Healthy & Kosher

 

Cheesey Jalapeno Corn Muffins Made Easy

 

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How do you take ordinary corn muffins and turn them into something extraordinary with only one extra ingredient? Use a Jalapeno Cilantro cheese from Sincerely Brigitte.

I want to disclose that this post and recipe is part of a partnership with Sincerely Brigitte, a new gourmet flavored cheese company.  If you missed my introduction and your first two chances to win a cheese sampler pack don’t worry, go here and enter there will still be two more winners, cause we are giving one away every Thursday in May.


 

How To Cut a Pineapple – Step By Step...

 

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Ask Us:What is the best way to cut pineapple?

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Homemade Graham Crackers Make The Best S’...

 

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It is finally warming up a bit, with warm days and cool nights, it is the perfect season to be outside and enjoy a nice bonfire.  Luckily, it is also going to be Lag Baomer next Sunday when bonfires are abundant.  Learn more about the history of Lag Baomer and ways to celebrate.  I know I like to celebrate with S’mores.  Nothing quite says Summer like toasted marshmallows and chocolate sandwiched between sweet and crunchy graham crackers.  The only way to improve upon this camping staple is to make your own graham crackers.

Graham crackers have always been considered a more healthy type of cookie mostly because they are generally lower in sugar than most other cookies.  Originally they were made with graham flour which is a white flour that had bran and germ added back to it for flavor.  The original version had little or no sugar and was more like a cracker, but at some point sugar or honey was added.  Nowadays, most graham crackers are mostly made from white flour with some graham flour used, but if you make your own you will see that using 100% whole wheat flour actually improves the end result.


 

In Season: Fresh Garbanzos

 

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Last week I was so excited to finally get my hands on some of these fresh garbanzo beans.  In case you don’t know, garbanzo beans is another name for chick peas.  Typically you buy them dried or canned and use them in salads, to make hummus, falafel or in soups and stews.  Fresh garbanzos can be used in similar ways, but are completely different.

Both fresh and dried or canned chickpeas offer many nutritional benefits.  Like all beans they are high in fiber, protein an antioxidants.  About 1/2 cup of fresh garbanzos will contribute 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.   It is also considered a good source of vitamins A, C and E, potassium, iron, manganese,  copper, zinc, calcium, and folate. They can be superior to the canned variety because they are fresh and do not have any added salt.


 

Why Mom Wants Vitamin K2 for Mother’s Day

 

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I know this sounds weird, vitamins as a Mother’s Day present, I must be crazy.  Last year, I happened to read an article about a recent study that showed Vitamin K2 had a measurable impact on bone health.  A few days later my mother in law was telling me that she was worried about going off Fosamax, a popular drug used to increase bone mass in those who are at risk for osteoporosis.  There are many known side effects related to Foxamax and my mother in law was weighing the benefits with the potential risks.  I suggested Vitamin K2 based on the article that I had read and when she told her doctor he said it was worth a shot.

Now, a year later, her bone density has actually improved, most likely due to the Vitamin K2 and she couldn’t stop thanking me.  I realized that I had actually given her the perfect Mother’s Day gift.


 

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.