The Independence Day and Molasses Connection


June 27th 2014

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It’s almost July 4th and every American is thinking fireworks and parades or lemonade and fried chicken but my mind turns to molasses.


Because molasses is inextricably tied up with the American Revolution.

John Adams said so, so I’ve got the day covered historically, politically and gastronomically.


Here’s why.

Right after Europeans settled in the Americas, the production of sugar cane (brought to the West Indies by Columbus) became big business. Molasses is the liquid left over after cane is processed for sugar. The colonists bought tons of molasses because it was much cheaper than crystal sugar (and continued to be until after the Civil War). They used it for sweetener, but also to distill it into rum (which gets its name from saccharum, the sugar in molasses). That became big business too.

Unfortunately, the colonists bought their molasses from French planters, rather than English ones, because the French sold it at bargain prices. And that, made the British furious, so Parliament passed the infamous Molasses Act, which imposed a stiff duty on all molasses imported into the colonies from foreign countries. And, unfortunately that led to cries of “taxation without representation” and anyone who ever went to school in America knows that one.

So, molasses.

It’s a real treat too, for July 4th or any time. I find its rich, robust flavor a big plus for countless items from cookies to barbecue sauce to baked beans to pudding to gingerbread. There are several kinds but for cooking, unsulfured molasses (light or dark) is the finest and sweetest. Try using it, at least in part, instead other liquid sweeteners for such recipes as corn bread, pecan pie and spice cake. Or for these: Fresh Ginger Cake and Grilled Chicken Wings with Molasses Barbecue Sauce: both perfect for any July 4th celebration.


Eating Healthy With Red, White and Blue


June 26th 2014

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Fourth of July is a patriotic time to celebrate with family and friends. But it can also be a time to eat healthy, nutritious, red, white and blue food! This dish incorporates purple [blue] potatoes, red beets and white goat cheese. As a Registered Dietitian, I’m more than happy to serve up a healthy [and All-American!] dish this year. Purple potatoes are rich in the same antioxidants found in blueberries and pomegranate seeds. Red beets are rich in fiber, vitamins A, B and C, and folic acid [an especially important nutrient for mamas-to-be]. Goat cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, and offers a tangy and creamy bite. The cheese pairs nicely with the different textures of the potatoes and beets.

I always tell my clients to try and “eat the rainbow”, and this dish definitely fits the bill. And it doesn’t hurt that this recipe could not be simpler to put together!

Red, White and Blue Potato and Goat Cheese Salad

What’s your favorite way to eat potatoes and beets? Are you serving red, white and blue food this Fourth of July? Fill us in! We’d love to hear from you.

Happy Independence Day.


Cooking With Joy: Soups


June 26th 2014

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Hubs and I went away for a long weekend without the kids. While it was thoroughly restful and enjoyable, the minute we picked up the kids from the grandparents, everything became hectic again. Such is life, vacation over, what’s for dinner?

While Hubs unpacked and did the laundry (he is super awesome like that), I went grocery shopping. I have been really organized and made myself cooking and shopping lists for the next 4 weeks. On tap for this week was soup. Poppy’s Potato Sour Cream potato Soup and Creamy Cucumber Avacado. So I grabbed my list and got the ingredients for the two soups.

Since it was already pretty late in the day, dinner needed to be ready fast. The Cucumber Avocado Soup needed chilling time, so I decided to go with Potato Soup.

Poppy’s Sour Creamy Potoat Soup
DRESS IT UP Poppy’s Potato Soup cups page 72

I don’t usually cook with butter, so this was quite a treat (I even added in some extra to make up for not using it that often). We don’t cook dairy dishes that often (not counting pizza). Hubs doesnt like creamy cheesy things. The one time I made an alfredo sauce he added tomato sauce, so since then all white creamy things have been put on the back burner (literally!) The soup was very good when hot, but once it cooled, it congealed and became really heavy. While it was still fresh and hot I had like 3 bowls. It was really hearty and filling- the perfect fast meal for the end of a long day.

One weird thing about me is that I go to sleep super early every night. By 8pm every night I am falling over and ready for bed. One of the benefits of this, is I end up waking up really early, which allows me to accomplish things before work!

Cool Cucumber and Avocado Cream Soup
DRESS IT UP Cool Cucumber and Avocado Cream Shooters page 68

I knew the Cucumber Avacado soup would be really quick to prep (it barely took me 10 minutes). I prepped all the veggies and threw them in the food processor. Since I dont have a dairy food processor, I poured the puree into a bowl before adding the yogurt.
I cant put my finger on it, but for reason I was not excited about tasting this. I like all of the ingredients separately, but seeing and smelling them together was not at all appealing.

I put the soup in the fridge to chill and tasted it when I got home from work. Just like I thought, I didn’t like it. It wasn’t bad, I just found the raw garlic to be a bit overwhelming and the texture was not for me. This is all part of the experience, so I’m happy I did it.


If you have missed any of my blog as I work through the Joy of Kosher cookbook, find all my articles here on Cooking with Joy.




10 Savory & Sweet Sandwiches for July 4th


June 25th 2014

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When I first started becoming religious it was a real challenge to sort through the secular holidays to decide which ones I still felt comfortable celebrating.  Certain holidays got the boot, but I’m proud that July 4th is a holiday that my secular and religious cohorts alike celebrate with relatively equal vigor.  Now, I’ll stop myself from going on a rant about how great America is and what a blessing it is that American Jewry has flourished so beautifully.  I will be newly arrived in Israel this 4th of July where my celebrations will be much more subdued, but I plan to celebrate by giving thanks for the simple, and often overlooked, pleasures that we enjoy in America.  With that simplicity in mind, here are 10 sweet and savory sandwiches, the ultimate marriage of simple and satisfying, to enjoy this 4th of July, no matter where in the world you happen to be.


Non Dairy Cashew Ice Cream Sandwiches

Teriyaki Beef Banh Mi with Sesame Cucumber Salad + Cashew Ice Cream “Sandwiches”: No need to be intimidated, these seemingly complex sandwiches are composed of food that is likely already in your kitchen.  After enjoying the mild heat of chili sauce on the beef bahn mi try these one-bite pareve cashew ice cream sandwiches; think of this meal as the distant cousin of the steak sandwich and tofutti ice cream bar.



Buffalo Chicken Sandwich + Orange Chocolate Meringue Kiss Sandwich: The sandwich is so versatile, as evidenced not only by this post, but by the buffalo chicken sandwich.  Whether you are transforming leftover chicken or have been dreaming about buffalo sauce, the buffalo chicken sandwich is a cinch to make.  Picky crowd? Make a sauce station where guests can choose sauces ranging from sweet to spicy according to their preference.  The orange chocolate meringue kiss sandwich is a small sweet treat to enjoy after the spicy buffalo chicken.



Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich + Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies: This sandwich combination seemingly encapsulates childhood, but with a grown-up twist that makes them fit to serve to guests on July 4th.  The spinach pesto grilled cheese will knock your socks off, it’s so simple yet so delicious.  Similar to the grilled cheese, the almond butter and jelly sandwich cookies are a breeze to prepare.  Make extras and freeze them so you always have a tasty treat on hand.



Kouftikes de Prasa Sandwiches + Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches:  Don’t worry, I also am confident that I will butcher the pronunciation of the kouftikes, but that won’t matter once you get a taste of these lovely leek patties with harissa and preserved lemon red cabbage.  On the bright side, brownie ice cream sandwiches are super easy to pronounce and even easier to watch them disappear into the hands of giddy children and adults alike.



Mini Chocolate Coconut Sandwiches

Grilled Blackened Barramundi Sandwich + Mini Chocolate Coconut Sandwiches: Fish and coconut are such a perfect match, although perhaps not as good as chocolate and coconut.  Break out the grill this 4th of July and enjoy grilled blackened barramundi, or the fish of your choice, in this delightful sandwich.  End on a sweet note with mini chocolate coconut sandwiches that are reminiscent of the all-American favorite, the whoopie pie.


Check out more 4th of July ideas here!



Pinterest July fourth



Burn Jel Plus Works To #StopTheBurn *Weber Grill...


June 25th 2014

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A few moths ago, Jamie was doing a cooking demo and ended up burning herself on a hot pan.  Afterwards she learned that one of the attendees worked for a burn relief product and a new relationship was born.  All regular cooks know that burns are just par for the course, but the pain doesn’t have to be.  Burn Jel Plus® is a pain relieving gel that instantly cools and soothes.  If you have ever burned yourself you know how painful it can be and you feel like there is nothing you can do.  Water-Jel® Technologies the manucacturer of Burn Jel Plus® has been making emergency burn care products for more than 25 years and now they are bringing their products to us.

When a burn occurs it is important to act immediately to #StopTheBurn and relieve the pain.  That is why it is our mission to make sure everyone has this necessary tool on hand when they need it.  Just after I got my first sample of Burn Jel Plus® my 9 year old son was cooking and got a minor burn on his arm.  He yelled out and immediately put it under running water.  Then I remembered my sample and ran over to give it a try.  Within seconds his pain was gone and he went on with what he was doing.

Burn Jel Plus® stops the burning process and instantly cools the skin.  It really is a must have kitchen and on the go product available at Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Walmart or online at

We have teamed up with Burn Jel Plus® this Summer to help everyone #StopTheBurn.  Starting next week we are giving away 30 Burn Jel Plus® Gift Baskets filled with Burn Jel Plus®, Oven Mits, Aprons, Spatulas and More!!  Every Wednesday through August we will choose 3 winners and then on August 27, 2014 1 Grand Prize Winner will win this Weber Grill valued at $499 (or equivalent Lowe’s Gift Card).  Open to residents of U.S., ages 18+. See detailed terms and conditions on entry form.  Enter here with Rafflecopter:

The first winners are: Melissa, Carolyn, and Gerald.

The next winners are: Pam, Tandi, and Gary.

The third set of winners are: Debbie W, Tammi, and Joe Jo

The fourth round of winners are: Sari, Ken G, Keith B

The fifth round of winners: Bethany S, Robyn W, and Traci B

The sixth set of winners: Linda F, Shalom K, Annette T

The seventh set of winners: Judith W, Louly, Debbie R

The eighth set of winners: Adele S, Robin S,  Marta H

The ninth set of winners: Mike P, Cohen, T Michelle

The final set of gift basket winners: Bryn, Richard H, Karen H

The Big Winner of the Weber Grill is Tandi C – Congratulations!!!
Win A Weber Grill (value at $499)
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Four Fantastic Summer Salads


June 25th 2014

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Delicious fresh salads using all your favorite vegetables and some new ingredients you will want to add to your pantry.


Millet is a nutrient-rich grain that is incredibly under-used. Unlike fluffy rice which is so good it can be steamed and eaten plain, millet benefits from being combined with strong flavors and spices.

I promise you, though — once you learn what millet is good for and how to bring out its best qualities, the grain will grow on you. It looks like couscous, but it isn’t soft and it certainly doesn’t have that melt-in-your-mouth quality.

Millet is similar in taste and texture to quinoa. Millet can be very clumpy, so it works well for shaping pat- ties, but mostly, millet just needs love and attention. Fat does wonders for this grain. rather than cooking it in water, use chicken soup or beef stock. Or make it creamy, polenta-style with butter and cheese.

Roasted Chickpea Millet Salad

This is a vegetarian dish but can be easily served warm next to a hearty beef stew or saucy roast. it can also stand on its own as a complete meal. I generally roast each vegetable separately, but you can steam, blanch and sauté any of the vegetables you choose or even use leftover veggies.

Light Summer Salsa

A really simple fresh salad to augment the other complicated ones. Serve with tortilla chips or with pita and falafel in place of israeli salad.


Arame is available kosher (OK certified) under the eden Organic brand. Arame is a sea vegetable that has been a traditional part of the Japanese diet since ancient times. arame is a low calorie, low-sodium food that is rich in dietary fiber and a good source of vitamin
a and is fat and cholesterol free. Arame may be cooked with whole grains, in soups, stir fries, vegetable dishes, home- made breads, stuffing, salads, croquettes, and in making grain, tofu and tempeh burgers.

Arame doubles in size when cooked.  To use, rinse quickly, soak for 5 minutes in cold water, chop if desired, and add to your recipe. Arame makes an excellent side dish when cooked with sautéed sweet vegetables, seasoned with vinegar or soy sauce.

Salmon Arame Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Crispy Salmon Skin & Seaweed Dressing

Fresh summer tomatoes are the best thing ever — you don’t need to do much to a tomato to enjoy it. When I sat down to write up some summer salads I racked my brain to think of the best salad I’ve ever had with tomatoes. Sliced with basil and fresh mozzarella or with a little olive oil and salt is always great, but I wanted to think of something that surpasses even that. Chef Moses from Pardes restaurant in Brooklyn suddenly sprang to mind. I worked in his kitchen for a bit of time where he taught me many things, including this amazing dressing and salad. This is my version of his recipe — a more rustic home-style version. (the real thing comes with smoked salmon skin, some rouille, and fancy foam stuff which you’ll have to actually venture out of your house and to Pardes restaurant to eat.) In the meantime, try this recipe.

Roasted Ratatouille

Roasted Ratatouille

Roasted Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a longstanding family tradition. It’s also sort of a family joke. Growing up, my mother made ratatouille every single Friday night of my life — and now all my siblings and I make it as well. Ratatouille is not traditionally roasted, but I find it easier and less sweaty, and it elevates this dish by adding a depth of flavor that can only be achieved with roasting. My ratatouille is a gour- met version of my mother’s, but I incorporate her secret touch: roasting fennel in olive oil with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.



As seen in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Shavuot 2013) – Subscribe Now


RSVP For #SummerWithGolds Twitter Party and WIN


June 24th 2014

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You’re invited to join our #SummerWithGolds Twitter chat!
Hosted by @JoyofKosher and sponsored by Gold’s.

On the agenda

Summer time BBQ, Condiments and The Fourth of July – Win 1 of 5 copies of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine for Summer just by RSVPing below, then Retweet and engage during the chat to win 1 of 2 Gold’s product prize packs valued at $50 each or equivalent gift cards.

We will be talking about: Favorite Summer BBQ recipes, condiments with horseradish, the Fourth of July party ideas and more.


Tuesday July 1st from 1:30-2:30 pm EST


@JoyofKosher @JoyofKosherMag @KosherFoodBloggers @TamarGenger @JamieGeller

Moderator @MommyBlogExpert

How to participate
Use hashtag #SummerWithGolds
Use Tweetchat for easy chatting.

Anyone can participate, but you must be following @JoyofKosher and RSVP here below!

Follow us here


Let us know you are coming to the party in the comments below to be entered to win and make sure to include your twitter handle.


Morad Pomegranate Wine for Dinner and a Cocktail


June 24th 2014

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We all know that wine isn’t just for drinking (you can cook with it too) but did you know that it’s important that the wine you cook with should be just as tasty as the wine you want to drink? In fact, when you open up a bottle of wine to pour into your favorite stews and sauces, it’s a good idea to pour yourself a glass to drink while you cook. That’s an order! And since I must practice what I preach, I’m opening up a bottle of Morad Pomegranate Wine right now to drink while I write about this incredible sweet and sour wine made entirely of the finest pomegranates from Israel.

Instead of adding dry red wine to this classic Osso Buco, I used the sweet and sour Morad Pomegranate Wine to add an extra layer of flavor and tang to this rich and heavy dish. The pomegranate wine is cooked together with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, crushed tomatoes, sausage, fresh rosemary, bay leaf and more! There is so much love there.

Like I said, every wine-infused dish needs a matching drink to go with it and this Chilled Mulled Pomegranate Wine with pomegranate seed ice is perfect to lighten up the heavy Osso Buco and cool you down on these hot summer days. Instead of just drinking the wine right from the bottle, you can infuse it with tangy and savory flavors to give it new life. I steeped the pomegranate wine with citrus, cinnamon and fresh rosemary then chilled it down for a few hours before drinking. So refreshing and it will last for at least 2-3 days in your fridge…unless you drink it all before then!

Gey your bottle of Morad Pomegranate Wine from 


The Story of Bat Shlomo Winery


June 24th 2014

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In 1889 Baron Edmond De Rothschild started a new town in the ever growing Zichron Ya’akov.

This picturesque little town by the name of Bat Shlomo, sits on the lower slopes of Mount Carmel, and still features its original buildings (and in most cases descendants of the original families that lived there). It was named after Betty Salomon, the daughter of Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (the Baron’s grandfather).

It was here in 1889 that Baron Rothschild planted some of the first vineyards in Israel, which were eventually abandoned.

Fast forward to the modern day. Serial Entrepreneur Elie Wurtman made Aliyah and soon after achieved significant success in high tech. He then decided to follow his dream and become a ‘pioneer’ by opening his own winery. In his search for the right location, Elie stumbled upon Bat Shlomo and decided to rejuvenate the vines planted over a century ago.

Overgrown Vineyards

Now with the vines in hand, Elie called on a friend of his – Ari Erle, who studied winemaking for six years in Napa Valley.

Together with some of Elie’s other friends and colleagues, they cleaned up the Vineyards and rejuvenated the vines for a proper crop.

Elie then went and purchased one of the original houses in Bat Shlomo with the goal of renovating it and converting it into a Visitors center. In the process, however, he uncovered an ancient Roman house. Once he was granted clearance from the archeologists, he converted that house into the barrel cellar.


Elie then found a school nearby that works with troubled religious kids, and after meeting with the head of the school, a program was started whereby the students study agriculture and the religious laws of farming, combined with working in the vineyards.
Here’s what came of all this effort…

Bat Shlomo Sauvignon Blanc – Probably the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tasted. A clear crisp wine with well-balanced citrus flavors, this is a perfect wine for a fish dinner or as a classy wine for a nice hot day. (95 NIS) – Avaialbe in the US via Amazon for $30, click here.

Bat Shlomo Rosé – This perfectly balanced rosé in deep blush, it’s on my list of the top 5 rosés in Israel. The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc is sure to compliment pasta, tomato based sauces, or fruit. (95 NIS)

Bat Shlomo Chardonnay – Complex and buttery, this wine has so many great things going on! For those who don’t want a completely oaked chardonnay, you can’t go wrong! Good to go with heavier cheesy meals or Turkey dinners, or just sit and sip with some good friends on a hot day. (120 NIS)

Bat Shlomo Betty’s Cuvee – The first red wine from Bat Shlomo – This red blend is exactly the same as the rosé in its composition (The rose is simply removed after a short time and fermented without the skins). This in turn means an even deeper color and texture for the red. The wine is young, and needs substantial time to breathe before drinking. In my opinion this is a great wine for the collector as it will continue to improve in the bottle over the next 4-5 years. If you are a collector – it is a great wine at the great price of 160NIS, as this vintage bottle will be worth much more as it matures.

Bat Shlomo Wines are only available in restaurants or in the winery, but most exclusively through the Jerusalem Wine Club!

Eli Poch is the Founder of the Jerusalem Wine Club.

You can book all your Israeli Wine tours and/or purchase wine through the club through their website:


10 Sweet and Savory Honey Recipes


June 24th 2014

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This post and giveaway is sponsored by The National Honey Board.

Honey does more than sweeten tea and suppress a cough. Honey has many versatile benefits in the kitchen, from replacing other granulated sweeteners in baked goods and other desserts to balancing the acidity and salt of salad dressings with a natural sweetness and mouth-filling texture. For many home cooks who think about honey during breakfast, they may be surprised to learn that many savory dishes will also benefit from adding honey.

Honey enhances browning and helps food retain moisture. That is why honey is a common ingredient in many marinades and sauces for meat, chicken and fish. Honey is sweeter than other granulated sweeteners – so you can use less – and it has a unique flavor profile that enhances every dish. There’s actually more than 300 varietals of honey in the United States. (check out www.honeylocator to find varietals from your region)

Try these sweet and savory recipes to discover how honey can bring out the best flavors in your kitchen.

Asian Vegetables with Quinoa

Asian Vegetables with Quinoa

Honey is a common ingredient in many Asian foods.  Not only does it offer natural sweetness to counterbalance the salty and spicy flavors, but it also provides a thicker coating that sticks to the food.

Herbed Meatloaf

The flavor and juices of the meatloaf are sealed in by the extra coating of tomato paste mixed with honey that is slathered on top.

Honey Pecan Chicken

Honey Pecan Chicken

Honey and mayo combine to coat the chicken before being dredged in pecans and breadcrumbs.  The honey helps keep the chicken breast moist while also working to cling to the breading.

simple salmon

Neshe's Simple Salmon

Salmon never got easier than this recipe and a little honey goes a long way to make a salmon everyone will love.

Red Snapper with Asian Noodles

Red snapper is marinaded in a an asian blend of sauces for a balance of sweet, spicy and salty.

Apple Honey Marinade For Chicken

A chicken marinade from our BBQ professional, honey works great on the grill.

Cider Glazed Vegetables

The honey balances the apple cider vinegar in this vegetable side dish.

Apple Crunch Bread Pudding

This breakfast bread pudding is perfect to use up leftovers.  Honey is a surprise  ingredient in the custard used to soak the bread

Curried Coconut Couscous

This flavorful coconut and curry couscous filled with apricots is laced with the sweet taste of honey.   It can be served warm or prepared ahead and served cold the next day.

Whole Wheat Challah

This whole wheat challah recipe has a great texture due to the use of honey.  Give it a try.

honey recipes


Win a Honey Culinary Kit to include a few different samples of honey varietals, 1 cookbook, 1 apron, 1 honey dipper.  To enter to win, leave a comment below with your favorite honey recipe.

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For more information on honey and more recipes go to

This post and giveaway is sponsored by the National Honey Board, all opinions are my own.


Chilled Mulled Pomegranate Wine with Pomegranate...


June 23rd 2014

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Posted 06/23/2014 by Melinda Strauss
Instead of drinking your wine right out of the bottle, spice it up for summer with some citrus, cinnamon sticks and fresh herbs. Add some homemade pomegranate seed ice cubes to cool you down and impress your friends.

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In the JOK Kitchen with Silk Road Vegetarian ...


June 23rd 2014

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The Silk Road refers to the routes of trade along Central Asia, India and the Mediterranean.  Many of our Jewish ancestors worked along these routes dealing in the spice trade.  Dahlia Abraham-Klein takes us all on a culinary journey through her heritage in her new book.  After years of suffering health problems on a regular American diet, Dahlia went back to her roots and found that the foods of her ancestors could be easily made today.  Many are naturally vegan and gluten free and they changed her life.

The Silk Road Vegetarian is the culmination of Dahlia’s transformation and celebration of her family’s strong culinary roots along the Silk Road. With 120 vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten free recipes tweaked for the modern cook, the Silk Road Vegetarian has something for everyone.  Dahlia shares a lot of herself in this book, but we wanted to know a little more.  Here is what we learned from Dahlia plus a few recipes from the book you can try out.  And don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win your own copy.

You found renewed interest in foods from the Silk Road that you grew up on after feeling sick on a more Americanized diet. Was it difficult to learn to cook this way?

I grew up watching my mother cook the traditional foods from Central Asia, so through osmosis and some extra tips from my mother I learned to cook the dishes I grew up with.
I also learned through years of studying naturopathy (natural medicine) after suffering from a sever ulcer and years of meditation, that the attitude towards food needs to change.
Cooking with patience, love and nurturance changes the spiritual energy of the food you give to your loved ones. Food has healed me and if cooked properly can heal people.
So keeping that in mind it’s not difficult for me to cook this way when the outcome is so great.

Indian Red Lentil Falafel

Indian Red Lentil Falafel

You got very personal in this cookbook even including old pictures of your family, was it hard to share so much of yourself?

It was not difficult to share myself with my readers. For the service of the book, I felt it was crucial to be completely open and honest in that way my readers can connect to a real person.

What was your earliest memory of cooking?

I started cooking from a young age, probably around 15 yrs. old.

Persian Bean & Noodle Soup

Persian Bean and Noodle Soup

What was your worst kitchen disaster?

Experimenting with gluten free desserts was a challenge for me. I made terrible gluten free desserts until I made them perfect. You need to know how to combine the right flours to make a nice consistency, otherwise you have a mushy cookie or a cookie that is hard as a rock.

How did you decide which recipes to develop/include for this cookbook?

I have included almost all the recipes I have grown up with that could be converted to vegetarian. There were some dishes that were made with dough, that I did not convert because this is a gluten free cookbook. I felt I had enough recipes to fill a book.

Do cooks who use your cookbook need to get a whole new set of spices?

Depends on the cook. I think anyone picking up this book has an adventurous palate and will most likely have these spices in their pantry. Vegetarians are generally risk takers with food, because they might feel that vegetarian fare is limiting so will try anything.

Bukharian Pilaf with Kidney Beans pulah

Bukharian Pilaf with Kidney Beans pulah

What is your favorite spice?

My favorite spice has to be curry. It’s a combination of spices including: coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers in their blends. You can make your own variation of curry and add additional ingredients such as ginger, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed and cardamom.

What tips do you have for busy moms trying to get a healthy dinner on the table every night and eat well themselves every day?

The wonderful thing about Central Asian cuisine is that we are masters at one pot meals. There is a whole chapter devoted to Rice Meals and in it the meals have everything you need for a wholesome nutritious meal. There are legumes, rice, vegetables and currants in the dish. It can be made once a week, and feed the family through out the week and for little money as well.

Here are a few recipes excerpted from the book:

Bukharian Pilaf with Kidney Beans & Carrots

Indian Red Lentil Falafel

Persian Bean and Noodle Soup

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Baseball Birthday Party


June 20th 2014

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Take me out to the ball game, buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks…

Summer is the season of baseball and it is also a time to celebrate.  Whether you are planning a kids birthday or just a fun baseball themed shindig we have the recipes, menu and some decoration ideas for you.  All brought to you with the support of Gold’s, our go to Summer condiments.

Start out with the invitations:

It is easy to find a baseball themed paper or online invitation, click here for examples.

Order some fun decorations from places like Etsy, here.

And serve our favorite baseball foods.

pretzel wrapped brats

Pretzel Wrapped Bratwurst with Cider Braised Onions

Make sure everyone gets  turn at bat with these  Pretzel Wrapped Brats with Cider Braised Onions combine our two favorite baseball foods, soft pretzels and hot dogs or brats.  Serve with lots of Gold’s mustard.

Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn

Make this Caramel Popcorn mix as your homemade version of  Cracker Jacks and guarantee a home run.

Serve lots of veggie dippers for guilt free snacking and try a few quick and easy homemade dips, such as:

  • Tarragon Mustard Dip - mix 1/4 cup low fat mayo with 3 tablespoons Gold’s Dijon Mustard, fresh tarragon and 1 tablespoon vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Horseradish Guacamole – mash up 1 avocado with the juice of 1 lime, a large spoonful of Gold’s Horseradish and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Creamy Wasabi – mix Gold’s Wasabi Sauce with non dairy sour cream, lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro, adjust quantities to taste.


For the grand slam finale everyone will love these Baseball Cake Pops.  Use your favorite non dairy cake mix and non diary candy melts, they are sure to impress.



This post is sponsored by Gold’s, all opinions are my own.



Cooking with Joy: Coconut Berry Soup


June 19th 2014

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Coconut Milk is another one of those ingredients that I have only heard of and never tasted. As I opened the first can the scent transported me to a tropical island, imagining myself swinging in a hammock in a warm breeze under a palm tree, now back to reality. I just HAD to taste the milk, since I needed to know what my end product would taste like. It was creamy and not at all sweet with a mild taste of coconut. Since I am not someone who uses coconut often, this was new to me.

I added the milk to the frozen fruit that was already in the bowl, my kids thought I was making smoothies, well I sorta was!
Then it came time to find my zester for the lemons. I used to know exactly where it was, until my 2 year old started using that drawer while “helping” me in the kitchen. ” Want Dis Mommy”, Nope please put it back” K” (she put it back and took something else out ) “Want Dis Mommy”, Nope don’t need that either, please put it back” and that usually goes on for a while until she finds something else to keep her busy while Im trying to make dinner. Anyway- I found the zester, it only took a couple of minutes.

In went the lemon juice (this time no juice all over the counter), lemon zest, honey and salt. I used my immersion blender, which is one of my favorite and most used kitchen tools. It makes clean up a breeze and is so much easier then schlepping out the blender- ( for those of us who don’t have the luxury of counter space). If you don’t have an immersion blender yet, I highly recommend getting one!

I didn’t strain the soup through a sieve. Not that it wasn’t necessary, its just I don’t have a sieve and I was just making this for my fam to have a yummy dessert and knew they wouldn’t be particular. If you have a sieve, totally go for it! It would definitely make the soup even creamier

When I turned around for 2 seconds to put the dishes in the sink, my 5 year old had his finger in the mixing bowl- It’s just THAT good.

As a yummy adult variation Hubs and I added some coconut flavored rum to the soup- back to the tropical island we went :) Just one thing to keep in mind if you add alcohol, you need to stir it, since it will probably separate (ours did).

We ate most of it for desert after dinner, and I froze the rest for shabbos, I’m looking forward.

Chilled Coconut Berry Soup
DRESS IT UP Fruit, Flower, and Mint Ice Cubes


10 Oil-Free Recipes


June 18th 2014

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I’m slow to admit that I may be a bit heavy-handed when it comes to oil, there’s something to love about the sound of it simmering in a pan ready to make anything you throw at it taste good.  As of late, my family has become suspicious about just how necessary all of this oil is. With that in mind, I started exploring oil-free recipes here at Joy of Kosher and was surprised to find that dishes from a plentitude of cuisines can be made oil-free.  I’m not planning to say good-bye to oil for good, but I’m definitely ready to cut back and am glad that there are many recipes on the site, including the ones below, that will make this task easier.



What’s better than a burger in the summer?  Well, that would be easy: a burger topped with guacamole.  Serve the Mexican Burgers with Flour Tortillas with grilled corn, peaches and plums for a healthy and satisfying meal.



Staying with the Latin inspired cuisine, but focusing on the dairy side of things are the Confetti Quesadillas with Cilantro Yogurt Dip.  If, like me,  you’re not a big cilantro fan just go easy on the amount you put with the dip, you’ll still get the tanginess without an overwhelming cilantro flavor.  Or try the Roasted Red Pepper Dip and Pico de Gallo.



Another great dairy favorite gone oil-free is Suri’s Special Eggplant Parmesan.  When I think Italian automatically I reach for the oil, although honestly I probably do that with all cuisines.  This recipe is not wanting for oil, and psychologically I think that knowing that a dish this decadent is not swimming in calories makes it taste even better.



For a light, satisfying meat meal in the summer try the Lamb Bacon Wrapped Asparagus.  They’re great for entertaining or an a family meal.  Serve them with the Celery Root, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and the Sweet and Sour Watermelon Salad.



Summer Rolls

The Summer Rolls are great as an appetizer or a main meal.  The crispy crust and vegetables taste great alongside imitation crab or your fish of choice.  If you serve it as an appetizer, also try the Edamame Avocado Dip.