No, that’s not a plate of meat and cheese covered noodles *hass v’shalom*. It’s *meat* sauce made from Impossible plant based imitation ground beef. It’s so delicious simmered in a rich tomato sauce, served over pasta and topped with cheese. The kids asked for seconds, even the super picky one. Easy to prepare and would be great to serve the kiddos during the fast.
Quinoa makes a great blank canvas to decorate with the bright, fresh flavors of summer. This salad is endlessly riffable: switch up the quinoa with any other cooked grain such as wheat berries or barley. Use nectarines, apricots, plums or a combination of any stone fruit you have in place of the peaches.
1/2c.Toasted pine nuts or slivered almondsoptional
1/2c.feta or goat cheesecrumbled (optional)
3T.Apple cider vinegar
1/2t.ground black pepper
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve, drain. Place the quinoa in a medium size sauce pot, add 1 3/4 cups of water. Uncovered, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minuets. Remove from the heat, uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large serving dish.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Add the remaining salad ingredients and the dressing to the quinoa, gently toss to combine.
Tacos are one of the few meals that everyone in our household enjoys and no one seems to get tired of. It helps to change up the components every now and then. I love this version because all of the ingredients get tossed into the pot and that’s it. No additional cooking required.
Pulled Chicken Tacos
Pulled Chicken Tacos made in the Instant Pot with 6 ingredients for a no fuss Taco Tuesday super fast and easy-peasy dinner win! Can also be made in a slow cooker by combining all the ingredients and setting it on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
Growing up my mother’s family would serve this at the beach out of a cooler during the one week of summer that we would vacation at the Jersey Shore. We still affectionately refer to it as Beach Salad and my mother insists that one of the ingredients is a sprinkle of sand. The recipe also specifically lists pasta shells (because you know, the beach) but you can use any shape pasta you prefer or happen to have on hand. I highly recommend mixing all the ingredients together the night before and letting it marinate and chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. It will keep well for at least 2-3 days and gets better the longer it’s chilled. I added the watermelon and fresh mint to the dish. I know you’re not supposed to mess with tradition but the combination is truly magical summer deliciousness on a plate.
Pasta Salad with Spinach, Feta and Watermelon
If pasta can be a salad… then anything is possible!
1/2c.prepared Italian salad dressingI use Good Seasons brand
1c.crumbled feta cheese
2c.watermelon cut into cubes or made into balls with a melon baller
1/4c.fresh mint leaves
A sprinkle of sandoptional
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water 10-12 minutes. Drain and return to the pot off the heat.
Add the spinach, Italian dressing and garlic salt to the pasta while it is still warm and toss to combine.
If you have the time, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. Before serving, add the feta cheese, watermelon and mint leaves and gently toss to combine.
If serving right away, transfer to a serving dish and add the feta cheese, watermelon and mint leaves and gently toss to combine.
Keyword pasta, pasta salad, spinach, summer recipe, watermelon
I have a tendency to impulse buy more fruit than we will actually eat before it becomes too ripe. The best way to clear out the fruit bin is to chop it all up, put it in a baking dish, top it with a combination of brown sugar, oats, flour and butter and pop it in the oven until it becomes a jammy, sweet treat. Serve it for dessert with a scoop of ice cream? Yes please! Have it for breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee? I’m not going to stop you.
Stone Fruit Crisp
Summer’s harvest at it’s peak baked under a spiced oat topping.
When its super hot out I like to whip up a pitcher of these Strawberry Watermelon Limonana smoothies. Once blended I like to add it to my iced mint green tea. (I keep a pitcher iced and in the fridge from May until November) If there is any leftover, pour the rest into ice pop molds, freeze, and enjoy all summer long.
I started adding steamed, puréed sweet potatoes to my cheese sauce when my oldest kids were toddlers as a way to sneak a little more veggies into the meal. Now we just prefer the flavor and richness that it adds to the dish.
Toss it with your favorite pasta shape for the best Mac & Cheese, twist it into a plate of zoodles, or spoon it over roasted vegetables. Also makes a great addition to steaming hot baked potatoes.
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
Creamy cheese sauce with pureed sweet potoates blended in to give a silky sweet flavor and added nutritional boost.
To make the steamed, puréed sweet potatoes, peel and cut 2 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes into large chunks. Add to a steamer basket set over simmering water. Cover and steam until potatoes are soft enough to mash with a fork. Transfer the hot potatoes to a blender or into a bowl if you have an immersion blender. Add a little of the water, about 1/4 c. from the steam pot to the potatoes. Blend until smooth. I like to make 4 or 5 potatoes at a time, purée, let cool, and then divide into individual 1 c. portions in freezer bags and freeze for future use.
Over medium low heat add butter to a sauce pan. Keep it on the heat until it begins to brown, careful not to burn.
Add flour, whisking continuously for 3-4 minuets.
Turn the heat up to medium, add milk and whisk until combined and smooth, not more than 6 minutes. Whisk occasionally carful not to burn the bottom and not to boil.
Turn heat down to low. Add cheese, salt and pepper. Whisk until cheese is melted.
Add puréed sweet potato, whisk to combine.
Sauce will thicken as it cools. If it becomes too thick add more milk 1/4 cup at a time over low heat until it reaches a desired consistency.
Keyword cheese sauce, dairy, kosher, mac and cheese, pasta, vegetarian
Rosh Hashana is less than 2 weeks away AND I’m due with baby #5 on the first day of Succot!!! You better believe that I’m doing everything NOW to be prepared for the three weeks of feasting and celebrating. Thankfully, this year the first days of Yom Tov fall on Shabbat. (I love it when that happens!) That means fewer meals to plan and a whole week in-between to prepare for the next upcoming days of Yom Tov. No time to waist…lets getting planning!
Cook once, eat twice (or more). Chances are you are already planning on cooking for Shabbat next week. I just posted a recipe for 4 Pepper Hungarian Goulash that I made for Shabbat that can easily be doubled or tripled. Its a crowd pleaser and can feed a lot of people so go ahead and make it for Shabbat, double the recipe and freeze half of it for another Yom Tov meal. While you’re already in the kitchen over the next few weeks, plan on making double, or triple portions of any of the dishes the you can freeze and use for the holidays as well.
Make room in the freezer. Now is the best time to clean out the freezer and use up whatever you can or incorporate it into your menus. Forgot about the 5 pounds of ground beef that you bought on sale last month? Thaw it out and make meat sauce and/or meatballs to eat during the week. Found three boxes of puff pastry? Plan on using them for a dessert during the holiday. Found a few deli containers of chicken stock in the back? Great! One less thing you need to prepare! By going through the freezer now, you will be able to use up what you have and make room for the meals you want to freeze for the holidays.
Check pantry inventory and fill up on the staples. After cleaning out the freezer, open up your cabinets to see what you have and what you are running low on. Go through your spices and throw out anything that is more than a year old. Make a list of what you are almost out of that you use frequently. If you plan on doing a lot of baking be sure to have a reserve of flours, sugars, oils, baking powder and baking soda, vanilla, chocolate chips, etc.
Plan your menus. I’m here to help you with this one! I’ve been posting a few recipes that you can prepare ahead of time and I’ll be posting my full menus and all the recipes in the next few days. If you are already doing step one, take the time to plan on which meal you are going to use the frozen meals that you made in advance. Not up for making a salad or dessert for every single meal? Write in your menu where you plan to buy it from instead, (bakeries exist for a reason!), or make a note that you would like to ask one of your guests to bring it. Chances are they are going to ask what they can bring anyway so you might as well be prepared with an answer.
Gather your recipes. Many families have recipes that they only eat durning the holidays. But you might not remember where you kept them from year to year. For years I kept a journal (yes, actual old fashioned pen on paper) of all the menus with references for the recipes that I could look back on from year to year to see what I made. Now that everything is digital, I keep my menus in the Notes section of my phone titled “Shabbat and Yom Tov Menus” folder. If you’re using a recipe that you found online you can easily copy and paste the link right in the notes. Have a dish that you are making from a cookbook? Write the name of the cookbook and page number next to the name of the dish on the menu. Have a handwritten recipe from great grandma? Take a photo of it and insert it into the menu notes page or save it in a separate folder in your photos app titled “written recipes”. Have a recipe that is part of an Instagram post that doesn’t have a separate link? Bookmark it in Instagram, and write in your menu the name of the post and who posted it. For example: 4 Pepper Hungarian Goulash, saved in Instagram @l.a._kosher_kitchen. If you’re like me, you have recipes saved in dozens of places. Organizing the ones that you are going to use this year and having them all in one place will make planning for next year SO much easier.
Make grocery lists. Now that you know what you have in your freezer and pantry and what you are planning on cooking and what the recipes call for, it’s time to make the grocery lists. Chances are you shop at more than one store for your groceries. Go through your recipes and make a list for each store of what you need. Also, if you don’t already, now would be a good time to sign up for a grocery delivery service. Instacart, Amazon Fresh and the like will save you tons of time and energy shopping and will come in very handy if you are in the middle of cooking and realize that you need an ingredient.
Stock up on food storage containers. Since you are going to be cooking and baking and plan on freezing some of it, be sure that you have a good supply of food storage containers.
Make a cooking calendar. Now it’s time to get cooking. The more you spread out your cooking over the next few weeks, the easier it will be leading up to the actual holiday. Take a blank calendar for September and October and using your menus as a guide, plan on when you will cook and bake everything on it. See what you can freeze ahead of time and plan on making those dishes as soon as possible. Pick a day to do as much of the baking as possible in order to limit the number of times you need to turn on the oven, schlep out all the baking supplies and mess up the kitchen with flour, sugar and the like. Be sure to mark on your calendar which days you plan on grocery shopping so you can be sure that you have everything you need when you are ready to get cooking. Plan on getting take out for dinner on the days that you spend cooking for the holidays. You’re going to be eating a good amount of meat in the next month, so your family won’t mind having pizza, pasta, and salad once a week until then.
Plan your table. Lots of meals means lots of dishes. Having guests? More dishes, and cups, and napkins, and silverware. If you plan on using your dishes be sure that you have enough for everyone. If you are planning on using disposables, add them to your shopping list to buy or order them online now. I plan on using our Shabbat dishes for the first day of meals and disposables for the second day. Now is also a good time to be sure you have enough folding tables and chairs. Lastly, don’t forget to make note of which table linens and any decor you plan on using.
Don’t forget the extras. Candles for candle lighting, 3 day yom tov candles, drinks, wine, flowers, a hostess gift if you are invited for a meal. Am I forgetting anything? What else do you do to prepare for the holidays? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you!
Shawarma + arayas = sharayas! Ground chicken seasoned with shawarma spice, fresh chopped onion and cilantro, tucked inside a pita and baked until crisp. Serve with Israeli salad and tahina for a full meal in minutes. Use store bought shawarma spice or make your own with the recipe from McCormick Spice.
This recipe happened almost accidentally. I wanted to bake some apple pieces for my toddler so that they would be easier to chew but forgot about them in the oven. By the time I got to them they had completely cooked down into a fine mash. Instead of baked apple pieces I ender up with apple sauce. Really delicious easy peasy, no blender required apple sauce. So good that I ate most of it myself instead of feeding it to the toddler.
In an effort to elevate it to adult status I added a few of my favorite flavors: dates and pumpkin pie spice. As a result this deeply flavorful and sweet apple butter was born. It’s uses are endless: top some ice cream, stir it into oat meal or overnight oats, spread it on toast or a bagel with a little cream cheese or just eat it up with a spoon. Hopefully it will make it out of the baking dish and into the fridge before it’s all gone!
Baked Date Apple Butter
Apples and dates, seasoned and baked into a rich, flavorful spread.
potato masher, immersion blender, or food processor (optional)
10medium size applespeeled, cored and cut into a large dice
10medjool datespitted, and cut into quarters
1-2tablespoonspure silan date syrup
11/2teaspoonspumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a 9×13 in. baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine the apples, dates, silan, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well to combine.
Pour the apple mixture into an even layer in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes. Stir, cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Allow the apples to cool. Apple butter can either be left at this consistency or can be mashed with a potato masher or blended with an immersion blender or food processor for a smoother consistency.
Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Any large oven proof pan with a lid such as a dutch oven can be used instead of a baking dish and foil. If you are using a particularly sweet variety of apple, use less of the silan. Silan is a syrup made from dates. Be sure the silan you are using is 100% pure. Many brands add corn syrup and other additives. Cinnamon or a combination of warm spices such as ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg can be used in place of the pumpkin pie spice.