Category Archives: Kosher for Kids

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!

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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!

 

 

Share your quick go-to-dinner for kids for a chance to win

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006We’ve all been there. The 6:00 pm witching hour arrives. Dog is barking. Kids are screaming, “what can I eat?” The Head chef (aka, you) has no idea what she is going to make for dinner. There’s no time to go to the store. You have to work with what you’ve got. Which in my case usually isn’t much.

For me, the go-to-dinner for my daughter is usually Wacky Mac. Zoe loves it. It has a lot of protein, and she will eat at least 2 bowls full, along with a few fruits and vegetables. I’ll sometimes add fresh cheese to the Wacky Mac, as well as a small jar of baby food carrots to beef-up the nutritional value.

It’s no easy task finding Kosher mac and cheese, other than Wacky Mac. I’ve tried making homemade mac and cheese, but Zoe NEVER likes it. We always go back to Wacky Mac.

I recently read an article in Food Business News titled School Nutrition Innovation on Display talking about how various food manufacturers are coming up with more nutritional food options for school lunchrooms. One in particular interested me – Land O’Lakes is planning to offer two new mac ‘n cheese products that approach the new U.S.D.A. standards in different ways –  one features reduced sodium while the other replaces semolina pasta with whole grain.

I assume these products are for school lunchroom use only, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Land O’ Lakes will eventually sell these mac and cheese products in stores AND that they will be Kosher. I reached out to Land O’ Lakes to inquire about the Kosher piece. Will let you know what I find out. It would definitely be nice to have a few more packaged (and Kosher) mac and cheese options.

Last but not least, let’s get to the giveaway part. I’d love to hear your go-to-dinner ideas for quick, easy-to-make meals for kids.

Add your suggestions to this post via the comments section for a chance to win a cool kitchen gadget … to be determined when I go shopping this week but I promise it will be fun : )

Deadline for suggestions is Sunday, January 26, 2014.

I’ll draw a name from all of the suggestions on Monday, January 27, and post the name of the winner and their kid dinner suggestion at that time, along with info on how the winner can contact me with their shipping information.

Good Luck and Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!