Sunday is Easter, the day when Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. Millions of Americans will mark the occasion by attending church services, then gathering with friends and family for a big meal, and an Easter egg hunt. The egg hunting part is still a mystery, but that’s what we do.
This year, Easter coincides with the weeklong Jewish holiday of Passover (April 14-22) which celebrates the liberation of Israelite slaves from Egypt. For anyone with friends and family of one or both denominations, chances are it will be a busy weekend, and one full of food and festivities.
During the seven days of Passover, certain foods are prohibited, so if you’re hosting a brunch or lunch and know an invited guest will be observing the holiday, you’ll want to accommodate them. Below, we have a few tips and Passover-friendly recipes that will make you the best hostess ever!
The most notable dietary restriction during Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is the forbiddance of leavened and fermented grain products. During Passover, most grains, breads, pasta and crackers (known as chametz) are not allowed, so bakers need to get creative. Luckily, unleavened bread, or “matzah,” takes its place.
Have you ever clicked on a food blog for one quick recipe, then an hour later you realize you just went down the rabbit hole of deliciousness? That’s what happened to me with this week’s Food Blogger Spotlight, Chanie from Busy In Brooklyn.
I’ve decided Chanie is the friend we all love to visit because her house is warm and welcoming, she always has a new craft to show us or a delicious recipe she wants us to taste. While we’re chatting about the latest kerfuffle at the school PTO meeting, she’ll suddenly offer a new time-saving kitchen idea she’s discovered.
I’ve never met her in person but I have a whole scenario going in my head. It borders on stalking. On that note, it’s probably time for Chanie to tell us about Busy In Brooklyn in her own words. . .
Why did you start your food blog?
I had just given birth to my third child and going back to work wasn’t an option for me. I had all this creative energy that I needed to put into something. As a stay at home mom who was trained in web design and loved to write, cook and craft, a blog just made sense. I never imagined it would grow as much as it has.
How would you describe your approach to eating/health?
I believe everything in moderation. I love to cook healthy meals with a focus on seasonal, from scratch ingredients, but as a busy mom that’s not always easy. I have learned to strike a balance somewhere in between. It’s OK to have a cookie every now and then, and it’s also OK to use jarred marinara sauce in a pinch!
This year, with Janet Jackson singing its praises, Nutrisystem is making changes to its decades-old program to ensure its customers find success without food that is bland, boring, or repetitious. One way is through the new Chef’s Table entrees included in the Nutrisystem Success program, which launched just before the new year. Nutrisystem invited several renowned chefs to be part of their Chef’s Council, and together the group of culinary professionals created the first seven entrees for the new Chef’s Table line.
The Chef’s Council is made up of Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia in Chicago, Kent Rathbun of Texas restaurants Abacus and Jasper’s, Mark Estee of CAMPO in Reno, Carmen Gonzalez of Top Chef Masters 2, and Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia.
We spoke yesterday with Solomonov, who was enthusiastic about his new role with Nutrisystem, something he hasn’t ever done before. He calls the opportunity “super flattering,” especially in light of the peers he’s working with.
“With the guidance of the educated people at Nutrisystem, we’re highly motivated to make the best possible food for people to diet, lose weight, and keep it off,” he told us in our interview, noting that “change is refreshing.” (more…)
Growing up, my half-Jewish family didn’t keep kosher during Passover but we still ate a lot of matzoh [or matzah, matza or matzo]. With Passover upon us, it’s time to start talking about creative ways to eat the unleavened, oversize crackers.
While they are fun to munch on alone, perhaps topped with butter and salt, that certainly doesn’t lend to the most diet-friendly snack. If you have more matzah than you know what to do with, think outside the box. Luckily, matzah is a versatile food that you can turn into a variety of delicious dishes that won’t even leave you craving bread or pasta.
Passover, one of the most well-known of the Jewish holidays, is an eight-day festival celebrated in early spring. On Passover, Jewish families and friends gather together for dinners called Seders that involve, prayer, story-telling and some traditional foods.
During Passover, most Jewish people avoid eating anything leavened and opt for matzoh instead of bread or pastries. This year, if you’re planning a Seder or keeping kosher during Passover, get creative with your menu and whip up one of our favorite Passover-friendly recipes.
Russian Salad: The name of this hearty salad honors its ingredients, such as beets, dill, and pickles that are staples in a traditional Russian diet. Delightful with cold fish, poultry, or meat dishes, this is the perfect cold salad to keep in the fridge during Passover for fast lunches.
If your diet is sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, egg-free or casein free, it doesn’t have to be fun-free, too. Babycakes NYC is a kosher, vegan bakery that caters to many dietary needs and lifestyles at its location in the Big Apple as well as a second outpost in LA. From cupcakes, cookies and cakes to frosting shots, cupcake tops and sugar buns, you would think that a place like this would be a dietitian’s worst nightmare.
Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Ashley Koff, a registered dietitian, has recently added the baked-good mecca to her list of approved products on her Ashley Koff Approved list. Ashley has a balanced, realistic approach to nutrition and encourages her clients to make healthful choices on a daily basis to maintain good overall energy and health.