Quick and Easy Beet Soup (Borscht)

I love the smell of borscht cooking on a cold day. My grandmother used to make it for me at lunch along with a sandwich, and it was the warmest feeling knowing she put so much work and love into a meal for me. Borscht doesn’t have to be so difficult to make, though. This is my quick borscht recipe. In hard times, it’s easy to make.

2 carrots chopped

1 celery chopped (I peel mine to remove the strings)

1 can sliced beets

1/2 medium onion diced

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dill

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil for sautéing

6 cups vegetable broth

Sauté vegetables and spices in olive oil until tender. Add bay leaf and liquid. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer. Let simmer for one hour to one and half hours.

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.

Ingredients:

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 Couscous Salad

Couscous is an amazing pasta. It was developed in Israel back in 1950s when they couldn’t get rice. The roasted semolina wheat gives it a sort of nutty flavour. I love it. It’s so adaptable to so many dishes. It can be served hot or cold…as a dairy or meat side…and it’s super easy to prepare.

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted pearl couscous

2 cups boiling water.

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1/2 red diced red pepper

1/2 red onion

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Kedem Red Wine Vinegar

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt to taste

Instructions:

Place couscous in heated pan with 2 tbsp of canola oil and fry until couscous is coated and a bit translucent. Add boiling water to pan. Cover pan and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Stir every so often so it doesn’t clump. Take off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

Empty couscous into a serving bowl. Dice onion, red onion, pepper and slice cherry tomatoes in half. Add to couscous. Add oil, vinegar and salt to taste. Serves 4.

Any questions…just give me a shout

Chaya

http://www.instagram.com/kosheriffic

Quick Beet Salad

Quick summer salads are a must for you right now. During the last meal on Shabbos, all I serve is salads and I always have beet salad as one of them. It’s great after a heavy lunch meal. You can prepare it the day before and have it handy in the fridge for those niblers who are never “full”.

You can also bring this one to a picnic, tailgate party and family BBQ. It’s great cold and at room temperature.

Ingredients:

1 14 oz can sliced beets, drained

1 tsp dill weed

1 tbsp Kedem wine vinegar

1 tbsp diced red onion

Sea Salt to taste

Directions:

Drain beets and add to bowl. Drizzle vinegar over top. Add dill weed and red onion. Sprinkle sea salt to taste.

People don’t think of beets as a salad that often, but they are refreshing. I hope you try this one.

Any questions, send me a shout!

Chaya

http://www.instagram.com/kosheriffic

Sourdough Bread Recipe

This is day 2 of my sourdough starter and it was ready for use. I think the all purpose flour was lighter than the whole wheat and so it rose easier. There are so many recipes for sourdough bread out there. I used one that called for 2 and 1/3 cups of starter. The problem with this was I was left with 1/2 cup of my starter. Solution: I just added two cups flour and two cups water to the starter…returning it to my counter. I’m not phased by doing this again.

Not going to lie here…making this bread is a JOB! Today my son went out (I homeschool him) so I had a day free and this was a perfect time to be doing this.

So many steps to making this but the end result is SO worth it! The crust was crisp and the inside airy. The flavour was that of a restaurant artisan bread. You know when you go out and say, “This is why I’m paying for this meal!” When you taste their bread and it’s so good. That’s how this bread turned out.

Ingredients:

2 and a 1/3 cup of sourdough starter

5 cups of all purpose flour

1 cup water

1 tbsp non iodized salt

Directions:

This is where is gets tricky. This dough can not be put into a mixer or you will kill it. When you first combine all the ingredients, it’s a sticky mess (like play dough gone wrong). Continue to combine with a spatula. Then fold the dough upon itself (take one side of the dough and bring it down to the over side with your hands) This is like kneading, but you aren’t using your knuckles. You continue to do this over and over again until the dough stops beings sticky. If it’s too sticky, gradually add some flour and fold some more until the dough is smooth. It should look like this:

Rest the dough for thirty minutes and then fold it three times again. You will do this every thirty minutes 4 times which means 2 hours has passed.

This is when you can let the bread rise. Form the dough into two round balls by tucking the dough underneath and place the good end facing down on a floured tea towel. I took the flour and actually moved it around into the towel. Then cover with siran wrap and let sit 4 hours.

(I didn’t have a Dutch oven, but they are what works best for this bread.)

Take a cookie sheet and place it in the bottom rack of your oven, filling it with an inch of water while it’s in the oven. Don’t try to carry a sheet of water to your oven…you will fail. Turn your oven to 400F

Take your bread from the tea towel and roll it onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. The dough should be covered with flour. Take a sharp serrated knife and score the top of your loaf. I just made a straight line done the side.

Cover the dough again with a towel and let rise for a half an hour. This bread doesn’t get big like regular bread, but it does grow.

After the half hour, place it in the oven at 400F for 50 minutes- 1 hour. Do not open the oven or you will let the steam out.

Take out the bread. It will feel hard when you tap it. Let it rest for one hour before slicing.

This recipe makes 2 loaves.

Healthy Banana Bread

The problem with eating sugar is that the body responds by raising its levels quickly followed by a sugar low. If you replace refined sugars with natural products such as honey, maple syrup, sorghum or molasses, the body with not go through the highs and lows so drastically. Each natural product brings with it its own health benefits, and you will not need as much of them as you would sugar for sweetness.

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas

1/2 cp liquid honey

2 medium sized eggs

1/4 cp canola oil

1 scoop vanilla sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 and a 1/2 cp all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Peel banana and mash with back of fork. Blend in with wet ingredients until all incorporated. Gradually add dry ingredients. Pour batter into loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Place into preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean.

Again, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

-Chaya