Oven Baked Rice

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Cooking in a non-kosher kitchen has it’s challenges. While it is ideal to kasher ovens or stovetops, sometimes that isn’t possible due to timing or family tensions. That’s where this handy trick comes in. If all you have available to you is a non-kosher oven, you may be able to double wrap your food in foil and then bake it- ask your local Orthodox Rabbi for more information. 🙂

This rice recipe is really easy and the rice comes out really nice and fluffy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of a rice of your choice (I used brown rice)
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350. Oil an aluminum pan and add rice and water according to the proportions listed on the rice package. Wrap the bottom of the aluminum pan with a layer of aluminum foil and wrap the top with two layers making sure to completely seal the pan. Put in the oven and bake for about an hour- mine was done in an hour and 10 minutes. If you want to check on the rice lift the pan and tilt it to feel if there is still water loose in the pan. If you do open the foil and the rice is not done yet, be careful to fully double wrap it before returning it to the oven. Once the rice is done open it and fluff it with a fork and enjoy!

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One Pan Egg Rolls!

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Egg Rolls are definitely one of those things you might think are hard to make and time consuming too… truth is, I threw some frozen Egg Rolls in the oven and started making these from scratch at the same time and these were done first, tasted better, and were much easier than I thought 🙂 Here’s the recipe- best part is, all you need is a flame and a single pan!

Ingredients:

  • Shredded Cabbage- many bags of cole slaw have a hechshire
  • 1 package of mushrooms
  • 1 package of tofu
  • 1 package of egg roll wraps- Nasoya is kosher
  • Soy Sauce or Tamari between 1/4 and 1/3 of a cup
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Oil- for pan frying

Directions:

Clean and chop the mushrooms and start to sautee them in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Meanwhile squeeze the water out of the tofu and break it up with your hands and add to the frypan. Add the package of shredded cabbage and a decent amount of soy or tamari sauce and pepper. Stir every few minutes until the cabbage is soft. When the mixture is cooked turn off the heat and use a cutting board as a clean space to wrap the egg rolls.

Open the package of egg roll wrappers and follow the package directions to fill and roll them. Make sure to squeeze out any extra liquid from the cabbage mixture when filling the wrappers. Since my family’s counter tops are not kosher, I keep them clean and always put a cutting board or plate down to use as a work surface. Once you have used up all the filling clean and dry your frypan to get ready to fry. Add oil to cover the bottom of the pan and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot add one egg roll – if the oil is hot enough you will see it start to bubble slightly and you can add the other egg rolls. After a couple minutes when the bottom is brown, turn each egg roll to brown all sides. When done put on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the oil.

That’s it! The whole process should take less than 45 minutes and it makes a great dinner or appetizer for your whole family.

 

One Stop Shabbos from Trader Joe’s

Spending Shabbos at home can have it’s challenges, especially if things are still new for you and or your family. But with this easy menu- all from Trader Joe’s, you can impress your family with great and super easy dishes for shabbos that everyone can enjoy. 🙂

Trader Joe’s Kosher Wine

If your state laws allow grocery stores to sell wine, then TJ’s has a great kosher wine selection! You can select your favorite for Shabbos Kiddush! Click here to learn more about their selection.

Trader Joe’s Challah

Every TJ’s is a little different, so be sure to check that your local Trader Joe’s sells a challah with a kosher certification you are comfortable with, however many locations do sell Challahs that are certified by the CRC and are Pas Yisroel.

Trader Joe’s First Course Sides

There are lots of great parve dips & pickled veggies from Trader Joe’s that will go great with your challah!

Easy Shabbos Fish

For an easy fish course buy some smoked salmon or lox! Have it plain or enjoy with the dips… or you can kick it up a notch… stay tuned for other lox recipes for Shabbos 🙂

Easy Basic Salad

If you are like me, I just need a good fresh salad on shabbos. Here is an easy one to make in a pinch. Buy your favorite salad vegetables- romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, avocado, cucumber etc… and prepare in a bowl. Then mix together 3 parts olive oil and 2 parts fresh lemon juice with a dash of salt & pepper to taste and pour over salad before serving. Enjoy!

Trader Joe’s Kosher Meats

Again, every TJ’s stocks their stores a little differently based on need. However, many do sell kosher meats that you can use to make a basic cholent or soup. Another easy trick for Shabbos is to start a big meat or chicken soup in your crock pot early in the morning on Friday so that everything is fully cooked by Friday night. Then you can separate some of the soup out for friday night before Shabbos. With the remaining soup add some rice or barley and some beans and a bit more liquid. Keep it on the crock pot for your Shabbos day cholent!

Trader Joe’s Dessert

With these two desserts, you really can’t go wrong! And the Babka is Pas Yisroel too!

 

So get ready to relax & enjoy some great food this coming Shabbos!

 

Wine & Cheese Foodie Food Find!

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Growing up, good food was valued in my family. Everyone loves to show off their latest food finds and recipes, but I think my family takes it to another level. Now that I keep kosher, big family gatherings feel different. While my family has been incredibly accepting of the choices I have made, I do feel left out when they can all enjoy some amazing food that I can’t. That’s why I always try to add my own dishes and food finds to our family gatherings. That way I have something to eat, and my family and I have one more thing to gather around together. Becoming frum can make people feel isolated from those they care the most about, finding easy ways to reconnect and share common values can help you hold on tightly to the ones you love.

While I love to cook, when we have these big family gatherings I get busy just planning my own food let alone finding things to bring to share with my family. That was why I was so excited to see this cheese set sold by Natural & Kosher. I found it at my local kosher grocery store, and while I can pick out my own fancy cheese to share with family, the nice thing about this cheese set, is that it provides wine recommendations. It was great because in one store I was able to get the cheese set and pick out at least one wine for each cheese based on the label recommendations. When I met up with my family, I sliced and plated the cheese with some tart green apple slices. We opened the wine and had lots of fun trying to decide which wines went best with which of the three cheeses ( I kept it a surprise). It was a really fun afternoon & a great time with family!

 

 

Easy & Healthy Black Bean Soup

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With a stovetop and an immersion blender this soup comes together in less than 10 minutes… well maybe 15 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion- diced
  • Oil to sautĂ© the onion
  • 1 Can of black beans
  • Water
  • Salt & pepper to taste (or curry powder if you are really adventurous!)
  • Cheese to garnish (optional)

Directions:

Dice and sauté the onion in a small stock pot. When the onions are translucent and starting to caramelize add the can of black beans- liquid included! Fill the can with water and add to the pot. Use your immersion blender to blend the beans and onions together. Bring the soup to a simmer then serve! Garnish with some shredded cheese!

*Cheese Tip… Since cheese is a kosher sensitive ingredient, I keep a bag or two of shredded cheese in the freezer at home. That way whenever I come by, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I have some. Just because you are going home, doesn’t mean you have to have boring food!

Salad in a Jar: Kale Techina Miso

5dfc1c6f-77c1-4856-9f63-97c1f1147092.jpgThis is one of my favorite salads. I do a lot with jar salads in general. I find that the lettuce keeps longer than regular tupperware and it is super great to prep a weeks worth of lunch on Sunday!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Miso- they sell one at my local health store (My Organic Market)
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 Can of Black Beans
  • 1 Package of Tofu- Diced
  • 1 Bunch of Kale- cleaned & checked

Directions:

Mix the miso, tahini, balsamic vinegar and water until smooth. Add any additional miso or tahini to taste and pour in to the bottom of 4 quart sized mason jars. Rinse and divide one can of black beans between the four jars. Drain and dice the tofu and divide between the four jars. Dry, rip & divide the kale between the 4 jars. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to eat them. When you are ready to eat- turn upside down and shake then empty the jar onto a bowl or plate & enjoy!

The Wonders of Ziplock

d6971c49-275a-463a-8d96-a67825a44a22.jpgKeeping kosher in a less than kosher kitchen can have it’s challenges. That’s why I LOVE this trick. If you are low on bowls wherever you are, bring a pack of ziplock bags for all your mixing, containing, and prep needs! Sure everyone uses ziplock bags for marinating and thats really great, but have you ever thought of making cookie dough in a bag? Or preparing a salad in a bag? If I am visiting a friend or family member and I want to mix something I’ll open a ziplock bag and rest it over a bowl to have a sturdy container and because it’s in a ziplock there is no kashrus issue! Not to mention you can keep whatever you are making or mixing in the bag to store 🙂

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