Orange With a Twist

Last Updated on Thursday, 1 March 2012 03:12 Written by Flax Thursday, 1 March 2012 02:54

This soup, based on a variety of orange vegetables is unique due to the variety of spices it encompasses.  Orange vegetables, sweet in flavor are very to the spleen and are wonderful for anyone who suffers from digestive issues.  The combination of warming and invigorating spices that are used in the recipe below are also meant to help to improve the digestive system.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1″ ginger root, grated
  • 1 butternut squash, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato,  chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 liters water
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped coriander for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Saute the onion until it turns translucent, add the garlic, ginger, and spices and saute for two minutes more.   Add the water, bring to a boil, and then add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer on a low flame for one hour.  Puree, garnish with the chopped coriander, and serve hot.

Serves 8-10.

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The Festival of Light

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 03:13 Written by Flax Tuesday, 13 December 2011 02:01

The Festival of Light is just around the corner.  Jews and their sense of humor, how can anyone consider fried potatoes and fried dough to be light?  Festival of Oil is more like it.  To make matters even worse, Hanukkah is smack in the middle of the winter, a time when we are most susceptible to gaining weight, and to retaining it.  Tradition is tradition, there really is no getting around the jelly donuts and potato pancakes, but there are healthier ways to keep tradition.

Baking is always better than frying.  While baked latkes certainly don’t taste nearly as good as fried latkes, they are definitely healthier.  Another option is to add vegetables to the latkes to increase their nutritional value.  I like to grate some zucchini, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and add them to the standard potato latke.  Another trick that I have is to add a little bit of wakame (seaweed) to the potato latkes.  I just tell everyone that it is parsley and no one knows the difference.  The advantage of having wakame in your potato latkes is that the alginate in the wakame inhibits the fat absorption by over 75%.  Pretty amazing!  So now you can eat your latkes and banish the fat.

Ingredients:

  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 tsp wakame
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)
  • oil for frying

Soak the wakame in cold water for five minutes.

Grate the vegetables and squeeze out the excess water.  Squeeze the excess water from the wakame and add the wakame to the vegetables.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Heat the oil in a frying pan.  Add the mixture one tablespoon at a time into the oil.  When the bottom is golden brown, flip the latke and brown the other side.

Remove from the pan, drain the oil, and serve

Tip: Adding a piece of carrot to the oil prevents the oil from developing a burnt flavor.

Note:  The recipe above is not meant to promote eating, heavy, greasy, fried foods. My intention here is to help remedy an already bad situation.

Sima Herzfeld Navon is a Nutritional Healer and a runs a Clinic for Holistic Healing.  To learn more, visit her website: www.JustAddFlax.com

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An Abundance of Pomegranates

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 September 2011 10:01 Written by Flax Thursday, 22 September 2011 10:54

Pomegranates and Rosh Hashanah are a bit like turkey and Thanksgiving-there are always left-overs.  If there are only a few remaining seeds then just toss them into a pitcher of water with a slice of lemon.  It looks absolutely magnificent!  I actually buy extra pomegranates as I like to use them throughout the holiday in many different dishes, especially in salads.

In keeping with the whole holiday mood, I bought some pomegranate shaped cookie cutters, I am hoping that they will help me in one of my more anal obsessions.  Honey drips and sticky fingers drive me absolutely bananas!  I am constantly looking for ways to avoid them.  One method that has worked nicely in the past is individual miniature honey pots.  This years new idea is one which I think will nicely occupy my children on erev chag as well.  Use some pre-sliced bread or challah and punch out some pomegranate shapes. If the bread is too soft to work with, then put it in the freezer first for about an hour to harden it.  Spread the cut out shape with honey and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.  Repeat the process, but instead of pomegranate seeds use a few slivers of apple (pour some lemon juice over the apples first to prevent them turning brown).  Arrange the cut-outs on a platter or on individual plates along with the other simanim.  The double advantage here is that it looks beautiful and I it will hopefully will prevent sticky fingers, sticky cutlery, and a sticky tablecloth.  Cut up the remaining bread into small squares and surprise everyone with home-made croutons.

To really emphasize the pomegranate theme try using pomegranate concentrate.  Pomegranate concentrate is a great way to sweeten foods without using any sugar.    I use pomegranate concentrate as a sweetener in cooked dishes, but I especially like it in salad dressing.  On Rosh Hashanah I always make at least one salad that will have pomegranate seeds as an ingredient,  as well as pomegranate concentrate in the dressing.

I offer below two salad recommendations. Notice that both salads contain onions, this is because the flavor of the onion and the pomegranate harmonize beautifully.  The green salad works with any type of lettuce or even with spinach.  If you decide to make both of the salads then double the vinaigrette recipe.

Salad #1

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Salad #2

  • 3 medium-sized beets, cooked, peeled, and diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate concentrate
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
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