In From The Cold: Warm Comfort Meals
It's cold outside. And grey. But you can come home to a warm and comforting meal. Not only do the smells of a good meal make a home inviting and cozy, a warm nutritious meal actually does satiate a person more during the winter season. Nothing fancy, just some good (and quick) recipes.
Have a good winter,
All the best,
Tamar Ansh is an author, freelance recipe developer, and food columnist. Her articles have appeared in Jewish publications worldwide. She has published 4 books so far which include: Splitting the Sea (Targum Press), inspirational stories on finding one’s soul-mate; Let's Say Amen!, an illustrated children's book about the holiness of Amen (Feldheim Publishers); her first cookbook, A Taste of Tradition (Feldheim Publishers) which is both gluten free and kosher for Passover. Her most recent book is called A Taste of Challah (Feldheim Publishers, 2007). It is a photographic guide to baking and shaping beautiful challahs, and includes many other healthy and interesting bread types as well. Visit www.TasteofChallah.com to see all her books online, as well as other, not yet published, challah and bread recipes. She will be coming on a short book tour and speaking in two different places in the Tri-State area the week of March 4-9th! See her website for details and locations.
My Savory Schnitzels
2 lbs. / about 1 kilo of chicken or turkey boneless breasts, otherwise known as schnitzels, pounded or cut very thin in diameter
2 – 3 cups breadcrumbs – and homemade ones from leftover Shabbat challah are best!
1 T. parsley flakes
1 T. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
3 eggs or 4 egg whites
Mustard of any kind such as brown, spicey, or Dijon
There are two ways to make this, either on the stovetop, which requires a bit more input on your part and are a bit higher in oil content, or in the oven.
Rinse off the schnitzel pieces and dry them off a bit. In one bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and all the seasonings. In another bowl, beat the eggs slightly with a fork and add in a generous squirt of mustard. Beat the mustard into the eggs as well.
If you are making this on the stovetop:
Heat up a large frying pan with a bit of canola oil and start to prepare the schnitzels. Dip each one first into the bread crumb mixture, then into the egg mixture, then once again into the breadcrumbs. Lay it down immediately onto the heated pan. Keep doing this until all the pieces are done. Let the pieces "fry" on the pan for 10 minutes per side. To make sure it is cooked through, cut one open in the center; if it is no longer pink, it's done. Don’t over "fry" them or they become tough and dry. If your chicken/turkey pieces are very thick, try slicing them into thinner pieces first before beginning so they won't take so long to cook up.
To bake these in the oven:
Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C. Spray the bottom of the roasting pan with baking spray. Lay the prepared schnitzels onto the pan in a single layer. Spray the tops of the schnitzels with more baking spray and then slide them into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, being careful not to over bake them.
With either method, they should come out sizzly, hot and scrumptious!
Really GOOD Meatballs in Sauce
1 lb. / about 500 grams ground turkey
1 lb. / about 500 grams ground meat (or more turkey if you have to watch the meat intake)
1/2 cup of oatmeal
2 medium sized onions, pureed
2 cloves garlic, pureed, optional
2 cups tomato paste
1 & 1/2 cups water
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 & 1/2 tsp. salt
1 sliced onion
First, prepare the meat mix. In a large bowl, place the ground meats, eggs, the oatmeal, and the pureed onions and garlic. I puree them instead of chopping them because my kids won't eat the meatballs if they see small onion pieces in them. I have found the onion puree releases the onion’s juices, ramping up the taste. If you'd like to add a bit more fiber into the meatballs, you can also throw in 1/2 cup of wheat germ. Place the meat mix into the fridge to firm up while you make the sauce.
In a large, deep and preferably wide pot, put together the tomato paste, water, ketchup, dark sugar, vinegar and salt. Let it start to bubble and cook, then turn it down to a smaller, but active simmer. Add in the sliced onion. Remove the meat mix from the fridge and form it into small balls. Drop them into the bubbling sauce. Close the lid and let it cook for an hour. Serve it over steamed brown rice. The sauce is so good that the kids will eat the brown rice that's covered with this sauce, no questions asked!
Creamy Zucchini Soup
This soup is low on carbs and can be served hot or cold…
2 large onions, chunked
1 T. canola oil
6-8 medium sized zucchinis, chunked
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley flakes
Place the chunked onions and the canola oil into a larger soup pot. Turn on the flame and start to sauté it. In the meantime, scrub off each zucchini well, trim their edges and slice them into small chunks. Add this to the top of the onions. Measure out the spices and add them all in. Cover the vegetables with water, plus 2 more inches of water, and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and turn the flame down to simmer. Allow the soup to cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Puree the soup until it is creamy and smooth. Ladle out into waiting bowls and then bring it to the table. This soup freezes well, but must be reheated first to regain its smooth consistency.
Trans-fat Free Hermit Bars
This makes one 9x13 pan
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup molasses or honey
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves, optional
optional: ¼ cup yellow or dark raisins
I say raisins are optional because if your kids don’t like to see raisins in their baked foods, then you can leave them out. Of course, you can always make these ‘chocolate chip and/or walnut hermit bars’ by adding in mini chips or chopped nuts… or making one recipe of each kind and then mixing the pieces on your platters when serving it.
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Mix all the ingredients together except the raisins. Add a small amount of flour to the raisins, toss raisins and flour together with your fingers and add them to the ingredient mixture. (Coating the raisins with flour keeps the raisins from sinking to the bottom of the cake/ bars and burning). Spread the batter out in a 9x13 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden brown. Using honey and the pastry whole wheat flour makes it darker, as you see in my picture here. These come out soft and chewy with a bit of slight crunch on the outside. Slice into any size square or bar once they are cool. They look nicest when sprinkled with a fine layer of powdered sugar before serving. A great and healthier snack idea for the whole family.