sabich bowl tahini kosher jewhungry blog

It’s hard to really care about something as superficial as pretty food these days. Last weekend, when the world was in shock after the devastating murder of 49 innocent neshamas (souls) in Pulse nightclub in Orlando, my family and I were welcoming day 2 of a 3 day holiday (Shabbat into Shavuot). Because we are pretty observant, we observe the letter of the law when it comes to Jewish holidays. Not only do we enjoy our festive meals (hey, just doing our part to follow the mitzvahs commanded of us!), but we also don’t operate electricity on those days as well, which means we had no idea this brutal act had occurred since we weren’t opening our phones or turning on TVs and computers. It wasn’t until some friends mentioned something in passing on Sunday night that we knew something had happened. By Monday night, when the 3-day holiday was over, I braced myself for what I knew was going to be an onslaught of terrible news. Little did I know it would be as gut-wrenching as it was. In reading all the news, I felt so incredibly grateful for the 3 days of comfort we had created in our holiday bubble. We went into the holiday praying for the relief of peace after the disgusting murder of Israelis in a Tel Aviv restaurant that occurred on Thursday. But, and I know this is so troubling, as a Jewish family, we’ve grown accustomed to the news that our people were attacked. We’re so used to praying for peace that it’s an automatic prayer. I don’t even really think about when I pray for peace. It just is what it is. But I woke up on Tuesday morning, after reading news article after new article on the events that occurred that fateful night in Orlando nearly a week and a half ago, and I felt darkness. I called my best friend, Jackie, and we talked it out, as we do with everything. “Jackie”, I said, “I feel sad. I feel so, so sad”. She listened. She validated. She tried to give me comfort but I knew any comfort I would get would need to come from within. I still haven’t quite found it yet and I’m pretty sure I never truly will. We live in a world where, as a school employee, I had to sit through “active shooter” training because going into education is now a dangerous job. When my nearly 4 year-old daughter plays school, she pretends to check bags before you can enter into the ‘school’, just like the security team does before we can enter her early childhood center. She has no clue what she’s ‘checking’ for, but the whole thing is so disturbing. My heart hurts.

sabich bowl tahini kosher jewhungry blog

 

sabich bowl tahini kosher jewhungry blog

I will continue to pray for peace because it gives me some sort of solace. I will also continue to cook, caring a little less each day about silly things like how many Instagram followers Jewhungry has or how many page views this post will get. I will call my Congress people and I will sign petitions and I will pray that peace will come.

sabich bowl tahini kosher jewhungry blog

 

sabich bowl tahini kosher jewhungry blog

Speaking of food, have you ever heard of sabich? Sabich and shakshuka are in contention for being my favorite dish to eat in Israel.  In my book, it definitely out-ranks falafel. It’s all about the perfect fried eggplant (my favorite vegetable), the right about of salty tahini and a generous helping of crisp Israeli salad mixed in with Israeli pickles and loads and loads of cilantro. I like to add a little lot of feta cheese to my sabich sandwich cause it’s feta cheese and why wouldn’t I? But to save myself some fullness from the pita, and because my oldest doesn’t eat sandwiches, I’ve been putting all my sabich fixin’s onto a fluffy pile of rice spiced with all those flavors of the Mediterranean. I’m talkin’ cumin, coriander, tumeric and, of course, salt. I hope you try this out and truly enjoy! Have a wonderful day!

sabich bowl tahini kosher jewhungry blog

 

sabich bowl tahini kosher jewhungry blog

Sabich Bowl with Miso + Cilantro Tahini

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced at 1/2 in. thickness
  • 5 - 6 Tbsp of sunflower or olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, skinned and diced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 4 - 5 Israeli pickles, chopped
  • (Optional: sheep's milk feta, diced)
  • For the Rice:
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil or olive oil
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ cups long-grain or Basmati rice
  • 2½ cups veggie broth
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • For the Tahini Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup raw tahini paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tsp yellow miso paste
  • 2 tbsp hot water (or more depending on need)

Instructions

  1. Prep the eggplant:
  2. Place sliced eggplant on paper towel making sure that the slices are not overlapping. Sprinkle a heavy dose of kosher salt onto each eggplant slice. Let sit for at least 30 minutes in order for the moisture to be drained from the eggplant. After 30 minutes, dab each eggplant slice with a paper towel so as to suck up all excess moisture.
  3. Chop eggplant into small squares.
  4. Pour the sunflower or olive oil into a large frying pan and set over high heat.
  5. When oil is hot enough, add eggplant. Eggplant tends to soak up oil very quickly so feel free to add more oil if you feel is necessary. Stir fry the eggplant for at least 7 - 10 minutes or until fully fried. Place eggplant on clean paper towel in order to soak up excess oil. Set aside.
  6. For the rice: Heat 2 tbsp of sunflower or olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven then add the spices and cook until you can smell them, stirring into the oil.
  7. Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes until the rice is toasted.
  8. Add the vegetable broth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes without disturbing.
  10. Remove from the heat and rest without opening the lid for 15 minutes.
  11. For Sauce:
  12. Add all ingredients for tahini sauce into a food processor and process until smooth. If sauce is not 'saucey' enough, add more hot water at 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency. Taste as you go and increase garlic powder or miso paste as you go as well.
  13. For Assembly:
  14. Add rice to bowl and top with all your fixin's. Enjoy!
http://jewhungrytheblog.com/2016/06/20/sabich-bowl-miso-cilantro-tahini/

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Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Tahini Jewhungry Kosher Blog

My friend Julee doesn’t like muffins. Like, not at all. Please know, before you start judging the crap outta my friend, Julee, she is one of the greatest human beings of all time. She is an academic support specialist at the school I work at. Her office is right next to mine. We share a love of 90s hip hop, cheese, fried food and Tracee Ellis Ross. She’s also my editor on all things including, but not limited to, Huffington Post blog entries, letters to parents, emails to colleagues and my husband’s CV. There’s literally nothing I wouldn’t do for her. So imagine my surprise when I texted her one afternoon, wondering if she was into muffins. I mean, I assumed she would say, ‘Of course!’, but nope! She said ‘no’. What the whaaaaaat? I mean, I’ve met some weirdos in my day (I went to social work school with a girl who hated soup. Who hates soup!? Its soup!). But not liking muffins? That’s crazy talk (the actual conversation, including appropriate Bitmoji, is shown below). So obviously, I mean, challenge accepted.

 

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Tahini Jewhungry Kosher Blog

 

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Tahini Jewhungry Kosher Blog

My oldest and I will often spend one afternoon after school doing some baking. In order to make sure we do not eat all the baked goods from our session, I bring the majority of what we baked to work with me the next day. So one day a few weeks ago I brought in Danielle Oron’s Tahini Chocolate Chip cookies. Upon eating them, Julee dubbed them the greatest thing I’ve ever made (I should clarify that she was already one of my favorite people when she said that but upon hearing her praise, the deal was sealed on her being in the Top 3 Greatest People of All Time). So when she saved my butt one morning last week when I was running late because of kid issues and helped proctor a test that I was supposed to proctor, I promised her I would bake her whatever she wanted. So she asked for the cookies. I said I would make them but then the whole muffin exchange happened and well, this recipe was born. I figured, why not take the flavor profile of the cookies and make them into delicious muffins? She’ll love them!

 

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Tahini Jewhungry Kosher Blog

 

So was she a fan? Well, she liked them enough to eat one, smile and say, “Ok, I like these”, but not enough to take home the entire box I brought for her. But my girl, Cheryl? Cheryl loved them! YAY, Cheryl!!! Also, so did my entire family and every other normal human being. Sorry, Jules. I guess you can’t win them all.

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Tahini Jewhungry Kosher Blog

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Tahini Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks plus 1/4 cup for topping (I used a large bar of Baker's Chocolate, which I then chopped myself)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons warm water
  • (Optional) Sprinkle of Maldon sea salt on each

Instructions

  1. (The instructions are for mini muffins - if using regular-sized muffin tin, put oven on for 400 and bake for 20 minutes)
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners
  4. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Place the remaining wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk until combined.
  6. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined (do not over mix), batter will be slightly lumpy.
  7. Fill wells 3/4 of the way up and sprinkle 1/4 cup chocolate chunks on top.
  8. Bake for 17 - 18 minutes or until the muffins are dark, risen and springy.
  9. FOR GLAZE - whisk powdered sugar, tahini and water together in a medium dish.
  10. Either drizzle this over the cooled muffins or dunk them into the puddle. Sprinkle with good sea salt, if desired.
http://jewhungrytheblog.com/2016/05/26/double-chocolate-chunk-muffins-tahini-glaze/

 

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MAZON Jewhungery ramen alfredo jewhungry kosher blog

Foodies fighting hunger. What’s this all about? Well, a couple weeks ago I gave a little presentation/talk to a few classes at the high school I work at about blogging. During these conversations, I had mentioned a frustration I have for food/lifestyle bloggers who advocate for healthy and/or organic living but never advocate for equal access to the resources needed to live a health/organic life (much less acknowledge the privilege it takes to live a life full of beautiful acai smoothie bowls and fresh pressed juices). And so, upon reflection, I realized I needed to walk the walk and not just talk the talk; dust off my advocacy skills, if you will. Thus, an idea was born. What if a bunch of foodies got together to acknowledge our privilege, attempt to create a recipe with only $5 in our pocket, and spread some information on hunger/poverty issues in the US while also providing ways for you, the reader, to do a little advocacy work yourself? And what if we partnered with an incredible organization like MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, which is a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger in the United States and Israel for all faiths and backgrounds in order to make sure we get all the facts and figures right? I’m hoping good things. That’s what I’m happening will happen.

Therefore, after a few nudging emails (from me) to almost every food blogger I’ve ever spoken with and/or wished I have spoken with, a mighty little band of foodie advocates was born. This band of Foodies Fighting Hunger includes the following bloggers (by blog name):

The Kosher Spoon

Foodie Crush

will frolic for food

Dessert for Two

Cooking in Heels

Let’s Eat Cake

Cake Over Steak

Hola Jalapeno

What Jew Wanna Eat

Kosher Like Me

Girl Versus Dough

Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker

The Bonjon Gourmet

A Nutritionist Eats

I am very much hoping this will be the first in a series of posts featuring an even wider-range of bloggers advocating for equal access to food and for putting an end to hunger and poverty. I am also appreciate the bloggers who jumped on board right away, even if they had never heard of me, because of their commitment to fight and advocate. I am also especially grateful to MAZON, especially Emily Dingmann, who not only the Communications Director at MAZON but is also the blogger behind A Nutritionist Eats.

MAZON Jewhungery ramen alfredo jewhungry kosher blog

A few things of note:

  1. I do not live in a food desert. Within a 2 mile radius of where I live in Encino, CA, there is a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Ralph’s Grocery, a large kosher grocer called, Encino Glatt Mart, and countless other mini markets. For this post, I chose to shop at Ralph’s as it is the most prevalent grocery store in Souther Los Angeles.
  2. I have a kosher home, therefore, my ingredient list ran a bit more expensive then the non-kosher versions of the same ingredients. For my family and countless families across the US, keeping kosher is not a ‘choice’ but a religious commandment/obligation.

Hunger is as prevalent as it is pernicious. It is not restricted only to third world countries or homeless people, but has increasingly become the province of families in highly industrialized nations, including the United States and Israel. The best adjective to accurately describe the amount of food available in the United States is abundant. Hunger affects 1 out of every 7 American men, women and children and persists in this country not because of a lack of food, but because we lack the political will to end the problem by ensuring that vulnerable people have equal access to nutritious food. In California, the State my family now calls home, there are 1,776,465 households who are considered food insecure, a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food (definition grabbed from the US Gov website). In addition, nationally-speaking, there are over 15 million children who struggle with hunger and 22% living in poverty. One of the BIGGEST myths I want to make sure is noted in this post is the myth that government programs enable ‘lazy’ people to live ‘well’ on society’s dime. This is wholly inaccurate and gets my blood boiling. What a privileged way of thinking. Most folks who I hear these types of sentiments from have usually never experienced a day of food insecurity in their lives. But here’s the truth,

“As the nation’s economic recovery continues, government programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps) provide a vital lifeline that helps people receive the sustenance they need to get back on their feet. 40% of households receiving SNAP benefits include at least one working person. The average benefit provided by SNAP equates to roughly $1.40 per person per meal – hardly an extravagant amount, and certainly not enough to do anything beyond simply get by.”  ~ www.mazon.org 

MAZON Jewhungery ramen alfredo jewhungry kosher blog

More Hunger Facts:
  • Hunger myths: there is a stark contrast between the widely held myths and realities about hunger and these myths/realities can shed some light on WHY there is hunger in America if you’d like to touch on that.
  • This is Hunger stories: a unique view into the reality of who in America struggles with hunger and why
  • Infographics: about hunger (general hunger, seniors, children, rural, SNAP, etc.)
  • Interactive map: individual data on how many food insecure households are in your state
 
Advocacy Opportunities:
Underwood Family Farms - a pit stop during our Passover vacation.

Underwood Family Farms

When deciding on the ingredients for this post, I decided on the cheap because, well, I only had $5 to spend and I wanted to stretch every dollar. I also had to get kosher ingredients as we keep a kosher home. I had originally wanted to include a fresh veggie in the dish but after the cost of the dairy products, I was out of money. But herbs were cheap and still green so herbs it was. I also wanted to included sauteed garlic in butter or olive oil but again, I did not have enough money for this so the only seasonings used were table salt and pepper. The following is the breakdown of the ingredients to my recipe (both kosher and non-kosher cost).

Kosher:         Non-Kosher:

                                                         Ramen      $.99              $.39

                                                           Milk        $1.79             Same

                                            Cream Cheese     $1.99             Same

                                                            Dill        $.25               Same

Parsley      $.25               Same

So my kosher total was $.5.27 and my non-kosher total is just under $5, coming in at $4.67. The two items I have yet to calculate are salt and pepper, which would set me back  even more but I picked up some free salt and pepper packets at the deli counter so, BINGO! Luckily, this recipe included ingredients that weren’t vastly different when it came to cost but that is mainly because I didn’t include any real cheese or meat products, which, of course, make every recipe much more expensive regardless of whether or not the dish is kosher or not.

The family, picking veggies for fun.

The family, picking veggies for fun.

Foodies Fighting Hunger: Ramen Alfredo with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients

  • 1 package of instant ramen
  • 1/2 cup of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of 2% milk or full fat
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • fresh dill, finely chopped
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook ramen as directed on the back of the package but do make sure you DO NOT OVER COOK. It will get too soggy. Once done, drain and run a little cold water of the noodles while they are in the collander so that they will stop cooking.
  2. Place cream cheese in the pot that the ramen was cooking in and turn on heat to low. Add the ramen to the pot with the cream cheese. Add the milk and stir. The mixture should be thick-ish. If you'd rather it a little thinner, just add a bit more milk.
  3. Add salt and pepper. Stir to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Top with fresh herbs. Serve hot.
http://jewhungrytheblog.com/2016/05/01/foodies-fighting-hunger-ramen-alfredo-fresh-herbs/

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