Fancy Latkes

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I am all about the fancy Latkes… and just because I’m doing whole30 doesn’t mean I’m skipping out… It just means I’ve got to be a bit more careful with what I’m using. If the potatoes are not starchy enough, then the latkes will need flour that I can’t use, but if I keep it boring and just stick with potatoes, what makes them fancy?

Well these latkes definitely meet the challenge… they can be a bit tricky to get to hold together, but IYH the end result will be worth it!

First of all, I used my favorite immersion blender to make these guys, if you are in the market for one, I highly recommend this one because it has 3 attachments, an egg beater, a food processor, AND and immersion blender! For more info visit here

So these latkes have potatoes,  Jerusalem Artichokes (tis’ the season?), and kale. The Kale doesn’t add much flavor but it makes me feel a little healthier!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Potato- Red Russet are my favorite especially since you can leave the skin on!
  • 1 medium Jerusalem Artichoke
  • 1/2 of a small onion
  • 1-2 kale leaves
  • 1 Egg
  • Pinch of salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil to fry

Directions:

  1. Using the food processor, process the potatoes, Jerusalem Artichoke, onion & Kale. (You may need to do this in batches)
  2. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the mixture and put in a bowl
  3. Add an egg, a pinch of salt and some pepper and mix well
  4. In a preferably non-stick fry pan, cover the bottom completely with olive oil and heat it over medium. The oil is hot enough when you can *CAREFULLY* splash a *SMALL* drop of water in the pan and the oil sizzles.
  5. Carefully with a spoon add the latke mixture to the hot oil. Once you’ve filled your pan with as many latkes as the pan can take, gently move the pan back and forth to make sure the latkes are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. When the latke edges start to turn brown they are ready to flip- DON’T try to flip them too early, or you’ll just end up with lots of super fried latke bits all over your pan… although some people think thats the best part anyway…
  7. When both sides have browned, place the latkes on a plate lined with paper towel

 

Trouble Shooting:

  • If the latkes are not sticking together, try adding some potato starch or flour.
  • If they are burning & also not cooking well enough in the middle, consider making them smaller.
  • If they are sticking to the pan, use your clean spatula ( make sure to wipe off any latke bits that are already stuck to it), to get under each latke to help them float- also consider adding more oil to your pan.
  • If the oil is starting to bubble up – try adding more oil, but also know that you may need to change the oil out all together shortly.

Other Latke Varieties to Try…

  • Zucchini Latkes- squeeze out the extra water and use flour & egg to hold these guys together- be sure that the oil is hot enough when you start frying!
  • Apple Latkes- grate the apples and squeeze out the juice & use egg & flour to hold together. After frying, dip in cinnamon & sugar or mix some in to the batter!
  • Sweet Potato Latkes

Not Weird Butternut Squash Soup

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So I was just visiting my dear friend Chai and her family. Since I’m back on the whole 30 bit she was a little nervous about what in the world I would eat while there so she just bought out all the veggies at the store and we had a bit of fun in the kitchen 🙂

For dinner she thought we could make a butternut squash soup so I said, what if we add ground beef to it. She in no uncertain terms told me I was crazy, but it didn’t matter to me… I was sure this was going to be good… and so it was. So here you go… Enjoy this super delicious, super filling NOT WEIRD Butternut Squash Soup with Ground beef and Jerusalem Artichokes… come on, basic was definitely not going to cut it if I wanted to impress my friend… but fancy doesn’t have to mean complicated either 🙂 and this soup is really easy to make!

Ingredients :

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 onion- diced
  • Butternut Squash
  • Soup stock
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Optional: Maple Syrup to add sweetness

“Optional” Garnish that makes this soup awesome…

Directions:

  1. Lightly caramelize the diced onion with a bit of salt in olive oil in a deep pan or soup pot.
  2. Prepare the butternut squash… Now there are 2 ways to do this…
    1. You can either cut the squash in half, take out the seeds brush with a little oil and bake it face down on a lined pan at 350F until its soft – approximately 45min-1hour. This could also be done in a double wrapped pan if your oven is not kosher.
    2. You can *peel and cut your squash* and add it to the sauteed onions and let it cook in the broth.
  3. Add the squash to the onions along with enough soup stock to cover the squash. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the butternut squash is thoroughly cooked through or for 30 minutes if you pre-cooked the squash in the oven.
  4. With an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth and give it a taste. Add any cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper etc needed to bring out the flavor. **Just remember it is supposed to be a sweeter soup** – you can even add a dash of maple syrup!
  5. If you like your soup thicker you can cook it down a bit longer, if you like it thinner you can add a bit of water. This is a VERY flexible soup!

    Optional, but not really optional:

  6. Just before you are ready to serve, take the Jerusalem artichokes and process them in a food processor until it is in very small pieces. Put a little olive oil in the pan and add the processed Jerusalem Artichokes. Cook over a medium flame and when you start to see the oil sizzle a bit put the ground beef on top.
  7. Brown the meat with the artichokes and use to garnish the soup.

If you’ve got picky eaters, start with the meat on the side, but if your friends or kids are anything like mine, they’ll end up adding the meat to the soup and won’t look back! The mix of sweet and savory is just too good!

*Peeling and cutting squash is NOT my favorite thing to do, if you are going to do it, I’d suggest wearing gloves as the squash can often dry out the skin on your hands… Alternatively, you can see if one of your local stores caries a peeled and cut squash with a good hechsher, if you have a Harris Teeter nearby you may be in luck 🙂

Aunt Jill’s Cinnamon Rolls in the CROCK POT!!!

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My aunt Jill has a knack for finding great easy recipes. This cinnamon roll recipe totally won our hearts a few years back and I’ve been super obsessed with them ever since. This year, when researching recipes for Thanksgiving, I came across a cookbook of all sorts of crazy things you can make in a crock pot. It turns out, you can make cinnamon rolls in a crock pot! Who knew! And let me tell you, these things are awesome! They are also going to be the perfect home cooked breakfast over my mini Thanksgiving vacation 🙂

So you can use your favorite cinnamon roll recipe and throw it in your crock pot (lined with parchment paper), or you can join my family and try out my Aunt Jill’s cinnamon rolls 🙂

This recipe includes 2 tips & tricks… 1) I’m making the dry mix before I go and packing it in a ziplock bag, that way when I’m ready to make them, all I have to do is add the wet ingredients and roll them out, which brings me to … 2) Don’t have a rolling pin? Use some parchment paper & a wine bottle to roll it out just as thin as you like!

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And now for the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 4 TBSP earth balance
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (to add at the end if you like your cinnamon rolls gooey)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Drop of almond milk

Directions:

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt & baking soda. Add the oil and almond milk and mix until a dough forms.
  • Roll out the dough to make it as long and thin as possible without ripping (about 1/4-1/2 inch).
  • Spread the earth balance evenly across the dough
  • Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle all over the the dough.
  • Roll the dough up long ways so you end up with a long snake, then slice in 1 1/2 inch slices.
  • Line your crock pot with parchment paper and place the cinnamon rolls on top. Cook on the high setting for about an hour and a half. You will likely see steam cover the inner lid of your crock pot. This happens more as the cinnamon buns are almost done. Just use a paper towel to wipe the lid periodically.
  • When the cinnamon rolls are done, you can either mix powdered sugar with a drop of almond milk to make a frosting to drizzle on top, or you can pour some almond milk on top all the rolls to make them nice and gooey, or you can do both!

*If you’d rather go the traditional cooking route, you can also bake these in your oven at 400*F for 15-20 minutes

Enjoy! And if you need more of a step-by-step here are some pictures to help you out 🙂

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After mixing the dough, roll it out… no rolling pin? No problem as long as you have wine 🙂 When I am not in a kosher kitchen, or when I don’t have kosher counter tops, I roll my dough out on a flexible cutting board and use parchment paper as a barrier between the bottle and the dough. This keeps the bottle mostly clean 🙂

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After rolling out the dough, spread the earth balance and sprinkle the cinnamon & brown sugar.

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Roll the dough up length-wise then…

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Slice the rolls and …

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Place in your crock-pot lined with parchment paper and heat on high for 1 1/2 hours

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If your crock pot gets steamy, wipe the lid and let the cinnamon rolls keep on cooking

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When they are done drizzle with frosting/glaze and enjoy! These are great hot, but they are also great cold so really, there is no going wrong here 🙂 Enjoy!

The Most Amazing Spaghetti Squash I’ve Ever Had

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This was the side dish I made for my mother’s birthday dinner… the main dish recipe is found here. With the end of summer, comes great local fresh squash, and I am all about the local farms around here. Something about the peaceful, rolling hills, super fresh produce… well anyway, I digress… So I came home from the farm with a beautiful spaghetti squash… I planned to make a pesto to go with it, but I kept forgetting to buy basil. I decided to play around a bit and came up with this. It was so good, that I went back to the farm and bought another spaghetti squash!

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 2 TBSP almond butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced/chopped small
  • 1 large onion- chopped
  • Salt
  • Nutritional Yeast (Optional, but will make it taste a bit cheesy!)

Directions:

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Bake, face down on foil or parchment at 400*F for about 45 minutes (or an hour to an hour and 15 minutes in a pan double wrapped in foil). The squash is ready, when you push down on the outside skin and it sinks a bit.

Let the squash cool, then with a fork, scrape the shell of the squash and set all the “spaghetti” aside. In a fry pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, almond butter, garlic, onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until the onions are translucent. Mix the “spaghetti” and a pinch of nutritional yeast into the onion mixture in the fry pan and cook for about 5 – 10 minutes.

Enjoy! This one makes great leftovers too! You can keep it in the refrigerator for about a week and re-heat in the frypan 🙂

 

Salmon with “Honey” Mustard Glaze

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This salmon is easy, can be made whole 30 approved, and can be baked either open or double wrapped. It tastes best fresh, but I’ve been known to make a few days worth in advance…

Ingredients:

  • Fresh salmon (you can use frozen if it’s all you have, but regarding fish, I’m a snob so it’s gotta be fresh!)
  • Your favorite mustard
  • Honey (or date sugar /fresh dates blended into a paste if you are into the whole no processed sugar thing/whole 30)

Directions:

Rinse your salmon and using a knife against the grain, scratch the scales off the skin of the fish and rinse again. Mix equal parts mustard and honey/date sugar/date paste in a ziplock bag and add your salmon. Let the fish marinade for at least an hour, or over night in the fridge. Bake on parchment paper at 400*F for 10-15 minutes (if double wrapping in foil, add an additional 10 minutes and make sure your oven is fully pre-heated)

Enjoy!

Back to School Breakfast #2: Overnight Oats

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Okay, so I’ve done it. I’ve joined the hipsters and started to try out some overnight oat recipes. So far I’ve tried two, but now that school is back on, they make for a great mid-morning snack. In fact, they are so filling, that I usually only make it through half of it, and end up enjoying it for an afternoon snack as well…

I’ve tried two recipes so far…

Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight oats

(Makes 2 servings aka 2 jam jars worth)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Small single poriton of greek yogurt
  • 4 TBSP Cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Milk or almond milk
  • 2 TBSP Chia Seeds
  • 2-3 TBSP Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 4-5 Strawberries diced

Directions:

Now this is where I feel that I was mislead. I thought, overnight oats get mixed in the cup/mason jar… NOOOO… or at least mine did not work out well that way…

In a bowl, mix the yogurt, cream cheese, almond milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup until well mixed. Add the Oats and strawberries and mix until everything is combined then spoon in to your mason jars… or tupperware if you are too scared to risk becoming a hipster. Leave in your fridge overnight and enjoy tomorrow! Will keep for 2-3 days… surprisingly, the strawberries keep their texture pretty well.

 

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

(Makes 2 servings aka 2 jam jars worth)- this one came from the side of my canister of rolled oats…

Ingredients:

  • 2 Heaping TBSP Peanut Butter ( I used a natural and sugar free one)
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1-2 TBSP Maple Syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats

Directions:

Mash the banana with the peanut butter then add and mix the chia seeds, maple syrup and almond milk until well combined. Add the oats and dish into your mason jars. Refrigerate overnight… or up to 2-3 days… it could potentially last longer…

 

I liked both of these… I mean, obviously, that’s why I’m sharing them with you all…

The best part about bringing overnight oats to work… finding out that your co-worker did the same thing, then having a third co-worker ask if you bought them at the same place…

Back to School Breakfast #1: Eggs & Swiss Chard

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It’s back to school and I’m a mess, and this is before the kids have even started! All summer I’ve spent time prepping for the upcoming school year, but nothing can prepare you for waking up at 5:45 after spending the glorious weeks of summer sleeping in till 10…

To combat these super early mornings I need something good, fast, and filling. Locally we have a local farm cooperative that delivers fresh produce from a variety of local farms. This morning my produce arrived with some beautiful swiss chard, tomatoes, and local farm fresh eggs. I don’t have much experience with swiss chard, but I played around with this a bit over the summer and found the saute’d  tomato/chard combo worked great with a fried egg… so here goes 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Oil
  • 1 Bunch of swiss chard, cut at the stem
  • 1 Large Heirloom tomato or another tomato with a soft peel
  • Eggs
  • Salt to taste

Tools:

  • Knife & cutting board (you can use a paper plate in a pinch :))
  • Frypan or electric skillet
  • Fork/spatula

Directions:

Wash and check the chard, then remove the stems and chop the leaves until they are salad sized pieces. (I kept the stems, but I’m not sure what I’ll do with them just yet…). Heat your frypan or electric skillet with a couple tablespoons of oil and add the cut swiss chard and a pinch of salt, mix around to coat, then let the greens cook. If the pan starts to get a bit dry, try covering it with some foil. In the meantime chop your tomato. When the swiss chard looks a bit wilted and is starting to lose its bitter taste (about 5 minutes), add the tomatoes and continue to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Now that your pan is filled with lots of flavor, push the cooked greens and tomatoes to the side of your pan and crack and check an egg. If the pan is dry you could add another drop of oil, then fry the egg to your liking. Enjoy!

One time saving tip is to make a bigger batch of the greens and tomatoes, then set some aside for tomorrow’s breakfast before you add the egg for today … or you know, you could just eat it all now…whatevs