Passover Friendly Pizza: Hint its not Matzo pizza!

Passover is in full swing. The matzo is flowing, the questions have been answered, and we are deyinued out. This is also the time when one begins to wonder what to eat. Unlike years past, this year Passover isn’t a shift at all for me. Since becoming gluten free I don’t really eat chametz which has made this pretty easy. I purchased ONE and ONLY ONE box of gluten free matzo because that stuff is expensive! Talk about exploiting the situation, sheesh! It cost me $9.00 for one box!

Because gluten free matzo is equivalent to gold in my mind  I am using my pieces wisely. I of course will have one honorary matzo pizza but I don’t want to use all of my rations on this traditional treat. To help remedy the situation I made Cauliflower Pizza dough… a Passover must!

Cauliflower Pizza is great for any time of the year but is especially nice during Passover. Its low calorie, nutritious, and best of all… delicious! It is also super easy to make.

So put away that matzo and enjoy a new type of Passover pizza!

Cauliflower Passover Pizza

(gluten free)
Nutritional Information: 350 calories for half of pizza

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Ingredients:

1 large head of cauliflower
1 egg
italian seasoning ( about 2 tbsp)
Trader Joes Marianara sauce (their pizza sauce isn’t certified gluten free)
1 c chopped green pepper
1/2 c part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
6 pitted black olives (chopped)
1 c of sliced mushrooms
1/4 c thinly sliced red onion
2 cloves of garlic chopped

fresh!

fresh!

Directions:
To make dough:
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Grate cauliflower over a medium bowl. Then add add to mixture, evenly mix. Stir in garlic and italian seasoning.

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Step 1

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Grease pizza stone and press mixture onto stone. Shape into a circle. Bake for 10 minutes (check to make sure it does not get too crispy.

Image (25)Remove pizza from oven. Distribute sauce and toppings. Place in oven for an additional 10 minutes (check at 5 minute mark). Slice and serve!

I mixed extra spices into the sauce.

I mixed extra spices into the sauce.

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Passover Fruit Crisp

Let the Passover recipes continue! I made this fruit crisp for seder and am quite pleased. I used gluten free farfel (once again… as expensive as gold) but well worth it.

This is actually much better than regular. It kind of tastes like saltines.

This is actually much better than regular. It kind of tastes like saltines.

Passover Fruit Crisp

Ingredients: 

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2 pears sliced
1 small apple sliced
1 c bluebrries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 c farfel
2 tbsp vegan margarine (parve)- melt
1/4 stevia
1 tbsp cinnamon (more if you would like)
1/4 sliced almonds (kosher for passover- available at Whole Foods)

oh so pretty.

oh so pretty.

Directions:

Mixture fruit and cinnamon together. Place ingredients in bakeware. Mix together sugar, butter, farfel and pour over fruit. Sprinkle nuts over mixture.

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I made this ahead and baked it at 325 or 10 minutes then placed it in the fridge. If you choose to do this finish baking it at 425 for 15 minutes.

If you want to serve immediately bake at 425 for 20 minutes (monitor).

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Passover Desserts Done Right

Jelly rings, hard marshmallow chocolate things, “fruit”slices, dry cake, and the delightfully fatty macaroons… quite the array to choose from. If you are unfamiliar with each of these desserts, call yourself lucky. I love the tradition of Passover but MAN… the dessert choices aren’t so awesome.

In years past I have made caramelized chocolate matzo and I have every intention of making it again this year, however, I needed to spice things up this go around.

I love the coconut date rolls from the bulk section of Whole Foods. I buy them from time to time because they are a great dessert replacement. I have been thinking about making them but was unsure as to what to do. While in the kitchen today I was fiddling around and finally figured out how to make these awesome little treats. What’s even better is that they are Passover friendly!

I made a batch to bring to seder and am excited to share!

Coconut Date Rolls

Plan coconut and Cashew Coconut

Plan coconut and Cashew Coconut

Ingredients:

14 pitted dates
coconut shreds (about 3/4 c)
chopped cashews (optional)

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These dates are dangerously delicious

Kosher for Passover nuts from Whole Foods

Kosher for Passover nuts from Whole Foods

Directions:

Pitt the dates. Make sure to pull any tough pieces that remain.

photo (23)Mash dates with a spoon (or hand) until soft.

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Roll the dates into small nuggets. They can get quite sticky but once you put the coconut on them you can manipulate them more.

Not the most attractive food :)

Not the most attractive food 🙂

Roll nuggets into coconut shreds and coat.

For cashew rolls, dice up cashews and add to the rolling process. You can purchase Kosher for Passover nuts at Whole Foods.

chop into small pieces

chop into small pieces

Place into air tight container and store in fridge until ready to be served.

Passover Classics V2.0

Tonight is the first night of Passover and I am so excited (note: that was not sarcasm… shockingly). Each year Stephen and I join a family friend for the holiday and we have so much fun. There is a lot jokes, drinking, and shenanigans involved in our seder and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you are unsure of what activities go on during a seder, please consult the graph below:

4331773576152c8e5ad2a0f607294180_fullsizeOne of the dishes that is served at every seder is charoset (haroset). Traditionally charoset is made with walnuts, wine, cinnamon and apples. As a kid I despised this part of of the seder plate but as I have gotten older I have learned that I actually love it! Each year I make my own batch and nibble on it with matzo. This year I changed it up a bit and the results are wonderful.

Charoset 2.0

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Ingredients:

3 figs chopped
3 dates chopped
5 small apples chopped
1/4 c raisins
1/3 c of chopped walnuts (kosher for passover- available at Whole Foods)
1/4 c of assorted nuts (kosher for passover- available at Whole Foods)
1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
Kosher red wine (I don’t have an exact amount because I add as  I go)

Directions:

  1. Place chopped dried fruit and nuts into a air tight container and mix.
  2. Pour chopped apples over mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir.
  4. Slowly Pour wine over mixture.
  5. The fruit will absorb the wine so do not over soak.

I also decided to give macaroons a whirl. I found a gluten free recipe that used quinoa and coconut shreds, however the recipe was a total bust. The cookies lost their form and did not work. I followed the directions exactly (which is probably where I went wrong). I adapted the recipe and made it work. I present, gluten free (somewhat healthy) coconut macaroons!

Coconut Quinoa Macaroons 2.0

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Ingredients:

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Minus dates

5 Trader Joes Fancy Dates
1 c of cooked quinoa
1/4 c of honey
3 large eggs whites
1 1/2 c coconut shreds

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water in a boil. In the meantime mix together the egg and honey in a bowl (this bowl needs to fit over the pot). Once water is boiling bring egg mixture to the pot and whisk mixture. Once egg is warm remove from heat and stir in quinoa and coconut. Place mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.

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2. Line a baking sheet and grease it. Place mixture on baking sheet (doesn’t need to be fancy). Place in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. If mixture if beginning to crisp then it is ready to be removed.

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3. Remove mixture from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, pit the dates and then mash. Roll the dates into small balls.

4. Coat the balls with the quinoa mixture. Place balls onto greased baking sheet and place back into the oven for about 10 minutes (once balls crisp). Remove balls and let cool before moving.

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Mom’s Matzo Ball Soup

This week A Breakfast Serial focused on food! I wrote this piece in honor of Passover next week.

 

Mom’s Matzo Ball Soup

by abreakfastserial

6a00d8341cbbc953ef01310fee9504970c

< by Annie of Third Wave Domesticity >

Nothing is better than your mom’s matzo ball soup, nothing. My mom is a pretty terrible cook (sorry ma!) but there is something that this woman knows how to do. She knows how to harness her Jewishness and bust out a soup that not only warms the belly but warms the soul.

Next week is Passover. Passover is the story Moses and the Jewish slaves. As the story goes the Jews needed to get out of Egypt quick (that Pharaoh was a bad dude). Because they were in a rush they did not have time to let their bread leaven which resulted in a dry nasty cracker-y food: matzo. During Passover Jews give up leavened products for 7 days.

As a kid Passover was the worst. I yearned for chicken nuggets from McDonalds (ironic since the nugget is what eventually made me become vegetarian) and grilled cheeses. The entire holiday seemed daunting and terrible but there was always a silver lining, matzo ball soup.

My mom’s matzo ball soup is delicious. Delicious! I asked her a few years ago how she made it so great. Was it an original recipe? Was it a family secret? In true Ma tradition she replied “Nope just use the stuff in the box!” (<- say that in a New York accent) Of course! I tried to make “the box” and the results were shameful. The matzo balls crumbled and the broth was bland. There was something missing: perhaps it was the nagging, the jewish guilt or the uncomfortable hugs and kisses at dinner. I can’t pinpoint what makes her soup so scrumptious. Maybe it’s the memories associated with her soup:the weird voices at Passover, the rebellious act of drinking wine, or searching for the Afikoman only to receive a dollar if you found it.

I have come to terms that my soup will never measure to hers. As Stephen and I create our own traditions I hope to create a matzo ball soup that dazzles the taste buds just as my mom’s has for 26 years.

חג פסח שמח

For Passover recipes check out my blog: (new posts will pop up next week)

https://thirdwavedomesticity.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/leave-the-door-open/

http://squaresquiggle.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/surviving-passover/

https://thirdwavedomesticity.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/not-too-shabby/

For Real the Best Smoothie…EVER

I know each time I post I set up the recipe with “This is the best!” For real though, this smoothie is the best.

I ADORE my fellow yogis. Two weeks ago we had “Smoothie Sunday.” Smoothie Sunday was a magical affair that involved smoothie samples. A few of us brought our favorite shake to share! The combo that won my heart involved cinnamon. Two classmates used cinnamon in their shakes and my world changed.

One of my classmates brought an amazing smoothie that combined dates, cinnamon, and banana. That’s right… heaven. I’m sharing this recipe with the world because WORLD YOU DESERVE IT. Thank you Marvin for enlightening my taste buds. I of course changed it up to make a green smoothie, got to get that spinach in!

Great for an on the go breakfast!

Great for an on the go breakfast!

Cinnamon Date Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

Plus spinach

Plus spinach

1 tsp cinnamon
8 ice cubes
1.25 c of vanilla almond milk
1 banana
3 dates (pitted)
1.4 c of cold water
2 c of spinach

Directions:

Place ice in blender and pulse.
Remove pits from dates

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Place liquids in blender and then pile greens on top.

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Set to liquefy and blend until smooth.

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Pulsing the ice before helps with texture

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Looks scary, tastes amazing!

The Little Goat

Being gluten free is awesome. I feel cleaner and haven’t had a rash in 2 months (this has not happened since 7th grade). However, when going out to eat being gluten free can be the pits. I love salads, I do, but when it is your only option it can be boring.

Chicago has so many amazing restaurants. When we stumble upon a restaurant with a gluten free menu I am elated. I feel the world is open to me. I begin considering eating things I would never eat just because I can. I end up choosing something like a salad but I do appreciate the option.

Recently Stephanie Izard of The Girl and The Goat opened a trendy diner in the West Loop. The decorum is perfect! A blend of 1960’s and 1970’s fixtures and design elements fused with 1950’s diner classics.

Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard

The menu is robust. But despite all of this, what’s even greater is that availability of gluten free options. I don’t udnersrand why more restaurants don’t follow Izard’s model and add a gluten free bun to their menu. It opens up the availability of items to consumers. Izard also offers a daily gluten free baked good (YES!).

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Lots of vegetarian options

Stephen and I recently went to The Little Goat on a Friday afternoon (which I recommend if you don’t want to wait for 2 hours). We were seated in a two person booth towards the back of the restaurant. The lighting in the space is divine! The ceiling is a giant sunlight which makes even the gloomiest of days seem bright.

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The wall paper is perfect!

We started off with drinks!

We started off with drinks!

Stephen ordered a mid day cocktail (hes so cute and fancy) and I began with a black coffee. I could not decide what I wanted because the options were endless. Veggie burgers with all types of toppings, baked goods, omelets, salads… I could eat them all! I decided to move out of my comfort zone and get an omelet (I rarely get eggs anywhere).

SPANISH OMELETTEcheddar . pickled peppers . masa chips . tomato . sour cream

SPANISH OMELETTE
cheddar . pickled peppers . masa chips . tomato .

Stephen got a veggie burger. He was super excited about it. He also got fried pickles and onions.

So cute.

So cute.

KOREANkimchee . bacon . egg . spicy mayo . squish squash roll

KOREAN
kimchee . bacon . egg . spicy mayo . squish squash roll

We topped our meal with a delicious shake. It was so fresh and yummy.

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Salad! Salad! Salad!

I love salad! For so long I hated making salads at home because they just never were as good as restaurants. However over time I have figured out combinations that work for my taste buds! Here are two recipes that are super quick and easy. Enjoy!

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Directions:

Mix taco seasoning with Trader Joes “meatless crumbles”- (microwave for 3 minutes)
– cut grape tomatoes
– slice 2 sticks of jicama
– chop red onion
– Place all ingredients over romaine lettuce
– Top with salsa
* if you want a bit extra dressing take a tbsp of greek yogurt and mix with cumin, salsa, and taco seasoning.

Hearts of Palm and Strawberry Salad

Hearts of Palm and Strawberry Salad

Hearts of Palm and Strawberry Salad:

-3 hearts of palm sliced
-3 strawberries sliced
-2 cups of spinach
Serve with raspberry vinaigrette- add pecans if you want!

Tapas: The Fire Within

I am drained. I am fading. I am tired.

Genius at work?

Genius at work?

Between my business, work, yoga school, yoga class, and moving prep I am beat. I am working about 18 hours a day and am sleeping 5 hours. I am still inspired but am so tired that I sometimes can’t harness that postivity. On top of it all this weather is not helping. I am yearning sunshine and warmth. Spring is so close yet oh so far.

This past Saturday our yoga instructor themed our class around the niyama Tapas. Tapas is an inward practice that focuses on breath. It also represents the enthusiasm from within to preserve  As she guided us through our practice she consistently brought the idea of tapas and physical practice into the flow. While in a pose (I can’t recall which pose)  she made a point that I have been thinking about quite a bit.

She said (this is paraphrasing): ” We must keep our eyes on the end result. When things are tough it is hard to remember how great it feels when we feel success in “the pose.” It is the discipline we exercise when we feel challenged that will allow us to reach that end result.”

When we exercise discipline to preserve rather than give in, the end result is so much more rewarding. I need to consistently remind myself of this.

I have been eating healthy recently but I feel like my portion size has been a bit out of hand and I have indulged in a bit of sugary candy. I am not proud of this and am uncomfortable admitting it.  Its easy to make excuses and give in because of all of the exterior factors. I must remember how wonderful my body feels when it is not polluted with junk. It is hard to remember that feeling when presented with the opportunity to indulge.  I must exercise tapas and remember the end result. This will not only help my body but it will also help my yoga practice.

I am committing to giving up processed food until the end of April. I am taking on this challenge so that I hold myself accountable when confronted with candy. I will exercise tapas and find my positive outcome that I want so badly.

In honor of tapas here is a recipe that brings happiness and positivity!

Coconut Mango Green Smoothie

Bringing some summer sun to this cold deary weather

Bringing some summer sun to this cold deary weather

Ingredients:
2c of spinach
4 mango spears
1 cup of low calorie vanilla coconut milk
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 banana
6 ice cubes
1/4 c cold water

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Directions:

Place all ingredients except spinach into blender.

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place on liquify

place on liquify

YUM!

YUM!

Wine Tasting Party

I love wine. I love the food that compliments wine. I love wine culture. I love that my husband loves wine. I love that wine reminds me of Paris.

During winter break Stephen and I went to quite a few wine tastings. I adore the atmosphere and new information I learn. However, I don’t love the lack of community or silliness that is often left out of tastings. This absense got me thinking and I was inspired to fix this gap!

The solution: a wine tasting party! This past weekend my friends and I gathered to enjoy our favorite wines and hang out.

yay for hosting!

yay for hosting!

The rules were as follows: everyone bring their favorite wine for submission. Each submission would be ranked and the wine with the highest rating “won.”

submission cards

submission cards

This protocol was hard to follow as you can imagine. The winner was instead determined by which bottle had the least amount of wine left. Stephen’s selection won 🙂 The prize was…well…. camaraderie and shenanigans.

7 submissions total.. all were welcomed!

7 submissions total.. all were welcomed!

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Let the tasting begin!

In addition to having a ton of wine, we also had a lot of food. I haven’t had the chance to cook recently because of my schedule so the idea of preparing for a whole party thrilled me!

The Menu:

Cheese Plate:

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Sweet Pears (recipe below)
Brie
Blue Cheese
Garlic and Herb Goat
Compt
Grapes
Dried Figs
Unsulfered Apricots
Crostinis

slice unripe pear, sprinkle sugar on top, place in oven at 200 for 1 hour and serve

slice unripe pear, sprinkle sugar on top, place in oven at 200 for 1 hour and serve

Finger Foods:

the spread

the spread

Chocolate Dipped Dates
Goat Cheese and Thyme Stuffed Dates
Brie and Cranberry Stuffed Dates
Red Pepper, Artichoke, and Olive Bruchetta
Stuffed Mushrooms
Caprese Kabobs
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Rosemary and Thyme Crackers
Melba Toasts
Edamame Crackers (gluten free)

Stuffed with: chopped tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, basil and topped with mozzarella

Stuffed with: chopped tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, basil and topped with mozzarella

sprinkle with balsamic

sprinkle with balsamic

slice dates, stuff with blended goat cheese and thyme, top with pecan

slice dates, stuff with blended goat cheese and thyme, top with pecan

We had some fine submissions and attendants! Clearly we all took the process very seriously (note the sarcasm).

Stevi's sophisticated judging: "do not pair with gum"

Stevi’s sophisticated judging: “do not pair with gum”

Kendra advocated for the white wines

Kendra advocated for the white wines

decisions

decisions

these two.

these two.

It was a great party and I want to do it again! I can’t wait for a summer themed wine party… I dream big!