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.

Butternut Squash Soup

I wanted a different soup for our celebration of Purim, so I adapted this one. Pinterest inspired, it turned out wonderfully and was so easy to make.

1 diced celery

1 diced carrot

1 bag frozen butternut squash cubes

1 diced apple

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp garlic

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tbsp canola oil

6 cup water

Place canola oil in soup pot. Sauté vegetables until soft. Add water and spices (except bay leaf). Bring to boil and turn down. Use immersion blender to blend. Add bay leaf and let simmer for 1 – 2 hours. 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)

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

Easy Stir Fry Dinner

When I make dinner, I create as I go along, but someone asked me how I made my stir fry so I’m sharing it here. A stir fry is one of the easiest dinners because you can put whatever vegetables you love in it, and it should still taste good.

Tonight my son told me he wanted noodles so I went with capellini. They are thin and cook very quickly. This dinner cost me under $20 to make. I don’t think you could go out for a meal and feed 5-6 people under $20.

Ingredients:

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 bag diced carrots

2 celery stalks

1 medium onion

1 cup button mushrooms

1/2 medium zucchini

1/2 red pepper

1/4 cup soya sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp dill

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 cp water

4 cups of water

1/2 package capellini noodles

Directions:

Dice all veggies and place into a large warm frying pan (or wok) with olive oil. Stir fry until onion is translucent (10 minutes). Mix soya sauce, water, and spices. Add to vegetables and turn down the heat. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are done. You can add more water if needed.

Add water to a 4 litre pot with a 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and add noodles. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Plate the noodles and serve the vegetables on top. This also can be made with rice. A great meal on a hot day. Minimal cooking time.

Any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

-Chaya

Easy Summer Salad

How are you today? In Toronto’s it’s hot out. We’ve had such cold weather (I know…it’s Canada), but I was hoping for spring weather. (after all, it is May). Today I woke up to see the temperature is absolutely balmy out. I have no time for cooking today. I had a wonderful time food-hopping with a bunch a great kosher foodies in Toronto. Naomi Nachman (Author of “Perfect for Pesach”) came to Toronto for “Kosher Chopped” competition and stayed to hit the Kosher Toronto restaurants. I didn’t even go to every one of them, and I’m tired.

Also, tonight is the Jewish festival of Lag B’Omer. “Lag” for the number 33 which is the number of days since the first night of Pesach (Passover). One of the ways we celebrate it is by lighting bonfires and roasting s’mores. There’s lots of singing and dancing. So tonight calls for an easy salad that will go with bbq hotdogs. This salad is not dairy because I’m serving it with meat and I stick to kosher dietary laws, but feel free to add a dairy dressing if you like! 😘

Ingredients:

1 pint cherrie tomatoes

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 whole peeled cucumber

1 tblsp mayonnaise – dairy free

1 tsp dill powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut cherrie tomatoes in half and cucumbers into 1 inch pieces. Add diced onion. Mix mayonnaise with spices and mix into salad.

This is SUCH a refreshing salad. It goes with burgers, hotdogs, the last meal on Shabbos …anything.

Remember to have fun with your cooking. Don’t get caught up in the “amounts”. Play with things until they get to where you like them. Eating is supposed to be fun. Reach out to me if you have any questions and follow me on Instagram Kosheriffic

-Chaya