Crispy Potato Kugel

Potato kugel is a staple Ashkenazi dish that I’ve eaten many many times. But I don’t actually like it all that much. It’s always kind of bland and uninspiring, especially next to the triumph that is my grandma’s dairy dairy kugel. Still, for some reason I decided to make potato kugel recently. I found this recipe for crispy kugel (which actually translates to extra oil) on New York Times. Usually I cut down the oil in recipes, but I kept this about the same as what the recipe calls for. Totally worth it.

I adapted the recipe to make it low fodmap. I used onion oil instead of an onion. Then I added a bunch of chopped wild onions (green parts only) to the potatoes. The recipe doesn’t specify an amount of sale. I think I used 1.5 or 2 tsp table salt.

The dish came out so flavorful. I think it has more egg than the average kugel, which makes it more satisfying than most. This dish is an absolute winner. I’ll definitely keep it in my back pocket for guests. It’s easy and something everyone (but vegans) will like. Just be sure to have some greek yogurt or sour cream on hand when serving.

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Basic Vinegar Coleslaw

This is my basic vinegar coleslaw recipe. It’s inspired by the coleslaw my mom made when I was growing up, but the proportions are my own.

1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced

Mix together:

1/4 cup white vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp sugar

Add mixture to cabbage, stir well. Let sit for at least 3 hours before serving (ideally at least 8).

Cilantro Walnut Tapenade

Ian made this one night as a sauce for shrimp. I only got to taste the residue on the bowl he made it in, but I was hooked. So he made it again for me, this time putting on an egg scramble. Oh my gosh is it good. We spent a long time trying to figure out what to call it, and finally settled on tapenade, which still isn’t quite right but is the best option we found. Put it on tofu, put it on eggs, put it on pita. It doesn’t matter. It will be delicious. Just remember it has like a gallon of oil, so control yourself.

In a bowl combine:

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2/3 cup diced chives

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup diced walnuts

5 roma small tomatoes diced

2/3 cup diced chives

1/2 cup diced walnuts

5 cherry tomatoes diced

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

Salt to taste

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re like me and crave sweets everyday, you might be looking for a great weeknight cookie that can satisfy your cravings without going overboard on the butter and sugar. These zucchini chocolate chip cookies really fit the bill. The zucchini provides moisture so that you don’t have to add much extra fat. And the cookie is slightly sweet rather than super sweet. I’ve used vegan yogurt and found that work fine. The extra moisture from the zucchini causes the cookie to puff up, so the texture is a bit cakier than your average chocolate chip cookie. But I really enjoy them. And I find one is satisfying. This will be a staple for me anytime I have zucchini in the garden.

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50702/zucchini-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

Adult Chocolate Cookies

This recipe is originally from Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies. I found it by way of my sister’s blog. I decided to make cookies for my boss instead of buying her a present for the holidays. I made these cookies as well as peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Her daughter is allergic to walnuts, so I made half the batch without walnuts and half the batch with.

Since Scharffen Berger Chocolate isn’t available where I live, I used 6 ounces of unsweetened Ghirardelli baking chocolate and 3 ounces of 80% bittersweet chocolate.

The recipe says you can refrigerate the batter for up to 24 hours. I refrigerated for about 8-10 hours. This was a mistake. The batter came out of the fridge so solid I had to hand roll the cookies like they were made of modeling chocolate. Next time I’d only refrigerate for the minimum 1 hour.

The cookies definitely need walnuts to cut the sweetness. My boss really liked them. They have a deep chocolate flavor and soft internal texture. For me, they were too sweet. If I make them again, I’ll cut the sugar from 1 1/3 cup to 1 + scant 1/4 cup. That might still be too sweet for me. We shall see.

Zucchini and Carrot Fritters

I picked one enormous zucchini at the end of our unexpectedly warm early fall. So I’ve continued to have zucchini as we teetered toward winter. I made these fritters, which include carrots, as a summer-fall transition recipe. They’re very good. And the mint yogurt sauce that goes with them is very very good. The batter looks a little soupy, but they come out just right. Make sure you get them as thin in the pan as possible to avoid mushiness in the center. I’ll make these again for sure. And I want to try making them gluten free as well.

Rice Noodles with Egg Drop Gravy

A few weeks ago I was prescribed an antibiotic. I react really badly to antibiotics; I usually get nauseous and lose my appetite while I’m on them. While I was taking the medicine, I could only get myself to eat pasta and oatmeal. The week after, I started to regain my appetite, but was still only eating light soups etc. I found this recipe on New York Times when I was looking for something soothing to help me transition back to regular food. It was pretty easy. I think it would make a great weeknight recipe.

I added about 1.5 cups of broccoli along with the other veggies in the recipe, which seemed like the exact right amount. Because the noodles and gravy are made separately, you can keep them separate in the fridge and eat this as leftovers without the noodles going mushy. I used the wrong type of noodles though. The recipe calls for thick rice noodles. I used medium rice sticks. (the kind used for pad thai) They formed a mass when fried and were hard to pull apart immediately after cooking. As leftovers they were impossible to pull apart and I just had to chop them up. Next time I’d use a much wider noodle like shahe fen, chow fun, hor fun, or sen yai. You have to do a lot of stirring and scraping while frying the noodles to prevent them from sticking to the pan, but the flavor is great. I really liked the flavor of this dish. I thought it was just a tad too sweet. Next time I’d use 3/4 tsp sugar instead of 1 tsp. Make sure to be very careful to pour the egg very slowly. It’s easy to mess that part up. As you can see in the photo, I didn’t pour slowly enough and ended up with clumps of egg instead of strands.

Baked Tofu

This is my mom’s recipe for baked tofu with a flour exterior. It’s a staple in my family home, easy to make, and very satisfying. There is an ongoing debate between my mom and sister about how much salt is appropriate. I like them with 1.5 tsp salt. If you want to make these even faster, you can double the flour mixture and set aside half for the next time you make them. I find 1.5 recipe gets me through the whole week (7 meals for one person). I usually make coleslaw alongside these. A tried and true favorite. Just make sure you shake off the extra flour after dipping or you’ll end up with a coating that doesn’t stick and is too thick. I left off the garlic powder to make them low fodmap and they were fine without. I just used 3 tsp of parsley flakes instead of 2 to compensate.

Tahini-Glazed Carrots

I made these carrots for thanksgiving. The recipe came from the New York times. We enjoyed the flavor a lot, but the cooking times and proportions were off. The recipe says to halve larger carrots, which I did. But all the carrots still ended up undercooked. I would suggest not using large carrots, halving all carrots, and cooking for 40-45 minutes instead of the 30 minutes called for. I also halved the sauce recipe. Looking at it, it was very clear to me that this was way too much sauce for the amount of carrots. The halved sauce recipe made the right amount. I also find the sauce just a tad too sweet. Next time I’d use 2 tbsp instead of 3 tbsp maple syrup.

One-Pot Turmeric Coconut Rice With Collards

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from New York times, but I made a lot of changes to the flavor profile and the greens and also made it low fodmap. This was possibly the best rice dish I have ever made. So so good, super easy, and all in one pot. A great weeknight dish. It also keeps really well for leftovers. Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups long-grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati (I used white basmati)
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 bunch wild onion or scallion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated (I used the wild onion that grows in my yard)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry turmeric
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp grated fresh tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1(14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 strands of saffron
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 bunches collard greens
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced (keep zest and juice separate)
  1. Rinse rice until water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot or Dutch oven, toast the coconut and sesame seeds over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as needed to prevent burning.) Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. In the same pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-low. Add the scallion whites and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until as dark as possible without being burned (4-8 minutes)
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and scallions (If you don’t need this to be low fodmap you can skip steps 3 and 4 and just add the scallions and garlic in with the coconut oil in step 5)
  5. Add the ginger and fresh tumeric to the oil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the ginger is cooking, bloom the saffron in small bowl of very hot water.
  7. Add the dry tumeric and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 1-2 minutes
  8. Add the rice and stir together. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  9. Add the coconut milk, saffron with its water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Fill the empty can of coconut milk with water and add it to the pot. Give the mixture a good stir to separate any lumps and bring to a boil over medium-high.
  10. Once boiling, cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. As rice cooks, remove and discard the tough stems of the collards. Cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.
  12. When the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, arrange the greens on top of the rice in an even layer and add final 1/2 tsp salt.
  13. Cover, and cook until the rice is tender, 5 more minutes. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the lime zest.
  14. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes.
  15. Stir in lime juice, coconut-sesame mixture, and the scallion greens.