Tag: shavuot recipes

Camembert en Croûte Salad

People often ask me if I feel deprived as a serious foodie who keeps kosher, and the answer is “no”. As someone who’s been kosher since birth, I don’t crave “treif” simply because I’ve never tried it. And there is really so much available on the kosher market today, that I don’t really feel like I’m missing out.

BUT… (there’s always a but isn’t there?!), traveling as a kosher keeper is hard stuff. Especially when you go places that don’t have much kosher available, and you’ve got to stuff your bag with cans of tuna and crackers. I have to admit that part isn’t easy, and for that reason, I usually choose to travel to places based on the kosher availability there.

Which totally works for me because eating out, I feel, is part and parcel of a vacation. I’m not the sit-by-the-beach and suntan kinda gal, so I’d rather hit the town and see what it has to offer.


I love exploring different food cultures and traveling really opens your eyes to different ingredients and flavor combinations. On my recent trip to Paris, I ordered the camembert salad, which was served simply over a bed of iceberg lettuce, with a drizzle of balsamic and honey and a sprinkling of pine nuts. It really made me rethink the whole camembert thing (I always just wrap it in puff pastry), and I knew I was going to recreate it when I got home,

I took the best of the salad, and paired it with the “en croute” concept, for a deconstructed cheese salad of your dreams. There’s not much else to say about this other than IT’S AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS.

Camembert, if you’re not familiar, is a soft and creamy, surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese. The white bloomy rind is totally edible, with barely any moldy flavor. As someone who is not a fan of moldy cheese, I absolutely love Camembert (and brie!), so I wouldn’t be scared off by it.


If you’re not quite ready for Camembert on it’s own, I recommend wrapping it in puff pastry with some fig jam and candied nuts and baking until puffed and golden. That’s really what got me into this wheel of wonder to begin with and it’s absolutely amazing!


halloumi cheese waffles with tomato jam and balsamic syrup
brie marsala pizza
dried fruit brie bites

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Three-Cheese Rollatini Rose Pie

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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