From our table to yours

Serving up some healthier Shabbos fare

Text by Robert Sussman, Recipes by Chana Michla Sussman

Call us ahead of our time. For the past few years, we’ve added a health theme to our annual Mind/Body/Soul issue, which just so happens to coincide each year with the Shabbos Project – and this year, healthy Shabbos cooking is on the Shabbos Project menu. So, once again, we’ve decided to serve up a smattering of things that we regularly serve in our home on Shabbos and Yom Tov, this time from the creative mind of our daughter, Chana Michla, who often cooks our Shabbos meals by herself.

As I noted the last time we shared some of our recipes, our family is known for the special diet that we keep all of our children on. It’s a diet that was initially rooted in allergen avoidance, but once we were cutting out so many things due to food allergies, we decided to cut out other things that we considered to be unhealthy as well. It’s a diet that’s free of the major allergens: all grains (wheat, spelt, rye, oats, and barley), gluten, tree nuts and peanuts, eggs, corn, soy, and dairy. We don’t use sugar (or artificial sweeteners, or stevia, etc.) – although we have started using a bit of honey here and there. It’s a diet that’s free from colourants and chemicals (and largely free of preservatives, save for a few tins of vegetables here and there); margarine, butter, and Orley Whip; soup bullion and other sources of msg; irradiated spices and spices with fillers (like corn or grains); mayonnaise and other commercial sauces. We rely sparingly on processed foods, and we almost exclusively use extra virgin olive oil and occasionally extra virgin coconut oil.

One important note, the below recipes were created using non-irradiated spices (Natural brand or Woolworth’s brand). We have learned that, generally, non-irradiated spices are significantly stronger than regular spices and this should be kept in mind when taking into account the measurements specified should you decide to substitute with regular spices.

Thank you to Rivkah Sussman for helping with the plating décor and presentation of the food.

Lamb Stew

Although this could be served as a soup, it’s so filling that we sometimes serve it on cold winter nights as a one course Friday evening meal.

2 packs stewing lamb

3 cups chopped onions

3 cups chopped carrots

5 cups chopped sweet potatoes

Pinch of minced garlic

1 cup of sweet Kiddush wine (I use Rashi)

Some oil (for frying the lamb – it takes quite a bit)

Dried spices for the rub to coat the lamb:

¼ cup paprika

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp pepper

3/8 cup oregano

3/8 cup thyme

To add to the pot:

¼ cup thyme

¼ cup oregano

¼ cup parsley

1½ tsp sea salt

1½ tsp black pepper


In a bowl, mix the spices for the lamb rub. Coat the lamb on both sides. Heat oil in a soup pot (make sure that the oil covers the entire bottom of the pot; you might have to keep adding oil so that the pieces fry nicely) and add the lamb, a few pieces at a time, and brown on both sides. Remove the lamb and set aside. Add the chopped carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes to the pot. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the chopped tomatoes and the spices that are supposed to be added to the pot. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes. Return the fried pieces of lamb to the pot and then fill the pot with water until it covers the lamb. Bring to a boil and then cook on low heat overnight. (You might need to add some more spices.)

Dressing for the Green Bean and Quinoa Salad:

¼ cup tahini

1/8 cup lemon juice

¼ tsp sea salt

1/8 cup olive oil

¼ cup water


Mix all of the ingredients together and shake well. Taste and adjust.

Green Bean Salad

1 bag (600g) green beans, steamed

1 350g container of baby tomatoes

2 avocados


Cut green beans into thirds and spread out on a platter. Cut baby tomatoes in half and put on top of the green beans. Cut avocados in small cubes and sprinkle on top. Pour dressing over the salad right before serving

Quinoa Salad

2 cups quinoa, cooked

Half a large butternut

6 baby marrows

2 onions

2 small peppers

1½ carrots

1 can chickpeas

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 avocados, chopped


Peel butternut and carrots and cut into strips. Cut onions, peppers, and baby marrows into small strips. Place all of the vegetables on a tray and bake/grill in the oven until slightly crispy. Pour cooked quinoa onto a platter and spread out. Sprinkle the tomatoes on top and then sprinkle the grilled vegetables and chickpeas. Scatter the avocado over the salad. Dress and serve.

Spinach Salad

1½ packets of baby spinach

1 can hearts of palm

1 can asparagus

2 cups chopped dates

2 handfuls raisins

1½ cups pumpkin seeds

1½ cups sunflower seeds

1½ cups dried apricots, sliced into strips

2 avocados


1¼ cups grape juice

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

½ tsp sea salt

Pinch of black pepper

Method (Dressing):

Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and blend/shake well. Taste and adjust.

Method (Salad):

Toast sunflower and pumpkin seeds. (Allow seeds to cool before you add them to the salad.) Tear up spinach and spread over a platter. Cut up hearts of palm and asparagus and scatter over the spinach. Sprinkle seeds and scatter dates and apricots over the platter. Cut avocados into cubes and spread on top of the salad. Dress and serve immediately.

Grilled Veg Salad

2 bunches of romaine lettuce (1 packet)

2½ medium sweet potatoes

4 potatoes

1 packet of dried chickpeas

1 x 350g container of baby tomatoes

1 packet of brown mushrooms


3 avocados

1/8 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

½ tsp sea salt

1/3 cup water

Method (Dressing):

Blend avocados and the 1/3 cup water. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. Add a bit of water at a time to make the dressing thinner (it should be almost pourable). Taste and adjust.

Method (Salad):

Soak chickpeas overnight. Peel sweet potatoes and potatoes, cut into cubes and place on a baking tray together. Cut baby tomatoes in halves and mushrooms into pieces. Put tomatoes and mushrooms on a baking tray. Place soaked chickpeas on their own baking tray. Sprinkle a bit of oil and sea salt over each tray. Grill each tray until vegetables are crispy and browning. Make sure the sweet potatoes and the potatoes are soft.

Allow all of the grilled vegetables to cool completely. Cut up the lettuce into small pieces and spread on a platter. Sprinkle half of the grilled chickpeas over. Spread the tomatoes and mushrooms on top. Add the sweet potato and potato cubes. Sprinkle the rest of the chickpeas. Pour dressing over the salad just before serving.

Chocolate Fudge

1 cup dates, pitted

½ cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil

¾ cup warm water

½ cup cacao powder

Pinch sea salt

½ cup water


Places the dates in a small bowl and cover with the warm water and leave for about 10 minutes and then blend the dates and water together. Add coconut oil and blend again. Add cacao powder, water, and sea salt and blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust measurements as needed. When the mixture is extremely smooth, pour into a small tinfoil pan and freeze overnight. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer, cut into squares, and serve immediately.

Three Layer Fudge

Bottom layer:

1¼ cup dates, pitted

½ cup + 4 tbsp coconut oil

¼ cup warm water

Middle layer:

4 apples

Bunch of red, seedless grapes

Top layer:

½ cup grape juice

¾ cup dates pitted

2 tsp coconut oil

½ cup water

¼ cup cacao powder

3 tbsp honey

1 cup desiccated coconut

½ cup grape juice

Tips: You might want to get the middle layer cooking before you start the bottom layer. Before you add each layer, make sure the one before it is properly frozen so that they don’t get mixed together.


Bottom layer – Place the dates in warm water. Leave for 10 minutes and then blend. Add coconut oil and blend. Pour into an 11in x 9in foil pan and spread out until the whole bottom is evenly covered. Freeze.

Middle layer – cut apples into big pieces (unpeeled). Cut grapes in half. Place grapes and apples in a pot with a bit of water. Cook until soft. Blend a bit, leaving some pieces whole/chunky. When cooled, spread over the frozen bottom layer. Return the two layers to the freezer.

Top layer – put dates in dish and add honey. Add ½ cup of grape juice and blend. Add desiccated coconut and coconut oil and then blend. Add the other ½ cup of grape juice, cacao power, and water and blend well. Pour on top of the frozen middle layer. Return the three layers to the freezer.

Serving: Remove from the freezer about 45 min before serving. Allow it to defrost a bit and then, using a sharp knife, cut into slices. Return the slices to the freezer and take out just before you want to serve.

Related posts