◊ A Left Turn Or Something

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Dear mom,

You got your wish: I’ll be home for Rosh Hashana.

My plans took a swift left turn last week… another plane ticket, another commitment; it’s real… I’m moving to Jerusalem. A year of hummus and salty cheese is reason enough.  I’m nervous and I’m laughing about it.

My deliberation over the decision was all-consuming as usual. But I learned something important: that my gut is a more informative organ than my brain. It’s smarter than the projections cast by rationale – it told me that right now I need nourishment and connection and new territory. Even though I worry about long-term stability (straight roads put me to sleep, so I seek twists and turns that sometimes just become rocky bumps what is wrong with me?!), I’m okay with stepping onto a wayward path right now. I don’t care about the weirdness.

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I’ll be home through the holidays and am excited for the Esrei Yamim Cleanse. I hope that more people join this year since we now have a whole Cleanse category in our recipe index. Can we make our Rosh Hashana menu as cleanse-friendly as possible? I’ve been practicing with the vitamix (since our reunion we’ve been inseparable – it’s pathetic) and last week, I made beautiful purees that will be perfect for Rosh Hashana appetizers and Esrei Yamim snacks. No offense – I think my beets are prettier than yours.

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I don’t have much time left to trash the house and destroy the liquor cabinet before you come home from your vacation and we hit the kitchen hard. I’m ashamed that I didn’t do more bad things while you were out of town, but I accept defeat: my parents are better at drinking alcohol than me and my friends are too good/sparse. But I still have a few hours left…

Safe travels home!

xo,

Shaina

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Razzle-dazzle Savory Beet Puree

IMG_8926This puree is creamy, earthy, deep and freaking rad. My favorite breakfast lately is a rice cake with beet puree, yogurt, avocado and salt and pepper.

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It’s also great with apples, sandwiches and vinegary salad dressings… it will be a fabulous accompaniment to honey during the rounds of Rosh Hashana apples n’ honey. And it’s so pretty!

  • 1 cup raw walnuts (or half cup walnuts, half cup cashews)
  • 2 medium beets
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Wrap unpeeled, whole beets in foil and roast for 40 – 50 minutes. Allow to cool and peel (the peel should slip right off). Blend with remaining ingredients in food processor until a thick, psychedelic paste is formed. So simple!

Zesty Spinach Puree

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Perfect as a cracker dip or over roasted veggies.

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or cashews
  • 16 oz fresh, washed spinach
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • pepper

Add all ingredients to food process and puree until desired consistency.

Perfect Cinnamon Vanilla ‘Cleanse’ Pudding

I’ve been experimenting with a cleanse-friendly pudding recipe for almost two years now – I’ve tried it with avocado, chia, flax, cashews, almonds, dates, apples…. the variations are countless. I finally got it down to the perfect result. And the recipe requires just a few basic ingredients. I have two versions to share with you: vanilla and chocolate.

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  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 8 de-stemmed dried figs
  • dash of cinnamon
  • tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup warm water

Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse until blended. Add more warm water if needed. Consistency should be like creamy peanut butter.

Delicious warm or cold, this “pudding” is so healthy that you can eat it for breakfast… it’s just like a bowl of oatmeal with dried fruits and nuts! It’s also satisfying as a dessert. Try it with fresh berries or peaches and a dollop of greek yogurt for a filling sweet treat.

Perfect Chocolate ‘Cleanse’ Pudding

  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 8 destemmed dried figs
  • dash of cinnamon
  • tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbs good cocoa powder

Layer onto a rice cake with peanut or almond butter for a healthier take on the Reese’s Cup! Or stir into greek yogurt and berries for a special treat.

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Black Sesame Amaranth Crackers

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  • 3/4 Cup raw amaranth
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup black sesame seeds
  • sea salt to taste1 tsp
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Cook amaranth (bring one part amaranth to two parts water to boil and then reduce to simmer… it takes about 20 minutes). It should be a sticky, gooey consistency… like thick oatmeal. Mix cooked amaranth with remaining ingredients. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and spread amaranth mixture into thin layers, using the back of a spatula to even it out (I covered the back of my spatula with olive oil so it wouldn’t stick to the amaranth mixture).

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Place in oven (convection bake setting is preferable) at 170 degrees for 35 – 60 minutes, depending on how thin your layer is. Remove from oven when browned as crisp. Allow to cool and gently break into cracker-size pieces. They should easily lift from the parchment paper.

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These crackers are super healthy – vegan, gluten free, etc – and great for dipping into purees or crumbling over salad or yogurt bowls.

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4 thoughts on “◊ A Left Turn Or Something

  1. Pingback: ◊ Deep Fried Judaism | cross counter exchange

  2. Pingback: Passover Ideas From Both of Us | cross counter exchange

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