Category Archives: Dairy Kosher Food

Kosher, cheesy lasagna soup with Italian sausage

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As a treif-loving girl, one of the foods I’ve missed most since taking on Kosher status is Lasagna. Sure, I can make the all-dairy kind of Lasagna, and while it’s good, it’s just not quite the same as the meaty, cheesy treif version.

So I was more than thrilled to come across a recipe (I first saw this recipe via a Facebook post) for Lasagna soup from a Farmgirl’s Dabbles. I read the recipe and accepted the challenge to turn this treif dish into something eatable for us Kosher-keeping folks.

Here’s the ingredient list with my exceptions:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Italian Sausage (Kosher Substitute: Tofurky Italian Sausage)
  • 3 cups chopped onions (I only used about 1/2 of an onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. tomato paste (I assume the T. means tablespoons)
  • 1 29-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock (Kosher Substitute: Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth)
  • 8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta (I couldn’t find either so I used the twist pasta I had in my pantry)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves (I used 3 or 4 leaves)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the cheesy yummy part:

  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (Optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces (I chopped up the Tofurky Italian sausage into small pieces) and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock (I used a skillet for the sausage mixture and then added it to the soup mixture in a pot). Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

For the next step, as suggested in the recipe, I cooked the pasta in a separate pot and then added some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them because I wasn’t sure if my daughter would eat the soup, but I KNOW she’ll always eat pasta and cheese. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

I used a slightly different method to serve. I first placed the pasta in a serving bowl and added the cheesy mixture (ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella). Next, I ladled the soup over the pasta and sprinkled extra Parmesan on top.

I served with baked mixed vegetables (sweet potatoes, etc.) and a bottle of what my friend likes to call “the Kosher version of two-buck chuck” wine from Trader Joes. I’ve recently learned they have a Kosher version of this wine so I decided to give it a try … sadly, it wasn’t my favorite so I probably won’t buy it again, which is a shame since it cost only $4.

Lasagna wine

Enjoy and happy Kosher Treif cooking!

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Kid-friendly Kosher Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce

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Kosher Tortellini and Alfredo Sauce

We recently discovered that our picky-eating 8 year old daughter, who eats almost nothing, was a fan of cheese tortellini with alfredo sauce. We ordered the dish at a non-Kosher restaurant, offered her a bite and she ended up eating the entire thing. She then begged me to make alfredo sauce for her at home.

As some of you might remember, I’m currently without a kitchen due to a remodeling project so the last thing I wanted to tackle was a homemade version of alfredo sauce. Forget about the fact that I’d have to balance a sauce pan on my single electric burner. The thought of cleaning up that mess afterwards with the garden hose in the backyard just didn’t appeal to me at all.

So I went on a mission to find a pre-made, kosher version of tortellini and alfredo sauce.

I’ve ordered kosher cheese tortellini before from the KC Kosher Coop, but I’ve never seen pre-made kosher alfredo sauce. During my next trip to the local Tom Thumb store, I started searching the aisle of canned (Jar) food to see if there was an alfredo option similar to the versions of pre-made spaghetti sauce. I found lots of options but none were kosher.

Next I checked the freezer section and struck cheesy gold goodness: Gezunt Gourmet Tri-Color Tortellini (heat and serve) and Dorot Alfredo Sauce. I bought both immediately and planned to make them for dinner the next night.

But … when I started making dinner the next night, I realized that the Alfredo Sauce required a few more ingredients, ones that I did not have. The frozen package includes 5 individual frozen strips of a mushroom sauce base (1 strip = 1 serving) that you have to mix with milk and heavy cream in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and add spices to taste.

It sounded delicious and easy, but I had no heavy cream on hand so I made the tortellini and served it with a red spaghetti sauce instead. My daughter liked it but not as much as if the pasta was covered with alfredo sauce.

Since then, I’ve purchased heavy cream and will attempt the alfredo sauce sometime this week. Stay tuned for the outcome.

What about you? Do you have suggestions for easy-to-make kosher alfredo sauce?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Clean Eating Mac and Cheese … without a kitchen

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Kosher Kitchen RemodelThe above picture depicts the state my kitchen has been in for the past 5 weeks.

Makeshift Pantry

The above picture depicts just a tiny sliver of my dining room, which has now become a makeshift kitchen. The large piece of furniture hiding underneath the food, clock and ziplock bags is a piano. Good thing my daughter decided against continuing her piano lessons for now.

 Said kitchen has been in need of a serious remodel for many years so a few weeks of living like a gypsy shouldn’t bother me too much, but I’m just around the corner from being really annoyed. We’ve eaten takeout and sandwiches for just about as long as I can stand, so I decided to try-out this “clean eating” initiative I’ve been hearing so much about lately.

I did a Google search for clean eating and clean food and found many great recipes, including a free download from Eating Well. On Monday night, I decided to skip the fast food and prepare a home cooked meal … without a kitchen. I chose the Sweet Potato Macaroni & Cheese recipe because it seemed easy enough (the microwave was involved) and required few dishes (I’m currently washing my dishes on my front lawn … the neighbors are so proud).

To kick things off, I killed the sweet potato in the microwave. The recipe said to cook it for 7 to 10 minutes. I cooked it for 7 and what came out looked like an old leather shoe. There wasn’t even anything close to a potato left inside the skin. Yuck.

By this point, I already had the noodles and the cheese sauce cooking (on a griddle lying on my floor) so I didn’t want to throw it all out, but I also didn’t want to buy or attempt cooking another sweet potato.

Cooking mac and cheese without a kitchen

My husband was at the drugstore picking up a prescription so I texted him to bring me home a few jars of sweet potato baby food. And no, it wasn’t as easy as all that. He texted back WTF? And I texted back “just do it.” And then there was more texting about which brand, etc., and even more discussion about the strange conversation he had with the check-out lady.

I finally got the baby food and added it to the cheese mixture, heated everything up (still working from the floor), transferred it all to a disposable pan and broiled it all for a few minutes to brown the breadcrumbs on top. And TaDah: Clean food (sort of) baked on the floor without a kitchen!

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

I have to say, it wasn’t half bad. My hubbie even agreed and so did my daughter until she decided, after eating an entire bowl, that she didn’t like it. Here’s a few notes about my version, some of which make the recipe somewhat unclean:

  • As mentioned, I killed the sweet potato so I substituted 3 jars of sweet potato baby food instead. Don’t think anyone noticed. And the baby food was organic.
  • The recipe calls for whole wheat pasta and breadcrumbs. Whole wheat pasta: Check. Whole wheat breadcrumbs: not so much. Plain ole unclean breadcrumbs were used.
  • My daughter hates peas so I added those in last and only on half of the dish. Worked perfectly.
  • I used substantially more cheese than the recipe called for, which might explain why it tasted so great. I used 2 cups to the recipe’s 1 1/4 cups.

Overall, it was a fun experiment and there weren’t many pots/pans/dishes to wash on the lawn afterwards. A win for everyone concerned I’m sure.

Tell me about some weird extremes you’ve taken to cook food during a remodel? I’d love to get some tips and tricks.

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

 

 

Kosher Chipotle Mushroom and Goat Cheese Queso

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Chipotle Mushroom and Goat Cheese Queso

My MIL recently made a delicious discovery at CostCo – Kosher Goat Cheese. Yum! I love the unique flavor of goat cheese but have never cooked with it because I assumed I’d never find a Kosher brand in the Dallas area. Lucky for me, the inlaws made a trip to Costco just this week and brought me home two … really large … packages of said cheese. Now, what to do with all of this cheese?Kosher Goat Cheese

I found a few recipes I wanted to try and since I’m a lover of any food that includes the word Queso, I decided to start with the Chipotle Mushroom and Goat Cheese Queso I found on the Whole Foods web site.

  • 2  teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
  • 1/2  pound mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used white, Baby Bella and Shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6  ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 6  ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 3/4 cups) (I used Mozzerella since I couldn’t find Kosher Monterey Jack)
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion (I nixed the onion since my hubbie isn’t a fan)
  • 2   chipotles in adobo (from a can), seeded and minced (I only used about half of a Chipotle since I wanted my 6 year old to try the dip and there’s no way she is eating anything spicy).

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are dry and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Spread mushrooms over the bottom of a small ovenproof casserole or gratin dish. In a large bowl, combine goat cheese, Jack cheese, spinach, onion and chipotles and toss until combined. Spread cheese mixture evenly over mushrooms and bake until bubbling, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving:Serving size: based on 1/8 of the recipe, 160 calories (110 from fat), 13g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 9g protein.

Verdict:

While I liked the taste of the dip, it was much thicker than I was expecting based on the “Queso” name. I was thinking melty cheese dip consistency and what I got was more of a thick casserole consistency. I’m not sure if that’s the way the recipe is supposed to be or if my substitution of the Mozerrella for the Monterey Jack made the “dip” thicker than usual. For future versions, I’d like to keep the flavor but add something (maybe a different kind of cheese) to make it more of a dip and less of a spread. Overall though, not bad and the goat cheese gives it a very strong and nice flavor.Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!