Orange and Fennel Salad

I’m guessing it’s time for fruit and something much lighter than the fare you’ve been eating at your Seders.

I’m keeping it fresh and simple with this Orange and Fennel Salad from our Passover eBook, 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover. This vegan, pareve, gluten-free salad is so easy to make and so refreshing, you’ll want to make it all year round.

Orange and Fennel Salad

4 servings

This simple salad is a great palate cleanser. Use the juiciest oranges you can find (really great with winter citrus).

This recipe is vegan, pareve, gluten-free.


  • 4 large oranges, peeled, pith removed, separated into slices.
  • 1 fennel bulb, rinsed bruises trimmed
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, spun and chopped
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro or mint leaves, rinsed and chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 Tb. olive oil (best quality)
  • 1-2 Tb. lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut each orange slice in half and place in mixing bowl.
  2. Cut fennel bulb in half and remove hard inner core. Slice into thin strips and add to salad bowl. Add red onion.
  3. Toss with olive oil, lime juice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
  4. Spread Romaine leaves on a platter and top with salad mixture.


Garnish with thinly sliced red onions and chopped cilantro or mint leaves.


Originally Posted in “Lighten Up with Fruit in Your Salad


In collaborating on my recent eBook, 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors, I thought a lot about how my tastes have shifted over the years and how in some ways, they haven’t at all.

During Passover, a lot of home-cooks turn back to traditional foods that may be outside of the scope of what they normally eat. This naturally brought me to contemplating gefilte fish.  And while I LOVE my gefilte fish, I’m totally  DIS-interested in making it. The stink of simmering fish broth in my home? No thanks.

As an easy alternative,  I took a close friend’s suggestion to slow roast salmon and pair it with a seasonal veggie relish.

Beet Relish

Not wanting to stray too far from traditional horseradish, I landed on this idea for Beet Relish as a an accompaniment to SC’s inspired and super easy (and not so slow) Slow Roasted Salmon Filets.  This will make a lovely start to your Passover seder or a perfectly healthy appetizer or light entree at any other time.

If you’re up for the challenge of making traditional gefilte fish, check out this recipe from 2nd Avenue Deli in NYC (scroll to the end of that post).  If you take on the big challenge, PLEASE share pics and tales with me on my Facebook page or in the comments section at the end of this post.

If you want to buy the BEST artisanal, all natural, super delicious gefilte fish, I recommend any and all products from the Gefilteria, made in small batches by the dynamic duo Liz Alper and Jeffrey Yoskowitz and their team in Brooklyn.  Click here to read more about them and click here to see where you may purchase their products.

final cover

If you’re like me and ready to re-think your fish course at the Passover table, check out these two recipes from our Passover eBook. In the time it takes you to consider heading over to your local fishmonger, you can download it on Amazon here.

Slow Roasted Salmon

serves 8 as a first course

Slow Roasted Salmon

I asked a close friend and very creative cook if he serves gefilte fish on Pesach. He said that once he served this slow roasted salmon as a first course, his guests always asked for it, year after year.

When I tested it on my family, they loved it, too. While there will always be a place for homemade gefilte fish in my heart, I would gladly opt for this buttery fish as a first course.

This recipe is non-dairy, Pareve


  • 2 pounds salmon fillet, skin on, cut into 8 equal pieces for first course portion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tb. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 Tb. fennel fronds, chopped (or parsley


  1. Pre-heat oven to 225F.
  2. Line a roasting pan with foil.
  3. Place each piece of fish in a small bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper
  4. Coat top and bottom of each fillet with oil mixture. Place in roasting pan and top with equal amounts of fresh herbs.
  5. Roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until a fork pierces the fish without resistance.


Watch the cooking time closely here. I like the fish cooked medium, but you may want it closer to rare.

Tips: This salmon may be served warm or at room temperature. You may make it ahead (up to 2 days) and serve it at room temp.

Thank you Scott, for sharing your inspiration with me.

Roasted Beet Relish

Roasted Beet Relish

Serve relish alongside the slow roasted salmon with an additional bowl on the table for extra helpings.

It's herbal profile is the perfect accompaniment to the rich salmon flavors.

This recipe is non-dairy, pareve and vegan.


  • 7-8 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed (not peeled)
  • 1 ½ cups red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup capers, rinsed and drained well
  • 3 Tb. jarred white horseradish
  • 3 Tb. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tb. fennel fronds, chopped
  • 3 Tb. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 Tb. white wine vinegar (start with 2 Tb)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Wrap beets individually in silver foil, twisting ends of foil.
  3. Place on rimmed cookie sheet and roast for 1-11/2 hours or until they yield to a fork. Remove from oven.
  4. Unwrap beets when they are cool enough to handle. With a pairing knife or your hands, slip off the peel. Cut into chunks.
  5. Place beets, red onion, capers, horseradish, parsley and dill in the bowl of food processor. Using chopping blade, pulse until combined. Do not puree. Texture should be chunky.
  6. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and combine with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir and taste. Allow to sit for at least one hour and up to 3 days before serving. Taste again before serving.


Originally Posted in “Re-Thinking the Fish Course for Passover

KM- grilled halibut red coconut curry wilted spinach

My eyes swam through the menu, reeling with delight. Oh, what to choose?

The arugula & pear salad? Mini fish tacos? Risotto cake? Oh wait – the gluten free ravioli? Or the grilled cod?

F.I.S.H Restaurant & Bar located in the heart of downtown Stamford, CT, has an impressive selection of kosher-friendly fish and vegetarian options. They serve them in a chic and inviting atmosphere. The biggest challenge was choosing what to order, given the diverse and tantalizing temptations.

High hopes reigned supreme for this fresh fish restaurant considering that the owners have been at the helm of the long popular Quattro Pazzi and Osianna restaurants in Fairfield, CT. 

“What we are trying to do here at F.I.S.H is bring Stamford high quality fish with multiple options of preparations to satisfy the wide range of palates we have in our community,” says Chef Domenico Gurliacci IV.” And boy, did they get this spot on.

KM -shaved brussels

After a few minutes of deliberation I opted for the shaved brussels sprouts salad, lightly dressed with a truffle vinaigrette. It was delicious ,with hazelnuts lending a satisfying richness and crunch.

The portobello risotto cake was also a winner. The fontina cheese was complemented nicely by the earthiness of the portobello mushrooms (check out the recipe below).

KM- Tuna carpaccio over flatbread

The beautifully presented tuna carpaccio appetizer is a great light meal or to would be the perfect share with a friend. Served on flatbread, it was lightly dressed with soy sauce and sesame seeds.  If only the  flatbread had been crsip; in fact it was soft and a little wet due to the moist tuna; nonetheless, it was tasty. The pickled ginger and scallions lent a little welcome spice.

I was pleased to learn that they source the majority of their fish from Fulton Fish Market, where the Chef & owner visit regularly to ensure they know exactly where their products are coming from and that they are the best quality.


photo courtesy of F-I-S-H

photo courtesy of F-I-S-H

“Our other seafood supplier deals directly with fisherman and we receive a phone call in the afternoon as the boats are heading back in for the day, alerting us of what the catch was so we can have first pick before it hits auction,” clarified Chef Domenico.

For the main dish I chose the halibut, which I requested grilled, with a red coconut curry sauce and wilted spinach (one of several options for preparation). This was extremely well balanced and full of flavor. The red coconut curry had a bit of heat (yet not overwhelming so) and was more of a broth than a thick curry sauce.

With plenty of kosher friendly fish options and lots of cooking/flavor choices in addition to delicious sides and salads, I’ll call this one “not to be missed.”


F.I.S.H is a not-to-miss.

25 Bedford St. Stamford, CT


Tuesday – Thursday from 4pm – 1am, Friday & Saturday from 4pm – 2am, and Sunday from 4pm – midnight.


Thank you to Chef Domenico Gurliacci IV for the below recipe.

Portobello Risotto Cakes

10-12 risotto cakes

Portobello Risotto Cakes

This recipe was generously shared by Chef at F-I-S-H Restaurant in Stamford, CT.

This recipe would make the perfect side dish for any fish preparation.

It is DAIRY.


    Risotto Cake
  • 2.5 quarts vegetable stock (you may not need all)
  • 1lb Arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 1 shallot or Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fontina cheese
  • flour for dredging
  • Light Truffle Vinaigrette
  • 3oz cava or champagne vinegar
  • 3oz white truffle oil
  • 4oz extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Topping
  • 6-8 Brussels sprouts (shaved thin)
  • 6-8 Portobello mushrooms


  1. Heat stock on stove
  2. In a separate pan add the olive oil and saute shallot until soft and translucent.
  3. Add rice to same pan and gently toast while constantly stirring.
  4. Add wine then just enough stock to cover the rice.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and continue to stir adding more stock as it evaporates.
  6. Continue this process until rice is fully cooked but still slightly moist.
  7. Add shredded fontina and mix well.
  8. Place in baking pan, set aside and allow to cool completely.
  9. With a metal ring or cookie cutter, cut out cakes and dredge lightly with flour.
  10. Pan fry in about a 1/2 inch of oil until golden brown.
  11. Vinaigrette
  12. Combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside.
  13. Roast mushrooms
  14. Roast mushrooms with a small amount of oil, salt and pepper in a 350 degree oven for about 8-10 mins.Toss once.
  15. Allow to cool, then dice mushrooms.
  16. In a small bowl toss Brussels sprouts and diced portobellos with vinaigrette and arrange on top of risotto cake.


These risotto cakes are best made fresh and served immediately. They can be reheated in a hot oven, on a foil covered cookie sheet, though.


Originally Posted in “Fresh Fish and More at F-I-S-H
photo courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, CT.

photo courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, CT.

Spring is in the air!  We’re happy to put away our soup pots in exchange for lighter fare.  There’s nothing more delicious than a meal taken outdoors in the first warmth of the season. We love these white bean recipes from Marcia Selden Catering and know you will find them inspiring, too.

Low in fat, high in fiber, white beans are at the head of the super-food pack.  Loaded with antioxidants and vitamin B9 (better known as folic acid), these power houses are not only good for your heart, but keep you feeling full.

And the best part?  They’re inexpensive and the ideal staple to keep in your pantry. Here are our favorite, no fuss white bean recipes.

Mediterranean White Bean Salad

This one bowl salad comes together in a just a few minutes.

This recipe is dairy (cheese optional)


  • 1 14.5-ounce can white beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ C. each-freshly chopped basil and flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ C. crumbled feta or ricotta salada
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ C. pomegranate seeds


  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl, cover and chill for a few hours. Garnish with pomegranate seeds before serving.


Recipe courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT.


White Beans with Leeks and Truffle Salt

White Beans with Leeks and Truffle Salt

This recipe is rich with just a bit of butter and creme fraiche. Check out just how little goes a long way!

This recipe is dairy.


  • 1½ Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 3 oz. white wine
  • 12 oz. white beans, drained
  • ¼ C. flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ Tbs. crème fraîce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan


  1. Add oil and butter into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Add the leek, thyme, and garlic and cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to high, and add wine. When it comes to a boil, add the beans and turn heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, toss in the chopped parsley and the crème fraîce, grate fresh Parmesan to taste and sprinkle with truffle salt before serving.


Recipe courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT.


Orzo with White Beans, Arugula and Italian Tuna

This one pot, one bowl salad is bright with plenty of greens and loads of flavor.

It is non-dairy (pareve)


  • 8 oz. orzo
  • 8 oz. canned Italian tuna packed in oil
  • ½ C. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian leaf parsley, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 2 C. baby arugula
  • ½ C. toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 thinly sliced lemon


  1. Cook pasta as directed on package; drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Drain tuna, reserving oil in a salad bowl; whisk lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper with oil. Flake tuna into same bowl.
  3. Add pasta, beans, onion, arugula, chopped parsley and pine nuts; toss gently to coat with dressing. Serve garnished with parsley leaves and lemon slices.


This recipe is courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT.

Originally Posted in “Why White Beans are Wonderful

The Granola Bar - the bubby

contributed by Katy Morris; photos by Liz Rueven

After their highly successful launch of O.A.T.S. Granola, Westport “mom-preneursDana Noorily and Julie Levitt have jointly opened an “enlightened” Westport eatery called The Granola Bar where you can pick up some of their famous granola, sip on some delicious coffee from Tobey’s Estate in Brooklyn, or nibble on simple, clean, whole foods.


Why do we like this place so much?  They have a ton of great, healthy options (including several Jewish-inspired-creatively-named items like the “Bubby” Sandwich and the “Challaback” Panino) that are beautifully constructed, creatively presented, vegetarian and kosher friendly and simply scrumptious.

The Granola Bar - fresh baked in house each day

Their mission was to provide a relaxing café vibe where people of all ages can enjoy pure, non-processed meals and snacks. It’s a perfect spot for casual coffee and breakfast with friends or solo, business lunches, or for high school students to grab a quick smoothie or snack after school.

L-R:  owners Julie Levitt and Dana Noorily with Chef Jessica Bengston

L-R: owners Julie Levitt and Dana Noorily with Chef Jessica Bengston

As members of this community, they know exactly what Westporters like. “Some customers come in and read the menu and tell us that they think we were reading their minds!” said Dana.

When they first opened their doors three months ago, they were about 60% organic; now, they are proud to say that 100% of their produce and dairy is completely organic.

And when they say their focus is on pure, healthfully prepared foods, they’re not kidding. The kitchen only has one skillet for cooking and a bakery – nothing is fried or even sautéed and the only oils used in this place are for their salad dressings.

Kosher Like Me was invited to sit down and chat with these lovely ladies and savor their vegetarian options.

The Granola Bar - the bubby (1)

Our first dish was one of their most popular items, the “Bubby”: house-cured salmon (cured for 2 days) atop a chive-cream cheese smeared bagel served with sliced tomatoes and a shot glass piled with capers. The salmon was pleasantly mild and fresh.

Not eating bagels these days? The gluten free multigrain bread, served with their avocado toast, would be a perfect alternative.

While talking with Chef Jessica Bengston, who stepped away from the busy kitchen to greet us, we learned that their house-cured salmon can be ordered by the pound, with advanced notice. Good to know since the recipe is her well guarded secret.

The Granola Bar Avocado, GF Toast with gravlax side

The avocado toast was a simple presentation of buttery smooth avocado mounded on gluten-free whole grain toast. The subtle nuttiness of the black sesame seeds topping lent texture and was accompanied by house-made baked sweet potato chips and side of their green goddess dressing.

The Granola Bar - the karma

Another extremely popular item on the menu is the Karma Salad. Made with raw kale and topped with juicy red and yellow baby cherry tomatoes and a little bit of shaved parmesan and sea salt, the salad arrived with deliciously tangy house made lemon dressing (lemon, olive oil, a bit of sugar and salt).

avocado devil w black sesame (1)

The dairy free avocado deviled eggs were great too. While they needed another dash of salt, they had a subtle and unexpected hint of jalapeno oil. See the easy recipe, below.

The Granola Bar - Veggie Wrap with hummus

The Veggie Wrap, was bursting with veggie goodness including broccoli, zucchini, greens, avocado and house made hummus .

The theme of uncomplicated preparations and wholesome ingredients ran through the entire menu and was throughly appealing. 


Need a couple more reasons to love this place?

Dana & Julie also make every effort to give back to the Westport community. Each day, they serve their freshly baked “Autism Speaks Cookies”; and for each sale, they donate $1 to the organization.

Looking for an opportunity to support local and give back?

On April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, The Granola Bar will donate 15% of EVERY purchase to Autism Speaks. Be sure to mark it on your calendar!


Those namesake treats!

Those namesake treats!


In the spirit of Passover (April 14- 22), the Granola Bar’s head baker, Sal Santamaria (formerly of the Jewish Community Center in Stamford) will be offering matzah brei, and flourless cookies and macaroons. Note that this is not a kosher cafe.

Don’t forget to ask them about their delivery and text-an-order options.

Have you tried to park in this busy plaza but had trouble? They’ve resolved this problem.

 Thank you to Dana & Julie for a fantastic tasting. Note that all opinions expressed here are our own.


The Granola Bar, 275 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880 (Located in Playhouse Square).

Phone: (203) 349-5202; Open weekdays from 6:30am-6pm; Weekends 8am-4pm.


Deviled Avocado Eggs

Deviled Avocado Eggs

This easy take on deviled eggs is free of mayo and uses the richness of avocado as a tasty substitute.

This recipe is dairy free and pareve.


  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Ripe avocado
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • A touch of white vinegar
  • Black sesame seeds, dill, or paprika for garnish


  1. Cut off the tip of the egg so it sits flat on the plate.
  2. Halve the egg the long way.
  3. Keep the yolk from two halves and dispose of the yolk from the other two halves.
  4. Take half of a very ripe avocado and mix with the yolk that remains.
  5. Add salt and pepper and a touch of white vinegar.
  6. Fill in your eggs whites with the avocado filling.
  7. Garnish with black sesame seeds, dill or paprika (or all!)


This recipe was shared by The Granola Bar, Westport, CT










Originally Posted in “What’s Cooking at The Granola Bar?

Bar Interior Six Main

Six Main is a bit of a hike from New York City and Fairfield County, but WOW!  It is worth the trip!

This all-vegetarian heaven, housed in a historic bank in the quaint town of Chester, Connecticut, is filled with masterfully crafted, creative vegan, vegetarian, and raw cuisine. And to top it off, most of their produce comes from their very own farm.

At the helm of this fantastic eatery is the renowned raw-food chef, Rachel Carr, who, lucky for us, relocated from L.A. where she ran a restaurant called Cru. After one look at the seasonal menu, I was hooked.

Avocado fries and spaghetti & beet balls?



Chef Portrait Rachel Carr


So how did this all start?


I was working at Cru in Los Angeles where eating raw and vegan was a huge trend. I always wanted to open my own place, and when I came to the Northeast, I met Bill [de Jonge] who also appreciated and recognized the importance of a plant-based diet.

Together we opened Six Main in the summer of 2012.  We ensure our food is of highest quality and each dish is thoughtfully prepared with the best ingredients. Our customers can tell and appreciate it.


Tell me about the farm.


The farm is called Upper Pond farm and it is actually at Bill’s home in Old Lyme. It is 100% organic and we get our produce from there whenever we can. There’s something so great about seeing the actual source of your food and working into a creative meal.


How is the menu crafted?


I create it with a couple of our other chefs. I basically decide the direction, and then we work collaboratively for execution. It is seasonally inspired by the produce that is available from our farm.

Right now, our menu happens to be 100% vegan, although at times we do make dishes with eggs and dairy [all of this is clearly labeled on her menu]. We also always have at least one raw dish on the menu at any given time, which is usually a salad.

We don’t really try to make dishes with meat replacements like tofu; instead we things like grains, legumes, nuts, whole grains, quinoa, brown rice, nuts, and faro for some added protein in the dish.


Grilled Oyster Mushrooms, entree

Grilled Oyster Mushrooms, entree

What is the most popular dish?


Well, we change our menu items based on the season so it is never the same. Right now our number one seller is the General Tso’s Cauliflower. We fry it using organic sunflower oil, then use our house made sauce and add in some sautéed broccolini.

I think people really like the dishes that mimic more familiar non-vegetarian dishes, especially those who just started out eating this way or those who bring a friend who is not vegetarian.

Dishes like a lentil and chickpea meatloaf with mashed potatoes, portabella wellington, and the grilled oyster mushrooms with a morel demi-glaze and horseradish potatoes are super popular.


Night Exterior Six Main

Sounds amazing! And you like to teach people how to make great dishes too?


Yes, we have classes regularly. There is so much curiosity about this kind of food and preparation. We teach raw preparation, techniques, in addition to  classes that feature a single ingredient. In that case, we show you how to prepare it in three different ways.


Those are inspired by your weekly prix fixe specials, right?


Yes. Each week we choose one interesting ingredient, like coconut, sesame, and grapefruit, and create creative dishes featuring that ingredient.  People can order three courses for $25.

Last week, we played with coconut: coconut crudo with a lime and lemongrass dressing and fresh shaved radish, chili oil, micro greens, lime zest, a green curry with grilled pineapple, black forbidden rice, beech mushrooms, onions, peppers, bok choy, and a banana coconut cream pie with kiwi coulis.

We love to experiment and have fun with new dishes in the kitchen; it keeps us challenged as chefs. We have avocado fries on our menu right now, which was a favorite when we featured avocado one week.

We coat the avocado in corn flour, then season with paprika and sea salt and fry them. It is then served with a mustard aioli, pickled apples and caraway salt; the vinegar from the pickled apples and the consistency of the fried avocado makes me think of fish and chips when I eat them.

Blood Orange Vegan and GF Cheesecake

Blood Orange Vegan and GF Cheesecake

Can you treat us to an explanation of your yummy dessert menu?


We approach the dessert menu much in the same vein as we do the regular one – seasonal, local, creative. Instead of sugar, we use dates, agave, or maple syrup and all of our desserts are gluten free.

From time to time we do also have vegan treats, like the Blood Orange Cheesecake (recipe below).

Six Main

6 Main Street, Chester CT 06412


Check their website for hours and cooking class schedule.


Bummed that their Blood Orange Cheesecake is no longer available on their menu? Here’s the recipe!

We recommend ordering from Isabelle’s Orange Orchard in New Orleans for fresh, juicy, organic citrus (we connected with them after dining at Print restaurant in NYC).

Thank you to Rachel Carr of Six Main for providing the recipe and photos for this post. We appreciate your time and talents!

Blood Orange Cheesecake

Blood Orange Cheesecake

This "cheesecake" is raw and vegan. It is a perfect Pareve dessert for kosher bakers.

Thank you Rachel Carr, Six Main Restaurant in Chester, CT, for this recipe.


    For the cheesecake crust:
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 6 large, soft dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate powder
  • For the blood orange cheesecake filling:
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked
  • 1/2 cup apples, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup agave, maple syrup or honey
  • 2 Tablespoons blood orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tablespoon nutritional yeast*
  • 1/2 Tablespoon soy lecithin**
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • zest of two oranges
  • For the chocolate cheesecake swirl:
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked
  • 1/2 cup apples, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tablespoon soy lecithin
  • 1/4 cup chocolate powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


    For the crust:
  1. In a food processor, pulse the nuts, cinnamon and salt until the nuts are crumbly, but not a dust.
  2. Add the dates and pulse a few more times until the mixture begins to stick together.
  3. Press into the bottom of a 9”spring-form pan. Set aside.
  4. For both cheesecake fillings:
  5. Puree all the ingredients of the blood orange cheesecake flavor in a blender very well until smooth.
  6. In a separate batch, puree the chocolate cheesecake ingredients until smooth.
  7. Pour them both into the prepared crust, alternating flavors so a swirled effect is achieved.


*Nutritional yeast is an ideal vegetarian support formula and has an appealing cheese flavor.

**Soy lecithin adds nutty taste and a tender texture; use in baked goods. It is gluten free.

We love Bob's Red Mill brand for both of these items. You may find it at your local Whole Foods Market.

Originally Posted in “Tell Me More: Six Main
Black Bean Veggie Burger courtesy BareBurger

Black Bean Veggie Burger courtesy BareBurger

Contributed by Katy Morris

Some say that veggie burger is a laughable oxymoron, but the ones we’ve rounded up here certainly hold their own when it comes to the hearty and tasty All-American sandwich.

 Veggie burgers are diverse and versatile; they vary in consistency, taste, and texture depending on their base (anything from lentils, beans, chickpeas, beets, and more) and spices.

And vegetarians and kosher keepers are thrilled to notice that finally, meat filled restaurants realize that veggie burgers should not be an afterthought on their menus.

So where should you turn to for great versions of the highly revered veggie-based burger?  Here are a handful of our local favorites. 

Be sure to scroll down for an easy vegan recipe if we’ve whetted your appetite and you want to whip up your own!


 Westville, Various Locations in NYC


Liz Rueven

Liz Rueven

Liz fell hard for this burger at a recent tasting at Westville. This crisp, heavenly patty (it is flash fried) chockfull of veggies is served on a lightly toasted, distinctive Portuguese bun and topped with sautéed mushrooms and a dab of their house made spicy tartar sauce. Westville’s eccentric veggie burger is definitely my all-time favorite. And their crispy sweet potatoes fries are definitely something to call home about.


Spotted Horse, Westport, CT


photo courtesy of Spotted Horse

photo courtesy of Spotted Horse

You can dine in a tavern-like, rustic setting while enjoying Spotted Horse’s house made vegetable burger with a Southwestern twist. It’s a grilled black bean and mixed-grains based burger made with corn, tomatoes, brown rice, cilantro, cumin, bread crumbs, and garlic. It’s topped with melted provolone cheese, radish sprouts, roasted peppers, and chipotle sauce. Delish!


The Lime, Norwalk, CT

The veggie burger is just one of many vegetarian options at the Lime in Norwalk.  Made of bulgur whole-wheat flour, grated carrots, zucchini, sesame & sunflower seeds (no salt, no spices), this fried patty is simply superb. I love to have a mixed green salad with their house made tahini dressing on the side of anything I eat there.


Bare Burger, Various Locations, NYC & CT

Bare Burger’s well-known local chain has not just one, but three options for veggie burgers. E. says the one to order is the vegan black bean. According to our trusted source, the flavor-packed black bean patty is super hearty and pairs well with traditional toppings of lettuce, tomato, cilantro lime sauce, and onions. Try it with a lettuce bun versus the brioche to help balance the flavors and reduce calories.


 5 Napkin Burger, Boston, NYC & Miami


image courtesy of 5 Napkin Burger

image courtesy of 5 Napkin Burger

You can find a highly revered healthy veggie burger among all the meaty choices on the menu at 5 Napkin’s. This tasty delight comes on a multi-grain roll and is served with the traditional toppings of pickles, lettuce, tomato, as well as a special house sauce (a tasty take on tartar sauce). The black bean patty is a mix of  brown rice, carrots, barley, beets, jalapenos, sesame seeds and is extremely well balanced – we’re talking pleasantly crisp on the golden-brown outside and warm and moist on the inside. Yum.


Hillstone, NYC

Hillstone’s ginormous (and expensive, at $17) house made veggie burger is savory, hearty, and flavorful. It ‘s packed with black beans, beets, prunes, and brown rice, glazed in sweet soy, topped with melted jack cheese, and served on a house made egg bun.


Hankering to make a great veggie burger in your own kitchen?

We turned to Rachel Carr of Six Main for her beet burger recipe (and check back in a couple weeks for a full post on this fantastic vegan, vegetarian, and raw, farm to table restaurant in Chester, CT). Thanks, Rachel.

Vegan Beet Burger

Vegan Beet Burger

“There is something so satisfying about biting into a great burger with all the toppings, the flavor of the grill, the heartiness of the patty…This vegan beet burger will satisfy that craving, believe me! The cashew cheese makes a great topping for other dishes as well.” – Rachel Carr, Six Main, Chester, CT

This recipe is vegan and pareve.


  • 1 cup onions, minced
  • 1 cup shredded beets
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs (parsley, chives, basil)
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten*
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ¼ tablespoon chili flakes
  • ½ tablespoon fennel seed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
  • 2 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup cooked brown lentils
  • ½ cup water (or as needed)


  1. Mix everything together in a bowl and form into burger-sized patties.
  2. Bake on an oiled cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Grill before serving.
  4. Serve on a whole-wheat bun with toppings of your choice, such as mustard, cashew cheese, pickles, tomato and sliced onions.


*Vital Wheat is the natural protein found in wheat. It contains 75% protein.

*Nutritional yeast is an ideal vegetarian support formula and has an appealing cheese flavor.

See Bob's Red Mill brand for both products.

lentil_soup recipe and photo Marcia Selden

Recipe and Photo courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering

While the calendar says SPRING tomorrow (!!) there’s still a nip in the air. If you’re in need of a warm-up, make a pot of hearty lentil soup.  We love this soup because you can basically dump everything into a soup pot, cover and cook and in about an hour and presto! Delicious soup! 

We love lentils because they are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber which helps prevent heart disease and manage blood-sugar. Lentils also provide B vitamins and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils.

This tiny nutritional giant fills you up—not out.

Healthy Lentil Soup

This low fat, high protein soup is easy to make and delicious.

Make it vegan and pareve by subbing veggie broth for chicken stock if you like.


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 C. finely chopped shallot
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/2 lb. dry lentils
  • 8 C. chicken broth (vegetable broth may be substituted)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. each dried thyme and oregano
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley


  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook briefly, stirring, until they begin to soften. Do not brown.
  2. Add tomato paste, lentils, carrots, broth, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme and oregano. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Add red wine vinegar and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley before serving.


Recipe is courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT.


Originally Posted in “Healthy, Easy, Satisfying Lentil Soup


photo courtesy of Doc's Maple Syrup

photo courtesy of Doc’s Maple Syrup

By Katy Morris

Sweet, golden, pure natural maple syrup. Yum, what could be better? Here in New England, it is prime maple syrup season, and that means you get to dress your waffles, infuse your pound cake and glaze your potatoes with locally made, wholesome maple goodness during peak season here in the Northeast.  


How is this stuff made?

Sugar makers prep several months in advance for the “sugaring” season, which runs from early February through late March. Sugar Maple, Red Maple, and Black Maple trees store starch in their trunks and roots just before winter, and then the starch is converted to sugar that turns into sap in the early spring.

At this time, sugar makers drill a hole into the side of the tree to “tap” it and then attach a collection bucket to gather the sap. From there, they filter it and then boil, boil, boil to get rid of most of the water.

A maple tree’s “sap” essentially looks (and actually kind of tastes) like water, but contains about 2% sugar. The best time to “tap” a tree is when nightly temperatures are around 20 degrees and days are around 35-40, which is why the Northeast is a prime spot.

With these temperatures, it creates a bit of pressure within the tree, which then enables the sap to flow from the roots below ground.  It can take anywhere from 4-5 days for a single maple tree to produce roughly 40 gallons of sap which will make about a gallon of pure maple syrup. Phew!

Courtesy of New Canaan Nature Center

Courtesy of New Canaan Nature Center


How should I store it?

It’s always best to keep pure maple syrup in a dark, cool place (your freezer is perfect – don’t worry, pure maple syrup will not freeze), where it should be good for up to 2 years. When you open it, put it back in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.


What do the various grades mean?

Surprisingly, maple syrup grades do not indicate quality; instead, they stand for the syrup’s color which then denotes how potent the flavor is. Grade A syrups are light and mild (and the most popular), while Grade B syrups are thicker, darker, and have a much more pronounced, hearty, and caramel-like flavor.


Where should I buy locally made syrup?

We recommend staying away from the highly processed, imitation maple syrup you’ll find in most major grocery stores; that stuff is made up of corn syrup with as little as 2% pure maple syrup.

New Canaan Nature Center (2)

Always be sure to check out your local farmer’s markets for syrup from your area.

We love the Certified Organic Maple Syrup from Doc’s (made in New York, click here to see where to buy); Lamothe’s Sugar House Syrup from Burlington, CT; Hidden Spring’s Organic Maple Syrup from Vermont; and Sweet Wind Farm from East Hartland, CT.

Check out Fairfield County’s most local source, the New Canaan Nature Center. You can even adopt your own tree there.


Courtesy of New Canaan Nature Center

Courtesy of New Canaan Nature Center

How should I use maple syrup in recipes?

We are thinking beyond the basic pour over warm waffles or pancakes. Consider using it as a glaze, in your oatmeal, in dressing, breads, baked beans, pies, and so much more.

You can also use it as a substitute in some recipes that call for sugar. In baking, sub roughly ¾ cup pure syrup in place of 1 cup of sugar and reduce the rest of the liquid in the recipe by roughly 3 tablespoons. Be aware that the baked good will brown more quickly.

Maple Candied Pecans and Walnuts

Maple Candied Pecans and Walnuts

This snack is extremely addictive!

It is non-dairy, pareve.


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently with a large spoon (or your hands) until nuts are evenly coated.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread nuts in a single layer on sheet.
  4. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Be sure to stir the nuts every couple of minutes to ensure equal toasting.
  5. Let cool and enjoy as a snack or salad topping.


Nuts should be completely dry when taken out of the oven.

logo and cover design: Janine Doherty, NYC

logo and cover design: Janine Doherty, NYC

It was only eight weeks ago that I clicked open an e-mail and read an enticing invitation to join three other food bloggers on a fast and furious journey that has resulted in our  collaborative cookbook,  “4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors”. With over 60 recipes in six sections, this book has plenty to offer traditionalists, vegetarians, vegans and those with gluten-free restrictions.  In addition to a wide range of healthy, re-invented and highly original dishes, we break it down with suggested menus so you won’t schvitz a bit when your vegetarian cousin says she’s celebrating this holiday of freedom at your table.

IMG_9364 (1)

Here’s the kicker: the 4 bloggers, Sarah Lasry, Amy Kritzer, Whitney Fisch and I, have never been in the same room together. We have never met as a group and we were not friends when this project was born just eight weeks ago.

We came together because we have admired each other’s food blogs.

After eight weeks of google hangouts at all hours of the night, we’ve created a dream together, strategized, given honest feedback and laughed A LOT.  I can say with confidence that these beautiful and talented bloggers are now my friends.

Orange and Fennel Salad

From now through March 16 at midnight, we are celebrating our eBook launch with a special offer.  “4 Bloggers Dish: Passover” is available for the super low price of $1.99  to encourage YOU, your friends, followers, family members and food loving neighbors to purchase early, even before Purim!


During this period, we will be donating 50% of all sales to Mazon, A Jewish Response to Hunger. If you don’t know about the great work they do, click here to learn more. We will also be contributing to the life changing work of Ohr Naava. Check out their marketplace on 3/23 and 3/24 in Brooklyn. It will be a huge fundraiser of a celebration of food, fashion and design.

To purchase “4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors” click here.

Our book will revert to a non-sale price (still a bargain) after March 16. And if you want to be a super duper friend, please write a review on the Amazon page when you buy this book.  It will help us to spread the word.

To learn more about this project, check our website

Special thanks and big love to Janine Doherty, graphic designer extraordinaire. She listened carefully, showed great patience, and created our beautiful logo and book cover.







Originally Posted in “Our eBook is Published!