As promised, here’s my out-of-turn post about our Shabbat dinner.
Shabbat was a blast and first I want to show off our fancy menu:
*Chilled herby zucchini soup
*Massaged Kale with grilled orange peppers
*Porridge with grilled peaches in tahini herb sauce
Roasted tomato and corn chesapeake
*Curried quinoa with peas and cashews
Bean salad with feta
Spinach and cheese frittata
Followed by wine and vodka, I’d say the most popular dishes were the challah and frittata. I think when people are drinking and socializing, they veer from weird dishes heavy on the veggies. It’s too much effort to crunch, chew, swallow… and get drunk.
Arielle and I tried to stick with recipes suitable for the cleanse in preparation for our Esrei Yamim Clean experiment. Starred menu items above are “Cleanse” appropriate.
I know you know this, but for our readers…
Esrei Yamim is Hebrew for 10 days – it’s the term representing the ten days in between Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the day of repentance).
Here’s what I remember from Jewish Day School: Esrei Yamim is the time in which God chooses who will live and who will die in the upcoming year – God opens the book on Rosh Hashana, and for the next ten days scribes the names of who will live. On Yom Kippur, the last of the ten days, God closes the book to seal the deal. That’s why we’re so desperate to pray during those last few hours before the sun goes down on Yom Kippur. We get down on our knees and beg God for forgiveness.
It’s tradition to repent, reflect and purify during Esrei Yamim. It’s also tradition to ask people for forgiveness.
Esrei Yamim has always been a time for me to think about the previous year – my accomplishments, successes, failures; the big questions I’ve pondered; the relationships I’ve built, maintained and broken; the holidays I’ve celebrated with friends and family; the states and countries I’ve visited; the milestones – and to consider goals for the upcoming year – identify my needs for improvement; think of where I have room to grow; figure out how I can be a better person than I was last year; apologize to people I’ve hurt; write a list of my top ten most offensive sins.
I make resolutions during secular New Year too, but always draw a line between the types of resolutions I make on Jan 1 and Rosh Hashana. My resolutions for the secular New Year are typically material resolutions: I want to stop using the word “like” in my speech. I try to keep my resolutions for Rosh Hashasha on a more spiritual plane: I want to rely more on my gut than my brain.
I think of Esrei Yamim as a time to recharge and reset, so I can start the new year on a fresh slate.
This year, Arielle and I are teaming to inspire Jews from all over to participate in an Esrei Yamim Cleanse. We are posing the cleanse as an effort to integrate mind/body/spirit connection with our Jewish traditions. We’ve done “the cleanse” several times (there’s even a category for it under the recipe index here!). I like the cleanse because it forces me to slow down and think about what I put into my body, to appreciate food that isn’t tainted by chemicals and synthetic additives, to taste the goodness of purity. Eating on the cleanse makes me feel clean.
The rules are:
- No gluten
- No processed soy
- Vegan (plain organic yogurt is ok)
- No alcohol
- No added sweeteners (no sugar, no honey, no agave, no aspartame, no stevia, etc)
- Nothing that comes from a package with more than 3 ingredients
- No wheat
It sounds scary, but I promise that there’s still so so so much to eat. Visit 10yamimclean.wordpress.com for recipes, meditations, reflections and a virtual support group.
For some inspiration I want feature a few recipes on The Cleanse.
Curried Quinoa with Peas and Cashews
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 c quinoa (I like using red quinoa.. I think less mush/chewier than white quinoa)
- 2 tsp curry powder
- salt and pepper
- 3 yellow squash (recipe calls for zucchini)
- 1 c carrot juice
- 2 c peas
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions
- 1/2 c cashews
- 1/2 cup golden raisins (or chopped apricots)
- 1 bunch cilantro
Heat oil in a soup pot and add onions until brown. Then add quinoa, half of the curry powder and salt for two minutes to toast the quinoa (this will make it chewier and nuttier). Add 2 cups of boiling water and simmer for 20 min or until done.
Meanwhile, cook zucchini (or squash) and peas in oil and remainder of curry powder (add chilis or cayenne if you like spicy). Then, add carrot juice and salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Chop cilantro and scallions.
When veggies and quinoa are ready, mix together and add cilantro, scallions and raisins. Another option is to add peas separately (if you want to maintain their pure green freshness like I did in the above photo).
Grilled Peaches with Tahini and Herbs
- 4 summer peaches
- 2 tbs tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 c arugula
- bunch of fresh sage, thyme, basil, and/or tarragon
I have to give credit to Arielle for this one. It’s amazing. When she grilled the peaches, it smelled EXACTLY like cotton candy. Foreal. I think it was the burnt sugar of the peaches.
So.. cut peaches in half and lay face down on flaming grill. Grill until slightly charred. Let cool.
Chop arugula and herbs into small pieces and mix into tahini and lemon sauce. Cut peaches into chunks and mix into sauce.
Serve over greens or grains (I prefer greens).
Chick Pea and Raw Squash India Inspiration
- 3 cups chick peas (cooked and drained or from a can)
- 5 medium squash
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 c sliced almonds
- 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp whole cumin seed
- 1/3 c golden raisins
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- dash of cayenne
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
This is a great recipe to throw together if you’re in a rush. If you’ve got a can of chick peas in the cabinet, it requires no cooking! Just mix spices with apple cider vinegar, spices, lemon zest and lemon, and mix with cut raw squash (cut into thin slivers), chick peas, raisins, and almonds. Add grated carrots for a treat!
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