Now that I’ve made my homemade nutella, I’ve got to find uses for it, right? As if eating it off a spoon isn’t good enough for me…
The truth is, I am in love with banana ice cream, and I really wanted to share it with you in time for Passover! I made it for the holidays last year, and I’ve been making variations ever since.
There’s not too much to banana ice cream, and that’s precisely why I love it so much. You can say goodbye to the dozen-egg-homemade-passover-ice-cream and say hello to this no-machine, easy, healthy and no-guilt variety that’s tastes just like soft serve.
All you have to do is just slice up some ripe bananas and freeze them until a solid, just a couple of hours. Then, you pulse the bananas in the food processor until they’re very finely chopped. Keep going until the bananas are creamy and add in your flavors of choice! I love adding nut butters – like my homemade nutella – for Passover. During the year, my favorite combo is banana, peanut butter, cinnamon and maple syrup. It’s so so good.
I mean would you just look at that creamy consistency? Don’t you just want to grab a spoon and dive right in?
The best part about banana soft serve is the possibilities. Blend with strawberries, top with coconut whipped cream, stir in some chopped macaroons, or add in your favorite candied nuts!
Nutella Banana Ice Cream
4 ripe bananas
½ cup nutella (use my easy homemade 4-ingredient recipe)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Peel bananas and slice into pieces. Place on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, a few hours or overnight. Place the frozen banana slices in a food processor or powerful blender and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the bananas are hard to blend, let them thaw for a few minutes to soften. Add the nutella and vanilla and blend until incorporated. Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream consistency. If freezing for later, store in an airtight container and remove from the freezer to soften before serving.
NOTE: If you’re making your own nutella from scratch, make sure it cools completely before adding it to the ice cream, or it will freeze on-contact and won’t incorporate as well.
VARIATION: For a fun frozen banana treat, you can dip the banana slices into melted chocolate (before you freeze them) and top with shredded coconut, chopped nuts or sprinkles.
With Passover soon approaching, I think it’s time for ZOODLE school! Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, have taken the (healthy) food world by storm, and I am all over the trend.
I’m been zoodling for months now, and I’ve come to love zoodles even more than traditional pasta. Besides being fun and easy to make, zucchini noodles are cheap, very low in calories, and you can get lots of noodles out of a single zucchini. If you haven’t hopped on the zoodle train, it’s time for zoodle 101.
There are three popular tools on the market for making zoodles: The Veggetti, The Julienne Peeler and the Paderno Spiralizer. Each tool has it’s pros and cons. Lets get into it!
THE VEGGETTI – The veggetti works like a pencil sharpener – each side has a different size blade, one larger and one smaller to yield a thicker or thinner noodle. If you look at the picture below, you can see the leftover zucchini looks like the tip of a sharpened pencil. The veggetti makes long noodles, but perfect ones come with practice. Turning the zucchini is a bit difficult and the results can be a bit scraggly. PROS: compact, inexpensive ($12-$15) CONS: You can only make noodles out of veggies that fit in the veggetti opening – up to 2.5″ in diameter. Purchase here
THE JULIENNE PEELER: A julienne peeler looks like a traditional vegetable peeler, except the blade has little micro blades that cut whatever you are peeling into julienned strips. I prefer the OXO brand. PROS: compact, inexpensive ($10), easy to use, easy to clean. CONS: yields the most waste, you get strips and not traditional-looking noodles, only works on straight vegetables that are easy to peel. Purchase here
THE SPIRALIZER: The spiralizer is the most versatile tool. It allows you to create noodles out of many different vegetables, and even fruits. Any fruit or vegetable that is at least 2.5″ long and at least 1.5″ in diameter can be spiralized. It cannot be hollow or have a pit, and it must be firm. You can spiralize apples, pears, beets, jicama, plantains, kohlrabi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash (the neck), turnips and more! The spiralizer also yields the most authentic looking noodle. I prefer the Paderno brand. PROS: yields the most authentic noodle, various blades yield different noodle shapes, works with a variety of fruits and vegetables, easy to use. CONS: takes up the most space, not cheap ($30-$40 for the 3-blade and $50 for the new 4-blade), endlessly long noodles tangle and are hard to eat (I recommend cutting them shorter with kitchen shears), hardest to clean (I recommend cleaning immediately otherwise it’s hard to remove dried residue). Purchase 3-blade, Purchase 4-blade
Here you can see how the noodles look based on the tool that was used, and what you have leftover after making the zucchini noodles. Now, lets talk about cooking methods.
BLANCHING – blanching means to cook vegetables quickly in boiling water and then shock them in an ice bath. As you can see below, this yields a mushy noodle. Not recommended!
ROASTING – roasting the zucchini noodles at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, yields tender zoodles that are evenly cooked.
SAUTEEING – this is my favorite cooking method as it is fast and easy. I saute my zoodles in a wok or large skillet over high heat for about 2-3 minutes for perfectly tender zoodles.
An important point to consider about zoodles, and which tool you want to use to make them, is that zucchini’s have a lot of water. When you use the veggetti or the spiralizer, the seedy center of the zucchini (where most of the water is), get’s incorporated into the noodles. When you use a julienne peeler, you can stop peeling once you reach the seedy portion (in fact you’ll need to, because the strips will just fall apart). Therefore, zoodles made with the julienne peeler have less moisture and won’t water-down your sauces (same goes for cucumbers btw). If you prefer to use a spiralizer or veggetti, one way to solve this problem is to salt the zoodles to draw out some of the moisture. Let the salted zoodles drain in a colander for a few minutes, rinse off the salt and then pat dry on paper towels. I prefer to skip this step. Instead, I only cook my zoodles until tender, and I serve them immeidately (the longer they sit, the more moisture they will emit).
Now that we’ve covered the zoodles – what can you make with them? Well, you are only limited by your creativity! One of my favorite zoodle dishes is this cheesy zoodle marinara. I whip it up for lunch at least once a week! It’s so hearty and indulgent, yet it takes under 5 minutes to prepare. I use the julienne peeler for this because it’s the quickest, and I don’t want my lunch to be a whole to-do. Also, because I don’t use the seedy center of the zucchini, the zoodles don’t water down my sauce.
What else do I make with zoodles? Zoodle Pad Thai (recipe in my ebook), Zoodle Bolognese, Pesto Zoodles with Parmesan, Minestrone Soup with Zoodles, Chicken Zoodle Soup, Miso Soup with Zoodles and more!
And my spiralizer? Well the skies the limit on that! I make everything from rice and risotto to pizza crusts and sandwich buns – all out of vegetables!
Cheesy Zoodle Marinara
1 zucchini, made into zoodles with your preferred tool of choice
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup prepared marinara sauce
heaping 1/2 cup Natural & Kosher shredded mozzarella
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the zoodles. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a gentle simmer. If your sauce is too thick, add a splash of water. Add the cheese and cook until melted. Serve immediately.
If you’re looking for more recipes using the spiralizer, I’ve got loads of delicious spiralized dishes in this months issue of Joy of Kosher Magazine, so be sure to pick up a copy! You’ll find great Kosher for Passover recipes like beet-crust pizza with arugula walnut pesto and fresh mozzarella, cucumber salad with almond butter dressing, Spanish sweet potato rice with lime marinated chicken and no-bean minestrone with zoodles.
Although I’ve been married for 12 years, I have yet to make my own Passover. And I plan to avoid it at all costs, as long as I can. This year though, my mom and in-laws are both going away, so it’s looking more and more like I might have to finally bite the Passover bullet (unless one of you want to invite me over!). Making Passover means I’ll have to stock up on kitchen essentials, which got me thinking…What are my kitchen essentials? It’s a question that’s often asked at my cooking demonstrations, and I think it’s about time I share them with you!
Take the time to read through each and every recommendation, as they are chock full of kitchen TIPS as well as TOOLS, enjoy!
1. Paderno Spiralizer This handy kitchen tool creates noodles out of a variety of vegetables creating endless possibilities. I make pizza crusts, burger buns, noodles, curly fries and rice – all out of veggies! It is truly the perfect tool for those looking to reduce their carb intake – especially during Passover! The newest version includes 4 blades, but I love the classic 3-blade spiralizer which creates ribbon noodles, thick udon-style noodles and thinner spaghetti noodles (the newer model also includes an angel-hair-noodle blade).
2. Mini Kitchen Whisk I love this for emulsifying salad dressing, mixing sauces and more! You can never have too many whisks in the kitchen! That’s why I chose it for my logo!
3. OXO Julienne Peeler This is my go-to tool for quick and easy zoodles (zucchini noodles) or julienned carrots for the soup. It’s super compact and easy to use so you can make salads like these. Note that I have tried other brands and I recommend the OXO only.
4. Kitchen Tongs I use kitchen tongs on a daily basis. I have several, in many different sizes. It’s great for removing items from a pot, stir frying, stirring noodles, handling meat or poultry on the BBQ, serving salads, and even juicing citrus! See my kitchen tips (#1) for more on that!
5. Belgique Cookware I purchased the Belgique cookware set at Macy’s when I got married, and it has carried me through years of cooking! My pots still shine beautifully, cook evenly and clean wonderfully. I am IN LOVE with my pots. The only drawback is that they stopped making stainless steel lids (which is what I have) and they only come with glass lids now. I’m not a fan of glass lids because they can crack, but as far as pots go, you get a real bang for you buck with this set. I love it so much that I even purchased additional pieces of open stock over the years, like this sauteuse. Please note that I cannot vouch for the quality of the current model!
6. Le Creuset Dutch Oven I don’t think I would have ever bought this pot, had I not won 2nd place in a Mushroom Contest for this recipe, which awarded me a $500 gift certificate to Williams Sonoma. When I got the gift card in the mail, I knew exactly what I was going to buy! A dutch oven allows you to cook on the stovetop as well as the oven – making things like braising super efficient. When I started cooking my roasts in a dutch oven, the results did not compare to those I made previously. These heavy cast-iron pots are perfect for soups, stews and even breadmaking. If there’s one expensive item you splurge on in the kitchen, make it a dutch oven.
7. Professsional Knife Sharpening Machine People ALWAYS ask me what knife I use and I always say the same thing: it’s more worthwhile to invest in a knife sharpener than it is to invest in a knife. I use a budget friendly Santoku knife (see #15), which I sharpen regularly, making it good as new! One of the most dangerous tools in a kitchen is a DULL KNIFE because it requires you to use more pressure, which can result in injuries. A sharp knife does the work for you, no pressure required. Granted, I splurged on a pricier model (using the leftover money from my Mushroom Contest win), but you can easily purchase a more budget-friendly option. There are also other methods of knife sharpening, like using a whetstone, but it gives me the chills so an electric sharpener is my preferred method.
8. Silicone Spatulas These are a must-have for every kitchen! I use mine to scrape out the food processor, remove batter from mixing bowls, and mix up a stir-fry without scraping my nonstick wok (#18).
9. Garlic Crusher If you’re like me, and you don’t love mincing garlic by hand, or having to take out the mini processor to do the work, a garlic crusher is a must! This brand comes with a nifty little tool to help you clean the crevices.
10. Microplane Zester Some people forgo this tool because they don’t do much zesting, but a microplane works for so much more than that! I use a microplane to grate ginger, garlic and shallots into sauces and dressings.
11. Hinged Ice Cream Scoop An ice cream scoop is a must-have for portioning out everything from cookie dough, muffin batter, meatballs, burgers, biscuits and more! If you ever wondered how professional places manage to make cookies and muffins that are all exactly the same size, it’s because they use a portion scoop! Scoops come in all sizes, so you can get smaller ones for meatballs and larger ones for muffins. Besides for equal-sized portions being aesthetically pleasing, it also means that your food will cook evenly, since everything is the same size.
12. Ziploc Freezer Bags This kitchen tool comes straight out of your supermarket aisle! I never use big ‘ole fancy pastry bags in the kitchen. Ziploc freezer bags do the job just perfectly for me! One of the tricks I like to use is to stuff my Ziploc bag into a measuring cup to make filling it easier. Then, I snip off the corner with kitchen shears and use it to pipe pastry cream into cannolis, mousse into cups, puree onto wontons and frosting onto cupcakes.
13. Lodge Cast Iron Grill This stovetop griddle sits over your stovetop burners and grills up poultry, meat and fish with beautiful grill marks. The cast iron gets smoking hot, making it the perfect surface for indoor grilling. NOTE: When purchasing cast iron, look for unseasoned varieties as lard and other types of nonkosher fats may have been used in the seasoning process (when I purchased this grill several years ago, it had a kosher certification).
14. Nesting Bowls This inexpensive set of nesting bowls really helps to keep prep clean and organized. One of the principles of professional cooking is “mise en place”, which means to have all of the components of your dish prepped and organized before preparing it. Prepping large meals with various courses can be made more efficient by cooking with that philosophy in mind.
15. Victorinox Santoku Knife I have really small hands, so a classic 8″ chef’s knife doesn’t work for me. I want to feel comfortable with my grasp on my most-used kitchen tool, so I prefer the shape, style and size of this 7″ santoku knife. If you like a classic shape better, I also recommend the Global budget-friendly knife or the pricier Wusthof.
16. Zyliss Folding Mandolin A mandolin is an essential tool for anyone who wants to cook with finesse. It creates uniform slices in varying thicknesses, so you can create the perfect garnish, potatoes au gratin, veggie chips or fries. This version folds for easy storage. NOTE: Safety First! Make sure to use the accompanying safety guard.
17. Flour Sack Towels These all purpose cotton towels are lightweight and perfect for many kitchen jobs such as drying greens, squeezing excess moisture from herbs or veggies (in lieu of expensive cheesecloth) and wiping counters or hands while cooking.
18. TFal Nonstick Wok I love Asian cooking so a wok is a must-have in my kitchen. This lightweight nonstick wok is dishwasher-safe, making it perfect for stir fries, Pad Thai, deep-frying, or even steaming or smoking. It’s large size works wonders for sauteing spiralized veggies!
19. Nonstick Mini Rolling Pin Mini rolling pins don’t have to be just for play dough! I love that this is nonstick for easy cleaning, and it’s non-cumbersome, so I have a handle (pun intended!) on my doughs (not my favorite thing to prepare!).
20. Zyliss Safe Edge Can Opener If you’re still using an old fashioned can opener, it’s time for an upgrade! You never know where your cans have been sitting, or for how long. They can carry all sorts of bacteria! To prevent cross-contamination, use an opener that removes the entire lid of the can without leaving sharp edges. Safety all around!
What are some of your kitchen must-haves? I would love to hear! Share them with me in the comments below.
Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!
Salad or sandwich, you ask? (ok you didn’t ask, but I did!) I’m a sandwich gal all the way. Offer me up a plate of beautiful greens and veggies, versus a sandwich on crusty bread – I’ll choose the sandwich every time. There’s just nothing like stuffing food between two slices of carby goodness! This, my friends, is what makes the 8 days of Passover so hard for me.
The hardest part about not eating bread or gebroks ( (dishes that allow for matza to absorb liquid) over Pesach, is not having a vessel to eat my food with. I don’t smear dips over matza or eat matza pizza or matza sandwiches. Which means, I’ve got to look for things to stuff my food into. Kosher for Passover pizza omelettes, portobello pizza, chessy stuffed peppers, roasted eggplant parmesan – these are some of the recipes that get me through the holiday.
When you really think about it – it’s just 8 days, just shy of a week of going gluten free, whats the big deal, right? Somehow though, Pesach seems like an eternity. When I was growing up, we’d wait on line for hours after Pesach to get a pie of pizza. What is it about the holiday that makes us feel so deprived?
Maybe it’s that us non-grebrosters are not thinking outside the box enough. Meat & potatoes, chicken & potatoes, and eggs & potatoes really does get kind of boring. With stringent Passover customs, the lack of variety induces many-a-craving. I think that’s where the endless hours at the pizza store comes into play. Not only did we not enjoy matza pizza over Pesach, our family custom was to avoid dairy altogether – so no cream cheese on matza or even yogurt for breakfast. Breafast was always the hardest part of the Chag. We ate a lot of omelettes!
With dairy off the table, I try to come up with unique dishes, especially for breakfast/lunch when I prefer to avoid meat and potatoes!
One of my favorite breafast/brunch dishes of all time is shakshuka! Shakshuka is a classic dish of eggs poached in a peppery tomato sauce. I like to take the shortcut and use matbucha (or even marinara) as the base – but I’ve taken it up a notch here by baking the shakshuka in some portobello “cups”. This makes for the perfect base to catch all those yummy egg drippings. Sabra’s Kosher for Passover matbucha (no kitniyot) makes preparing this dish a cinch – perfect for Chol Hamoed brunch!
This show stopping dish is sure to please many-a-Passover-palate! Really, who needs some fresh hot pita when you have a roasted portobello mushroom to sop up all that rich egg yolk? Ok, ok I admit I’d go for the pita, I’m a sandwich gal after all. But for 8 days of the year, I think the portobello makes for a perfect stand in. And they’re cute too!
For the recipe, head on over to Joy of Kosher. And don’t forget to enter into Sabra’s sharesabra giveaway! All you have to do to win a $200 gift card is show and tell Sabra what you’re eating and who you’re eating it with. Take pictures of your food or family and friends at meal time and post on Facebook, Twitter or Instragram with the hashtag #ShareSabra for a chance to win.
When I was growing up, my brother would often buy Israeli-Style tuna from the prepared salad section in the supermarket. He’d come home with his little black bag of tuna and fresh bread, and I’d look at him oddly while he ate the weird concoction of tomato-smothered tuna for lunch. Tuna was suppposed to be mixed with mayo and squeezed between a slice of fresh tomato and lettuce on some freshly baked bread. It wasn’t a salad, unless you added some fresh cucumbers and dill, and it surely wasn’t a dip, right? Wrong.
One day, I was digging through the fridge looking for something to eat when I spotted some leftover Israeli style tuna. I had no patience to prepare something from scratch so I decided to give it a try. One spoon and the rest is history – I was an Israeli tuna salad convert! I had always wanted to try making my own, but I wasn’t quite sure what they put into it. When Sabra sent me over a bunch of samples of their Kosher for Passover line, including caponata, matbucha and turkish salad, I decided to test it out with their already delicious dips. I knew I hit the nail on the head when one taste transported me back into my mom’s kitchen, sneaking some of my brother’s tuna dip.
This recipe makes the perfect Passover lunch when served alongside some crispy matza. Head on over to Joy of Kosher for the recipe!
But wait, there’s more! Not only did Sabra develop an amazing selection of Kosher for Passover dips that taste just as good (or better!) than the chometz variety – they’re also sharing the love with an amazing contest! All you have to do to win a $200 gift card is show and tell Sabra what you’re eating and who you’re eating it with. Take pictures of your food or family and friends at meal time and post on Facebook, Twitter or Instragram with the hashtag #ShareSabra for a chance to win.