Category Archives: Passover

Red Cabbage and Sweet Potato Salad

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~        CIMG2617-001

Cook outs, picnics, barbecues, pot lucks.  Summer is the ideal time of year for entertaining and parties.   I have a dim memory of having a salad something like this at my friend Paula’s house for Thanksgiving.  She said she was tired of all the standard sweet potato recipes and made this salad instead.  I thought the combination of ingredients was amazingly delicious – which is why I remember it all these years later – but I am sad to report it ‘s not a good vehicle for the roasted marshmallows that usually come along with sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving.

How did I get side tracked from summer entertaining?  I brought this salad with me to a pot luck and it was a BIG hit.  In fact, although I say it serves 6 to 8 – it was completely polished off by six women of a certain age.  The good news is this recipe is easily doubled if you are cooking for a crowd.

Happy summer outing – enjoy!
Continue reading Red Cabbage and Sweet Potato Salad

Really Divine Green Gazpacho

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With summer completely here there’s nothing nicer than a chilled soup to start a meal or have as a snack.

I was sitting in my allergists waiting room with nothing in particular to do.  Usually her magazine rack is filled with sports stuff and gossip magazines – none of which interest me.  This week, however, she had a copy of the Food Network Magazine.   I was thrilled to see it as I’ve had a “special offer” from them sitting on my “to do” pile for weeks.  I wasn’t sure I wanted or needed another food magazine especially since most of the recipes in these publications are not suitable for a paleo diet.

One of the articles featured  3 different gazpacho recipes.  I was interested in that article because most of the authentic recipes include plenty of bread.  I was delighted to find that these did not.  In fact they were very nice and slightly unusual.  Two of the recipes included grapes – something that I would never have thought using, but upon reflection seemed an interesting idea.  The recipe for green gazpacho also included avocado.

It’s not that often I am inspired to run home and try something I’ve seen in a magazine, but since Fairway is just a few steps away from my allergist’s office, I stopped in and picked up the necessary ingredients and Voila!

I think this is a pretty delicious form of gazpacho.  The grapes give it a subtle sweetness and the avocado a really creamy texture.   The toasted almonds (I know they don’t look toasted in the photo, but trust me – they are)

BTW I subscribed to the magazine today   : )

Enjoy! Continue reading Really Divine Green Gazpacho

Paleo Matzoh Brie

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Parve * Paleo ~~

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There are two distinctly different schools of thought on matzoh brie.  The first, which I think is the more common of the two, is scrambled eggs with softened (with water) torn matzoh stirred in.  Sometimes there are also vegetables and savory stuff included.

I come from the second school of matzoh brie.  Pancakes.  I actually never knew that the first school existed until I was already well into adulthood and ordered matzoh brie at a restaurant.  Image how disappointed I was to be served a plate of scrambled eggs!  I confess I might have been rude to the waitress about not bringing me the right order but the manager came to disabuse me of MY mistake.

Through all these years I have stuck to my version of matzoh brie and whenever I invite friends over during Passover, this is what I serve.  In all modesty, this is the best matzoh brie anyone has ever tasted (even this Paleo one).

The toppings are also personal preferences (read that as:  whatever your mother served it to you with).  My mom served it with cinnamon-sugar.  In this I have deviated as I really like it with maple syrup or sometimes apricot preserves.  No matter what you eat it with…these are a real treat.  Enjoy!
Continue reading Paleo Matzoh Brie

Paleo Passover Potato Kugel with Shallots

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Parve * Paleo ~~

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Last Passover my friend Hadley and I decided to have a leftovers dinner.  Since we each held a seder in our homes, we were unable to attend the other’s seder and this way we could at least taste what the other had served.

Now, not to be boastful, I am an awesome cook and the food at my seder was amazing.  We both made pot roast from brisket and used approximately the same recipe so that was a wash.  Our Tzimmes’ were both delicious in different ways – mine had a very deep richness and Hadley’s had a fresh quality to it that I liked (so much that I’ve made it for this year).

Our menus diverged at the kugels.  I made a matzoh kugel using matzoh farfel, chopped carrots, onions, celery, and parsnip.  I moistened it with vegetable broth and olive oil and seasoned it with salt, pepper, chopped parsley and dill, and poultry seasoning.  This dish has been a hit for the past 15 years – but then I tasted Hadley’s potato kugel and I was blown away.  It was the best potato kugel I had ever tasted.  The other thing about it was it’s paleo and I can eat it!

So here is the recipe with very significant changes but equally fabulous results!  Enjoy! Continue reading Paleo Passover Potato Kugel with Shallots

Light-as-Air Paleo Matzoh Balls or Heavy-as-Lead Matzoh Balls or Potato Dumplings

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian *  Parve * Paleo ~~

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Update:  I served these, along with “regular” matzoh balls to everyone at the seder and all the guests thought these were great and I didn’t have to make two kinds anymore.

I’m not sure you can exactly call these matzoh balls since they are sort of free form dumplings…but the flavor and texture is exactly what an ideal matzoh ball should be.

This recipe came about as one of those happy accidents.  I recently bought a bag of potato flour (yes, flour – not potato starch)

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and I decided to try to make nockerle (heavy Hungarian dumplings that my mother would make with chicken paprikash).  Nockerle are simple to make, stir together flour, egg, salt, and sometimes oil.  Then spoon into boiling water – and that’s it.  So I did the same substituting potato flour for the all-purpose flour.  I spooned the potato mixture into the boiling water and held my breadth…they did not dissolve.  This was an excellent first step.

Nockerle are cooked for just a short period of time, but when I removed these dumplings from the water they were clearly still raw.  I returned them to the pot; covered them and cooked them for 20 minutes.  I lifted them out of the pot and took a taste…SHOCK!!! My nockerle had transformed into feather light matzoh balls (or dumplings if you take the shape into consideration)!

How to make matzoh balls light or heavy seems to be some mystical combination of factors.  I know every year my mother would use exactly the same recipe and some years they were heavy-as-lead (our family’s preference) and other years they wouldn’t even hold together and just dissolved when you boiled them.

In the case of these matzoh balls, degree of lightness is directly related to length of cooking time.  The matzoh balls have to be completely cooked through and they will be feather light (this will be a function of how large you made the matzoh balls + cooking time).  If you cut a matzoh ball in half and it is not a uniform color, they will have some degree of heaviness.

TO MAKE HEAVY-AS-LEAD MATZOH BALLS:  increase the potato flour in the Light as Air recipe by 2 tablespoons.  The “dough/batter” will be thick enough to roll into balls about the size of a walnut.  Cook, covered, in boiling water (or soup) for about 40 minutes to ensure doneness (no matter how long you cook them, they will remain darker on the inside than on the outside – a sure sign of a heavy matzoh ball).

Now here’s the catch with these matzoh balls.  If you follow the rules of Passover to a T these will not qualify as kosher for Passover even though all of the ingredients are kosher and none of them have any foods forbidden on Passover.  Why?  Because the potato flour is not certified Kosher for Passover (I could not find a potato flour that is kosher for Passover).  If, on the other hand, you observe Passover more loosely (like me) following all the rules but not concerning yourself with certification, then these will be fine for your paleo seder –  in fact they will be better than fine they will be excellent!. Continue reading Light-as-Air Paleo Matzoh Balls or Heavy-as-Lead Matzoh Balls or Potato Dumplings

Paleo Fruit Crisp

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~

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With Passover just around the corner, I’m starting to test the recipes I’ll use at seder.  I always make my chocolate tort but this year in addition I decided to make something fruity.  Okay – here’s the real story behind this recipe.  I thought instead of making Tzimmes, I’d do something different with sweet potatoes.  I thought maybe maple sweetened sliced sweet potatoes with some kind of a crumble on top.  Then I thought ‘how about some fruit in that’…so in went sliced apples and raisins.  I baked the whole thing forever ’cause nothing wanted to soften and I ended up with this weird dish that was almost dessert – but not quite.

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The topping, however, was divine.

So this is my next try – I got rid of the sweet potatoes and went straight for a fruit crisp.  I used 4 cups of peeled and sliced apple and 3 cups of (frozen) blueberries.  It tasted delicious but I confess that again the apples took forever to cook (about 1 1/2 hours).  I think that’s because I used “hard” apples – you know:  fuji and honey crisp, and pinks.  If you choose to make this with apples, I think macintosh would be a better choice as they soften much better.  But you could also make this with all berries, or ripe pears instead of the apples would be delicious.  If peaches are in season that would be great…anything will taste super under this crisp top (maybe not liver…)

…and, of course, because it’s Paleo – it’s kosher for Passover!  Enjoy!
Continue reading Paleo Fruit Crisp

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo ~~

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As I’ve mentioned recently (or maybe not so recently) I’m enamoured with soup meals -that is soups with enough protein, vegetables, and starch to constitute a complete meal in one bowl.  This one came about in what is not uncommon in my kitchen – leftover stuff.

I had lots of chopped kale left from the Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad I posted last week and, due to a miscalculation on my part, way too many sliced sweet potatoes from the soup kitchen.  Further, I had purchased a pound of ground turkey at the farmer’s market (I love their turkey products) and so…Ta Ta  Sweet Potato and Kale Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs.

I love saying that:  Tiny Turkey Meatballs….Tiny Turkey Meatballs…. I love saying that because whenever I make meatballs of something other than beef I usually name them Turkey Balls or Lamb Balls or Pork Balls – all of which are terrible names.  However, browsing someone’s blog (can’t remember whose or I would give you a link to them) I noticed s/he made a dish with turkey balls and called it turkey meatballs…Why Didn’t I Think of That????  If only I could go back to any of my cookbooks that have recipes for some form of meatball and rename them properly…alas it’s too late for past balls – but you know all future balls will be meatballs!
Hope you love this soup – Enjoy! Continue reading Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~

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I belonged to a book club many years ago.  There were about 7 of us and each month one of us would pick the book and host the dinner/discussion.  The club dissolved with my friend Helen’s quick and very unexpected passing.   Without Helen (whose book choices the rest of us always questioned) it was just too hard to regain momentum.  Skip forward several years and one of the original book club members decided to revive it but with a slightly different cast of characters.  After much debate a book (My Brilliant Friend) and a date for the meeting was chosen.

I confess that, as is/was usually the case, I put off reading the book until the last minute.  Three days before the meeting I started reading – and I’m happy to report I finished it with 2 hours to spare.  The dinner was to be at the organizer’s home and then, of the seven reading the book, only 3 of us (host + me + 1 other) made it to the discussion/dinner.

All this is just leading up to the fact that our host had prepared a wonderful dinner including my new favorite-salad-ever.  She found the recipe on a blog

kale and brussel sprout salad from www.onceuponachef.com
I went to the blog only to find that the blogger, Jen Segall, took and altered the recipe from Bon Appetit  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kale-and-brussels-sprout-salad
The recipes at both sites use Parmesan style cheese which, being paleo, I omitted.   They both make really big batches (Bon Appetit serves 8 to 10 and Once Upon a Chef serves 6 to 8) and I wanted a more normal sized yield (mine serves 4 to 6).  Proportionally, they both used more dressing, but I honestly feel the amount here is PLENTY!  And, I went with the Bon Appetit choice of almonds rather than walnuts.
Here are some of the things that make this my new favorite salad
It’s DELICIOUS!
It’s easy to prepare – I found already shaves Brussels Spouts and washed and chopped kale at Trader Joe’s, making this salad a snap to make.
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It’s versatile –  add cooked chicken for a whole meal salad; add chopped apples and raisins/craisons/currents for a sweeter version; add beans for a heartier vegetarian/vegan salad
It can be prepared in advance – unlike many salads that just get soggy/slimy when dressed too soon, this one gets even better when allowed to stand
Hope this becomes your most favorite new salad too!   Enjoy!

Continue reading Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Cauliflower, Carrot and Turnip Soup

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

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I’m already into the third week of my CSA (community supported agriculture) so I am knee deep in organic vegetables.  I got lovely little white turnips, and divine basil and very fresh parsley.  I combined that with carrots and cauliflower I had on hand and made this delicious soup.  Besides being delicious an added plus is although it’s a thick, rich soup, there are no starches in it.

Just to let you know, I’m giving my apartment a facelift (restoring my floors and painting) and I’ve been just a crazy woman putting away the tons (and I mean TONS!!!) of junk that I have acquired over the years.  Of course this would have been a great time to purge and, in fact I have given away a fair amount of books, etc. but my theory is “if you have the room to store it, and you might need it in the future, keep it.”  I formed this policy when I first moved into this apartment and did a major clean out/give away only to find I had given away stuff that I needed only a month later  : (

So, I hope you enjoy this soup and that your summer is delightful.
Continue reading Cauliflower, Carrot and Turnip Soup

Paleo Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo~~~

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I was introduced to Korean food by my friend Jessica Lee Binder.  She took me to a restaurant in the Korean area (the West 30’s in NYC where there are 44 Korean restaurants and some Korean grocery stores) that was up a flight of stairs and in my whole life I would never have thought of going.  It was/is called Seoul Garden and is a lovely, peaceful atmosphere (but that might have been because we were there on an off hour) with incredibly delicious food.  Going out with Jess is always an adventure because in addition to being incredibly knowledgeable about food of all types, she also has a hollow leg and orders for us way more food than any four people could possibly eat in one sitting.  That way we taste many different items and she gets to eat her fill – and remain thin…while I remain not thin…I don’t know how she does it.

About the food.  First the restaurant puts about 5 small dishes of various items on the table for you to begin with.  Of course one or two of them are some form of kimchi (very hot pickled cabbage), there was some kind of fried vegetable fritter/pancake as well other things I was not familiar with.  Then came this stone bowl with stewy tofu and veges and a raw egg that you crack into the stew – it was amazing.  There was a noodle dish that was a little bland but perked up with some kimchi and then there was the kalbi that I just fell in love with.  I have returned to the restaurant quite a few times but since going first gluten free, then paleo, Korean (and most Asian) food is out because of all the soy sauce.  So it is my intention to recreate many of my favorite dishes using paleo (and therefore gluten free) ingredients – this Kalbi just being the first.   ENJOY!!! Continue reading Paleo Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs)