If I could pick two things to remove from kosher kitchens, they would be margarine and non-dairy creamer. We would all be a lot healthier. Just read the ingredient label. Does it sound like food? The hard-to-pronounce ingredients are mainly sugar (in non-dairy creamer) and a concoction of chemicals added to partially-hydrogenated fat.

Fortunately there are tasty and healthy alternatives. Canola oil is good for baking. Olive oil is delicious in cooking and for salads. And soy, rice or almond "milk" work well for parve dishes and desserts.

Enjoy these delicious recipes for Thanksgiving and all year round!

Pumpkin Pie (Parve)

If canned pumpkin isn't available, use winter squash. It won't taste like pumpkin, but will still be delicious. Bake or microwave the squash, drain off the liquid and puree it in a food processor. Measure a scant two cups for this recipe. If your soy milk is sweet, decrease the sugar in the recipe to ½ cup.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (15 ounces/400 gm) pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups soy milk
2 large eggs
Pastry for a single-crust 9" (23cm) pie crust (Recipe Below)

Prepare the pie crust and set it aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).

Mix together the sugar, salt and spices in a large bowl. Whisk in the pumpkin, soy milk and eggs until the mixture is smooth. Pour it into the pie crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F (180C) and continue baking for about 45 minutes, until the center of the pie is set. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean.

Let it cool on a rack for at least 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Serves 8

Mix-in-the-Pan Pie Crust (Parve)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons soy milk + more if needed

9" (23cm) pie plate

Combine the dry ingredients right in the pie pan. Mix together the oil and milk and then stir it into the flour mixture with a fork or your fingers. Add more soy milk, if necessary, until the dough holds together.

Press the dough evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan.

Olive Oil Glazed Green Beans or Zucchini

I often use frozen French-cut green beans in this recipe. Substitute them for the fresh vegetables, without defrosting them first, and use just 1/4 cup of water.

1 pound (1/2 kilo) green beans or zucchini squash
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup water

Trim the green beans and cut them into 1/2-inch (1 1/4 cm) pieces. (Cut the zucchini into thin sticks) Heat a pan over medium heat, add the oil. When it's warm, add the onion. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the vegetables, salt, sugar and pepper and stir to mix everything together. Add the water and cook over medium heat, until the water is absorbed and the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Serves 4

Curry Mustard Dressing

This zippy dressing is wonderful on grain salads, such as quinoa or a mix of brown and wild rice. Add chopped green onions, dried cranberries, cherries or golden raisins and toasted chopped almonds or pistachios to finish the salad. This dressing also takes well to greens mixed with apples or beets.

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 of a lime or small lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk the mustard, curry powder, salt, pepper, citrus juice and honey in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until the mixture is thick.

Makes 1/2 cup

For more recipes and tips on eating well, visit Chana's blog at http://www.healthyjewisheating.com/