One of the most common requests I receive is " how can I get my family to eat healthy meals?" Or "how do I encourage my kids to eat more fruit and vegetables?"
It's an uphill battle sometimes - and when my children were younger, I was grateful if they just ate the same meal whether it was healthy or not!
When it comes to the Chagim, healthy eating and all those extravagant meals do not always go hand in hand. My little trick is to try and incorporate as many fruits and vegetables into the planning and always have fruit as a dessert option. If the main course is very rich and calorie laden, make a salad starter and always have a dish of cut up vegetables as crudités (hard work, I know).
I'm loving the colored carrots that are now readily available in all supermarkets and I've been looking forward to trying out my healthy twist on tzimmes with these.
So here's my take on a "lighter" New Year.
Rocket (Arugula) Salad with Watermelon
Preparation time: 20 minutes
1 bag pre-washed rocket leaves
2 slices of watermelon, cut into cubes
1 small bunch fresh mint, washed and dried
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Juice of lemons
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1. Arrange the rocket leaves on a platter.
2. Add the cubed watermelon.
3. Tear the mint leaves on top.
4. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice.
5. Sprinkle the salt over everything.
5. Chill before serving.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 kilo colored carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 cm pieces
(you can use regular carrots)
3 Tablespoons honey
1 cup vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon corn flour mixed into4 Tablespoons cold water
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil.
2. Add the onion and cook until softened but not browned.
Add the grated ginger.
3. Add the carrots and stir well,
coating them in the onion and ginger mix.
4. Stir in the honey and stock and bring to the boil.
5. Turn the heat down, cover and allow the tzimmes
to simmer for an hour.
6. When it is cooked, remove the lid and add one tablespoon
of the corn flour & water mixture to thicken the sauce.
Cook for a few minutes longer until everything is blended.
7. Serve with a garnish of chopped parsley.
Whole Roast Chicken Stuffed with Chestnuts and Mushrooms
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
1 large chicken, washed and patted dry
2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, diced
4 slices challah, crusts removed and torn into small pieces
400 gm packet chestnuts (I buy the vacuum packed ones),
drained and chopped
300 gm mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
10 grinds pepper
1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil.
3. Add the onion and allow it to brown gently.
4. Add the chopped mushrooms and chestnuts to the pan
and stir well.
5. Pour the onion, mushroom and chestnut mixture over the challah
and season with salt and pepper.
6. Stir well and then add the beaten egg.
7. Turn the mixture out onto your work table and shape into a log.
8. Stuff the log into the cavity of the chicken.
9. Put the stuffed bird into a roasting pan, cover
and roast for an hour and a half.
10. Remove the cover and continue roasting for 30 minutes longer.
Apple and Honey Compote
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time 20: minutes
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup raisins
Vanilla ice cream
5 Lotus cookies
1) Put the apple pieces into a saucepan.
2) Add the water, cinnamon, honey and raisins.
3) Bring everything to the boil briefly.
4) Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes,
making sure that the apples don't become too soft.
5) Allow to cool before refrigerating.
Delicious served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and crumbled Lotus cookies.