Category Archives: recipes


Lentil Rice Mushroom Loaf – recipe

Several readers requested the following recipe. Here you go!


Lentil Rice Mushroom Loaf

  • 1 c. cooked rice
  • 1 c. cooked brown/green lentils
  • 1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
  • 1 c. chopped mushrooms (I used canned sliced mushrooms and don’t chop them)
  • 1/3 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/4 c. broth (I use chicken broth)
  • 1 c. quick oats
  • 1 t. parsley
  • 1/2 t. basil
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 2 eggs

Saute the onion, mushrooms and carrots.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  The spices are just a suggestion, add whatever you like in the quantities you like.

At this point I like to pulse the mixture with a immersion blender so that it holds together well when it bakes. Pour into a pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a greased pan at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!


menu graphic

Weekly menu plan – nourishing, gluten free

After my last post when I shared some of my kitchen happenings, I got a good number of responses saying that readers miss my food posts.  I stopped sharing my menu plans when I moved to Israel, thinking they weren’t very interesting.  Interesting or not, it’s what we eat!

Here’s the plan for this week!

Sun: breakfast – homemade breakfast pizzas; l – black bean burgers, baked beets; d – chicken tamale pie

Mon – b- polenta; l – potato kugel, chicken soup; d – oriental rice (with cabbage and chicken)

Tues – b – morning rice; l – pumpkin smoothie bowls, d – chicken pot pie

Weds: b – oatmeal;  l – chicken pot pie; d – lentil meatloaf

Thurs: b – polenta; l – baked sweet potatoes, eggs; d – red lentil dal, rice

On Sundays I try to plan my menu for the week. I first check what I have in the fridge and freezer so I can integrate those foods. Today I defrosted chicken and a couple of frozen dishes that I’ll be using in the next 2 – 3 days. I also usually start the week by soaking at least two kinds of beans.

We make challah weekly and when there’s extra dough, we freeze it in smaller portions for use during the week.  This morning the boys defrosted homemade pizza dough for their own breakfast and each made his own version to eat.  My house smelled way too good for a Sunday morning! :)

Ds11 is preparing the black bean burgers for lunch as I write.  He didn’t mind making the recipe when I told him he didn’t have to chop the onions. :) Last week while I had the food processor already out, I decided to dice a bunch of onions at once and then popped them in the freezer in portion sized bags to make meal prep faster.  This morning I defrosted a one cup portion of the onions in anticipation of this recipe, so it was ready to be used by the time he began.

My purchases last week are influencing my menu this week!

Last week I got a case of bananas on sale for 4 shekels a kilo and put a bunch in the freezer, frozen as single bananas, chocolate covered bananas (for a Shabbos treat) and 1 c. portions of mashed banana. In addition, the kids ate so many fresh bananas, plus I made a couple of huge pans of funky monkey baked oatmeal for Shabbos in two different flavors.  This week I’ll be using the frozen bananas for smoothies.

There was also a good sale on pumpkin (2.90 shekels a kilo) so I bought a lot.  I put all that was on the refrigerated shelf into my shopping cart and then asked the produce guy to open up another huge pumpkin and give me half of it.  He couldn’t believe I really wanted that much and asked me a couple of times if I was really going to use that – so I had to reassure him that I really knew what I was doing.  Obviously I don’t have the buying habits of a typical customer.  :)  I prepped that pumpkin together with the boys the day that we bought it and froze it in 4 cup portions, so all it’s my ready to be used.

Having my menu plan ready at the beginning of the week gives me a calm and relaxed feeling around food preparations.  When I don’t have it ready, I end up wasting time and feeling pressured while trying to figure out each day what I should make.




brunswick stew

Brunswick Stew – recipe

Here’s the recipe for Brunswick stew for my readers who requested it!

This recipe comes from The Joy of Cooking.

Brunswick Stew (serves 8 – 10)

  • 5 pounds of chicken parts
  •  2 T. oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 3 c. fresh or frozen lima/cooked white beans
  • 1.5 – 2 c. chopped tomatoes, canned or fresh
  • 1 c. barbeque sauce or unseasoned tomato sauce
  • 1 c. tomatoe puree
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 1 T. minced garlic or 2 t. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 c. corn, fresh or frozen

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken parts and saute the chicken in batches over a medium heat. Set aside.

Using the 2 T. of oil, saute the onions and celery until tender.  Add the chicken to the pot.  Add all remaining ingredients except for the corn, and bring to a boil over a high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is almost tender, about 35 – 45 minutes.

Add the corn and simmer for another ten minutes.

This makes a nice large recipe and is frugal, filling and tasty!



taco seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

A friend of mine gave me some packages of taco seasoning that she wasn’t using and while I wouldn’t have bought them, once I had them I started noticing how many frugal bean/legume recipes I had that called for taco seasoning. The mix of flavors definitely enhanced the taste of the final dish, even if the processed mixture didn’t enhance the nutritional value!

This recipe for homemade taco seasoning makes it possible to enjoy the convenience of a premixed taco seasoning mix without any objectionable ingredients!  It’s super quick to mix up, affordable, and good for you.

Homemade Taco Seasoning 

  • 1/2 c. chili powder (*note below)taco seasoning
  • 1/4 c. onion powder
  • 1/8 c. cumin
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 T. salt

Mix all the ingredients together, and store in a jar.  Two rounded tablespoons equals one packet of taco seasoning.


* If like me, you don’t have chili powder in your pantry and don’t want to go out and buy it just to make this recipe, it’s easy to mix up your own. To make chili powder, the recipe I used called for: 2 T. paprika, 2 t. oregano, 1 1/2 t. cumin, 1/2 t. garlic powder, and 3/4 t. onion powder.

**Yet another note: chili powder and cayenne pepper are not the same thing! Cayenne is much hotter and not a good substitute.  I learned this years ago when I made what I thought would be a  delicious and exotic salad and dressing, and used cayenne since I thought it was interchangeable with chili powder.  Every single person took a bite and then reached for his water glass.  :(  No one touched the salad after that first bite.




Simanim Salad for Rosh Hashana

A reader asked for this recipe and I’m going to quickly share it now since it won’t be very helpful if I post it after Rosh Hashana!

This is a salad that integrates a number of the traditional symbolic foods for Rosh Hashana evening.  In the past I’ve made different dishes for each food, but in the last couple of years settled on making this salad.  Everyone takes a plateful and as we go through the symbolic foods, chooses from their salad a piece of each.

Simanim Salad for Rosh Hashana

  • 1 large head of lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. shredded cabbage (you can also use leek – a small piece, thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chopped dates
  • seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
  • optional: 1/4 c. roasted beets, diced
  • optional: 1/4 c. roasted pumpkin, diced


  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 1 t. minced onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced, or 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 2 t. honey
  • 1 t. mustard
  • 1/2 t. salt

Toss all the salad ingredients and place in an attractive serving bowl. Blend the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad before serving.

*If you integrate the roasted pumpkin and roasted beets, this integrates all the simanim except for fish.

There you have it, an easy and attractive way to serve your symbolic foods (simanim) for Rosh Hashana!





Rosh Hashana menu 2017 – gluten free, grain free

This year we have a marathon of cooking for the next three days, since this year Rosh Hashana leads directly into Shabbos!

I usually like to do baking and cooking in advance so that there’s not as much to do in the busy days leading up to the holiday itself, but I no longer have a full size freezer and my fridge isn’t very big.  So yesterday and today are busy cooking days!

Here’s a list of what we’ll be preparing for this Rosh Hashana – everything is gluten free and grain free except for the challah:


  • cinnamon raisin round challah
  • regular challah
  • paleo dinner rolls (gluten free option)


  • parsley pesto
  • black olive tampenade
  • eggplant salad
  • tomato


  • baked fish
  • roasted chicken – savory/sweet (date-parsley-onion blend), paprika garlic blend and cumin garlic blend
  • roast meat with carrots and onions

Symbolic foods for Rosh Hashana (simanim):

  • simanim salad – I serve this on the two nights of Rosh Hashana – it includes apple, pomegranate, date, leek, cabbage and carrots
  • baked fish
  • baked fish head and baked whole fish
  • black eyed peas
  • roast pumpkin
  • roast beets


  • green bean-olive
  • pomegranate
  • Israeli cabbage
  • hearts of palm-corn
  • red cabbage-apple

Kugels/vegetable sides:

  • apple kugel
  • vegetable kugel
  • potato kugel
  • carrot apple kugel
  • spinach nut loaf (using roasted sunflower seeds)
  • sesame green beans
  • roast potatoes
  • pineapple beets


  • brownies
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • apple cake
  • almond joy bars
  • pumpkin muffins
  • chocolate pudding

Wishing you all a year of blessings in the year to come!



coconut macaroons

Easy as 1-2-3 Macaroons

This is a super easy and really yummy recipe for coconut macaroons that we’re all enjoying this year. It’s moist and I think it tastes pretty close to the store-bought macaroons that I grew up with in the US (think Maneshewitz brand).   It has just four ingredients and doesn’t require beating any egg whites.

Easy As 1-2-3 Macaroons

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 c. coconut
  • 1 pkg vanilla sugar (can leave this out if you don’t have it)

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Form into balls and bake on an ungreased pan at 350 degrees until the tops are just hardly browned.  Take out of oven and let cool to solidify.

coconut macaroons

For our family I quadruple this recipe to make one batch.  It’s a good thing I bought a 50 lb bag of shredded coconut before Pesach because these are so good, so easy and thanks to being gluten free, something all the kids can enjoy – we’ve made a bunch!



Fun and Easy Granola – recipe

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESToday my home is filled with the delicious smells of homemade granola!

Granola makes a yummy and quick breakfast or snack, and is a fun and gratifying activity to do with kids with just a bit of oversight from you!

And if you’ve ever seen the price for ready made granola in the store, after making this you’ll wonder why anyone would pay so much. :)

Fun and Easy Granola

  • 3 c. rolled oats
    • 1/2 c. oil
    • 1/4 – 1/2 c. sweetener (honey, date syrup, sugar)
    • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts)
  • 1 c. shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1/2 c. sesame seeds
  • 1 c. sunflower seeds (or sliced almonds, chopped walnuts)
  • optional – dried fruit (eg raisins, banana chips, papaya, mango, apple – anything!) chocolate chips –

Mix the oil, sweetener and vanilla together and heat over a low flame for 5 minutes.  Pour the hot mixture over the oats and mix thoroughly.  Spread in a thin layer on a baking pan, then bake at 300 degrees for about 45, stirring periodically.  Mix the remaining dry ingredients and add them to the cooled oats.  If you want to add dried fruit or chocoiate chips, you can also add that now.

That’s it!

Not so photogenic but very delicious!

Doesn’t look like much but it tastes sooo good!

– I made three times this recipe, using 1 kg of oats as a base.  I used coconut oil but you can use any oil.

– If you’re using sugar for your sweetener then stay to the lower side of the recommended amount.

– Granola is incredibly flexible and you can add in all kinds of nuts and dried fruit to keep it different and fun every time.



Easy Onion Kugel

At the potluck community event I attended on Sukkos, I received a lot of compliments (and a few requests for the recipe) on the dish I brought.

It’s super easy and delicious.  I don’t know where it originated but this isn’t a recipe that I made up!

Easy Onion Kugel

  • 5 large onions, finely diced (very important that the pieces are small)
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 5 eggs
  • a sprinkle of pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together.  Pour the mixed batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until the top is lightly browned, approximately 30 – 35 minutes.

And that’s really all there is to it!  Enjoy!


Easy and nutritious lunch idea – hummus vegetable sandwich

Today my husband did a big vegetable shopping for us but didn’t get out until much later in the day than he originally planned.  The dinner I planned was dependent on vegetables that I didn’t have and since the delivery didn’t arrive until after 7 pm, I did a quick shift and made these easy, nutritious and yummy sandwiches!

These are great for a light but filling lunch or dinner.

Hummus Vegetable Sandwich

  • Whole grain bread
  • hummus/chickpea spread (to make your own – my recipe here)
  • olive dip (recipe below)
  • thinly sliced cucumbers
  • shredded carrots

Olive Dip

  • 1 can pitted olives
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil or mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic (you might want to cut this for young kids but we like it)
  • Blend the olives, oil and garlic with an immersion blender until smooth.

Whip up the dips or pull them out of the fridge.  :)    Spread hummus on one piece of bread, olive spread on the other, then pile up the cucumber slices and shredded carrots on one side, then put the other piece of bread on top.  Seriously, you don’t need instructions for this!  

Serve to your delighted family members and be happy to have found something filling and tasty to give them that didn’t keep you in the kitchen more than a few minutes!