In a sense the nine days give us an opportunity to give our bodies a rest from eating red meat and poultry. For some, the idea of preparing dairy meals is daunting. It seems to me that it is the perfect time to go “light.” Salads galore, fish and not so much pasta are the way to go.
Today it has become so much easier to prepare a salad with the option of buying all kinds of vegetables that have already been checked and require no further inspection. For those of us who might prefer to spend slightly less money on vegetables, there are many that are triple washed, which gives us the opportunity when checking them to find that there is a far less chance of finding some squirmy wormy things crawling around, and certainly sand and dirt in most cases are no longer visible.
The following recipes have been compiled from different cookbooks. One, an old favorite of mine, is “California Kosher” and the other is “Healthy Helpings,” authored by my great Canadian friend Norene Gilletz.
Keep in mind that in many salads if one feels that there are not enough nutrients, it is easy to just throw in a piece of steamed or broiled salmon cut up. It’s a meal in itself.
- 4 firm, ripe tomatoes
- 3 green peppers or 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow
- 1 English cucumber, peeled
- ½ of a red onion (about 1 cup)
- ¼ cup pitted black olives
- ½ cup feta cheese, finely diced or grated
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp each dried basil and oregano
Cut tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onion into 1-inch chunks. Slice olives or cut them in half. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix. (Can be prepared several hours in advance and refrigerated.) This recipe is good for six servings—I usually combine it with several cups of greens. It can be a meal with a baguette or crackers if you are calorie conscious.
Fattouche Salad (straight from the Middle East)
- 2 medium pitas
- 1 bunch flat leaf or curly parsley (hard to clean—I frequently leave it out of recipes)
- 1 head romaine or iceberg lettuce
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes, diced
- ½ of an English cucumber, diced
- 4 green onions (or 1 small onion), diced
- Juice of 1 lemon (3 Tbsp)
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Split pitas in half and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes until they are crisp. Break pitas into small pieces and set aside. Wash parsley and lettuce and dry well. Mince parsley leaves and tear lettuce into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and chill. Combine dressing ingredients and set aside. Just before serving combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve immediately.
My Mother’s Easy Salad That Takes No Time
- 1 head of any kind of lettuce
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 can of tuna
- 3 tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- some radishes (optional)
Flake the tuna and mix it with above ingredients. Cut up lettuce, eggs and cucumbers into small pieces; slice radishes.
Mix it all together with a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise. At the time it was extremely yummy!
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp lite soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- Paprika to taste
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425. Place salmon in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle salmon with lemon juice. Combine remaining ingredients except for sesame seeds and spoon over salmon. Let marinate for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle salmon lightly with sesame seeds. Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes. Fish should flake when pressed. Leftovers can be cut into pieces and added to salads!
- 1 16-ounce package spaghetti
- 12 ounces provolone cheese, cut into small pieces (substitute with Swiss cheese)
- 4 Tbsp butter or margarine
- ½ pound of fresh mushrooms cut into thick slices
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- dash of pepper
- 2 cups of milk
- ¼ cup of sherry cooking wine or dry wine
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley (I use the cubes)
Cook the spaghetti and drain. Set aside ½ cup of cheese for topping. In 3-quart saucepan, heat butter or margarine over medium to high heat. Saute mushrooms and onions for five minutes (or until golden brown). Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk and sherry. Add cheese (all but ½ cup) and parsley. Cook and stir until mixture is thick and cheese is melted.
Place hot spaghetti in large casserole dish. Pour sauce over spaghetti and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese. Broil until cheese melts. Serves 6-8 as a main dish, 8-10 as a side dish. I use it as a main!
By Nina Glick