Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Cook It Kosher

Fluffy Vegan Whole Spelt Challah

April 8, 2018

So far I've done good old fluffy plain challah, whole wheat challah, gluten free challah, and sweet raisin challah, but this is the one I've been really holding out for: whole spelt challah which happens to also be egg free and therefore suitable for vegans.

The thing to be aware of with spelt is that the dough is much softer, and it doesn't hold the shape as well. For that reason, I like to do a round challah and bake it in a round pan, which seems to hold shape best. It can be braided, but it does spread, so I'd then bake it in a loaf pan to help keep the shape. I've done one of each here, so you can see the outcome.

For a firmer dough, which will hold its shape better, you can replace some of the spelt flour with white bread flour (details below). But then it will not be fully spelt of course...

Keep in mind that to do the mitzvah of separating challah, you need to use a significant amount of flour. This recipe only makes two loaves, so it is not enough. You can multiply this recipe by three, and then you will be able to make the blessing and do the mitzvah.

Step 1:

  • 2 tbsp. (20 grams) dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. (12 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) warm water

Place the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Mixture should swell and thicken. If it does not, try again with new yeast.

Step 2:

  • ½ cup (110 grams) sugar
  • ½ cup (85 grams) oil
  • ½ tbsp. (5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) warm water
  • 5 cups (600 grams) whole spelt flour
  1. Pour the oil, sugar, salt, and warm water into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and whisk gently. Add the first three cups of flour. Mix until a loose batter forms. Add the remaining flour one cup at a time until dough comes together in a soft, but not too sticky ball.
  2. Tip the dough out onto a tabletop or kitchen counter and knead for 5-10 minutes. Return to bowl, cover with a damp cloth or saran wrap, and put in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  3. [If you want to do the mitzvah of separating challah, you will need to multiply this recipe by three. This would be the point at which you would separate a piece and say the blessing.]
  4. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Each piece will become one challah. You can braid the challah, but dough made from whole spelt flour is quite soft and doesn't hold the shape as well, so make sure to bake it in a loaf pan which will prevent it from spreading too much. You can also make it round, and bake in a round pan, which tends to hold the shape better.
  5. Optional: If you're not vegan, beat one egg and brush over the challahs. Use the topping of your choice (sesame, poppy, garlic, onion) or leave plain.
  6. Otherwise, just leave the tops plain, or for a sweeter finish, brush with a mixture of maple syrup and vanilla (1 tbsp. maple syrup to 1 tbsp. vanilla).
  7. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 30 minutes. Cool fully before cutting. Freezes well.

NOTE: spelt flour makes for a softer dough. For a firmer dough (easier for braiding) you can replace two cups of the spelt flour with 2 cups (290 grams) of white bread flour.

Yields: 2 loaves

Kosher-For-Passover Potato Starch Fried Chicken Shnitzel

April 2, 2018

This recipe is so simple I almost didn't post it, but it's such a Pesach classic in so many Chabad homes that I think it's worth a share.

Many communities, including Chabad, have the custom of not eating wetted matzah on the first seven days of Passover. In these communities, matzah balls and other recipe that use matzah are used only on the eighth day of Passover. That rules out matzah-meal coated shnitzel for many of us, but this potato starch coated shnitzel is a great alternative.

I've served it here with a little salad of thinly sliced cucumbers, onion, jalapeno, peaches, lemon juice, and salt. Something fresh and light helps to off-set the oiliness in fried foods. A squeeze of fresh lemon over the shnitzel just before eating also adds some zingy flavor.


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 cups potato starch
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • oil for frying


  1. Cut each chicken breast into 5-6 thin slices. It is easiest to slice when half-frozen.
  2. Mix the salt into the potato starch.
  3. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, then coat with potato starch. Then dip a second time into egg, and into the potato starch again. Make sure it is completely coated.
  4. NOTE: Feel free to season with more spices.
  5. Heat oil to approximately 375°F. Fry the shnitzel in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Test one or two pieces first to make sure you are cooking them long enough that they are not raw inside, but not too long that they become tough and dry.
  6. If you don't have a thermometer, you want to make sure the oil is hot enough that it immediately sizzles when you drop the chicken in. If the oil is too hot, the outside will brown before the chicken is cooked through, in which case you need to lower the oil temperature by either adding additional cold oil or removing the pan from the fire for a few minutes to cool.
  7. TIP: Stick a small piece of carrot in the oil. The carrot absorbs the burnt taste the oil sometimes gets. When the carrot looks dark ad shriveled, take it out and replace with a new one.
  8. Transfer the shnitzel to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Alternatively, you can place them on a cooling rack to allow the excess oil to drip down.
  9. Optional: serve with a wedge of fresh lemon to squeeze over the shnitzel just before eating.

Yields: 18 tenders

Tangy Sweet Onion Salad Dressing

March 18, 2018

Towards the end of Passover last year, we'd had our fill of lemon juice/salt/olive oil dressed salads, but it is the Chabad custom to avoid garlic and ginger on Passover, as well as most processed products including vinegars. Soy sauce and mustard are out too, because they contain kitniyot as well as being processed.

I noticed some small purple onions hanging around and was inspired to attempt a Passover version of my creamy yellow salad dressing. The purple onion gives it the most magnificent color, and is a creative way of adding a contrasting flavor when short on ingredients.

You can serve it over any leafy salad. We used it on a salad made with romaine lettuce, mango slices, finely diced purple onion, cubed jicama, and candied nuts, and it was quickly finished. You could also include sliced cucumber and avocado chunks.


  • 1 small onion (4 oz. / 120 grams)
  • ¾ cup light olive oil
  • 6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp. sugar*
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt


  1. Cut the onion into quarters. Place onion and rest of ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.
  2. Serve over the salad of your choice, for example: romaine lettuce, mango, jicama, purple onion, nuts.

*Note: You can use liquid sugar here. Use the amount that is equivalent to 4 tbsp. sugar. This will vary based on which ratio you used when making your liquid sugar.

Kosher-For-Passover Toasted Coconut Macaroons

March 11, 2018

If the humble coconut macaroon isn’t the most iconic Passover treat, I don’t know what is!

Chabad custom is to buy minimal processed foods for Passover, which means make-it-yourself is the name of the game.

This is a simple homemade version, not quite like the bought ones, but strong in that toasty coconut flavor with an addictive stickiness and a hint of salt.

This is the kind of volume you’re looking for when beating your eggs.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups shredded (unsweetened) coconut
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt


  1. Toss 2 cups shredded coconut with 1 tsp. sugar and ½ tsp. kosher salt. Spread it out on a baking sheet in a thin layer and bake at 350° F until just golden, about 5 minutes. Keep a careful eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and beat for several minutes until pale, frothy and significantly increased in volume (see picture above).
  3. Slowly beat in the sugar, lemon juice and salt, and then fold in the raw and toasted coconut.
  4. Place the batter in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm it up so it will hold its shape better when baking.
  5. Use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop the batter into evenly sized mounds on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 15–20 minutes.

Yields: 25 macaroons

Vegan Butternut Squash Pot Sticker Dumplings

March 4, 2018

If you prefer a more traditional dumpling, try my chicken pot stickers, but if you’re feeling adventurous (or vegan/vegetarian), these are a wonderful alternative.

I’ve used ready-made wonton wrappers for the dough on these, but if you have time, I’ve included a recipe to make your own, which is always better.


Pot Sticker Ingredients

  • 1 lb. butternut squash, raw, cubed
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ inch fresh ginger, very finely diced
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 30 wonton wrappers (OR make your own dough)


  1. Toss the butternut squash with 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tsp. salt. Spread in a single layer over a baking sheet and roast at 400° F for 30 minutes.
  2. In a frying pan, sauté the shallot in 2 tbsp. oil until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and fry another minute or two. Add the scallions and cook until just softened. Salt to taste.
  3. Mash the butternut squash (or blitz it in a food processor for a super smooth consistency) and mix through the fried ingredients.
  4. Spread out the wonton wrappers (round or square) on a sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each. Dip your fingers in cold water and run them around the edges of the dough. Gently pinch together the sides to form pleated edges. (You can find tutorials of this on YouTube, if you’re not sure how.) Be careful not to overfill, or they will be too difficult to seal. Repeat until all dumplings have been sealed.
  6. Heat 1–2 tbsp. oil in a frying pan that has a lid (or a wide-bottomed pot). When the oil is hot, place as many pot stickers as will fit without touching each other. Fry for approximately 2 minutes, then add a splash of water to the pan (1–2 tbsp.) and cover. Let the dumplings steam through for a couple of minutes so the filling gets cooked. Uncover and leave over the heat for another minute. Remove the rest and repeat with the next batch. When ready, the bottoms should be crispy, the sides tender, the filling plump and juicy.
  7. If you haven’t gotten the very crispy bottoms you wanted, you can always refry them in a little bit of hot oil after they’re done steaming. (Alternatively, you could just do these as fried wontons and pan fry them in oil to begin with, skipping the steaming entirely).
  8. Repeat until all dumplings have been cooked. Serve with dipping sauce (recipe below) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and scallion (optional).

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • ½ chili pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 6 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1–2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • Sesame seeds


  1. Slice scallions, red chili pepper, garlic and ginger.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together.
  3. Serve with dumplings.

Note: The longer the sauce sits, the spicier it gets, so if you prepare it in advance, you may want to leave out the chili pepper and add it in shortly before serving.

Yields: 30 dumplings

Cook It Kosher features recipes from food blogger Miriam Szokovski, as well as guest bloggers and cookbook authors. Let us know if you’d like to contribute!
Recent Posts
Blog Archive
Related Topics