Team, it’s that time of year again. Yep, the High Holidays are upon us. Now that the kid and I are living it up in LA while the hubby in is Florida, I honestly haven’t thought much about the High Holidays because, well, we don’t know that many people so I’m not doing a lot of meal planning like I normally am. Of course, I say that now but check in with me by the end of this week and chances are I would have invited half my work place to a meal during Rosh Hashanah and/or Sukkot, especially if I spend any significant time on Pinterest, which always gets my creativity flowing.
The thing is, with working full-time and parenting full-time, I don’t have a whole bunch of time to prep for Rosh Hashanah this year. On top of that, it’s still 95 degrees in Southern California, much like it was when I celebrated the High Holidays in Miami over the last 3 years. So though I’m very happy for the rest of you East Coasters/Midwesterners and your love of all things “apple” and “pumpkin-spiced” for your Rosh Hashanah, us folks living in extremely hot weather tend to crave cooler menu items. No crock pot for me and forget about the brisket, it’s too heavy when the thermostat is reaching 100!
So, OK, though I’m feeling a little crunch with time this year, what will get me through with planning (while keeping my anxiety down to a minimum) is remembering some tips I’ve developed over the years for having an organized, delicious and stress-free holiday, freeing me up to remember that, in fact, this holiday is more than just apples and honey. It’s a celebration of the creation of the beginning of our Jewish community and I think it’s safe to say that now, more than ever, the Jewish community is in need of coming together.
Whit’s Tips for Minimal-Stress Holiday Planning:
1. Don’t be afraid of letting the kosher markets do a little of the cooking—-see recipe below: Keep your eye on the main dish, the prize, and bring the side dishes in from the store. This will give you a little more time to perfect your brisket (shout out to my East Coast/Midwest readers).
2. Organize a meal exchange: Get together with a few of your friends and organize who takes care of what meal on what day. For example, you can be in charge of first night dinner, host 3 of your friends for that meal, and then they each take another meal for the rest of the holiday. You’re in the clear for the holiday and only have to make one meal! Score!
3. Stick with what you know: Trying to make the perfect kosher version of Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon the week before a 3 day holiday isn’t the greatest idea. It will up your anxiety while also potentially upping your High Holiday food budget. Stick with what you know and maybe try experimenting for when you have the time.
4. Make a menu: I know it sounds tedious. I mean, we barely have time to make it into the shower before the holiday comes in, much less make a friggin’ menu but I’m telling you, if you make your menu about a week or so in advanced, you will be a lot less overwhelmed PLUS you will save a lot more cash when it comes to grocery shopping for the big holiday. Organize is key!
5. Leftover are your friends: Not every meal during a 3 day holiday has to be completely different. Make extra rice for first night dinner and use that again for ‘build your own tacos’ for second day lunch (my best friend during these three day holidays is the ‘food bar’, i.e. build your own taco or burrito quinoa bowl. All you have to do is chop your veggies in advanced and store in the fridge until ready. And, if you get one of those delicious Winn Dixie rotisserie chickens, you don’t need to pre-cook your chicken. Just chop and serve cold with tortillas, rice, avocado, corn and other taco-worthy toppings).
My need to have a meal be quick, easy, delicious and refreshing was the inspiration for this post. It’s as easy as picking up an already made rotisserie chicken from your closest kosher market (back in my Miami days, this was Winn-Dixie. Sigh, I miss my Winn Dixie chickens. Mmmmm, rotisserie). The combination of juicy chicken, spicy curry and cooling coconut milk yogurt makes for a delicious (and easy) High Holiday meal . . . or any meal, really. Happy New Year, y’all!
This post is part of a Joy of Kosher paid High Holiday campaign with Winn-Dixie, all opinions are my own. Also, make sure you check out other ways Winn-Dixie can help make your holiday great at http://www.joyofkosher.com/
- 3/4 cup of rotisserie chicken breast and thighs
- 1/2 cup of cooked basmati rice
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk yogurt
- 1/4 cup of veganaise or regular mayonnaise
- 1/2 tbsp of kosher salt
- 3 tbsp of curry powder
- 1 tbsp of tumeric
- 1/2 tbsp of ground coriander
- 1/4 tbsp of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 cup of loosely packed salad greens
- 4 - 6 wraps (depending on how much for you put in each wrap)
- Cut the cooked chicken into cubes (or the closest you can get to 'cube').
- Combine the coconut milk yogurt, veganaise and spices into a bowl in a small bowl and mix well. Make sure you taste as you go and adjust seasoning to your preference.
- Place chicken and rice into a large bowl and top with the coconut milk yogurt mixture, cilantro and raisins. Mix well.
- Roll out the wraps, top with a handful of salad greens and top that with the chicken mixture. Roll up, cut in half and enjoy!