Healthy and Kosher Recipes for Back-to-School Season

Healthy and Kosher Recipes for Back-to-School Season

This time of year is filled with possibility and activity.

One way to make the hectic fall easier is with yummy and easy comfort foods, and some family togetherness to boot.

โ€œThis time of year brings so many different emotions,โ€ Danny Corsun, founder of the Culinary Judaics Academy online learning platform, told the Journal. โ€œThe sadness of saying goodbye to the summer is mixed with the excitement of the new school year. Tea [fall] also brings with it the many Jewish holidays on the horizon, and the family and friends we get to joyfully (and solemnly) celebrate and eat great food with.โ€

Whatever the season, Corsun’s recipe for one-pot pasta is a great and super easy weekday meal that does not make a huge mess.

CJA’s One Pot Pasta

12 ounces pasta (your choice โ€“
linguine works great)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes,
with juice
3 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
3 large basil sprigs, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
(plus a bit for garnish)

  • In a large stock pot, over medium-high heat, add in olive oil and then saute onions, cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in garlic and sautรฉ for an additional minute. Then add the can of diced tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once the stock is boiling, add pasta, stirring until submerged.
  • Cover pot and reduce to medium-low heat; it should be a simmer. Keep the pot covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every two minutes or so. Cook until the liquid has reduced by 3/4 and created its own sauce.
  • Season as necessary with additional salt and pepper, stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Add parmesan cheese and stir to thicken remaining liquid. Serve garnished with roughly chopped basil, additional parmesan cheese and some crusty garlic bread.

โ€œGreat flavors come together in just one pot for a delicious meal that young and old alike will love,โ€ Corsun said. โ€œEnjoy!โ€

โ€œWhen my kids were growing up, I would always put out plates of cut-up vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots, celery and peppers with hummus dip, while they were waiting for dinner,โ€ Sarah Zulauf, founder of Sarah’s Organic Gourmet, told the Journal. โ€œHaving the table set when the kids walk in is a big part of the calm. This is an anti-hangry kid tactic that works like a charm.โ€
Zulauf, whose products are produced and packaged out of Bibi’s Bakery & Cafe, specializes in clean and pure, organic, kosher, vegan and gluten-free ingredients. Her recipe for gluten and dairy-free lasagna can be made ahead of time and reheated just 15 minutes before dinner.

Gluten and Dairy Free Lasagna / Sarah Zulauf

โ€œYou Would Never Knowโ€ Gluten Free & Dairy Free Lasagna

For the Tofu Ricotta
1 package silken tofu
1 package firm tofu
2 minced garlic teaspoons
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
2 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dairy-free milk of your choice

For the Lasagna
1 recipe tofu ricotta
1 to 2 pounds fresh spinach
8-ounce no-boil gluten-free lasagna
noodles
7 cups pasta sauce (your favorite)
2 bags dairy-free shredded cheese
1/2 cup dairy-free Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350ยฐF.
  • For the ricotta, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Place into a large bowl, and set aside.
  • To make the spinach, steam it for a minute or two until slightly wilted. Drain well. Then either mix the spinach into the ricotta or add when assembling the lasagna.
  • To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 cup of pasta sauce over the bottom of a baking dish. (I use a glass dish and put parchment paper down first for easy clean up. Parchment paper is also great to use in tins.)
  • Cover the sauce with a layer of noodles. Make sure the sauce is touching every inch of the no-boil noodles. Next, spread the ricotta; be sure to cover the noodles. Add half a bag of dairy-free cheese. Then, add the spinach, if you did not already combine it into your ricotta.
  • Repeat the process until you have 3 to 4 layers. The last 2 layers should be the non-dairy shredded cheese and then the Parmesan. Cover with parchment paper and then foil. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove foil and parchment paper for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before cutting. This recipe may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. Reheat for 15 minutes before meal time.

โ€œThis recipe can also be used with dairy and gluten lasagna noodles if preferred,โ€ Zulauf said.

Culinary and nutrition educator Yael Friedman believes the best way to get your kids eating their lunches is by having them involved in making them.

โ€œI love recipes that are simple, healthy and easy enough for a kid to assemble,โ€ Friedman, founder of Kitch’N Giggles meal kits, told the Journal. โ€œThis veggie wrap is one way you can increase the vegetables in your lunch box.โ€

Veggie Wrap / Kitch’N Giggles

Veggie Wrap

1 whole wheat wrap
2 hummus teaspoons
1/2 Persian cucumber
1/4 cup baby spinach
2 Tablespoons shredded carrots

  • Place the tortilla on a plate and spread the hummus over the entire thing.
  • Slice (or have your kid slice) the cucumber into 6-8 rounds
  • Place the spinach and cucumbers in the center of the tortilla and cover with shredded carrot and a pinch of salt.
  • Starting from the side closest to you, roll the tortilla into a cylinder.

โ€œFall always means back to hectic mornings and busy evenings,โ€ Friedman said. โ€œBut it’s also a time to refresh our daily routines, so there’s a feeling of optimism and excitement.โ€

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