Vegetarian Freezer-Friendly Meals

freezer friendly meals

I’m preparing to go to Israel for a couple of weeks for a work conference. So in addition to preparing for the big conference, I’m also preparing the house and the family for my being gone for two weeks. I know that the house can run without me, but I panic. I’ve been gone for a week before, but never two! My husband isn’t a bad cook, but he is limited in the kitchen and has limited time for recipes. I decided that I needed to come up with a food plan ahead of time. I began planning a month in advance. I set aside my Sundays for cooking and freezing a few dishes to ensure that my kids would not be feasting on ramen and Wacky Mac each night. Mind you, they’d be thrilled with those options. I just want some more nutritious options in their bellies. I also wanted to make it easy on my babysitter. A simple reheat makes things uncomplicated. Everything is properly wrapped and labeled. All that needs to be done is a quick chopped salad and dinner is done!

Here are some of the dishes I already have ready to go:

French Onion Soup | Carrot Ginger Soup | Moroccan Lentil Soup | White Bean and Kale Soup | Split Pea Soup | Vegetarian Chili | Vegetable and Black Bean Burritos | Mushroom and Onion Quiche | Baked Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese | Eggplant Pasta Bake | Homemade Pizza Bagels | Veggie Burgers | Veggie Meatballs and Sauce | Quesadilla Pie | Quinoa and Chickpea Loaf | Lentil Sloppy Joes

*Please let me know if you’d like me to post he recipes to any of the above dishes that aren’t already linked
and I will try to make them a future feature.

P.S. If you have any great foodie suggestions in Israel, let me know in the comments below!

While trying to come up with my own menu plan, I sought out some help from many of my foodie friends. Sharing some fantastic ideas with you here! Do you have a favorite freezer-friendly dish? Share them in the comments below.

Soups:

Roasted Winter Vegetable Chowder – Kitchen Treaty

Crockpot Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili – Kitchen Treaty

Slow-Cooked Split Pea Soup – This American Bite

Carrot Soup with Coconut Milk – JewHungry

Roasted Red Pepper Soup – Tales of an Overtime Cook

Main Dishes:

Baked Falafel  – May I Have That Recipe

Pretzel and Cashew Crusted Tofu – May I Have That Recipe

Crepe Lasagna – Because I Like Chocolate

Green Mac & Cheese – The Kosher Foodies

Whole Wheat Cabbage & Mushroom Galette – The Kosher Foodies

Peas and Shells with Vegan Alfredo – JewHungry

Eggplant Casserole – EverydayMaven

Asparagus, Dill & Onion Egg Casserole – EverydayMaven

Sides:

Broccoli Kugel Muffins – Tales of an Overtime Cook

Starters & Sides Made Easy: Review & Giveaway

startsaandsidesforwpA new cookbook in the mail is some of the best kind of mail out there. I was very excited when the Starters & Sides Cookbook showed up in my mailbox recently. This cookbook, by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek of Ami Magazine and CookKosher.com fame, is just as beautiful and just as well laid out as their Passover Made Easy cookbook that I featured this past Spring.

This cookbook features pages and pages of easy to follow recipes for tasty and innovate side dishes, appetizers and salads. This cookbook is totally made for me. I love side dishes! I could make a dinner out of the appetizer menu!

When this cookbook showed up, I quickly ripped it out of the packaging to page through the book. Like the Passover cookbook, the book features some fantastic tips and ideas. The recipes are simple, without complicated ingredients. Every recipe features a full-color photo, which is always helpful.

I especially liked that there were many recipes in the cookbook that were vegetarian and most of the recipes didn’t use processed products. I tried to stick to whole foods as much as possible.

A recipe that caught my eye, that I thought would be perfect for an upcoming dinner I was hosting, were the kishka and zucchini towers. Homemade kishka is a fantastic treat once in a while. This vegetarian appetizer is perfect for shabbat or any other dinner when entertaining. Sharing the recipe with you today.

Kishka-Zuchini1

In addition to the cookbook that the publisher sent me, they have also graciously offered one cookbook for one of my lucky readers. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below! Good luck! Hope you enjoy the cookbook as much as I did!

Kishka and Zucchini Towers
 
From Starters & Sides Made Easy by Leah Scapira & Victoria Dwek
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer, Side Dish

Ingredients
For the Zucchini:
  • 3 large zucchini, cut into ½-inch slices
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • coarse black pepper to taste
Kishka
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ⅔ cup cold water
  • ⅔ cup oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the kishka: In a small bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  3. Stir in water and oil. Mold the mixture into a log that is the same width as your zucchinis. Freeze log for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Place zucchini rounds on one prepared baking sheet. Remove kishka from freezer and slice into ½-inch rounds. Place kishka rounds on second prepared baking sheet.
  5. Brush zucchini and kishka rounds with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45-50 minutes until zucchini is tender and kishka and zucchini are golden on the edges.
  6. Remove from oven. Create towers by topping a kishka round with a zucchini round, another kishka round, and a second zucchini round.

 

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Jerusalem Day: Israeli Recipe Roundup

Today is the 28th of Iyar. Also known as Yom Yerushalyim or Jerusalem Day. Have you heard of this special day? We celebrate Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six Day War. So today, we honor the soldiers who lost their lives in the war and spend the day talking about Jerusalem and what it means to us. We share memories, we sing and we dance.

Chummus

For those of us not in Israel today, we can also celebrate with food. Israeli food. What’s your favorite Israeli food? Falafel or Sabich? Shakshuka or maybe some Sachlab? When you think of Jerusalem, what food comes to mind?

In honor of Jerusalem Day, I want to share with you a roundup of Israeli recipes and restaurant reviews from both my site, and from around the blog world.

Do you have a favorite recipe that makes you think of Jerusalem? Post them to the comment box or send them to me at hindyg@confident-cook.com.

Thanks to The Jewish Federations of North America for sparking the idea for this blog post; they’ll be featuring it on their Jerusalem Day website as a way to build buzz for their annual General Assembly, a major gathering of leaders from Jewish organizations in North America and Israel which will be in Jerusalem this November.

Hummus, Tahini and Other Dips
Babaganoush
Homemade Hummus
Hummus with Zaatar
Lemony Hummus
Matbucha
Matbucha Madness
Roasted Eggplant Dip
Schug
Tahini
White Bean HummusOther Vegetarian Treats
Malawach Cheese Pastries
Roasted Eggplant with Israeli Salad
Sabich
Israeli Couscous with Cinnamon Roasted Sweet PotatoSalad
Cabbage Salad
Israeli Salad
Tabouli
Beet SaladMeat Recipes
Lamb Kebabs
Turkey Shawarma

 

Breads
Pita

 

Desserts
Chocolate Falafel
Halva
Halva and Pistachio Ice Cream
Limonana Bars
Limonana MarshmallowsShakshuka Recipes
Green Shakshuka
Matbucha Shakshuka
ShakshukaJerusalem Restaurants
Dining on Emek Refaim in Jerusalem
Kosher Vegetarian Restaurants
Kosher Sushi in Jerusalem

Passover Made Easy: Cookbook Review & Giveaway

The most exciting mail days in my house are when cookbooks happen to show up at my door. I get jittery with excitement at the prospect of new recipe ideas. I quickly open the door, put everything down and rip open the package.  The excitement of a Passover cookbook is no different.

When I heard that Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek, the women behind CookKosher.com and Whisk Magazine, would be creating a Passover cookbook, I got excited. I have a few Passover cookbooks on my shelves, but nothing terribly new and innovative has joined the ranks in the past few years. I was so curious what would await. Leah Schapira’s earlier cookbook, Fresh & Easy, is a fantastic cookbook with bright photos and easy to follow recipes that covered all bases. So I had high expectations. Once again, Leah Schapira did not disappoint.

This cookbook, Passover Made Easy, is filled with bright photos for every recipe in the book. It includes simple step-by-step recipes, along with plating suggestions and wine pairings.  I love that this cookbook covers all bases that is sure to make the week of Passover easting much easier.

Beginning with a section on “Building Blocks,” there are recipes for basics like Passover crepes and mayonnaise  These simple items show up in various recipes, tweaked in to different forms, with amazing outcomes. I for one was excited about the mayonnaise. I am always disappointed by the mayo on the store shelves during Pesach. It always disappoints. Making it at home is so simple and tastes so much better!  The crepes too, can be used for so many different recipes – as a noodle or sandwich wrap – or even a brisket egg roll! Fantastic!

The plating recommendations are extremely helpful. So much of Passover is spent entertaining guests at meals, that the recommendations for artfully plating the food is extremely helpful.

The recipes in this cookbook are varied and run the gamut from perfect Seder dishes like Eggplant Wrapped Chicken to casual weekday dishes like the Matzaroni & Cheese recipe. This cookbook is sure to have something for everyone. I for one am especially pleased that most of the recipes use whole ingredients, and not the processed jarred and boxed stuff on the shelves. Using fresh veggies, herbs and proteins, with very little matza meal involved is a welcome treat in my house.

I highly recommend you go out and get this cookbook. You will be happy you did.

I am pleased to be offering a giveaway of this cookbook, Passover Made Easy: Favorite Triple-Tested Recipes by Leah Schapira & Victoria Dwek. The giveaway will end next Sunday morning, March 17, so be sure to enter!

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Shavuot Run-Down

Am I turning in to my parents? I never thought I would say that, but I think I am becoming them – in the way I relate to food…and guests. The whole concept of how much to serve when having guests – I totally get that from my parents. The whole fear that you just may embarassingly run out of food when you have company over. Yikes! It’s totally never happened – at their house or mine. The fear is still there, so we compensate, and we make entirely way too much food. Heaven forbid there should not be enough food options for anyone at the table…and you must please everyone. The vegan should have multiple food choices, the chick allergic to ten different foods – she, too, must also have multiple food options. It’s all there…it’s all cooked, by me. And don’t get me wrong. I am totally not complaining. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy entertaining. There is just way too much food in this house. And there is going to be more. We just finished Shavuot, and tomorrow I start cooking for Shabbat. More food? Yikes.

We had lots of food success over Shavuot. No misses. Suprising. During a long holiday, there is usually at least one food that doesn’t go over too well with more than one person. This time, except for my picky 8-year-old, just about everything went over well. In the next few blog posts, I will share with you some of the hit recipes.

Below, I present to you my Shavuot menu.

Tuesday Night

Hungarian Mushroom Soup – recipe to come
Salad
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Baked Salmon

Asparagus Rice Pilaf – recipe to come
Oreo/JoeJoe’s Cheesecake


Wednesday Lunch (ate out – brought slaw)

Oriental Cole Slaw – recipe to come

Wednesday Night – Just us

Salad
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Thursday Lunch

Salad
Salmon Salad – using leftover salmon from Tues. night

Roasted Broccoli
Potato/Cheese Blintzes – recipe to come
Spinach Pie – recipe to come
Baked pasta dish with mushrooms – recipe to come

Oreo Cheesecake
Coffee Oreo/JoeJoe’s ice cream – recipe to come

I’m not really a balabuste…but I have some recipes for you

It’s hot here in the Northeast. It’s so hot that every night I am tempted to order takeout. I have been good. I have cooked, every night even. I apologize for neglecting to show you my goodies.

I will share with you some winners from this past weekend. I had an old roomie over for Shabbat, who declared me a balabuste. If she only knew. I can’t be a balabuste if I can’t cook a kugel. I can make some awesome rice dishes though.

Friday night is always rough on these long summer Shabbats. By the time Shabbat starts, you are super hungry, but too tired to eat. Still, I cooked, and I cooked some more. Guests are fun. On the Friday night menu was chicken soup, roasted maple glazed chicken with roasted root vegetables, a pilaf, steamed broccoli, and yummy garlicky green beans with shallots. I forgot to serve the sauteed zucchini. Sorry for the lack of pictures.

 

I don’t have a name for my rice creation. I never use recipes for rice. I will admit that I have become overly confident in my knack for a good rice dish.

July 4th, 2008 Rice Dish

2 cups basmati rice
1 onion, diced
2 shallots, chopped
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
handful of pinenuts
7 mushrooms, sliced
3 cups water or vegetable broth
coriander
olive oil
salt
pepper

In a large saute pan that you have a lid for, on medium-high heat, saute onions, garlic, shallots, and ginger. Throw in the rice. Let it toast a minute or two. Add in the sliced mushrooms. Saute one more minute. Add 1 Tbsp. of coriander, salt and pepper. Add in the pinenuts. Add the water or broth, and cover with a lid. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Walk away a bit until done.

 

For Shabbat Lunch, I made a pot roast in the crockpot, accompanied by a tasty assortment of salads. There was a large green salad, an imitation crabmeat salad, a couscous salad, a tomato basil salad, and hummus.

 



Slow Cooker Pot Roast – adapated from Allrecipes.com

4 pounds roast – I used chuck…just look for a nice hunk of meat, after a dozen plus hours in the crockpot – it’s all good

salt and pepper to taste
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup of good red wine – reminder to always use wine you like to drink
3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 stalk celery, chopped –

Take the chuck roast and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute a bit more.
Place in the slow cooker and add the broth, wine, carrots, onions, potatoes and celery.
Cover and cook on low. It is done after 10 hours, but I left it cooking overnight until lunchtime. The smell was heavenly at 6am.

“Crab” Salad – dedicated to my Aunt who introduced us to the yummy salad

1 Package of imitation crab meat, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped fine
Half of a small seedless cucumber, chopped
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
Juice of one lemon
chopped parsley
Pepper
1 Tbsp. Old Bay
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp. Mayonaisse

Mix everything together and serve.




Tomato Basil Salad

5 Sliced Plum Tomatoes
Chopped Red Onion, about a quarter
Chopped Fresh Basil
Salt
Pepper
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Mix all together. Enjoy! Good with some nice crusty challah to sop up the juices

CousCous Vegetable Salad – from www.fantasticfoods.com

2 cups cooked whole wheat couscous
6 green onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into small pieces
1 cup cucumber, chopped
½ cup cooked (or canned) garbanzo beans
1 cup parsley, chopped

Mix all ingredients together and toss with the following salad dressing:

Dressing
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

All of these dishes were a hit. I had little to no leftovers…which in my book is always a good sign. I get ooked out by leftovers.

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