web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Levana’s Whole Foods Cookbook

Eller-080312-cover

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.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Levana’s Whole Foods Cookbook”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Sections Stories
Collecting-History-logo

Undoubtedly the greatest manifestation of his antipathy was his infamous declaration: “[Expletive] the Jews. They don’t vote for us anyway.”

West-Coast-logo

Chaplain Winkler along with the other OJCB chaplains work tirelessly on a daily basis to ensure that all of the Jewish prisoners religious needs are met.

Eller-103114-Busy-In-Brooklyn

“I work around the Jewish calendar, always trying to think of creative spins,” noted Chani.

“Without a high school diploma, you couldn’t work as a garbage collector in New York City; you couldn’t join the Air Force. Yet a quarter of our kids still walked out of high school and never came back.”
– Amanda Ridley

My mother-in-law is totally devoted to her daughters and their children. Her sons’ children on the other hand are treated like second-class citizens.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.

Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.

More Articles from Sandy Eller
Eller-103114-Busy-In-Brooklyn

“I work around the Jewish calendar, always trying to think of creative spins,” noted Chani.

Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

The idea of breathing new life into something you already own, using leftover bits and pieces as springboards for future projects, is probably a tendency to which I am genetically inclined

“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

Scan those sale circulars either online or when they show up at your doorstep, check out the sale items and plan your menus accordingly.

“We are strong chassidic women and we take the name, we embrace it, and we own it.”

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: