The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple, by Levana Kirschenbaum with Lisa R. Young PhD RD, published by Skyhorse Publishing. Promotes healthy living, eating and nutritious tips for becoming a healthier you.
About the Book
“Eat Yourself to Health” seems to be the mantra for this book. Each recipe has been thoughtfully laid out and presented in a way that makes one forget they are actually eating healthy. It is not a diet book, but a healthy lifestyle book.
“ Food should taste good, be enjoyed, and eating should bring you pleasure.”
“ When we were kids, there was nothing I felt our mother couldn’t heal with food. stomach-ache? She’d cook up a pot of oatmeal. A cold? Chicken soup. Nausea? A baked sweet potato. Sore throat? She’d boil milk with ginger and cloves. Hungry for a snack? She’d melt a dark chocolate square and spread it on toast. We so looked forward to the “cure” that we were always coming up with some urgent real or imagined boo boo.
Quoting Kirschenbaum’s mother, “Just open your refrigerator! The cure is in the pot!” Kirschenbaum offers many hints and tips including such topics as prepared food versus from scratch, frozen versus fresh, eating certain things in moderation, eat at home whenever possible, learn how to order in a restaurant and to never give up what you love.
This book was surprising. From the title I thought the book would hold an emphasis on eating kosher. Opening the book I discovered that it is a diet and weight loss book. Going to the body of the book I was thrilled to discover it is a healthy eating cook book. Sort of three books in one. Offering many tips and hints about things like which salad dressings to choose and make, eating gluten-free, dairy-free, infused oils and how to use them. I am impressed at how this book presents itself. Putting it out there like a smorgasbord of information. Kirschenbaum’s jam recipe is amazing, and worth trying as it uses no sugar whatsoever. All natural sweetness from concentrated fruits. I can hardly wait to taste the Miso Soup With All the Fixings which brags that you will never go back to the Chinese-restaurant variety. But, then again there is a Curried Apple Kale Soup which is spicy with exotic spices from India, paired with the sweetness of apple. Other recipes which I find are noteworthy because I am such a fan of chocolate are the Chocolate Oats Pots de Creme which is a dessert that I absolutely am making, made with oatmeal and chocolate, which is chilled, prepared with maple syrup, rum or brandy and coconut milk and as well a Chocolate Jasmine Marble Cake, made with strong jasmine tea. How about a Roast Turkey with Juniper Wine Gravy? Sound fine? Kosher or not, these recipes are just begging for you to try. It might just get you into a fabulous dinner!
There are so many recipes to prepare from this book. I am torn between at least a half-dozen of them as to which ones to feature. This book is so beautifully illustrated that I ask for forgiveness should any pages be wet with saliva from me drooling over them.
Because this is an unusual yet refreshing and colourful salad, I am suggesting and discovering that it works best with cold suppers or as a fun “picnic in the park on the grass” accompaniment. I however do not agree with Kirschenbaum, as I would have a watermelon spitting contest to see who can spit the farthest!
MINTED WATERMELON FETA CHEESE SALAD
Wacky combo? I admit this is quite a stretch from the way watermelon is usually enjoyed: only one small good problem – it’s fabulous, so go for it! You must have noticed as I did that seeded watermelon is much tastier than the “convenient” and bland seedless hybrid. Just spit out the seeds discreetly, ok?
- 8 cups watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 cup fresh mint, packed, sliced very thin
- 6 scallions sliced thin, (or small red onion)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste (you may need no salt at all)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
Place all salad ingredients in a platter. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a little bowl and pour over the salad. Mix very gently so as not to extract moisture. Makes 8 servings.
I’m saving this soup recipe for when the carrots come in big and “honk’n” as I say. Big fat and juicy. This makes me think of a real down-home fall fair luncheon, with crusty bread.
CARROT GINGER SOUP
Starring the humble carrot, with all the flavorings that compliment it. Don’t be afraid of serving it to guests – it doesn’t taste nearly as modest as the ingredient list reads.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 large red onions, quartered
- 2 – inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon curry, a little more if you like it hotter
- 3 large carrots, grated (about 4 cups packed)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 quarts (12 cups) water
- 1/2 cup millet (or other quick-cooking grain: steel-cut oats, teff, amaranth, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in heavy pot. In a food processor, coarsely grind the onions and add to the hot oil. Reduce the flame to medium and fry, stirring occasionally until very dark brown. This step will take about 20 minutes. Add the ginger and curry and cook stirring 2 more minutes. Add all but last ingredient. Bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for 30 minutes. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Makes a dozen ample servings.
I am making these pancakes for my lunches at work. They are handy and can be eaten as finger food at my desk should the need arise. And the need does Arise!
These are a lot of fun, and quite adaptable. They are substantial enough to be a significant part of a main course. The kinds and amounts of spices and vegetables suggested are totally flexible. Not problem making them in advance (even freezing them) and reheating them.
- Pancake Mixture:
- 1 1/2 cups flour, any flour
- 1 cup milk or dairy-free, low-fat
- 1 egg, or 1/4 cup flax mixture (page 224)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon curry
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 4 scallions, sliced very thin
- 1 medium carrot, grated fine
- 1/4 cup corn kernels, or what ever veggie you choose
- 1/4 cup peas, or what ever veggie you choose
- Olive oil or ghee
Mix all pancake ingredients in a blender or food processor. Fold in the vegetables by hand. In a large nonstick skillet, heat just a few drops of olive oil or ghee. When the skillet is really hot, add the batter in small mounds, trying to fit 2 to 3 pancakes in the skillet. Cook about 1 minute on each side. Serve hot. To reheat, warm covered in one layer in a 300 degree f oven for about 10 minutes. (longer if they are frozen)
The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple, by Levana Kirschenbaum with Lisa R. Young PhD RD, published by Skyhorse Publishing can be starting your way to a healthy lifestyle! All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this review, and as well a brief description of what healthy veggies you’ve been discovering lately or a new cooking method, and you are entered in the contest. Good Luck! And Happy Healthy Local Eating!