So Says Simone

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What’s for lunch?

moriah-flyerToday is the 11th day that my kids have been on winter vacation, but who’s counting right?  Some people hate these days and usually I feel the same pressure to entertain my kids but today has been nice and relaxing.  I love not having to rush everyone to get up and get out of the house, never mind making lunches, carpools and the added stress of homework. It is nice to have a few weeks  off from those responsibilities now and then.  It helps that we have been in NY for the last week and just got home so today was the day to chill. Plus when the malls and activities are mostly closed the kids don’t drive us nuts to get out and entertain them.

Lunch on the other hand snuck up on me before I knew it and everyone knows how bare the fridge is after a week away and in Canada the supermarkets are closed on these holidays.  I had lots of unprepared food in the freezer but it would take too long to defrost and then cook.  I guess I was relaxing a little too much today…..So I had to do one of those look in the fridge and see what you have and you can scrape together.

Luckily I found two zucchini, mushrooms and lettuce in my vegetable drawer. I knew I had barley so thought about making a mushroom barley soup and zucchini Parmigiano but to be honest I wasn’t in the mood for all the chopping and breading, frying necessary and barley takes a while to cook even in soup.  Then I remembered a recipe from a new cookbook I have called Temptations that I have been meaning to try that was quick and easy and I had heard beyond delicious.  Next I found veggie burgers that had been pushed to the back of my freezer and lunch was born! A few weeks ago I was with two of my gym buddies after a particularly hard class at Starbucks and we were discussing kosher, vegetarian and other foods. One of my friends mentioned that she had the absolutely best veggie burger at Real Sports Bar and Grill here in Toronto.  She said that instead of a bun they wrapped it in lettuce to make it more nutritional. Well if its good enough for them it would be good enough for us. Of course at this point the kids had already eaten chips and salsa and grilled cheeses so I was off the hook for them for now and luckily Ari is happy to eat whatever is put in front of him (as long as he doesn’t have to make it or clean it up…)

I started with zucchini soup which was on P.16 in Temptations.  This cookbook is a fundraiser with monies going to the tzedakas (charities) that Congregation Keter Torah  in Teaneck, NJ supports.  Temptations is a wonderful new cookbook with 200+ modern kosher recipes for every occasion. Over 2100 copies have already sold and they are in their second printing. The recipes range from easy everyday to gourmet – so there is something for everyone!  The cookbook is also practical with menu suggestions, wine suggestions, a Pesach chapter, and a conversion chart so you can convert the non-Pesach recipes for use on Pesach.  I admit I am a little biased being my sister-in-law is one of the editors and she can close her eyes and bake a cake from scratch and it will be incredible or throw a chicken or roast into the oven sprinkle nothing  but salt, pepper and any other spice she has on her counter on it and it comes out tasting gourmet-EVERYTIME!  Biased or not I’m not the only one who loves this cookbook, Bitayavon magazine (which has since merged with Joy of Kosher) gave the cookbook 5 stars.  Each recipe was triple tested to ensure correctness and the best quality and there are a few free recipes on their website: 
Here’s what I started with: three zucchini , two onions crushed garlic, chicken broth (I used parve), s&p and lemon juice. It doesn’t get much easier than that!



Heres the finished soup which surprisingly even my 13-year-old son who eats nothing green and my 8-year-old daughter gobbled up.  Of course my husband sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top of his and stuck it in the microwave because for him the more calories the better tasting and even I tasted his which was out of this world that way.


These are the veggie burgers I used:

IMG_0957Next I sautéed some mushrooms and onions just in case the burgers had no taste…which wasn’t necessary but made it a heartier meal.

IMG_0955Finally the lettuce part and lunch was done!

IMG_0958Because the kids were home from school and yesterday was my husband’s birthday and we didn’t get him a cake(yes he was born on Dec. 31st at 11:33pm he was a new years baby and a full tax deduction for his parents!) I decided to try the Marangoon recipe (which is a fancy name for Meringues with chocolate chips) from the cookbook. The first batch was gone before I could take them off the cookie sheet and put the second ones in the oven.  A definite hit in my house! Now if i was really not lazy I’d start thinking about dinner because there are so many more recipes I want to try from this cookbook but I am so I’ll leave that for another day.  If you want the recipe for this delicious 15 minutes to make and 30 minutes to cook Zucchini soup  or the out of this world Marangoons-leave me a comment with your email and I will send it to you. Or you could always order your own copy today at Matana Judaica in Toronto or in the US online at

Happy cooking.




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This entry was posted on January 1, 2013 by in food and tagged , , , , , , .

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