Falafel Cauliflower Poppers (Baked!)

Written by chanie on June 23rd, 2016

You guysssss!!! This post makes me so excited, I have no words! OK, I always have words, many of them. But where shall I begin?

If you’re a dedicated follower of my blog, you know how much I love

  1. trendy recipes
  2. hybrid recipes
  3. ISRAELI recipes
  4. healthy makeover recipes

Am I right? Does that just about sum up my food blogger style or what?!

Well this here genius idea just about incorporates all of those passions! Cauliflower trend – check! Falafel/breaded cauliflower hybrid – check! Israeli recipes – Oh my god yes, check!! And healthy makeover recipes – definitely check, check!!

Ever since my crazy cauliflower nacho hack went ridiculously viral, I’ve been wanting to come up with an equally amazing cauliflower idea, and when Knorr sent me over some of their falafel mix, I knew I had it in the bag. And then I tasted them, and I was all “why hasn’t the whole world made these like every single day of their lives?!?!” Yup. You’re welcome.

Breaded cauliflower has always been a favorite snack of mine, but since they’re usually fried, I don’t have them too often. I also avoid using fresh cauliflower, since it’s such a pain to check for bugs (kosher law forbids the consumption of insects), so I came up with a recipe that solves all those problems! You’re welcome.

So, not only are these cauliflower poppers supremely delicious, they’re made with thawed frozen cauliflower (no checking necessary) and they’re baked, not fried! You wouldn’t believe it from the insanely crunching coating, but oh yes, they are practically guilt free. Did I say you’re welcome yet?

Speaking of which, I want to thank Knorr for making these semi-homemade poppers so easy to put together using their prepared falafel mix. I’ve not usually a fan of prepared mixes but falafel is an extremely time consuming effort – between soaking the beans, processing the mixture and frying the balls… I’m all for convenience in this case!

Convenience is the name of the game these days. With school out for most of the kids, I’ve got summer prep on my mind and lots to do. Plus the NYC heat is totally draining me and getting dinner on the table every night is not as easy as it used to be. I’m thankful for kid-friendly foods that might use some store bought ingredients to help me out – like bottled BBQ sauces for quick and easy pulled chicken/beef, frozen ravioli that I can just heat up with some marinara, and even pancake batter that makes breakfast a cinch. I may be a do-it-yourself, made-from-scratch gal at heart, but I’m a very practical mom IRL (in real life!). Summer conveniences, here we come!

Speaking of summer, make sure you put these on your NINE DAYS menu, will you? You can thank me later.

You’re welcome!

This post was sponsored by Knorr Falafel. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

falafel latkes with harissa tahini
spinach falafel burger
smoked paprika popcorn cauliflower
cauliflower nachos

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Strawberry Basil Popsicles

Written by chanie on June 16th, 2016

Even though my Shavuot spent in Upstate New York was kinda chilly, there are signs of summer at every turn. The fresh smell of grass in the air, the sun peaking out through the clouds, and the mosquitoes coming out of hiding (scratch, scratch). As a foodie though, I look for the signs of summer at the market. The fresh berries, in-season sweet-as-sugar melon and the beautiful fragrant leaves of basil that blossom to their fullest potential. Ahh, the sweet, sweet smell of summer!

In this quick and easy recipe, the best of summer comes together in a healthy, Paleo creamsicle that is as sweet as it is refreshing. It’s my go-to all summer long!

A bucket of popsicles makes an amazing hostess gift for summer parties! Gift one at your next cookout!

Related Recipes:

orange creamsicle pops
cherry yogurt popsicles
strawberry limonana

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Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

 

Torah Cannoli

Written by chanie on June 8th, 2016

Holy Cannoli! Someones gonna have to bring me a slice of humble pie because I’m on a bit of a high from how cute these Torah Cannoli are! (by the way that’s not a typo – the plural form of cannoli is cannoli…a little Wikipedia for you!)

I always say, food is my passion but my kids are my priority. I love being a mom and I don’t ever want being a foodie, blogger, chef, or whatever it is I am, get in the way of that. SO while I try to come up with fun and sophisticated holiday dishes, I also do my best to tap into my inner child and do something fun for the kiddos too.

In the past, I’ve made Torah franks in blanks like these (photo by Tzivi Brick Jakubovic), but this year, I wanted to do something fun with my daughter’s class in honor of her 8th birthday, which is just a few short weeks before Shavuot. One night when I couldn’t sleep (I have terrible insomnia these days), these cannoli torah’s hit me and I was only too excited to make them! I used a cream cheese mousse filling instead of the more sophisticated classic ricotta filling to make it more kid friendly, and the kids went gaga!

They all took turns prepping the recipe – whipping up the cream cheese and heavy cream, folding the mixture together, and giving out the ingredients for everyone to make their own. They “glued” the cannoli wafers with marshmallow fluff and we made a few Ziploc piping bags of filling so they could all pipe their own. Needless to say, the most fun was dipping the Torah’s in the assorted toppings.

Some of the kids wrapped up their Torah Cannoli to take home, but most of them couldn’t wait it out and gobbled it down on the spot. One kid said it was the best thing she ever tasted! I knew I had a winner, I just didn’t know if it was blog-worthy so I figured I’d skip on posting. Until, I was making my rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits at a cooking demo recently, and I decided to show the audience the Torah cannoli idea with some of the leftover cheesecake mousse. After an audible “wow” from the audience (the best sound EVER when you’re giving a demo), I decided it was too good not to share with you all too.

I love to check things off my bucket list and making things like homemade goat cheese ice cream or a sophisticated dish like brie marsala pizza gives me a huge sense of satisfaction, but seriously, nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me more proud or excited, than coming up with something fun and original that my kids absolutely love!

So kiddies, this ones for you! And that classic citrus-zest-spiked filling is my little touch for the adults too :)

If you want to skip on the filling, fill it with your favorite mousse or plain-old whipped cream. The important thing is to have some fun, for the kids, and for you too! Happy Shavuot y’all!

Related Posts:

Shavuot paper napkin roses
passion fruit cream horns
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
halva and ricotta stuffed figs

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Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

 

Shavuot Menu Roundup

Written by chanie on June 6th, 2016

With Shabbat going into Shavuot this year, I’ve updated this oldie-but-goodie Shavuot Menu roundup to include lots of other categories like stove-top only dishes, freezer-friendly dishes and lots more! I hope you find it useful and delicious :) You can also check out my dairy category or Shavuot category from the index for easy access!

Chag Sameach!

Classic Dairy Menu

tomato feta salad
cheese balls with assorted breads
pesto parmesan salmon
strawberry rhubarb soup or roasted tomato soup
spinach lasagna roll-ups or easy lasagna
cheese latkes or blintzes
classic cheesecake or easy no-bake cheesecake

Gourmet Dairy Menu

kani caeser salad with sriracha dressing
malawach cheese pastries or harissa whipped feta with eggplant chips
brie marsala pizza
spinach pappardelle with feta
goat cheese ice cream with moscato strawberry sauce

Light Dairy Menu

blueberry sweet potato granola salad or waldorf salad with yogurt dressing
roasted eggplant parmesan
pasta-free spinach manicotti, spaghetti squash baked ziti3-Cheese rollatini rose pie, or cheesy zoodle marinara
gluten-free parmesan zucchini sticks
moscato, honey, vanilla bean poached apricots

Pareve Menu

spinach matza ball minestrone soup
peach haricot vert salad
sushi burritos or sushi salad
fish tacos
chili pie in jars (use vegan cheese or leave it out)
peanut butter fudge ice cream pie

Stove-top Only Menu

Moroccan fish balls
corn, heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad with basil lime vinaigrette
zucchini parmesan chips
salmon pasta salad
spaghetti squash shakshuka
linguini lasagna or ravioli in pink sauce
torah cannoli or cornflake crunch ice cream

Freezer-Friendly Menu

broccoli parmesan poppers with Greek yogurt ranch dip
3-cheese brocolli pull-apart buns
pesto pinwheels
cheesy stuffed mini peppers
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits

Gourmet Meat Menu

sweet chili salmon with wasabi crust
rainbow slaw with poppyseed dressing
blueberry port duck with duck fat potatoes
or beer braised brisket over mashed potatoes
blanched asparagus with lemon vinaigrette
chocolate mousse or chocolate ganache tart

Light Meat Menu 

spinach strawberry salad with poppyseed dressing
roasted butternut squash soup
bundt pan rotisserie chicken or veal marsala bolognese
rice vermicelli
garlic green beans
blueberry apple crisp with vanilla ice cream


photo credit: bsinthekitchen blog

Dairy recipes from around the web

brocolli and cheese stuffed sole (can sub tilapia or flounder)
caeser salad parmesan cups
watermelon feta salad stacks (omit bacon!)
butternut squash kale lasagna
sweet potato goat cheese quiche
spinach and cheese phyllo pie
sour cream potato gratin
asparagus cheese tart (use any swiss cheese like gruyere)
cream of asparagus soup
cheesy kale potato kugel
sweet luckskin kugel
classic sambousek
fresh fruit sauces for blintzes
zucchini ravioli
cheesy pull-apart bread
Neapolitan zebra cheesecake


photo credit: savorysweetlife blog

Meat recipes from around the web

peach whiskey bbq chicken
braised chicken with golden beets and kale
maple mustard roasted chicken
chicken marsala (use coconut milk in place of heavy cream)
brisket in coffee brandy sauce
osso buco
beef bourguignon
eggplant and beef rollatini
shnitzel and sumac slaw

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Sushi Burrito

Written by chanie on June 2nd, 2016

If you ever thought sushi would just be a passing trend, you’re as shocked as the rest of us. And it’s not just the kosher world either (although we might be the only ones with sushi counters in pizza stores!).

The world is awash with sushi rice bowl recipes, make-your-own-sushi parties and now, THE SUSHI BURRITO, or as some like to call it, the SUSHIRRITO.

A sushi burrito is basically an excuse to eat an entire overstuffed sushi roll in one sitting and call it lunch :) And I got no problem with that! Especially since Michel de France introduced these flavored sushi wrappers which I just love. I’m not a big fan of the fishy taste and chewy texture of nori (otherwise known as seaweed), so these gluten free wraps are a welcome surprise! I love that they come in chili, poppy seed and sesame seed flavors, and now my kids (who aren’t fans of nori either) are happy to eat homemade sushi wraps as well. Can you say “Winner, winner sushi dinner?”!

Turns out, these inexpensive gluten-free wraps make a great alternative to traditional wheat wraps for sandwiches too. Quick and easy turkey wraps are my go-to Friday afternoon lunch for the kids, and I’ll definitely be trying all the Norigami flavors with that!

Now if you’re intimidated by the whole thinly sliced julienned vegetable thing, do yourself and a favor and pick up my must-have kitchen tool of all time, the JULIENNE PEELER. It looks like a traditional peeler, except instead of peeling off a single strip, small blades along the edge of the peeler slice the peel into thin julienne strips. It’s basically the best invention ever made.

With that said, the only thing left to intimidate you about these wraps is maybe the raw tuna. I wasn’t always a fan of raw fish myself, but I recently bit the bullet (or I should say, the protein) and went for it. I find that raw fish doesn’t really have much of a flavor at all, which is why I like to lightly marinate the fish in Myron’s ponzu sauce, which is also gluten free. Ponzu sauce is basically a light and refreshing lime, ginger and sesame sauce that’s great for marinating or dipping, and it infuses the fish with great flavor. Of course topping everything off with some spicy mayo doesn’t hurt either right? I mean, sriracha makes everything better.

Now sushi everything has been around on my site for a long time. In fact, I made sushi salad famous before it was ever a thing! I went through a bit of a crazy sushi phase where I made candy sushi, sushi snowmen, sushi hamantaschen and even a 3-tier sushi cake. I’m a sushi nerd, what can I say?

But getting back to traditional sushi eating…. the salad is definitely getting boring, and sushi rolls just seem like too much of a job. Which is why I’m totally loving the new sushi burrito craze and I hope you will too. With Shabbat going into Shavuot this year, six back to back meals call for light and refreshing lunch ideas – which is why these are absolutely perfect. You can even set up a bar and have people make their own. How fun?

Don’t forget to load on all the toppings because an extra dose of sweet sauce and spicy mayo are every sushi lovers dream. Are you drooling yet?

Signing off with a little shoutout to my kids, who served as my hand models in these pics when no one else was around! They were also more than happy to eat the leftovers (no raw fish for this pregnant mama!) so no waste is a win-win for this blogger mom!

This post was sponsored by Crafted Kosher. Visit craftedkosher.com for a large selection of gourmet kosher products. Follow Crafted Kosher on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Related Recipes:

sushi salad
sushi salad II
kani salad
kani Caesar salad with nori croutons
tuna sashimi

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Three-Cheese Rollatini Rose Pie

Written by chanie on May 26th, 2016

Ever since I was little, my mom’s been making the same Shavuot menu each year. It includes her amazing lasagna, homemade potato and cheese blintzes, French onion soup and an array of store-bought cheesecakes. For the second day meal, she switches up the lasagna for eggplant rollatini, or what she likes to call, rollantini.

I probably pack on about 10 lbs. in those two days, but it’s always worth every bite. Until the weather gets hotter, my skirts are a tad too tight around the middle, and I’m cursing out that creamy slice of cheesecake.

Which is why, when I started cooking up my own Shavuot meals, I decided to come up with healthier variations of some of my favorites. That’s when my spaghetti squash baked ziti, cheesy stuffed mini peppers and pasta-free spinach manicotti were born.

Some time later, I added my cheesy zoodle marinara, broccoli parmesan poppers, portobello pizza and roasted eggplant parmesan. I barely even miss the pasta anymore (ok, maybe just this).

I skip the heavy French onion soup, and go for a lighter chilled strawberry rhubarb soup and simple sides like summer tomato feta salad, pesto baked salmon, and eggplant chips with whipped feta. I might have a small bite of cheesecake, but my skirts still fit after the meal and everyone’s happy!

Which is why THIS happened! I may be expecting baby #5 this summer, but I’ve been packing on the pounds like I’m about to go into hibernation! I’ve got to ease up on my carb intake, so, I did what I always do when I’m looking for pasta alternatives, I go for zucchini. If I’m not eating cheesy zoodle marinara (an absolute staple in my kitchen), I go for a riff on my spinach lasagna roll-ups, made with zucchini strips. This time, I decided to turn those rolls upside down, and add in yellow squash and eggplant, for a pretty rose garden look. Shavuot, after all, is known as “the feast of the roses”, so how very apropos.

Vegetable ribbon pies and rose spiral apple desserts are all the rage right now, so I was more than happy to follow the trend with a savory holiday-worthy version.

Of course there are lots of variations that you can do with this dish – from adding spinach to the filling, using carrots for rolling, or baking it all into a pie crust. But I just love that this is gluten free and no-carb, so why mess with perfection, am I right?

With all my lighter spins on heavy pasta dishes, I’ve come to realize that a lot of what we eat is all in our heads. When I started subbing zoodles in for my spaghetti, a funny thing happened. I didn’t miss anything! I was full, satiated and most importantly, I felt like I had actually eaten pasta! It made me realize that we really have the ability to trick our brains into thinking we are eating something else – if only we can create the same taste, similar texture and mouthfeel, you barely notice the difference. The scale however, definitely does.

So, I’m hoping I’ve inspired you to lighten up your holiday meals, even if only with one dish. If I were you, I’d make it this one!

Do you have any other tricks to lightening up your favorite pasta dishes? I’d love to hear! Share them with me in the comments below!



This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

spinach lasagna roll-ups
cheesy zoodle (zucchini noodle) marinara
roasted eggplant parmesan
cheesy stuffed mini peppers

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Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

 

Spinach Matzo Ball Minestrone Soup

Written by chanie on May 19th, 2016

I’ve been making the most incredible spinach matza balls since forever. It’s always been my little secret for taking traditional chicken soup from classic to over-the-top and with the holiday of Shavuot approaching, I wanted to put a festive spin on another classic recipe – minestrone.

I’m a huge fan of classic minestrone soup because I feel like it has something for everyone. And when you’ve got picky kids, you need a soup like that! It’s got potatoes for my daughter who won’t eat colored vegetables, pasta for my son who’s a pasta-holic, beans for my husband who loves protein-filled legumes, and plenty of basil and oregano for a pizza-style flavor that everyone loves!

I’m always switching up my minestrone soup to make it more fun – like that time I lightened things up by omitting the potatoes and added zoodles instead of pasta. I’ve also added shredded mozzarella and alphabet pasta along with the zoodles because I’m the best. mommy. ever. But this time, this time I’m going festive and sophisticated for the upcoming holiday with an Italian twist on the classic – chicken noodle matzo ball soup.

Nothing screams holiday more than matzo balls, and I have to admit, that while I’m normally a do-it-yourselfer, made-from-scratch kind of girl, I have a weakness for matzo ball mix. I don’t need any seltzer tricks and I don’t have to worry about sinkers vs. floaters because Lipton’s kosher matzo ball mix comes out fluffy every time! Now of course I have to give it the do-it-yourselfer-touch, so I add in the spinach because it’s so beautiful, so festive, and so irresistibly delicious!

Julienning the veggies adds another layer of finesse, and using a julienne peeler, one of my all-time-favorite kitchen utensils, makes it a cinch! With these simple changes, hearty minestrone is elevated to a sophisticated holiday-worthy creation that’s great for kids and adults alike. Just ask my daughter – she had three bowls for dinner (and she hates spinach!)!

It’s hard to believe that Shavuot is just 24 days away, and with Pesach Sheini this weekend, there’s no better way to celebrate than with a fun twist on a matza ball recipe.

But Passover IS in fact behind us, and with the holiday of cheesecakes and roses coming up soon, lets brush up on some favorites. Shall we?

Shavuot recipes abound here on BIB, so you can get your menu started by browsing through my Shavuot category or skim through the recipes in my index. It’s so hard to pick favorites (can you have a favorite child?!) but I can never get enough of harissa, feta & zaa’tar, I’m obsessed with this salad dressing (I make it all summer long!), these make the best gluten-free no-guilt appetizers, and this is the most elegant seasonal dessert you’ve ever seen. Oh, and lets not forget this insane recipe that went all-out viral when I made them back in 2013.

I think we’re off to a good start my friends. And I’ve got even more amazing things coming. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, happy matzo ballin’!

This post was sponsored by Lipton Kosher. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

roasted tomato soup with muenster breadsticks
spinach white bean minestrone with zoodles
classic minestrone soup
cabbage soup with matzo meatballs

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Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

 

Sweet Chili Salmon with Wasabi Crust

Written by chanie on May 12th, 2016

It’s just one of those days. I got the kids out of the house on time for a change, and I was hoping to sit down early this morning to get a head start on work. But it was not to be. After making my rounds to the girls’ school, boys’ school and daycare for the little one, I was finally on my way back home when my daughter called me to say she had left her lunch. Oh, Mommyhood.

As a blogger, recipe developer, food photographer and full time mom, it’s hard to set a schedule for myself because kids are just so unpredictable. On the one hand, I’m SO thankful to have a job where I can make my own hours and work around my Mommy duties, but on the other hand, there’s so much to do and so little time. My husband is always telling me to hire help but I’m literally the worst delegator on earth. You know how they say if you want something done, do it yourself?  Well that’s kind of my M.O. I’m a perfectionist, and rather than dealing with someone doing something that is not up to par with my standards, I’d rather just do it myself. Can any of you relate?

I’m the same way in the kitchen. If I’m having lots of guests or prepping for big holiday meals or a cooking demonstration, the reasonable thing to do would be to have someone help me. But stubborn me just does it all myself because God forbid someone will slice something the wrong way. (Insert hands-over-eyes emoji) I know I’ve gotta learn to let go and be more flexible, I’m just not sure how. Ideas, anyone?

In the meantime, I’m going to go wake myself up with a big handful of spicy wasabi peas. It’s one of those snacks that I used to eat with abandon, and then suddenly one day, I found that I couldn’t look at them anymore. It’s been a while, but they’re back on my addictive snack list – I even put them on my salmon for an amazing spicy crunch!

This salmon recipe is super quick and easy – perfect for a weeknight dinner with some rice, and pretty enough for company with a side of sushi salad. Chop sticks optional.

Related Recipes:

spicy roasted edamame
teriyaki salmon
kani salad

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Tahini Puppy Chow + Sesame Chex® Party Mix

Written by chanie on May 4th, 2016

So we survived Passover. Eight days of gluten free, minimally processed food with no legumes, beans, seeds or bread! But most importantly, NO CEREAL.

I don’t know if the no cereal thing is harder on me or my kids. I’m a huge cereal fan – not really as a breakfast thing, but more of a “I don’t feel like eating dinner” afterthought. My kids are definitely into the cereal breakfast thing, and that was probably the hardest part about the holiday. So much so, that instead of a post Passover pizza party, we skip the lines and head to a large grocery to stock up on all sorts of cereal. Then, we go at it, one bowl after another of crunchy sweet goodness in ice cold milk. Really, is there anything better?

Well now that you ask, there kinda is. And that’s cereal coated in chocolate, butter and powdered sugar – also known as – MUDDY BUDDIES or PUPPY CHOW! Puppy chow is a seriously addictive treat, and I love to make it using one of my all time favorite cereals, corn Chex®.

The problem with making classic muddy buddies is that my son is allergic to peanut butter, and keeping sugar coated anything away from a toddler is pretty impossible. So, I opted for the next best thing – tahini! Tahini makes an amazing substitute for peanut butter, and in it’s purest form (which you can get a taste of at Tahini King in the Machane Yehudah shuk), it kinda tastes like it too. Case in point: I made this batch and my tahini-hating kids gobbled it up! But my tahini-loving sister totally got the sesame notes, and when I told her there was tahini inside, my 9 year old perked up with, “What??? This has tahini???!!!”

So yeah – this ones a crowd pleaser – kids and adults alike. Tahini lovers and haters. Plus all the gluten free and vegan people too. In a word: ALLERGY FRIENDLY party food, yayyyyyyy!


Now you can’t make puppy chow without at least thinking about party mix – that classic, fun worcestershire-laced finger snack filled with Chex® cereal, pretzels, nuts and bagel chips. Of course I never manage to make the stuff, but now that I had the tahini puppy chow on hand, I couldn’t resist putting together a sesame mix!

So, what do you add to a tahini-coated cereal mix filled with sesame? Well round sesame pretzels of course. And then those addictive cracker-coated peanuts with sesame, called kabukim. And if we’re talking sesame, you can’t leave out the most classic sesame snack – halva! Put them all together and you’ll be in sesame heaven!

Party on my friends, party on.


Related Recipes:

speculoos puppy chow
halva krembos
sweet tahini dip
halva and ricotta stuffed figs

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Nutella Crepes with Sweet Plantain Tortillas

Written by chanie on April 20th, 2016

In continuation from yesterday’s post for savory plantain tortillas, I bring you some sweet ones! You can read the previous post on more about what plantains are, and to see more step by step pics of the tortilla making process!

These sweet tortilla crepes are made with plantains, and the addition of coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. They’re great for breakfast or dessert, and best of all, they’re egg-free!

If you’re eating these over Passover, chances are, you’ve had eggs for breakfast, or you plan to have it for lunch or dinner. So having an egg-free meal option is a must-have! Of course you can make these a tad healthier by filling with nut butter and fresh fruit, but homemade nutella is nut butter too. It’s just chocolate hazelnut nut butter ;)

If you’re not into the tortilla crepe idea, use your own potato starch + egg variation, but you must try my homemade nutella and other fillings, especially the maple candied pecans. Happy Passover!


Related Recipes:

sweet nut omelette
nutella banana ice cream
chocolate ganache tart with macaroon crust
fish tacos with savory plantain tortillas

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