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Spinach White Bean Minestrone with Zoodles

Monday, August 4th, 2014

If you bother to read my silly little musings on my blog, you probably notice that I mostly talk about food. I don’t get into the nitty gritty of my family life because I figure if you’re here for the food, that’s probably what you want to read about. Of course there are bloggers that spill the beans like an open book, but I view my family life as sacred and it’s something I mostly like to keep to myself. I’m sure you can all appreciate that.


Ah, who am I kidding? The truth is, I like to keep up the facade that my life is all about eating fabulous food and taking cool pictures, when in fact, I’m really balancing my baby on one hip while trying to find my spatula in a sink full of dirty dishes and trying to fit my tripod somewhere between a mountain of toys in the playroom (where my “studio” is).

That’s really what a photoshoot is all about anyway – setting the scene. You’d never imagine this beautiful bowl of soup was sitting on a tray next to a white board held up by a gigantic firetruck, opposite shelves of board games with missing pieces and legos scattered by my feet. THIS my friends, is the real Busy In Brooklyn :)

Now back to our regular programming – the food! This chock-full-of-flavor soup is a lightened up version of my original minestrone, which includes pasta and potatoes. In this white bean version (the original used chickpeas), I used my spiralizer to create “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) to take the place of the pasta, and I omitted the potatoes and celery. I also made things easier with frozen spinach, instead of fresh, for a satisfying meal-in-a-bowl that’s not as heavy as the original. If you’re a fan of my minestrone (and lots of you are!), then go ahead and try this one and let me know how it measures up!

Related Recipes:

minestrone soup
tuscan white bean with spinach
spinach matzo ball minestrone soup

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Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014


I can’t believe this day is finally here! Somebody pinch me! I’ve been working on my Paleo meal plan every free minute for the past 2 months. My family has been having elaborate 3 course Whole30 dinners for the past few weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally introduce my 30 day meal plan!

Almond curry stuffed sweet potatoes, dinner, Day 18

If you haven’t been following my Whole30 diet journey on Facebook and Instagram, read this blog post for a quick summary of how I’ve been changing my life with the Paleo diet. I could have never imagined how energetic, healthy and happy I would feel eating a sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, legume-free and grain-free diet.

Cabbage and sausage egg roll, breakfast, Day 19

One thing my Whole30 was not – boring! I truly believe that the best way to diet is to eat well. Eating flavorful, satisfying meals curbs cravings and doesn’t make you feel deprived! I believe in this so strongly that I decided to chronicle all of my Paleo recipes in a meal plan and make it available for anyone interested in taking control of their eating habits and living a healthier life.

Cauliflower fried rice, lunch, Day 23

My 30 Day Meal Plan includes 50 pages of more than 100 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recipes like my Smoky Braised Chicken & Collards, Pad Thai, Sweet Potato Chili, Cucumber Sushi Rolls, and Nut-Crusted Shnitzel will make you feel like you’re eating anything but “diet” food! I’ve also included basic building block recipes like 5-minute ketchup, homemade mayonnaise, zoodles (zucchini noodles) and cauliflower rice that you’ll be using again and again.

Chicken nuggets with 5-minute ketchup, dinner, Day 29

The menu also includes a section of holiday and weekend recipes, for those wishing to entertain guests. Bonus appetizer, soup and dessert recipes like tropical guacamole, asparagus with mustard vinaigrette, spaghetti squash soup and strawberries with coconut whipped cream will help you round out your meal.

Broccoli quiche, breakfast, Day 7

As if that’s not enough, I’ve also included a handy calendar that you can print out and post on your fridge. It lists the breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day. A Table of Contents will help you find your daily menu easily.

Moroccan fish, lunch, Day 13

Also included in the Paleo ebook are pantry and fridge staples, helpful tools, resources and tips to help guide you through the 30-Day meal plan.

Asian turkey burger with sauteed cabbage, avocado and Thai almond butter sauce, dinner, Day30

One of the things I tried to incorporate into the meal plan was utilizing leftovers. Nobody wants to sit in the kitchen all day, so meal planning is essential! On several days, I have you set aside some leftovers which are repurposed in another way the next day. Less waste and less work, who doesn’t love that?!

Fajitas with homemade spice mix over cauliflower rice with fried egg, dinner, Day 4

One of the other great features of the Paleo cookbook is that I created the meal plan so that each day’s menu is featured on it’s own page. This way, you can print out the page on it’s own, hang it on your fridge and not have to run to your computer to follow the recipes.

Chicken tortilla-less soup, dinner, Day 23

Now that I’ve whet your appetite with these amazing dishes, I know what you’re thinking….”How do I get my hands on this ebook?!” Well, that’s the easy part!

Inside-out coconut chicken burger , dinner, Day 26

To purchase the ebook, simply click on the “pay now” button below to pay for it via paypal. When I receive your payment, I will email you the ebook. You can print it out, staple it, glue it together – whatever you wish. You just can’t share it :) I spent hours upon hours of hard work preparing this book for sale. I ask that you do not reproduce it in any form (email, photocopy, or sharing the recipes on your own blog). If you love the ebook as much as I do, plug away! Show your love via social media with hashtag #paleoebook, and don’t forget to tag @busyinbrooklyn!

Apple crisp “cereal”, breakfast, Day 12

Order your Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan today! You’ll receive: -50 pages of over 100 recipes -Pantry and Fridge/Freezer Staples -Building Block Recipes -Holiday or Weekend Meal Ideas -30-Day Meal Plan -30 Day Calendar -Dieting Tips

Butternut squash pie, lunch, Day 6

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan $15
Your Email Address:

For more of what’s in the ebook, and for a chance to win  a copy, visit this post! For FAQ’s, check this out!

I would love to hear about the recipes you are making and enjoying! Please post a comment and share! And of course, if you have any questions at all about the ebook, please don’t hesitate to contact me at busyinbrooklyn@gmail.com!

Smoky Split Pea Soup with Thyme Dumplings

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

I’m the type of person that crushes on certain foods. Remember my speculoos addiction? Enough said.

My problem is that when I fall for a food, I fall so hard that I eat it the point of being sick.

I remember when I had a thing for those molten chocolate cakes (you know the ones that are on EVERY restaurant dessert menu). I ate my way through so many (I may or may not have been pregnant at the time) that one day, spoon-deep into my chocolate lava explosion, I got so overwhelmingly nauseous (I may or may not have been pregnant at the time) that I couldn’t take another bite. Ever. Seriously – If you so much as put that thing near me, you’ll need to bring an emesis basin with. Enough said.

I used to be gaga over split pea soup too. Every time I went out to eat, be it a restaurant or a pizza shop, I’d order one. I just loved how hearty and filling it was. But then one day, I was all split-pead-out. I literally couldn’t look at the stuff for years. Me and Mr. Split Pea were estranged, and I moved on to Mr. Lentil.

And then, many, many years later (we’re talking double digits here), I read about a popular preparation for split peas using ham hocks to impart a smoky flavor to the soup. Of course ham hocks are off the table in my kosher kitchen, but the idea got me thinking, and whetted my appetite for my long lost favorite soup.

I did some research and found that smoked turkey leg would make a good replacement for ham hocks, adding smokiness and flavor to the soup. The results were even better than I’d imagined – smoky and savory with a deep, rich flavor! Braising the turkey leg also made it buttery soft – it’s meat fell apart instantly and made a great addition to the soup.

To really up the ante, I added some fresh thyme dumpling that meld perfectly into the soup. The results are so hearty, it’s literally a meal in itself.

Thanks to this amazing recipe, I’m a born-again split pea fan and I hope you will be too. And don’t worry, this time, I’m treading carefully.


1 year ago: dried fruit brie bites
2 years ago: honey mustard salad dressing
3 years ago: homemade granola

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

If you’ve ever read any of my Shabbat menus on Facebook, you know I’m all about the roast-roast-roast. And I don’t mean a couple of pounds of meat. I’m talking about drizzling stuff with olive oil, salt and pepper and sending it for some browning action in a steaming hot oven.

The thing about roasting is – it concentrates flavors in the most delicious way possible, caramelizing veggies into nature’s candy. I know you can taste the difference because every time I serve up my roasted butternut squash pie, people don’t stop asking me what I do different that makes it tastes so good. I’m telling you people. You gotta try it for yourself. Roast. Roast. Roast.

To get the most flavor out of this soup, I roast the squash along with shallots, for amazing natural sweetness. Give it a try and and you’ll never go back to boiling your veggies again!

Other Butternut Squash Recipes:

butternut squash fries
butternut squash latkes
stuffed roasted butternut squash

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Lentil Soup

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

There’s nothing like a healthy and hearty soup when the weather starts turning cold. I love the texture that lentils lend to soup. They add a wonderful thickness, but they still kind of melt on your tongue. Leftover lentil soup is great mixed with pasta for lunch the next day.

As a mom, I have to say that my favorite part of serving soups is being able to hide veggies in there. My older ones are starting to catch on to my sneaky tactics but sometimes I get lucky and they’ll down some veggies. Not an easy feat in my house!

Other Hearty Soup Recipes:

crockpot mushroom barley stoup
minestrone soup
fire roasted tomato rice stoup
bubby’s cabbage soup with flanken
Asian bigger bowl soup

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Moscato, Honey & Vanilla Poached Apricots

Monday, June 17th, 2013


When the Kosher Connection team (a group of Kosher Food Bloggers that I belong to) decided on the theme of “cold soups” for this month’s Link-Up challenge, I was thrilled. I had made these poached apricots a few times already, and I knew I just had to share them. Granted, poached apricots in moscato, honey & vanilla bean syrup is a bit of a stretch for a soup, but I think we’re covered. Cold fruit soups are all the rage in the summer, and this elegant take on a fruit soup is the perfect way to celebrate apricots – summer’s sweet and tart bounty.


Fresh apricots are available from mid-June to mid-July and are best tree-ripened (it doesn’t ripen after it’s picked). Try to find them at your nearest farmers’ market for optimum flavor. Apricots should be purchased ripe or slightly under-ripe, yielding slightly to gentle touch.


Poaching is one of the best ways to prepare apricots, but they can also be grilled. The addition of honey helps to balance out the apricot’s tartness. Vanilla bean and Moscato wine add an amazing depth of flavor that complements the apricots perfectly. The syrup is so unique and flavorful, you’ll want to drink a cupful all by itself!

What is your favorite way to prepare apricots? Share your ideas with me in the comments below.

For more great cold soup recipes, check out the Kosher Connection Cold Soup Link-Up Challenge below! You can also view my recipe for cold strawberry rhubarb soup here.

1 year ago: shlishkes
2 years ago: tuna salad with a twist

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Crockpot Mushroom Barley Stoup

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

It was Rachel Ray who first coined the phrase stoup, and this is a perfect example of what it is: thicker than a soup but thinner than a stew. It’s surprising that I’m posting a hearty dish like this when the weather is finally starting to warm up, but when I made this on a cold and chilly day earlier in the week, my Facepage page went gaga over it. I don’t know if it’s the whole slow cooker thing, but I definitely wasn’t expecting this soup to go viral. Not that it’s not delicious. Because, my, is it ever. With fall-off-the-bone flanken, two types of mushrooms and hearty root vegetables simmered in a thyme-scented chicken broth, this is good enough to make purely for the smell that will waft through your house for hours.

Serve with crusty bread for a whole meal in one bowl!

Related Recipes:
fire roasted tomato rice stoup
wild mushroom barley soup

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Minestrone Soup

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

I don’t just live in Brooklyn. I was born here too. In fact, I live around the corner from my childhood home. Why am I telling you this? Well it’s got something to do with the weather. Most of the time, the cold doesn’t bother me. Really. I grew up making snow angels in my front yard every winter, and having snowballs thrown at me from the big boys down the block. The cold is just in my blood.

I have to admit though, that every now and then comes one of those bone-chilling winter days where even I want nothing more than to snuggle up under a cozy blanket and wrap my hands around a warm cup of soup. Last week, we had one of those days. As bundled up as I was, the wind just crept it’s way in, stinging my fingers and toes. My kids came home all red-nosed and shivering and I just knew I had to put up a big pot of soup.

And not just any soup. It had to be a stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup that’s a meal in itself. I decided on minestrone because #1, it’s awesome and hearty. #2, it’s pretty quick, and #3 with all the veggies in there, there’s at least something each of my finicky kids will eat. Plus, it’s got pasta, and who doesn’t love pasta?!

Minestrone soup is basically a thick soup of Italian origin, usually consisting of vegetables (especially tomatoes), beans and pasta. You can use whatever beans you like and play around with the veggies to suit your taste. With beans, veggies and pasta, it’s a whole meal-in-one that comes together in no time. Serve with some crusty bread to really take it over the top! It’s sure to keep you warm all winter long.

Related Recipes:

white bean minestrone with zoodles
spinach matzo ball minestrone soup

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Cream of Leek Soup + Fresh & Easy Cookbook Review

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

I don’t know what’s taken me so long to make something from Leah Schapira’s fabulous cookbook Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking, but I’m so glad I finally did. It also gave me a chance to revisit the book and look at page after page of mouthwatering recipes and pictures. While the title “Fresh & Easy” refers to the recipes, it also reflects the cookbooks ease of use. Being a web designer by trade, I really appreciate a fresh and clean layout, and Leah’s book does a fabulous job of creating organized, easy-to-read meal plans for the everyday cook. With picture perfect menu’s, an informative guide to seasonal fruits & vegetables, as well as freezer tips and food pairings, “Fresh & Easy” is the perfect resource for busy moms and cooks.

One of the recipes that stood out to me was this cream of leak soup. While I usually make french onion soup for Shavuous, I find it quite heavy, so I was looking for something dairy, but lighter. While this is similar to a vichyssoise, the lack of potatoes and heavy cream keep it light – which I love. Of course I had to throw my own twist on it, so I made some crispy leeks for garnish.

Some of the other recipes I’m eyeing from Leah’s book include the gemelli basil pasta salad, butternut squash with grapes and shallots, red wine tomato sauce, Italian breadsticks, double chocolate pecan waffles, creamy thai chicken thighs, plum asian chicken, savory hamentaschen, peanut butter bars, cinnamon twists, cheese buns….(I better stop here before I type up the whole cookbook!)

Do you own the Fresh & Easy cookbook? What are some of the recipes you’ve tried? I’d love to hear from you!

1 year ago: mini zucchini muffins + Rivka’s pumpkin cake

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Wild Mushroom Barley Soup

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I remember the first time I made mushroom barley soup. I was having a large group of people over for a simcha and I decided to whip up a batch of the hearty soup. Having never made it before, I underestimated how much the barley would expand. Lets just say it was more of a cream of barley soup than a mushroom anything. I have since learned my lesson and to be sure of myself, I cook the barley separately and add it the soup once it’s already tender.

But that’s not the only thing that makes this soup anything but average. Instead of serving up a bowl of soup with a puddle of grease floating on top (you all know what I’m talking about), I blend the soup using only half of the barley. Since my kids wouldn’t normally eat mushrooms, blending it makes for a perfect disguise and they don’t have to miss out on this delicious recipe. After blending, I add in the remaining barley for added texture in every bite.

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