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Asian Lettuce Wraps

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Summer has officially begun! Last week, we made the 3  hour trek to the Catskills in Upstate New York where we spend our summer. I’m more of a city gal myself, but the city heat is unbearable, so I welcome the cool mountain air, rolling hills, grass and trees (something we majorly lack in Brooklyn)! The ten weeks we spend here fill my kids with vitality like a tank fills with gas. The long summer days spent carefree in the the outdoors are life’s best medicine, and I’m so thankful I get to give it to them.

As for me, some of my best memories are the ones I spent in the bungalow colony as a child. I love waking up to the smell of the mountains, and when I sit outside sipping my coffee and listening to the birds sing their song, it’s like pure heaven. But I can do without the endless laundry (they change like four times a day!), constant meals (all the swimming and biking makes them ravenous), and not seeing my husband the whole week (someone’s got to pay for all the food and laundry detergent we go through lol!).

I’m not really sure how much I’ll be able to keep up my blogging from here. I didn’t bring any props with me and I’m keeping things simple in the kitchen. But I did bring my camera and I loved the challenge of putting together a summer recipe without all of my fancy ingredients and food styling stuff. It’s also a learning experience working with different natural light, so I was happy to prepare these simple summer wraps and blog about them. Otherwise, I’ll be keeping things light around here, and probably blogging a lot less than usual. But I hope you’ll all be taking a break too!

Wishing you a light, healthy and refreshing summer!


Related Recipes:

quinoa pad thai
curried chicken lettuce wraps

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Spicy Roasted Carrot Fries

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

It’s been such a pleasure having some of my favorite peeps guest post on my blog the past few weeks! I think the part I appreciate the most is how they all put so much thought into making something that was so ME. Amy made shakshuka which is one of my favorite foods. Sina made Paleo cookies ‘cuz I’m a Paleo enthusiast who could eat cookies at every meal. Melissa made a deconstructed bakba (that went crazy viral!) ‘cuz I’m all about putting my fun twist on traditional foods. And Miriam whipped out her spiralizer because as many of you know, it’s my favorite kitchen gadget!

I’m sure most of you already know Miriam, the famous blogger from one of the most popular blogs out there – Overtime Cook. If you live in a far off country without internet, and you haven’t yet made it to her blog [in which case, why would you be reading this? But lets not get technical here ;)], you’ve probably seen her amazing cookbook, Something Sweet. Whenever I’m looking for a dessert on the weekend, or a treat for my guests, that’s the cookbook I go to – hands down. And whatever I make is always a winner! Besides being an awesome baker, Miriam likes to create simple healthy dishes and I’m so grateful that she’s sharing one of them with you today!

Welcome Miriam!

Hey Busy in Brooklyn readers! I’m so excited to be guest posting here while Chanie enjoys some special time with her gorgeous new baby! My name is Miriam Pascal, and you might know me from my blog, Overtime Cook, or from my cookbook, Something Sweet. And although my cookbook is all about desserts, I love to make simple and easy real food recipes as well, which brings me to these curly carrot fries.

When I was wracking my brains, trying to think of a good recipe to share here on Chanie’s blog, I immediately thought of a recipe using a spiralizer. I think we all know how much Chanie likes to use one – right?! Well one of the great benefits of a spiralizer, aside from the ability to make zoodles and other spaghetti shaped veggies, is the ability to make super-fun curly shapes out of potatoes or veggies.

Did you grow up on those frozen curly fries? I know I did. These Curly Carrot Fries are a perfect way to enjoy that nostalgic memory without all the extra calories. They’re baked, not fried, plus they’re made out of carrot instead of potatoes. Oh, and did I mention the blend of savory and sweet flavors thanks to the spice mix?

I should warn you that you might want to double this recipe….or else the whole tray might get noshed on before you even get to the table!

Pssst… I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but Rosh Hashanah is closer than you want to think, so put these carrots on your menu!

Related Recipes:

gluten free zucchini fries
butternut squash fries
veal marsala with turnip noodles
cheesy zoodle marinara

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Fish Tacos with Savory Plantain Tortillas

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Last year was my first time venturing into the world of plantains. It’s definitely a lesser known fruit, so I’m here to tell you more about it!

Plantains are a tropical fruit, and are best known for their use in tostones – a twice fried chip. You’ll find them on the menu in many Latin restaurants, like 26 Sushi & Tapas, in Miami, Florida. I love them topped with ceviche and avocado!

A plantain looks like a banana, but it’s slightly larger with angular sides. It’s taste and texture are determined by it’s stage of ripeness – firm and starchy when it’s green, and softer and sweeter when it’s yellow to black. Plantains cannot be eaten raw, but they make great (baked or fried!) chips when firm, delicious mash when ripe and great egg-free tortillas at any stage. Plantains are a resistant starch, which means that they pass through the digestive system sort of like soluble fiber and don’t spike blood sugar, making them popular among Paleo enthusiasts.

My interest in plantain tortillas was purely a Passover thing, since most kosher for Passover crepes are made using potato starch and eggs. I’m not a big fan of potato starch, and since my son is allergic to eggs, I was looking for an egg-free alternative.

I created two versions of the tortilla – a savory one, made with avocado oil, lime juice and a bit of chili powder, and a sweet one, made with coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla (recipe coming tomorrow!). Plantains don’t have much flavor on their own, so adding these ingredients was essential. I was pleasantly surprised that the tortillas were soft and pliable and really make a great substitute for Passover crepes and wraps. It’s great to have a recipe that doesn’t call for potato starch and eggs for a change, am I right?!

Now for the fillings! I’m a big fan of fish tacos so I definitely went that route with coconut crusted fish fillets which you can bake or fry (if you’re not a fan of coconut, I would recommend frying). Mango salsa is the perfect accompaniment to this tropical dish and curried mayo, one of my favorite condiments, rounds it out. This makes a great lunch or light dinner after all the heavy meat and potato dishes that we’re used to!

Looking for other potato alternatives for Pesach? Check out this article that I put together for OU kosher. It’s got lots of amazing recipes, suggestions and ideas for replacing the spud. You can thank me later!


Related Recipes:

plantain nachos
fish tacos with broccoli slaw
tropical guacamole
nutella crepes with sweet plantain tortillas

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Bundt Pan Rotisserie Chicken

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

I have a confession to make. I used to be afraid of chicken. And I don’t mean of eating it.

Yes, you read that right. When I was a teenager, I wasn’t too fond of helping in the kitchen, and when I had to make chicken, lets just say it was an ordeal. I always wore gloves, but sometimes the chicken got the better of me and I would throw it into the sink, terrified that it would come to life and leap at me.

I mean, do you blame me? Look at that chicken sitting there all pretty. It looks so…well…human.

It took a few years, but I got over my fear. And just time in time for this GENIUS homemade crispy rotisserie chicken hack.

I can’t take credit for this stroke of brilliance. All credit goes to Justin Chapple, the senior editor of Food & Wine Magazine, who’s Mad Genius Tips constantly blow me away!

When I saw a short clip of this easy bunt pan rotisserie chicken on Instagram, I was all over it. I made it for Shabbat that week, and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s my husband’s favorite way to eat chicken, and we always fight over the crispier-than-ever chicken wings!

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s super healthy and indulgent nonetheless. You feel like you’re eating fried chicken (it’s that crispy!), but without those extra calories. It also makes a great one-dish meal when you add potatoes or other veggies.

Related Recipes:

lemon & garlic whole roasted chicken

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Zoodle Shakshuka

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

If a food could be my bestie, it would be shakshuka. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Why do I love it so much? Lets count the ways…

    1. it’s sweet.
    2. it’s spicy.
    3. it’s saucy.
    4. it’s got runny eggs.
    5. it’s got runny eggs. (I love runny eggs OKKKK?)
    6. it’s easy to make.
    7. you can dip fresh pita in it.
    8. you can make so many varieties.
    9. you can eat it for breakfast, brunch (my favorite), lunch or dinner.
    10. it’s Israeli and Israel is my <3

Speaking of #10, I’m sharing this recipe with you all in honor of the #LOVEISRAELFOOD which is the brainchild of my fellow Brooklyn foodie and Instagrammer Aliza Salem (follower her @theghettogourmet!). Aliza put together a fun foodie campaign in support of Israel, where we all share our favorite Israeli dishes on Instagram! Go out and buy some Israeli products and post a photo of your dish with some of these hashtags:
#buyisraelicookisraelibakeisraeli, #loveisraelfood, #changeforisrael and #onenationoneheart! I can’t wait to break the internet with all our droolworthy dishes!

I’m getting in the spirit of things with this zoodle shakshuka, because I had to bring together two of my favorite things: zoodles and shakshuka! I spiralized both zucchini and yellow squash, to give this a 2-tone effect, and it came together in no time. Who doesn’t love that!

Zoodles are all the rage these days, so if you haven’t hopped on the zucchini noodle train, it’s time. I wrote all about the different tools that you can use to prepare zoodles a little while ago, so give it a read!

If you’re not much of a reader, I’ll sum it up for you in one sentence. For quick and easy zoodles, use this and for a fun tool that you can use with lots of different produce, use this. It’s that easy my zoodle novice friends.

And if you’re looking for some inspiration for the #loveisraelfood campaign, you know you’ve come to the right place. You can try stuffing some roasted eggplant like this, or grilling up some halloumi like this. You can go a little crazy with halva flavors like this and this or work in some za’atar like this and this. Of course you can go more classic like falafel and shawarma or go a little crazy with rosewater or harissa. Whatever you do, it’s sure to be delicious. B’taavon!

For the zoodle shakshuka recipe, head on over to the Arutz Sheva blog!

Other Shakshuka Recipes:

baked portobello shakshuka
garbanzo bean shakshuka
spaghetti squash shakshuka 

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Bunless Fajita Dogs

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

What a week it’s been! I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous food photography class by Andrew Scrivani, food photographer extraordinaire and regular contributor to The New York Times. The class was hosted at the B&H Photo Event Space, which offers lots of free seminars and inspirational lectures. It was my first time going, and I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for more great workshops!

I took a lot out of the class, and I’m sharing it with you here, mostly in my pictures. Andrew spoke about many different aspects of food photography, but what really got me was how he said that our food photos should tell a story. They should evoke emotion in the reader, drawing them into the photo and the scene. I’m only fairly new to “decent” food photography, I’m slowly learning and growing with each blog post, but I really tried to incorporate that into these photos. Let me know what you think!

Now aside from the amazing food photography class, I also took part in a really fun fundraising event for the Ha’or Beacon school. I had never heard of Ha’or Beacon before, but just working with the thoughtful and caring staff on the Culinary for a Cause fundraiser, gave me a small glimpse into the type of people running the special needs school. Aside for a Chinese Auction, the entertainment for the evening was a roundup of cooking demonstrations by yours truly and a few other famous kosher foodies, including OvertimeCook, The Aussie Gourmet, Dini Delivers, Joy of Kosher Magazine Editor, Shifra Klein, and Victoria Dweck, cookbook author and editor of Ami Magazine.

Each of us was assigned a different course to demonstrate including Hors D’oeuvres, Appetizer, Entree, Side Dishes and Dessert. I made the hors d’oeuvres of mini Asian turkey sliders on a cauliflower bun with quick pickled cucumbers and spicy mayo. I really wanted to show people how easy it to make cauliflower-everything (rice, couscous, pizza crust and buns) so I decided on that dish. Needless to say, it was super fun and great to meet so many of my fans!

Now the one thing I didn’t do at the event, was eat. Yes, I tried my turkey sliders but Victoria’s braised short ribs were off limits, not to mention Dini’s quinoa-corn cakes and Miriam’s chocolate crepes. I’m going strong on The South Beach Diet, and I won’t cheat for ‘nothin!


In fact, I’ve really upped my ante by joining a fitness regimen at The Space Brooklyn. They are hosting a 60 day challenge, where they are encouraging participants to get healthy via the mind and body by doing 30 workouts in 60 days. Their amazing lineup of classes helps me mix it up, so that I’m not bored or dreading my workouts. So far I’ve done a yoga class, a circus arts class, a barre burn class, and pilates is on the schedule for tomorrow.

I’m charlie horse in muscles that I didn’t know existed, but I feel so strong and healthy! I’m looking forward to attending some of the other nutrition-based classes that they are featuring during the #30in60 campaign (one of which will include me and my spiralizer!)

So, back to the food, ‘cuz that’s what it always boils down to, right?! Today I’m sharing a favorite dish and a favorite trick. First, how on earth will I get through BBQ season on South Beach?! Well, I”ll tell you…BUNLESS HOT DOGS are the thing! Turning your hot,dog into its own bun is a diet lifesaver! You’ll be amazed at how a simple slit in your hot dog will open up when it’s heated and the filling possibilities are endless!


Fajita spiced peppers and onions are my absolute fave, and I’m sharing my own homemade spice mix below! With no carbs or MSG, it’s great on chicken or beef, perfect in tacos, and definitely over hot dogs. Finish with some sauerkraut (fermented foods are top of the food chain these days) and salsa, and you’ve got yourself a carbless meal that’s filling AND delicious!



Bunless hot dogs are best made with a nice hefty dog, so Abeles & Heymann’s knockwurst are my go-to. I love that they use natural nitrates found in celery and cherry, so there’s nothing artificial about them. In fact, ever since I went down to the factory for a tour, I don’t feel guilty about eating hot dogs at all. They start with real pieces of meat, not the fatty trimmings that I always imagined, to produce an extremely flavorful dog that is unmatched in the kosher industry. Quality and flavor? I”ll take two, please.

What’s your favorite way to top off your hot dog? Share it with me in the comments below!

This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Other Hot Dog Recipes:

hot dog eggrolls
spiralized spud dogs
kid friendly dirty rice
fire roasted tomato rice stoup

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Pumpkin Banana Souffle

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my Paleo journey and I think it’s about time! I first wrote about my diet struggles back in June, and I’ve since completed two (and a half) Whole30’s. The 30-day cleanse is based on the Paleo diet, with some more stringencies to help the body reset it’s natural rhythm. I love what the Whole30 did for me! It completely eliminated my sugar cravings, and got me back on track to a healthier lifestyle. Hundreds of you have jumped on the Whole30 bandwagon and purchased my Paleo 30-day meal plan filled with over 100 Whole30-compliant recipes!

Now while I fully support the Whole30 concept, I think it works best as a 30-day cleanse, which is exactly what it is. It’s too hard to live a Whole30 lifestyle all the time, especially being a foodie and recipe developer. Which is why I’ve transitioned to a mostly Paleo diet – rich in healthy proteins and fats, and limited to natural sweeteners and no-grain alternatives like almond flour.

I find that the Paleo lifestyle is pretty easy to stick to. I eat lots of eggs, chicken, meat, veggies and healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Of course my spiralizer keeps things exciting with lots of zoodles (zuccchini noodles), veggie fries and cauliflower rice! I try to always think outside the box, preparing burgers with portobello mushrooms “buns”, making eggrolls with an omelette, or sushi with cucumber ribbons. These original recipes can all be found in my ebook, which you can read about in more detail here.

Although I’ve adopted a mostly Paleo lifestyle, I’m still a huge foodie who enjoys eating out, and developing fun and unique recipes for my blog. In those cases, I believe strongly in the principal “everything in moderation,” so I try and give myself a break to enjoy every now and then. I still have lots of weight to lose, and I think it’s time to head to the gym to get that ball rolling (literally!)

My blog is a reflection of my lifestyle, so I thought it was time to bring back some tried and true Paleo/Whole30 compliant recipes for all of my loyal Paleo followers to enjoy. This incredible pumpkin banana souffle is so ridiculously easy to make, you won’t believe how good it tastes! The banana adds all the sweetness you need, so you can eat this without any guilt. I love that I can eat it warm or cold, for breakfast, dinner, or even dessert! It’s nice enough to serve for company, and it’s so versatile too! Top it with some bacon or sausage crumbles, eat it with some roast turkey, or spoon on some coconut whipped cream for a truly decadent treat!

Other recipes that use pumpkin puree:

pumpkin ricotta pancakes
pumpkin pie smoothie
baked pumpkin oatmeal
pumpkin crisp
pumpkin whoopie pies

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Harissa Roasted Chicken

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

For the longest time, spicy foods didn’t interest me. I grew up eating so much of the sweet stuff, I thought chicken was best loaded with sugary sauce. My bubby always doused her dishes in sugar, the more the better, and my mother did the same. Fish, chicken, salad, pasta, potatoes – everything was prepared sweet.

When I first got married, I followed suit, prepping my dishes with the holy trinity of spices: salt, pepper, and sugar! Lots of sweet BBQ sauces, sticky duck sauce and natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Sometimes I paired them with mustard for a little kick, but hot peppers never made it into my kitchen, and spicy was off the map.

My husband grew up similarly, even though he has sephardic roots. My South American mother in law loaded her keftes (meatballs) with sugar, and her Syrian mechshie was almost always sweet too. Sweet beet and carrot salads were often on the menu as well, always with added sugar.

But then I became a foodie. It evolved slowly – starting with simple family recipes on my blog, my interest in food evolved into passion and curiosity for different flavors and International cuisine. Slowly but surely, I broadened my culinary horizons by exploring the many flavors and textures of different foods. My husband was not as quick to embrace my food journey, but he eventually came around and started to appreciate flavors that he didn’t grow up eating.

I’ve grown (quite literally) to love spicy foods like Pad Thai, curries and salsas, and ingredients like harissa, sriracha and chili peppers are mainstays in my kitchen. I now save the sweets for the desserts, and do my best to keep my dishes savory, or at least to add an element of spice, to keep the flavors balanced.

One of the best parts about eating spicy and savory foods like this harissa roasted chicken, is that it’s lighter on the waistline but doesn’t compromise on flavor. Zoodles (zucchini noodles) make this dish Paleo and Whole30 compliant, so if you’ve joined the popular diet trend (which I wrote an ebook on!), this makes for a delicious and filling dinner, and you can save leftovers for lunch the next day. You gotta love that!

Other spicy recipes:

spicy tuna melt twice baked potatoes
quinoa pad thai
spicy roasted edamame
kani salad
cauliflower nachos with harissa cheddar sauce

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Pulled Pesto Chicken Burger
with Fire-Roasted Tomato Jam

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I’m so proud to be part of an amazing group of talented Jewish Bloggers for the 2nd annual “A Very Jewish Summer” week! Dena Siegel, from the blog Chai & Home, began the week-long collaboration last year, bringing leading Jewish bloggers together to celebrate Jewish life and style. Bloggers from Los Angeles, Connecticut, San Diego and Israel have been posting all week, and I’m happy to share their takes on Jewish summer living and lifestyle!

Click on the following links to get in on the Jewish summer fun!

Sunday: Summer Havdalah Candles on Design Megillah 
Monday: Shabbat Picnic Lunch on Chai & Home
Tuesday: Craft Foam Succh Lanterns on Creative Jewish Mom
Wednesday: Freezer Cooking for the Grill on Happily Hectic
Thursday: Pulled Pesto Chicken Burger on Busy In Brooklyn (that’s me!)

Last year, I posted a portobello mushroom burger with sundried tomato aioli for A Very Jewish Summer Week, so I decided to stick with the portobello burger theme since it seems to be going well for me. The recipe won 2nd Place in a mushroom contest and I ended up cooking it on tv for Brooklyn’s News 12!

This year, I’m sharing my mouthwatering recipe for a Paleofied burger from my Paleo eBook! Every since I hopped on the Whole30 bandwagon, I can’t get enough of eating the Paleo way and I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share for A Very Jewish Summer Week! A grilled portobello bun filled with fire-roasted balsamic tomato jam and pulled pesto chicken evokes summer on all fronts – from the chargrilled bun, to the sweet and smoky seasonal tomato jam and the fresh flavors of summer basil smothered chicken. This burger is so full of flavor, you’ll never miss a carb-laden bun again!

Don’t you just want to reach into your screen and grab that burger? Hashtag #getinmytummy all the way! Well this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the 100+ original sugar-free (no sweeteners!), grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, legume-free and alcohol-free recipes inluded in my Paleo ebook! Click here for more info and how to order!


Paleo eBook Giveaway!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Last week, I summed up just what my ebook has to offer in this post but I couldn’t resist hosting a giveaway for y’all too! It also gives me a chance to give you more of a glimpse into some of the recipes I developed during my Whole30. You’ll find them all in my Paleo 30-Day meal plan.

Smoky braised chicken & collards, dinner, Day 8

I hadn’t really planned on another ebook post for a while, but when you’re up at 3 AM, jetlagged on the other side of the world, you’ve got a lot of times of your hands! Regards from down under! (The toilets really do flush the other way around on this side of the world).

Tuna avocado cucumber rolls with spicy mayo, lunch, Day 19

This whole eBook experience has been seriously surreal. I never went on the Whole30 with the intention of writing an ebook. It just sorta happened. One day I was cooking up sugar free, grain free and dairy free recipes, and the next I was collaborating them into a 50 page meal plan with over 100 recipes!

Grilled chicken shawarma plate, dinner, Day 10

And then, before I could even think about what was happening, I went live and the book actually sold. And sold some more. And every day, as the orders roll in, I just pinch myself and wonder, “Did I really just sell a cookbook?”

Paleo Pad Thai with spicy almond butter sauce, dinner, Day 9

The very next day after my ebook went live, I joined Naomi Nachman on her radio show, Table for Two, to make my Paleo Pad Thai live from Gourmet Glatt (a kosher supermarket in Cedarhurst). You can watch my interview and demo here!

Green bean salad (served with tuna nicoise patties), lunch, Day 26

I’m a firm believier that everything happens for a reason and I know my ebook had to evolve in the way that it did because otherwise it would never have happened! I’m way too much of a perfectionist to let anything go without it being William-Morrow-ready. And yet, I knew that the recipes spoke for themselves, so I just went for it (thanks to a lot of encouragement from family and friends)!

Roasted vegetable salad with poached egg, breakfast, Day 2

And thanks to you, my readers, for your constant support and feedback! Your comments, posts and emails encourage me to keep going bigger and better. You’ve helped turn my little corner of the blogosphere into more than just a hobby! Hopefully a real, hardcover (William Morrow published!) cookbook will be next on the list! (That’s a lot of explanation marks for one paragraph! I must be excited :)  or overtired…or both!)

Sweet potato chili, dinner, Day 2

So finally….back to the Giveaway details!

To enter the Paleo  30-Day Meal Plan Giveaway, leave a comment  sharing your favorite Busy In Brooklyn recipe. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry (one entry per follow). Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest 

Giveaway is open to everyone worldwide (don’t you just love ebooks?!). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Monday, July 21st, 2014.

Schnitzel salad, dinner, Day 24

To read more about what the ebook has to offer, check out this post, or this Q&A. If you want to go ahead and purchase it, you can do so right here!

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

Have you already ordered the ebook? Which recipes have you tried? Share your comments here!