Kosher “Chopped” Tu B’Shvat Cooking Challenge

It has been one crazy week (and I am finally slowing down to write about it as I sit in a doctor’s waiting room waiting for my turn) but the highlight of this past week was competing in a “Chopped” cooking challenge at Gourmet Glatt! The event was hosted by the renowned cookbook author Naomi Nachman (Perfect for Pesach).

The rules of the competition were to use seven unknown ingredients that were Tu B’Shevat themed as well as items from a “pantry” that was to be shared by the other contestants and prepare a dish that incorporated all the ingredients in less than 30 minutes. Doing something like this was definitely out of my comfort zone but once that timer went off it was remindful of my NYS pharmacy compounding exam and a mental plan was in order minus all the calculations! The ingredients in the basket were a pound of Atlantic salmon, a tuna steak, prune hamentaschen filling, a pomegranate, a blood orange, a bag of roasted chestnuts, and a bag of dried tropical fruits.

As soon as I saw the fish I knew I wanted to pan sear them both but I could not use the same pan for both simultaneously so I figured it would take fifteen minutes for the salmon and about six or seven minutes for the tuna leaving me less than ten minutes for any other side dish. The easiest thing in my mind was to make a salad and use any of the other ingredients as a topping. What I ended up doing was pan searing the salmon with blood orange wedges and serving it on top of zucchini noodles and toasting the roasted chestnuts to make a tuna crusted tuna steak. I used the prune filling together with two other fruity marmalades to make a Tu B’Shvat glaze for both fish and the pomegranate arils and dried fruits as a topping for the salad. I finished with 5 minutes left on the clock! Phewwww! It was a really great surprise when I found out that my dish won! #shocked. What made me truly happy was to be able to show people that cooking healthy does not mean you need to sacrifice taste and flavor. #Thankful

Here are the recipes:

Tu B’Shevat Seared Citrus Salmon

Ingredients:

1 lb Atlantic salmon fillet cut in 3 slices

1 blood orange sliced into wedges

Juice of half a lemon

Avocado oil spray

Garlic powder

Coconut aminos

Fior di Frutta Seville orange marmalade

Fior di Frutta Fig marmalade

Directions:

1. Spray skillet with oil and allow the pan to heat up for 3 min

2. While oil is heating up squeeze the juice of half a lemon onto the fish in addition to a splash of coconut aminos and garlic powder

3. Place fish on hot pan skin side down and press down for 10 seconds using a spatula

4. Flip sides after ~4 min and cook on high for another 4 min

5. In the same pan add the sliced blood orange wedges and pan sear the wedges

6. Allow salmon to cook for another 5-7 minutes on medium heat depending on the desired doneness

7. In a separate bowl mix a tablespoon of fig jam with a tablespoon of orange marmalade as well as a small amount of coconut aminos—add to the salmon as a glaze (this step is optional, I personally don’t prefer sweet glazes…I also added a small amount of the prune butter to this step)

8. Serve immediately over zoodles and with a salad of spinach, pomegranate seeds, and the seared oranges with alfalfa sprouts as garnish

9. Enjoy!

Roasted Chestnut Crusted Tuna

Ingredients:

1 tuna steak

1 bag of Gefen roasted chestnuts

Avocado oil spray

Garlic powder

Coconut aminos

Cracked pepper

Directions:

1. Spray skillet with oil and allow the pan to heat up for 3 min

2. While oil is heating splash coconut aminos on tuna and garlic powder and cracked pepper

3. Chop up the roasted chestnuts into small pieces

3. Place fish in hot pan and sear on both sides for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side on medium-high flame

5. In the same pan add the chestnuts to toast for 1-2 minutes

6. Serve the tuna with the toasted chestnuts and drizzle some remaining glaze from the citrusy salmon on top

9. Enjoy!

Xo,

Miriam (@thepaleopharmasis)

Sesame Turkey Crumbles with Veggies

I am in the middle of a Whole 30 right now, which means that when I make dinner it serves as lunch the next day as well. The only problem is when dinner is too good and there are no leftovers! That was the case with this turkey crumble dish I made last night. The combination of flavors was amazing and it paired really well with avocado and a simple arugula salad! If you are looking for an alternative to using ground meat this recipe is for you.

The OXO vegetable chopper makes dicing veggies really easy!

To date, I have only found this brand of greens at the Whole Foods in Milburn but it seriously is the best arugula I have ever tasted!
I add this Whole 30 approved dressing to EVERYTHING. It is that good!

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Recipe for Sesame Turkey Crumbles and Veggies:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey 
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced 
  • 2 T of coconut aminos
  • 1 T of sesame oil (not toasted)
  • 1-2 T of cooking fat (I prefer avocado oil)
  • 1 T of everything bagel spice
  • 1 bunch of green onions for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Heat oil in pan on a medium flame for at least 30 seconds
  2. Add in minced garlic and saute until it browns (be careful not to burn)
  3. Add your chopped veggies to the pan and keep stirring until the veggies soften
  4. Once the veggies appear to have browned, add in the ground turkey and break it apart with a wooden spoon until you have made crumbles.
  5. Stir in the sesame oil, coconut aminos, and everything bagel spice and allow it all to cook  for approximately an additional 5 minutes
  6. Garnish with sliced green onions
  7. Serve on a bed of greens with avocado ( I prefer to use Tessamae’s lemon garlic salad dressing as my dressing)
  8. Enjoy!

Links to items used to make sesame turkey crumbles with veggies ( Trader Joes has superior prices on coconut aminos and oils but I have provided links regardless in case you were unsure of what the ingredients were):

Miriam

Instant Pot Friday Night Chicken Soup

Most people who know me know how much I absolutely love my Instant Pot. I have always been a big fan of my crockpot but now that I can make all my crockpot recipes in a fraction of the time, my crockpot is now in a box in the garage somewhere! While I still prefer the taste of roasted chicken versus Instant Pot chicken, the one thing that is hard to mess up in a pressure cooker and is always delicious is chicken soup! I strategically make mine 2 hours before Shabbos and hit the “cancel” button and unplug the device right before I light candles which keeps the soup nice and hot. When it’s time to serve we have steamy, delicious, and golden chicken soup.

I add a whole bag of organic parsnips to the bowl because it imparts a sweet taste. Feel free to add any of your favorite soup veggies to your mix!

Once cooked, I use the soup chicken as a base for my whole 30 approved chicken salad which is just avocado mayo, pickles, and fresh dill.

Waiting patiently for her cup of soup 😊😋

Instant Pot Friday Night Chicken Soup

Servings: 12
Time: 10 minutes prep, 1 hour and 15 min total cook time
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2-3 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 lb of parsnips (scrubbed or peeled)
  • 1 lb of carrots (scrubbed or peeled)
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 6 whole cloves of garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in the removable insert of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add water to the 2/3 mark.
  3. Using the “soup” preset, set the timer to 45 minutes using the +/- sign.
  4. Make sure the sealing knob is in the “sealed” position
  5. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally (usually 30 minutes)

Recommended products to make Instant Pot Soup:

 

Enjoy!

Miriam

Jewish Penicillin made in a pinch!

Growing up whenever I was sick or felt like I was coming down with something my mother would always put up a fresh pot of chicken soup to remedy whatever was ailing me. She did that because that is what her Hungarian mother did as well because chicken soup as the saying goes was “Jewish penicillin.” To this day my mother is still making chicken soup on a weekly basis and freezing it for “under the weather days.” As a pharmacist, I have always been a skeptic of “Jewish penicillin.” Some books and websites make all sorts of claims of its immune boosting effects even calling it liquid gold but could it be that it is just the warmth of a hot liquid that helps soothe a sore throat? Or that your sinuses feel a little more clear because of the steam coming from your steamy bowl or mug? Whichever the case, chicken soup, and bone broth are still staples in my freezer and on a cold morning it’s a nice addition to my breakfast in addition to a hot cup of coffee. Unlike my mother who lets her soups simmer all day, I take advantage of my beloved Instant Pot and make my chicken soup in 45 minutes and my bone broth in 90 minutes. Every Sunday morning I make a fresh batch and freeze it in various containers so that I can use it as a base for whatever I am cooking that week.

Here is my recipe for Instant Pot Bone Broth otherwise known as Jewish Penicillin.

What you will need:

  • Instant Pot
  • A package of chicken or turkey bones
  • 4-5 medium carrots
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-5 stalks of celery
  • 4-5 parsnips
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cheesecloth (optional)

Directions:

  1. Chop up all your veggies coarsely (no need to look pretty because it will be strained out in the end)
  2. Place the bones at the bottom of the pot and pour the apple cider vinegar on it.
  3. Add your veggies to the pot.
  4. Fill the pot with water until the 2/3 max mark inside the pot.
  5. Close the lid making sure it is sealed properly and turn the sealing knob to the “seal position.”
  6. Select the “soup” button and set the timer to 90 min. Since it is a significant volume, it will take approximately 25 min for the IP to come to pressure.
  7. After the timer goes off allow the pot to release the pressure naturally
  8. Once the pressure has been released turn the instant pot off and allow it to cool (you can make an ice bath in your sink to expedite the process).
  9. When your broth is cool you can use a cheesecloth or something similar to strain out the bones and veggies from the broth.

If you do not have an instant pot, you can use the same ingredients and make this in a slow cooker by cooking between 12 and 24 hours on low.

Recommended items for my Instant Pot bone broth:

Enjoy!

Miriam

Week 1 Review

My motivation for doing a reset this month was to help with my chronic inflammation. For the past 2 months my neck and shoulder were acting up and every time I exercised it got worse to the point where I needed take naproxen every single day otherwise it would act up. I also started to feel pain in my hand and elbow more recently and I just attributed it to carrying my heavy baby. Now this is not the first whole 30 I have done and each time I do one I have a different intention. My very first whole 30 was in February of 2013 and my intention then was to help with GI distress. What I always find interesting is that with each new round I learn something new about my body but a common theme for me is that sugar in any form makes me verrrrry sleepy! Sooo after a mere week the pain I was feeling in my neck and shoulder actually let up and I was able to do yoga today which I haven’t been able to in months! The week itself was rough because I felt like I was hungover for a good portion of it and I also discovered that my baby is allergic to eggs so I was forced to modify my go to breakfasts for the most part which is never easy. Now that I’ve got my tiger blood I’m excited to begin week 2! Adding to the excitement of week to my pharmacister Goldie and I met Michelle Tam in Whole Foods this morning! Eek!

Rosemary “French Fries”

Ever since the Whole 30 allowed white potatoes on the plan I’ve been prepping my spuds by making these delicious quasi fries. These are addicting so you will have to limit yourself to a portion and not the whole pan!

Ingredients:

  • 4 white potatoes
  • 4 T avocado oil
  • Dried rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit
  2. Wash, peel, dry the potatoes
  3. Slice the potatoes length wise and cut into sticks or wedges
  4. Place potatoes into a gallon sized storage bag and add all ingredients and shake well until all contents are uniformly mixed.
  5. Transfer to a parchment lined baking pan and bake until lightly browned for 30 minutes.