Easy Baked Ziti

I’ve been sick lately and craving soft, yummy, easy to prepare recipes. This one really works for me. Being Jewish, I skip all the stress of the “holiday season” but I’m sure you could add this to any meal as a side in your hectic time. It’s a great kids meal and if you need something quick to serve a crowd it works perfectly.


Half bag of ziti (penne) noodles prepared as directed on bag

1/2 container of cottage cheese (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup sour cream (use plain yogurt if you want to cut down on calories)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 small can tomato sauce (1 & 1/4 cups)

1/2 tsp garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheated oven at 350F

Prepare and drain ziti noodles as directed on package. Mix cheese, tomato sauce and spices in 9×11 inch pan holding 1/2 shredded cheese for topping. Add ziti noodles and mix thoroughly. Press the noodles down with spoon so everything is flat in pan. Top off with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Bake in oven at 350F for twenty minutes or until cheese on top is bubbly and slightly brown. Serves 6-8. Double it if you want for more people

This recipe is so good even the second day. Easily warmed in microwave and great to freeze.

Kosher Habitant Pea Soup

The Canadian in me still appreciates good Canadian dishes and one of those is the thick Habitant Split Pea Soup from Quebec. I have not found any kosher canned version available. The key to the flavour is finding a good smoked kosher meat and dry yellow split peas. It’s such an affordable meal. Great for a cool rainy fall day or anytime. If you have a large gang, double the recipe. It duplicates so well.

Canola oil for sautéing

1 medium carrot diced

1 celery diced

1 medium onion diced

3 turkey franks diced

2 cups dry yellow split peas

2 tsp chicken soup mix

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 bay leaf

6-8 cups water

Sauté all ingredients until onions look translucent. Add water and bring soup to boil for 10 minutes. Turn down to medium low and let simmer for 4-5 hours. You can use a hand blender to mix this but I used a potato masher to keep the meat pieces in tact. (You can add more water if soup is too thick)

Slow Cooker Stuffed Veggies

It’s almost November so time to pull out the slow cooker and get the healthy comfort food started! This one was definitely a hit in my house. The smell of peppers, tomatoes and potatoes just filled the house. The blend of flavours and textures was amazing. I can’t begin to tell you how good this was! Try it out. So easy to prepare too.

2 baking potatoes diced in inch pieces

1 tbsp canola oil

4 medium vegetables, cored (un ripe tomatoes, peppers, even can use zucchini if cut the right height)

1 & 1/2 cup rice

1 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

1 pound ground meat (can use chicken or beef)

1 jar Gefen Pasta marinara sauce

1 equal jar of water

Pour canola oil in bottom of slow cooker. Add diced potatoes to cover the bottom. In a separate bowl add rice and combine ground meat with spices. Combine. Line cored veggies over potatoes. Fill with rice/meat mixture. Cover stuffed veggies with marinara sauce followed by a jar of water. Cover and turn slow cooker to high. Cook 5-6 hours or until meat is done.

I served mine in bowls with potatoes on the side.

Roasted Bone Marrow Sheet Pan Dinner

During Passover time, it’s super hard to make meat and potatoes look fancy. I forgot to post this bone marrow sheet pan meal I made using very basic ingredients. It takes no time to make and is delish! It presents well too 🥂

Package of beef marrow bones (look for ones that have lots of marrow)

1 whole garlic, peeled and cap off

1 medium onion cut into inch pieces

1 large sweet potato cut into inch pieces

2 baking potatoes cut into inch pieces

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 salt

Blend spices and canola oil well in a large bowl. Reserve some oil/spice mixture for garlic and bone marrow prices. Place all veggies (except whole garlic) into bowl and combine until the veggies are well covered. Remove veggies from bowl and lay onto baking tray covered in parchment paper. Pour 1 tablespoons of oil and spice mixture into garlic top and onto each piece of bone marrow. Lay everything on a baking tray and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 375F (if you want a softer garlic then feel free to wrap it in foil before laying it onto the pan. Carefully open it after roasting due to steam)

This goes great with French bread. Scoop out the roasted garlic and marrow and shmear it over. The veggies plated on the side.

Yummy Cauliflower-Broccoli Cream Soup

The weather has been so strange in Toronto. Today there is a heat warning and it’s October! I actually found a bee in my house the other day, so I guess everyone is confused about what season we are in.

Last night, even though I was sitting with the air conditioning on, I was craving a veggie cream soup. Going through products I had in the freezer, I came upon my Pardes Winter Blend vegetables. It comes in a 12oz bag, which is enough for a recipe without any leftovers getting freezer burn in my freezer. Really easy to make too. I didn’t have a hand blender (so mine turned a bit chunky with my potato masher alone), but it still was awesome


1 small onion diced

2 baking potatoes diced

2 cloves garlic

1 bag Winter Blend Pardes veggies (12oz cauliflower broccoli blend)

2 tbsp flour

3-4 tbsp canola oil

6 cups parve vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Add canola oil to bottom of stock pot and add veggies with garlic. Turn heat on medium high and sauté everything for 7-10 minutes (basically until the frozen veggies look done). Sprinkle two tbsp of flour over veggie mix and stir until completely incorporated. Add 6 cups of soup stock and cover on medium heat for 45 minutes-hour. Take immersion blender and mix completely. Serve with croutons.

Sheet Pan Lunches – מגש

So many people right now are making “sheet pan dinners” because they are easy and healthy. I decided to add to this with what seems to be big in Israel right now: sheet pan lunches or “מגש״” (magash meaning tray). There’s a well known cafe in Tel Aviv where everyone seems to go to that is especially known for this style. I’m not certain of whether they are kashrut certified, but their food sure looks great. I tried to copy their style at home. This is great for a healthy lunch or Shalosh Seudah or if you want to have a meal outside on these in between temperature days.

Ingredients for my sheet pan lunch:

1 can tuna salad

1/2 cp Hummus with schug

Garden Salad with Israeli Salad garnish

2 Hard boiled eggs cut in half

4 medium Pickles (one was eaten before this shot 🙈)

1/2 cucumber sliced lengthwise

1/2 medium red onion sliced

Take a tray and line with parchment paper. Places salads around tray, displaying each one separately. Add condiments around salads. You can have personal trays as well, but this platter would serve 4

( note: You can add whatever you like to this tray. Serve with crackers or wholesome wheat breads)

Pan Roasted Potatoes

It’s Thanksgiving Monday in Canada, meaning it’s a legal holiday for many. I’ve a long month of stuffing myself due to the Jewish holidays, I’ve been trying to keep the calories down. The problem with me is I LOVE carbs. These pan fried potatoes don’t make me feel totally guilty as they are not deep fried and I use canola oil. They are rich in flavour and have a great crisp.


1 small onion diced

2 baking potatoes

3 cups of water for boiling

Canola oil for frying 3-4 tblsp

1/2 tsp Lawry’s Seasoning salt

Pinch of basil

Drizzle enough canola oil to cover 11″ saucepan and add diced onions. Sauté onions until golden (10 minutes). Set aside. Peel and dice potatoes into inch chunks (see picture). Place into pot with 3 cups of water and boil until firm but not soft. Completely drain potatoes then transfer to saucepan with onions and sprinkle seasoning salt and basil. Fry on medium heat until outside of potatoes are lightly brown.

I also serve this during Pesach as one of our go-to meals with scrambled eggs. You can change the basil to oregano.

Easy School Lunch – Israeli Salad/Hummus Wrap

I’m a big fan of easy lunches. The problem is my teenager has Israeli tastebuds and satisfying that in North America is not always so easy. That’s why this Israeli Salad/Hummus Wrap makes so much sense. I often make up large quantities of Israeli Salad for our Shabbos meals and put it in a container in the fridge so I have it on hand. Pop open the hummus container and add chickpeas and a wrap and you are good to go!

Israeli Salad:

1 large red pepper diced

1 large English cucumber diced

2 medium tomatoes diced

1/2 red onion diced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

For wrap, add some store bought hummus (I make my own but store bought works too) to the middle of the wrap and spread evenly with back of spoon (use as much or as little of the hummus that you want). Add some chick peas and then sprinkle on Israeli Salad. Wrap it and cut in half. I roll foil around it so it all stays together for the lunch.

Easy Stuffing Recipe

I love carbohydrates but stuffing has to be one of my favourites. This one is simple to make using a bag of Farfel as the croutons.

1 medium onion diced

2 celery diced

1 cup cooked rice

I bag of farfel (8oz) or two cups dried read crumbs

1 tsp poultry seasoning

3 cloves garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder

I tsp dill

Salt and pepper to taste

Canola oil for sautéing

In a saucepan sauté onions and celery until the onions are golden and the celery soft (10 – 15 minutes). Add cup of precooked rice and bag of farfel. Add spices. Add 12 ounces of broth and boil for 20 minutes covered . Take off burner and let sit for 10 minutes. A savoury, quick side dish. (Note: I don’t always use the rice and will substitute a second bag of farfel!)

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler

I was asked to do an Instagram story by Kettle and Cord, an appliance store in Crown Heights NY and I couldn’t think of a recipe I could come up with that was different for a slow cooker.

I worked out how to do a Peach Cobbler because in the summer, I hate having to heat up an entire kitchen with an oven. Also, the amount of electricity a slow cooker uses is far less than an oven.

It took a few tries though figure this recipe out, but the end result was awesome.

The key to a great Peach Cobbler is a fluffy cake topping. I achieved this by putting two layers of parchment papers between the lid and the pot. This stops the moisture from falling onto the batter and ruining it.

1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 cup cold water

Simmer over medium heat until thickened

3 cups sliced fresh peaches

1 tbsp marg

1 tsp lemon juice

Add to slow cooker and combine with thickener

1 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cold water

1/4 cup margarine

Beat on medium in mixed until combined

Pour over fruit mixed in crockpot

Put two pieces parchment paper between lid and pot and then cook for 3 hours on high. It will be bubbly when done