web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Levana’s Whole Foods Cookbook

Eller-080312-cover

Share Button

Ah, the joys of August. Whether it is from a farmer’s market, a roadside stand, your own backyard or even the produce aisle of your local supermarket, there is no doubt that now is the time to feast on the freshest and most delectable offerings of the year. But while many of us consider late summer to be prime time for enjoying the simple goodness of nature’s bounty, for one of the most respected names in the kosher cooking world, simplicity is the name of the game all year around.

A pioneer in kosher upscale dining, Levana Kirschenbaum made a name for herself as co-owner of the Manhattan restaurant that bore her name for thirty years. While Levana’s, which opened in the late 1970’s, closed its doors in early 2000, it’s proprietress has remained a fixture in the kosher cooking world, offering private cooking demonstrations and weekly cooking classes in Manhattan – and has authored four cookbooks. Levana’s latest volume, a four hundred page full color cookbook published by Feldheim, titled The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, is accompanied by a DVD featuring two of her cooking classes, showing simple yet delicious menus for Shabbos and Pesach and should be required reading for every home cook.

Opening up The Whole Foods cookbook, I expected to see magnificent glossy photographs of beautiful dishes that I would admire, and possibly drool over, but would never aspire to reproduce on my own. Instead, I was immediately greeted by twenty seven pages of common sense advice, given with Levana’s trademark good humor and candor, touting the benefits of using food in its simplest form to yield both the optimal taste and nutritional value as well as page after page of uncomplicated, yet tempting, recipes. While there are many beautiful photographs sprinkled throughout the book, myriad tips, explanations and practical information abound as well, with recipes easily identified as gluten free, gluten free adaptable or kosher for Passover. A three page section of suggested menus, as well as a gluten free index and a Passover index at the end of the book are sure to inspire many a cook, no matter what the occasion or dietary need.

I admit to being spellbound watching Levana’s Shabbos cooking demonstration on the accompanying DVD, titled Delicious Shabbat Dinner in Under an Hour and a Half. Clocking in at just over forty minutes, Levana prepares Minestrone, Mushroom Chicken, Cous Cous, Grilled Vegetables, Mixed Green Salad, Roasted Salmon with Maple Glaze, Chocolate Espresso Mousse and Halvah. Featured early on in the cooking demonstration was the chocolate mousse, something I rarely make because it is too time consuming. Preparing myself to hear lectures on the benefits of heavy cream or whipping egg whites into a snow, I was shocked to hear that this dish incorporated neither of those ingredients and instead contained a one-pound block of silken tofu, adding a walloping dose of protein to what promised to be a delectable dessert. I continued to watch the DVD, expecting Levana to exhort me to invest a small fortune in premium chocolate and the finest Swiss cocoa in order to make this dessert really pop but while Levana continuously repeated her mantra of using high quality ingredients to obtain the best results, I was literally stunned to see her pour both Hershey’s cocoa and store brand chocolate chips into her mousse, explaining that while it is important to buy cocoa and chocolate that are labeled “pure” there is no need to overpay for premium items.

“Why was everyone mourning Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chips?” asked Levana in a phone interview. “Chocolate doesn’t have to be brand name and there is no reason to spend a lot of money. You just need to use real chocolate.”

Levana, a New York City resident, scoffed at the notion of using only home grown or locally farmed produce in order to obtain the best flavors.

“Grow local?” queried Levana. “Who are you talking to? I live in Manhattan. Where are you going to find a farm? I find it nothing short of snobby and more than a little condescending.”

Another shocker for me was her unabashed devotion to frozen fruits and vegetables, which deliver optimal flavor at a fraction of the cost and often require no additional preparatory work at all.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Levana’s Whole Foods Cookbook”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Sandy Eller
Sandy-Eller-Consumer-logo

As much as I am all for economical meals, Pesach is definitely the time of year when I find myself making more roasts.

A-Night-Out-logo

Deciding on your order is no small task at The Purple Pear. The menu is a whopping eight pages long and as if that wasn’t long enough, there is an additional three-page sushi menu.

Well, in the good news department, if you have kids, your dreams are about to come true. As veteran cookbook author Tamar Ansh so capably illustrates in her 96-page, kid-friendly volume titled Let My Children Cook!, your progeny can be a valuable asset when Pesach rolls around when time is at a minimum and the cooking demands are sky high.

What do you do with fruit that has turned just a little soft and squishy and that no one in your household wants to eat?

The name La Brochette is a nod to Cohen’s Middle Eastern roots, alluding to a shish kabob skewer, but the restaurant is first and foremost a French steakhouse, albeit one with a dazzling sushi menu.

While there are those who prefer holding a printed recipe in their hands, Estee has found that a cooking website has many advantages. Aside from the obvious cost factor and the ability to fix the rare mistakes, websites have a far greater ability to offer feedback.

I take all my challah ingredients, throw them in the breadmaker, turn on the machine and walk out of my kitchen. Ninety minutes later, I have a gorgeous batch of challah dough with no work and practically no mess to clean up.

Whether you are a repeat customer or a first time visitor, from the moment you enter Orchidea you are treated like family. Only better.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/recipes/levanas-whole-foods-cookbook/2012/08/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: