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Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Chag Sameach! Sukkot celebrates the final gathering of the harvest before the winter. Meals are served in the Sukkah, an outdoor structure with a leafy roof partly open to the sky. The Sukkah symbolizes the temporary shelters in which our ancestors lived during their 40 years in the desert.

The agricultural theme is celebrated by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Stuffed vegetables (cabbage, eggplant, zucchini, peppers) are served for Sukkot. Jews all over the world make Sweet & Sour Holishkes, also known as Cabbage Rolls, although the names and recipes may vary. See the recipe here.

Check out my prize-winning Challah from Second Helpings, Please! Braid as directed, then join the ends to form a circle. See the recipe here.

There’s nothing better than serving family and friends a big bowl of hearty chili to warm everyone up on those chilly fall nights. These hearty, healthy, meat-free recipes are sure to please everyone at your Sukkot table, meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Enjoy!


Adapted from Norene’s Healthy Kitchen: Eat Your Way to Good Health (Whitecap)

Whole grain kasha provides a meaty texture to this meatless chili, which only takes 30 minutes to prepare and cook. Steaming hot, fiber-packed kasha chili is sure to take the chill out and warm you up in the Sukkah!

1 can (28 oz/796 ml) diced or stewed tomatoes (preferably low-sodium)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (preferably low-sodium)
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed (preferably salt-free or low-sodium)
1 large onion, chopped
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic (about 2 tsp minced)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp each paprika, cumin and oregano
3/4 cup wholegrain or medium-grain kasha (buckwheat groats)

  1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients except the kasha and mix well; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the kasha. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes longer or until the kasha is tender, stirring occasionally. If the chili is too thick, thin with a little water. Serve immediately.

Yield: About 8 cups. Keeps 3–4 days in the refrigerator. Reheats and/or freezes well.

Norene’s Notes: 

  • Variation: Substitute 1/2 cup of uncooked green or brown lentils for the beans. In Step 1, increase the cooking time to 20 minutes before adding the kasha.
  • Can-Do: The can from the tomatoes holds 3 1/2 cups, so measure vegetable broth right in the empty can.
  • No Yolk-ing! You don’t need an egg to coat the kasha in this recipe. The thin seed coating will shield each kernel, keeping it separate and fluffy. 


Elana Abramovitch created this heart-healthy recipe as a way to use up all the vegetables in her refrigerator. Don’t worry about exact measurements (except onions) and substitute as you wish. The sauce contains about 150 calories and 10 g fiber per 1-cup serving. Tastes so good and it’s good for you too!

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 medium-large sweet onions, diced

6 stalks celery, diced

2 large orange, yellow or red bell peppers, diced

6 cups grape tomatoes, quartered

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 large broccoli crowns, finely chopped

1 cup kale (approx.), shredded into bite-size pieces

1 can (5.5 oz/ 156 ml) tomato paste

1 can (28 oz/ 796 ml) crushed tomatoes, including liquid (preferably no salt added)

1 can (28 oz/ 796ml) diced tomatoes, including liquid (preferably no salt added)

1 cup dried green lentils

1 cup dried red split lentils

3 1/2 cups water

1 Tbsp oregano

Sweetener equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar (e.g., granulated Splenda)

1 Tbsp sea salt (or to taste)

1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

  1. Drizzle olive oil into a large deep soup pot with a wide base.
  2. Sauté onions on medium heat for a good 10 minutes, mixing occasionally. It’s okay if they brown a little, but you want them to be translucent and smelling sweet before adding celery.
  3. Add celery and sauté for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add peppers and grape tomatoes and sauté for another 10 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and mix well.
  6. Add broccoli and kale and mix well.
  7. Add tomato paste, and crushed and diced tomatoes; mix well. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add water, lentils, and oregano. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste and test lentils for doneness (see below). Sauce should be thick and chunky when ready.


Cook’s Notes:

  • The most important step is allowing the onions, celery, peppers and tomatoes to cook for a good amount of time so their flavour is really brought out, especially the onions. Onions become sweet when they are cooked, which adds a great flavour to the sauce. It’s ok if the vegetables brown a bit. Just don’t let them burn, so stir frequently and adjust heat as necessary.
  • The lentils are great when they are tender but al dente—they should not be mushy. They will take about 30 minutes to get to this point, but taste frequently and simmer longer if you think they are too hard.
  • Lentils are high in protein and fiber and are inexpensive. Use dried red or green or both, whatever you have.
  • I like adding a bit of sweetness to rich sauces which is why I added the granulated Splenda. Add a little and taste as you go—everyone will prefer a different amount of this, but the sweetness reminds me of my Bubbie’s cooking and her eastern European roots!
  • Serving Tip: Serve with a mix of zucchini noodles and whole grain spaghetti, topped with a little bit of light goat cheese.


Adapted from The NEW Food Processor Bible: 30th Anniversary Edition by Norene Gilletz (Whitecap)

This apple-packed cake is sure to become a favorite with your family!

8 or 9 apples, peeled, cored and halved (6 cups sliced)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1 cup tub margarine, cut in chunks
4 eggs (or 2 eggs plus 4 egg whites)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple juice or whiskey
2 3/4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Filling: Insert Slicer in food processor. Slice apples, using firm pressure. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with remaining filling ingredients. Wipe processor bowl with paper towels.
  3. Batter: Process margarine with eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract using the Steel Blade for 2 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice. Do not insert pusher in feed tube. Add juice or whiskey and process for 3 seconds. Add flour and baking powder. Process with about 6 quick on/off pulses, just until flour mixture disappears. Do not overprocess. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
  4. Spread 1/3 of batter in sprayed 12-cup fluted tube pan. Arrange half of apple filling over batter. Do not allow filling to touch sides of pan. Repeat layers, ending with batter.
  5. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with icing sugar when cool.

Yield: 18 servings

Lighter Variation:
Use 1/2 cup margarine and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce in batter. Also use 2 eggs and 4 egg whites.

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is the author of twelve cookbooks and divides her time between work as a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, and cookbook editor. Norene lives in Toronto, Canada and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at www.gourmania.com or email her at goodfood@gourmania.com

Norene Gilletz
Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, cookbook editor and now a podcaster. Norene lives in Toronto and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at gourmania.com..