All posts by Ariella

Kale Power Salad

 Kale Power Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing

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Craving a hot salad with my dinner, different from my usual go-to mixture of romaine lettuce and fresh vegetables, I decided to use kale, my favorite “superfood” as the base.  After raiding my fridge for other disease fighting ingredients, I was so excited with what I found: variety of mushrooms, red onion and purple cabbage; I could tell this was gonna be good!

IMG_3603Kale: A fully loaded nutrition power-house; a leading source of antioxidants, fiber and cancer-fighting vitamins (source).

Mushrooms: Besides for their meaty texture and low calorie benefits, mushrooms are a leading source of antioxidants, and help strengthen the immune system (source).

Red Onion: Loaded with nutrients that are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and good for the heart (source).

Purple cabbage: High in fiber, this vegetable adds tremendous health benefits raw or cooked.  The deeper the colour of the leaves, the greater the levels of anthocyanins–these help to lower risk of many diseases including cancer and heart disease (source).

After sautéing all of the vegetables with a little salt, pepper, and turmeric, I thought the salad could use a little sweetness to counter-balance the slight bitterness of the kale, and so the “Creamy Cashew Dressing” was born.

Kale Power Salad

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon canola oil

1 bunch kale (5-6 cups)

1/2 medium red onion chopped small (1/2 cup)

8 ounce button mushrooms, sliced thin

8 ounce cremini mushrooms, sliced thin

5 leaves purple cabbage chopped small (3 cups)

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)

Directions:

I like to use a wok, but any large sauté pan will work.  Heat pan for a few minutes on medium heat. Heat oil then add onions and cabbage. After the onions and cabbage start to get soft and tender (about 5 minutes) add mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes longer, until mushrooms are cooked but not soggy.  Mix in salt, pepper and turmeric if using.  Add kale, sauté another 2-3 minutes.  I like the kale to keep some of its crisp flavour and not be fully cooked.

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yield: 4-6 portions

 

Creamy Cashew Butter Dressing:

Ingredients:

1/3 cup tightly packed fresh basil

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon cashew butter

3-4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup water

Directions:

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Dressing will thicken overnight, so I would recommend adding lemon juice or water to thin it.

yield: 1 cup, but 1/2 cup is enough for this salad portion

Spaghetti Squash…The Preferred Pasta

What if there was a way to replace the ultimate comfort food, pasta, with a natural, low calorie, high-fiber alternative?

Meet Spaghetti Squash

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A constant staple in my kitchen, spaghetti squash is a filling, grain alternative, that can be adapted to most pasta recipes for a lighter healthier option.  According to livestrong.com, spaghetti squash contains “almost every essential vitamin” and has only 42 calories per cup.  With a neutral but slightly sweet taste, this vegetable tastes great with pasta toppings, minus the “carb coma” effect of regular wheat noodles.

There are two methods I use to cook a spaghetti squash:

1. Cook in two halves: Cut Squash in half length-wise.  Scrape out seeds with spoon.  Lay two halves cut side down onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until peel feels soft to touch.  Let cool and gently peel out spaghetti strands with fork or spoon.

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2. Cook whole: Pierce with fork in several spots. Place in any baking dish and bake at 350 for one hour or until peel feels soft to touch.  Let it sit for about 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Cut in half length-wise, and remove seeds (plus some of the very stringy, darker yellow part) with a spoon. Gently scrape out spaghetti squash with a fork or spoon, trying to maintain spaghetti-like strands.

*If the squash is not too hard to cut, and you have the proper knives, I recommend cutting in half length-wise before baking because I find it easier to take out the seeds that way.

Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and melted cheese is my personal favorite, but being that Jon and I are on a new “vegan-kick” and attempting vegan meals when possible…I just tried my spaghetti squash with Angela Liddon’s recipe for “15 Minute Creamy Avocado Dressing” from www.ohsheglows.com

Spaghetti Squash with “Creamy Avocado Dressing” 

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All you need is an avocado, some lemon juice, a few garlic cloves, basil, a touch of olive oil and a food processor.

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Use about one spoonful of dressing per bowl of spaghetti squash, mix and enjoy!

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Leek Soup

IMG_3530Even though June, (i.e. summer!) is quickly approaching, we woke up this morning to a chilly and rainy day. I am not complaining, being that the weather has been mainly beautiful lately, but I know that tonight definitely calls for a warm and comforting soup.  Last week, I tried a new recipe, adapted from Ina Garten’s “Roasted Potato Leek Soup.” I was intrigued by the unique mix of roasted vegetables and fresh arugula. Because potatoes are off-limits on Jon’s SCD Diet, I decided to try this recipe with one of my favorite potato replacements–butternut squash.

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I also cut out the white wine, heavy cream and creme fraiche (I honestly have no idea what creme fraiche is) that the original recipe calls for, and instead substituted yogurt and a squirt of lime juice to add some edge.  The result was the perfect soup for a cold spring day. An amazing combination of earthy, smoky flavors from the roasted vegetables, blended with the fresh tastes of the arugula and lime. In the words of Ina Garten, “It is so good.”

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Leek Soup

Ingredients:

8 (heaping) cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (approximately 1/2 large squash)

4 cups chopped leeks, white and green part only (make sure to clean leeks well or they will be very sandy)

2 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

fresh pepper to taste

3 cups baby arugula

1 cup whole yogurt (I use homemade according to guidelines of SCD)

7 cups water

1/2 lime

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix squash and leeks with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay evenly on rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring at least once. Add arugula and continue roasting 4 minutes. Discard any leeks that may have burnt (a little brown on the edges is fine and adds to the flavor). Transfer to soup pot, add water, yogurt and juice from the lime. Bring to a boil, simmer covered for 1 hour and puree. Add salt and pepper if needed. You can continue to simmer after its pureed if you want a thicker consistency.

Yield: 6-8 servings

*This soup tastes great hot or at room temperature.

 

 

 

Indulge Me Cookies

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I never believed it was possible to have a grain free baked good that was as good as the real-deal flour cookie, and then I made these. Better than the real-deal. These cookies remind me of the old-school entenmann’s, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies, but they are so much more delicious. Every decadent bite tastes of indulgence thanks to the rich, nutrient packed ingredients. Hearty almond flour, dark chocolate chips, ground chia and flax, loaded with Omega 3s. 

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 These are my breakfast cookies, my 3 pm pick-me-up cookies and my favorite snack to give my kids.  Hot out of the oven, or as I prefer, frozen, you can’t go wrong with this wonderful treat.

*For SCD replace chocolate/chia/flax with raisins and sunflower seeds

Go ahead, indulge yourself!

Recipe adapted from comfybelly.com

Indulge Me Cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

1/4 cup canola oil

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground flax and/or chia seed (I use a mixture that totals 1 teaspoon)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Camino brand bittersweet chocolate at 71%)

Directions:

pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

Combine flour, salt and baking soda, make sure mixed well.

Add oil, honey, vanilla and egg to the dry mixture, mix well.

Blend in choice of chia/flax and chocolate chips (or raisins and sunflower seeds if SCD)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, cookies should be rolled into balls the size of 1 tablespoon. Press down gently with thumb to ensure even baking. Space cookies about 1 inch apart

Bake for 9-12 minutes.

Cookies are ready when slightly brown around edges. Watch carefully, almond flour is very delicate and even 30 seconds too many can result in burnt cookies. Check the bottom of the cookies if unsure, when the whole bottom looks light brown, they are ready.

Yield: 25-30 cookies

 

 

Welcome to Easy Healthy Kosher!

Hi, I’m Ariella

pic for blog copy

Welcome to EasyHealthyKosher.com, my personal cookbook.

Healthy food has always been a priority in my life. But in 2009, when my husband, Jonathan, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, it became a true way of life for our family. At our doctor’s recommendation, Jon went on a diet that might be able to heal the disease naturally and prevent an invasive surgery. The diet, called SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), basically eliminates all grains, refined sugar, soy and most dairy, in an attempt to “starve off” the disease. (You can learn more about it at breakingtheviciouscycle.info

At first, I was extremely overwhelmed by the strict guidelines of the diet – I could live without bread, but no more onion soup mix? Soy sauce? Morningstar products? What would we eat?!!! 

For months, if we had company over, I would make two separate menus because I didn’t want to be the house in the neighborhood known for its “weirdo” healthy food. 

But slowly, I began to embrace the diet as I noticed how good my normally upset stomach felt by eating such healthy and natural ingredients. I learned how to have more fun experimenting in the kitchen and adapting my favorite recipes using more vegetables, nuts and herbs.  

Today, I am so thankful to feed my children food that is made from real ingredients – not processed junk that has been sitting on shelves for months, full of preservatives. When friends come over, I love to watch their reactions as they taste an amazing grain-free baked good or entrée loaded with fresh vegetables; I now take so much pride in being the home known for healthy food.

The recipes on this site are always guaranteed to be: Gluten free, refined sugar free, soy free and mainly dairy and grain free. 

This blog is a way to chronicle my favourite recipes and to show everyone how easy it can be to make kosher food that is both delicious and healthy. You can do it, too!