Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
  • 1 1/2 cup of rinsed quinoa
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 3 1/5 cup of water
  • 3/4 tsp of curcuma
  • 2 strands of green onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 tspof minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of agave nectar
  • A shpritz of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of chopped fresh or frozen dill
  • ground pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste

  1. In a medium sized pot, place the sweet potatoes and bring water to a boil 
  2. In another pot, boil water; once boiled pour in the quinoa and lower the flame to medium-low and cover for 5 minutes. Once the water is completely evaporated, and the quinoa is soft, set aside to cool
  3. Finely chop celery and toss into the quinoa
  4. Retrieve your sweet potatoes, drain water and let them cool down
  5. In a mixing bowl blend in olive oil, agave nectar, curcuma, lemon juice, and dill 
  6. Dice your sweet potatoes and toss into the quinoa mixture
  7. Pour in the dressing and mix thoroughly
  8. Once the salad is nicely blended; let it sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge and there you have a nice wholesome lunch side dish.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Whole Wheat Asian Egg Noodle Salad

Whole Wheat Asian Egg Noodle Salad. Photography by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.
INGREDIENTS serves 4 to 6

  • 2 Cups of Catelli Whole Wheat egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup of black olives
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 2 sprigs of green onions sliced
  • 3 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of crushed garlic 
  • 1/3 cup of soya sauce or to taste
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • a pinch of finely chopped pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of red chili pepper flakes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Ground pepper 
  1. Boil 6 cups of water in a pot, ad a pinch of salt and throw in the pasta once boiled. 
  2. In the meantime cut your bell peppers and yours green onions 1 inch squares
  3. In a separate bowl, prepare the dressing by combining the oil, vinegar and soya sauce
  4. Drain your pasta and ad the garlic, chili pepper, ginger and black pepper
  5. Toss in the black olives, peppers, green onions and dressing
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the pasta to soak in the dressing
  7. Add the salt and ground pepper to taste
  8. Throw in the sesame seeds and mix
  9. To garnish sprinkle a pinch of sesame seeds... and there you have a wholesome pasta salad

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Beyond Perfection: Montreal School Cookbook Redefines Cake

Jewish Joie de Vivre is increasingly prevalent in today's North American culture especially because millions of foodies around the globe, amateurs and experts alike, are exposed to social media as a means to share their passions for culinary arts. Via food blogs, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram photos, hundreds of mini 'Martha Stewarts' emerge as Montreal is slowly unveiling itself as a hub for homemade culinary talent, as experienced within our very own Montreal Jewish community.
And then there was Cake Hebrew Academy Cookbook Launched on June 11, 2013 in Montreal.

Each year, women of the Hebrew Academy school of Cote Saint-Luc gather in an elegant yet understated Spring Tea event in support of its Parent and Students Association. On June 16th, the annual tea marked the launch of the first ever Hebrew Academy cookbook, “And then there was Cake.” The cookbook was initiated by the talented baker, Muriel Cohen among fellow cookbook editors, Chaya Lieberman, Jordana Levy, Vera Preisler, and Vanessa Fallenbaum. Held at the Cote de Liesse Sub-Zero show room, the fundraiser gathered over 200 women (despite the rainy weather) in what seemed to be a prestigious 'mini wedding' in a state-of-the-art Sub-Zero kitchen setting.
The cake version of the cookbook. The pièce de resistance

From crystal clear chairs and cake stands, baby pink gingham trimmings, contemporary bistro tables, mirrored vases adorned with hydrangea, rose and peony arrangements to centerpieces made with meringue, cake pop and miniature fondant tiered cakes... a style glimpse of this year's lavish tea party - truly beyond perfection.  An array of fresh salads was offered in a pareve homemade buffet by volunteer Cote Saint-Luc moms. The pièce de resistance was a minimalist sweet table in the center of the showroom comprised of an edible model of the cookbook, Dahlia Goldenberg's Raspberry Macaron and Choux à la Crème, Muriel Cohen's traditional Le Paille and caramelized almond clusters, Lauren Suissa's treasured rugelach and much more. Among other event perks was a coffee bar, a raffle with delightful prizes... and yes the HA student lunches for a year was won by Yael Minciotti. The 2013 spring tea was chaired by Lyat Abicidan and Osnat Feldman.
Cookbook Editors-in-chief: Vera Preisler, Muriel Cohen , Vanessa Fallenbaum, Jordana Levy and Chaya Lieberman. (Photo credit:  "And then there was Cake cookbook")

“And then there was Cake”  is a collection of more than 80 most scrumptious kosher desserts ranging from classic to modern. From Rugelach, Passover cakes, Babka bites to Madeleines, these recipes reflect Montreal's diverse Jewish heritage. But even more, the book is an expression of family, community, giving and sharing- a living keepsake for our children and the Montreal community as a whole.

I feel so privileged to be surrounded by such great talent. To get a taste of some of the treats mentioned above, order the cookbook and indulge:

Macaron by Dahlia Goldenberg (past PR employee of CNN who started her own baking business in Montreal known as Les Delices de Dahlia. Photography by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.

Mini cake pop centerpieces
A view of the Sub-Zero Showroom.

Delicious pareve kosher buffet made by countless mothers from the Hebrew Academy Parent Association. Photography by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.

Sweet table including many of the delicacies in the cookbook.

The cookbook in cookie format by Muriel Cohen. Very Cute...

A glimpse of the sweet table of homemade Jewish delicacies including Hanukah sticky buns, rugelach and more.
Photography by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.

Chocolate cupcakes. Photography by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.

Mini tiered cakes (by Muriel Cohen) served as centerpieces on rectangular bistro tables.
Photography by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.

Jordana Levy, the cookbook editor, acknowledges cookbook and spring tea collaborators.
Photography by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.

Hebrew Academy mothers: Anat Toledano, Leslie Perez, Fanny Edery, Rosie Rehany and Melanie Hiltser.

Pearl Prokosh, Leslie Perez, Judith Azerad and Stephanie Tordjman.

Assorted candy bar. Photography by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dairy-Free Mint Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate

Waiting for my daughter to finish-up her last bites of an ice cream birthday cake, I came across a little who struggled with an intense allergy to dairy. When I told her I had a a milk free ice cream  pie recipe she jumped with joy and that glowing smile motivated me to share this recipe for all those who are either lactose intolerant, struggle with an allergy to milk or who simply want to enjoy ice cream desert after eating their fleshigs meal on shabbat. What I love about this recipe is that no one will guess its not dairy. Best of all the taste can be customized into chocolate, vanilla, lemon, mocha, caramel or mint (my personal favorite)!

Bellow is my technique and recipe to make two pies, a vanilla ice cream cake and a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. I hope you enjoy!

Serves 8 to 16 and makes 2 ice cream pies, both a mint-chocolate chip and a vanilla pie
  • 2 Parve chocolate or graham pie crust (by Keebler)
  • 500 ml of Nutri Whip
  • 1 cup of Coffee Rich dairy-free creamer (in the kosher frozen aisle)
  • 1 pack of instant vanilla pudding mix (in the kosher aisle)
  • 1 cap of mint extract - for the mint pie only
  • 4 drops of green food coloring - for the mint pie only
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
Optional Icing
  • 3 Tbs of vegetable oil
  • 3 tbs of cocoa
  • 3 Tbs of water
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • Sprinkles
  1. Unwrap your pie shells and set aside.
  2. In your Cuisinart food processor whip the NutriWhip until it's thick and creamy.
  3. Ad in the Coffee Rich and the vanilla pudding and mix for a minute. 
  4. Once this is done, place half the batter into one of the pie shells, cover the pie and place in the freezer.
  5. With the remainder of the portion, pore up to one cap of mint extract along with the droplets of green food coloring (that's what give it that minty look) and blend thoroughly until the color is spread evenly.
  6.  Add in the chocolate chips and press on the pulse feature of the food processor to chop your chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the batter into the second pie shell, and again cover and freeze for 1 to 2 hours.
  1. In a pan, mix the oil, cocoa and water thoroughly at minimum heat for 5 minutes or until nicely melted. 
  2. Ad in the icing sugar and mix with a wooden spoon.
  3. Take out the pie shells from the freezer to pour and spread evenly the icing on the top of each pie.
  4. Place back into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Once the icing has hardened, sprinkle the sprinkles over the pies as a finishing decorative touch, and voila! Voila, You have delicious dairy-free ice cream pies!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Out-of-the-Box Chocolate Mousse (Shhh! Made from Avocado)

Being a chocoholic (like most of the women in my entourage), the idea of relinquishing chocolate temptations is simply impossible. With this in mind, and after a friendly encounter with Manhattan's Tov Nutritions nutritional coach Brooke Lowenstein-Hassoun, she recommended the following fast and wholesome chocolate mousse recipe made with fresh avocado. And yes! It's surprisingly very yummy!

INGREDIENTS (Served in 6-8 shot glasses)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 tsp of premium quality cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Either agave nectar or sweetener to taste (at least 1 tsp)

  • 1/3 cup of skim milk
  • Ad 1/2 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt

  1. Peel and cut in quarts the avocados. 
  2. In a mini prep food processor or Magic Bullet blender put the avocado, cocoa and sweetener and blend until nice and smooth. 
  3. To smoothen it up, uou also have the option to ad milk or yogurt, as per your discretion.
  4. And voila, there you have delicious wholesome chocolate mousse! 
  5. place the mixture in individual shot glasses refrigerate or serve.