White Beans and Spinach


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
4 cups fresh chopped spinach
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Place all ingredients in a medium-sized skillet and cook slowly over low-medium heat, stirring gently. Continue cooking until spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat and toss with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.

Homemade Ice Cream Tart with Crunch Topping

This is from my daughter who says it’s really, really good. I’m trusting her on this.

2-1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1-1/2 cups coconut
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) margarine

Melt margarine in a small saucepan. Mix in other ingredients and mix until brown but be careful not to let it burn. Pat half of the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Set aside remainder.

Ice Cream:
3 eggs, separated
2 cups pareve whip
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar

Beat egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, whip the pareve whip until stiff. Fold into the egg whites along with the yolks, vanilla and sugar. Place on top of crumbs in pan and freeze for a few hours. Sprinkle rest of topping on the top and return to the freezer until ready to serve.

Sweet Potato Muffins


1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (can be canned)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger and baking soda. Whisk together eggs and sweet potatoes and stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Do not overmix. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with the batter and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture on top. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Cook for 5 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to finish cooling. Makes 1 dozen.

Thai-Peanut Chicken Breasts

Thai-Peanut Chicken Breasts

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast
¾ cup salsa
¼ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger or ½ teaspoon dry ginger
¼ cup chopped peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together salsa, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce and ginger. Pour it over the chicken and bake for 1 hour. Serve at room temperature or remove from sauce and warm on blech. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro, if using.

Dried Cherries and Walnut Salad


1 head romaine
1 head red leafy lettuce
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup toasted walnut pieces

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons oil

Whisk together vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil (you can use a hand blender for this). Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Toss lettuces together with cherries and walnuts. Mix in dressing until well-coated.

Mandelbroit with Chocolate Sandwich Cookies


1 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine, melted
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
16 chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat sugar, margarine, eggs and vanilla until blender. On a low speed mix in flour and baking powder. Stir in the chopped cookies. Divide mixture in half and shape into loaves. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes; remove from oven. Slice and return to oven for 10 more minutes. Cool completely on wire racks. If desired, drizzle tops with melted chocolate.

Perfect Challah with Sweet Crumble Topping

My good friend makes these and they are a favorite to all who come to her house. I make them in twisted rolls and bake them in a 12 cup muffin tray and they come out shaped well and with great height. You cannot eat just a bite so make a lot of them!

Makes 32 rolls

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
16 – 19 tablespoons oil
Mix flour and sugar. Add oil (start with 16 tablespoons) and add until consistency is crumbly.

Challah Dough
5 lbs sifted flour (sometimes need to add 2 or 3 more cups)
1 cup sugar
4 packets RAPID RISE yeast
2 tablespoons salt
3 eggs
5 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil

Put 5 cups of flour in mixer. Add yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix in water, oil and eggs. Mix until well combined and it has no lumps. Add remaining flour one cup at a time. Knead in the mixer for 12 minutes.

Let dough sit in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The dough should have at least doubled in size. Punch down dough and braid into loaves or use a few pieces and knot for rolls. Place in challah pans or in large muffin cups. Let rise 45 more minutes. Sprinkle generously with crumble topping. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Thai Peanut Stuffed Eggplant


¼ cup brown (natural) sesame seeds
½ cup raw or lightly toasted unsalted peanuts
½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons water, divided
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic (about 2 large cloves)
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
8 mini Indian eggplants or 6 of the smallest Italian or Japanese eggplants you can find (about 1 ½ pounds)
¼ cup canola oil

Using a coffee grinder or food processor, separately pulse the sesame seeds and peanuts to semi-coarse powders. You don’t want fine powders, but neither do you want chunks of peanuts in your filling. Remove to a bowl. Add the cilantro, sugar, salt, 2 teaspoons of the water, garlic, cayenne, and turmeric to the powdered mixture and mix well with your fingers. The mixture should become lumpy – if it doesn’t, add a few more drops of water. Taste and adjust the salt and sugar if needed. The filling should taste slightly sweet and a little salty.

Leaving the stem end intact, make 2 intersecting lengthwise cuts on the other side of each eggplant. You are basically making an “X”. Do not cut all the way through. Make sure to leave the stems on. Stuff each eggplant in the X with the filling, packing it down well. This is easier said than done – it will feel awkward, but just push in as much filling as the eggplant will take, using your fingers to gently pry open the eggplant. Here is where you will thank yourself for having followed the instructions to make the filling lumpy, since it sticks together better.

Heat the oil on a skillet large enough to hold all the eggplants in a single layer. Gently place each eggplant in the pan and turn the heat to medium. Turn the eggplants occasionally so they are evenly browned on all sides. Don’t worry too much if some of the filling spills out. Once all the eggplants are browned, pour in the remaining ¼ cup water, cover and cooked on low until tender, about 15 minutes. To check doneness, pierce the stem end of each eggplant with a small, sharp knife – it should slide in easily. The whole eggplant should feel soft to the touch as well.

Instead of pan bruising it, you may braise the eggplant in the oven:
Use an ovenproof skillet. After browning the eggplant on the stovetop, pour in the water, cover and transfer the skillet to a preheated 350 degree F oven and roast until the eggplant is tender, between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplant.

Serve the hot eggplants immediately, 2 per person. This recipe can be made a day ahead. Simply reheat in a 375°F oven until warm.

Serves 4 to 6

Nicoise Salad


3 pieces salmon fillet
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Coat the salmon with the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to broil. Broil the salmon for approximately 6 minutes or until cooked through.

For the Dressing:
4 eggs, hard-boiled, whites and yolks separated
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried basil

Mash cooked egg yolks. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and shake well. Refrigerate until using.

For Salad:
6 cups romaine lettuce
½ pint cherry tomatoes
1 can hearts of palm, sliced
1 ½ cup green beans, cooked
1 cup small red potatoes, cooked and halved
4 egg whites

Toss together salad ingredients. Cut salmon in chunks and add. Toss with the dressing. Serve chilled.

Easiest Corned Beef

(my father’s favorite)
3 – 4 pound corned beef
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dijon or whole grain mustard

Remove a 3-4 lb corned beef from plastic packing and place on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Retain seasonings and as much liquid as there is and include with the meat. Wrap the corned beef tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil so no steam can escape, and the meat is fully enclosed. Put wrapped meat on a shallow baking sheet (like a jelly roll pan) and place on the middle rack of a 325 degree oven.

Bake for approx. 2 1/2 hrs; then remove part of foil to expose the corned beef. With a sharp knife make diagonal lines on top of the meat. Mix the sugar and the mustard together.
Pour glaze on the meat, trying to get it in the slits and all over the top and sides of the meat.

Increase oven to 350 and roast uncovered for approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 min. Then slice against the grain. This is best sliced very thin. Serve with additional mustard. It is nice to have an assortment of mustards of different flavors for the side.

Quinoa Salad with Edamame

by my friend Adele Dubin

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 package frozen shelled edamame
1/2 cup pinenuts, toasted
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red onion diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Cook quinoa in 2 cups of boiling water for 13-15 minutes. Cook edamame in 6 cups of boiling slightly salted water for 5-6 minutes. Add edamame, pinenuts, peppers, onions and dried cranberries. Pour in dressing. Toss and serve at room temperature.

Cranberry Harvest Muffins


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ¼ cups pareve milk or soy milk
2 extra-large eggs
½ pound unsalted margarine, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
½ cup medium-diced Calimyma figs
¾ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted and skinned or other nuts
¾ cups brown sugar, packed
¾ cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the pareve milk, eggs, and melted margarine. Stir quickly just to combine. Add the cranberries, figs, hazenuts, and both sugars and stir just to distribute the fruits, nuts, and sugar evenly throughout the batter.

Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Tiramisu Trifle

Tiramisu Trifle

Cookie Layer:
2 packages Ladyfingers
4 heaping teaspoons instant espresso
Hot water to dissolve the espresso in about ¼ cup
½ cup Coffee Liqueur, Kahlua, or Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

Mix together espresso, water and liqueur.

Center Layers:
1 8-ounce pareve chocolate bar, in shavings
3 Tablespoons cinnamon

Cream Layer:
5 eggs, separated
5 tablespoons sugar
1 package tofutti cream cheese
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small container pareve whipping cream, whipped
Extra whipping cream for the top

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Separately beat the yolks with both sugars until pale yellow. Add the tofutti cream cheese and the vanilla extract to combine. Fold in the egg whites. Fold in the whipped cream and chill until using.

To assemble:

Dip ladyfinger cookies in the coffee mixture (do this individually and quickly otherwise the cookies will be too mushy). Layer the bottom of the trifle bowl decoratively with the soaked cookies. Spoon 1/4 of the cream mixture over the ladyfingers. Sprinkle generously with chocolate then cinnamon. Repeat with more ladyfingers on top of the cinnamon layer, then cream, chocolate and cinnamon. Repeat 4 times. Top with the extra whipped cream and more chocolate and cinnamon. Chill until serving

*This can be made in individual dishes or a low dish. Keep in the refrigerator to cut out pieces.

Warm Bananas Praline with Pareve Vanilla Ice Cream

4 tablespoons unsalted margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
1/3 cup chopped pecans, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
4 ripe bananas, halved lengthwise then halved again
1 pint premium pareve vanilla ice cream

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Whisk in the sugar and cook until melted and smooth. Standing back, carefully add the bourbon and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup pecans and cook for 30 seconds. Add the bananas and spoon the sauce over the bananas constantly until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Keep warm on a warming tray.

Scoop the ice cream into bowls and top with the bananas and sauce. Garnish with the remaining chopped pecans and serve.

Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey


¼ cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 (32 ounce) boxes Imagine No-Chicken Broth or Regular Chicken Broth
2 cups green split peas
1 (1-1/2 pound) piece of smoked turkey, cut into small chunks
1 teaspoon pepper

In a large stockpot heat oil and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soup thickens, about 1-1/2 hours.

Variation: Add 2 more cups of broth and 1 cup of barley before simmering.

Curried Coconut Chicken


2 chickens, cut in 1/8th’s
1 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoons curry
1 (14 ounce) jar Peri-Peri Cooking Sauce, Curry Coconut
1 (13-1/2 ounces) can coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken pieces in a baking pan and sprinkle with spices. Bake for ½ hour. Remove from oven. Pour Curry Coconut Sauce and coconut milk over chicken and return to oven. Bake for another 1 – 1-1/2 hours.

Stir-Fried Cauliflower


2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 (32 ounce) bag frozen cauliflower, slightly thawed or 1 head fresh cauliflower, broken into florets
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garam marsala
1 handful cashews, raw or roasted

In a wok or large frying pan heat oil over a high flame. Add cauliflower and garlic and sauté, turning frequently. Add salt and garam marsala and keep stirring. When cauliflower starts to brown, toss in cashews and sauté an additional five minutes.

Coffee and Chocolate Cake


It doesn’t get any better than this – especially when you can start with a cake mix!

1 devil’s food cake mix
1 pkg. (4-1/2 ounces) instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup brewed coffee
4 eggs
1 cup tofutti sour cream (to make it pareve)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup dark rum or coffee liqueur
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Greased a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Mix all ingredients together and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Allow to cool into pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to finish cooling. When completely cool, glaze.

1 box (1 pound) powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons margarine
1/3 cup hot brewed coffee

Cream together all ingredients and pour over cake.

Caesar Salad

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cans ( 4 ounces each) anchovies, drained
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 egg yolks
1 cup olive oil
2 heads of romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
2 cups garlic croutons or garlic bagel chips, broken into small bits

In a food processor or using a hand blender combine all dressing ingredients except olive oil. Mix well. Blend in olive oil until emulsified. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. At serving time toss lettuce with dressing and croutons.

Eggplant Dip


This recipe came via Amanda Kaufman at whose home I enjoyed it, via Mishpacha magazine. I have made one crucial addition.
2 large eggplants, thinly sliced
2/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
oil for frying

Wash the eggplants well and slice thin. Place slices in a large bowl and salt well. Let them sweat a minimum of 20 minutes to overnight (removes most of the bitter juices). Wash well and pat dry.
Fry eggplant slices on medium flame on both sides for 6-9 minutes until the slices are brown/black. (At this point they will resemble dark brown potato chips). Drain VERY well on paper towels; otherwise there will be too much oil.
Mix well with remaining ingredients. The eggplant will fall apart as you mix – use a fork to help you. Refrigerate.

Spinach Kugel

1 (16 ounce) package chopped spinach, drained well
3 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup non-dairy creamer, warmed up
3 eggs, well-beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté spinach in 2 tablespoons margarine until there is NO liquid left. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in warm non-dairy creamer and cook until thickened – 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon margarine and eggs. Pour into greased 9 x 9-inch pan and bake for about 40 minutes.

Corn Kugel

6 cups canned corn, thoroughly drained
1 (4 ounce) can roasted and diced green chiles
6 eggs, well-beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and pour into 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes until top is crispy.