Healthy Purim Recipes
And they taste good too!
Try these super healthy Purim recipes that symbolize unity and joy and they taste good too!
I live in an “international” building in Jerusalem with Jews whose ancestry traces back to immigration from many different countries, including 12th generation Yerushalmis. So when it comes to recipes for mishloach manos we like to celebrate the unity our building represents.
Yemenite Fenugreek Dip
(also known as “Hilbeh”)
Fenugreek is incredibly high in vitamins and minerals, especially iron, it is known for lowering cholesterol, and the risk of color cancer, helps control blood sugar levels and is a traditional remedy for colds and bronchitis, heartburn and indigestion. That’s a lot of power for a modest seed! It also has a fascinating way of swelling enormously when you soak the seeds in water, so you don’t need much to make a lot of dip!
- 1/2 cup coarsely ground fenugreek seeds
- 3-4 cups water
- Soak the ground seeds in the water overnight. Then pour out the water and stir the dip that has formed. Add:
- 1 whole tomato
- 1 hot pepper
- 2-4 cloves of garlic
- 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Up to 1/4 cup dried parsley, or a 1/2 cup fresh parsley
Blend together until creamy.
Chinese Cabbage Salad
Without writing an entire article about the super-phenomenal benefits of eating bok-choy, or what is popular known as Chinese cabbage, adding bok-choy to your mishloach manos is providing your loved ones with an incredibly rich assortment of over 22 vitamins and minerals that help our bodies thrive and shine. This is a mishloach manos you will be enthusiastically thanked for!
- 8 cups of sliced, raw bok-choy
- ¼ cup halved cashews (or assorted nuts: walnuts, almonds, peanuts)
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 sliced red pepper
- 2 grated carrots
- 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
- ½ to 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tb garlic powder
- 1 Tb onion powder
- 1 Tb fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tb silan (date honey)
Shake dressing in a glass jar and then pour on the salad
Achdus Italian Pasta Salad
This recipe is enhanced by using different colored and shaped pastas.
- 250 gram of spinach, green elbows
- 250 gram of orange bow-tie
- 250 gram of red fussili (spiral shaped)
- 250 gram whole wheat macaroni
- 250 gram yellow shells
- 250 gram beet-colored little curls
After pastas are cooked and drained, toss in a large bowl with:
- 1 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup of chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup of chopped fresh basil
- 6 sliced chives or scallions
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup of olive oil
The more variety, the more exotic and festive your pasta salad appears.
Syrian Carrot & Kale Salad
Kale is another super healthy leafy green vegetable with tons of iron, calcium, Vitamin A, C and K, as well as numerous other trace minerals. Only 30 calories in one cup of raw kale, nearly 3 grams of protein and lots of fiber.
This Syrian salad combines:
- 7 grated carrots
- 1 bag of kale, shredded
- 8 sliced dates
- ¼ cup dried cranberries lime
- Seeds of one pomegranate (optional, but very festive!)
- ¼ cup of sliced toasted almonds
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
- 2-4 mashed garlic cloves
- 1 pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp of cayenne
- 1 tsp cumin
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together, cover with marinade and let the flavors blend for about two hours in the refrigerator. (Or longer).
Variation: ½ cup of fresh orange juice instead of lemon, add ¼ cup of fresh spearmint.
Super Puffy Purim Rolls!
Purim is a time of miracles… hidden miracles. I got this recipe from my married daughter, and how this bread doubles, triples and quadruples is just incredible. And as my youngest daughter declared recently, “it’s like a miracle!”
If you have one, use a HUGE bowl! This dough can grow and expand and ooze all over! So watch out!
The really fun part is how do you knead a sticky cake-like batter bread dough? You know we have all heard that kneading is great exercise and so essential for a good rise. But ah-hah! You can’t knead this dough, so when I first tried this recipe I kept adding more and more flour so I could knead the dough like a normal dough. But then my kids declared, “this does not taste like our sister makes it!”
So I called my daughter to ask what to do, and she said, “That’s the point, you can’t knead it! Just pour it into the bread pans the way you would pour in cake batter.”
I will admit that it took me a few times to just do it like that. Just pour the “dough” into bread pans??
This all seemed crazy… how could making bread be as simple as making a cake?
But I had to humbly learn that this dough is VERY moist and sticky and impossible to knead… so don’t try!
Start with two bowls:
- 1/c cup brown sugar
- 2 Tb yeast
- 3 ¼ cups of warm water
- Mix and let this bubble for 15 minutes
Then add to Bowl 2:
- 1 kilo whole wheat flour
- ½ oil
- 1 Tb sea salt
(I usually double the recipe so I can say the brachah hafreshes challah:
Bowl 1: 1 cup sugar, 4 Tb yeast, 6 ½ cups of warm water.
Bowl 2: 2 kilos of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of oil, 2 Tb sea salt)
For fun variation, use spelt or rye or sprouted grain flours.
NOTE: You can use one huge bowl, with the flour mixture on the bottom, and the water, yeast and sugar in all “well” bubbling for 15 minutes, before you mix it all together.
After 15 minutes: mix the two bowls and stir together.
This stirring is called “kneading” because the dough is super moist, more like a sticky cake batter, so just stir!
Cover the dough with a large piece of plastic wrap (yes, you can use a sheet of baking paper or an environmentally friendly towel, but be aware that this dough is SUPER STICKY!).
Place in a warm spot and let it rise for 90 minutes.
Using a big metal spoon, just scoop the batter into small, round bread tins and sprinkle with a variety of colorful seeds, to make festive rolls for your mishlaoch manos.
For Purim, in honor of Esther the Queen, who survived in the King’s palace eating nuts and seeds, sprinkle liberally with an assortment of colorful seeds: sesame, flax, sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, caraway, all your favorites.
Make them gorgeous!
Let the rolls rise in an 80 C degrees oven for about 20 minutes.
Then bake at 180 C degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.
Super fluffy, super delicious. As my youngest daughter declared, “it’s like a miracle!”
Sweet Potato Batata French Fries
For the same size and weight and slightly more calories, the humble sweet potato far exceeds a white potato in nutritional value, with an outstanding amount of Vitamin A, which greatly strengthens our immune system.
Also, for those who are sensitive to the nightshade family vegetable, which includes potatoes of the Solanaceae family, sweet potatoes are part of the Convolvulacea family, also known as Ipomoea batatas, completed unrelated to potatoes!
Slice six to twenty large sweet potatoes into thick “French-fry” sticks, or into round circle shapes, whichever you prefer.
Slice more sweet potatoes depending on the size of your gathering.
Place the slices on a baking paper in a large oven tray, and sprinkle with your favorite herbs and spices. Double everything except the salt for double the amount of batatas.
- 1 tsp sea salt,
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ hot pepper (for the brave)
- Sprinkle with 2 Tb olive oil
Bake at 180 C degrees for 30 minutes or less, until every chip is soft and slightly crunchy at the edges.
Quinoa Vegetable Medley
In a cooking pan, boil 2 cups of water, then add 1 cup of well rinsed, clean quinoa, and ¼ tsp salt.
Cook on a low flame for ten minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the lid on, while you prepare the vegetables.
In a saucepan with about ½ cup of water, sauté
- 4 thinly slice onions
- 2 zucchini
- 1 large carrot, sliced in circles
- 8 large mushrooms
- 1 sliced red pepper
- 1 container of mung sprouts
Sauté for about 8 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Then mix in a large metal or ceramic bowl the cooked quinoa and the sautéed vegetables.
Kasha or millet can be substituted for the quinoa.