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Zucchini Fries (Gluten Free)

Monday, May 12th, 2014

We’re closing in on our series of pesto recipes with these crunchy gluten free zucchini fries! I love using zucchini because they are so low in calories and totally guilt free. To keep them diet friendly and gluten free, I used a chopped nut coating instead of breadcrumbs, and garbanzo bean flour instead of all purpose flour. But what really makes these zucchini fries different is the pesto. I could have went with eggwash to “glue” the crunchy nut coating onto the zucchini sticks, but with extra pesto in the fridge, I decided to give it a try. The results were so flavorful, I can’t imagine making it any other way!

There’s just something about fries that makes eating any vegetable fun, am I right? Good old russet potato fries used to be the only fries  on the brain but sweet potato fries have made it up there too. Personally, I’m a big fan of butternut squash fries,  and just recently, parsnips fries have topped my list of favorites as well. I must blog about those soon.

If you’re dieting and craving some crunch, these oven-fried zucchini fries are sure to hit the spot. Feel free to adapt the recipe to your specific diet! To make them dairy-free, just omit the parmesan and use more nuts instead. I like to use the same nuts as the ones in the pesto (I used Marcona almonds here), but you can experiement with pecans and walnuts too.

Related Recipes:

zucchini parmesan chips
pesto pinwheels

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Joy of Kosher Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Monday, March 24th, 2014

When Jamie Geller coined herself “the bride who knew nothing” I believed her. In her Quick & Kosher cookbooks series, Jamie shared recipes that were exactly as titled – simple, easy and quick dishes that the most novice of cooks could whip out of their kitchen. Some recipes were as simple as pairing store-bought barbeque sauce with shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken – now who can’t do that?

Being a fan of Jamie’s spunky personality and can-do attitude, I owned both of her cookbooks and was familiar with all the recipes from the bride who knew nothing. Which is precisely why the Joy of Kosher cookbook swept me right off my feet. That clueless young bride that could not make a pot of chicken soup evolved into a sophisticated cook with innovative recipes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are on the palate.

I know that because I was lucky enough to attend Jamie’s cookbook launch party where I sampled many of the dishes in the book including ktzizot (Israeli mini burgers), Meditteranean lamb skewers, cilantro corn cakes, mini slow cooker turkey spinach meatloaf, BBQ short rib sliders, fudge brownies, caramel apples with crushed candy and kiddie candy bark.  I was literally blown away by the amazing flavor in each and every dish. The cocktail meatballs with sweet and sour sauce were some of the most tender meatballs I’d ever had, and the carrot honey cake was an eye-opening experience for a honey-cake-purist like myself.

Recipes from the bride who knew nothing? Not anymore.

Browsing through Jamie’s book, you’ll find that she shares a lot more than just stellar recipes. She shares of piece of herself. With each chapter, Ms. Geller opens another door to her life and home, drawing you in like you’re part of the family. An adorable one, I might add. As a food photographer, I don’t know which I like more – the expertly styled food photos that jump off the page, or the out-of-this-world moments captured of her precious clan of five.

Aside from beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipes, Joy of Kosher packs it all in by offering a dressed up an dressed down version of each recipe. That means you can whip it up real fast for family, or polish it up for Shabbat or holiday meals. A handy holiday menu guide and Passover conversion table complete the book, making it perfect for year-round use.

In honor of the upcoming holiday of Passover, I’m giving away a free copy of the Joy of Kosher cookbook! To enter, simply leave a comment below with your favorite Passover dish. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.



Jamie Geller and I at the Joy of Kosher Cookbook Launch Party

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Chickpea Cakes with Za’atar Cauliflower Relish

Monday, February 24th, 2014

If you follow my blog, you probably already know about my passion for Israeli fare. From cumin to za’atar and roasted eggplant to chickpeas – you’ll find loads of Middle Eastern-inspired recipes here on BIB. I’ve been growing my collection of Middle Eastern cookbooks as well, with Balaboosta just recently added to books like Plenty, Jerusalem, Cook in Israel, The Book of New Israeli Food, and more.

In this delicious appetizer, I’ve created a chickpea cake, in a preparation similar to polenta, using garbanzo flour. Such cakes are popularly served in Northern Italy (where it’s called panisse) as well as the South of France (where it’s called panelle). They are often cut into sticks and fried to resemble french fries.

For the topping, I went with a delicious combination of za’atar roasted cauliflower with caramelized onions, prunes and toasted pine nuts. The result is a delicious combination of Middle Eastern flavors – the perfect recipe to guest post on Yosef Silver’s blog, This American Bite. You may remember it from The Great Blog Swap Link-Up where I created a recipe for grilled corn with za’atar garlic butter, inspired by his recipe for garlic, za’atar & olive oil stovetop popcorn.

For the recipe, head on over to This American Bite.

1 year ago: teriyaki salmon
2 years ago: stuffed roasted butternut squash
3 years ago: quick & easy chocolate rugelach

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Caraway Roasted Turnips

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably underestimated the turnip. Maybe you’ve added it to your chicken soup for some extra flavor, or if you’re brave, you’ve mashed them up with some butter. Me? I was not much of a turnip person until we made a roasted vegetable dish in culinary school that involved caraway seeds.

I don’t know what it was about those fragrant little seeds that made the veggies so good. If you ask me, they kinda look like mouse droppings. And really, all I could think of when I smell them is the “black bread” (which I grew up to appreciate as pumpernickel) my mom used to buy when I was a kid.

So yes, if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like to take a leap in the kitchen, this dish is going to involve some bravery. But when you take a bite of the caramelized turnips, you’ll never turn back. When I’m craving roasted potatoes, I make a huge tray of this stuff (with or without the caraway seeds) and it really hits the spot.

1 year ago: melt-in-your-mouth veal meatballs
2 years ago: cheesy stuffed mini peppers
3 years ago: cowboy cookies

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Roundup: The Seven Species

Monday, January 13th, 2014

This Thursday, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’shvat, the New Year for the trees. Traditionally, we celebrate by eating The Sheva Minim, or, Seven Species. They include the following fruits and grains that are native to the land of Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

In honor of Tu B’shvat, I’ve put together a roundup of recipes for each of the Seven Species from all around the web. Enjoy!

Read more about Tu B’shvat


wheat thins
whole wheat pretzel bread bowls
apricot wheat germ muffins
cream of wheat (farina) pancakes
farro salad with carrots, mushrooms and spinach
Tunisian roasted eggplant & wheat berries salad
kibbeh (ground meat & bulgur)
bulgur wheat patties with spicy tahini sauce
chocolate granola with walnuts & wheat germ
puffed wheat chocolate marshmallow bars


barley ravioli
crockpot mushroom barley stoup
beer braised brisket with onion gravy
honey chili beer chicken
barley risotto
barley croquettes
lentil barley burgers
Moroccan chickpea barley salad
Tu B’shvat salad
barley scones with roasted plums


mulled wine
balsamic roasted brussel sprouts & grapes
curried chicken salad with grapes
seared duck breast with grape sauce
yebra (Syrian stuffed grape leaves)
grape jelly cocktail meatballs
moscato poached apricots
red wine poached pears
black grape & plum compote
caramel apple pie grape poppers
concord grape cornmeal cake
sangria ice pops


honey roasted figs (fresh)
apple, fig & beet salad (fresh)
fig chutney (fresh)
grilled cheese with figs & honey (fresh)
fig and goat cheese pizza with balsamic glaze (fresh)
dried fruit brie bites (dried)
Tu B’shvat truffles (dried)
mustard roasted dried fruits (dried)
Tu B’shvat biscotti (dried)
fig, olive oil & sea salt challah (dried)
figgy BBQ sauce (dried)


pomegranate coleslaw
pomegranate rosemary cheddar cheese ball
roasted sweet potatoes with spiced pomegranate molasses
burnt eggplant with garlic, lemon & pomegranate
pomegranate glazed salmon
sticky chicken wings with pomegranate glaze
crockpot sweet & sour pomegranate short ribs
frozen greek yogurt pomegranate bites
no machine pomegranate ice cream
pomegranate chocolate mousse


infused olive oils
warm marinated olives
sundried tomato olive tapenade
eggplant caponata
multi grain olive braid bread
chicken tagine with olives & prunes
flounder putanesca
cheese-stuffed fried olives
Colavita olive oil chocolate crinkle cookies
olive oil cake


banana, dates, milk & honey smoothie
French roast with dried fruit sauce
silan (date honey) roasted figs
lamb and date tagine
chewy date granola bars
whole wheat date & almond muffins
date honey nut bread
sticky date pudding
almond stuffed dates
vegan berry pies with date crust

NOTE: All photos (besides the ones with the BIB watermark) are from 123RF Photo.

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Tuscan White Beans with Spinach

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I love to eat out. Which is why I’ll probably never leave Brooklyn. Aside from Israel, New York has got to be the mecca of the kosher culinary world. You’ll find all sorts of restaurants scattered throughout the five boroughs, including Indian, Italian, French and Chinese eateries. Being a foodie-turned-chef, I take inspiration for my recipes from everything around me – especially quality restaurant dishes. When I eat a good dish at a restaurant, I’m bound to whip up my own version in my kitchen (like I did here). This is one such recipe.


1 year ago: spicy garlic chicken
2 years ago: cornbread scones

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Teriyaki Mushrooms

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I’m a big mushroom fan. I love all types of the fungus, well, except for the poisonous variety that’s growing in my backyard. The funny thing is, my husband never really got to appreciate them growing up because his mother is severely allergic. I found this out soon after my marriage, when we gathered for sheva brachot dinner. They were serving some kind of mushroom knish, which may or may not have been disguised as meat. My mother in law took one bite and her throat swelled up like a balloon. I don’t remember much after that, but I DO remember that every time I tried to make dinner with any kind of ‘shroom, my new husband gave me this are-you-really-going-to-serve-me-fungus-for-dinner look. But instead of putting one of my favorite veggies on the back burner, I taught him to love them. This is one of the ways.

Making these delicious teriyaki portobello mushrooms, is such a joke, you won’t believe your eyes, or your taste buds, when you eat them. Such a simple preparation and they taste fabulous. I always turn to this “recipe” when I need a quick side dish for Shabbat dinner. The platter always gets polished off to the last drop.

Other Mushroom Recipes:

crockpot mushroom barley stoup
spinach stuffed mushrooms
portobello burgers with sundried tomato aioli
portobello pizza

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Zucchini Parmesan Chips

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

A couple of months ago, a bunch of kosher bloggers and I went out to celebrate the anniversary of The Kosher Connection (a group that we formed that presents monthly challenges to kosher food bloggers). We all met at Siena’s, a dairy Brooklyn restaurant on Kings Highway to have some fun and enjoy good food. And that we did. One of the first things they served us were crispy tempura-fried zucchini chips with marinara sauce for dipping. Those chips were completely addictive and being pregnant at the time, I repeatedly craved them throughout my pregnancy!

Fast forward a couple of months later and I’m craving those chips again. With Chanukah in mind, I decided to try a breaded version, with some parmesan mixed in. Eating fried foods on Chanukah is a well known custom (to commemorate the miracle of the oil), but eating dairy is as well. We do so to remember the bravery of Yehudit, a young widower who lived in Bethulia in the land of Judea. To save Jerusalem from a paralyzing siege and approaching enemy troops, Yehudit seduced a Greek general into a drunken slumber by feeding him salty cheese and quenching his thirst with strong wine. As the general slept, she beheaded him with a sword. After finding that their general had been killed, the Greek army fled in disarray.

So not only do we gorge ourselves on fried doughnuts and chocolate gelt – we also add dairy to the mix to really tip the scales! Thanks to the zucchini in this recipe, you get to deguiltify the whole deep-fried thing altogether! Which reminds me…

I made these zucchini chips on a Wednesday morning. I remember because right after they came out of the fryer, I went out to pick up the New York Times. You see, I’m not much of a newspaper-reading gal, but on Wednesdays, the paper includes a fantastic Dining supplement and I just have to have it. To my amusement, the front page of the Dining Section was dedicated to the art of deep frying. It read, “Deep Fried and Good for You.” Talk about deguiltifying.

In the article, Mark Bittman reasons that deep frying is not all that bad for you, since fat is actually good for you. He concedes that not all fats are created equal and continues on to reject the notion that olive oil is inappropriate for frying. Since most deep-frying is done at around 350 degrees, and olive oil smokes at 375, it’s a fine option, he says.

I turned the page to continue the article and found that Mark had included a recipe for fried zucchini sticks, similar to the chips I had just made. “Mark says they’re good for you,” I told myself as I continued to eat the whole pan (did I mention I was pregnant?!).

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Starters & Sides Made Easy Review & Giveaway

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek know a thing or two about food. Leah is the author of Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking and co-founder of, and Victoria is the managing editor of Whisk Magazine. The pair are always surrounded by good food, so they decided to join forces and write a cookbook together. Passover Made Easy was their first collection of favorite triple-tested recipes, and now, the two have done it again. They have moved on to create a series of “Made Easy” cookbooks including Starters & Sides as well as Kids Cooking (review coming soon).

There’s something nice about a cookbook series. It’s familiar and you know what you’re gonna get. In the case of the “Made Easy” series, that’s great graphics, building block recipes, plating ideas and great kitchen tips. I especially love the friendly “conversations” that Leah & Victoria have throughout the book. They are set out in speech bubbles, making you feel as if you’re standing in the kitchen with two friends.

Starters & Sides Made Easy starts out with an elaborate spice guide to help guide you through the different herbs, spices and blends. It continues with building block recipes and chapters on vegetables, grains, meat & chicken, fish, dairy and sweet. The book finishes with ideas on how to convert some of the dishes from starters to mains. Each recipe is accompanied by a beautifully composed photo of the dish.

Some of the recipes I look forward to trying, include broccoli stuffed artichokes, sticky red potatoes, Yemenite yellow orzo rice, crispy beef, falafel cigars,  silan chicken salad, tangy tilapia nuggets, parmesan sticks, and whiskey sweet potatoes.

My only issue with this book is the size. I know it sounds weird but it sticks out of my cookbook shelf because it’s wider than most cookbooks.


Busy In Brooklyn is giving a copy of Starters & Sides Made Easy! To enter the giveaway, you must:

1. Share you favorite Chanukah dish in the comments below.
2. Follow Busy In Brooklyn on Facebook, Twitter. Pinterest, and/or Instagram (one entry per media channel you follow – please specify which ones you follow in the comments).

Winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, December 4th, 8:00 PM.


RELATED POSTS: Passover Made Easy Cookbook Review

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Confetti Latkes with Harissa Sour Cream

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

True story. I’m somewhere late into my 9th month of pregnancy and a little something called Braxton Hicks comes to pay me a visit. If you’re not familiar, Braxton Hicks are false labor pains that feel almost like the real thing. They play with your head, make your think you’re going into labor, and sometimes even have you rushing to the hospital. Which is exactly what happened.

It’s amazing how no matter how many kids you have, you completely forget how it all goes down at the end. I suppose that memory lapse is natures way of protecting procreation. I mean, what woman in their right mind would want to go through labor ever again?

So there I was, pulling up to Mount Sinai Hospital when I caught site of a farmer’s market at the corner. Now let me explain what it’s like for a farm-fresh-veggie-loving-foodie like me to stumble upon a farmer’s market. It’s enough to stop me dead in my tracks and have me all but forget about my contractions. “I think they’re going away,” I muster to my husband as I eye the rainbow carrots in the corner crate. “Oh no you’re not!” he counters. “I promise I’ll take you to every farmer’s market in town once you have this baby!”

A couple of hours and plenty of false labor pains later, I’m back at the same corner picking farm-fresh produce.I score the most amazing purple kohlrabi, beets, carrots, baby turnips, breakfast radishes and little sugar pumpkins. The Braxton Hicks are behind me and I’m dreaming up all types of recipes as I head home on the FDR.

With farm fresh bounty in hand, this recipe practically wrote itself. I combined the kohlrabi (which is white inside, by the way), carrots and beets with some fresh beet greens to create beautiful jewel-toned latkes, that are even tastier than they are colorful. In fact, my husband brought a pan of the crispy-fried latkes to a business meeting and they were gone in seconds. He came home with rave reviews and a generous offer to take me back to the farmers market!

Other latke recipes:

pumpkin ricotta cheese latkes with cranberry maple syrup
gluten free butternut squash latkes
cheese latkes with raspberry sauce
gefilte fish latkes
snacker-crusted salmon cakes

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