Levana Kirschenbaum could easily be labeled the queen of Kosher cuisine. She is well loved in New York for her restaurant and her frequent cooking classes, but here on the West coast, I love her online presence and her cookbook, Levana Cooks Dairy Free.
I can always count on Levana to come up with wonderful seasonal recipes, and this time of year is certainly no exception. Tonight she is hosting a Channukah Party class, featuring creative recipes like Bison Shepherd Pie and Potato Leek Portobello Soup. Throughout December she will offer many other classes from Natural Desserts to Healing Foods (gluten-free) to get a jump start on New Year's resolutions.
If you aren't in New York, you can of course buy her book for some great recipes. Below are two samples of Levana's style, and some recipes you should surely enjoy for this Hanukkah holiday …
Spinach Latkes with Green Goddess Sauce
These are fun, quick and nutritious, and very easily made gluten-free. In fact I never bother to make them any other way!
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, packed
- 3 10oz boxes frozen chopped spinach, squeezed thoroughly dry
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour (gluten-free: rice or oat flour)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet, to come up the sides about 1/3 inch. Coarsely grind onion, parsley, garlic and basil in food processor. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add spinach, eggs, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg and combine thoroughly. Form patties and fry in hot oil, 3 to 5 minutes on each side, till golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm. Serve with green goddess sauce.
Green Goddess Sauce ingredients:
- 1 small bunch flat parsley
- 1 bunch watercress, stems and all
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 3 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise (or 1/2 pound silken tofu + 1/4 cup olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Blanch parsley and watercress just a few seconds in boiling water. Squeeze thoroughly dry. Transfer to food processor with remaining ingredients and blend till smooth.
Chocolate Challah Bread Pudding
There are dozens of ways to make bread pudding: Here are two of my favorites! serve them warm or at room temperature, alone with a scoop sorbet or ice cream. If you want a richer texture, use half dairy-free milk alternative and half coconut milk.
Chocolate Coffee Bread Pudding:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix a medium-size challah or other bread, gluten-free OK, with 3 cups dairy free milk, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 2 tbsp instant coffee powder, a little rum or brandy, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1-1/2 cups sugar. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake about 40 mn, until the center is puffy and barely firm.
Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix a medium-size challah or other bread, gluten-free OK, with 3 cups dairy free milk, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3 tbsps creme de cassis, 1 15-ounce can natural jellied cranberry sauce. (health food stores) Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake about 40 mn, until the center is puffy and barely firm.