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Thanksgiving. Slice Of Life

By Eileen Goltz
It’s a scientific fact that no matter how much food you make for your Thanksgiving meals, you’ll have too much. This anomaly is directly related to our constant application of the “company is coming” theory. The theory states that no matter what we do, something will burn, we will forget an ingredient, and someone will arrive two hours early or forget they were invited, but never, never, never will we have enough time to get ready.
In anticipation of this year’s turkey day, I decided everyone needed some new side-dish recipes. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes have become the go-to dish but I’ve come to appreciate other root vegetables, like parsnip, celery root, beets, and rutabaga, as great alternatives. These fall veggies take on smooth, rich, deep flavors when they are cooked slowly in combination with just a little water, wine, or any other liquid you prefer.
These überhealthy vegetables are simple to prepare as a standalone dish. First you wash and scrub them (they are root vegetables, so dirt tends to hide in the nooks and crannies). Peel them, then cut them into large bite-size pieces (they shrink as they cook). Using a large pan, heat some oil or butter and sauté them slightly, then season with a bit of salt and pepper and cover with a half-cup to one cup of your liquid of choice. Cook for about 20 minutes; the liquid should be just about gone. Add your favorite herbs (rosemary or thyme are my favorites) for 3–5 minutes at the end of the cooking for just the right amount of flavor. When you combine your root vegetables with each other, yum!
We keep the day casual because I refuse to carve one more turkey before it’s cool enough or bake one more pumpkin pie when I really want apple. I wanted recipes that are easy to prepare, can sit if the games run into overtime, and, most of all, taste fantastic. I came up with several winners. I figure that next year I’ll work on the calories. v
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Dairy or pareve. Serves 4–6.
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. olive oil
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
nonstick vegetable spray
½ cup whole, rice, or almond milk (more to thin the mash if necessary)
heaping ¼-cup plain yogurt (Greek yogurt or nondairy substitute if you prefer it)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
½ tsp. salt
pepper to taste
3 green onions, sliced thin
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the minced garlic in a microwave-proof dish and drizzle the oil over it. Cook on high for 1 minute. Mix and cook for 1 more minute. Remove and let cool slightly.
Spread the cut cauliflower evenly on a baking sheet with sides. Spray the top of the cauliflowers with the nonstick spray. Roast the cauliflower for 25–35 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to char on the edges. You should stir the cauliflower at about 15 minutes into the cooking.
Cool the cauliflower slightly. In the bowl of a food processor, combine half of the garlic and oil, cauliflower, milk, yogurt, and melted butter and process until smooth (mashed-potato consistency). Repeat with the second half of the ingredients. Combine both batches and season with salt and pepper. To serve, sprinkle the green onions over the top and serve.
Carrot And
Parsnip Mash-Up
Meat or pareve. Serves 6. This can be made two days in advance and reheated.
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
½ cup vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup water
1 lb. parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
kosher salt
ground pepper
In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped onion, garlic, parsnips, and carrots, and sauté over a low heat until the onions are soft. At this point add the broth and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, return to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 25–30 minutes. Once the vegetables are soft, but not mushy, use an immersion blender to purée everything. Add the remaining butter or margarine, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Roasted Beet
And Quinoa Salad
Pareve. Serves 6.
olive oil for brushing
6 beets, medium-sized, washed, ends trimmed
1 leek, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup roasted, salted almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup quinoa, cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, cooled
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. rice wine or apple-cider vinegar
kosher or sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush olive oil over the beets and wrap them in aluminum foil. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the foil for 15 minutes. Peel them (the skin should slip off) and cut into bite-sized pieces.
In a salad bowl, combine the leek, avocado, spinach, and parsley. Mix to combine. Just before serving, add the beets, almonds, and quinoa, drizzle with dressing, and mix to combine.
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Modified from
© Eileen Goltz
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher foods writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes columns for the CJN in Chicago,, and the OU Shabbat Shalom website, She also wrote the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim).

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Posted by on November 27, 2014. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.