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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Vegan Mushroom Pâté

Vegan Mushroom PateI was fasting the other day in preparation for a test, and all I could think about was bánh mì. I walked by the bánh mì cart near my office and my mouth was salivating. I decided that no matter what, I would be making bánh mì sandwiches for dinner this weekend. A while back, I made some vegan bánh mì here on the blog. From experience though, I knew it was missing something. It was missing the traditional pâté. It adds another layer of flavor to the sandwich and some needed moistness that pairs well with the other ingredients.

This time around, I knew I had to make my own baguettes AND make some pâté. Pâté is traditionally made from pork and chicken liver in these sandwiches. You all know that’s not my style. I’ve had some vegetarian eggplant liver before, but I’m the only one in this house who loves eggplant. I decided to make this amazing spread out of mushrooms and walnuts.

I toasted the walnuts in my cast iron skillet.

Toasting Walnuts for Pate

Then., I sautéed up some mushrooms along with some shallots, garlic, ginger and spices. The smell was already so good.

mushrooms for vegan liver

Once the mushrooms were done, I placed everything in my Cuisinart food processor and processed away.

It came together fast and made a huge difference in our bánh mì sandwiches! This would also be perfect as a dip with crackers or in place of traditional meat liver on shabbat and holidays!

vegan-banh-mi

 

 

Vegan Mushroom Pâté
 
This vegan mushroom pâté goes perfectly with my vegan banh mi sandwiches!
Author:
Recipe type: vegan, dip, spread

Ingredients
  • ¾ raw shelled walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or other neutral oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
  • 10 oz. mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 tsp. tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • additional salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Heat up your skillet on medium high heat.
  2. Toast the walnuts in the dry skillet for about 3 minutes. You do not want to burn the nuts.
  3. Remove the walnuts from the pan and set aside.
  4. Keep the pan on the heat.
  5. Add the oils to the pan. Let the oil get hot.
  6. Add the shallots, garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook another few minutes. Stir in the tamari, salt and pepper.
  8. Once cooked, turn off the heat.
  9. Place both the walnuts and the mushroom mixture in your food processor and process well. It should be a paste.
  10. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as necessary.
  11. Enjoy!

Vegan Mushroom Pate

 

Meatless Monday: Vegetable and Rice Patties

My older daughter just left for camp. It’s so odd having one less child in the house. When I got home and started to prepare dinner this evening, there was nobody to complain. Nobody questioned the flavors that would show up on the plate. I kind of miss it! It is nice though to be left with just my kid who eats anything. It’s a nice treat to see everything eaten on the plate – even the onions.

I still miss the kid. A lot. And it’s only been a day.

We were gone over the weekend, and I have a limited selection of what is available in the fridge. As with any Monday, dinner must be fast. With a limited supply of veggies and some cooked rice in the fridge, these veggie rice patties were perfect for a light dinner. When paired with a salad, everyone is happy.

Vegetable and Rice Patties 
Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice, cooled (white or brown works)
1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 small zuchinni, chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (I used a cheddar jack blend)
3/4 cup panko crumbs or gluten free alternative
2.5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. rosemary
2 tsp. garlic powder
4 eggs
2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil for pan frying

Directions:

Mix everything together in a large mixing bowl. Shape in to patties and let sit on a plate for about 10 minutes to set.

Pan fry in a small amount of oil for a few minutes on each side – until browned.

Drain on paper towels.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Rice PattiesN
This post is linked to My Meatless Mondays
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