Gravlax LG (1)

contributed by Katy Morris

photos courtesy of Sugar and Olives

On an inconspicuous side street in Norwalk, CT, sits an eccentric French-inspired culinary “kitchen and lounge” that serves delicious, locally sourced, organic fare.  Sugar & Olives, owned by Jennifer Balin, opened after she bought and transformed a former factory space into an open commercial kitchen and dining area using sustainable and recycled materials when possible.

Sugar & Olives

She then crafted an impressive menu based on a “seasonal philosophy” filled with lots of vegetarian friendly options.  Lucky for locals, Balin has launched her own “prep school” cooking classes so cooking enthusiasts can learn the secrets of some of her best techniques and culinary creations.


Kosher Like Me was recently invited to attend a Scrumptious Brunch class – very timely as I start to plan my New Year’s Day Brunch menu. The class was simply fantastic; very hands on, and intimate, and I was luckily able to ask all the questions I had directly to her and her French Chef, Luis.

morning trifle

They worked side by side with us to make a delish morning trifle with oatmeal cookie granola and lemon curd, eggs benedict served on a “johnny cake” (kind of like a heavenly biscuit), and house cured gravlax.


Jennifer made the gravlax since it had to sit for hours before. She was generous enough to share her easy recipe, below.

She recommends serving the gravlax alongside herbed goat cheese from Beltane Farm, one of our favorite sources for local cheese. Adding in a mix of fresh herbs, including thyme, dill, fronds (tops of fennel) and crushed pink peppercorns makes for a beautiful, festive, and delicious combination.

Serve with some flatbread or simple crackers to add some crunch. Or drape these tender slices over farm fresh greens for the perfect lunch. Of course, this gravlax will blow your guests away on New Year’s Eve or as a highlight of your first brunch of 2014.


Click on Sugar and Olives for the full menu and more deets on cooking classes.

NOTE: Sugar and Olives is extremely accommodating for diners with any type of food preferences or restrictions.

Breakfast and lunch: Tuesday – Friday from 8am – 3pm

Brunch: Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 3pm

Dinner: Fridays and Saturdays starting at 6pm…reservations are highly recommended.

House Cured Gravlax

House Cured Gravlax

This recipe is non-dairy, PARVE

Curing Salmon is virtually effortless to make and will impress your guests.

It is perfect on crackers, bagels, or draped over a salad.


  • 1 pint kosher salt
  • 1 pint sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons or limes
  • 2 bunches dill
  • 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
  • 1 2-1lb center-cut loin of Scottish Salmon, or other farm raised Atlantic Salmon


  1. Combine kosher salt, sugar, and 1 ½ pints water with the lemon zest, dill, and white peppercorns. Place the mixture in a pot and bring it to a simmer, stirring occasionally until all the sugar and salt is dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and let it sit until room temperature. Then, chill it in the fridge. (Note: this cure can be made a day ahead.)
  3. Submerge the Salmon in the curing liquid. Refrigerate for 4 hours, turning the fish each hour.
  4. Remove the Salmon loin from the cure and wash it under cold water. The Salmon should be bright pink in hue and look slightly dehydrated; when you cut through it, it shouldn’t leave a trail of fat on the knife. (Optional: wrap the fish in clean kitchen towel and cover in plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight to firm up the fish.)
  5. Using a shark knife, slice the fish into ¼-inch thick pieces.
  6. Serve with crackers or bread and mustard, and lemon segments.


This recipe is via Jennifer Balin, owner of Sugar and Olives in Norwalk, CT. Thanks, Jen!







Originally Posted in “Gravlax: The Easy Cure for New Year’s


Balaboosta is one of my go-to favorite restaurants in NYC. When friends come to town, it’s my first choice for where to take them. I love the bold Mediterranean and Israeli inspired dishes with Chef/Owner Einat Admony’s creative twists.

Fried olives anyone?

Admony’s first and very enticing cookbook, BALABOOSTA, is a personal journey that touches upon her mixed Israeli heritage (Yeminite and Persian), her childhood in Israel, her kids and how they eat in NYC, and the dishes she shares with friends when she entertains at home. Over 140 recipes, including some from her restaurants, Balaboosta and Taim, will expand your thinking about Med inspired dishes and get your juices flowing.

Although this book is not kosher  (there are a few adjustments needed to alter a handful of recipes), it is a friendly, easy to follow and inspiring volume. My copy already has numerous post-its popping up from it’s pages. It lives on the bookshelf just steps from my kitchen, with other favorites, when it’s not propped open on my counter.


To enter this cookbook give-away leave a comment, below, telling me what aspect of Israeli or Mediterranean cuisine you would like to know more about.  Spices, soups, desserts? You can look forward to seeing more info and recipes in response to your requests!

Enter your comments before December 18 at 9 AM. Winner will be announced on Kosher Like Me’s facebook page and I will e-mail you directly for your mailing address. Be sure to “like” me on facebook if you haven’t already.


The recipe below and both photo images are excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright (c) 2013. Photographs by Quentin Bacon.

If you aren’t the lucky winner, consider buying your own copy and one for a friend by clicking here. Many thanks to Artisan Books, NYC, for sharing this copy for my readers.

Balaboosta: 214 Mulberry St, New York City

Phone:(212) 966-7366
Taim Falafel and Smoothie Bars are in NoLita and the West Village, NYC. Click here for more info.
To locate Taim Mobile Falafel and Smoothie Truck click here.

Mom's Chicken with Pomegranates and Walnuts

4-6 servings

Mom's Chicken with Pomegranates and Walnuts

These recipes and both photo images are excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright (c) 2013. Photographs by Quentin Bacon.

My mom taught me a lot about cooking, but she also taught me about kitchen responsibility—stuff like how to clean rice so there are no black spots and how to properly rinse fava beans. One job I remember in particular was removing, separating, and collecting pomegranate seeds for her famous preserves. This jam goes wonderfully on bread, but mainly it was for her chicken: she’d mix it with water and let it simmer on the chicken inside the pan. It makes a sweet-and-sour chicken better than anything you’ll find at a Chinese restaurant.

If, for some crazy reason, you manage to live without pomegranate confiture, you can replace it by whisking together 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup pomegranate juice, and 1/4 cup honey.


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups Pomegranate Confiture (below)
  • 3 cups toasted walnuts
  • Pinch of saffron threads (optional)


  1. Place a large pot over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. While the pot is heating, pat the chicken dry and season with the salt, pepper, cumin, and turmeric.
  2. Add the oil to the pot and add the chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides. Overcrowding the pot will steam the chicken instead of searing it. Add the pomegranate confiture and stir in the walnuts and the saffron.
  3. Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 45 minutes. Uncover and reduce the sauce for another 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and take the pot straight to the table for a family-style meal.


This recipe is Meat

Pomegranate Confiture

about 2 cups

For this recipe you’ll need to learn how to seed a pomegranate. It’s easier than you think. Slice the pomegranate in half and then hold it upside down (i.e., skin side up) in your hand. Then do your best Ringo Starr imitation and bang the living daylights out of it with a spoon, and watch as the seeds rain down into your mixing bowl.


  • 6 cups pomegranate seeds (from about 10 pomegranates)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Place the seeds, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook until thick, like syrup, about 35 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. Not only is the confiture great on slices of toast and sandwiches, it does wonders with so many delicious chicken dishes, like Mom’s Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts.

Originally Posted in “Balaboosta Cookbook Give-Away #3


At the end of my Thanksgiving cooking marathon, I began to squirrel away homemade turkey stock, turkey gravy and remnants of glistening tomatoey broth from my slow cooked brisket. Just as my freezer shelf was beginning to look like a frozen wonderland of rich liquid leftovers I was asked by Red Envelope, the nifty gift catalogue, to submit my favorite wintry recipe for them to share with their thousands of readers.

How could a food blogger resist?

So I got to work by digging around my pantry.  I found a bag of lentils, which prompted me to remember that I had a package of facon (kosher beef, smoked and meant to imitate the forbidden stuff) in my basement freezer. My inspiration for a warming soup was coming together as the temps plummeted into the 20′s that Sunday. For a little extra heat I added some depth with cumin, coriander, and turmeric.

IMG_2080 (1)

The charge by Red Envelope was to pair my original recipe with one of their lovely gifts in their catalogue. Thinking about the ease of finally relaxing over a bowl of steaming soup with my favorite red by my side,  I landed on these whimsical, tipsy, stemless wine glasses called Cupa Vino. They weeble and wobble but don’t fall down. They were just the added bit of humor and fun I was ready for.  You may find them here.

For more on my source for facon click on my past post on Grow and Behold.

Hearty Lentil Soup

6-8 servings

Hearty Lentil Soup

This warming Lentil Soup is thick and robust with bold flavors from warming spices. It's even better after the first day.

Freezes well.


  • 3 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 6 oz.package all beef facon, trimmed of fat and minced (optional)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 14 ounce can of peeled, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Qts. vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups green or red lentil, rinsed and examined for unwanted particles.
  • chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish


  1. Place large pot over medium heat. Warm olive oil and brown minced facon. Remove facon once it is golden (5-7 minutes) and set aside.
  2. Sautee onions until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook lightly for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, celery and canned tomatoes to pot. Bring to a low simmer.
  4. Add all seasoning powders, adjusting to taste.
  5. Add vegetable or chicken stock, holding back 1-2 cups if you prefer thicker soup.
  6. Add cooked facon and lentils and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring periodically.
  7. Add more stock as the lentil break down and thicken, if you prefer a looser soup.
  8. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, dill or cilantro.
  9. Stay warm and enjoy!


Soup may be made vegetarian by omitting the facon and using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. It will still be big on flavors.

Originally Posted in “Warming Up with Hearty Lentil Soup

chestnut risotto Marcia Selden Catering

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… hard not to hum along, I know.  But what’s the skinny on chestnuts? And what about actually roasting them on an open fire?

Chef Robin Selden helped me out here with lots of interesting facts and useful tips in addition to the easy and fragrant recipe for Truffled Chestnut Risotto, below.

Let’s start with that oft referred to “roasting on an open fire”:

How: To roast in a fire, take an aluminum pie plate and punch rows of holes. Make cuts in chestnuts or puncture them to release steam and place on a grill over white hot coals. If you have a chestnut roaster for the fireplace, all the better. Chestnuts work well in savory dishes as well as sweet ones. Mashed or whole braised chestnuts are good partners with sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage.

When: Harvested from October through March, December is the prime month for fresh chestnuts. If you are unable to find them fresh, most markets sell them canned, pureed, or preserved in sugar or syrup (marrons glacés).

whole chestnuts

How: Choose fresh nuts that are smooth and glossy, free of blemishes. They should feel heavy for their size. Avoid any that are shriveled, cracked, or rattle in their shell. Shake the shell. If you hear movement, you know they are drying out. Fresh chestnuts will dry out easily, so keep them in a cool, dry place, and use within 1 week. Fresh nuts in the shell can be placed in a perforated plastic bag and stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator up to 1 month, depending on the freshness factor when you purchase them. Fresh chestnuts can be frozen whole in their shells up to 4 months.

When: Shelled and cooked nuts should be covered, refrigerated, and used within three to four days.

How: Cooked chestnuts, either whole, chopped, or pureed, may be frozen in an airtight container and held up to 9 months.

Wow: Although referred to as nuts, the meat inside is soft and starchy, more akin to grains rather than crunchy like traditional nuts.

jarred chestnuts

Wow: It is the only nut primarily treated as a vegetable due to its starch content.

Wow: Chestnuts are gluten free, and chestnut meal is a wonderful substitute for flour in most recipes.

How: Our favorite way to cook chestnuts is to roast them. Begin by slicing either a large X along the flat side before roasting. Place on a baking sheet in a 400-degree F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Peel and enjoy.

For more info on truffle oil needed for this recipe, click here.

Truffled Chestnut Risotto

approximately 6 servings as a first course, 4 servings as a main.

This risotto might just be the perfect winter meal. The combination of roasted chestnuts and truffle oil create an intensely satisfying aroma and flavor.

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT.

Recipe is DAIRY


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 C. Arborio (risotto) rice
  • 1 C. white wine
  • 5 C. hot vegetable stock
  • ¼ C. cooked chestnuts, sliced (roasted are best but vacuum- packed are fine)
  • 1 C. frozen petite peas (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, diced
  • ¼ C. Fresh Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs. chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1-2 Tbs. truffle oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the wine – it should sizzle as it hits the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
  4. Once the liquid has reduced, begin adding the hot stock a ladleful at a time over medium heat, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, and stirring continuously. The rice should always be moist but not swimming in liquid. This process should take about 18 minutes.
  5. Add ½ of the sliced chestnuts, along with the peas (if using), to the risotto and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Properly cooked risotto should be al dente, which means that it should be slightly firm to the bite; creamy, not dry.
  6. Stir in butter, and gently add the sliced chestnuts. Garnish with parmesan cheese, parsley and truffle oil and serve immediately.
  7. Magnifico!


Originally Posted in “What’s the Skinny on Chestnuts?
photo courtesy of Dinner in Venice blog

photo courtesy of Dinner in Venice blog

I wonder if you’re feeling latke’ed out yet?  With the holiday combo of Thanksgiving and Chanukah converging, I definitely had my fill of potatoes and latkes of all sorts. But that’s not to say that we’re finished celebrating yet, right?

 I’m crazy for this recipe for Alessandra Rovati’s Arancini di Riso. These fried rice balls are the perfect way to use up that leftover risotto you worked so hard to cook properly. And these Arancini (little oranges, named for the southern Italian oranges where the dish originated in the 10th century) are versatile. Vegetarians may want to fill them with a melange of gently simmered peas and mushrooms or cubes of mozzarella, while meat lovers can gently spoon beef or lamb ragu into the indentation before coating them with bread crumbs and frying them to a golden crisp.


Consider them perfect for Chanukah and any other time you’re looking to fry up a special treat. My advice:  plan ahead to be SURE to have enough leftover risotto to make these sizzling irresistible arancini.

Rovati preparing for presentation and tasting at Chabad of Westport

Rovati preparing for presentation and tasting at Chabad of Westport

About Alessandra Rovati: Rovati is an Italian food writer, lecturer and recipe developer with a deep love for her hometown, Venice. She currently lives with her husband and two children in NYC. Her articles and recipes have been published widely including in The New York Times, The Huffington Post and The Forward. You may read more about  “Cucina Italiana” and Italian Jewish culinary history and inspiration, along with great recipes, by checking out her blog, Dinner in Venice.

Thanks Alessandra, for sharing this recipe here.


Arancini di Riso (Fried Rice Balls)

approximately 15 balls

Arancini, translated as “little oranges” are fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs. Said to have originated in 10th century Sicily, they are now popular (in different variations) all over Italy. They can be filled with beef or lamb ragu (meat sauce), and/or stewed peas, or mozzarella, mushrooms, or eggplant. The rice can also be flavored with saffron. Street food at its Italian best!


  • 1 pound originario or padano rice or Arborio
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • (optional) a handful of raisins soaked in warm water, drained
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano or grana padano, or mix of parm and romano
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 medium or large white or yellow onion, very finely chopped (I use my mezzaluna knife)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup fontina or white cheddar, diced
  • 1 or 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or mix oil and butter
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • Plain bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 bottle olive oil or peanut oil


  1. This recipe is a great way to recycle leftover risotto!
  2. Otherwise, boil the rice in little more than a quart of salted water, so that the water is completely absorbed during the cooking.
  3. Brew the saffron stems in a couple of tablespoons of hot water, and incorporate it into the rice adding 2 or 3 (depending on size) slightly beaten egg yolks. If you don’t like saffron, you can flavor the rice with a little tomato sauce.
  4. Add the butter and grated cheese (skip this step if using leftover risotto, which already contains them), and the drained raisins if using.
  5. Combine well, transfer to a shallow tray or dish and place in the fridge, covered, for about 1 hour.
  6. Heat some oil and butter in a skillet or saucepan; add the finely chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the peas and the wine. Once the wine evaporates, add about a ladleful of vegetable broth or water. If liked, you can also add tomato paste diluted in a couple of tbsp water.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, or until ready but not too mushy.
  9. Assemble and Fry
  10. Keep a bowl of cold water by your side.
  11. Wet hands slightly, and pick up a handful of rice mixture with your weaker hand. Cup your hand and press the rice creating a concave container for the filling. With the other hand, place a tablespoon of the peas, and a cube or two of cheese, and place it into the rice you are holding., then take little more rice and press it on top of the filling, closing the arancino.
  12. Roll in your hands until you get a nice round or pear- like shape. Proceed like this with the rest of the rice and filling, arranging the arancini on a parchment lined tray.
  13. Slightly beat the remaining two eggs. Dip the arancini in the eggs and dredge them in bread crumbs.
  14. Fry in abundant oil (best to use a smaller diameter pot with taller sides so they will be half submerged) until golden and crispy, about 5 or 6 minutes.Lower them gently into the oil using a slotted spoon.
  15. When they are ready, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, and drain them on a triple layer of paper towel.
  16. Serve hot or warm.


This recipe is Dairy


Let’s be honest. The day after the big feast we are P-O-O-P-E-D.  Oh yea, the clean-up was one for the ages, too, with the splatters from frying latkes and stove-top smears from simmering sufganiyot (yes, doughnuts!) on this once in a life time Thanksgivukah.

 So when Kol Foods asked a eight bloggers to play with a couple of turkey legs and come up with a recipe for our post- Thanksgivukah leftovers, I was determined to hone in on something EASY.

And then my competitive spirit was aroused when I understood that this is a contest. And the winners get prizes. Oh yes, Happy Chanukah, indeed. Click here to vote on your favorite recipe and to have a chance to win a generous credit with Kol Foods.

I wanted to gather ingredients that you could easily tack on to your pre-holiday food shop without having to search high and low for anything shmancy. In fact,  most of the ingredients for these Beer Braised Pulled Turkey Tacos are already in your kitchen for the holiday.

Ok, you may not have one bottle of dark, Mexican beer in your fridge. So pick that up along with some soft whole grain tortillas or corn tacos and whip this up for your gang with the leftover chunks of turkey.

turkey de-boned and ready

You worked too hard to let them go to waste.

To check out what other participating bloggers whipped up with their turkey leftovers, click HERE and vote on which recipe you are most likely to cook  in your own kitchen.

KOL Foods Turkeys and Meats are Glatt Kosher, 100% pastured, 100% grass fed.  KOL Foods is committed to kashrut, transparency, the environment, animal welfare, health and offering the most delicious meat on the market.  Click here to learn more.

 Thank you, Yosef Silver and Kol Foods, for inviting me to join in the fun.

Beer Braised Pulled Turkey Tacos

6 servings

Beer Braised Pulled Turkey Tacos

Leftover turkey, especially dark meat, is moist and packed with flavor. It's high in protein and essential minerals like selenium, too. These tacos are super easy to make and will switch up the flavor profiles that you likely used at your Thanksgiving dinner table. OLE!


  • 2 cups leftover roasted turkey, preferably dark meat, skin and bones removed
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tsp chili powder or taco seasoning (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground pepper (to taste)
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 12 oz. bottle Mexican dark beer
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 12 taco shells or 6 whole grain soft tortillas
  • Toppings suggestions
  • chopped red onion
  • salsa
  • chopped or torn iceberg lettuce
  • avocado, sliced
  • sesame seeds
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • sliced black olives


  1. Heat olive oil in a deep sided pan.
  2. Saute diced white onion and chopped jalapeno on medium heat until onion is softened and slightly browned, about 7 minutes. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Add garlic and chopped tomatoes. Mix gently, simmering 3-4 minutes until tomatoes release juice.
  4. Add corn, beer, and water and simmer actively, uncovered for 8-10 minutes. Add more water if you prefer the mixture wetter.
  5. Add pulled turkey to sauce and simmer gently, mixing to warm throughout, about 5 minutes. Add cilantro at end to keep flavors bright.
  6. Warm tacos in oven, following package instructions. Warm soft tortillas on foil lined cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes at 300 degrees.
  7. Assemble
  8. Spoon 2 Tb saucy turkey mixture into taco or onto tortilla. Use cerated spoon if you prefer less sauce.
  9. Top with your favorite condiment (see suggestions above or get creative).


Once you assemble this easy turkey mixture it can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 days. Gently reheat the sauce and assemble tacos when your crowd begs for something more interesting than turkey sandwiches.

B.O.C. breakfast of champions

Contributed by Katy Morris

Their mantra says it all: “Fresh. Organic. Always Animal Product Free.” Actually, it almost says it all… The Stand Juicing Company could also use “locally sourced”, “delicious, nutritious vegan fare”, “all natural juices”, “welcoming atmosphere”, and “energetic, endearing staff” to their slogan to really paint a full picture of what they are all about. AND they serve plenty of tempting food along with their juices.

Carissa, owner

Carissa, owner


The dynamic duo behind The Stand, Carissa Dellicicchi & Mike Hvizdo, shares a profound passion for wholesome living and through their vegan eatery, strive to encourage their communities to lead a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet. And with two successful locations in Norwalk and Fairfield , CT they have plenty of devout customers.

Juicin it

Carissa & Mike only use produce from local CT farmers (except for bananas, avocados, and limes) and ensure mostly everything they serve is organic and non-GMO.  While they have become especially known for their 5-day juice cleanse program, their menu is filled with other great options, including sandwiches, salads, cookies, and more, all made with the freshest ingredients and whole grains.

Tempeh Reuben

Tempeh Reuben


swiss chard and chickpea soup

swiss chard and chickpea soup

Lucky for me, I was invited to a cooking class lead by co-owner Carissa, where she demoed some fantastic vegan, gluten-free dishes that would be perfect for Thanksgiving. In a meticulous juggling act that she made look easy, Carissa entertained us with her sparkly, down-to-earth personality, and managed to prepare and serve a roomful of hungry Stand enthusiasts a full veggie Thanksgiving-themed feast.

quinoa brussels, tempeh

The menu consisted of a spicy pear salad (the chopped arugula base gave it a distinctly peppery flavor while the cayenne and coriander spices gave it a good “kick”), butternut squash soup with fennel (a light and flavorful broth-y soup), blackened Brussels sprouts (simple yet satisfying), herb roasted tempeh (perfect protein accompaniment with great flavor and texture), cauliflower quinoa stuffing with a cinnamon gravy (fluffy and nutty which went perfectly with the savory ‘gravy’), and a butternut squash “custard” that was frozen and infused with chamomile flowers.


Lucky for you, I was able to head home with all the recipes to share! Below you can find ones for the “stuffing” and gravy, both of which are parve (non-dairy), vegetarian, and gluten-free. You can choose to substitute the quinoa for brown rice or basmati, but quinoa adds a nice nutty flavor that works perfectly. The cinnamon gravy is light and would make a nice drizzle (or drench) over any of your Thanksgiving dishes.


Check back on the Stand’s website for more class offerings.

The Stand has 2 locations:

87 Mill Plain Rd, Fairfield, CT 06824

Phone:(203) 873-0414

31 Wall St., Norwalk, CT. 06850
Phone (203) 956-5670
Cauliflower Quinoa Stuffing

4 side dish portions

Cauliflower Quinoa Stuffing

This parve (dairy free), vegetarian stuffing is a great gluten free alternative to bread stuffing. Thank you, Carissa, The Stand, Fairfield, CT.


  • 1 head of cauliflower chopped finely and steamed
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup of chopped oregano
  • ¼ cup of chopped thyme
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. of sea salt
  • ½ tsp. of black pepper
  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped celery
  • ½ cup of vegetable broth


  1. Pre-heat over to 400°F.
  2. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Spread quinoa onto cookie sheet so it's in a single layer.
  4. Bake quinoa for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add the cauliflower, lemon juice, herbs, and celery and toss together. Add in ½ of the quinoa to the mix.
  6. In a Pyrex baking pan, add the mixture. Pour in vegetable broth.
  7. Top with the remaining tossed quinoa.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Cinnamon Gravy


  • 2 veggie bouillon cubes or paste (if unsalted, add desired salt)
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon (Carissa recommends a dark, more intense one for this recipe)
  • 1 tbsp. potato or corn starch
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • ¼ tsp onion powder


  1. In a small saucepan, add 4 cups of water.
  2. Whisk in the starch.
  3. As the gravy comes to a boil, add all the spices and the bouillon.
  4. Let simmer and continue to whisk slowly until the gravy is at desired consistency. (if you will be reheating this, add water)

celery root potato latke gratin (1)

contributed by Melissa Roberts

In case you haven’t heard, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day this year. It’s a big deal because the holidays last converged in the 1880′s and it won’t happen again for thousands of years.  Reason to celebrate Thanksgivukkah, for sure!

For some, the idea of frying latkes while preparing a Thanksgiving feast isn’t an intimidating thought. For most of us mortals, however, the thought of standing and frying at the stove isn’t a welcome notion. (And for mortals like myself, frying but once a year is enough!) There is a solution to the frying “issue.”

Why not take latke’s ingredients and combine them in a single, well oiled dish, then drizzle the top generously with oil to crisp it from above and below?

The result is not only easy on the harried cook, but also resembles a latke in flavor with plenty of crunchy edges. And how, you may ask, is this different from a kugel? To which I respond, What is a latke, but miniature kugels with more crispy surface area.

 celery root potato latke gratin

Because the main ingredient in latkes are potatoes, they pair easily enough with turkey. Applesauce is traditional, but why not give in to the tart allure of cranberries which already have a place on the Thanksgiving table?  Instead of a straight up cranberry sauce, the recipe below is more chutney-like with apple cider vinegar, black pepper, and bay leaf.

Cranberries Simmering for Chutney

Latkes themselves are open to interpretation, mixing well with autumnal offerings such as celery root (see recipe below), yams, carrots, leeks, and squash.

Celeriac (celery root), Autumn's ugly duckling

Celeriac (celery root), Autumn’s ugly duckling

And since Hanukkah’s date this year is unique, why not experiment with a different ingredient and look for your latke?

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Celery Root- Potato "Latke" Gratin

Serves 10

Celery Root- Potato

Recipe by Melissa Roberts

Recipe is Parve


  • 1 large (1 ½ lb) celery root, peeled with a knife
  • 1 ½ lbs russet potatoes (about 3)
  • 1 large onion (¾ - 1 lb)
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 to 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly snipped chives or chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Special equipment: a shallow (2 to 2 ½ quart capacity)baking dish
  2. Preheat oven to 400F with rack in middle.
  3. Using the coarse shredder attachment for the food processor, grate celery root, potato, and onion, transferring them to a large bowl. (Alternately, you can grate by hand using the large holes of a box grater to coarsely grate celery root, potato, and onion.)
  4. Stir in flour, eggs (5 if using the food processor, 4 if grating by hand), salt, and pepper until combined well.
  5. Grease baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Transfer celery root mixture into dish, arranging it in a single layer. Drizzle remaining 3 tablespoons oil over the top.
  6. Bake until golden brown on top and baked through, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes, before serving. Sprinkle chives or parsley over top.


*Gratin is best eaten the day its made, but can be baked 1 day ahead. Cool completely then chill, covered with foil. Reheat, loosely covered with foil, in a 350F oven until warmed through, 20 to 30 minutes.

Cranberry Chutney

Makes about 2 cups.

Cranberry Chutney

*Chutney can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled in an airtight container.


  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf (Turkish or California)


  1. Simmer cranberries, sugar, vinegar, pepper, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt in a small heavy saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of cranberries have burst, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.


The convergence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving is so HUGE, so once in a lifetime, that you, my loyal readers, deserve gifts!

Who doesn’t love a give-away, anyway?

How about FOUR of them??? This is the first of FOUR cookbooks that I will be giving away over the weeks leading up to Thanksgivukah and heading towards the new year.

Be sure to check in each week so you don’t miss any of these. I think you’ll love them as much as I do.

Paula Shoyer has JUST released her second book and this one is right on theme as it is all about holiday baking.

In The Holiday Kosher Baker, Shoyer covers it all: traditional and inventive, dairy and parve recipes (non-dairy) in addition to gluten free selections for all of the food centric holidays. What other kinds are there?

The Give-away is easy to enter.

Simply leave a comment below, telling me how your Thanksgiving menu will reflect elements of Chanukah. Or Vice-Versa.

Give-away ends at 11 PM on November 17. I’ll announce the winner on Monday November 18.

Check out Paula Shoyer’s recipe for soft, gently spiced Pumpkin Doughnuts, merging Chanukah traditions with Thanksgiving  ingredients. I’ll be serving these at my Thanksgivukah  celebration this year.

To read more about Paula Shoyer and her visit to my community, click here.

Recipe and photos reprinted with permission from the Holiday Kosher Baker, Copyright 2013 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing.

Paula Shoyer's Pumpkin Doughnuts

15 doughnuts

Paula Shoyer's Pumpkin Doughnuts

Paula Shoyer: Pumpkin purée and classic pumpkin pie spices give these doughnuts a soft, comforting texture and taste.

This recipe is nut free and dairy free (parve).


  • ¼ ounce (1 envelope; 7g) dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (60ml) warm water
  • ¼ cup (50g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup (120g) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3–3¼ cups (375–405g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • canola oil for frying
  • ¼ cup (30g) confectioners’ sugar for dusting


    IN A LARGE BOWL, place the yeast, warm water, and one teaspoon of sugar and stir. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until thick.
    ADD THE REMAINING SUGAR, brown sugar, soy milk, margarine, egg, pumpkin purée, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and 2 cups (250g) of the flour to the bowl and mix on low speed with either a dough hook in a stand mixer or a wooden spoon. Add another cup (125g) of flour and mix well. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, and mix it in until the dough becomes smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time before adding more flour.
    COVER THE DOUGH with a clean dishtowel and let it rise for one hour in a warm place. I use a warming drawer on a low setting, or you can turn your oven on to its lowest setting, wait until it reaches that temperature, place the bowl in the oven, and then turn off the oven.
    PUNCH DOWN THE DOUGH by folding it over a few times and reshaping it into a ball. Then re-cover the dough and let it rise for 10 minutes.
    DUST A COOKIE SHEET with some flour. Sprinkle some flour on your counter or on a piece of parchment paper and roll the dough out until it’s about ½ inch (1.25cm) thick. Use a 2½-inch (6cm) round cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut out circles and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Reroll any scraps. Cover the doughnuts with the towel. Place the cookie sheet back in the oven (warm but turned off) or warming drawer. Let the doughnuts rise for 45 minutes.
    HEAT 1½ inches (4cm) of oil in a medium saucepan for a few minutes and use a candy thermometer to see when the temperature stays between 365°F and 375°F (185°C and 190°C); adjust the flame so the oil stays in that temperature range.
    COVER A COOKIE SHEET with foil. Place a wire rack on top of it and set it near your stovetop. Gently slide no more than four doughnuts, top side down, into the oil and fry for 1½ minutes. Turn the doughnuts over and cook another 1½ minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, letting excess oil drip off, and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat for the remaining doughnuts. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar and serve. Store covered at room temperature for up to one day and reheat to serve.


Recipe and photos reprinted with permission from the Holiday Kosher Baker, Copyright 2013 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing.


Originally Posted in “Thanksgivukah Give-Away Number One
Manchurian Cauliflower, photo: Chuck Dorris

Manchurian Cauliflower, photo: Chuck Dorris

contributed by Katy Morris

Celebrated Chef Kausik Roy, a culinary expert who has mastered the intricacies of authentic Indian cuisine and has been successfully satisfying the palates of East Village and CT diners for years, has opened the doors of his newest eatery in Fairfield County, Aladin Indian Bistro. When crafting the menu, the Chef deliberately incorporated plenty of locally sourced vegetarian and gluten-free options in an effort to cater to more health-conscious clientele.

Sag Paneer, photo: Chuck Dorris

Sag Paneer, photo: Chuck Dorris

Each dish exudes a profusion of rich Indian spices, savory flavors, and aromatic herbs, including chili, cilantro, curry, onion, bell pepper, mint, and more. Here is a taste of some of the flavor-packed, vegetarian and/or gluten-free options available: Vegetable Mulligatwani Soup, Dal Makhni (black lentils infused with garam masala), Karari Bhindi (picture & recipe provided below – delicious crispy okra with red onion, cilantro, and green chili), and Diwarni Handi (spicy eggplant, carrot, green bean & pea stew with peanuts, yogurt, fenugreek and onions).

The terra cotta floored, artistically decorated space of Aladin is located on the bustling Westport Avenue in Norwalk, directly adjacent to Stew Leonard’s.  They are conveniently open 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner, and are also available for take-out, catering, and local deliveries.

Enjoy one of Chef Kaushik’s distinctive dishes right in the comfort of your home. This Indian take on crispy okra (a vegetable powerhouse that is loaded with fiber, vitamin C and folate) is great as a snack or accompaniment to a delish vegetarian meal.

Check out their online “Gluten-free”, lunch, and dinner menus for more mouthwatering alternatives.

NOTE: Kosher Like Me was invited to a tasting at Aladin Bistro. The opinions expressed here are our own.


Crispy Okra (Karari Bhindi)

4 side dish portions

Crispy Okra (Karari Bhindi)

This vegetarian side dish is simple to make and a perfect accompaniment to chicken or fish. It would be a satisfying vegetarian entree, also, especially alongside protein packed lentils. Serve over rice.


  • Canola oil
  • 1 pound okra, stems removed and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small or 1 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chaat masala


  1. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F.
  2. Add 1/3 of the okra and fry until browned and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining okra, making sure the oil temperature comes back to 350°F before frying additional batches.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the okra with the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lemon juice, chaat masala and salt. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.


This recipe is vegetarian and parve (non-dairy). Thank you to Aladin Restaurant, Norwalk, CT. for sharing. Photos courtesy of Chuck Dorris