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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Levana Kirschenbaum’

The Cure Is In The Pot

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Levana Kirschenbaum, restaurateur, master chef, cooking teacher and author, has just published the ultimate cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple. This is her magnum opus, a book that takes kosher cooking to a whole new level; with everything we ever needed to know about preparing healthy cuisine from soup to nuts.

Written clearly and concisely with Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD, a nationally recognized nutritionist, Levana’s new book guides you to eat your way to health with recipes that help you achieve a healthy weight, boost your energy level and keep you looking and feeling youthful.

In the spirit of full disclosure I must confess that in addition to being a good friend, Levana is also my culinary savior.   In the midst of writing her new book she learned that I was diagnosed with a serious medical condition and graciously interrupted her busy schedule to turn my kitchen into a classroom, teaching me to cook delicious meals that were free of those dietary culprits– sugar, salt and fats.

How? By substituting healthy alternatives and incorporating often ignored natural ingredients like root vegetables into my culinary repertoire.  Or as Levana describes them, “all those ugly, grimy, bulbous, monolithic roots–rutabaga, celery root, and turnips…what need do they have of looking pretty?  They contain endless reserves of inner beauty and flavor and produce dishes much superior to the prosaic and humble sum of their parts.”

Peppered throughout the easy to follow and beautifully photographed recipes are “Lisa’s Tips.”  Drawing on her vast expertise as a nutritionist, Miss Young weighs in on the medicinal and nutritional benefits of various ingredients including the common parsnip, rich in vitamins B and C and dark chocolate, a surprising source of antioxidants and polyphenols.

Levana traces her devotion to whole foods to her mother whose mantra, “The cure is in the pot,” fueled her philosophy of cooking as a means to healing. The operative word here is delicious as Levana proves that healthy never means boring or bland with recipes that the entire family will enjoy.  Along with numerous sample menus including Asian, Latin, and Vegan dinners and a Dairy-free dessert party, she has included a valuable index of both gluten-free and Pesach recipes.

Here is one of our family’s favorites.  Although I have been cooking chicken soup for over 40 years, it has been displaced by Levana’s Moroccan pea soup, the new Jewish penicillin.  We all love it– from our granddaughter to her grandfather and everyone in between.

 

*Moroccan Pea Soup

Ingredients

2 large onions quartered

8 ribs celery, peeled and cut in large chunks

3 large carrots, cut in large chunks

1 pound bag green or yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed

1 large bunch flat parsley, stems and leaves

1 bunch cilantro, stems cut off

½ cup olive oil

1-teaspoon turmeric

3 quarts (12 cups) water

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

 

Directions
Put all but last ingredient to boil in a wide heavy pot.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook covered for about an hour or a little longer until the peas are very tender.  Add pepper to taste.  Cream with an immersion blender.  Adjust the texture and seasonings.  Makes a dozen ample servings.

Baking One Million Cookies To Raise A Lot Of Dough

Friday, August 23rd, 2002

Spirits are rising alongside the cookie dough at the Manhattan JCC as doctors, social workers, artists, lawyers, and teachers team up with master chef Levana Kirschenbaum to bake one million chocolate chip cookies to raise funds to help the families of Israel's terror victims.

An army of volunteers which also includes moms, students and retirees has rallied around The One Million Cookies Project, the tastiest tzedaka project of all time, a joint effort of Levana Kirschenbaum, co-owner of Levana Restaurant, the Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund and the Manhattan JCC, which has donated its kitchen facilities for this remarkable undertaking.

Levana, who starts to bake at 9 a.m. and doesn't finish until 9 p.m., has been “overwhelmed by the dedicated volunteers who give so generously of their time and energy.” The Neshama Teen Club of Brighton Beach, led by head counselor Yehudis Winner, helped her bake 6,000 cookies one morning as part of their summer activity. High school student Olga Kuchma, who emigrated here from the Ukraine as a young child and has family in Israel, was eager to help support fellow Jews in such a meaningful way.

The gourmet chocolate chip cookies, which are natural, kosher OU parve and pas yisrael, can be ordered in one-pound gift boxes and in bulk packaging of 100, 500 or 1000 cookies, ideal for camps and synagogues. To participate in this fund-raising effort, the cookies can be ordered online at www.millioncookies.com or call 1-800-672-8411. If you are interested in joining the baking brigade, call the volunteer hotline at 646-505-4455.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/baking-one-million-cookies-to-raise-a-lot-of-dough/2002/08/23/

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