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10 Healthy Passover Short Cuts! Just for you!

If you’re looking for Passover shortcuts, read this blog post!

I take pride in the fact that my guests leave my house full, but not sick to their stomachs. Passover should be no different! I’m in full recipe gathering mode. This time of year I’m less inclined to work on developing my own recipes. It’s already complicated enough to kasher the house for Pesach, plan healthy plant based Passover food, and cook it all myself.

I have received a couple of potential reprieves! Shalom Kosher

the-shalom-group

has lots of great vegetarian options for takeout this year and

Soupergirl,

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the healthy kosher vegan place, is going Star-K kosher for Pesach (and thereafter)!

In addition, see this article: Whole Foods expands its Passover offerings this year.

Here are a number of Passover shortcuts, recipes and resources I’ve already gathered for this year.

First, the best $4.99 I’ve ever spent: http://veganpassover.com/  e book by Rina Reich of www.veganstart.com. She lives in Israel and has been vegan since 2010. With a number of vegan Passovers under her belt, she has the traditional foods down. That’s not something I’ve focused on for Passover, but she has vegan Pesach recipes for everything from mayonnaise to carrot kugel and kishke. I feel like I have a cheat sheet or a playbook without doing any work. Vegan or not, a week of only traditional foods like kugel and kishke is a little much for me. But I do want to have those options and be able to incorporate more traditional foods into my Seder menu and now I have the tools at my finger tips. I can’t recommend this book enough. If you don’t care about vegan but you have an egg allergy, making Passover complicated, this is also an amazing resource for you.

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Not surprisingly the author is a web developer, which is probably why she thought to land the awesome URL www.VeganPassover.com.

You can always count on my buds over at Joy of Kosher!

joy of kosher

Raw Date Brownies by Chana Schottenstein

Spaghetti Squash with Vodka Sauce by Whitney Fisch

Cauliflower Couscous by Judita Wignall

 

Nava Atlas’s book Vegan Holiday Kitchen is always my go-to, as is the Passover section on her website.

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Kosher on a Budget

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18 foods that don’t need special pesach kosher certification

 

I’m going to do gorgeous things with veggies like I did last year. My new veggie noodle maker, mandolin and chip maker from Stevie Friedman at Pampered Chef will help me tremendously. Order before Sunday at 8pm, with this link for reduced shipping costs. After that, order here.

pampered chef logo

My other healthy Passover tricks of the trade:

Sorbet truffles

Using silicone muffin cups, layer three different colors of sorbet (This is an idea from a Susie Fishbein cookbook). My own take: Even better than the chemical filled Passover sorbets, puree your own fruit and layer it. When the contents have frozen and you’re ready to serve, simply peel away the silicone muffin cups and you have a beautiful three color layered dessert. It doesn’t get too much easier than that.

Well, maybe it does. My other

Easy Pesach desserts

Chocolate dipped bananas and strawberries and chocolate bark.

Melt chocolate chips. Dip banana chunks in the chocolate, place on a tray covered with wax paper and freeze. For strawberries, you’ll want to put them in the refrigerator, not freezer. And for chocolate bark, you can use pomegranate seeds, nuts or even candy. Line a cookie sheet or a container with parchment paper. Pour in melted chocolate and press toppings into the chocolate. Place in the freezer until ready to serve.

For starch, skip the matzo and matzo meal at each and every meal.

Instead, use sweet potato and butternut squash. You can also use your food processor (Get a cheap one for Pesach. I promise it is worth it!) to make rice out of cauliflower. Then saute it on the stove top, with the flavors and vegetables you prefer, such as spinach, onions and garlic.
You can also check out last year’s Passover post and my general healthy holiday advice.

I look forward to hearing about your challenges and successes this Pesach! Go to my Facebook page to share or get advice or email me at natasha@healthyfamilyhealthyyou.com any time.

Chag Sameach!

 

 

 

New Recipes and Succot Prep Extravaganza!

Here are a few recipes and ideas we’ve been working on over here at the Healthy Family, Healthy You house!

Use them to make your Succot easier or any other holiday or week yummier and healthier. All recipes are vegan. Almost all (I’m looking at you, cookie dough!) are super healthy.

For more healthy holiday ideas, read my recent blog on the topic! It’s not too late! If you’re worried about weight gain, read this recent post!

Great snacks and/or breakfasts

1. Chocolate Banana Mini-Muffins (New Recipe!)

banana chocolate chip muffins

You won’t find a healthier or easier recipe than this! These make a great grab and go breakfast, snack, or even a treat at lunch.

This is a variation of my past recipe for granola bars/cookies.

Ingredients

3 bananas

3/4 cup quick oats

1/4 cup ground walnuts (can substitute another ground nut or leave out entirely for allergy issues)

1/4 cup flax meal

Dash of real vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1/8 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Mash bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl. Add oats, walnuts and flax meal, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix again.

Put mini cupcake liners into your mini cupcake pan and then spray the liners with non-stick spray. Place approximately 1 Tb of batter in each muffin liner. This recipe made EXACTLY 24 mini muffins-the same size as my mini muffin tin.

Bake in center of oven for 15 minutes. They won’t look quite done, but they are. Let cool for a few minutes so no little kiddies (or adults) burn their tongues on the hot (yum!) chocolate chips.

Tip: You can mix in different nuts (whole or ground) and dried fruit, depending on your preferences. However, I will tell you that I tried coconut flakes and the flavor really got lost.

2. Travelin’ Green Smoothie

Travelin Green Smoothie

TGS Ingredients

 

Sophisticated appetizers

1. Cucumber, carrot and lemon kabobs (New Recipe!)

I took this picture from an old Crate and Barrel catalog I found in my house. I’m going to use my mandolin to slice cucumbers and carrots, place them on a kabob stick and squeeze lemon juice over the vegetables. It’s kind of a deconstruction of a salad I already have in the Healthy Family, Healthy You book.

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2. Spiked appetizer (New Recipe!)

spiked appetizer

This recipe was inspired by one I saw in O Magazine. I’m trying to up my presentation skills this Succot, so I took the dish, put it in a shot glass and garnished it with a lime. Looks a little naughty, but there actually isn’t any alcohol in it.

Ingredients

1 cucumber

1 lime

1 mango

1 cantaloupe

Chili Powder and Himalayan Pink Rock Salt

Slice each piece of fruit/veggie into sticks or similar shape of your choice (full disclosure: I bought the mango and cantaloupe already sliced).

Give them a quick shake of chili powder and a quick grind of the salt. Place them in a shot glass. Squeeze a bit of a lime wedge over the cantaloupe, mango and cucumber and then use it as a garnish in the glass.

 

Easy side dishes to bring to friends

1. Asian slaw

healthy asian coleslaw

2. Maple Squash Pudding

Baked Maple Sweet Potato Pudding

 

Easy vegetarian main meals

1. Enchilada casserole

2. Acorn squash with mushrooms and onions from the 15 day Reboot with Joe.

Acorn Squash with Mushrooms and Onions

3. Easy Healthy Chinese Dinner

Healthy easy chinese at home

 

Desserts

1. Caramel banana milk chocolate brownies

Excuse the lack of a pretty picture. That’s what happens when you cook with kids!

caramel banana milk chocolate brownies

2. Safely raw cookie dough balls

Safely Raw Cookie Dough Balls

Have a happy and healthy holiday! Also, let me know if you have any specific recipe requests for next week’s holidays!

The Recipe for Preventing (& Reversing) Holiday Weight Gain

Preventing Holiday Weight Gain! You can do it!

3 mistakes and 3 solutions

Last week I wrote about staying healthy during Rosh Hashanah. Those tips apply to all holiday, high, low, Jewish or not. The tips I gave you last week will certainly help, but we all know that it can be hard to control our circumstances, especially when eating out or traveling. I was away for Rosh Hashanah and not cooking my own food. I did the best I could, but I could have done better. Of course it was a good learning experience for the future.

The truth is, I didn’t gain weight over yuntov (that’s yiddush for holidays). However, I didn’t feel good about how I ate. I talked to the chef ahead of time to discuss providing vegan options for me, but I didn’t really know what I was going to get for each meal. Turns out there was something for me to eat at each meal, but many times it was just a few vegetables.

Menu planner

Here are the common mistakes I made and you may be making too:

1. Because I didn’t know what or how much I would have to eat at the next meal, and I often had few choices, I ate too much of what I could eat. I was in a feast or famine mode. I had snacks in my room so I really didn’t need to have that attitude. This is a reminder that much of hunger and the desire to eat is mental, not physical. Focus on the abundance of what you can eat, not what you can’t eat. I was definitely focused on not having enough and consequently wanted more.

2. Dinners were served at their appropriate times, but those times were  late at night. Because I hadn’t eaten much for about 7 hours at that point, I was hungry so I did need to eat and eating late makes me feel like crap – and isn’t good for anyone’s weight. If I’d been home, I could have eaten a proper dinner much earlier and simply had kiddush (blessing over wine) and motzi ablessing over bread) after shul (synagogue).

3. My other suggestions for late dinners is to eat soup and salad. I could have done that once or twice. However, because everyone else around me was eating a 6 course meal (and I had to wait for the 5th course to just get my plate of vegetables), I wanted to eat more than I needed or would probably want to if I were at home. Again, it’s all mental!

The following tips will help you maintain your weight and health in between festive moments. 

1. HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training. You don’t have to exercise every day and you don’t have to exercise very long to see great results. Recent studies have shown that HIIT is much more efficient than exercising at a steady pace for a long period of time. One popular version is called the Tabata Method. In four minutes you can do 8 cycles of 1 exercise. Go as hard as you can (running, lifting weights, etc.) for 20 seconds and then recover for 10 seconds. I have some examples on my Pinterest page. You can pick four  different exercises and do a full workout in 16 minutes.  You only have to do this a few days per week. Certainly exercise as much as you can using this method. However, every cycle you complete will make a large impact on your fitness levels.

2. Intermittent Fasting is all the rage these days and for a reason. Again, there are various methods, but the easiest one is to fast for a period of time each day. Another option is to eat normally 5 days per week and then keep your calories to about 600 on two fasting days per week. The easiest method of intermittent fasting is what I try to do (and it works!). Keep your eating to only 6-10 hours per day. Most people would find it difficult to keep their eating to only 12 hours per day. I remember being in a cleanse workshop where everyone was unnerved at the suggestion of stopping all food intake each day at approximately 7pm – or whenever it would give us a full 12 hour rest from additional food.  Time off from digesting new food allows your body to burn more of its fat stores. In addition, if you know you can eat without unreasonable restrictions when you do eat, it’s easier to stick to this regimen than trying to “diet” all the time.

Here are some examples for how you might progress to this. (You can also go cold turkey in between this year’s three day yuntovs! You’ll love the results!)

Step 1: Eat 7am to 7pm. Don’t eat 7pm to 7am. (12 hour fast. 12 hours eating.)

Step 2: Eat 8am to 6pm. Don’t eat 6pm to 8am. (14 hour fast. 10 hours eating.)

Step 3: Eat 8:30am to 5:30pm. Don’t eat from 5:30pm to 8:30am. (15 hour fast. 9 hours eating.)

Step 4: Eat 9am to 5pm. Don’t eat from 5pm to 9am (16 hour fast. 8 hours eating.)

If you want to go down to the minimum of 6 hours eating per day, more power to you. I can’t do that! But I can do the 9-5 method. However, I do have to tell you that after getting out of that routine for so many days during my recent travels, it has been hard to get back into. I’ve had to ease back into it, which surprised me.

3. Decide what the right recipe is for you and write it down: 3 workouts per week, plus 10 hours per day eating, minus animal products = a great plan to get you on the way to your health and fitness goals!