Summer Fruits

One of my favorite summer sports (to me its a sport) is shopping at local farmer’s markets when all the produce is so fresh and vibrant! The variety of colorful, delicious, and unique summertime produce is incredible! I highly recommend incorporating as many of the summertime fruits into your meals and menus while they are so good. Enjoy these summery recipes.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken & Peaches

Mango Asian Slaw

Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken & Peaches

Serves 6-8

This salad is the perfect flavor combination. I love the sweet peaches mixed with the tangy dressing and crunchy arugula and nuts. This salad is great with leftover roasted or grilled chicken too.

Photo by notenoughcinnamon
  • 2-3 peaches (you can use pineapple here if you do not have
  • peaches), sliced in 2-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 chicken breast halves, chicken cutlets, thin cut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 5 cups washed baby arugula
  • ½ cup of chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 red onion sliced


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Slice the peaches in about 2 inch slices and toss with canola oil. In a separate dish, season chicken breast with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice.

Heat outdoor or indoor grill to about 375°F. Grill peaches for about 2 minutes each side, until grill marks appear, and peaches are softened but not mushy. Set aside.

Next grill the chicken about 3-4 minutes each side, until cooked through. Slice the chicken in strips or cubes and set aside.

For the dressing: Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad: On a platter spread arugula, layer with grilled chicken, peaches, sliced onion and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Dress and serve.

Mango Asian Slaw

Serves 6 – 8

This is one of my favorite salads. Its colorful, delicious, light and best of all super easy to make. It can also be made a few hours in advance since the cabbage takes longer to soften.

Photo by
  • 1 bag (12 ounce) shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 bag (12 ounce) shredded carrots
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cut up in ½ inch dice
  • 1 mango, cut up in cubes or thinly sliced


  • ¼ cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup of sesame oil
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoon sriracha (depending on how spicy you prefer)

In a large bowl mix both bags of shredded cabbage and carrot. Add in chopped scallions, cubed avocado and mango.

For the dressing: Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha.

Dress the salad and mix to combine.

Corn Making Tips and Tricks

My Favorite Way to make corn: Fill a large pot 2/3’s of the way up with water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Place shucked corn, about 6 – 9 pieces in pot. Cover and turn off the heat. Let corn sit for about 10 minutes in water. Drain and serve. Note: this can be done ahead of time and can sit in the water until ready to serve. It stays warm and does not get overcooked.

More Corn Cooking techniques here

Neatest way to cut corn off the cob for eating or salad making: Place an ear on corn standing up on the center hole of a Bundt pan. With a knife, cut straight down to remove kernels from cob. The kernels fall into the Bundt pan with no mess. It’s a clean way to cut the corn and a safe way too because the cob is securely placed in the center hole for safe cutting.

Zingerman’s Bakehouse Cookbook

I’ve been eager to get my hands on this book! Every food magazine that I enjoy has raved about it and I couldn’t wait to try the World-Famous Zingerman’s Bakehouse Cookbook. Bakehouse, an institution in Ann Arbor, Michigan for 25 years, is famous for their delicious cookies, pastries, and coffee cakes as well as their Jewish traditional treats, like hamantaschen, rugelach, and amazing breads. This book is more than just great recipes and pictures, it’s a reference book, a resource book, a step-by-step guide, and a book to refer to over and over again. And it’s not just desserts, I experimented with their Sabbath cholent, and my new fall favorite Hungarian Lamb Vegetable Soup.

Bakehouse is filled with insights from years of baking successes and failures and the authors give details on how to prevent mistakes and create successful dishes. It has lots and lots of great text for those like me, who read cookbooks like they are novels. I’ve already incorporated some of their tips, like air-drying the crumb cake topping overnight before adding it to their awesome New Deli Crumb Cake, makes the cake prettier and the topping less densely packed on. And their doughnut advice….Hanukah here I come!

I’m looking forward to testing a few other items this summer, Just Rhubarb Rhubarb Pie, Moroccan Challah, French Crullers, and Hunka Burnin’Love Cake to name a few. Check it out these two sneak peak recipes (try the Magic Version or the Buenos Aires Version (or use Lotus butter in place of dulche de leche). Both are delicious and rich in flavor.
Bakehouse Brownies
Big O Cookies

Get a copy of Zingerman’s Bakehouse on

Please note, this is not a kosher cookbook and there are a few recipes with treif ingredients. In other recipes I used Earth balance margarine sticks (which are really pressed canola oil) in place of butter and Tofutti sour cream in place of dairy sour cream to make the recipes pareve. The substitutions were great and the recipes worked well. I’m sure the dairy recipes are even better but I usually served baked items with a meat meal so for this reason pareve baking is best for me.

Know your Gluten!

Today with so many gluten allergies, celiac, and gluten sensitivities its good to know your gluten products. Here’s a handy guide to help.

Almond/Nut, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Oat, Quinoa, Rice, Sorghum, Tapioca/Cassava, Teff

Barley, Rye, Spelt

Gluten ingredients
Bran, Bulgur, Durum, Emmer, Farro, Freekeh, Graham, Kamut, Semolin, Triticale, Wheat

Stock your Freezer for Passover

Stock Your Freezer with Elizabeth Kurtz

Email me to reserve your day! I cook in your kitchen.

These recipes freeze well. Serving and defrosting instructions provided.

Sweet and Savory Butternut Squash Soup
Rich Roasted Pepper Soup
Mexican Meatball Soup – chicken meatballs
Potato Leek Soup with Marsala Mushrooms
Cauliflower Mushroom Soup
Cabbage and Flanken Soup
Zucchini Soup with Fresh Dill
Carrot Ginger Soup

Traditional Stuffed Cabbage – takes time but makes 2 large 9 x 13 trays, enough for two meals
Italian Veal Stew
Savory Traditional Brisket
Moroccan Lamb Stew
Coffee Braised Brisket
Pulled Beef with Barbeque Sauce
Balsamic and Tomato Seasoned Minute Roasts – thin cut sliced meat

Chicken Francese – lemon chicken breasts
Chicken Marsala – white or dark meat boneless
Balsamic Chicken with Onions and Mushrooms – white or dark meat boneless
Roasted Garlic and Herb Marinated Chicken – either marinated and freshly prepared after defrosted or finished and frozen
Sheet Pan Chicken with Garlic, Mushrooms and Parsley Chimichurri – dark meat, boneless

Salad Dressings
Sweet and Creamy Dressing – nice for spinach salad, coleslaw, iceberg lettuce
Balsamic Vinaigrette – traditional,great with romaine, arugula, Italian salad blend
Lemon Vinaigrette – great on kale
Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette – great on everything
Sweet Orange Vinaigrette – great on citrus and avocado salad
Basil Vinaigrette – great on romaine, arugula, olives, cucumbers, tomato salad
Red wine Vinaigrette – great on kale, spinach, or romaine

Olive dip
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato
Roasted Mixed Vegetable Dip
Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Thank you Hillel Community

Thank you Hillel Community for 2 great events! And congratulations on a wonderful campaign to get healthy with your families. These recipes are sure to be a great way to start.

Pizza 101

Homemade vs. purchased, what’s a girl to do? It’s really a crazy question because a homemade version is just so much better, however, nothing beats picking up a pie in a pinch. If you want to make pizza night a fun, interactive meal though, you can blend the homemade and take-away versions with a snap. My kids love building their own varietals, a nice alternative to taco night. Of course, you need some fun cheeses, and veggie toppings but keep these more unique ingredients in mind too.

Ricotta cheese
Vegetarian meats
BBQ sauce
Assorted vegetables
Sunny-side up egg
Fresh basil

Pizza tips and recipes…
1) You don’t need to make homemade dough. Yes, its yummy but many commercial varieties are available in your local market or at Trader Joe’s. Many pizzerias are willing to sell the dough too. Let it come to room temperature before topping though.
2) You do need a pizza stone though. A sheet pan will not be big enough for a decent circular pizza and more importantly will not produce the crispy bottom surface that a stone will. Get something simple, no need for a fancy one, any brand made from stone is great.
3) Use a homemade sauce, recipes below. Starting with great sauce adds depth of flavor. Recipes: My Favorite Super Simple Pizza Red Sauce, My Favorite White Sauce.
4) Don’t use too much cheese, use other flavor enhancers like pesto, crushed red pepper, oregano, garlic, etc.
5) Drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt before baking.

For super combinations and other recipes including homemade pizza dough, BBQ pizza, pizza puffs, pizza dip and more, click here
Or try my most favorite pizza, Caramelized Onion and Boursin Cheese Pizza

FRESH Herbs, How to Keep Them That Way

After you’ve gone through the trouble of washing and checking a batch of fresh herbs, or paying the extra expense for the checked herbs, proper storage is a must. I store my greens between layers of dry and damp paper towels, which will keep them fresh longer.

– Arrange a layer of dry paper towels in the bottom of a lidded container. This prevents moisture from pooling and causing spoilage.

– Trim, wash, check, and THOROUGHLY dry herbs. Pick through them to remove any discolored or wilted leaves (they leach onto the fresh ones).
– Place them in the container, making sure to give them a little breathing room (btw, this is my issue with the prepared, checked fresh herbs…they are smashed into an airtight container with no room to breathe, and thus become spoiled quickly)
– Wet a sheet of paper towel and wring it out completely, then drape it over the herbs. Close the lid to seal and refrigerate.

Food is Medicine Too

By Beth Ricanati, MD

October brings a lot of Jewish holidays, changing of the seasons, and national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of us know someone with breast cancer, or who had the disease, or maybe who even beat the disease. It’s relentless…and seemingly everywhere. With breast cancer rates at roughly 1 in 8 by the time we’re 80, that’s a lot of breast cancer.

And as overwhelming as that may seem, I am still encouraged. Yes, encouraged: after all, scientific research has demonstrated that about one-third of the expected cancer deaths this year will be lifestyle related, meaning that they are related to a lack of physical activity, obesity and poor nutrition.

Bingo. Sometimes it’s as simple as opting for a different choice and you can perhaps affect the outcome of this devastating diagnosis. What is it about food and breast cancer? Certain foods actually can turn on or off different genes in our body, genes that may either increase our cancer risk or genes that can fight cancer. What you eat can affect your genes. This field of research is called epigenetics.

So whether you steam it (so easy, currently a favorite at our house) or roast it (especially good with a little olive oil and sea salt), or puree it for soup (use broth if you want a vegan option, or try with yogurt), try to add broccoli into your diet once a week…you might just be decreasing your risk of cancer while you eat something delicious! In addition, be sure to include a variety of foods that reduce inflammation to further reduce your risk. In addition to broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (i.e. brussel sprouts and cauliflower), include antioxidant, gene-changing and cancer-fighting foods such as oranges and other citrus fruits high in vitamin C, omega-rich foods such as salmon, antioxidant-rich berries and herbs and spices such as curry, ginger and garlic.

For more information on healthy living and support before, during and after a breast cancer diagnosis, I want to introduce you to Sharsheret, the national Jewish breast and ovarian cancer organization. Check out their website for great information and to order a free survivorship kit that includes an amazing healthy living cookbook and other resources.

Enjoy this broccoli recipe featured in Sharsheret’s survivorship kit from One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends, by Rebecca Katz.

Szechwan Broccoli

While not as healthy as broccoli, Sharsheret’s annual Thanksgiving Pies for Prevention Bake Sale is looking for bakers! By baking and selling baked goods this Thanksgiving, you are joining volunteers nationwide raising critical ovarian cancer awareness and funds to support Sharsheret’s Ovarian Cancer Program. You can register to become a Pies for Prevention baker here.

Beth Ricanati, MD, has built her career bringing wellness into everyday life. She trained and worked at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.  She now resides in Santa Monica, California. Follow her on Instagram at @housecallsforwellness, and on her website at

Holiday Season

Holiday season is in full swing, Succos recipes and freezing tips, Pre-fast menus and recipes and fasting tips!
It’s a week of reflection, improvement, and pre-Succos preparation. Get cooking! Full Succos index here, SOOO many ideas, and don’t forget to
mix in any favorites from the general index too, there are literally over 8000 recipes to choose from.

Freezing Tips for Make-Ahead Recipes

Yes, some foods like vegetables, fish and select chicken dishes are best prepared fresh. But many holiday items can be prepared and stored in
the refrigerator for up to two weeks, like dips, salad dressings, and marinades. And roasts, soups, saucy chickens and veal, some desserts, cookies, and challahs can be prepared, fully cooled, wrapped properly in plastic or foil, but always air-tight and then frozen. The trick is to defrost them slowly so that no condensation is created (this is what gives frozen chicken that rubbery wet taste). In order to defrost items without condensation, think and plan ahead. Defrost frozen items in the refrigerator, which takes at least but about 24 hours, then bring them to
room temperature before reheating. Do not defrost on the countertop, the temperature drops too low from the freezer and lots of water molecules form and melt into the food, making it wet and just not quite the same.

Rosh Hashanah 2017

Holiday cooking is abuzz! My freezer is filling up with soups, roasts and challah varietals as I prep for the first set of the three day Yom Tov season 🙂
Make sure to search the full index for choices old and new! Hundreds of recipes in every catagory to make your Yom Tov delicious.
A few new recipes to try to spice up your already tried and true menus….more coming, check back weekly for more great ideas.

Rosh Hashanah Quinoa
Endive Salad with Apple Dressing and Roasted Nut Crumble
Asian Maple Glazed Turkey
Apple Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze
Carrot Ginger Soup With Creamy Apple Chutney (coming soon)
Spinach Salad With Roasted Beets, Persimmons, and Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing (coming soon)
Pomegranate Brisket with Three Onion Jam (coming soon)
Wine Baked Apples (coming soon)