Savory Challah Kugel

“You’re not allowed to eat the ends of bread loaves!” I hear from the other room.
“You’re not allowed to throw out good food. It’s baal tashchit!” another voice responds.
“The ends of bread don’t count as food,” the first voice replies.
“That’s ridiculous! It is food!”
“It makes you forget everything you learned!” The first voice is now shrill. “You’ll fail out of college!”
I recall a conversation from twelve years ago. My college flatmates are arguing again. The fight ends in a truce. “Fine, you throw out the ends of your bread, and I’ll keep mine.”

Bread-eaters all seem to be divided into two camps: those who eat the ends of loaves and those who don’t. In my family, the bread heels get wrapped up  and tossed into the freezer until I make stuffing, french toast, or challah kugel.

My mother says when she was a child she always had to eat whatever she was served. “You don’t like Lima beans? Eat them anyways. There are starving children in Africa.” Unfortunately, we don’t have to go as far as Africa to find starving children.

Another food that is often overlooked, which I included in this kugel, is celery leaves. I used to throw them out. On one shopping trip a few years ago, I was standing in front of the refrigerated produce when a lady started rummaging through all the celery, which had all the leaves removed. “What happened to the leaves?” she asked me. “Did they retire?” At that point, I didn’t understand why she wanted celery leaves since I would just throw them out, but recently my celery has had big, beautiful, bright green leaves, and I don’t want to waste them. One bunch went into turkey neck soup, another into this kugel. When cooked, celery leaves taste very similar to spinach, and they are much cheaper.

The following challah kugel recipe can be used to stuff a whole chicken, as well, if the eggs are reduced to two.

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Savory Challah Kugel Recipe
Makes 1 small pan (12 servings)

Ingredients:
4 cups bite-size bread pieces
1  tsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cups celery leaves, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, rosemary, or other herb of choice
3 eggs
Grated cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Tear bread into bite-size pieces. Place in large bowl.
  2. Pour enough boiling water over bread to soak it.
  3. Saute chopped onion and carrot in oil until the onion is translucent and the carrot soft, about five minutes.
  4. Add celery leaves, parsley, salt, pepper, and herbs of choice. Saute another minute.
  5. Add vegetables to bread and mix it all into a mush.
  6. Add eggs, mixing after each one. You don’t want the eggs to sit on the hot mixture very long so they won’t start cooking.
  7. If making this dish dairy, you could sprinkle grated cheese on top before baking.
  8. Bake at 180C/350F for about 45 minutes.
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Jerusalem Marathon

I am a runner.
I am not a distance runner. I didn’t run in the Jerusalem Marathon today. I have never run in a marathon.
I sprint.
Friends will attest to spotting me running on a regular basis. 200 meter dash to preschool pick-up. 700 meter dash to school pickup. 100 meter dash to a bus. Somehow, I always seem to be running late. I’m always trying to squeeze more into my day, so getting from one place of action to another is a rushed afterthought. At work, it may be putting a few more books away, answering one more email, photocopying one more worksheet, or speaking to one more student. At home, I just need to fold two more shirts or wash a few more dishes. Technically, I should have time to do it all. Inevitably, though, the photocopier will jam, the phone will ring, the computer will want to update something, the student will be especially chatty, or the baby’s diaper will leak just as I want to walk out the door. So I am left running out the door. One busy day this winter, I managed to clock over 6km with local errands–dropping kids off at preschool, taking one to the doctor, dropping forgotten homework off at first grade, taking kids to an activity at the local community center, stopping at the pharmacy. This is not uncommon, but I only added up all my walking that one day.

Jerusalem is a difficult place to run a marathon because it is very hilly. For the same reason, it’s fun place to sprint. I used to practically roll down the hill in mornings to the bus or light rail. 7 minutes walking, 5 running. For many years and at various stages of pregnancy, I ran uphill to catch buses in Bayit Vegan. This was a good meter for judging the level of compassion and patience of Egged bus drivers. When they didn’t wait, I faced tests of my own to remain calm and patient, which I didn’t always pass.

I charted my favorite Jerusalem sprint route in the year I worked in the Old City. Two mornings a week, I ran from the light rail station near the municipality building, through the Jaffa Gate, and through the Arab shuk (market) to the school where I taught in the Jewish Quarter. At nine in the morning, this route was not yet jammed with tourists. Most shops were still closed, and some were just opening. I passed under the cold, stone arches, over dirty puddles, past brightly-colored scarves, t-shirts, bowls of beads, and tables of trinkets. The cool, morning air carried the scents of spices, freshly-baked bread, yesterday’s garbage, and tarnished metal. I kept my eyes of the ground ahead of me so I wouldn’t slip and thought to myself, “Am I really here? Am I really living in Jerusalem and working in the Old City?” At the same time, a smaller voice whispered, “Please don’t stab me. Please don’t stab me. Please don’t stab me.”

I still run, but I miss running in Jerusalem.

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Peatitim

Update: An incomplete draft without the full recipe was accidentally published yesterday. I have corrected it.

Happy Monday! I know, it’s really Wednesday, but with Purim on Sunday, the kids all still on vacation Monday, and Tuesday being “get to preschool late because I’m tired from vacation” day and national weekly end school early day and one of my kids’ birthdays, my “normal” week is getting off to a late start. And it’s almost over. Today is another birthday, and tomorrow I already need to get ready for Shabbos because there’s another family event on Friday. So cleaning for Pesach (Passover) is getting a slow start. In the meantime, however, the annual two weeks of carb-binging followed by two weeks of gluten-free meals in an effort to rid the home of leaven is in full swing. Does your home look like this between Purim and Pesach, too?

PROBLEM: My two-year-old wants macaroni and cheese for lunch every day. I am trying to use up all flour-based products in the next two weeks so I can clean for Passover knowing that Cheerios will not get kicked down the hall when I turn my back. My pasta supply is now dangerously low.

SOLUTION: P’timim. This orzo-like toasted pasta is commonly known in English as “Israeli couscous” or “pearl couscous” because of its round shape, resembling couscous. (Don’t be fooled. Israeli couscous is not considered couscous in Israel.)

I made it into a complete, healthy meal by pairing the “pearls” with peas. Since they are the same shape, they mix in well and look nice, in addition to adding fiber, protein, and vitamins.

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Okay, I guess looking nice is relative. They do add a splash of color!

For the sauce, I use partly 28% fat grated yellow cheese and partly 5% fat gevinah levanah, soft white cheese. My preferred brand of gevinah levanah is Strauss “Ski” because it contains a little cream and tastes the creamiest. If you don’t live in Israel, I suggest subbing low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt for the gevinah levanah. 

The most important difference between p’titim and pasta when making macaroni and cheese is that pasta normally has the starch rinsed off, whereas p’titim are not rinsed. So although a bit of flour or cornstarch is normally added to the cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese, it should not be added to p’titim.

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Peatitim Recipe

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon oil
500 gram bag ptitim
salt and pepper
2 cups frozen peas
250 gram (about a cup) soft white cheese or Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded yellow cheese
turmeric, paprika, garlic powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in pot over medium flame. Add p’titim and stir to prevent burning.
  2. Boil 1 liter water.(May be done before step 1, too.)
  3. Add salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings to dry p’titim and mix.
  4. Add water CAREFULLY. The p’titim tend to jump and splash onto the stove. I recommend having the pot cover handy to clamp on immediately. Any other methods of keeping the p’titim from jumping out of the pot are very welcome in the comments.
  5. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for five minutes until most of the water has been absorbed.
  6. Add peas and cook for one more minute.
  7. Turn off stove. Add grated cheese and stir until it has melted.
  8. Add white cheese and stir until a uniform cheese sauce coats the p’titim and peas.
  9. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

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Stuffed Stuff

Imagine if Hitler had a Jewish mistress (but he didn’t know it) with a cousin who had saved his life, and one day in 1939 she revealed her identity, and he said, “Really? You’re Jewish? No way! Hey, I like Jews after all. I guess I really shouldn’t kill all the Jews in the world.” Would you call that a miracle? This is comparable to the Purim story. When Queen Esther revealed her hidden identity to King Ahashverosh, the decree to eradicate all the Jews in the world was mitigated by allowing the Jews to defend themselves. Skeptics could call it luck, chance, or coincidence because this miracle was hidden. It was less obvious than ten plagues, walking through the Sea of Reeds on dry land, eating manna from heaven, or one day’s worth of oil lasting for eight. It takes some insight to look at the whole story and say, “Wow!” This is reflected in the foods we eat when we’re celebrating. Traditional foods are all based on the famous idea of, ‘They tried to kill us; G-d saved us; let’s eat.’ On Purim we eat foods with fillings, surprises inside, stuffed stuff.

Filling and stuffing is time-consuming. For a cook short on time, this can be a challenge. I chose dishes that could be made ahead and frozen or with very easy fillings. Here are some last minute quick ideas for a stuffed stuff menu, soup to nuts:

  • Turkey neck soup with kreplach.  Kreplach are a traditional stuffed Purim food I have never made from scratch: meat-stuffed dough triangles usually served in soup, the Jewish version of wontons. Why turkey necks instead of classic chicken? The evil Haman wanted to hang Mordechai the Jew on the gallows, and he and his sons were hung in the end.
  • Stuffed peppers, stuffed with meat or rice and covered in Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce. It’s like the vegetables are all in costume.
  • Vegan Burritos with Easy Refried Beans could be stuffed with ground meat as well. They go great with Sunny Avocado Salad.
  • If you make hamentashen, try put different fillings, such as Lite Chocolate Ganache or a date-based chocolate filling, Gluten-Free No-Bake Brownie Bites stuffed into cookies. Or simply serve walnut-stuffed dates.

I hope this helped stuff up any holes you still had in your Purim menu.

Happy Purim!

 

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Lite Chocolate Ganache (Parve, Vegan)

When I was a kid, my shul (synagogue) had a sisterhood. The members cooked for congregational Chanukah and Purim parties, organized an annual rummage sale as a fundraiser, and had lots of Sunday morning meetings. My current shul doesn’t have a sisterhood, but the ladies do have a WhatsApp group. Welcome to the 21st century. The first message I received after joining the group two weeks ago was an invitation to a chocolate workshop in honor of the happy Hebrew month of Adar. Because women+chocolate= :-). Am I perpetuating stereotypes? Oops.

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Most recipes for ganache or truffles call for chocolate and cream or nondairy creamer. Since nondairy creamer is right below margarine on the list of things not allowed into my kitchen, I was happy to learn that ganache can be made with just chocolate and hot water. Apparently, it is not just a way to save money on cream. Chocolate purists prefer using water to thin the chocolate because it doesn’t adulterate the chocolate flavor. Who knew that cheap could be chic? This is good if you’re using high-quality chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids). If you only have chocolate chips, they’ll taste like melted chocolate chips without the cream to enrich the flavor.

Whereas the classic ganache recipe calls for equal parts cream and chocolate, if water is used, less is needed since it is thinner than cream. The standard size of local chocolate bars is 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces). To make ganache, add 85 ml (about 1/3 cup) boiling water to each 100 grams of chocolate, broken into pieces. Let it sit for a minute, and then stir until melted together. No whisk or mixer needed. A regular bowl and spoon work just fine. If there are stubborn lumps of chocolate after a few minutes of mixing, microwave for 30 seconds or heat over a double boiler until the chocolate has all melted. At this point, you can add flavorings, such as liquor or peanut butter. For mocha flavored ganache, melt the chocolate with hot coffee instead of hot water. If using the ganache to frost cake, you’re ready to go. Let that chocolate flow. If you want to use the ganache more like a mousse, such as to fill dessert cups like in the picture, you have a little more work ahead. Put the chocolate mixture in the fridge to cool for about a half hour, until it has thickened to frosting consistency, but not hardened. Fill a pastry bag or corner of a zip-top plastic bag (Regular sandwich bags aren’t strong enough.), snip the end, and pipe into place. Decorate with nuts, shredded coconut, or sprinkles. If the chocolate mixture hardens too much in the fridge, simply microwave for increments of 10-15 seconds until it’s soft enough to squeeze out of pastry bags.

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Lite Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Ingredients:

100 grams good quality chocolate
85 ml (about 1/3 cup) boiling water
1 teaspoon liquor, coffee, nut butter, or other flavoring (optional)
nuts, shredded coconut or other toppings (optional)

Directions:

  1. Break chocolate into small pieces and put into microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Pour hot water over chocolate. Let sit for one minute.
  3. Stir until an even, smooth sauce is formed.
  4. Mix in flavoring, if desired.
  5. If you want a thicker consistency, refrigerate for a half hour.
  6. Spoon into pastry bag or zip-top bag with the corner cut off to frost with.
  7. Decorate with toppings, if desired.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, try Gluten-Free No-Bake Brownie Bites.

 

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Sweet and Sour Flowers

Forget door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles. Just give me flowers. It might sound cliche, but they really are one of my favorite things. Since it’s Adar, the happiest month on Hebrew calendar, I’ve been indulging in happy things. I spent a morning hiking with some of my favorite people people and saw magnificent  flowers. The white petals are raining from the almond trees, and the hills surrounding my house are full of bright red poppies (פרג) and anemones (כלניות) sans Wizard of Oz. I can’t actually tell the difference between them, but I still love them. Fields are yellow with spring groundsel (סביונים), and purple cyclemen (רקפות) are hiding in the shade behind rocks and trees. No picking, though! Cyclemen and anemones are officially “protected flowers” that are illegal to pick in Israel. If you’re here, try to find a chance to get away from your computer, the kitchen, the Pesach cleaning, and the half-made Purim costumes and get out to see the beauty around you. If you’re not in Israel, this is what you’re missing:

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almond blossoms

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Poppy or anemone?

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spring groundsel

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cyclemen

Even closer to home, my parking lot is full of yellow flowers that have the same nickname in Hebrew as sour sticks candy, chamtzutzim (חמצוצים). They are actually called חמציץ נטוי chamtzitz natui, known in English as Bermuda Buttercup or Soursob. Their sour name comes from the fact that if you pick them and suck on the bottom of the stem, they taste sour. My girls love them.

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Soursob

But not as much as they love these sweet flowers growing down the block. They pluck the orange blossoms from this local variety of honeysuckle and suck the sweet nectar.

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wall covered in honeysuckle

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honeysuckle

 

As far as I know, the sweet and sour flowers aren’t “protected.” For a complete list of protected and endangered wildflowers in Israel, see  Wild Flowers of Israel.

What are some of your favorite things?

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Vegan Burritos with Easy Refried Beans

I grew up in a fiber-rich household. We ate bran muffins, not blueberry; Sorbees, not Skittles; macaroni and baked beans more than macaroni and cheese. At school, I sat across the lunch table from white bread with mayo and American cheese or solid white tuna with Ritz crackers while I ate my supper leftovers. Once, a boy turned his nose up at my refried beans and tortilla chips, saying, “That looks like poop.” The non-confrontational child that I was, I refrained from slapping him. Anyways, my refried beans probably tasted better than his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I remember my father soaking and boiling pinto beans, pureeing them in a blender, then adding them to a cast-iron skillet waiting with sauteed onions and spices. I don’t have time for so many steps, so I simplified the process. My refried beans didn’t come out tasting like my father’s, but they’re very tasty with much less work. My kids said they tasted like Cheetos. Coming from a four-year-old, that’s a big compliment!

These burritos make a great weeknight supper or Purim side dish. Since they are wrapped up, tortilla concealing the contents, they fit well with the tradition of eating foods with hidden centers, like hamentashen and kreplach, to remember the hidden miracle of the Jewish people’s salvation on Purim.

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Burrito Recipe
For 2 burritos

Ingredients:
2 tortillas
1/2 cup refried beans (recipe below)
1 tomato, chopped
1 small avocado, chopped or 1/2 cup Sunny Avocado Salad
2 tablespoons corn
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1/4 cup salsa (optional)

Directions:

  1. Spread 1/4 cup refried beans down the middle of each tortilla.
  2. Layer on chopped tomato, avocado, green onion, and corn, leaving about 2-3 centimeters (an inch) of clean tortilla at the ends. Add salsa if using.
  3. Fold two sides in and hold down while placing in sandwich-maker/electric grill. Grilling warms the fillings and seals the tortilla closed so it is easier to hold and eat. Let it sit for two minutes. Do not press closed, lest you squeeze the stuffing out.
  4. Enjoy!

Refried Beans Recipe
yield: about 4 cups

Ingredients:
500 grams (about 2 cups) dried red kidney beans
water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Put beans in pot and fill with water at least 2 cm (about an inch) above the level of the beans. Cover and leave at least 6 hours.
  2. Pour out soaking water and replace with water to the same height. Add salt and stir.
  3. Boil for about 2 hours until bean skins are cracked open and beans are soft.
  4. Season with cumin, onion, and garlic.
  5. Mash with a potato masher or puree with an immersion blender. I like the smoother consistency achieved with the hand blender,. If you prefer chunky, use a potato masher (or if you’re really stuck, even a fork).
  6. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

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French Toast Casserole

I used to make French toast at least once a week. As a meal for two or three people, it’s very fast and easy, and there are always remains of challah and the ends of bread loaves floating around my freezer. Got milk and eggs? Got supper. Recently, however, the French toast has gone the way of the pancakes I used to make more often. I simply cannot get them out of the frying pan fast enough for my kids. Regular French toast means at least a half hour of running between the frying pan and the table, the frying pan and the milk, the frying pan and a pile of napkins. I needed a lazier faster, more efficient way to make French toast. A few weeks ago, after hearing about a savory bread pudding, I threw together this dairy bread pudding, which is basically baked French toast. Any sweet or savory add-ins are optional.

I’ve seen many recipes for French toast casseroles that includes layers or sweet syrups. If that what you’re looking for, this recipe is not it. This is about as simple as it gets, but it was still good enough to be the recipe that got my daughter to say, “Did you use a new recipe or make one up?”

“I made it up.”

“It’s so yummy. You should stop using recipes and always make up your own.”
I understood this to mean supper was successful.

Why is this casserole better than individual slices of French toast, other than less prep time? The outside gets a golden crust, while the thick inside stays soft and moist. Next time you’re trying to use up extra bread, try this, and you may never go back to pan-fried French toast.

French Toast  Casserole Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

One loaf worth of assorted bread parts
6 eggs
2-3 cups milk (or non-dairy alternative, such as soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
Optional sweet add-ins: chopped apples, raisins, nuts, maple syrup, brown sugar
Optional savory add-ins: fried onions, sauteed celery, shredded cheese, canned corn, chopped spinach, fresh herbs

Directions:

  1. Tear bread into bite-sized pieces. Put into big bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk (can be with a fork; you don’t actually need a whisk) eggs, then add 2 cups milk, salt, vanilla, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  3. Pour egg mixture over torn bread to coat it and let soak for about 5 minutes. If the bread is not all moistened, add more milk and mix. In any case, mix. You do not need the pieces of bread to remain distinct. It is good if they mingle and merge.
  4. Coat casserole dish with cooking spray and dusted with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  5. Pour bread mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle another 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon on top
  6. Bake at 350F/180C for about 45 minutes, until golden brown.

 

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Blogaholic Award Nomination

It’s another game of blogger tag that someone made up to increase site traffic, and I’m “it.” By the way, there are a few more days left to my virtual ice cream party, if you’d like to join and meet other ice cream-loving bloggers. I’d like to thank Dolly from koolkosherkitchen for nominating me for the Blogaholic Award, ironically, last week when I wasn’t blogging much because my computer was acting up. Dolly writes such interesting posts full of personal, family, and historical stories to accompany her recipes that I feel truly honored to receive this nomination from her.
Nominees are supposed to share three interesting facts about themselves, but since I’m an English teacher, I’ll spice it up a bit by telling you two true facts and one false. See if you can guess which isn’t true. Let me know in a comment! 🙂
1. I can’t stand chopped liver, but I do like leftover cholent.
2. My favorite sport is swimming; the beaches in Israel are gorgeous!
3. I love the sun, but I also miss *snow*.
My most viewed post: “Emergency” Cookies
My post that received the most “likes”: Species of Israel Salad
My very first post, near and dear to my heart: Welcome to Israeli Salad!

If I’m “it,” now it’s my turn to tag 5 more bloggers. In no particular order:
Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride: https://susielindau.com/
YayYay’s Kitchen: https://yayyayskitchen.com/
Cooking for the Time Challenged:  https://cookingforthetimechallenged.wordpress.com/
Two Writing Teachers: https://twowritingteachers.org/
Granoladox: https://granoladox.com/

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What is The Blog-aholic Award?

“The Blog-aholic Award” is an award created by Esme, The Recipe Hunter, for bloggers addicted to blogging with creative, ingenious and inspiring posts. They “mesmerize their followers with their posts, keep them captivated and riveted to their blog.” The Blog-aholic Award is also for bloggers who “Share and Inspire Others!” The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy) 

Rules

  1. Put the above award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog (it can be to the post in which they nominated you or any other post or you can even link to their “About” page)
  4. Mention the creator The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy) of this award and please provide a link or pingback
  5. Write a post to show your award
  6. Share a link to your best post(s)
  7. Share 3 interesting and different facts about yourself
  8. Nominate 5-10 fellow bloggers, or more if you wish. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

I would also like to thank Simcha at slimmingbsimcha for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award a few weeks ago, a few days after I was nominated by someone else and already had a post about it, so I didn’t write a new post after her nomination. Simcha’s blog details her determined “slimming” journey with inspiration and recipes.

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Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce

It’s that time of year again. Sunday will already be Rosh Chodesh Adar, meaning six weeks until Pesach (Passover). Last year, on Rosh Chodesh Adar Alef, an Israeli neighbor asked me if I had started cleaning for Pesach. After I regained my balance, I told her no. I’m not going to spend ten weeks spring cleaning and looking for leaven. I don’t have to worry about such encounters this year because I don’t have Israeli neighbors anymore. Okay, just joking; I have one.

In any case, while it’s not time to hit the panic button and pull out the bleach, it is time to start using up open packages of food and stop buying things that make tons of crumbs, like couscous. I also only have two weeks left to use up the end of last year’s matzah before Purim, since we don’t eat matzah for a whole month before Pesach. (Hey, stop making those grossed-out faces. It already tasted stale eleven months ago.)

Today’s versatile sauce is delicious on pasta or in matzah lasagna. Whatever you’re trying to get rid of, smothering it in sauce is a good idea, especially when this sauce is so full of vegetables. I must admit that my pickiest eaters were not willing to taste this tomato sauce, even though the vegetables are completely dressed up as tomato sauce, but I bet they would have liked it if they tasted it. I’ll let you know if they eat it in the matzah lasagna I’ll be making next week. This magic is thanks to my immersion blender, a gadget I never heard of until high school, but now I love it even more than my zester. This sauce should go over well with most kids because all of the vegetables are blended and hidden by the tomato sauce. I even snuck in some protein the form of a can of chickpeas. The overall flavor is milder than the standard, acidic tomato sauce. If you double the water and add a little more salt, this can also double as tomato soup.

Vegetables hiding in tomato sauce, which is hiding old matzah. We’re really getting into the Purim spirit.

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Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce Recipe

yield: about 2 liters

Ingredients

1 T oil
2 onions
5 cloves garlic
2 large zucchini (or kishuim, Magda zucchini, a paler form of zucchini common in the Middle East, which has a milder taste than the bright green zucchini you typically find in North America)
4 stalks celery
2 or more ripe tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, with liquid (about 2 cups)
1 large can tomato paste (about 2 cups
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Directions:

  1. Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add spices, except salt.
  2. Add vegetables. Vegetables can be very coarsely chopped, even in large chunks, because they will be blended.
  3. Add chickpeas, tomato paste, about a liter (4-5 cups) of water, and salt.
  4. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, about a half hour.
  5. Blend into a smooth sauce with an immersion blender. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. Serve warm on pasta, fish, chicken, etc. I divided this big batch into two containers and stuck one in the freezer.

 

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