.  The same is true for dipping sauce – I can use lower fat and sugar ingredients, and minimize the sodium.

So, Jamie, after some fun experimenting (my kids say thanks!), here are recipes for sauce and spices, so you can DIY them too, and our friends outside of Israel can enjoy our way of eating the Italian specialty.

Here are my recipes for Tavlinim Spices and Rotev, Pizza Sauce.

By the way, the pizza pictured here is from Chashmonaim’s own Pizza Mia, where you can get some of the best New York style pizza in the country, as well as delicious dairy catering.

Editor’s note:

Thanks to the original questioner,  Miriam Cohen who sent us this email:

I wanted to know if you could help me out.  I lived in E”Y for 4 yrs.  and on the occasions that we went out to pizza they have that  yummy rotev that is spicy and that you eat with the pizza.  At one point my husband asked the guy he knew in Jerusalem pizza in geula how he made it and he told him but I can’t seem to remember where I wrote it down from ages ago.  Would it be possible you could help me out and post a recipe for the israeli pizza rotev (the one from Jerusalem pizza in geula was the best!).

We hope this helps Miriam and the rest of us recreate memories of pizza past.


 

Spring 2014 Sneak Peek

 

March 20th 2014

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This Pesach issue is 100% Gluten Free. Get decadent dessert recipes to fancify your Seder plus a vegan miracle mousse you won’t believe has only 2 ingredients. Learn everything you need to know about meat and salmon for the holiday and beyond is in this issue. Wineries, wine gadgets, and cooking with wine with tips and recipes. Goat cheese recipes for your health and lots of Spring time salads, soups and fruit recipes.  Take a look at our sneak peek below and then Subscribe Today!


 

Putting More Joy into Kosher: Our Best Restaurant...

 

March 20th 2014

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The voters have eaten. And the eaters have voted.

Why did fans come out in force when Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed (named for an off-beat uncle and Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed) was in the running for Joy of Kosher’s Best Restaurant of 2013?

“I think it goes beyond the pulled brisket, or even our smoked ribs and Milt burgers,” said award-winning executive chef Bryan Gryka. The Chicago hotspot’s Facebook page and website confirm his modest assertion. Beyond foodie fever, many Milt’s customers seem ecstatic to be doing double mitzvahs. When every bite is kosher and every dollar of profit goes to tzedakah, it’s hard not to feel the joy.

Yes, 100% of Milt’s profits go to charity. The Community Gift of the Month supports nonprofit organizations that help people with special needs or lifelong diseases, work to eradicate abuse and sexual assault, fight poverty, and enhance educational opportunities. Recently Milt’s joined a customer loyalty program, through which it lets diners redeem points as donated “meals” to local food banks and soup kitchens rather than discounted drinks or free appetizers. The new Milt’s Night Out program seeks out spare sports or cultural tickets, pairs them with a free dinner, and creates a memorable evening for people who are going through trying times.

Locals may not care that Milt’s is kosher. They may happen in because it’s a trendy restaurant that has received top marks from reviewers and was named a New Restaurant of the Year by UrbanSpoon. They come back to satisfy their appetite for barbecue and to read more perplexities and brain teasers, conveniently placed on each table and hung on magnetized walls. They also may reserve a spot for an upcoming lecture on history, politics, spirituality humor, and other subjects by an expert from anywhere in the world. Milt’s acts, as described on its website, “as a community center without the pool.” With a fourteen-person Community Table, large booths, and regular tables, Milt’s is a hub of conversation.

All of Milt’s programs and charitable giving are facilitated by the Jeffrey F. Kahan Memorial Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, which receives and distributes Milt’s profits as well as gifts from other donors. Milt’s owner and founder Jeff Aeder established the JKMF in memory of a cherished member of the community. “Jeff Kahan loved Israel,” said Aeder, “and he had strong sense of Jewish identity. That, along with his passion for a good debate, continually inspires our programming.”

Under strict CRC kashrut supervision, Milt’s hosts Shabbat dinners for private groups and also for nonprofit groups that aim to bring together Jewish young adults and give them – quite literally – a taste of tradition. The JKMF makes these dinners possible through a donation that is worth part of the cost, thus enabling them to attract more participants.

Besides thousands of Facebook “likes” and shares, and the near-perfect customer ratings, Milt’s fans sometimes take the time to post adoring comments. One such comment came at the unveiling of the Milt’s Night Out program. “So glad you exist,” wrote Tammy Klein Bergman. “You are amazing!!!”

To learn more about Milt’s, sign up for emails, and stay abreast of developments such as the first-ever Chicago barbecue competition and festival, visit www.miltsbbq.com.

Bring a little bit of Milt’s into your home with Executive Chef Bryan Gryka’s cornbread recipe.

Main image from GreatKosherRestaurants.com

Other images supplied by Milt’s.

Article contributed by Sari Steinberg.

 


 

Win The Spice And Spirit Passover Book Set

 

March 19th 2014

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The famous purple cookbook comes in a Passover version.  One for all year round and one just for Passover with tried and true recipes using no processed ingredients whatsoever.  Now you can win the cookbook and Passover planner!!

Find out more on Amazon.

Enter to win below:
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Win A Taste of Pesach

 

March 19th 2014

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The New Pesach Cookbook is compiled by the wildly popular mailing to benefit Yeshiva Me’on Hatorah and features over 160 recipes (many of which have never been published before!), each with a beautiful, full color image.  Best of all, over 140 of the recipes are gluten and gebrokts free!

Enter below to win your copy just in time for the holiday.

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15 Salad Recipes for Passover

 

March 19th 2014

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This is how it works isn’t it: as soon as Purim is over we all start planning (stressing over) our menus for Passover.  After indulging in hamantashen and other treats during Purim the last thing I want to do is think about food.  I can make an exception for salads because they are my go-to for passover and are currently a main feature of my post-purim cleanse!

Pesach (Passover) is probably my favorite holiday to cook for; despite all of the restrictions it a great learning experience because it forces you to transform basic ingredients into meals worthy of the holiday.  These 15 salads are kosher for pesach and are a nice way to balance some of the heavier seder meals, or to serve at lunch with leftover fish or meat from the night before.

Creamy Broccoli Salad

1.  Chopped Broccoli Salad:  This salad is creamy without being overly indulgent, because avocado is substituted for the traditional mayo-based dressing.

 

Shaved Mustard Green Salad

2.  Shaved Mustard Green Salad: Mustard Greens are high in nutrition and pack a punch when it comes to taste.  This salad is simple and refreshing.

 

 

Modern Millionaires Salad

3.  Modern Millionaire’s Salad: In ’60′s a salad made of hearts of palm and lettuces was very popular.  This updated version includes mango, avocado and a zesty citrus dressing.

 

 

Bella Topped Salad with Balsamic Reduction

4.  Bella Topped Salad with Balsamic Reduction: Portobello mushrooms are the star of this salad.  As a popular substitute for meat, portobello mushrooms are known for their hearty flavors which make this salad satisfying, but never heavy.

 

 

Balsamic Cucumber and Carrot  Ribbon Salad

5.  Balsamic Cucumber and Carrot Ribbon Salad: The ribbons of vegetables look beautiful on the plate, and taste even better.  This salad is less work than it looks, all you need is a vegetable peeler to cut the veggies into ribbons.

 

 

Waldorf Salad

6.  Waldorf Salad: The famous Waldorf Salad is actually quite simple to make!  A satisfying salad of butter lettuce, walnuts and grapes would pair perfectly with most meals.  The blue cheese in the recipe is optional, giving this salad an added degree of versatility.

 

 

Fennel and Cucumber Salad

7.  Fennel and Cucumber Salad: I’m dreaming of serving this salad for lunch with a zesty, beautifully prepared fish.  The fennel is crunchy yet sweet, and pairs well with the minty dressing.

 

 

Avocado Salad

8.  Avocado Salad: Think of this salad as guacamole with more texture.  Try adding mango and serving it alongside a beef entree.

 

 

Passover Egg and Avocado Salad

9.  Passover Avocado Egg Salad: All it takes is some creative plating and this salad is a winner in my book.  This is great for yom tov lunch, boil the eggs before the holiday and you’ll have a delicious salad ready in a minute.

 

 

Creamy Kale Salad with Capers and Hazelnuts

10.  Creamy Kale Salad with Capers and Hazelnuts: I’m a little behind when it comes to the kale trend.  I never thought I would be a fan of it, but it’s amazing how soft and creamy kale becomes when you massage a little dressing into it.

 

 

Tropical Slaw

11.  Tropical Slaw: Pineapples and mangos liven up a traditional slaw.  It would pair well with fish, especially tilapia or sea bass.

 

 

Cabbage Fennel Radish and Orange Salad

12.  Cabbage, Fennel, Radish and Orange Salad: While salads are naturally refreshing, I find that citrus dressings really pack a punch and wake up the senses.  The bright flavors of the cabbage and radish are complemented by the mild fennel and sweet orange.

 

 

Pomegranate Salad with Berry Vinaigrette

13.  Pomegranate Salad with Berry Vinaigrette: It’s no surprise that I dream about being in Israel during Passover.  The pomegranate seeds brings a bit of the holy land to my plate, alongside the Caribbean flavors of jicama and mango.

 

 

Red Cabbage Salad

14.  Red Cabbage Salad: The striking colors of this salad will brighten up your table and draw in hungry guests.  It pairs well with your choice of white fish or a citrus-flavored chicken dish.

 

 

15.  Fennel Orange Salad: This salad is gorgeous enough to serve at any holiday meal, but easy enough to prep ahead.

Check out more ideas for Passover here.


 

Healthy Recipe Ideas You Will Love –...

 

March 19th 2014

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It’s become a healthy habit I can’t break — starting a meal with lots of Mediterranean spreads. With a crowd of hungry guests, a table set with an assortment of appetizing spreads and salads, along with the requisite items for dipping keeps the hungry wolves at bay while I’m busy in the kitchen finalizing the rest of the meal.

During Passover, when every meal starts with matzo, you really need something extra to make it special. Cream cheese and butter are nice, but they are dairy, lack nutrients and add extra fat and calories that we definitely don’t need on the holidays. That’s why the Mediterranean diet is so popular with nutritionists and dietitians everywhere. Eggplants, peppers and tomatoes are in abundance and the spreads are tasty, low-fat and healthy.

Tomatoes hit the antioxidant jackpot. They are very high in Lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to cancer prevention. Tomatoes are also high in Vitamin A and C and vitamins that help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Eggplants are excellent sources of iron, calcium and fiber. Eggplant also contains important phytonutrients with antioxidant activity. Eggplant have been found to improve circulation, prevent cancer and lower bad cholesterol.

You can get all these health benefits with Sabra Mediterranean Salads including Spanish Eggplant, Turkish Salad, Matbucha, Babaganoush, Vegetarian Liver, Caponata, Roasted Eggplant, and Grilled Eggplant.

Stuffed Mushrooms and Artichokes

Stuffed Mushrooms and Artichokes

Don’t stop at just topping your matzo either. For a fantastic appetizer idea, you can create platters of veggies filled with spreads like I did here and keep your carbs down too. I also made amazingly easy Stuffed Mushrooms with Veggie Liver and Spanish Eggplant Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms.

I found these dips so flavorful and easy to dress up any vegetable.  Don’t miss our amazing Sabra contest.

Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored as part of an ongoing relationship with Sabra, all opinions are my own.