Recipe Category Archives: 30 Minutes or Less

Zucchini Dip Recipe

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Garden Vegetable Levana Nourishments

zucchini dip

Zucchini Dip is what we do when we have too many zucchini.

We make many wonderful zucchini treats, many of which you are of course familiar with: Ratatouille, grilled vegetables, soup, breads etc… How about this zucchini dip? Just be prepared to start with a mountain of zucchini, and end up with a little bowl of amazing zucchini dip. Rustic, unpretentious and deceptively plain. What I love with zucchini is that while they are very mild by themselves, they take on the other wonderful flavors they are paired with, so you can take them in many exciting directions.

As always, here comes my war cry again: Use your food processor for all your slicing, shredding and chopping!

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Summer Vegetable Couscous

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Mushroom Medley Levana Nourishments

summer vegetable couscous

Vegetable Couscous is a summery version of the all-time classic:

We make it light and summery by using quick-cooking and fragrant light summer vegetables, like fennel, artichokes, zucchini, tomatoes.

Would you like to make summer vegetable couscous into a main course?

Scroll down to the bottom for instructions.

Couscous is traditionally made in a Couscoussier:

A deep narrowish pot filled two-thirds with water, and a top part with a perforated bottom where the couscous grain go and gets all permeated with the steam.

But you know what? I always fear these added steps, albeit simple, would act as a deterrent. With my much-simplified just-about-perfect method, you might make couscous more often. And not just for the larder couscous dish, but also for a simple side dish, or a base for couscous bowl.

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Cottage Cheese Salad Recipe

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Garden Vegetable Levana Nourishments

I just had me a little cottage cheese salad party!

My granddaughter Musia and I demolished a whole bowl of it this past shabbos.

Just in case cottage cheese eaten alone sounds too plain, here’s how to jazz it up!

My Russian mother in law Z”L used to make cottage cheese salad for us all the time, and called it – mysteriously – blotte.
Here’s my lean version of cottage cheese salad (sans sour cream), straight from the Old World: It brings a smile to my husband’s face. Adjust it to your personal taste: There’s nothing you can do to ruin it!

Only please don’t use the fat-free cottage cheese.

It just doesn’t taste good enough to take the trouble. This cottage cheese salad has no oil and no dressing, so it is perfectly OK to use 4% cottage cheese. If you would like, do all your chopping in the food processor, it will save time; just be sure to use the pulse button and don’t let the vegetables get chopped too fine.

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Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Cocoa Coffee Levana Nourishments

chocolate dipped strawberries

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries is hardly a recipe:

Just a wonderful gift from yourself to yourself and a few dear friends, deliverable at the drop of a hat.

Luxurious, and gluten-free without even trying.

Everyone loves chocolate dipped strawberries on Passover too. I make them right on the spot and get lots of excited diners.
I recently served them at a dinner my granddaughter Chaya Rachel was at, a special treat to her who loves both chocolate and strawberries, but goes crazy for the combo. I gave each of us a tiny bowl of the chocolate sauce, passed the strawberries and the tiny skewers to pick them up with, and watched her smack her chocolate-smudged lips delightedly as she ate. I said to her, “Bubbie and Chaya Rachel are being bad girls”. She responded, “Bubbie, don’t show me how to be a bad girl!”
Grab a box of gorgeous strawberries on your way home:
For an extra-special occasion, the majestic long-stem ones will create more drama.

Why stop at chocolate dipped strawberries?

There is a lot of exciting stuff you can dip in the chocolate mixture; to name just a few: Orange segments, pineapple chunks, banana segments (make these only if you are serving immediately: peeled bananas are perishable), unsalted pretzel sticks, marshmallows. Have fun dipping!

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Tehina Chocolate Spread

Adapted from Levana Cooks, using Cocoa Coffee Levana Nourishments

tehina chocolate spread

In this amazing Tehina Chocolate Spread, sesame paste, or Tehina, costars beautifully with chocolate. Sort of a new age Nutella, only much less sweet and much healthier!

There’s nothing you would do with Nutella that you couldn’t do with my Tehina Chocolate Spread!

Tehina often plays second fiddle to other, more muscular ingredients,  hummus being the most ubiquitous, followed by sauces and dips. Actually it is the main ingredient in Chalva, but most commercial Chalva errs hopelessly on the sweet side (not so my Quick Chalva, loosely inspired from its cloying  counterpart, and nutritionally correct), so it hardly counts except as a guilty splurge.

Here I am using poetic license with Tehina,  sesame seed paste, and using it here just as I would use a nut butter.

Tehina co-stars on equal terms with the mighty chocolate, and stands up to it fearlessly, elevating the humble paste beyond its wildest dreams in terms of flavor and texture.  Nutella was the dessert comfort food of my expat student years ages ago, so of course I think of it very fondly, but I never buy it as it is loaded with sugar. So I make my own spread, and please forgive this bit of swagger: My Tehina Chocolate Spread blows Nutella and other chocolate nut butter spreads out of the water. Super Delicious, Super Nutritious and Super Natural, it gets whipped up in a couple minutes.  So healthy you could even use it for breakfast! One more thing: It is Super versatile, and you can take it places, as you will see below: Scroll down for all variations.

The amount of sweetener I use in my Tehina Chocolate Spread is very reasonable:

Way below the amount used in commercial spreads, naturally and deliciously augmenting the ratio of Tehina and chocolate per serving. Attention sugar-restricted friends: You’ll love to hear that you can even make it without sugar or other sweetener altogether, using Stevia or Truvia instead of the agave used here, or even a dozen plump pitted medjool dates.
Please do not use honey in this tehina chocolate spread recipe, as it adds a very good but unwelcome layer of flavor in the spread; stick with the perfectly neutral-tasting agave syrup. Likewise, do not substitute anything for the coconut milk, and use the full-fat kind, it is responsible for the amazing creaminess of the spread.
This is a nice large recipe,  and will yield you about 2 pints. It won’t last you too long: it’s that good! Here’s a perfect way to satisfy your craving, the superfoods, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, natural and delicious way. What more could you possibly ask for? You’re welcome!


Chocolate Hazelnut Butter: Substitute 3 cups toasted hazelnuts for the Tehina, but process them thoroughly in a food processor before adding the remaining ingredients. You might want to use other toasted nuts as well: Peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, pecans, even roasted chestnuts (even though it’s not a nut).  Proceed just as instructed here.

Cake Topping: Add 2-3 tablespoons rum or brandy to the mixture, and use it as top layer to ice cream cake (the rum will prevent it from freezing solid). Likewise, use it as topping or filling to any cake, like a ganache. Spread while it is is still liquid, before it firms up, so it will spread easily.

Tart Filling, Truffles: Add some chopped toasted nuts, or toasted sesame seeds, or grated unsweetened coconut, and a little coconut milk to thin the mixture, and use as a filling for a tart (bake the crust all by itself, then fill it and chill).  Or shape the mixture into little balls, and roll in cocoa powder or grated coconut.

Bars: You could also combine the mixture with 3 cups Granola or Rice Crispies, pat the whole mixture firmly into a pan, chill, then cut into squares or bars.

Dip: Slather on apple, pear or banana slices, or on berries.

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