salsa close up

Contributed by Katy Morris

Juicy, refreshing, healthy, sweet peaches; what could be more quintessentially SUMMER than a perfectly ripe peach?

Tossed in salads, dipped in yogurt parfaits, baked in pies, blended in smoothies, chopped in iced teas, grilled, poached, heck – straight out of hand! There are so many ways to enjoy locally grown, luscious peaches this season.

 Here’s what you may NOT know:


Over 300 varieties!

Peaches are part of the “stone fruit” group, along with nectarines, cherries and plums, referred to as such due to their large, hard pits/seeds. They originated from China but spread around the world over many centuries and now grow in mild, warm climates throughout.

There are two main types: white and yellow, although there are many varieties of each color (there are over 300 varieties grown in North America alone!). Did you know that peaches are actually 87% water? And at only 50 calories for a medium sized peach, you get a generous dose of vitamin C, A, and iron.


What’s the difference between a white peach and a yellow peach?

Most peaches in America are yellow fleshed. Yellow peaches have a deeper yellow color with red blush spots and are more acidic and tart in taste. In contrast, white-fleshed peaches, which are more popular in Asia, are lighter in color and much less acidic (and sweeter).

peaches (1)

Freestone or Clingstone?

Peaches are either freestone or clingstone. You can easily remove the pit from the flesh in a freestone peach, so these are the ones you’ll be nibbling on out of hand. Pits of clingstone peaches tend to (you guessed it…) cling to the flesh, making it difficult to separate. They are softer and juicer than freestones. These are most popular for canning and baking and are easily found at local markets versus large grocery stores.


Katy shops peaches in Guatamala

Katy shops peaches in Guatamala

What should I look for when buying peaches?

We recommend buying peaches at least a day in advance of preparing and serving them. Stay away from bruised, wrinkly, and green ones at the market. When gently squeezed (use your whole hand versus pinching them with your fingers as they bruise easily), there should be a slight give of the velvety skin.

Be sure to give your peaches a good whiff – you want the ones that smell like you want them to taste. If there isn’t a tantalizing aroma it means the peach has not ripened yet. Also, note that the reddish blush does not necessarily mean it is ripe – that is just where the sun was shining most brightly on it when it was growing. The lighter the coloration of the peach, the less ripe it is.


How should I store and ripen them?

This really depends on how ripe the peaches are that you buy. If you happen to pick up a bunch of ripened peaches (as described above) but don’t want to eat them right away, put them in a plastic bag in your fridge, as the chilled temperature slows the ripening process. It’s also important to note that if you have some with bruises/spots on them, you should separate those from the non-bruised ones since the rot can easily spread to other peaches.

If you get ones that are not ready to be eaten, simply leave them on your kitchen counter, but keep an eye on them since they can go from ripe to rotten pretty quickly. If you need to speed up the ripening process, try putting them in a brown paper bag (with a few holes so the peaches can still breathe) for a couple of days.

Did you go peach crazy at the local market? No problem – you can freeze them for up to 6 months! Make sure you peel and slice them first and spread them out on a large tray before putting in the freezer. Once they are frozen through, you can throw them in a sealed plastic bag.


How should I prepare them?

Peaches are super versatile, which is one of the reasons we love them so much. When prepping them, simply wash them thoroughly as you would any other fruit. After slicing or chopping them, depending on the dish you are making, toss with a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning.

If you are going to be making a pie, go with slightly firmer ones and they will keep their shape when baked. Does your recipe call for peeling them (like the one below)? Make a quick “X” with a sharp knife on both the bottom and the top of the peach and then blanch them for about 30-45 seconds to loosen their skin. Then “shock” them in a big pot of ice water to stop the cooking, remove them, and you should be able to peel the skin with your nimble fingers.

Want to pick your own? Here’s where we pick ‘em in CT:  Silverman’s Farm in EastonWarrup’s in Redding, Lyman’s Orchard in Middlefield.

This refreshing, oh-so peachy and only slightly spicy salsa is a perfect topping for grilled fish or chicken on a summer night. You know all about the timeless deliciousness of surrounding a bowl of fresh salsa with crunchy tortilla chips and with your favorite frosty refreshing beer in hand.

What fruit would you like to experiment with in your next salsa creation? We want to know!

Summery Peach and Pineapple Salsa

Summery Peach and Pineapple Salsa

Seasonal salsas are a great way to take advantage of the many fruits available at your local market. Make them as spicy as you like by adjusting (or eliminating) hot pepper.

This salsa is vegan and pareve (non-dairy).


  • 4 small ripe peaches, peeled (see above!) and diced
  • 3-4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 small green chili pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • ¾ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped
  • salt to taste


  1. Simply mix all together in large mixing bowl.
  2. Serve chilled.


See post (above) for instructions on how to peel peaches. It's easy!






avocado soup

Contributed and photographed by Katy Morris

While I always enjoyed integrating avocado into dishes at home in the U. S.  (one of my faves is the Granola Bar’s Devilled Avocado Eggs!), there’s something pretty cool about knowing they grow directly on the trees where I am working and living right now.  And as great as farmers’ markets are back home, you won’t see these avocados among the locally grown produce. But you can surely get them at your local grocery– and I have seen firsthand where they come from.**

in the market

There are many varieties of avocados (Mexican, West Indian, California, and numerous hybrids between), but the ones I’m hooked on are the popular Guatemalan natives, the Hass.

They are oval shaped and have thicker, rougher skin than other varieties, which enables them to travel well and still boast great quality once they arrive at their destination. You’ll also see that Hass avocados turn black (and almost a bit purplish) when ripening, while other varieties get greener as they mature.

in the market (1)

It is interesting to note that Hass avocados often remain on the tree for several months after maturing; so in essence, the trees “store” them. Lucky for the locals (and you) this is why the harvesting time period is so long in Guatemala and we can essentially get them year-round in the U. S. Love learning these tree-to-table facts!

While the traditional Guatemalan cuisine of tamales, tortillas, and beans is no doubt delicious (and I sure had my fill in the first couple months), as a vegetarian KLM eater, I am always hungry for some more variety. Happily, I can always find an abundance of fresh, locally grown produce at the open-air market, and even though I only have a little blender and portable gas stove top to work with, I’ve started to get creative with my meals.


Here’s a healthy recipe that incorporates the super nutritious aguacate into one of those chilled soups we crave as the temperatures rise.

It’s the perfect soup du jour for a refreshing, summertime lunch whenever the temps are sizzling. The super smooth, creamy texture of the avocado negates the need for any added fat. Toss in some garlic scapes or shallots for some added flavor if you like!

As we say in Guatemala (both before AND after a meal), Buen Provecho!


**Kosher Like Me contributor and vegetarian enthusiast, Katy Morris, recently moved to Panajachel, Guatemala where she is working as the Communications Director for a non-profit organization called Mayan Families.

The first time she ventured to the local mercado she was taken by the brilliantly vibrant colors everywhere she looked. Heaping mounds of freshly picked fruits and veggies matched the vibrancy of colorfully clad Señores and Señoras. Her first edible purchase? She went straight for those famous, locally grown Guatemalan avocados.

Aguacates (avocado in Spanish) are indeed locally grown. In fact,  Katy is waiting patiently to pluck them from trees in her own yard.

Chilled Avocado- Cucumber Soup

2 servings

Chilled Avocado- Cucumber Soup

This super easy chilled soup is a naturally rich and satisfying summer dish.

This recipe is kosher and dairy. To convert to vegan and pareve, use plain soy yogurt.


  • 1 large cucumber, peeled
  • 2 medium sized Hass avocados
  • 2 large limes, juiced
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, finely chopped (save some for garnish)
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • cumin or paprika for garnish
  • 1 radish, chopped


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree the mixture until smooth.
  2. Chop the radish and throw in the soup for some added crunch.
  3. Serve chilled and garnish with spices.






chinese noodle salad

Photo and recipe contributed by Marcia Selden Catering, CT.

Here’s a delicious, vegetarian and vegan, room temperature pasta dish that requires little cooking and is light, easy, and delicious. For a  gluten- free version, check out this Shirataki pasta and seek out soy-free soy sauce at your local Whole Foods.

This Asian noodle dish only gets better as it hangs out in your fridge for a couple of days. It’s perfect on its own or alongside simply grilled chicken or fish. It travels well to a friend’s backyard buffet, beach or boat and is perfect for brown baggin’ it to work or camp.

Chilled Chinese Sesame Noodles

8-10 servings

This crowd pleaser is super simple to assemble and do-ahead.

This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and pareve (non-dairy). For a gluten-free version, see note about shiratake noodles.


  • 1 lb. Linguine Fini (Thin), soba, cellophane or shiratake (tofu) noodles
  • ½ lb. snow pea pods
  • ½ lb. shitake mushrooms- washed and sliced
  • ½ each red and yellow peppers- slivered
  • ½ C. chopped cilantro
  • ½ C. baby corn, thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin in rounds
  • 1 T. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 T. black sesame seeds
  • ½ C. vegetable oil
  • ½ C. sesame oil
  • 1 C. rice vinegar
  • ½ C. soy sauce
  • ¼ C. grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1T. grated orange rind
  • Sriracha- optional to taste


  1. Cook the pasta al dente. Be careful not to overcook. Rinse in cold water and place in a bowl and then into the refrigerator to chill.
  2. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together to incorporate all of the flavors.
  3. Drop the pea pods and mushrooms into boiling water and remove after 1 minute. Run under cold water to stop the cooking.
  4. Mix all of the vegetables: pea pods, mushrooms, peppers, baby corn and scallions and cilantro with ½ cup of dressing.
  5. Add to the chilled noodles and toss to coat. Add more dressing if needed.
  6. Place into a serving dish and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro leaves.


Note: almost any vegetable can be added to the basic noodles and dressing. Just mix the noodles tossed with dressing and then add your favorite vegetables.

Originally Posted in “Chillin’ with Chinese Sesame Noodles
Ruby Rose Hips Cold Brew

Ruby Rose Hips Cold Brew

Contributed by Katy Morris

Leaf & Ardor Tea Co. of Fairfield, CT has put a modern and unique twist on conventional teatime, and they’ve offered us some innovative iced tea & cocktail combinations, as well as some tips & tricks for the best summertime thirst quenchers.

Fairfield-based Founders Connie Pappas and Cristina Copersino, both of whom share a passion for culinary arts and wellness, love tea: its tremendous healing properties, the sensory indulgences it offers, its versatility of flavors and uses, and the opportunity it lends to enjoy time with friends and family.

And they definitely know what they are doing from an epicurean perspective. They have both worked with professional chefs and food entrepreneurs on pairings & recipes in the past; and Connie currently provides holistic life coaching in her Westport office.


Karen Ford handmade tea cups

Karen Ford handmade tea cups

They sell their organic, seasonally inspired herbal blends and teas (that they often spend months creating) in beautiful packaging and often paired with one-of-a-kind serve ware by artisans like Westport’s Karen Ford, making them the quintessential hostess gift for your next summer soiree.

Moroccan Mint

Moroccan Mint


Consider their Cold-Brew Kit (also a great gift) when trying the iced tea recipe below, although special equipment isn’t necessarily required when making a good glass. Now, let’s clarify the distinction between cold-brewed iced tea versus hot-brewed iced tea and how to make the most festive, refreshing drinks for these dog days of summer.

The cold-brewing technique involves steeping tea in cold water for several hours which brings out the top notes of the tea’s flavor profile. They explain that most of their tea blends give off a smoother, brighter flavor profile when iced.

Masala Chai

Masala Chai

Compare this to iced tea that is made by simply chilling hot-brewed tea, which lends the same flavor profile as the hot brew.

They say it’s best to prepare it in advance – overnight or even a day or two ahead, depending on how strong you like it. Infuse with berries or citrus for some added zest, and when done brewing and cooling, you can even add some spirits to the iced tea base for a refreshing summer cocktail.

photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Don’t forget to include colorful fruit ice cubes in your tall glasses, as well. Simply place small berries and herbs in an ice cube tray, add water, and freeze.  “Half the fun is experimenting with different flavors,” says Cristina.

Check out Leaf and Ardor’s beautiful website for flavor and brewing inspiration and for more recipes. You may order teas directly from their site or find a list of retailers who carry their products.

Thank you Connie and Cristina,  for sharing these icy brewed recipes with Kosher Like Me. All photos, except for image of thyme, courtesy of Leaf and Ardor Tea Co.

Chamomile Bliss Cocktail

2-4 servings

Chamomile Bliss Cocktail

This tea/cocktail is the perfect summer treat. Citrus and lavender keep the flavors bright and refreshing.


  • 1/4 cup Leaf & Ardor Chamomile Bliss organic herbal blend
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups of ice
  • 1 1/4 cups of dry gin


  1. Steep Chamomile Bliss herbal blend in boiling water, 4 minutes.
  2. Let cool slightly, strain through fine strainer (pressing on solids to release liquid), and add honey.
  3. Add Chamomile Bliss/honey mixture, lemon juice, and gin to a pitcher.
  4. Stir in ice till melted.
  5. Pour into chilled glasses & garnish with lemon twist & lavender sprig.

Ruby Rose Hips Cold Brew

2 cups

This fruity iced tea uses and easy cold brewing technique. Adding fresh summer fruit enhances the bright pink color and summery flavors.


  • 2 Tablespoons Ruby Rose Hips organic herbal blend
  • 2 cups cold, filtered water
  • 5 raspberries, slightly muddled*
  • 5 black cherries, slightly muddled*
  • 3 sprigs of thyme


  1. Add all ingredients to an infuser teapot. If you do not have an infuser teapot you can use a pitcher or carafe and pour the tea through a strainer when it is ready to drink.
  2. Let the tea chill in the refrigerator for 12 hours/overnight.


*Muddling fruits or herbs is essentially just mashing them at the bottom of the glass; this tends to release a stronger flavor and is specifically done for cocktails.

Mango Matcha Smoothie

1 generous serving

Mango Matcha Smoothie

This delicious smoothie combines densely nutritious fruit with the slightly vegetal contrast of matcha tea.

This recipe is kosher, vegan and pareve (non-dairy)


  • 1/4 cup frozen chopped mango
  • 1/4 of a fresh ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup almond or hazelnut milk
  • 1 tsp honey (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Leaf & Ardor matcha
  • 1/8 cup filtered water


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and stir so that the matcha powder is mixed into the liquid.
  2. Blend on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass and garnish with a wedge of mango.

Originally Posted in “Leaf and Ardor Iced Teas Cool the Spirit

Roasted Carrots, beets, fermented black beans

There’s always a lot of buzz around Le FarmBill Taibe‘s farm to table restaurant in Westport, CT. Taibe is admirably and firmly committed to sourcing from many of my favorite farms within a short distance from his charming and very popular restaurant.

Truth is though, I’ve struggled to find enough vegetarian friendly fare to keep me going back as a regular. So imagine my surprise when Executive Chef, Arik Bensimon messaged me on facebook to tell me that he was cooking up a new vegetarian entree and hoped that I would come and taste it with him.

Would I?!

Arik Ben Simon creating

I’ve followed his cooking for a few years now as he’s cooked in some of the most creative kitchens in restaurants near my hometown. Arik’s parents are Moroccan/Israeli via Queens, NY; my favorite dishes are those with some references to his love for Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines.

The farms

His quiet confidence and deep appreciation for the farm resources in CT shape his menu.  He shops the farmers’ markets and communicates directly with his favorite farmers in order to score the freshest local ingredients. He’s intent on adding more vegetarian and (kosher friendly) fish to his menu at LeFarm.

I can’t wait to taste what he dreams up next.


This recipe for Roasted Carrots, Beets and Fermented Black Beans has complex and satisfying umami flavors from Bensimon’s use of  fermented beans. Do not be put off by this simple ingredient.

Click here to read what Max Falkowitz, of Serious Eats, had to say about fermented black beans, their complex flavors, and where to buy them.

Roasted Carrots, Beets and Fermented Black Beans

4 servings

Roasted Carrots, Beets and Fermented Black Beans

Arik Bensimon, Chef at Le Farm in Westport, CT, shared this dish with me on a recent summer afternoon. He added lemony sorrel leaves and freshly shelled summer peas as colorful toppings for my photos. Feel free to do the same in your own kitchen.

This salad is kosher, vegetarian and dairy.


  • 9 carrots
  • 6 beets
  • 2 limes (juiced)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • ½ onion
  • 1 Cup fermented black beans
  • 10 mint leaves (cut into strips)
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1Tsp.toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ Tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8 T EVOO (olive oil)
  • 1 Cup sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place each beet on one piece of aluminum foil.
  3. Fold up the sides of the aluminum foil around the beet.
  4. Add 1 tsp. EVOO, salt (to taste), 1 sprig of thyme an 2 Tablespoons of water to each beet "packet".
  5. Close the aluminum foil around each beet.
  6. On a cookie sheet or ovenproof dish, roast beets until cooked through, approx. 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  10. Peel 8 carrots and toss with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Lay carrots on cookie sheet or in an ovenproof dish.
  12. Roast until tender but still firm, approx. 25 mins.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  14. BLACK BEANS**:
  15. Drain and rinse beans.
  16. Place beans in a pot and cover with water.
  17. Add one carrot (whole), 1 celery stalk (whole), ½ onion (not chopped).
  18. Bring to a boil.
  19. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 35 minutes.
  20. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature in the liquid.
  21. Once beans are at room temperature, drain and set aside.
  23. Once beets and carrots are cooked and at room temperature, cut carrots and beets to desired length/width.
  24. In a bowl, combine carrots, beets, black beans, 2 Tablespoons of EVOO, 1 ½ Tablespoons of lime juice, half of the sesame seeds, pinch of cayenne pepper, sesame oil, salt (to taste).
  25. In a small bowl mix together sour cream and the rest of the lime juice.
  26. Drizzle sour cream mixture over salad.
  27. Sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds over the salad.
  28. Serve.


**Beans should be soaked in cold water over night.

Serve this salad at room temp.



Tossing ripe, mouth-watering summer berries into a pyrex pan with your favorite crumb topping is always a summer crowd pleaser.  If only the terms for these toppings were as easy as making these crisps- oh wait- is it a crumble? a cobbler? a buckle or a grunt?

Here’s a little help with the terminology for all you enthusiastic fruit bakers out there. When you’re done studying your vocabulary,  rinse your berries and toss them with these few ingredients.  It’ll take you all of 5 minutes to throw this easy Blueberry Crisp into the oven on the morning of your 4th of July celebration.

I brought this crisp to a friend’s home the other night (the kind of dear friend who didn’t mind that a good sized square was already missing from the corner) and she texted me for the recipe before I pulled into my driveway at the end of the evening. I seem to recall someone scraping the corners of the glass pan with a spoon loaded with ice cream before we accepted that it was all gone.

Top this crisp with Ronnybrook Ice Cream if you’re baking with dairy, or bake with a vegan margarine (Earth Balance) and top it with a non-dairy treat like Nada-Moo if you’re going vegan or pareve.

BTW, a CRISP is generally defined as a fruity baked dessert with butter, oats and nuts as the topping. In this recipe, Ronnie Fein adds a cup of bran flakes, adding another layer of flavor, fiber and crunch.  She learned that trick from her Mom. I’m definitely going to keep bran flakes in my pantry from now on.

Thank you, Ronnie Fein, fellow kosher blogger in CT, friend and author of Hip Kosher, for this delicious recipe.

Hope your 4th is as juicy as mine will be! I’d love to know what you’re serving!

Blueberry Crisp

6-8 servings

Blueberry Crisp

This crisp will be crispier if baked in a 9x14 pyrex pan. If you prefer a a softer, more fruity texture bake it in an 8x8 pan.

Thank you, Ronnie Fein, for this recipe.

This crisp is dairy if made with butter. It is easily veganized and made pareve by using a non-dairy margarine.


  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup bran flakes or raisin bran
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking or rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts such as almonds, cashews or pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or margarine


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and lemon juice in a 6-cup baking dish. Set aside.
  3. Crush the cereal flakes slightly and put them in a bowl. Add the oats, nuts, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly.
  4. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are coated with the melted butter.
  5. Place the cereal mixture over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown. Let cool slightly but serve warm (may be rewarmed).
  6. Serve plain or with cream, ice cream, whipped cream, or sorbet.


Ronnie kept the clean up minimal by tossing the berries with the next 4 ingredients right in the pan. I tossed them in a bowl first and buttered the pan lightly. Old habits die hard.

Originally Posted in “Blueberry Crisp on July 4th

White Bean Spread with Garlic scopes

I like to throw a couple of cloves of raw garlic into my homemade hummus but when I spotted these curly green beauties I figured garlic scapes might be even better. They are milder and more nuanced than garlic . And their bright grassy color and flavor tinges this twist white bean spread (aka hummus) just enough that your friends will wonder what’s going on.

I chose to use cannellini beans here because they blend to a creamy paste and have a slightly nutty flavor. Cannellini  (also called Great Northern Beans or White Kidney Beans) are often used in Mediterranean recipes and are valued for their smooth texture and slightly sweet goodness.  Low in fat and high in fiber and protein, these darlings of traditional Italian minestrone are a perfect sub for the chick peas everyone expects as the hummus base.

And let’s talk about tehina for a sec! I’m committed to Soom Tehina for many reasons, but in the end it’s all about texture and flavor. If you’ve gotten stuck (literally) with your spoon in a messy, oily can of tehina that let you down, look no further. And chocolate lovers, head’s up: Soom now has a chocolate tehina that begs to be played with.

tangled beauties

Can’t wait to hear what you do with garlic scapes. Or hummus. Or Tehina. Do share in your comments below and on facebook. If we aren’t friends there already or if you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, please do! You’ll be happier if you don’t miss anything.

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Spread (Hummus)

8-10 servings as an appetizer

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Spread (Hummus)

This white bean spread is a perfect low fat, high protein, gluten-free appetizer. Serve it with veggies, fresh whole grain bread or gluten-free crackers like Mary's Gone Crackers brand.

Feel free to substitute chick peas if you prefer.

This appetizer is vegan and pareve.


  • 4 garlic scapes roughly chopped
  • 3 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp.course sea salt or your choice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tb. tehina (sesame paste)
  • 3 Tb. water
  • 2 Tb. good olive oil


  1. In a food processor, process chopped garlic scapes, lemon juice, salt and pepper until minced.
  2. Add beans and process until beans are broken up.
  3. With machine running, add tehina, water, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Process until smooth and creamy. Taste to adjust with more lemon or salt. Add a bit of water if too thick.


Keep this in the refridge until ready to serve.

Feel free to add a bit of lemon juice or water to loosen it up if it thickens too much for your taste.

Originally Posted in “White Bean and Garlic Scapes Spread


Remember when seedy was a bad thing? When you bite into Mary’s Gone Crackers you know that seeds are good. Very good. Mary’s Original Seed Cracker is loaded with flax seeds and sesame seeds, lending a rich nutty flavor and satisfying crunch to the organic, gluten-free, whole grain brown rice and quinoa base.

I recently watched a friend bite into these delicious crispy darlings and ask wide eyed, “What am I eating?” She was amazed by the crisp texture and nutty flavors.

Mary’s Gone Crackers launched when Mary Waldner was diagnosed with Celiac disease when she was 43 years old. This autoimmune disorder had left her in pain and discomfort her entire life. Characterized by an inability to digest gluten, found in wheat, barley, rye and most oats, Mary immediately stopped eating gluten products and began transforming her life-long passion for baking into a mission to bake gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, vegan and kosher products. She had been a therapist for many years and saw the connection between healing the body with easing the mind.

Mary and her husband left their respective jobs and committed to their vision in 1999. Five years later, with a business plan and initial investors in place, they invested their life saving into launching Mary’s Gone Crackers (which many said she had done). In order to ensure the integrity and safety of their organic, gluten-free, vegan and kosher products, they began baking in their own dedicated facility.

I am not gluten- intolerant but I seek organic and kosher products. When I saw the range of Mary’s products I was impressed. And truth is, I was thrilled when they contacted me to check out the range they’ve developed. I’ve had a blast “working” my way through many of their products and taking notes as I went along. Lucky for me, my family tolerates this mishegas (craziness), which can take up a good deal of time and counter space.


Among my favorites crackers are the Super Seed, the Original and the Onion. While the Original combines flax seed and sesame seeds with organic, gluten-free brown rice and quinoa, the Super Seed combines sunflower, pumpkin and poppy seeds in a tamari free (soy free) cracker.


The Onion Cracker was distinctly savory and tasted of roasted onions. I got hooked on it by topping it with tuna salad or salmon salad for a quick lunch or snack. With visible flecks of minced onion bits, this cracker is a great, low calorie replacement for the old world onion roll of my youth.

With seven crackers in the Mary’s Gone Crackers line-up it was almost unfair to chose favorites. Check out the varieties for yourself and see which you like best. Don’t forget the spicy Hot and Spicy Jalepeno. I loved it with Trader Joe’s sharp Dijon Mustard and mild Muester cheese with a cool, thin slice of cuke on top.


Mary’s Gone Cookies, too, with four varieties. I’m a true chocoholic and loved the Double Chocolate Cookies. Top ‘em with non-dairy ice cream like the Nada-Moo (profiled here a few weeks back) and you have a simple black and white combo that is the easiest vegan, kosher, pareve dessert without firing up your oven this summer.

In an effort to nibble my way through the load on my kitchen counter, I crumbled a Ginger Snaps Cookie onto my plain yogurt one morning and fell in love. With the explosive taste of ginger waking up mild yogurt, I was thrilled to have a new breakfast treat. And the very moderate amount of sweeteners keep each cookie at about 45 calories.

Mary’s Gone Crackers has a great little recipe section on their site, highlighting how to use their products both in recipes and alongside some easy chutneys and dips. With summer upon us, I thought a snack recipe would be fun to share.



Pack this Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Bar  in your backpack for long hikes, in camp lunch boxes or wrap it up for the beach.

Be sure to check the handy store locator on the Mary’s Gone Crackers site to find where you can buy this product. And don’t forget to leave comments telling us which of these products is your favorite if you are familiar with them. And if not, which tempts you??

Thank you, Mary’s Gone Crackers, for the sample box sent to my home. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. All photos are courtesy of Mary’s Gone Crackers.

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Bar

35-45 bars depending on how you cut them

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Bar

This delicious recipe for Sweet and Salty Trail Mix bars is made with Mary's Gone Crackers Sea Salt Pretzels.

A uniquely light and crunchy pretzel-snack that’s a healthier alternative to other high-sodium pretzels, these are chock full of exotic whole grains including brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and millet, as well as tasty and nutritious seeds including flax, sesame and chia seeds. In this recipe, the pretzels are broken into small pieces to provide a crunchy texture and utilize their pure nutty flavors.

This recipe is gluten-free, kosher dairy or pareve depending on your yogurt choice.


  • 1 1/2 cups Mary's Gone Crackers Sea Salt Pretzels, broken into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat greek yogurt (or any plain vegan yogurt)
  • 4 Tbsp. palm oil
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey (or brown rice syrup, or tapioca syrup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 pan with an organic nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a double boiler, melt 1 cup chocolate chips and pour evenly into the pan to create a chocolate base.
  4. In a large bowl, combine pretzel pieces, quinoa flakes, cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, brown rice flour, almond flour and yogurt.
  5. Melt palm oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  6. Add sunflower seed butter, palm sugar, honey and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  7. Pour palm mixture into the dry pretzel mixture and stir quickly to thoroughly coat.
  8. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press firmly and evenly.
  9. Bake until lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes.
  10. After baking, immediately sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over bars.
  11. Melt remaining 3/4 cup of chocolate and drizzle over bars.
  12. Let the bars cool completely in pan on a wire rack in the refrigerator before cutting into bars.


Store these bars in the refrigerator because yogurt is used.



Originally Posted in “Super Seedy Mary’s Gone Crackers

vietnamese nori roll

Marcia Selden Catering

Gorgeous weather has arrived, the days are longer and it’s time to plan an outdoor party. Here’s the perfect, light and flavorful hors d’oeuvre The best part about this delicious nibble is that it doesn’t require an oven and can be made in advance so all you have to do is grab a Sake-tini, turn up the music and enjoy your friends.

Ingredient note: Nori is the Japanese name for various types of edible seaweed. Crisp, paper thin sheets of nori are sold in packages at Whole Foods Market or on line from Sushi Maven.

Vietnamese Nori Rolls

4 servings


  • 8-10 nori sheets
  • 3 C. finely shredded savoy cabbage
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 3½ oz. cooked soba or cellophane noodles
  • ½ C julienned carrot sticks
  • ½ C. chopped cilantro
  • 1 mango, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tbs. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbs. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • 24 mint leaves
  • 24 basil leaves
  • Dipping sauce:
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼C. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 4 Tbs. soy sauce


  1. Combine dipping sauce in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made 1 day in advance.
  2. Toss cabbage, scallions, shredded carrots, cilantro, mango and cooked noodles in a bowl with sesame oil, shallot, ginger and garlic and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Working with 1 sheet at a time, put cabbage noodle mixture along 1 edge of the nori, leaving a 1” border.
  4. Add a small amount of cucumber, 2 mint leaves and 2 basil leaves to cabbage mixture. Do not overfill the nori sheets.
  5. Starting at the side with the filling, start to roll, enclosing filling.
  6. Repeat process with remaining sheets. Cut each roll on the diagonal into 2 pieces and serve with dipping sauce.
  7. Can be prepared 2 hours in advance.

Favorite Saki-tini

2 servings

Favorite Saki-tini


  • ½ cup each of excellent quality Vodka & Saki
  • 1”piece of ginger
  • 1/2 cucumber, washed and sliced into spears


  1. Muttle 1" piece of ginger into the vodka/saki blend and then remove.
  2. Add to shaker filled with ice. Shake well.
  3. Pour into Martini glass and garnish with cucumber sticks
  4. L'Chaim!

Originally Posted in “Vietnamese Nori Rolls and Saki-tinis

grilled corn


I cheated just a little. I confess. YUP. This locavore bought corn that was grown and trucked up from the south so I could prepare and share this recipe with you. But only because I want you to be READY to fire up your grills when local corn hits your very own farmers’ market.


This salad tastes like summer.  Sweet little grape tomatoes, grilled but still firm zucchini and sunny yellow squash get tossed with barely charred corn sheered off the cob and a handful of other readily available ingredients.  Easy, summery, local, delicious.

Chef Cecily Gans shared the recipe with us for Father’s Day and included one cup of crumbled feta or goat cheese in the mix. We left the cheese off (the vegan version) since we prepared it to eat with the Grilled Chicken with Smoky Molasses BBQ Sauce. The next day, I stayed meat free (kosher keepers don’t eat meat with dairy) and threw in some not too salty feta from Beltane Farms into the salad. It was divine.

Either way, this is a great staple to have in your recipe toolbox. Toss it together when firing up your grill any time this summer.

Grilled Summer Salad with Local Corn

6-8 servings

Grilled Summer Salad with Local Corn

This quintessential summer salad celebrates veggies that are readily available for many weeks in the warm weather.

This recipe is pareve and vegan without the cheese. Add the optional cheese for a heartier dairy vegetarian meal.

Thank you Cecily Gans, The Main Course Catering, Fairfield, CT, for this recipe.


    For the Grilled Corn:
  • 8 ears corn, in the husk
  • For the grill sauce:
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice or cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • For the Salad:
  • 2-3 cups roasted corn, cut from the cob (see grilling directions, below)
  • 1 pint red sweet grape tomatoes*
  • 1 pint yellow sweet grape tomatoes* (or more red if you can’t find yellow)
  • ½ cup red onions, grilled and diced
  • 2 poblano or green peppers, grilled and diced
  • 2 red peppers, grilled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, grilled and diced
  • 1 summer squash grilled and diced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or cider vinegar
  • ½ cup scallions, finely sliced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Olive or grapeseed oil to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)


    Grill the corn:
  1. Preheat your grill
  2. Peel back the husks slightly and remove the bulk of the corn silk.
  3. Place corn on the top level of the grill for about 20 minutes, turning the cobs every 5 minutes.
  4. Grill Sauce
  5. Put oil & vinegar in a bottle and shake vigorously. Brush onion, peppers, zucchini and summer squash with marinade, season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper and grill to ‘al dente’.
  6. Salad
  7. Combine the corn, tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, parsley, scallions and lemon juice and mix well.
  8. Season with salt and pepper. Add oil if necessary and garnish with cheese (optional). Serve cold or at room temperature.


*You may substitute diced heirloom tomatoes or any variety at the market


Originally Posted in “Grilled Summer Salad with Local Corn