Shavuot

Shavuot – simple recipes for family and friends

May 20, 2009

Listen to Linda’s Food Talk show on OURadio.org!

Shavout will soon be here. It’s a happy holiday and one where dairy foods and honey shine.

So, why dairy on Shavuot? Many people mentioned that they weren’t sure or didn’t remember. Some reasons given deal with the numerical value of milk corresponding to the number of days Moshe was on top of Mt. Sinai; or that Shavuot fell on Shabbat the year we received the Torah and so we couldn’t slaughter any meat. But whatever the reason, it is an incredibly strong, and tasty, custom.

I asked Darah Zeledon, who has just moved back to the United States from Panama City, Panama with her husband and 5 children, what she was making for Shavuot. Her candid answer sounded very familiar to me. Not all of the children like the same thing and most don’t like vegetables. As a food journalist, many people ask me what they can feed their children, especially the ones who won’t have anything green on their plate.

Here are some of her recipes along with my quick, family-friendly Dinner in Minutes.

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Dinner in Minutes

Try making your own pizza instead of ordering one

This homemade Red and Green Pepper Pizza is perfect for Shavuot or anytime. It’s one that the children will love and takes less time than ordering out. It’s also much better on your pocketbook and calorie bank.

You can use almost any type of bread for a pizza base. I like to use a ready-to-eat base, but I’ve also used frozen bread dough and let the children help roll it out, or use pita bread or just use very firm, crusty country-style bread.

The secret is to have a hot oven, so preheat it to 400 degrees before you start preparing the ingredients.

Two large pizza bases may not fit in your oven. Cook them separately to make sure they cook at the right temperature. Cover the cooked one with foil to keep it warm while the second one cooks.

Anything goes on pizza these days. Use this pizza or use whatever you have on hand to create your own.

Open a bag of washed, ready-to-eat salad and toss with 2 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing to complete the meal.

Red and Green Pepper Pizza

This meal contains 648 calories per serving with 35 percent of calories from fat.

Helpful Hints:
• The onion, garlic, red and green peppers and tomatoes can be cooked in a microwave oven for 3 minutes instead of sautéing them in a skillet.
• A foil-lined baking tray makes washing the tray a breeze, or use an oven pizza stone.
• Minced garlic can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets.
• Crushed red pepper flakes give extra zing to the pizza. I like to serve it on the side and let people add their own heat.

Countdown:
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
• Prepare pizza and bake.
• Assemble salad.

SHOPPING LIST
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.
To buy: 1 medium red bell pepper, 1 medium green bell pepper, 2 large tomatoes, 1 small package part-skim milk mozzarella cheese, 1 small piece Parmesan cheese,1 large or 2 small thin crust pizza base, and 1 jar crushed red pepper flakes (optional).
Staples: Olive oil spray, onion and minced garlic.

Listen to Linda’s Food Talk show on OURadio.org!

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of fourteen cookbooks including her newest, Prevention’s Fit and Fast Meals in Minutes and Mix ‘n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes. Email Linda at dinnerinminutes@ou.org. You can visit Linda on her web page at www.DinnerInMinutes.com.