Category Archives: Pareve

Pasta with Red Sauce

The kosher link up for this month is “The One Food You Would Want If Stranded On An Island” (see below!)  It was actually not hardpasta 2 for me to pick the recipe.  My favorite food is easily Italian – pizza, pasta, ziti, lasagna.  I love it all!  The best part of Italian food is the red sauce.  I don’t know what it is about this sauce – the garlic, the tomatoes, the basil.  I am not sure but it is a combination that I love and crave.  It is also nice in that it is so, so easy to prepare.  Once I realized how simple it is to make this sauce I never went back to  jarred sauce (many have a lot of sugar, salt and/or preservatives).  That and my husband grew up in Brooklyn and eating jarred sauce is blasphemy.  Hopefully, once you try the recipe you will feel the same.

Being that I make this once a week I try to make it as healthy as possible and change it up.  I will use a high fiber/high protein pasta, a whole grain pasta or a vegetable fortified pasta.  I will make it with meatballs or add ground meat, onions, mushrooms, eggplant, or anything else I have in the fridge.  It is a great base sauce and is also delicious on its own.

The parsley is optional and if I do not have it in the house I will skip it.  I do think it adds a really nice freshness to the dish.  If you are going to use the parsley you will just want to be sure that it is very finely chopped.  I am more careful these days about using canned tomatoes because of BPA in the lining and have found some really nice tomato products in cartons.  All the more reason to eat this sauce often 🙂

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 4-8 servings

 

1 box of pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

4-5 large garlic cloves, chopped (but still chunky)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

26 ounces of crushed tomatoes

5-6 large basil leaves, torn plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

In a large skillet add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Sauté over medium heat until the garlic has softened, but not browned about 2-3 minutes.

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Stir in the tomatoes and basil.  Season with salt and cracked pepper.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

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Cook the pasta in a pot of heavily salted boiling water according to the package directions, or to al dente.  Drain pasta.

Toss the pasta with the sauce.  Garnish with torn basil leaves and chopped parsley.

pasta 3

 

 

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Filed under Pareve, Pasta, Vegetarian

Pomegranate and Candied Pecan Salad

The theme for the kosher link up this month is “Pomegranate” (see below!) I admit I was not quite sure what I would come up with2014-09-14 17.04.32 for a pomegranate dish, but being that I have not posted for quite some time I was determined to write a decent recipe featuring the pomegranate. I think I have accomplished my goal! This salad is sweet, savory and full of flavor. It is also super easy and versatile.

For those of you not familiar with this ruby red fruit I encourage you to try it out. There are many health benefits of eating pomegranates as they are rich in antioxidants. Nowadays, you can find the juice in any grocery store, usually in the produce section.  If you are eating the seeds as opposed to the juice there is much less sugar and more fiber. Some people do not like the thought of actually crunching on seeds, but I love to add different textures to my food. The other aspect that normally keeps people away from eating pomegranate seeds is the fact that they are not so easy to get out of the fruit. There are several ways to get them out. I gently squeeze and tap them out of the membrane once it is cut in half. There are actually you-tube videos on how to do this!

Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) is right around the corner. Pomegranates are often featured on the table during this holiday. This salad would be a lovely starter to a festival meal. It is also a really nice fall salad for any other day.

The ingredients are pretty basic, but you can really add whatever you like. If you are doing dairy, then crumbled goat cheese would be wonderful in this. To go along with the fall theme you could roast some butternut squash pieces and add them in as well. I love the butter lettuce because it is so tender, but you could also use romaine. Pecans are the epitome of fall which is why I picked them for this salad, but you could substitute any nut you like. The possibilities are endless! My favorite part of the salad is the different textures as well as the sweet and savory flavors. This will be one of my fall salad go-to’s in the future for sure!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Non stick cooking spray

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

5 – 6 oz pecan halves2014-09-14 16.59.03

1 pomegranate worth of seeds

1 head butter lettuce, washed and spun dry

1 can hearts of palm, drained, rinsed and chopped into rounds

4 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons pomegranate juice

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a microwave safe bowl heat up the water for one minute. If you do not have a microwave you can do this on the stove. You want the water to be hot, but not boiling. Add the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved and then add the pecans.  Coat the pecans with the sugar water.

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Coat a foil lined baking sheet with non stick cooking spray. Pour the pecans on to the sheet in one layer. Cook the pecans on the top oven rack until they are fragrant and toasted, about seven to eight minutes.   Remove from the oven to cool and set aside.

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To make the dressing pour the vinegar, pomegranate juice, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and ground pepper into a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.

Pom dressing

Place the butter lettuce in a large bowl or on individual plates.  Scatter the scallions, hearts of palm and pomegranate seeds over the lettuce. Add the cooled pecans and drizzle the dressing over the salad right before serving.

2014-09-14 17.03.01

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Filed under Pareve, Salads

Edamame Salad

I want to start off by wishing everyone a happy new year!   ‘Tis the time for new year’s resolutions.  This year I made the same two resolutionsedamame salad 2 that I make every year – to loose weight and to eat healthy.  That is why my first posting of the year is a fabulous recipe that can help accomplish both of these goals.

This salad is colorful, delicious and good for you too!  It has lots of healthy veggies – red pepper (which has more vitamin C than an orange), lettuce, carrots and cucumber.  It also has protein with the edamame.  For those of you who are not familiar with edamame you really must try it.  I love it steamed or dry roasted as a snack or salad topper.  It is low in calories and fat, and provides lean protein as an added bonus.

Another great thing about this salad is that it is very easy and quick to prepare.  I use pre-washed lettuce as well as pre-shredded carrots to save on time.  You just have to do a little chopping, make a quick dressing and voila!  A pretty, healthy and delicious salad that is ready in no time.   This can be a nice starter salad or even a main course.  If you are serving it as a main course it would be great with some grilled chicken or salmon.  When you are trying to keep a new year’s resolution this is exactly the kind of food that can help you stick to it!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 0 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 6 servings

5 oz. bag of mixed salad greens (I like a sweet butter lettuce mix for this recipe)
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
1/2 red bell pepper, dicedIMG_0375
1/2 English cucumber, diced
4 scallions, chopped on a diagonal
1 cup shelled frozen edamame, defrosted
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Defrost the edamame (I usually defrost in the microwave for 2-3 minutes).

In a large bowl toss the lettuce, carrots, red pepper, cucumber and scallions. Pile the cooled edamame on top of the salad.

Combine the sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the sesame oil and sesame seeds and whisk some more. Slowly stream in the canola oil while whisking vigorously.

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Dress the salad right before serving.

edamame salad

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Carrot Ginger Soup

After long last – a new post!  For those of you who regularly follow this blog I must thank you for coming back to the site even thoughIMG_0283 I have not posted in months.  It is amazing that I am still getting traffic and that people are telling me to keep posting new recipes.  I actually really miss blogging, but my priority these days are taking care of my two little ones and my day job.  I have so many recipes that I am dying to put pen to paper, but alas, there are just not enough hours in the day!

So, why a new recipe now?  I have been making this dish a lot lately.  I love soups and the fall/winter time is the perfect time for it.   The reason I am finally getting around to writing this recipe up is because my mom is taking it to a  “Sweets, Snack and Soup Swap”.  Everyone at the party is supposed to bring either a sweet, snack or a soup for every person at the party and then they all get to take home the treats along with the recipes. Cute idea!  My mom loves this soup so I told her I would make it for the party.  Since she needs the written recipe I figured I might as well post it here.  I have been meaning to anyway….

I know I am not the first person to make carrot ginger soup.  However, I believe my recipe is unique and one of the best out there (at least I think so!).  There is a restaurant that I really like, and makes a great carrot ginger soup.  One day I had a craving for it, but did not have time to get to the said restaurant, and to be honest the place charges an arm and a leg for a bowl of soup.  So, I did what many people do and went to the internet to find a good recipe.  I found one that I thought fit my three criteria – it has to be easy, it has to be quick and has to be GOOD.  The recipes I found were quick and easy, but not really good.  In fact, most were pretty blah.  They just seemed to be missing something.  So, I started from scratch and came up with my own creation.

There are a couple of elements that make my version of this dish easy, quick and GOOD.  Using baby carrots is key.  They save time on peeling carrots and I also find them to be sweeter.  Another big time saver is using already pureed ginger.  You can find this in a jar or tube in most grocery stores.  Another alternative is to use frozen crushed ginger.   Dorot is a brand that I like and can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store.  The easiest way to puree the soup is to use one of my favorite kitchen tools, the immersion blender.  If you do not have an immersion blender you can use a blender or food processor.

I have a few ingredients in this recipe that are not typical to carrot ginger soup, but I think make a big difference.  I love the sherry in this soup as it adds a certain warmth.  I have made it without, and it is still a delicious soup, but is even better with the sherry.  The sweet potato is not traditional in this recipe, but I think it makes a big difference to the texture and layering of flavors.  At this point I even like this soup better than the one I had at the restaurant!  Another perk is that it is low in fat, high in vitamins (actually good for you!) and pretty filling.  It makes an excellent starter dish or main course with a piece of crusty whole grain bread.  I am so happy to finally be able to share this recipe as I have been making it so often.  Stay tuned next week as I am planning a new posting so that I can participate in the kosher link up for December – comfort food – yum!

 

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time:  25 Minutes

Yield:  4 – 8 servings

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, choppedIMG_0273

1 lb. baby carrots, chopped

2 tablespoons of ginger puree or grated ginger (if using frozen ginger cubes you need 6)

1 tablespoon sherry (optional)

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubedIMG_0277

32 oz. of vegetable broth (I like the Imagine brand)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper

 

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, and cook until they just begin to soften (about 5 minutes) stirring often.  Lower the heat if the onions begin sticking to the pot.  Add the ginger and sherry and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, but not brown.

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Add the chopped baby carrots and sweet potato, salt and ground black pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often and then add the vegetable stock.  Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.

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After the soup has come to a boil, give the soup a good stir, lower the heat to medium and cover the pot.  Cook covered for 20 minutes.  You want to be sure that the soup is still simmering, but not at a rolling boil.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it is a smooth consistency.  Serve hot.

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Carrot Slaw

In my previous post I mentioned that I was working on some summer time recipes.  This is one of them.  When the weather is hot slaw 4outside I love easy and no-cook recipes.  This is a nice dish to take on the go, for a picnic or outside party as it does not have any mayonnaise and can sit out for a while.

This recipe came about when I was really wanting salad one night, but was out of lettuce.  I did have a bag of grated carrots in the fridge. I started looking through my pantry, putting things into a bowl and Wallah!

 

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time:  0 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 8 servings

 

 

10 oz package of pre-shredded carrots

½ cup cashew nuts

½ cup dried cranberries

5 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper

 

 

Place the carrots, nuts, cranberries and scallions into a large bowl.

slaw raw

Dissolve the honey and salt into the vinegar in a smaller bowl.  Add the pepper and whisk in the canola oil.

slaw dressing 2

Add the dressing to the carrot mixture and mix well.

slaw 3

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Pea and Mint Soup

The kosher link up this month is cold soup (see below).  At first this theme gave me pause as I LOVE soup, but seldom eat cold soup, unless it is gazpacho.  I could have done a gazpacho recipe, but thought about my mint and pea soup which I have made hot, and wondered if  it would be good cold.  So, I tried it and found that it is still really good cold and very refreshing as well.  Phew!

Now that summer is here and the heat is on it is nice to have some cold recipes that do not require much time in front of a stove.  I am working on a few “summery” recipes and cold soup fits right in.  Stay tuned for a few salad and slaw recipes that I hope to post this summer.

A nice thing about this recipe is that it is so easy and quick to make.  There are really only 3 ingredients so it is easy to shop for.  You can find some great vegetable broths on the market which also make this soup a cinch to make. I prefer to use one with low sodium so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe, and there are a few organic ones which make a nice base for this soup.  It is a perfect make ahead dish and as I said before it can be served cold or hot.  If you happen to have an immersion blender (one of my all time favorite kitchen gadgets) then this recipe is a total breeze.  If you do not then you can use a blender, but I highly recommend  investing in an immersion blender.  My one just died after 8 years and I purchased a new one for only $30.  Totally worth it!

 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time:  10 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

 

32 oz. vegetable broth

16 oz. frozen peas

1 tablespoon fresh mint finely chopped

Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

 

Pour the vegetable broth into a pot and heat over medium heat.  Stir in frozen peas and chopped mint.  Bring to boil and simmer for five minutes.

Pea Soup - Pot

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a blender.

Pea soup - immersion

Serve hot or cold and garnish with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Pea Soup - finished

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Game Day Chili

I love chili and I make lots of different versions of it.  They all stem from this basic recipe.  This recipe is so easy and delicious that you can easily make it for game day or any other day of the week.  The version I am posting here is a vegetarian recipe using veggie crumbles which you can find in any grocery store.  I like Morningstar Farms.  I use this recipe when I want a lighter chili and also when I want to load it up with sour cream and cheese 🙂  Of course you can always use a lean ground meat or turkey as well.  I try to use reduced fat (not nonfat) sour cream and cheese to also keep it on the lighter side.

Even though this is vegetarian, it is still extremely hearty due to the veggie crumbles and all the beans.  The texture is perfect as well.  Another really nice thing is that it is extremely easy to make and quick cooking.  It is great on its own, with toppings such as scallions, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, pickled jalapeno, fresh cilantro, etc.  In fact, a really fun way to serve this is to make a chili bar where you put out the pot of chilli and lots of different toppings and let people make their own bowl.  Another favorite way to eat this is to put them over cheese nachos and make chili cheese nachos.  I will have to post that recipe some time soon.  In the meantime, this is a great recipe that you can get really creative with.

 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

 

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (12 ounce) package veggie crumbles

2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 ounce) can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried chili powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

 

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Add veggie crumbles and beans and stir to combine.

Add tomatoes, spices, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer on low until all flavors are combined, about 15-20 minutes.

Touchdown_Chili_Recipe

 

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Filed under Beans, Pareve, Vegetarian