Category Archives: Vegetarian

Stewed Apples A La Mode Drizzled with Buckwheat Honey

This month the kosher link up ingredient is honey (see below).  So, I am presenting a recipe that features not one, but two types of honey – run of the mill clover honey (or use whatever your favorite is)and buckwheat honey.  To be perfectly honest, when I learned of this month’s ingredient I was not surprised as Rosh Hashanah is around the corner, the holiday of apples and honey.  However I was not that excited in that I am not a huge fan of honey and do not use it in many of my recipes.  There is one exception – buckwheat honey.  I love this dark and rich honey that actually tastes nothing like the honey most people buy at the store.  It is not available in all supermarkets so you may have to get it from a health food store (I buy mine at Whole Foods) or order it online.  It is worth it!  It actually looks like chocolate syrup and is decadent and rich.  I knew right away I would have to come up with a recipe that featured buckwheat honey and this creation was born.

A nice thing about this dish is that it is pretty easy to make.  The hardest part is peeling the apples, and truthfully if you can’t be bothered just skip this step and leave the peels on.  I sweeten the apple mixture with clover honey which is readily available at any grocery store and inexpensive.  I like to use honey as opposed to sugar when possible as it has antioxidants and can add some body to what you are making.  The recipe is a relatively healthy dessert as its base is fruit and there is no butter, margarine or oil in it.  So feel free to eat a lot of it!

Although I make the recipe with apples it can be made with any type of fruit.  I bet it would be great with peaches, pears or plums.  I am serving it with vanilla ice cream but it can be served with frozen yogurt, tofuti ice cream or without to make it a non-dairy pareve dessert.  It is very easy to double or triple the recipe to make it for a crowd.  By the way, your house will smell amazing when you make it.  I think it is the perfect fall recipe!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time:  15 minutes

Yield: 2 – 4 servings

4 large apples (I like Gala because they are not too sweet with a bit of tartness and are firm)

Juice of ½ a large lemon

2 tablespoons clover honey

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

¼ cup raisins (I like golden raisins, but you can use regular)

¾ cup of water

Pinch of salt

Pint of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

¼ cup buckwheat honey

Peel and core the apples.  Place into a medium sized pot and immediately pour over the juice of the lemon to prevent browning.

Drizzle with the clover honey and sprinkle with the cinnamon and a pinch of salt (trust me on the salt).  Add the raisins and walnuts.  Pour the water over the mixture and heat over a medium temperature.

Once the liquid comes to a boil lower the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for another ten minutes.

Allow the apples to cool slightly.  Place apples into a bowl, pour over the juice, raisins and walnuts.  Top with ice cream or frozen yogurt and drizzle with buckwheat honey.



5 Comments

Filed under Dairy, Desserts, Pareve, Vegetarian

Baba ghanoush

I know this has a funny name, but for anyone who has never tried baba ghanoush do not let the name scare you.  This is a Middle Eastern dip/spread/salad that is made of eggplant.  It is often served as a starter to a meal, but can be used as a side dish as well. It is popular from Morocco to Israel and many countries have their own spin on it.

My recipe is adapted from a recipe my sister Kathleen got from her mother-in-law who happens to be from Morocco and Israel.  I have seen many different versions of this dish but the reason I like mine is, A – it is easy, B – you do not need any additional equipment like a food processor and C – it does not require babysitting the eggplant over an open flame.  The cook time is over an hour.  But most of the time the eggplant is just roasting in the oven and you only need to check on it every 15 minutes or so.

Because my version cooks the eggplant in the oven as opposed to over an open flame there is not really a smokey taste to the baba.  I personally do not mind, but if you want a smokier version you could either roast the eggplant over a gas burner or cook it on an outdoor grill using the same method I describe.  I will also forewarn you that you really get the taste of garlic and lemon in my recipe.  If those are not flavors that you particularly like you can always use half the amount I suggest.  I do strongly suggest taking the time to paste up the garlic so that no one bites down on a large chunk.

This is  a really easy recipe to double, triple or even quadruple if you are making it for a crowd.  I like to serve it with pita bread, pita chips, crudites, challah or as an accompaniment to meat or chicken.  It can also be made the day before you plan to serve it.

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cook Time:  60 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling time

Yields:  4-8 servings

1 large eggplant, light in weight

1 clove garlic, pressed or very finely chopped

Juice of half a lemon

½ cup light mayonnaise

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the eggplant on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.  Prick the eggplant on all four sides with a fork.

Place the eggplant into the oven on the middle rack.  Cook the eggplant for one hour total rotating it every 15 minutes.  Once the eggplant is cooked through it will appear deflated.  Set it aside to cool.

While the eggplant is cooking you can make the sauce.  Chop the garlic or press it.  Add a generous pinch of kosher salt to the garlic.  With the back of your knife mash the garlic and drag it against the cutting board to create a paste.

Place the garlic paste into a large bowl.  Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and add the mayonnaise.  Add a few grinds of black pepper and stir everything together.

Refrigerate the mayonnaise mixture while the eggplant continues to cook.

Once the eggplant is cool scoop out the flesh from the inside, discarding the peel.  Place the eggplant into a strainer and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour so that most of the juices drain.

Chop the eggplant into small pieces and add to the mayonnaise sauce.  Mix well and serve chilled.

4 Comments

Filed under Dip, Pareve, Vegetarian

Mojito Mango Granita

This month is the first month I am participating in the Joyofkosher.com Kosher Connection Link Up for Kosher food bloggers.  Every month we will have to come up with a recipe based on an ingredient or theme that has been selected.  I am really excited to be participating in this – see link below!  This month the theme is a frozen dessert.  I immediately panicked because I am really not a great baker and dessert is not my forte.

Since it is summer, I thought of some of my favorite hot weather flavors .  To me, a drink that is synonymous with summer is a mojito.  I love this refreshing minty cocktail served in a chilled glass over ice.   This year my dad’s mango tree has been producing some of the sweetest, tastiest mangoes I have ever eaten.   I decided to come up with a mango mojito!  This is the kind of dessert that is right up my alley – no baking!  It is an excellent parev dessert, refreshing snack on a hot day or palate cleanser in between courses.  You can make it with or without the rum.  It is delicious either way!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 – 6 hours freeze time
Yield: 6 – 8 servings

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup mint leaves plus extra for garnish
4 cups mango juice
Zest of 1 large lime
2 – 3 large limes
½ cup white rum (optional)

Pour the water and sugar into a sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.  As soon as the sugar is dissolved, set it aside to cool.

Chop the ½ cup of packed mint leaves extremely fine either by hand or in a mini food processor.

Zest one lime (green part only).  Add the chopped mint, zest and juice of 2 large limes (3 if they are not giving off a lot of juice) to a large bowl.  Add the sugar syrup, mango juice and stir well.  Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking pan that is safe to go into the freezer.

Place the pan in the freezer.  Scrape the mixture every hour to break up the ice crystals.  After 4 to 6 hours (depending on your freezer) the pan should be all ice crystals.

Serve in a bowl or glass with a sprig of mint and slice of lime to garnish.




8 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Pareve, Vegetarian

Pasta Salad

Now that summer is in full swing you will probably see a lot of salad or slaw recipes from me.  When the temperature is hot outside I often do not feel like eating a heavy hot meal.  Since I love salads I tend to make and eat them all summer long.  There is also the added bonus of not needing to be in front of a hot stove for very long, or even at all.  Even though I have an air conditioned kitchen now (thank G-d) I do remember many years where that was not the case.  In the sweltering summer months you could not get me in front of the stove for an extended period of time,  even if you paid me.  I know there  are plenty of people out there like that now.

This is a really pretty and tasty dish.  Because it does not have mayonnaise it transports well and is great for parties and picnics where it does not need to be refrigerated.   It can be a side dish, lunch or even dinner with some shredded rotisserie chicken added in for protein.

You can feel free to be creative with this recipe.  It is really just a template.  You can add whatever veggies you like and take out anything you do not like.  My sister recently made this and added in a bell pepper and mushrooms.  If you do not like olives, take them out.  I use the tri color pasta because it looks pretty.  However, you could make this more healthful and use whole grain rotini instead.  I made this earlier this year for my son’s first birthday party.  It was a hit!  I know many people have a version of a pasta salad recipe.  I like this one because it is easy and tastes great!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 8 servings

1 (12 ounce) box of tri-color Rotini (can substitute whole grain)

1 stalk of celery (close to the heart), diced

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

½ of a 9-10 ounce bottle of Spanish olives stuffed with pimentos, drained and cut in half

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 scallions finely chopped (or 1 large shallot)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking chop your vegetables and olives.  Place the vegetables in a large bowl.

Drain the pasta and allow to cool.

To make the dressing, place the vinegar, scallions, mustard, salt and pepper in a separate bowl.  Whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  Stream in the extra virgin olive oil while whisking vigorously until you have a dressing consistency.

Once the pasta is cool add it to the large bowl of vegetables and pour the dressing over everything.  Toss to combine all the ingredients. Can be served cold or at room temperature.

6 Comments

Filed under Pareve, Salads, Vegetarian

Arugula, Feta, Apple and Walnut Salad

This salad is a mixture of so many tastes and textures it is like a party in your mouth! I love combining different types of flavors in my cookery as it makes every bite interesting.  In this recipe you have spicy arugula, salty feta, sweet cranberries, tart apple, and the sweet and sour dressing.  As for the textures you have the crisp apple, creamy feta, chewy dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts.    Eating is an experience for all of your senses and this recipe is a sensory delight.  For a salad you would be surprised by its depth of flavor.  It is also just really delicious!

Arugula is one of my all time favorite greens.  I use it often in salads even cook with it in my Arugula and Feta Omelet.  It is rich in vitamin C and low in calories.  I personally think the best part is its spicy flavor.  Nowadays it is easy to find pre-washed packages of arugula to make a quick, easy and tasty salads.  Of course you do not have to buy the arugula that is already washed.  I just think that it is a HUGE time saver to have that step already done for you.  One step I do not recommend skipping is toasting the walnuts.  It only takes a few minutes and trust me when I tell you, IT IS WELL WORTH IT.

This salad can be a lovely main meal or first course.  I have made this for guests and have always gotten rave reviews.  The dressing is one that I use for many salads and not just this one.  It is that good.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 0 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 8 servings

1 (5 ounce) bag of pre-washed baby arugula (preferably organic)
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 apple (whatever kind you like, I use Gala or McIntosh for this recipe), thinly sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

 

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.

In a large bowl add the arugula, dried cranberries, feta, sliced apples and cooled walnuts.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking until well combined.

Toss the dressing with the salad right before serving.

4 Comments

Filed under Salads, Vegetarian

Easy Coleslaw

There are a few things I like about this recipe.  First is that it takes about five minutes to make, second it tastes great and third leftovers taste even better (if you have any that is).  I never understood why people buy coleslaw from the supermarket when it is so easy to make.  The supermarket version is normally loaded with mayonnaise and has little flavor.

The big time saver on this recipe is the pre-shredded cabbage.  Of course you can shred your own.  However, I believe that time is money and I would rather spend a premium on the already shredded cabbage than take the time to shred it myself.  It is really not much more costly to buy it done for you already.  You can find a sack of cabbage for under two dollars.  The other time saver is that there are only a few ingredients.  I have seen several coleslaw recipes with a lot more ingredients than this.  When you taste this recipe you will know that they are not needed.

Whenever I make this, I get lots of compliments.  If I serve it to guests they are very impressed that I made it from scratch.  Little do they know how easy it is to make.  If you are making this for a crowd you can easily make it the day before you serve it which is nice.  My husband is a big fan of a New York style deli coleslaw and says mine is just as good as any deli he has ever been to.  That is a pretty big compliment coming from him.

This recipe is a flavorful side dish and does not have to just be made with burgers and hot dogs.  On a week night when I need to get dinner on the table quickly I can whip this up in no time.  I usually serve it as a side dish with different types of fish.  Whether it be fish sticks, grilled fish or pan fried it goes great!  It is also nice with grilled or barbeque chicken.  I do have other slaw recipes that I would love to share, but this one is a classic!

 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time:  0 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 8 servings

 

16 oz package of pre-shredded cabbage

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup mayonnaise (I use low fat)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon celery seed (optional)

 

Dissolve the sugar and salt into the vinegar in a large bowl.  Add the mayonnaise, pepper and celery seed.  Use either a whisk or fork to mix until there is a smooth dressing consistency.

Fold in shredded cabbage and mix well so that every piece is covered in dressing.

2 Comments

Filed under Salads, Vegetarian

Warm Olive and Tomato Salad

As with many of my recipes this one came about on the fly.  I was having people over for dinner one Friday night a few years ago.  Before having guests for a meal I often go into a last minute panic that I will not have enough food.   The funny thing is that I ALWAYS have more than enough.  I am constantly sending people home with packages of food.  More often than not, I have leftovers for the next two days.  I do not know why this happens!  I have been cooking for people my entire adult life. I have made countless Shabbat dinners.  Why do I always think that I will not have enough food at the last minute.  Does this happen to anyone else?

In my panic I decided that I must make another dish.  I searched through my pantry, found a bottle of olives and this recipe was born.  The good thing is that it can be put together in no time.  The great thing is that it really is delicious.  One of my friends who came over for dinner that night asked me for the recipe because she liked it so much.  This is also a nice recipe for Passover (right around the corner)!

 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 6 servings

 

1 (9-10 ounce) bottle of Spanish olives stuffed with pimentos, drained
1 lemon
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
¼  teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your heat tolerance – optional)
2 scallions, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, rinsed well
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees  F

Place the drained olives into an oven safe baking dish.  Zest half a lemon onto the olives and add fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and toss together.  Seal the dish with tin foil so that the olives can steam.  Bake for 10 minutes.

While the olives are in the oven chop the scallions and cut the grape tomatoes in half.  Place them in a medium sized bowl.  Add a pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

When the olives are ready add them along with all of their cooking juices to the bowl with the tomatoes.   Add the juice of half a lemon, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and mix well.

5 Comments

Filed under Salads, Vegetarian

Peanut Noodles

If you are looking for an easy vegetarian dish this recipe is for you!  We only eat meat once or twice a week so I am always on the lookout for satisfying meals that are meat free.  This one is a go-to because it is healthy, filling and tastes great.  I use whole wheat spaghetti to add protein and fiber.  I use frozen vegetables  (broccoli, peppers or a veggie mix) to cut down on the chopping time and tofu to add lean protein.    I use frozen vegetables as this is a common week night recipe for me and my time is very limited.  You can always add fresh vegetables if you wish.  I put the tofu as optional because a lot of people think that they do not like tofu.  I recommend at least trying it once in this recipe.  The sauce is so flavorful and the tofu just tastes like the sauce.  Even my husband who swears he does not like tofu will eat it in this dish.  It is great, hot, room temperature or even cold as leftovers!

 

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time:  20 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

 

 

1 box of whole wheat spaghetti

1 block of tofu, cut into cubes (optional)

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, either grated or finely chopped

2-3 scallions, chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

½ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ cup hot water

½ cup peanut butter

1 packet frozen vegetables (you can use fresh if you would like)

 

 

Prepare the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain.

While you are waiting for the water to boil and the spaghetti to cook, sauté the tofu in the sesame and canola oils in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the chopped garlic and ginger, red pepper flakes and stir.  Then add the scallions and sauté until tofu starts to firm up, about 5 minutes.  At this point you can throw in the fresh or frozen vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are tender, but not soft.

Pour in the soy sauce, red wine vinegar and the peanut butter.  Add 1/2 cup hot water and stir the mixture.

Keep adding peanut butter until you get a thick sauce consistency and cook until melted.  Add hot water if needed to thin out the sauce.

Toss the pasta with tofu mixture and sauce until well combined.

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Filed under Pareve, Pasta, Vegetarian

Cannellini Bean and Vegetable Salad

Beans are a superfood.  They are full of fiber and protein and many beans are a great source of antioxidants.  For all of these reasons I really love beans.  They are perfect for salads, soups, stews and sauces. Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans – there are so many varieties that I am sure most people can find some type that they like.   They are wonderful for vegetarian dishes.  I have a few recipes that I plan to share where beans are a main component of the dish.

I love the convenience of canned beans.  They are a huge time saver.  If you are making beans from scratch you first need to soak them for hours, then they need to be cooked for hours.  Even then you cannot be sure that they will have the right texture when you are done.  Canned beans have the perfect texture and only require opening up a can.  I do think it is a good idea to thoroughly rinse off the canning juices before using them.  I also try to buy low sodium canned beans when possible.

You eat with your eyes first and this salad is so colorful it looks great even before you take a bite.  It is also delicious and healthy!  It is a fantastic side dish, or can be served on a bed of greens as a simple lunch.  It is easy to make and very quick to prepare.

 

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 0 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

 

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

1 stalk of celery (close to the heart), diced

1 small zucchini, diced

½ small red onion, diced

2 large roasted red peppers, drained and cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

 

When chopping the vegetables make sure they are in a small dice and similar in size.  In a large bowl combine the beans, all the vegetables and parsley.

To make the dressing pour the vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Add olive oil and whisk until well incorporated. Pour the dressing over the beans and vegetables and stir to combine.

Reserve some roasted red pepper strips to garnish.  I place them in a small pile in the middle of the bowl.

1 Comment

Filed under Beans, Salads, Vegetarian

Quinoa With Black Beans

I have seen quinoa popping up on menus and in recipes all over the place.  It is gaining popularity every day thanks to some famous proponents like Dr. Oz.  Although it is an ancient “grain” I admit that this is a relatively new ingredient that I added to my repertoire only two or three years ago.  Since then I am a huge fan!  I am always looking for a way to add protein to a meal and I love grains.  Rice, cous cous, bulgur, etc.  Quinoa fits both bills.  It has the texture and characteristics of a grain, although it is not a grain at all.  You can even eat it on Passover.  It is high in protein, fiber and magnesium – an all around super food!

Some brands of quinoa come pre-washed.  Others do not.  Just be sure to follow the package directions as there is a bitter, soapy film on the quinoa that needs to be rinsed off before it is cooked.  Once it is washed it cooks very similarly to rice.

Although I am not a vegetarian I try not to eat a lot of meat, and I have a lot of vegetarian friends.  I wanted to come up with a healthy and satisfying meatless dish.  This recipe is all that and more.  I have already touted the health benefits of quinoa.  I also added red bell peppers for color and vitamin C.  Tumeric is my go to health spice and black beans add additional protein and fiber.  Most importantly – it tastes really good!  It can be served as a main dish or side dish; hot, cold or room temperature.

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 4 -6 servings

quinoa

 

1 cup quinoa (you may have to rinse it first depending on the kind you buy)

2 teaspoons and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small or ½ of a large red onion, chopped

1 red pepper, diced (can substitute yellow or orange)

red pepper, onion, jalapeno and garlic

1 jalapeno pepper (seeds and ribs removed), finely chopped

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

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

¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped

1 large lemon plus ½ of its zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the package directions.  While the quinoa is cooking add 2 teaspoons of olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the garlic, onion, red pepper and jalapeno with the turmeric, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of cracked pepper.  Continue to cook until the vegetables are softened  – about 7 to 8 minutes stirring frequently.

To make the dressing, whisk together the zest of half the lemon, the juice of the whole lemon with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and some cracked pepper.

Once the quinoa is cooked, combine in a large bowl with the cooked vegetables, a can of rinsed black beans, chopped cilantro, parsley and dressing.  Toss until all ingredients are mixed well.

4 Comments

Filed under Beans, Vegetarian