Healthy & Kosher

 

Salmon Croquettes for Passover

 

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While gefilte fish is a Passover staple, we have more non-gefilte fish eaters in our family than gefilte fish eaters.  As a pescatarian, I am often looking for non-meat options to serve at our family’s seder.  This year, I will be making these Salmon Croquettes in place of gefilte fish.  With many of the same flavors and ingredients, this is an easy, timesaving and nutritious alternative.

Salmon, is of course, a hugely nutritious fish: rich in healthy fats and protein. Whether you are using canned salmon or you are cooking your own, you and your seder guests will reap the benefits of this true superfood. A note on canned salmon: it often comes packed with pinbones – which are rich in both bone building calcium and vitamin D. Choosing wild over farmed salmon will ensure optimal nutrition, because just remember: if you don’t know what they eat, you don’t know what you eat.


 

Why You Should Be Eating More Goat Cheese

 

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Although goat cheese may be a relatively new option for the kosher consumer in the U.S., it has ancient origins and is among the best-known and most popular cheese varieties in the world. Goat cheese can refer to any cheese made from goat’s milk, but is most often associated with the soft variety we find in log-shaped packages in the refrigerated section of the market. Cheeses made from goat’s milk tend to have a distinct tangy flavor and can be used to enhance and add complexity to many different dishes. Cheesemakers also may incorporate herbs, dried fruits or other creative flavorings to goat cheese to provide even more options for cheeseheads everywhere.


 

A Spanish Seder Menu

 

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I love ethnic food. Well, okay, I love all food, but I have a special place in my heart for creating menu based on a specific international cuisine. So a few years ago when I found kosher for Passover soy sauce I created a Chinese Seder. It got rave reviews and has become a new family tradition. Last year, I had to host two Seders, so I was looking for something new and decided to try Spanish food and it worked beautifully!

saffron-matzo-ball-soup-with-sofrito

Saffron Matzo Ball Soup With Sofrito


 

Healthy Recipe Ideas You Will Love –...

 

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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.


 

Baked Horseradish Gefilte Fish

 

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This month we are highlighting horseradish for our Kosher Connection Link Up to get us all in the mood to start preparing for Passover. I’ve made many recipes with horseradish over the last year so be sure to read my article about the healthy horseradish.  I became a huge fan of how horseradish adds a nice kick to so many dishes and the health benefits is a bonus.

When I think about horseradish for Passover I immediately thought about gefilte fish. To be honest, I don’t even usually put horseradish on top my gefilte fish, but the idea of putting it inside seemed too good to not try.


 

Easy Weeknight Fish Recipes

 

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Are you looking to get more fish into your diet? This flavorful recipe makes it easy to increase your fish consumption. White meaty fish, such as halibut and the cod served here, is low in calories but high in protein. For those of us watching our waistlines, fish is a great choice especially when it replaces fattier cuts of red meat. And because it’s so low in calories, it means we can have a larger portion for fewer calories.   If you are new to fish, try replacing one meat dish a week with a fish dish. Small changes will add up quickly!

This Mediteranean style steamed cod recipe is healthy and flavorful, bursting with unsaturated fats and lots of strong flavors. Because cod, as mentioned above, is a mild yet meaty white fish, it takes on the flavors of ingredients in the dish. In this recipe, olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic and white wine provide savory bursts of flavor. I serve this dish a bright green vegetable such as sautéed Brussels sprouts in garlic and olive oil, or just-wilted garlic kale.


 

The Lava Lamp Cocktail Link Up

 

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If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a lava lamp is a visit to Spencer’s at your local mall or a blissed out night during college listening to psychedelic music, you’re probably not alone, but I’m here to tell you there’s a little more to the Lava Lamp than all that.

I was inspired by a friend’s recent story about a Lava Lamp cocktail and I was able to create a fun at home version that you can enjoy with or without alcohol, so it’s a perfect party drink whether you’re having some friends over or stuck at home with the kids.


 

Mustard Greens Recipes

 

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Mustard greens are part of the healthy “dark leafy green” vegetable family.  They are similar in texture to kale and collard greens, but with a bit more body.  And, like the name implies, mustard greens have a tangy, peppery bite reminiscent of mustard.   Mustard greens are wildly nutritious: low in calories, a good source of fiber and high in Vitamins K, A and C.  Additionally, mustard greens store very well in the refrigerator for at least one week.   I love them as a main course any time of day when they are sauteed with garlic and topped with a poached egg.  Try my recipe for Sauteed Garlic Mustard Greens with Sweet Potato and Poached Egg.

shaved mustard greens

Shaved Mustard Green Salad


 

DIY – Make Your Own Flavored Seaweed Snacks

 

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We make sushi at least twice a month in my house and it’s always a big hit.  In addition to the fish, rice and veggies, my kids can’t get enough of the Nori seaweed.  They ask for whole pieces just to snack on while we’re rolling.  I used to think they were crazy, until I started to see toasted seaweed snacks at every market. My kids were onto something.  The only difference between our kitchen table snacks and the latest supermarket fad is that the new products added assorted flavors.

I haven’t been able to find any toasted seaweed snacks with kosher certification so I decided to make my own.  It is really easy and fun to make your own flavored seaweed.  The kids can make it themselves, because I can’t seem to make them fast enough!


 

Using Greek Yogurt In Pesto Sauce

 

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Let’s face it. Most ingredients that promise to taste better than its non-healthy counterpart are usually and sadly not as good. Greek yogurt is one of the sole exceptions. It is an ingredient rich in protein, potassium, vitamin B, and probiotics. While boasting so many nutritious qualities, it is also quite a spectacular ingredient to cook with. Beyond yogurt and granola, there is so much you can do with Greek yogurt.

As the first chalav yisrael Greek yogurt, Norman’s Greek yogurt has revolutionized the kosher market with a high quality, good-for-you product.  Norman’s Greek  yogurt is rich, tangy and can be substituted for cream in many recipes, from sweet to savory.  Pesto in cream sauce is a favorite pasta dish of mine. It is creamy and herbaceous and hits all the right notes. I have been making this dish for years every Shavuot and for family dinners. I experimented with substituting heavy cream for Norman’s plain Greek yogurt and this dish was born. I am always ecstatic when I can say that using a healthier ingredient not only achieves the desired results but actually tastes even better.


 

Super Bowl No Meat Tacos

 

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It’s confession time.  I hate sports.  You would never believe that I grew up in a house where Sundays meant my dad and brother were jumping and screaming in front of the TV rooting for the Miami Dolphins.  My dad can’t understand where I came from and how I could have absolutely no interest in watching any sporting event.  I’d rather watch paint dry.

Well, the joke is on me. My husband enjoys watching football and baseball, but generally let’s me run the show.  But now I’m outnumbered.  Help!


 

Healthy Resolutions You Can Keep

 

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Happy New Year! Welcome to a new year and a new you! January has long been a time for resolutions and plans to improve ourselves in the coming year. The most common resolutions made are losing weight and getting fit. The most common resolutions broken are losing weight and getting fit. However, this doesn’t have to be true for you this year. Making a resolution to become healthier can be as easy as changing your focus and creating a healthy lifestyle.

Now while that may sound intimidating to completely change the way you live, it really doesn’t have to be scary or difficult. All it takes is changing your mindset and setting up your day to minimize temptation and maximize good habits. This can be as simple as throwing out that ashtray, and putting your running shoes where you’ll see them (and use them).


 

Comfort Me With White Bean Stew *Link Up*

 

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Years ago I made a random white bean side dish that I left on the hot plate to stay warm for Shabbat dinner.  When I was ready to serve the dish the liquid had mostly evaporated and I feared a disaster in front of a table full of hungry guests.  Turned out to be the best dish on the table.  I love happy accidents, they lead to the best recipes.

This recipe is  perfect on a cold winter night when all you want is something hot, soothing and full of flavor, this concentrated bean stew totally does the trick.   The secret is the sun-dried tomatoes.  The longer they sit the more they infuse the stew with a salty, umami rich flavor you will want to savor. And let’s face it, we can all use a bit of sun in December.


 

A Hot Winter Drink From The Middle East

 

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The first time I encountered saklep (also known as sachlav, sahlab, sachlab, salep and several more) was about 15 years ago visiting Israel during my school break.  My boyfriend was studying abroad in Jerusalem at Hebrew University and I was visiting for a week.  We spent the entire week eating our way through Israel (not much has changed, I was a foodie even then).  I remember my first kosher Kentucky Fried Chicken and kosher McDonald’s plus hidden gems like The Waffle Lady, who would hand out hot Belgian waffles from a storefront in Jerusalem that was the size of a walk-in closet.  But one of my most interesting food experiences that trip was discovering a hole in the wall in the Old City on a cold February afternoon where I ordered a hot Saklep.  It was a memory I will never forget.  Aromatic and soothing and filling with texture and a rich creaminess that I can still picture 15 years later.


 

Whole Grain Farro Recipes

 

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Whole grains have become wildly popular in recent years but I don’t think this is just another “hot” culinary trend. Spelt, farro, wheatberries, quinoa and so many other grains that once seemed so weird or exotic are now everyday staples in our kitchens. Recipes abound.

That’s good news, not only because whole grains are healthy, but because there are so many of them. Each has a different taste and texture, so it’s a certainty you’ll find at least one or two to your liking. They also add amazing variety to our diets, which helps ease the boredom factor when it comes to dinner.