I never grew up eating tacos. And, according to my husband, I missed a very important aspect of childhood. Who knew? It turns out he was right, my girls love Taco Night. And the truth is, so do I! I mix it up and change it so we get a variety of flavors and nutrients each time. Some days its turkey, some days it's TSP. And the vegetables vary depending on what's in season and what we have. But the seasonings tend to stay pretty consistent -- especially the almond butter. It had a mouth-watering, melt-in-your mouth texture and taste that is so subtle, yet deeply missed when not included! So make this recipe your own -- make it vegan, vegetarian, or carnivorous. Load it with vegetables and proteins and enjoy! B'tayavon!
It's still summer, but I can't help but start dreaming about Fall. Who can blame me? School clothes and supplies are in the stores, the days are getting slightly shorter, and I have even seen a few school buses on their practice runs! So of course, it's time to start cooking like it's Fall -- with the bonus feature of some great summer vegetables that are still in peak season!
Growing up, buckwheat was reserved for kasha varnishkes -- a traditional Jewish dish that combines buckwheat groats with bow-tie shaped pasta. My mom, who always included lots of caramelized onions to enhance the sweetness, served it on Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year). The mere the smell of buckwheat reminds me of new, fresh, beginnings and puts a big smile on my face.
When one of my daughters gets sick, it's almost as if time stops. All previously made plans get canceled and our rarely used TV gets a good workout.
Unfortunately, the world outside of our little bubble continues as scheduled, and the two girls that are lucky enough to escape whatever virus is plaguing their sister, are bored to tears.
It, of course, becomes my mission to get her back to normal as quickly as possible. "Fluids, fluids, fluids," becomes my annoying mantra. Not an easy request when you consider that I'm not normally a "juice mom," so their isn't any in the house, soda has never been in our home, and I somehow believe the old wives tale that you shouldn't drink milk when you are congested. That leaves water (which can get old really quickly). And soup.
I've complained enough about the heat this summer. I'm absolutely positive that you don't want to hear about it anymore! So, no more complaining. I'm just going to simply give you my answer to my chocolate cravings without turning on that big hot square thing in the middle of my kitchen.
Full disclaimer: These cookies may not need baking, but they do need at least eight hours to cure in the freezer. Even then, they will melt quickly in your hands and no matter how hard you try, your hands will look like a two year old's hands after you've eaten one of these. I promise, it's worth it! B'tayavon!
I am terrible when it comes to fried food. Most likely because I cannot pour that much oil into a pan without feeling nauseous. Even though my brain knows that most of the oil doesn't get absorbed into the food, I still can't do it. I can envision my arteries clogging and my body failing me. So, I usually end up with too little oil and then the resulting item falls to pieces. So, instead, I've given up and learned out to broil foods so they taste fried. Healthier indeed! Next fried food makeover: zucchini pancakes.
This summer we are swimming in zucchini, which in my world is a good thing! We've had zucchini bread, stir-fries, even zucchini-crusted pizza (adapted from the original Moosewood Cookbook). But if you put the word pancake on something, my girls are sure to devour it. So, next up on my radar -- a healthy, no-fry, gluten-free, vegan zucchini pancake. A tall order, but I was on a mission. It took a few tries, but the resulting success was worth the effort! Check out the picture below for a close-up of the crispy goodness. B'tayavon!
I've been thinking about my Grandma often these last few days. Actually, I think about her every day, but the other day, while cleaning out a cabinet, I found a letter she wrote to my husband and me about a decade ago. If it was possible, it made me miss her even more. My grandmother was someone to admire. She was stubborn as an ox (she was NEVER EVER wrong), feisty, smart, beautiful, a loyal and beloved friend, and in a word -- loved.
She was, without a doubt, my guidepost for life. I admire her tenacity, her dedication, her leadership skills, and her deep devotion to faith, family, and friends.
And, while my grandmother will be remembered for all those things -- and more, she will undoubtedly be remembered for "Grandma's Eggplant." The story -- as she told it to me -- describes her personality to a tee. While at a wedding, she tasted an eggplant caponata that she instantly fell in love with. Rather than simply enjoy it, like most people, Grandma Ruth marched into the catering kitchen and demanded the recipe. And... they gave it to her!
From that day on, we had this dish coming out of our ears. She was constantly making it, freezing it, and shipping to her children and grandchildren. Our freezers were so full of these ridiculous margarine tubs filled with this eggplant dish, that we began to get concerned about how much margarine she must have been consuming to acquire so many tubs! I'm pretty sure she had a deal with the local recycling center -- no one could consume that much margarine!
Sadly, the day came when it no longer tasted the same. Sometimes, she forgot and added the oil twice or maybe even four times. Sometimes, it was the salt. And sometimes, she didn't remember to add the eggplant at all -- just whatever she could find. But, we still ate it and still loved the memories of what once was. Fortunately for me, she wrote down the original recipe and gave it to me at my wedding shower. I've kept it safe in a box since then. Today, I sat down with my almost seven-year-old (pictured five years ago with her Bubbe in the bottom image above) and passed that recipe along to her. We reminisced about Bubbe and enjoyed the eggplant one more time -- none was left to put in a margarine tub, but I'm sure we'll make it again soon.
We enjoyed ours warm, over some Quinoa pasta, but it's also delicious as a cold dip. B'tayavon!
I recently made Simply Sugar and Gluten Free's Homemade Ginger Ale, which was incredibly refreshing during the heat-palooza we are experiencing in DC, and I had a bit of leftover ginger and lemongrass. These are two of my favorite flavors, albeit not ones that my trio has come to appreciate yet. So, I made a special date dinner for the husband and me. I used green beans in this recipe, but you could easily substitute with your vegetable of choice. I can imagine broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, or any number of greens! Despite the realistic four servings of these recipe, we found ourselves unabashedly scraping the pan clean. So much for leftovers! B'tayavon!
1" piece of ginger, sliced thin (I keep the skin on)
1 stalk of lemon grass
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups water or stock
1 cup rinsed quinoa
1 small onion
pinch of salt and pepper
1 big bag of green beans (approximately 1 1/2 cups), cut into bite size pieces.
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 orange, halved
2 tbsp gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 garlic clove
Place ginger, lemon grass, cinnamon stick, water, and quinoa into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cover until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Discard the ginger, lemon grass, and cinnamon stick.
Saute the onion, salt, and pepper in a splash of grapeseed oil, under medium heat, until soft and slightly brown. Lower the heat, add the greenbeans and cook until soft.
While the greenbeans and quinoa are cooking, in a small bowl, combine the juice and zest of half the orange, the tamari, sesame oil, and garlic. Add this to the greenbeans and stir until combined well. Combine with the quinoa. Add toasted almonds and the other half of the orange, cut into bite-size pieces. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold!