Tag Archives: vegetarian

Dairy Made Easy: Pomegranate Apple Salad with Parmesan Dressing

Yield:
4 servings

I really love salads, especially this time of year. It’s hot, produce is in abundance and it’s a lot easier to throw together a salad rather than stand over a hot oven.

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Which is why I was delighted the folks from Dairy Made Easy were happy to send over one of their recipes, perfect for lighter fare and the nine days, when traditional Jews are abstaining from eating meat.

Personally I would swap out the grapefruit and apple in this salad for something more seasonal and local like peaches and raspberries, but that’s the great thing about salads: you can always change up ingredients and add your own spin. Another great addition to this salad? Some slivered almonds or sunflower seeds for crunch.

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Pomegranate Apple Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Ingredients

For the salad:

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped

1 apple, diced or sliced

½ cup pomegranate seeds

1 grapefruit, cut into sections

2 Tbsp finely diced red onion

For the dressing:

¼ cup light mayonnaise

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp water

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

pinch coarse black pepper

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, apple, pomegranate seeds, grapefruit, and red onion.

Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Toss dressing with salad.

Posted on July 29, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Dairy Made Easy: Hasselback Baguette

Yield:
3-4 servings

We are currently in the midst of “The Three Weeks,” a time of grieving for Jews in remembrance of the destruction of the first and second Temples. Among the observances of these three weeks includes not consuming meat for the last 9 days. The three weeks ends on Tisha B’Av, which is observed traditionally as a fast day.

While going vegetarian for 9 days isn’t a big deal to me, I know for some it can seem like a challenge.

Hasselback BaguetteWe are so lucky this week and next to share two vegetarian recipes from Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek’s newest cookbook, Dairy Made Easy.

Hasselback potatoes have been all the rage this year, with beautiful (delicious) recipes from even the likes of Martha Stewart. I just drool over dishes like this. Dairy Made Easy‘s version swaps out the potatoes for an even more carb-rific option: a baguette. With melted cheese on top and fresh herbs – who wouldn’t love that.

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Dairy Made Easy: Hasselback Baguette

Ingredients

2 Tbsp oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp kosher salt

pinch coarse black pepper

1 (24-in) baguette

shredded cheese

Special equipment: 3 long wooden skewers

Directions

Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add pepper and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Season with basil, salt, and pepper.

Cut off the ends of the baguette; discard ends or reserve for another purpose. Slice baguette into 1 ½ inch thick slices (you should have about 15 slices). Slit each slice through the top, leaving the lower end uncut.

Thread each skewer through uncut (lower) part of 5 slices. Add vegetable mixture and cheese into each slit. Place skewers onto prepared baking sheet, cheese side up.

Place baking sheet on upper oven rack (top quarter of oven) and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and top of bread is slightly browned.

Remove skewers and serve mini sandwiches alongside a salad and dipping sauces.

Posted on July 24, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Tri-Color Melon Salad with Mint Syrup

Yield:
8-10 servings

Summer is the time for lightening up and taking advantage of all the fresh fruits and vegetables…but that doesn’t mean giving up on delicious treats.

This tri-color melon salad with mint simple syrup is possibly one of the healthiest “desserts” I have ever come up with, but on a hot summer evening nothing could be more refreshing or perfect.

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Like so many of my recipes, you can definitely improvise based on your own tastes. You don’t have to use honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon – you can use whatever fruits suit your own palette. And what if you don’t like mint?

Instead of mint you can make a basil lemon simple syrup, a hibiscus simple syrup or just serve plain. Serve it in individual cups, a large bowl or use the leftover melon shells as a festive bowl. I definitely recommend using a handy melon baller to make this salad extra pretty – for less than $10 it’s a little tool that makes a big difference. People will think your dessert is super fancy, but in truth, it’s super simple.

Not only is it sweet and fresh, but it’s nondairy too – perfect after an afternoon barbecue.

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Tri-Color Melon Salad with Mint Syrup

Ingredients

1 ripe canteloupe

1 ripe honeydew

1/2 watermelon

1/4 cup mint simple syrup (optional)

mint for garnish (optional)

special equipment: melon baller

Directions

If desired, prepare one batch of minted simple syrup. You will only need 1/4 cup, so place the remaining syrup in an air-tight container and refrigerate.

Cut the melons in half and remove seeds. Using a melon baller, twist and scoop out balls of each kind of melon.

Arrange balls in a large bowl, individual glasses or right in the scooped out melons. Drizzle simple syrup if desired and garnish with fresh mint.

Posted on July 21, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Yield:
8 servings

Gazpacho is a perfect summer appetizer: it uses up some of those super fresh summer vegetables and won’t keep you indoors slaving away at a hot stove. But I know that cold soups are a bit of an acquired taste for some people. Even my husband, who likes almost everything, is not such a fan of gazpacho.

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But this gazpacho is for even those people that swear they don’t like it. And yes, since it is called “bloody mary gazpacho” it really does have vodka. It is a perfect starter for any summer meal, served in martini glasses and garnished just like the beloved brunch cocktail.

Don’t want to include vodka? Just leave it out. Like yours super spicy? Add some more hot sauce and horseradish. This recipe can be altered in several ways depending on your taste.

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Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Ingredients

1.5 lbs plum tomatoes, seeded and quartered

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1.5 cups all-natural tomato juice

1-2 Tbsp horseradish

2-3 tsp hot sauce (or more if you prefer it very spicy)

salt and pepper

1 cup vodka (optional)

8 celery stalks, sliced for garnish (optional)

Cornichon or other pickles for garnish (optional)

Directions

Place tomatoes, cucumber, onion and bell pepper in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. You can add a few Tbsp of tomato juice to aid the processor. Pulse until desired smoothness, but do not overprocess.

Add mixture to a large bowl. Add garlic, sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato juice, horeseradish, hot sauce and salt and pepper.

Add vodka to taste if desired.

Garnish with celery and pickles.

Posted on July 14, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Crockpot Tomato Sauce

Yield:
4-6 servings

After years of friends telling me their crock pot was a life saver i gave in and bought one. With two small children I was looking for an easy way to get dinner going and generally make dinner less painful for the beasts also known as my children.

I took it out of the box and stared at it for a couple days. I finally got up enough courage and washed it. Then came the experimenting, and I will be honest: it took a while. I had gotten some bad advice. I added to much liquid, not enough filler. It took time to figure out the temperature. How long do I really need to cook things, and then by chance I came across a cookbook called Art of the Slow Cooker that saved my life and taught me the ins, the outs and not to be afraid. I let go and cooked the way I cook.

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I have to admit, I don’t use my crock pot as often as I should. I forget how easy it makes things. How 20 minutes in the morning can save my whole evening, forget it, it saves my week.

When I was introduced to Marcella Hazan’s famous sauce recipe I stopped what i was doing…can this work in the crock pot? Can I get it down? Will the onion be to much? Can I stop buying jars of sauce for that easy last minute dinner and have this sitting in my fridge all week?

It worked. I played with the recipe a little, I threw together some ideas, and now, in the words of Emeril, “BAM” I got sauce.

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This recipe is so easy it comes together in less then 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes. And the best part is, it can cook all day on a low setting with the top ajar and your house smells amazing. Amazing like you’ve been cooking Sunday gravy on he stove top all day.

Looking for other easy and delicious recipes for your crockpot? Here’s a few of my favorites:

Sweet and Sour Brisket

Curried Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

Summer Ale Beef Tacos

Sweet, Sour & Spicy Short Ribs

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Crockpot Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

water

handful of basil

1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 Tbsp of sugar

¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)

Salt and pepper

Directions

Get your crock pot out and set it to low.

Empty canned tomatoes into pot and then fill 1/4 of the can with water, add to crock pot. Peel onion and garlic, and add to crock pot whole.

Add butter, handful of basil, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on low for 5-6 hours with the lid a touch ajar.

When ready to serve, remove onion and garlic. You can also remove basil if desired.

Posted on July 9, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Shavuot Menu Ideas (Blintzes, Cheesecake, Ziti – Oh My!)

June is a tricky time for a holiday like Shavuot. On one hand, I love having an excuse to make dairy-centric meals. But on the other hand, I don’t want to eat heavy, cheese-laden food this time of year. As we approach Shavuot I have put together some of recipe ideas that include some lighter fair perfect for outdoor eating and warmer weather. Hope this inspires you! Tell us what you’re making below, and submit any questions if you’re looking for input or advice.

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To start:

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing & Challah Croutons

Labne Watermelon Corn Salsa Spinach, Blueberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Chickpea Arugula Salad with Tahini Dressing

Cucumber Avocado Soup

Creamy Roasted Beet Soup

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For the main event:

Cauliflower Tomato Bake with Basil & Parmesan

Grilled Eggplant Mozzarella Stacks

Green Lasagna

Classic Blintzes or Gluten-free Blintzes

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Strawberry Rhubarb Blintzes

Baked Salmon with Caramelized Onions

Baked Ziti Cupcakes

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And for cheesecake…

Classic Cheesecake

Lavender Cheesecake

Black and White Cookie Cheesecake

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

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Posted on June 2, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Green Lasagna

Yield:
6-8 servings

I grew up eating lots of very traditional Italian-American lasagna, baked ziti and anything else you could cover in homemade tomato sauce and cheese. And I loved it – I mean who doesn’t!? Garfield the cat was even one of my heroes growing up. I always appreciated his feisty-ness towards his sibling (Odie), his appreciation of napping and of course his love of lasagna.

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In the past few years I have yearned for lasagnas with a little more flair, and a little less sauce. I have made a white pumpkin lasagna, and a white lasagna with spinach and pine nuts. I have included a béchamel, and left it out. I have even experimented with different kinds of cheeses.

As the greens of spring have taken over at my local farmer’s market, a lasagna recipe was once again creeping into my head. Peas, fresh herbs…something was simmering.

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When I suggested a puree of spring peas with herbs basked into a creamy lasagna, my husband was less than enthusiastic. He responded to the idea saying, “Um..ok. I guess let’s see how it turns out.”

I love it when my husband has to admit he was wrong, and in the case of this lasagna, he had to concede defeat as he shoveled another bite into his mouth. And though I actually hate peas, this lasagna is absolutely out of this world, creamy and full of fresh spring flavors. It’s also perfect for a Shavuot celebration. Pair with a crisp glass of white wine and a simple mixed green salad and you have a complete meal especially appropriate for a June lunch.

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I actually ended up making this recipe two ways. Once with regular, store-bough lasagna noodles which was delicious. And a second version with homemade spinach noodles. You can try either – they were both creamy, lighter than you might think and really yummy. It really depends on the amount of work you want to put in. Making your own noodles is delicious, but much more time consuming.

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Green Lasagna

Ingredients

8 ounces whole milk ricotta

8 ounces mascarpone cheese (or another 8 ounces of ricotta)

12 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated

¼ cup grated parmesan

1 egg

2 cups fresh or frozen peas

2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 Tbsp fresh mint

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1 Tbsp fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

12-15 lasagna noodles or homemade spinach noodles

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Boil a large pot of salted water. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the pot as the water is coming to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles as directed, around 7-8 minutes. Drain water and layer noodles on a baking sheet drizzled with a smidge of olive oil to prevent sticking. You can also put sheets of parchment paper in between noodles.

In a food processor fitted with blade attachment, pulse peas, herbs and melted butter until desired smoothness.

In a large bowl mix together ricotta, mascarpone, all but 1 cup of the grated mozzarella, parmesan, fresh herbs, egg and the pea mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix until just combined.

Drizzle bottom of a 9X13 baking with olive oil. Layer lasagna noodles so that they overlap just slightly on top of one another. The bottom layer should be 4 noodles. Layer about a third of the cheese-pea mixture on top and smooth using a spatula or back of a spoon.

Repeat with three layers. On top of the third layer of noodles, add the remaining grated mozzarella, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.

Cover with tin foil.

Bake for 25-30 minutes covered. Remove foil. Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and slightly bubbly. Allow to cool before cutting.

Posted on May 29, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Gluten-Free Blintzes

Yield:
14-16 blintzes

Many of us have seasonal associations with Jewish holidays. The High Holidays and Sukkot: crisp, fall weather, a perfect time for a spiritual cleanse before we head into winter, Hanukkah: dark and cold winter, and a holiday of light to brighten the darkness, and of course, Passover: springtime and rebirth to signify freedom from slavery. My personal associations with Shavuot were always about the end of the school year and summer being just around the corner.

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As a child, my family usually headed to Atlantic Beach, NY to celebrate Shavuot with my grandparents and revel in the end of another school year. I have fond memories of walking home from shul with my Saba, salty breeze blowing, to devour my Savta’s famous blintzes. The streets in Atlantic Beach are ordered alphabetically and, stomach rumbling, I’d count down: Oneida, Putnam…I just looked at Google Maps, and it turns out the shul was only three blocks away

v at the beach

My grandparents have since passed away, and their house has been sold, but those memories live on. I’d like to think that my Savta would approve of these blintzes, though they are completely gluten-free (sorry, Savta!). The trick to these is a heavy, high-quality crepe pan, to ensure a thin and evenly cooked crepe. I use the DeBuyer Iron pan.

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Gluten-Free Blintzes

Ingredients

For the crepes:

240 grams/2 cups of your favorite gluten-free flour mix

OR

90 grams white rice flour

50 grams quinoa flour

100 grams tapioca flour

1 tsp psyllium husk

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup milk (regular, soy, or almond milk will all work)

2 large eggs

1 Tbsp grapeseed or other vegetable oil, plus more for frying

For the filling:

3 egg yolks

1 lb farmer cheese (if farmer cheese is not readily available, you can also use ricotta)

1/2 lb cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup or more sugar, to taste

zest of 1 lemon

jam, sour cream, or your other favorite toppings

Directions

If you are mixing flours yourself, measure and mix ahead of time into a small bowl. Whisk milk, eggs, and  tablespoon of oil together in a medium mixing bowl and add the flour slowly, whisking as you go. Whisk until the batter is smooth and has no large pieces.

Heat your crepe pan on high with about a teaspoon of oil.

Make your crepes with about ¼ cup of batter, spreading it around as quickly as possible to get it as thin as you can. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes apiece, flipping with a metal spatula. The timing of this will depend on the kind of pan you use and how hot it is. Each side should be just slightly browned. These crepes are sturdy and can be piled on top of one another as you finish cooking them.

Mix together all the ingredients for your filling.

Take each crepe, 1 at a time, spoon 2-3 heaping tablespoons of filling on the bottom third, fold the bottom edge of the pancake up and over the filling, fold the sides in, and roll up into a slim roll.

To bake, put the blintzes side by side in a greased oven dish and bake at 375 oven for 20 minutes. To fry, heat about half an inch of grapeseed or vegetable oil in a frying pan, and when the oil is hot, fry each blintz for about 4 minutes on each side, until browned.

Cool on a paper bag to absorb excess oil. Serve with jam, fruit, sour cream, or other toppings.

Posted on May 28, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Spring Zucchini Kugel

Yield:
12 servings

I didn’t grow up eating kugel. Ok, maybe let me rephrase that.

My grandmother made noodle kugel, but it was almost always dried out and as a kid I was usually too scared to actually eat it. Thankfully I married into a family with an arsenal of great kugel recipes including my husband’s grandmother’s Salt and Pepper Noodle Kugel and his mother’s Cakey Crunch Sweet Potato Kugel. And now I really love kugel, and have been trying my hand at making kugel more and more.

spring-kugel-2For the last few weeks, green has been everywhere, especially in the abundance of springtime vegetables at the farmer’s markets and grocery store. And as I have been watching the spring veggies arrive, I was trying to imagine how to incorporate the flavors of Spring into kugel.

Zucchini kugel is delicious by itself, but add some fresh, bright herbs like basil and mint, and you have an updated dish perfect for Spring. If basil and mint doesn’t quite appeal to your taste buds, you could also use fresh parsley for a more subtle flavor.

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Note: after sauteing the zucchini, make sure to drain as much liquid out as possible. If there is too much liquid in the zucchini, the kugel will turn out a mushy mess.

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Spring Zucchini Kugel

Ingredients

5 medium zucchini

olive oil

salt and pepper

4 eggs

2 tsp fresh lemon zest

1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup matzo meal

1/2 Tbsp salt

2 tsp black pepper

Directions

Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, make long noodles out of zucchini.

Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute zucchini in batches for 3-4 minutes each until soft and slightly translucent. Add a pinch of salt and pepper with each batch.

Place the cooked zucchini in a colander and drain excess liquid. Make sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9x13 baking dish, add another 2 Tbsp olive oil to the dish and place in the oven to heat up while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs with mint, basil, salt, pepper and matzo meal. Add zucchini and stir gently until completely mixed.

After oil has heated in pan around 5-10 minutes, add zucchini mixture to pan. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon smooth out top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until edges are crispy and the kugel is set in the middle. You may need to drain off excess oil and liquid and place back into the oven for additional 5-10 minutes.

Once kugel has cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Serve at room temperature or warm.

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Posted on May 12, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing and Challah Croutons

Yield:
4 servings

My husband’s family is very male-centric and even though they love to eat, they can be a bit difficult to satisfy. They don’t like fancy desserts, eggplant, anything with nuts or “girly” salads. Whereas my mother-in-law love salads with fruits, nuts and lots of chopped veggies (like me!), the guys in the family don’t want much to do with a nice spinach salad.

So after racking my brain I decided to try making this classic wedge salad, sans the bacon that is traditionally included, for a dairy Shavuot meal last year. And thankfully, my father-in-law loved it and it was a big hit all around.

wedge-salad-2It is hearty, beautiful to look at and its the kind of salad that can be changed around depending on your tastes. Need some more protein? Add some beans or a grilled piece of fish and it becomes a main dish. Blue cheese too strong for you? Substitute a creamy ranch dressing instead. Want to get in some extra veggies? Add chopped cucumber and avocado.

But it’s the homemade challah croutons that really take this dish to the next level. They are crispy and buttery, adding crunch and a whole lot of satisfying flavor, especially for this gluten-loving gal. When making the croutons, don’t skimp on the olive oil.

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Classic Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing and Challah Croutons

Ingredients

1 head iceberg lettuce

2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

4 hard-boiled eggs

2-3 cups leftover challah

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

½ cup crumbled blue cheese

½ cup buttermilk

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut challah into small cubes. Toss challah with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 10-25 minutes until crispy, golden brown. Allow to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, olive oil and lemon juice. Add crumbled blue cheese and stir, breaking up any large clumps as you go. Set aside dressing.

Remove core from iceberg lettuce. Cut into four large wedges. Place on a large platter and assemble salad with cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, croutons and salad dressing.

Posted on May 1, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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