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The Shabbat Table: A taste of wellness

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Muffins from Rochel Weiss's book A Taste of Wellness

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Rochel Weiss of Monsey, New York, the author of A Taste of Wellness, has created a unique cookbook for those embarking on any type of gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb diet. Her recipes are free of refined sugar, and her baked goods are nut-flour based. Rochel’s recipes are suitable for anyone who enjoys eating healthy foods that not only taste good – they’re also good for you!

A Taste of Wellness: Over 275 Delicious Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet & Healthy Lifestyle, Plus Valuable Information for Intestinal Health, focuses on helping those with digestive issues. It is based on guidelines in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD diet) to treat various types of digestive disorders: celiac, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and other digestive discomforts. SCD has also been used successfully to treat autism and many mental health conditions.

A Taste of Wellness is not just a recipe book. It includes many additional features, including: breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, guidelines for good digestion, juicing benefits, helpful hints and tips, stress management techniques, full colour photos and so much more. Rochel’s easy-to-follow cookbook has been highly recommended by leading GI doctors for their patients who have digestive problems.

READ: HARDCOR SNACKIE REVIEWS FUDGE-DIPPED KOSHER PRETZELS

Hunger makes the best cook! Rochel Weiss had been struggling with Crohn’s disease for many years. Many years of pain and frustration preceded the writing of her book. She finally found relief by following SCD. A few days after she began to follow the diet, her symptoms started to disappear. Although she was elated at her remarkable turnaround, Rochel was always hungry. She kept opening and closing cupboard doors looking for something that she was allowed to eat.

With no other resources available, Weiss donned her apron and got into the kitchen. Lo and behold, she discovered she had baking and cooking talents. She was on a roll and nothing could stop her! She started to experiment and adapted her favorite recipes for cakes, ice cream, blintzes, cheesecakes and side dishes, making them gluten-free and grain-free. She was on a high when she realized that she really wasn’t deprived after all. Devising new recipes became her favorite pastime, and the results were tasty and nutritious. She proudly served them to her family and friends, to rave reviews. After many years of trial and error, Rochel Weiss is proud to share her creative, innovative recipes in this excellent resource, A Taste of Wellness. (Note: I worked with Rochel Weiss for nearly two years editing the recipes for her well-researched, well-tested cookbook.)

A Taste of Wellness is a project of www.wellbees.com (formerly known as DigestiveWellness.com), a unique family business that is run by Rochel, her husband David, and their three children, Esther, Sima and Yosef. They work together to bring provide delicious gluten-free and grain-free, ready-to-eat baked goods, top-quality baking ingredients, cookbooks, and more. A grain free, gluten free diet has now become doable, delicious, and enjoyable with A Taste of Wellness. (Ingredients with an asterisk are available from WellBees.com.)

Rochel suggested a few of her favourite recipes for you to enjoy on Shabbat – or anytime!


FLUFFY MUFFINS

Rochel Weiss shares: “These are my favorite muffins – they’re light, tasty and simply delicious! I usually make four batches at a time because they disappear so quickly. I hope you’ll also try the variations below.”

4 large eggs, separated

Pinch salt

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup honey*

2 tsp pure vanilla extract*

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 1/4 cups almond flour*

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
  • In an electric mixer, beat egg whites on low speed until frothy; beat in salt. Increase speed to high and continue beating just until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
  • Reduce speed to low and add yolks one at a time, beating briefly after each addition.
  • Slowly add oil, honey and vanilla extract. Mix until blended.
  • Gently fold in baking soda and almond flour; mix just until combined.
  • Pour batter into paper-lined muffin pans, filling them 3/4 full.
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until golden. Muffins are done when they spring back when lightly touched with your fingertips.
  • When cool, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

Yield: About 15 muffins. These freeze well.

Variations:

  • Fold 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon into batter along with baking soda and almond flour.
  • Gently fold 1/2 cup blueberries into batter after folding in baking soda and almond flour.
  • Omit oil; add 1/2 cup Homemade Applesauce (below) along with honey and vanilla extract.
  • Omit oil; add 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple along with honey and vanilla extract.
  • Omit oil; add 1 cup mashed bananas along with honey and vanilla extract.

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

This is an excellent basic applesauce. Feel free to use half Cortland apples and half yellow apples for a different taste and texture.

20 large Cortland apples

Water as needed

Honey to taste (optional)

  • Peel, core and cut each apple into 8 wedges. Rinse well and place in a 12 quart pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the apples one-third of the way.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, covered, on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until apples are dissolved.
  • Add honey if necessary.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Blend with an immersion blender if applesauce consistency is desired.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for later use.

Yield: 16 to 20 servings. Serve chilled.

Variation:

  • Add different fruits (e.g., pears in the winter; peaches, plums and apricots in the summer). They add a tasty and refreshing twist.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH SALAD

If you love coleslaw and can’t tolerate raw cabbage, you must try this spaghetti squash salad. You’ll be surprised at how similar it is in taste and texture to cabbage. To keep it crunchy, don’t overbake the squash.

1 large spaghetti squash (5 to 6 lbs)

1 medium carrot, grated

2 SCD-legal sour pickles, diced (No SCD-legal pickles? See Variations, below)

Dressing:

1/4 cup honey

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup SCD-legal sour pickle juice
(or see Variations, below)

2 Tbsp vinegar

6 to 8 Tbsp SCD Mayonnaise (see recipe, below)

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and stringy fibers from each half.
  • Place squash cut-side down on a prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, just until tender. Do not overcook.
  • Turn squash cut-side up and let cool about 15 minutes.
  • Using a fork, pull out spaghetti-like strands from squash and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add carrots and pickles and mix well.
  • Dressing: Combine honey with salt, pickle juice, vinegar 
and mayonnaise; mix well.
  • Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Can be made in advance. Stored in refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
  • Yield: 8 servings. Serve chilled.

Variations:

  • If you don’t have SCD-legal sour pickles, you can still enjoy this salad. Simply omit the pickles and pickle juice and double the vinegar.
  • Add 1 small diced purple onion and 1 small diced red bell pepper

SCD MAYONNAISE

This is so simple to make, but there’s only one drawback – you might never enjoy store-bought mayonnaise again!

2 whole large eggs

1 Tbsp vinegar or fresh lemon juice

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp yellow mustard (optional)

2 cups oil

  • In a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process eggs with vinegar, salt and mustard for 30 seconds.
  • While machine is running, add oil in a very slow steady stream through the feed tube and continue processing until thick.
  • Transfer mayonnaise to an airtight jar or container and keep refrigerated.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise. Stays fresh for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Tip: For easy oil dripping, poke two small holes about an inch apart in the bottom of a 9 oz. plastic cup. Place it in the feed tube of food processor. Pour in the oil – it will slowly drizzle into the processor bowl while you do other kitchen tasks.


CREAMY CASHEW ICE CREAM

Rochel writes: “This soft, scrumptious ice cream has kept me sane on the SCD diet. Whenever I came home starved and dinner wasn’t quite ready, I grabbed some cashew ice cream and it saved the day. With such highly nutritious ingredients, each serving of ice cream is a mini-meal in itself! I usually double the recipe and make it in my big mixer for the whole family to enjoy.” The ingredients with an asterisk are available from www.WellBees.com

1/2 cup filtered or pure bottled water

1 Tbsp unflavored unsweetened gelatin*

12 large eggs

3/4 cup coconut oil* (solid)

3/4 cup honey*

3/4 cup cashew butter*

2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract*

  • Pour water into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over top and let set for 15 minutes or until granules have become swollen and spongy. (Refrigerate for faster results).
  • Liquefy gelatin in the top of a double boiler over simmering water (or microwave it briefly).
  • Separate eggs. Place egg yolks in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Place egg whites in an electric mixer.
  • Add coconut oil to egg yolks and beat until smooth and well blended. Add honey, cashew butter, vanilla extract, and dissolved gelatin and process until well combined.
  • Beat egg whites on low speed of electric mixer until frothy; then beat in salt. Increase speed to high and continue beating just until soft peaks form.
  • Reduce speed and gradually add egg yolk mixture to beaten egg whites.
  • Pour mixture into 4 ounce disposable cups with covers (or desired freezer containers). Cover and freeze until needed.

Yield: About twenty 4-oz cups

About Coconut Oil:

  • Coconut oil is an excellent non-dairy alternative to butter, margarine and shortening. It can be substituted in recipes with excellent results.
  • Coconut oil is extremely heat-stable oil, and resists harmful heat-induced damage, making it ideal for cooking and frying.
  • Coconut oil goes further than most other oils. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of oil or butter, it can be replaced with only 3/4 cup of coconut oil.

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is the author of 12 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 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 [email protected]

 

 

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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..