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Sunday, August 31, 2014

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Break the fast with make-ahead recipes

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After a day of fasting, nothing is better than an inviting, nourishing meal that takes a minimum of effort. These appetizing Yom Kippur recipes can be made in advance so that you can spend less time in the kitchen and more in the company of friends and family.

At the end of the fast, serve a tray of freshly sliced apples with honey. Meanwhile, you can have everything else ready and on the table within an hour. The Cheese and Vegetable Strata is packed with carbohydrates and protein, so there is no need to pair it with meat or fish to satisfy your hunger when breaking the fast. Enjoy this selection of delectable Yom Kippur recipes

 

APPLE AND RAISIN SALAD

 

Dressing

2 tbsp. canola oil

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup golden raisins (soak in warm water for one hour, drain)

2 tbsp. honey

1 large clove garlic

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp.oregano

zest of one lemon

1 tbsp. lemon juice

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process on high speed until smooth. Refrigerate. Stir or shake well before using.

 

Salad

5 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

2 cups shredded red cabbage

2 Granny Smith apples, chopped

1 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup chickpeas, (from a tin, rinsed and drained)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins

Toss salad with dressing just before serving.

 

CHEESE AND VEGETABLE STRATA

 

A strata is a layered casserole dish similar to a quiche or a frittata. The difference is that the ingredients are not all mixed together. A strata is made with an egg mixture poured over layers of bread. The casserole needs to be left between one hour and overnight before baking. It is then served warm as an entrée.

 

8 eggs, beaten

2 1/2 cups skim milk

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1 tbsp. dried parsley

1 loaf of challah, crusts removed

3 cups shredded cheese, part mozzarella, part cheddar

3 medium-large zucchinis, thinly sliced

1-2 red peppers, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tbsp. chopped chives

 

Spray a 15x10-inch, 4-quart, Pyrex baking dish with canola oil or olive oil. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, mustard and parsley. Place one layer of bread in dish, top it with one-third of the zucchini slices and then cover that with one-third of the cheese. Spoon about one-third of the egg mixture over this first layer.

Repeat this step for second and third layers.* Arrange red pepper slices over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese and chives. Using a pastry scraper or a large sharp knife, score the strata. Push right down to the bottom of the Pyrex dish, forming 12-16 pieces.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Bake strata in a 350-degree oven for one hour. Then, using the pastry scraper or knife, cut along score lines and remove individual pieces from dish with a large offset spatula.

*If the challah is very thickly sliced, make Strata in two layers rather than three.

 

MALIBU COCONUT CHEESECAKE

 

9- or 10- in. springform pan

3 cups light cream cheese

circle of parchment paper

1 cup sugar

12 oz. package of shortbread cookies

1 cup coconut

1/4 cup coconut rum

1 tbsp. sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup light coconut milk

3 tbsp. margarine, softened

1 cup coconut, toasted*

 

Crust: Spray springform pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Process cookies in food processor, or place in a large plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin to make crumbs. Add coconut, 1 tbsp. sugar and margarine, and mix. Press crumb mixture firmly into base of spring form and up the sides.  Refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350.

Filling: Mix cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, rum and coconut milk and blend well. Pour into crust.

Fill an ovenproof dish with water and place on lower rack of oven. Place cheesecake on middle rack. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Edges will be set, but centre will wiggle. Turn off heat and let cheesecake sit in oven with door partly open for 1 hour. Refrigerate. Remove cheesecake from springform pan when cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with toasted coconut.

*To toast coconut: preheat oven to 300. Place coconut on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake approximately 10 minutes until coconut becomes golden in colour. Watch carefully as it burns quickly.

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