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Healthy Jewish Cooking





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About the book:

No, says author Steven Raichlen, healthy Jewish cooking is not an oxymoron. Inspired by the large family gatherings of his childhood which were filled with homemade Jewish delicacies, Raichlen set out to re-create these meals with an eye towards the fat- and cholesterol-conscious. And he's done well. Raichlen finds still-tasty ways to greatly reduce or cut out schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), butter, oil, and eggs. With meat, he advocates using just enough for flavor but upping the ratio of vegetables, and to try grilling to release a smoky sweetness.

By following his "10 commandments" of healthy cooking, you'll be able to have traditional and not-so-traditional Jewish meals--but with drastically less fat and calories. Remember to "Think flavor, not fat" and "Roast your way to aroma" and you're on your way to lighter versions of old favorites like the Amazing Low-Fat Chopped Liver, Cheese Blintzes, and Sweet and Sour Turkey-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Raichlen's family included Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, so in addition to German and Eastern European-inspired recipes, he also includes Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes like Greek Lamb Stew with Romaine Lettuce and Dill and Bulghur Pilaf. For kugel aficionados, there is an entire chapter of sweet and savory recipes. There are many kosher recipes and suggestions on how to amend nonkosher dishes.

Besides the appetizing, straightforward recipes, the allure of Healthy Jewish Cooking is Raichlen's remembrances of the men and women in his family who taught him how to cook and appreciate the importance of food in the Jewish culture. "Above all, have fun," says Raichlen. "Jewish cooking is about family, love, and abundance. Cook with all three and your life will be rich beyond measure." --Dana Van Nest

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