Healthy & Kosher


Back to the Borscht Belt


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Confession time!!!  I’ve never had borscht before. Not fresh. Not homemade. Not hot and not cold. I love beets, but borscht just never did it for me.

So it was funny when I was telling my dad about my assignment to come up with recipes using Gold’s Borscht that he admitted that he had been craving borscht and enjoyed it mixed  with a bit of parve sour cream. Craving for borscht?  Could I really be related to him?


The 7 Best Zucchini Recipes – New Ways To...


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I will never forget the first Summer I was part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  It was about 10 years ago and I was living in D.C. and they had a drop off location on the way home from work, so it was perfect.  Each week I would go and discover new produce from the farm I supported including many foods I had never seen before.  Some things they had less of and some they had more of, that is the nature of farm business.  We didn’t get any edible corn that year, but we did get an abundance of Summer squash.  Once they started handing out squash, they didn’t stop.  It was the one vegetable that you could take as you wanted and there was still more to go around and oh, I forgot to mention the size of some of these squash, they were enormous.  If only I knew then what I know now, there are so many ways to cook squash and they are all delicious.  Of course there is kugel and muffins and latkes and you can find those and more here when you search for zucchini, but when those get old check out these newbies.

Zucchini Spaghetti Primavera


Flavorful Recipes Using BBQ Sauce


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In life there are two kinds of people.  Ketchup people and mustard people.  I am a mustard people.  I’ve never been a fan of ketchup, but I actually love BBQ sauce. Okay, I guess that means there are three kinds of people.  The rich, smoky flavor of BBQ sauce is very satisfying and depending on the sweetness or spice can offer a range of flavors that ketchup can’t seem to match. I never really used BBQ sauce on anything but meat or chicken until recently, and I can kick myself for not trying it sooner.



Banana Oat Chocolate Muffin Top Cookies Link Up...


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I love making muffins. They are quick and easy and a favorite “quick” breakfast. One of my favorite muffin recipes is for Multigrain Blueberry Muffins. I use this recipe as a base and often change the grains based on what I have around the house. It’s hard to mess this one up and it’s a healthy treat my kids love!

For this month’s Kosher Connection link up, we decided to do a blog swap. We were each anonymously assigned a different blogger and asked to make one of their recipes. I laughed when I was assigned to Lil Miss Cakes, a baking blog mostly showcasing my neighbor and friend, Melissa’s gorgeous cakes. As a Dietitian who likes to bake, I stick to cookies and bundt cakes, I knew that I was not going anywhere near those works of art. But when I stumbled on these muffin top cookies I knew I found my perfect recipe.


Prefast Meal for Tisha B’av


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It is a very strong custom to refrain from eating meat and drinking alcohol during the 9 days leading up to Tisha B’av.  This year, Tisha B’av falls on July 16, 2013.  We have shared quite a few dairy menus and meal ideas for you over the past week and now I want to offer some tips for the fast including my menu suggestion.

To start with I always push hydration.  There is nothing as important during these hot days of Summer than staying hydrated.  During the three days leading up to the fast it is best to focus as much as possible on drinking more fluids, preferably water or herbal iced tea.


Horchata Recipe


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I first learned about Horchata on my adventures in Costa Rica earlier this year.  Horchata is a beverage made from ground nuts, seeds or grains usually mixed with cinnamon and other spices and served over ice. It is popular throughout Latin America and Spain, but each country has their own recipe.  No two Horchatas are ever alike and it is up to you to find your favorite version. When preparing a Horchata, you are basically creating a homemade almond and/or rice milk mixed with cinnamon and sugar. But I’m not talking about those rectangular cartons from the grocery store, I want you to think about a fresh, creamy refreshing drink, spiced and sweetened to perfection. Recipes range from a thinner, watery drink to a thicker, creamier milkshake like beverage, I like thick and creamy, you? Horchata - Almond Rice Milk Blend What really surprises me is why I don’t see more Horchata here in America!

Maybe we can start a new trend.  All you have to do is grind some rice and place in a bowl with water, almonds and cinnamon.  Let it sit for at least 8-10 hours (up to 12 hours), process in a blender, strain, add sugar to taste and enjoy.  You don’t have to stop there, though. Go ahead and experiment with your favorite flavors, add nutmeg or cardamom or both.  Turn it into a cocktail, it goes great with a shot of rum or whiskey.


BBQ Cauliflower Cream Sauce


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BBQ Cauliflower Cream Sauce Posted 06/24/2013 by Melinda Strauss
If you're looking for a creamy sauce without the cream, this cauliflower cream sauce is perfect for you! For some extra tang, I added Gold's Barbecue Sauce to the cauliflower mixture. You can pour this sauce over pasta, vegetables or pretty much anything you can think of!

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Wasabi Flavored Recipes


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It’s hard to believe that ten years ago most of us had never even heard of wasabi.  Maybe we even piled it on our sushi before we knew what it was (guilty as charged). Now the hot green stuff, typically sold in powder or paste is a sushi staple.  Wasabi has come a long way from a sushi condiment, and it’s unique flavor can now be found in many foods, like soy nuts, potato chips and rice cakes.

Wasabi is Japanese horseradish.   It is actually very difficult to get fresh wasabi here in the United States.  Gold’s, already well known for their prepared horseradish, has brought the convenience and flavor of wasabi in a sauce that we can use to top our sushi and flavor tons of other dishes.  It does have some mayo mixed in, but a little goes a long way and you get the added benefit of including more horseradish in your diet, which if you have been paying attention is extremely healthy (click here for my article on the health benefits of horseradish).


Vegan Corn Chowder and Cold Soup Link Up


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As a general rule, chowders are laden with heavy cream and butter.  An 8oz serving of your average corn chowder packs 13 grams of fat (6 of which are saturated).  It also typically takes an hour to cook.  So if you ever needed a reason to avoid putting corn chowder on your menu, I just gave you two.  But I recently made a healthy and raw vegan corn chowder that tastes great!  While this recipe doesn’t require any cooking and is really good cold, which is how I am able to include it in this link up, it can also be gently warmed in the microwave or stove top.  With the heat of summer approaching and a need for easy, plan-ahead Saturday lunch and third meal options, I’m going cold.

I discovered this soup when I was reviewing a fabulous cookbook, Raw & Simple.  I loved how easy it was to make, how tasty it was and how it was filling enough for dinner.  I have added this recipe into our regular rotation and we have been enjoying it at least once a month.  It goes well with Mexican food and you can always add a bean and cheese quesadilla or soft taco when you need a little something more.


Build a Healthy Salad


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Salads are a great way to get in your daily dose of veggies. If you’re aiming for a light and healthy meal, you may think choosing a salad is a no-brainer. Although this CAN be the case, if made incorrectly, salads can contain more calories and fat than wanted. Whether you prefer making your own chopped salad, or going to the local deli and having them assemble it for you, it IS possible to make a super-nutritious salad that’s even waist-friendly. Here’s how to do it:

Start with a hearty foundation.


Health Benefits of Horseradish


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Horseradish is a spicy root vegetable with a surprising story.   While it is a common condiment for gefilte fish, you might be surprised to discover that it does more than just clear our sinuses.  Horseradish has been used for decades to treat a variety of ailments including flu symptoms, respiratory problems and urinary tract infections.  However, it has recently been discovered that horseradish can help the body get rid of cancer causing chemicals.

The horseradish plant is a member of the Brassicacae family, a group of plants including cabbage and broccoli.  All of the aforementioned edible plants are low in calories, high in fiber and high in glucosinolates, an anti-cancer ingredient.  While broccoli is well known for its cancer prevention properties, horseradish has ten times more glucosinolates.  Studies show that horseradish is one of the few medicinal vegetables where processing may actually improve the cancer fighting benefits.  So now you have another great reason to reach for the Gold’s horseradish in your refrigerator .


Almond Spinach Croutons


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Let’s get crunchy!  When the idea for a link up of croutons came up, I was ready to think outside the square.  Maybe there is a way I can turn vegetables into croutons.  Whether you add croutons to soup or salad you get an added does of veggies and nutrients.

So I turned to spinach, if it works for Popeye it works for me!  I always have frozen spinach in my freezer and it is versatile enough that you can use it in so many recipes — from scrambled eggs or omelets for breakfast to improving a cheese quesadilla or pizza at dinner.


Making Dairy Healthy This Shavuot


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Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions while socializing, eating, and drinking. But with so many people struggling to maintain a healthy body weight, it is important to balance holiday meals with healthy nutrition. The essential thing to remember is that it is a “holi-DAY,” not a “holi-WEEK.” If you indulge a little bit more than you would on an average day, do NOT let it affect your whole week.

When I think of Shavuot, I think of gooey cheese blintzes, creamy cheesecake and other high-calorie dairy dishes. But it doesn’t have to be that way… Don’t get me wrong; dairy is not the devil! In fact, many dairy products are high in calcium, which is critical for good bone health. Still, high-fat dairy products contain excessive amounts of calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat that we are better off limiting. In fact, diets rich in high-fat dairy products are linked to chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Savory Crepes or Blintzes


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What’s the difference between crepes and blintzes?  I was wondering the other day while thinking about the traditional Shavuot recipe for cheese blintzes.

I never cared for cheese blintzes, the only blintzes I liked as a kid were potato blintzes.  Those frozen potato blintzes that used to spark riots at summer camp now seem like carb overload.   Plus, they’re kind of boring.  Yet, on my first trip to Paris, I couldn’t wait to get a taste of the classic French Crepe.  Amazing how changing the name makes all the difference!


Summer Rolls Recipe with Two Dipping Sauces


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I’ve always been enamored with the colorful flavors of Southeast Asia. The layers of sweet, salty and spicy inspire so many of the dishes that emerge from my kitchen. Over the past several years, it’s become possible to find kosher ingredients to recreate some of the best-loved foods from Thailand and Vietnam. I make a regular pilgrimage to the Asian food markets that dot the outer boroughs of New York City and I am constantly amazed at the low prices and variety of fresh produce that are available.

In the summer, when I’m looking beyond soups and stews to satisfy family and friends, I turn my gaze far eastward. In Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, they know how to beat the heat with bright salads, cool fruit drinks, and the Summer Roll.