Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pesach Recipes

I had planned on posting more recipes for Pesach, but life gets busy and I haven't had a chance.
Today I will share all the recipes I have that are kosher for Pesach (depending on your custom).
I know it can be hard when you are surrounded by lots of matzah and potatoes. The key is to try to get in more fruits and vegetables when you can, but still enjoy all the yummy food around. And remember most importantly to enjoy the time with your family :) 

Healthier Matzah Brei
Eggplant Dip (Without the Tahini)
Creamy Carrot Zucchini Soup
Super Easy Garlic Chicken
Easy Grilled Chicken
Grilled veggies
Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries
Heavenly Chocolate Mousse Pie (Use another milk, if you can't get coconut)


Have a Happy Pesach!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Healthier Matzah Brei Plus Osem Passover Products Review

Osem USA recently contacted me to try some of their new Passover products. As always, I only like to review healthier products so when I opened the package I was pleased to see both whole wheat matzah and whole wheat matza meal. So many things to make came to mind.

I chose to stick to something that so many households make over Pesach. That is- Matzah Brei.
I healthified it to make it a little better than the usual recipe while still keeping the great taste.

I really enjoyed this whole wheat matzah, I didn't realize a very different taste from the regular and plan to try more recipes using it!
Osem USA also has products like regular matzah, egg matzah, gluten free passover cakes, matza ball mix and my favorite- chocolate covered matzah. It's hard to stop, it's so good!
To find out more about what Osem USA has to offer, check out their facebook page HERE.


Healthier Matzah Brei
Makes one serving*
1 sheet of Osem whole wheat matzah
water, to soak matzah
1 egg white
1/2 Tb honey, plus more for drizzling
a dash of cinnamon
cooking spray

*The key to this recipe is to not over work the matzah when breaking it apart.*
Start off by putting the sheet of matzah under the water for a second. Then break apart the matzah into small pieces being careful you do not over work it or it will become mushy.
Pour a little bit more water over the top and then strain it out so the matzah is now moistened but no longer soaking in the water.
Add to the matzah the egg white, honey, and cinnamon.
Spray a frying pan with a coating of cooking spray. Heat on medium heat and then pour the matzah mixture into the pan. Cook till the bottom sets a bit and stir so the rest of the matzah gets cooked. Spray on a little more oil and keep cooking till the outside starts to get a bit brown and crispy being careful to mix it with a light hand so each piece gets cooked. Once it starts to look dry and crispy, about 5 minutes, remove from the pan. Be sure to drizzle with a little more honey and sprinkle with a dash more of cinnamon.
Enjoy!

*When making more servings, do the same as above per serving, but feel free to use less honey. Just don't forget to drizzle with more before serving for a great sweet taste!


*Osem USA sent me the products to try. All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Creamy Carrot Zucchini Soup

I know, I haven't posted anything in a while. We just flew in to visit my in laws so between packing, unpacking and jet lag, working on recipes has not been a major priority. Good news is I did find time to make this recipe and it is picky-sister-in-law approved!

This carrot soup comes out so creamy. It has hardly any fat and is very easy to make. The only time consuming part is peeling the vegetables, but once that is done it should be smooth sailing.

Creamy Carrot Zucchini Soup
1/2 tsp olive oil or some oil spray
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 medium/large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 zucchinis, peeled and sliced
5 cups of water (you may need more or less)
1-2 tsp sea salt
1 handful of fresh dill, chopped or 1/2-1 Tb dried dill

Add the oil or oil spray to a large pot. Place the pot on medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and cover the pot. Every few minutes check on the onions and stir. When they start to get dark add in a splash of water and stir. Cover again to cook down. Once onions are softer, add in the garlic and cook till fragrant. 
Then add in the carrots and zucchinis and saute a few minutes till they get a bit soft.
Pour water into the pot till it just covers the vegetables. It should not cover it fully. This will help keep the soup thick. Bring to a boil and then simmer on a lower heat till carrots are soft and break easily with a fork.
Add in the salt and dill and cook a few minutes longer. 
Use an immersion blender to blend the soup till it is smooth. If it is too thick you can add a little water. Taste and add some more salt if needed.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Healthy Whole Wheat Hamantashen

The Jewish holiday of Purim is next week. One of the customary things to eat on Purim is hamantashen. I have been trying out several different hamantashen recipes for some time now. Each recipe was not good enough to share with you.
Then after a bunch of fails I remembered that I have a recipe on my blog for No Sugar, Sugar Cookies. That dough may be perfect for hamantashen!


I quickly got to work and after adjusting the recipe a bit, I came up with a delicious tasting hamantashen recipe that I am sure you will enjoy.

Many recipes say to chill the dough in the fridge, but this recipe does not need it.
There are two things most people have a problem with when making hamantashen.
1-Keeping them closed
and
2-The filling leaking out.
This dough will not open, but to be sure of that you need to pinch the corners together really well.
A great way from keeping the filling from leaking out is to push your thumb into the middle of the dough where you will be placing the filling. This imprint gives the filling a little pocket to "sit" in and helps prevent it from bubbling over while cooking.


So lets get to the recipe shall we?


Healthy Whole Wheat Hamantashen
1/4 cup softened coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp almond extract
1.5-2 cups of whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Filling of your choice-I used natural strawberry jam, but any filling will be great in these.

Preheat your oven to 350F. 
Place a sheet of baking paper onto your tray and spray with some oil.
Mix together the oil, honey, egg and extract. After it is combined add in 1.5 cups of flour, baking powder and salt. Mix and keep adding flour to get a dough that will no longer stick to your hands much. 
Let the dough sit for a few minutes while you prep your working space to roll it out.
I like to use a baking paper to roll out my dough on so it is easier clean up.
The dough should not stick much to the paper or rolling pin, but if it does you can sprinkle on a little flour.
Roll out the dough so it is thin, but not too thin. About an 1/8 of an inch thick.
Cut out rounds using the lip of a round glass or an empty nut butter container like I did.
Keep doing that till all the dough is used up.
Make an imprint into the middle of each round with your thumb and place 1/2-1 tsp of your filling of choice there.
Pinch together the sides to create the triangular shape. Pinch it well!
Carefully lift and place onto your greased baking sheet. 
Bake for around 10 minutes till it gets a bit golden. Watch it so they do not overcook. You may need 5 more minutes depending on your oven.
Let them cool before tasting. They will harden more as they cool.





These hamantashen are crispy on the outside and get a bit softer on the inside. The perfect hamantashen texture, if you ask me...and my daughter too!


I hope you and your family and friends enjoy these as much as we do!
Have a HAPPY PURIM!  




Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tiramisu Cake Roll Step by Step Pictures

To see the full recipe click HERE

Since my Tiramisu Cake Roll is a favorite here I wanted to make sure it was clear how to make it so it comes out looking pretty and tasting delicious. Just follow these steps and it will be perfect.

I like to use my food processor with the egg beater attachment. I use this for both the cake batter and the cream. You can use another type of beater such as a hand beater or a kitchen aid.
Place eggs and egg whites into the food processor and blend till pale and frothy. 
See the difference? Below in the picture the eggs are very pale. 
Add honey and vanilla and mix for a little to combine. 
Add in the flour and baking powder. 
Batter is done. It will be more runny than thick. 
Spray the baking paper really well with oil. This will prevent the cake from sticking. 
Pour batter onto pan and spread till smooth and even. 
Bake 12-15 minutes till it looks something like this: 
Roll from one side to the other and let sit till cool. 
Cake below is rolled and cooling down. 
Use a fork to make holes all over the cake. 
Take the coffee mixture and place all over the cake. I used a silicone brush. 
Cake below is all soaked and ready for the cream. You may have some coffee left. You can add as much as you want. The more you use the more coffee flavor you will have. I used about 3/4's of it here. 
Place the whole can of coconut milk into the food processor. Blend on med/high. In just a under a minute it should fluff up. IMPORTANT: Make sure you place the can in the fridge OVERNIGHT before doing this. Otherwise it will not fluff up. 
Once you put some on a spoon and it doesn't fall off, it is ready.
Now spread 3/4's of the cream all over the cake. If your cake does crack or tear a bit it is fine. You will not be able to tell once it is rolled up and frosted. As you see mine tore a bit on the bottom and I ended up tasting :) 
Roll up the cake the same way you had done before. End with the seam side down. Now place the cake on a plate you plan to serve it on and frost with the rest of the cream. 
Take some dark chocolate and grate some all over the top of the cake. 
Voila! Your cake is complete and ready to be devoured.

Enjoy! I hope this helped you and I really hope you make this. I suggest making two, one will disappear quickly before your eyes. Magic I tell you- or maybe just some really awesome tasting cake.

Again, to see the full recipe click HERE

Monday, March 3, 2014

Healthy Tiramisu Cake Roll (Dairy Free)

I have been pushing off sharing this recipe. Why? Well, it is just too good!! Not that you guys don't deserve it, but really I was trying to wait a little longer. I decided to finally share it since life has gotten quite busy here and I have no time to work on recipes and take pictures. This recipe and these pictures have been sitting around waiting to be posted. I also decided not to be so selfish and finally let you enjoy this as much as we do.

One of my most favorite desserts is tiramisu. The combination of coffee soaked cake with cream is just simply amazing. Making it with good-for-you ingredients has been on my to do list for a while.
I finally cracked the code and came up with a recipe that has the same flavors, just in a different shape.
This cake roll comes out beautiful.

Disclaimer: I know this recipe seems long, it really isn't very complicated. Just follow the steps and it will come out looking great. If I can do it, you can! I also plan to post at some point step by step pictures, so in case you get overwhelmed by my wording, no worries! Click HERE to see step by step pictures.

Healthy Tiramisu Cake Roll

For the Cake:

2 eggs
4 egg whites
1/2 c honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet (I used my actual oven sized tray) with baking paper and spray well with oil. 
Beat the eggs and egg whites till frothy and pale in color. Then add in the honey and vanilla. Blend just for a few seconds to combine. Add in the whole wheat flour and baking powder and stir till combined.

Pour the mixture onto the baking paper lined tray and smooth out with a spatula so it is evenly distributed. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until it is no longer wet when touching. Do not let it get more than slightly brown.

Pull the baking paper off of the pan and roll the cake with the baking paper still on it, from one side to another. You should roll it from the shorter end. 
Let it sit as is, till it starts to cool. 

For the Cream:
1 can coconut milk (21% or up)
4 Tb maple syrup (you can use more if you'd like it sweeter)

Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight.
Pour the coconut milk into a bowl and using a beater or kitchen aid etc. blend till it starts to fluff up and stiffen. Once you lift up the beater and the cream no longer falls off, add the maple syrup and blend once more.

For the Coffee Drench:
about 3/4 cup warm water
2 Tb instant coffee (I used decaf)

Mix together the water and coffee till it is dissolved. 

To assemble the cake:
Unroll the cake and slowly start to peel the cake off the of the baking paper. If it starts to break and is sticking to the paper too much, use a spatula to help scrape/pull the cake away from the baking paper. 
Once you are sure it is all off the baking paper. Take a fork and poke holes all over the cake. Then use a pastry brush (mine is silicone) to pat the coffee mixture all over the cake. Every part of the cake should be soaked with the coffee. You can use as much as you'd like. The more you add to the cake, the more coffee flavor it will have. 
Then take about 1/2-3/4 of the cream mixture and spread that evenly all over the cake. 
Slowly roll the cake just as you had done before. When you finish rolling it, try to make the seam side down. You want it smooth on top.
Now decorate the top and sides of the cake with more cream and add some shaved dark chocolate on top.

I like to cut the ends off so it looks nice and neat, plus they are perfect to "taste test."


Store in the fridge till you are ready to serve. I like to make it the day before I serve it so the flavors intensify. Just be sure you place aluminum foil over the cake carefully so you do not mess up your masterpiece :)

Again, writing this out it seems harder to do than it is, so I will be back at some point soon with more step by step pictures. To see step by step pictures click HEREBut do not be afraid- it is worth every effort, and even if you do not want to do it in a roll form, the flavors are so good, it doesn't matter how it looks.

Enjoy!





Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday 2/19/14

I started off my morning with warm water, lemon juice, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Breakfast
Egg white omelet with sauteed veggies and nutritional yeast on top. I planned to have this with half a grapefruit, but ran out of time and had to leave the house.

Snack
0% homemade greek yogurt with blueberries and stevia. I love this snack.
I also had green tea.

Lunch
Tuna over lettuce, red cabbage, carrots and red onion with a homemade creamy balsamic dressing.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing
1 part greek yogurt to 1 part balsamic vinegar
That's all! For this salad I did about 1 tablespoon of each. Came out amazing.

I later had some greek yogurt for a snack, but didn't take a picture. The tuna salad really filled me up for a while so I had a really small snack to hold me over till dinner. I also had more green tea.


Dinner
Chicken stir fry with cabbage, green beans, and onions. Roasted carrots and marinated mushrooms.
These carrots were so good. Roasting them brings out their natural sweetness and it was really easy to make. I'll post the recipe at some point.

What are some of your favorite meals