The Healthy Jewish Kitchen & Sri Lankan Rice with Dried Fruits & Nuts
Photography by Bill Milne; Copyright owned by Sterling Publishing

The Healthy Jewish Kitchen & Sri Lankan Rice with Dried Fruits & Nuts

Jewish soul food and healthy recipes are perfectly in sync in Paula Shoyer’s most recent and fourth cookbook, The Healthy Jewish Kitchen; Fresh, Contemporary Recipes for Every Occasion.

Vibrant recipes transport the home cook across the globe in Shoyer’s exploration of nutrient dense dishes that reflect today’s leaning towards dairy-free, gluten-free and meatless recipes.

 You’ll still find chicken, meat and fish in a chapter for main dishes. But forget the margarine, frozen puff pastry, powdered soup stocks and jarred sauces.

You’ll only find pure, unadulterated ingredients here. 

Reading the personal notes, beginning in the appetizers and salads chapter, we learn that this Parisian trained pastry chef has traveled the world. She joyfully circles back to her kosher home kitchen, influenced by ingredients, flavors and techniques learned in Europe, Asia and beyond.

kosher salmon and avocado tartar
Photography by Bill Milne; Copyright owned by Sterling Publishing

Cambodian Spring Rolls, mayo-free Asian Sweet Potato Salad and Salmon Tartare are standouts in this first section, with seasonal salads interspersed throughout. Shoyer’s labels indicating, parve (dairy-free), gluten-free, vegan, Passover are easy to spot and helpful.

My favorite soups include classic Tuscan Ribollita minus the bread and an easy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. Her version of this pho soup includes tips on how to transform your favorite homemade chicken soup into an altogether other, Asian flavored broth. Shoyer’s kosher lens transforms forbidden classics, like her shellfish-free Bouillabaisse, into accessible and uncomplicated recipes for home cooks.

In her Mains sections, Shoyer’s meat dishes include gluten-free and no-fry Baked Schnitzel with Nut Crust, Indian Barbecued Chicken and a lightened up Coq Au Vin Blanc.

kosher Coq au vin
Photography by Bill Milne; Copyright owned by Sterling Publishing

This French classic has been transformed with white wine instead of red, and the inclusion of kumquats or orange slices to move this dish from a heavy winter dinner into springtime. I’m leaning towards it as a perfect Passover choice, at Shoyer’s suggestion.

The Fish, Vegetarian and Dairy Main Dishes include Korean Bibimbap with Tofu, Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice and Cheese Filled Buckwheat Bintzes (gluten-free).

For Meatless Mondays and a lo-cal, dairy-free, gluten-free alternative to Spaghetti and Meatballs, I’ll be prepping Red Quinoa Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash.

vegan kosher quinoa meatballs
Photography by Bill Milne; Copyright owned by Sterling Publishing

As a rice lover, I’ll be making the Sri Lankan Rice with Dried Fruits and Nuts for Tu B’shvat (sundown on January 30 through January 31). As we celebrate the seven species of Israel mentioned in the Bible, this recipe ticks of figs, dates and grapes (if you switch out prunes for grapes) in this herbaceous, fruity rice dish topped with slivered almonds.

Find the recipe below.

Finally, the sweets and breads chapter is a stand-out as this French trained chef started with her “favorite Jewish recipes and reworked them to include more whole grains, remove all gluten where possible and reduce the large amounts of sugar, salt and fat that are typical of Jewish dessert recipes in many cookbooks.”

With an attempt to use less than one cup of sugar in each dessert recipe, Shoyer’s last chapter stopped me dead in my tracks. These recipes are thrilling.

Spelt Chocolate Babka, numerous challah recipes including whole-wheat onion, sourdough and gluten-free challot (with Orly’s gluten-free Manhattan mix) will satisfy any home baker with a sweet tooth.

dairy free kosher apple strudel
Photography by Bill Milne; Copyright owned by Sterling Publishing

I bet my friends at Gluten-Free Connecticut will love all of the options in this beautiful volume as they search for updated Jewish recipes that fit their dietary restrictions.

My first baking project from The Healthy Jewish Kitchen will be Caramelized Apple Strudel. With whole-grain dough and sunflower oil instead of margarine, I’m ready to get rolling.

Watch for our give-away of The Heathy Jewish Kitchen coming up next week. Can’t wait? Click here to buy it now.


The Healthy Jewish Kitchen @2017 Paula Shoyer and Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photos by Bill Milne @2017 Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.




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