Passover: EnLITEned Kosher Cooking
Preparing healthy, traditional Passover fare doesn't have to be as daunting as crossing the Red Sea.
For those trying to live a healthy lifestyle or facing health issues, it is even more of a concern and searching for appropriate recipes, especially when looking for healthier, low carb/low fat recipes would prove almost futile. However, equipped with leading-edge nutritional information, basic skills and a cache of Passover recipes from Feldheim's newly released EnLITEned Kosher Cooking by Nechama Cohen, this year we can really sail through.
Passover meals, along with the food requirements that traditionally come with a Seder, entail serious changes in food choices, quantities, and even eating times. These changes and challenges are awesome for all people and can be an even more serious source of worry for people who follow specific dietary regimens. Cohen provides an extensive Passover section with recipes that make it easy to enjoy delicious foods along with everyone else. Cohen has also designed an additional 140 recipes throughout the cookbook that are suitable for Passover.
The more than 250 recipes in the book cover all Jewish holidays and celebrations.
Over twenty years ago, one day out of the blue, Nechama Cohen suddenly began to exhibit severe symptoms of diabetes. "Although I had to do some very rapid nutritional research and it was very hard in the beginning, I always say that my diabetes is a blessing.
"I was forced to confront the sheer reality that I was responsible for feeding myself properly. I had to confront my own ignorance, and I had to dodge the ignorance of the medical profession, who kept me in intensive care feeding me potatoes to raise my potassium levels, while my blood sugars kept skyrocketing. That's because we now know that potatoes translate into sugar faster than even regular table sugar!
"Diabetes totally changed my life, and as a result I founded an organization the JDA (Jewish Diabetes Association) that has helped thousands of people. Our eating requirements are intimately bound up with our religion, culture, and ethnic identity. A Jewish person with diabetes needs to learn how to navigate their way through all these eating opportunities, and stay in control of their blood sugar levels. Go and try to explain to a doctor why you absolutely have to have 4 cups of wine at one meal and a given amount of matzah. I do not know if anybody knew the carbohydrate content of matzah balls until JDA came along!"
The following recipes are from EnLITEned Kosher Cooking by Nechama Cohen with permission from Feldheim Publishers.
Low-Carb Chicken Soup
Low Carb, Low Fat (with bones only: Fat Free)
Yields: 12 servings
This is a low-carb version of the same great chicken soup classic that you are used to but not loaded with vegetables.
To follow are some great EnLITEned traditional accompaniments!
1 chicken, cut up with the skin removed, and/or 2 packages of chicken bones
2 large turkey necks
2 carrots, peeled and halved
1 onion, peeled
2 leeks (see Tip on p. 42)
3 small zucchini, whole (see Tip on p. 47)
2 stalks celery
1 (8-ounce) piece of pumpkin, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoon chicken soup powder (optional)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
fresh dill & parsley sprigs
kohlrabi, parsnip, celery root, green and red peppers
Use the first method listed earlier for cleaning poultry/meat dishes (see p. 39), but include the vegetables in the first boil. Now most of the carbs will be in the discarded water. (For those who cannot give up on carrots, sweet potatoes, etc., boil them in a separate pot for 10 minutes, discard the water and add the semi cooked vegetables to the soup.) Return the chicken/bones/necks and vegetables, except for the zucchini, to the pot, add herbs and spices, and cover with cold water plus 3 cups. Bring to a boil. Lower the flame to simmer. Add the zucchini and cook covered over medium low heat for about 2 hours.
Note: You might want to put the greens, onion and leeks in a flow-through muslin bag to keep the pieces from getting into the soup, and to make for easy disposal.
with chicken with chicken bones only Serving size (cup) 11/2-2 11/2-2
(oz) 12 10
(g) 360 300,br> Calories 100 80
Protein (g) 11 3
Carbs (g) 3 4
Fat (g) 3 0
Sat. Fat (g) 1 0
Cholesterol (mg) 50 5
Sodium (mg) 300 370
Calcium (mg) 0 0
Fiber (g) 1 1
Exchanges: Starch/vegetable 1/4 Lean meat protein 11/2 with bones 1/2
Egg Drop "Noodles"
Carb Free, Low Fat / Yield: 6-8 servings
I learned this from my mother over 40 years ago. It is so easy and light; you won't believe it's kosher for Passover. Egg drops are a marvelous, filling and healthy accompaniment to any soup. The Chinese way to serve this dish is in a clear chicken soup sprinkled with scallions.
6-8 cups clear chicken soup (see pp. 47, 48)
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg white
2 tablespoons water
salt and pepper to taste
Using an 8-10 cup soup pot, bring chicken soup to a rolling boil. Beat the eggs with the water and season to taste. Pour mixture slowly into the soup, while swirling it with a whisk or fork to create a noodle-like appearance.
Serving size (Tbsp) 2–3
Protein (g) 2.4
Carbs (g) 0.2
Fat (g) 1.6
Sat. Fat (g) 0.5
Cholesterol (mg) 87
Sodium (mg) 158
Calcium (mg) 10
Fiber (g) 0
Exchanges: Free exchange 1
Passover Blintzes (Crepes) and "Noodles"
Carb Free, Low Fat / Yield: 12 crepes or 2 cups noodles
These marvelous crepes are great on Passover and all year round. Once you get the hang of it, they really are easy to make. You can also use this recipe to make kosher for Passover noodles.
7 eggs plus 7 egg whites
11/2 tablespoons potato starch
1/2 cup water, divided
11/2 tablespoons olive oil (or walnut oil for sweet blintzes)
non-stick cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste
Beat eggs and egg whites together with salt and set aside. Mix potato starch with part of the water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and beaten eggs and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well again. (A blender or food processor is handy for mixing the batter, but be careful to mix just until blended. Overmixing will create a foam that must be removed, or it will affect the texture of the finished crepes.) Transfer batter to a pitcher that is wide enough to allow mixing.
Heat olive oil and non-stick spray in an 8- inch, non-stick frying pan. Pour off extra oil into a dish. Keep a paper towel in this dish to use for wiping the pan after every few crepes (this helps keep the amount of oil needed down to a minimum), or spray with non-stick cooking spray. When the pan is hot, lower the heat to medium and pour in 1/4 -1/2 cup of batter. Tilt pan to cover the bottom and pour any extra batter back into the pitcher. This will ensure very thin blintzes. As soon as the batter is firm, loosen the edges and turn over onto a dish towel or slightly greased piece of aluminum foil. Then return it to the pan to cook on the other side. (You can flip it with a spatula, but most people find it easier to turn it out and then return it to the frying pan.) Cook on the second side for no more than a few seconds and remove to a towel. Before making the next crepe, mix batter with a fork in order to blend in any potato starch that settles. Unless you're a real pro, the first 1 or 2 blintzes will probably not come out easily and will tear.
When blintzes are cool, roll up a few at a time and slice into ultra-thin strips. For smaller noodles, slice down the length as well. Allow noodles to dry a bit and then store in an airtight container or plastic bags. These freeze well.
For crepes (blintzes):
Use the filling of your choice (see next page) and either fold the crepe around it blintz-style (like an envelope) or roll up. The unfilled crepes freeze well, either stacked or in layers divided by wax paper.
You can certainly use the standard mashed-potato filling, but if you want a lower carb count and something more interesting, here are a few suggestions:
Mix equal amounts of cooked potato with cooked cauliflower and some fried onions. Add salt to taste.
Mix ground meat and/or chicken with fried onions and seasoning.
Grate apples; add sugar substitute, cinnamon and ground nuts.
Beat 1 egg white just until shiny and starting to stiffen. Add ground nuts to form a paste. Add sugar substitute, cinnamon (optional) and juice from half a lemon.
Mix farmer cheese with 1 beaten egg white, sugar substitute, cinnamon and vanilla flavoring.
If you're cooking for a crowd and want to save time, use a large frying pan and make extra-large crepes. Pile up cooled crepes, slicing off the sides to use for noodles. You will be left with nice-sized rectangles that can be used for folded blintzes.
Serving size 1 crepe (Tbsps noodles) 2–3
Protein (g) 3.1
Carbs (g) 0.7
Fat (g) 2.3
Sat. Fat (g) 0.6
Cholesterol (mg) 85
Sodium (mg) 37
Calcium (mg) 11
Fiber (g) 0
Exchanges: Lean protein 1/2
Fresh and Natural Applesauce
Low Carb, Fat Free / Yield: 20 servings
It's hard to go back to store-bought applesauce after tasting this delicious, refreshing dessert. The trick to this great dish is tea bags. Be daring and try a variety of different flavors.
10 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into eighths
juice of half a lemon
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 flavored tea bags of your choice
sugar substitute, optional
for fruit compote:
use fruit of choice Place apples in a 5-quart pot. Add lemon juice, salt, vanilla, tea bags and water, covering not more than half the apples so that the end result will not be too watery. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until apples are soft. Hand-blend and mash to desired consistency. For additional sweetness, you can add sugar substitute. Variations:
For a crunchy fruit compote:
Bring ingredients to a boil and cook on high heat for 7 minutes. Turn off heat and cover. Let stand overnight. In the morning, put into a jar and refrigerate. This can be frozen in an airtight container.
For a strawberry-rhubarb apple compote:
Add 11/2 cups of sliced strawberries and 1 cup of sliced rhubarb to the apples. Rhubarb is quite tart, so add sugar substitute according to taste. Blend well and refrigerate.
For cinnamon applesauce:
Add 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon to blended apples. For a beautiful crimson color, as well as additional flavor and fiber, add 1-11/2 cups frozen blueberries.
Serving size (cup) 1/2
(oz) 2 2/3
Protein (g) 0.1
Carbs (g) 8
Fat (g) 0.2
Sat. Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 0
Calcium (mg) 5
Fiber (g) 0
Exchanges: Fruit 3/4