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Menu for the Nine Days

Menu for the Nine Days

Meatless, delicious and different!

by

Click here to order one of Levana’s bestselling cookbooks.

Tilapia in Tehina Sauce

Tilapia in Tehina Sauce

This recipe will work well with any firm-flesh fish

  • 8 fillets tilapia, 7 to 9 ounces each
  • Vegetable spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray the fish with vegetable spray on both sides. Place on a baking sheet, and bake about 15 minutes, or a drop longer, until the fish flakes easily. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with about 1 cup of tehina sauce (recipe follows). Garnish with sliced scallions of chopped parsley.

Tehina sauce

You will love the Sephardi twist in this sauce. Any excuse to use tahini (sesame paste)! It will perk up countless simple fish, poultry, and burger dishes. If you would rather end up with a thinner consistency, omit the tofu, and use the sauce as dressing.

  • 1 pound silken tofu
  • ¾ cup tehina (sesame paste)
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bottled hot sauce to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

Blend the tahini, garlic, and water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Makes about 2 cups. Store refrigerated in a glass jar.

Brussels Sprouts and Zucchini in Tomato Sauce

Brussels Sprouts and Zucchini in Tomato Sauce

Mediterranean flavors at their best. I find brussels sprouts somewhat underrated and underused in our country. They are much more exciting than they sound, and much less innocent than they look; and their pungent bite provides a nice counterpoint to the mildness of the zucchini. I am including a very simple adaptation of this dish for Pasta.

  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 large zucchini, diced 1/2 inch
  • 1 pint brussels sprouts, the smaller the better, frozen OK, larger ones halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup golden or dark raisins
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves, or ½ teaspoon ground
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large skillet. In a food processor, coarsely grind the onion and garlic, and add to the skillet. Sauté until translucent. Add the zucchini, brussels sprouts, toma- toes, raisins, turmeric, bay leaves, water, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar, and parsley and cook 5 more minutes. Served hot or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

Brussels Sprouts and Zucchini in Tomato Sauce: Pasta Adaptation

Variation: Substitute one pound sliced fresh or frozen okra, or diced frozen artichoke bottoms, for the brussels sprouts and proceed exactly as above.

Pasta Adaptation

Increase the olive oil to 1/2 cup, and the crushed tomatoes to 3 cups. Use 1 pound pasta, any kind, including Gluten-Free plus 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid

Chilled Minted Escarole Pea Soup

Escarole is a member of the lettuce family, rather neglected in America: It has a delightfully bitter edge that makes it a big salad star, and lends itself perfectly to quick cooking, paired as it is here with milder ingredients for this wonderful cold soup.

  • 4 leeks, sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 ribs celery, peeled
  • 1 small bunch flat parsley
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 large zucchini, cut in large chunks
  • 2 quarts (8 cups water)
  • 4 cups frozen peas
  • 1 large head escarole (settle for watercress), roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch mint, leaves only
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups plain yogurt or dairy-free yogurt

Heat the oil in a heavy pot. In a food processor, coarsely grind the leeks, celery, parsley, onion and zucchini, and add the mixture to the hot oil. Sauté until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients except the yogurt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to medium, and cook covered about 10 minutes. Cream the soup in a blender or food processor, or with an immersion blender. Adjust consistency and seasonings. Chill completely, and stir in the yogurt.

Apple Endive Waldorf Salad

Apple Endive Waldorf Salad

Waldorf in a dish signals the presence of apples, celery, and nuts. Besides these constant trademarks, there’s so much you can do with a Waldorf salad, so let’s start with my favorite, then take it places! Passover: Adjust the dressing ingredients using what you have on hand.

  • 2 gala or other fragrant apples, unpeeled, diced small
  • 4 ribs celery, peeled and sliced very thin
  • ½ small red onion, minced
  • Optional: 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, cashews, or pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
  • 1 cup remoulade dressing (recipe at the bottom)

Place all salad ingredients in a bowl, adding the nuts just before serving so they don’t lose their crunch. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Makes 8 servings.

Variations: Play with the possibilities and enjoy an exciting dish each time.

  • Add shredded romaine, thinly sliced endive or fennel or grated celery root (in this
  • case, make a little more dressing as the salad will get bulkier).
  • Throw in some freshly grated Parmesan
  • Substitute other kinds of nuts: pistachios, peanuts, almonds, pine, etc.
  • Turn the salad into a main course by adding some diced cooked salmon or sliced
  • poached chicken breast or diced natural (no nitrites) smoked turkey or both.
  • Throw in some diced avocado.
  • Throw in some frozen corn, thawed.
  • Throw in some cooked brown rice, or any cooked grain you might have on hand.

Remoulade dressing

This is an intensely flavored sauce with a robustness that is a good match for grated celery root, endives, watercress, as well as cold meats. It uses just a little fat and packs a great punch at a lower caloric cost.

  • ⅓ cup low-fat mayonnaise (if mayo is a problem, substitute ⅓ cup silken tofu plus 1/4 cup olive oil)
  • ⅓ cup milk or dairy-free milk, low-fat OK, a little more if needed
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup prepared white horseradish (or 2 tablespoons wasabi diluted in a little cold water)
  • 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Thin with a little more milk if necessary to make a creamy sauce. Makes about 2 cups. Store refrigerated in a glass jar.

Apple Crumb Pie Recipe

Apple Crumb Pie Recipe

The all-time American favorite, as easy to make as the proverbial…. apple pie! One of my favorite comfort foods. No crust here, but loads of crunchy topping. All Gluten-Free Friends: This dessert is a snap to make the gluten-free way too, so go for it. You might to make the exact same dessert with blueberries, plums, peaches etc… These fruit releasing more moisture than apples, simply follow the recipe, increasing the arrowroot to 1/2 cup. In this case, replace the cinnamon with ground ginger or cardamom, either of which will be a great spice match. If you get ambitious, make individual apple pies in 3-4 inch ramekins, it will add a little prep work, but will be beautiful. Although I recommend serving this dessert warm, room temperature will work too.

Fruit mixture:

  • 6 large granny smith apples, peeled and diced small
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot, tapioca flour or kuzu (health food stores)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or Sucanat (health food stores)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or rum

Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup flour, any kind
  • 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup natural margarine spread
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar or Sucanat

Preheat the oven to 35oF. Mix the fruit mixture ingredients gently and without squeezing, so as not to extract moisture, and pour into a greased 12-inch pie pan. Mix the topping ingredients lightly with your fingers until you get a mealy texture. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the apple mixture, using it all up. Bake for about 45 minutes, or a little longer, until the top is bubbly and golden. Best served warm (room temperature OK too), alone or with vanilla ice cream or sorbet.

Click here to order one of Levana’s bestselling cookbooks.

Published: July 9, 2013


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Visitor Comments: 1

(1) Larry Grafanakis, July 12, 2013 8:36 PM

great suggestion

Well those are just wonderful ways to circumvent the tradition of identifying with the pains and death of our ancestors.

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