Holidays

 

8 New Fruits For The New Year

 

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On Rosh Hashanah we have a custom to eat a new fruit on the second night of the holiday, the only holiday that is celebrated for two days even in Israel.   Some opinions are that the two days are really one long holiday.  Yet, because there are mixed opinions we still say the “shechiyanu” blessing on the second night, even though that blessing is only used when we are doing something new for the year.  Since there is doubt on whether this blessing should be said, we keep a new fruit on the table so that we cover our bases.

When I was growing up it was always a pomegranate.  A symbol of Israel and the holiday.  Nowadays, pomegranates are readily available all year long, so we have had to get more adventurous, which I love.  I love searching out the most outrageous fruits to introduce people to and this year I have passed that passion on to the next generation.  My son, Aryeh, has put together this list for you of new fruits.  He hasn’t tried all of them, but he hopes to and he has shared a bit about each one from his research online (I only edited a little – I was super impressed).  Some are easier to find than others based on where you live.  My recommendation is to search out your local asian market for the best selection of exotic fruits.


 

Healthy Recipes for the High Holidays *Giveaway*

 

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Summer is almost over, school is about to begin and the High Holidays are approaching.  I look forward to all our Jewish holidays, even the “dreaded” three-day Yom Tov.  It helps that I work for a Jewish company so I am not missing any work, but I especially appreciate the family time without work or digital distractions. Connecting to a day of rest is one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies, but because we like to eat (a lot) on the Jewish holidays, we have to plan properly to stay healthy.

My goal at all Shabbat and holiday meals is to feature vegetables for two thirds of the menu (and my plate). Luckily, most of the simanim (symbolic foods) can help us out.  With carrots, leeks, cabbage, beets, and pumpkin among the foods that promise a year of health and wealth, there are some great choices at your local market.


 

5 Healthy High Holiday Main Courses

 

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I refuse to admit that the summer is quickly coming to a close, but instead I’m focusing on the upcoming simcha of the month of Tishrei to distract me from my end of summer blues.  While in Israel my waistline benefitted from the hills of Tzfat and the generally low-cal mediterranean diet.  I hope to continue this healthy trend back here in the states, and I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one looking for healthy, satisfying and holiday-worthy main courses.  See just five of our many holiday recipes below, and check out more ideas here and here.

 


 

Tuna, Trendy and Gluten Free

 

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Believe it or not, growing up I used to look forward to the 9 days. Not that I enjoyed the fact that we were in mourning and that we couldn’t go swimming and that Tisha Ba’av was the longest fast of the year, but I did look forward to a week without Shabbat leftovers. The 9 days and their prohibition against eating meat meant no Shabbat leftovers on Sunday, and no leftovers on Monday and no leftovers on Tuesday, not to mention the occasional spill over to Wednesday and even Thursday.

Leftovers were not how my early childhood started. Our dinner menus changed when my youngest brother was born. 16 years my junior, with no one in-between, my brother and his dairy and soy allergies revolutionized dinnertime. My brother was so allergic to dairy and the proteins in dairy that you could not even touch him if you were eating dairy or washing dairy dishes. So my mom would make enough chicken and meat on Shabbat to last the whole week! No joke! Dairy took a back seat in our home. Because of my brother’s allergies, our dinners became more routine – chicken – Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, and if my memory serves me correctly probably Wednesday and Thursday night as well. Gone were the pizza and the lasagna, the eggplant Parmesan and my personal favorite — tuna casserole. Yet, once a year, in the heat of the summer, we stocked up on milk and cheese and feasted on my old dairy favorites. It was a dairy lover’s paradise for the whole family except my younger brother who still ate his chicken night after night.


 

A Gourmet Break Fast Worth Starving For

 

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Summer is a great time to lighten up your food and to take advantage of gorgeous produce. Take pleasure and savor summer. Cooking meals during the 9 days or at any point in the summer should be a reflection of what is going on outdoors.

Summer dishes should taste like sunshine and a meadow. I want my family to fresh flavors and to enjoy them slowly and fully.


 

The Day Before a Fast

 

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The day before a fast it is important to keep your body hydrated, well nourished and away from caffeine and alcohol.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but it is just that important to get lots of water the entire day before the fast, not just the last hour.  You should also eat throughout the day well balanced meals and snacks.  I suggest starting with 1-2 eggs, a slice of whole grain toast and a banana.  Then try a small yogurt with a few nuts or granola for a mid morning snack.  For lunch have a vegetable and pasta salad with a scoop of tuna or cottage cheese.  Throw in a fruit and some nuts or hummus if you like before getting ready for the main pre fast meal.


 

A Light Pasta To Break A Fast

 

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People think of pasta as heavy – but it can be light. Ok so you probably already knew that but until recently I always preferred super heavy, creamy, cheesy, saucy, pasta dishes. So whenever I thought pasta I thought about an off-the-diet, carb and cream laden, comma-inducing feast. Always one to overdo things I would roll out of a pasta meal feeling like I never ever wanted to eat again.

Now that I am trying to take an overall healthier approach to food and not just completely cutting the carbs when I am being “good” and subsisting solely on carbs when I am being “bad” I have started to change the whole house over to whole grains and have begun to enjoy lighter, whole-wheat, summer pasta dishes.


 

6 Pre-fast Menus for Tisha B’Av

 

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Fasting is no easy task, even less so at the height of the summer. My physical preparations for the fast involve a 48-hour hydration binge in which my water bottle never leaves my side.  As for food, during those 48-hours I try to increase my intake of fruits and vegetables that are high in water. I save my fish, egg or dairy intake for erev Tisha B’Av, the day before the fast, in order to prevent bloating and increase my overall nutrient intake.  Below are three menus– dairy, fish, and vegan– to help you plan out your pre-fast meal.

 


 

Lunch and Dinner Recipes for the Nine Days

 

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The period known as the nine days, which lead up to Tisha B’Av, a day of fasting, are difficult for more reason than one.  The spiritual preparations leading up to one of the most tragic days on the Jewish Calendar is a hefty burden that includes the physical limitations including a ban on meat. In the hope of easing some of the difficulty of this time, below are nine days worth of meat-less lunch and dinner recipes.

 


 

Summer Barbecue 101: Planning a Healthy Cookout

 

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Summertime is the time when many of our spouses love to don their chef’s apron and light up the barbecue grill to cook outdoors.  Personally, I love it!  I do prepare the foods in the house, the marinades, salads etc.   I set up everything in individual Tupperware containers with seals, so they stay bug-free outdoors, than I let “hubbie” take over!  I am free to enjoy my guests without worrying about the cooking. All the men also love to congregate around the barbecue grill sharing their opinions.

Grilling is a favorite summer cooking technique that enhances the flavor of many dishes, including lean meat, skinless chicken breasts, fish, veggies, and even fruits. Whether you’re already a grill master — or aspiring to become one — you’ll still benefit from using the right grilling utensils. If you are a“newbie”, make sure you have the following equipment on hand before you get started. (clicking on the links will take you to our Amazon store page)


 

The Independence Day and Molasses Connection

 

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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.

Really.


 

Eating Healthy With Red, White and Blue

 

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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!


 

10 Savory & Sweet Sandwiches for July 4th

 

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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.

 


 

RSVP For #SummerWithGolds Twitter Party and WIN

 

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


 

Morad Pomegranate Wine for Dinner and a Cocktail

 

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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.