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Grilled Chicken Shawarma Salad

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

This past Friday, Food52 posted a happiness experiment on Instagram, challenging their followers to write a list of things that make them happy and tag it #happylist. Of course, it got me thinking about what makes me happy and I put together my happy list.

Happiness Is…

– bike riding with my kids
apricot season
– sunglasses
– Masterchef (who am I kidding? Gordon Ramsay)
– ice coffee
– fresh corn on the cob
– blogging
– circus arts at the gym
saltwater sandals
harissa
– anything Ottolenghi
– homemade popsicles
– the weekend

When I wrote that “anything Ottolenghi” makes me happy, I meant it! I am a true Israeli at heart, and I love digging in to Israeli food – from homemade falafel, to shawarma, shakshuka, hummus, za’atar, roasted eggplants, halva, krembo’s….I think you get the point. With summer (finally!!!) here, It’s time to lighten things up, and this amazing grilled chicken shawarma salad is my go-to. For lunch or dinner, it’s so light and filling, you’ll want to eat it all summer long!

Now since my talented friend Miriam Pascal of OvertimeCook is busy putting finishing touches on her new cookbook, I’m only too happy to fill in with this guest post, so head on over to her blog for the recipe!

B’tayavon!

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The best salads happen at the salad bar. It was Chanukah, and my sister in law and I made a run for Bagels & Greens to sample some of their amazing donuts. They had incredible flavors like Rosemary crunch, sweet basil, Oreo crunch, strawberry cheese cake, dulce de leche and even passion fruit. They were selling out fast so we made our way, babies in tow, and sat down for brunch.

To deguiltify our donut binge, we decided to start with a salad. We packed in some roasted veggies, beets, and quinoa with a drizzle of honey mustard dressing. I was used to eating quinoa salads where the quinoa was the main attraction, but I loved how the healthy grains coated my greens and stuck to the veggies. I decided to bring the idea home and roast up some veggies for a healthy lunch that’s packed with color and flavor.

I start by roasting up some veggies – there are so many to choose from! Keep it simple with zucchini and onions or add in some eggplant, peppers or mushrooms. A hint of oregano and balsamic add amazing flavor – and your house will smell incredible too.

I love topping my greens off with a poached or soft boiled egg. The creamy yolk coats the greens in a rich sauce that’s better than any salad dressing. Although, if you do want dressing (what’s a salad without a good dressing, right?), I’ve got plenty of options for you too!

1 year ago: nut omelette
2 years ago: Bubby’s challah kugel
3 years ago: perfect pareve french toast

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Persimmon Guacamole

Monday, February 10th, 2014

It’s no secret that I’m kinda obsessed with persimmon. I gushed about it’s awesomeness here and here and even made some persimmon coconut ice cream here. But as long as persimmon are in season, I’m gonna keep eating them. And if I’m eating them, I’m blogging about them. So there.

When it comes to fuyu persimmon, you can eat them straight-up. No need to wait till their uber-ripe. That’s why they work so great in guacamole – it’s almost like using mango, except so much more delicious!

Guacamole is a great base for interesting add-ins. I love to make use of seasonal fruits and veggies and add them to creamy avocado dip. Pomegranates make an appearance in the fall, persimmon in the winter, and corn, of course, in the summer. The only classic ingredient not making it into my guacamole? cilantro. I’ve tried eating it, I really have. But it just tastes like soap over and over again.

No matter how you take your guacamole – make sure to add some persimmon, they’ll be gone before you know it!

1 year ago: smoked paprika popcorn cauliflower
2 years ago: my ultimate guilt-free breakfast
3 years ago: chicken pot pie from leftover chicken soup

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Rainbow Cobb Salad

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Each year, the week that the Torah portion of Noah* is read, my kosher newsfeeds are flooded with rainbow cakes and crafts of all kinds. It’s fun to get the kids involved in the Shabbat menu but if I had it my way, I’d rather not load them up on food coloring. I’m guilty of creating these rainbow cupcakes last year, but this year I decided to think of something a lot less sugary, and a lot more healthy. Which is how THIS happened.

If you’re not familiar with Cobb salad, it’s a culinary classic, alongside the popular Nicoise and Caesar varieties. Classic Cobb salad is not kosher, as it calls for both bacon and blue cheese. In my kosher version, I subbed pastrami for the bacon and smoked turkey for the traditional grilled chicken. Incorporating popular Shabbat food like cold cuts, will make this rainbow salad a sure hit on your lunch menu. And with all the bright beautiful colors – you may just get your kids to eat it too!

*In the story of Noah, G-d promised never to destroy the world again with a flood, and as a symbol of that promise, he made a rainbow appear.

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Holiday Salad with Apple & Honey Vinaigrette

Monday, September 2nd, 2013


When I first developed this salad recipe, I did not have Rosh Hashanah in mind. In fact, it was just about getting creative with the ingredients in my refrigerator (which is pretty much how all my salads happen). When all the components came together, it just screamed holiday, and I knew I had to share it for the upcoming Chag.

Although figs are not one of the traditional fruits eaten on Rosh Hashanah (like pomegranates, apples and beets), it’s a good idea to take advantage of the season’s bounty. Fig season is short and sweet, and besides, they are one of the Seven Species of the Land of Israel. The figs add a chewy texture, sweet flavor, and beautiful color to the salad making it the perfect holiday appetizer.

Fresh figs are not the only bright piece to this beautiful salad puzzle. Chioggia beets also add amazing color and design. On the outside, the humble root vegetable is unassuming (ie. ugly). But when you cut into it – you get the most beautiful candy cane spiral that is almost too magical to eat. The thing about chioggia beets is that when you cook them, that beauty all but disappears into a dull pinky beige mass. To appreciate the bright pink spirals, candy cane beets should be eaten raw – shaved thinly on a mandolin.

To further the Holiday theme, I whipped up an “apple and honey” dressing, using apple cider vinegar and sweet honey. If you have a custom not to eat vinegar on Rosh Hashanah (due to it’s sour taste), you may substitute with lemon juice.

Watch me make a Rosh Hashanah Simanim salad with TorahCafe here:


Watch on TorahCafé.com!

Other Rosh Hashanah Salad Ideas:

rainbow slaw with poppy seed dressing
pomegranate coleslaw
apple celery veggie dip
roasted beet & orange salad
couscous with thyme & honey roasted carrots, parsnips and beets

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Watermelon Corn Salsa

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

When summer comes around, I love to take inspiration from the amazing fresh seasonal produce to create light and healthy dishes. The juicy melons and brightly flavored veggies work wonderfully to create sweet and crunchy salsas, tangy chutneys and colorful salads.

Using bright and sweet farm fresh produce requires little preparation. I usually dress my salads minimally with olive oil and citrus, allowing the fresh flavors to speak for themselves. This watermelon corn salsa is a great example. I’ve made it with both raw and cooked corn – each is equally delicious.

For the recipe, head on over to The Nosher Blog!

If you’re looking to experience the joy of picking your own farm fresh produce at a U-Pick farm, check out my review of Kelder’s Farm.

Other great farm-fresh salad recipes:

Roasted beet salsa
Snap pea, corn & red currant salad

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Summer Tomato Feta Salad

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Believe it or not, I’m not the biggest tomato person. I’ll happily leave them out of my burger, and I never put them in my tuna sandwiches. My husband, on the other hand, is tomato-obsessed. Ask him what he would take to a desert island, and I know without a doubt, that it would be a boat-load of tomatoes. So when it comes to salad-making, you can imagine that we are not always in agreement.

Summer, though, is the exception. There’s just something about summer tomatoes that is so deliciously sweet. Instead of arguing about adding tomatoes to the salad, we end up making tomato-only salads. Using an assortment of tomatoes like red and yellow tomatoes on the vine, or colorful heirloom tomatoes, makes for a beautiful presentation. With summer tomatoes being so juicy and delicious, you really don’t need much to make them sing. A simple drizzle of good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar is enough to dress them up. Feta adds protein, color, and saltiness, to balance out the tomatoes sweet flavor.

Needless to say, my husband is in LOVE with this salad. I hope you will be too.

1 year ago: picture perfect teacher’s gift
2 years ago: Asian bigger bowl soup

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Kani Caesar Salad with Nori Croutons

Monday, May 20th, 2013

When the Kosher Connection team decided on “croutons” as the link-up theme for May, I was so excited to finally try out a recipe that I’ve been dreaming of developing for months now. Truth be told, I am not the biggest nori fan. I mean, I wouldn’t eat the stuff if it didn’t hold my sushi together. It’s got that fishy quality about it that’s just kind of, well, stinky. But you know what? when you use it to top off a kani caesar salad, it just sorta, goes.

Talking about dislikes, I used to have a serious aversion to surimi, those orange-colored mock crab sticks. But after I tasted this salad at my cousin’s house a few months back, I was hooked. You see, it’s all a matter of how you serve it. Pulling the kani apart into shreds and coating it in a spicy sriracha dressing takes it from what-is-this-spongy-orange-stuff-in-my-california-roll to what’s-in-this-amazing-salad?! Seriously people, kani salad has changed my outlook on surimi forever.

So that’s sorta how this happened. At first, I came up with the brilliant concept of a nori-flavored crouton. But who would want to eat a nori crouton on a standard lettuce salad? I knew I had to incorporate some kind of seafood to bring the whole sushi concept together, but it also had to have greens to hold up the whole croutons thing. Alas, I figured I would do a take on a salmon-caesar salad with a Japanese-inspired recipe. This Kani Caesar Salad combines the classic Caesar concept with the awesomeness of kani salad, with nori croutons and a sriracha caesar dressing to round it out. If you think this salad looks good, just wait until you taste the dressing. It’s got an amazing depth of flavor from the anchovies that is only made better by the Asian hot sauce, it’s heat  balanced by the addition of sweet rice vinegar.

So, if you’re looking to wow your guests with a nontraditional twist on a classic Caesar salad, give this Kani Caesar Salad with nori croutons a try. And don’t forget to check out the Kosher Connection Link-Up below for more fun & creative twists on croutons!

1 year ago: cream of leek soup
2 years ago: home-made fish sticks

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Rainbow Slaw with Poppy-Seed Dressing

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

I wish I could take credit for this awesome salad combo, but the truth is, I ate a variation of it at Glatt Ala Carte restaurant in Brooklyn last year. The very following Shabbat, I recreated it at home, and I’ve been making it ever since. There’s just something about the colorful julienned vegetables paired with sweet and tart apples, chewy craisins and crunchy honey glazed pecans that just screams spring. It’s light, refreshing, not overly sweet, and incredibly satisfying.


One of the things that I love most about this recipe is the julienned vegetables. There’s just something about the texture that makes it more palatable. And I get to use my favorite tool of all time – the julienne peeler. It makes preparing homemade slaw so quick and easy, you’ll never have to pull out your hand grater again! My favorite julienne peeler is made by OXO. If you don’t have one, you can buy it here.

I used to wonder if my whole julienne obsession was just me, so I did a little experiment. I made my waldorf salad 2 weeks in a row, using the exact same ingredients. One week, I diced the apples into cubes, the way it’s classically done. The next week, I julienned them into thin strips for a more refined presentation. The results were crystal clear. The julienned salad got rave reviews and was finished down to the last drop. The chunkier cubed salad was eaten, but with not much ado, and I had leftovers.


Rounding out the salad is this delicious poppy seed dressing. The honey helps to thicken it so that it emulsifies into a creamy dressing. Make sure to whisk vigorously (or shake in a container) right before serving, to keep the emulsion from breaking.

1 year ago: pineapple chicken & BBQ jalepeno pizza
2 years ago: 1-2-3 decadent molten chocolate chip cakes

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Sushi Salad II

Thursday, July 7th, 2011


Google Analytics is a fascinating tool. It allows you to track who visited your website, how they found it and what they looked at, among other things. When I have time, I like to research how people came to Busy in Brooklyn, and which recipes are the most popular. Ever since starting my blog in February, the all-time most popular post is this sushi salad. Being such a crowd-pleasing recipe, I figured it was about time to try another variation. Now I am beginning to understand why just about every kosher pizza shop, restaurant (be it meat or dairy) and supermarket is carrying sushi! I thought the fad might pass at some point, but I think I can rest assured that it is here to stay!

I love making sushi salad because it takes all the hassle out of hand rolling the sushi, but it offers the same taste and texture with minimal effort. It is also visually appealing. For a beautiful presentation, choose vegetables with vibrant colors. I recently made a similar recipe to this one, using shredded carrots in place of the edamame. The bright orange carrots with the green cucumbers and vibrant pink radishes looked picture-perfect. Feel free to try whatever vegetables suit your taste. You can also add mock crab, flaked salmon, lox and/or pickled ginger.

NOTE: Edamame are soybeans that come in a pod. They are commonly served in Japanese restaurants with a dusting of sea salt. Edamame are tasty, fun to eat, and good for you. When served in their pods, just squeeze the beans out and they’ll easily pop. I like to buy them already hulled. They can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets.

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