Tag Archives: Rosh Hashanah



Tzimmes–a mixture of carrots, sweet potatoes and prunes–is a sweet start for the Jewish new year.

On Rosh Hashanah, we eat sweet foods to signify a sweet start to the new year. A traditional dish is tzimmes, a mixture of vegetables sweetened with honey. Carrots sliced into coins are usually included, to symbolize prosperity. In Yiddish, the word tzimmes means “a big fuss” (as in, “Don’t make such a big tzimmes over it”), but it can also mean something that’s mixed up. But there’s no fuss involved in making this easy vegetarian side dish that’s good for Rosh Hashanah, Passover or even Thanksgiving. And it’s naturally gluten-free.


By Gluten-Free Nosh
(gluten-free, dairy or pareve)
printable recipe


  • 1 pound carrots, cut in 1-inch rounds
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 3/4 cup pitted prunes, cut in half
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Butter or margarine


  1. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish or casserole dish with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a large pot, cover carrots with water and boil 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and boil an additional 10 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place drained carrots and sweet potatoes in prepared baking dish. Stir in prunes.
  5. Combine orange juice, honey, cinnamon and salt. Pour mixture over carrots, sweet potatoes and prunes. Dot with butter or margarine. Cover pan with aluminum foil.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Yields: 8 servings


Filed under Jewish holidays, Passover, Rosh Hashanah

Bruce’s Brisket


Serve this brisket with potatoes and carrots for a Rosh Hashanah dinner

When my husband was younger, he had a brisket blockade. He and a family friend fiercely enforced a no-brisket zone at family dinners. He has gone in and out of the brisket blockade since then, but he still makes us this slightly sweet brisket that’s always a winner, especially for Rosh Hashanah or Passover. Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free.

This recipe makes a small brisket, using a three-pound kosher brisket sold at Trader Joe’s. You might want to double the ingredients for a bigger piece of meat.

Bruce’s Brisket

By Gluten-Free Nosh
printable recipe


  • 3 pounds brisket
  • 6 carrots, cut in half
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in half
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1-2 pounds fingerling potatoes or small red potatoes, scrubbed and left whole
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, left whole
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces chili sauce (we use Heinz)
  • 8 ounces Coca-Cola


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place brisket, fat side down, in baking pan. Add carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Add chili sauce and Coca-Cola. Meat should be surrounded by liquid, but not quite submerged.
  4. Flip brisket. (We want to cook the brisket fat side up; this gives it a nice coating.)
  5. Put a sheet of parchment paper over the baking pan and then cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Place in preheated oven and cook for 2.5 hours.
  7. Take out of the oven, slice the brisket (thin slices against the grain), return the meat to the sauce, and cook covered for one more hour.
  8. Put meat in the middle of a serving dish and flank with cooked carrots and potatoes.

Yield: 8 servings

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Filed under entrees, Passover, Recipes, Rosh Hashanah

Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken

pomegranate chicken

Chicken glazed with a pomegranate sauce, spiced with ginger and cinnamon

Well, hello, blog. I haven’t posted in quite a while. As I get busier editing for the indispensable Gluten Free & More magazine (formerly titled Living Without) and with life in general, I have had less time for this blog.

As always, it helps to have a kick in the pants, which comes as part of the Kosher Connection challenge to post a pomegranate recipe.

I have an awesome Dark and White Chocolate Pomegranate Bark recipe that I posted as the first recipe on this blog in 2010. That’s still one of my favorites, an easy, elegant gluten-free dessert. But onto new recipes, for the new year.

I associate pomegranates with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. First of all, pomegranates pop into the stores in fall, around the same time as Rosh Hashanah (although of course the Jewel didn’t have any pomegranates this weekend, so I couldn’t garnish the chicken with fresh pomegranate seeds). Also, pomegranates are said to contain 613 seeds, which is the same number of commandments in the Torah. On Rosh Hashanah, we want to be as full of good deeds in the coming year as the pomegranate has seeds.

Also on Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat sweet foods for a sweet new year. This pomegranate-glazed chicken delivers in that category, with a fruity but not overpowering sauce spiced with ginger, cinnamon and cumin. When the chicken is cooked, the pomegranate sauce loses its magenta hue. So, prior to pouring the glaze on the chicken, set some sauce aside and drizzle it on the cooked chicken to brighten the dish. Pomegranate-glazed chicken makes a great, naturally gluten-free entree for Rosh Hashanah or Shabbat.

For tips on getting the seeds out of a pomegranate without staining everything in your entire kitchen, read my Dark and White Chocolate Pomegranate Bark post.

Find more pomegranate recipes (not necessarily gluten-free) from other Kosher Connection bloggers by clicking the frog icon below.

Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken

(gluten-free, dairy-free, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Printable recipe


  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds cut-up, bone-in chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish
  • Thinly sliced orange pieces, for garnish


  1. To prepare glaze, combine pomegranate juice and sugar in a small nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until juice is thick, syrupy and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken, making sure skillet isn’t too crowded, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Place browned chicken pieces in  9×13-inch roasting pan. Stir ginger, cinnamon, cumin and nutmeg into glaze. Pour most of glaze over chicken, reserving a few spoonfuls to use as a garnish. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. To serve, arrange chicken pieces on a serving platter. Drizzle with reserved glaze, and garnish with orange slices and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Yield: 6 servings


Filed under entrees, Jewish holidays, Recipes

As Sweet as Honey

honey cake, gluten-free

Gluten-free honey cake provides a sweet start to the new year.

For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, we greet each other with “Shana Tovah Umetukah” – wishes for a happy and sweet new year. To symbolize sweetness, many families serve honey cake, a traditional Rosh Hashanah dessert. Which, as usual, leaves me searching for a great-tasting gluten-free alternative.

Fortunately, this year I made a moist gluten-free, dairy-free honey cake spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg for my honey-child. (Cue Martha & The Vandellas’ “Honey Chile” and Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey.”)

For inspiration, I started with Marcy Goldman’s vaunted “Majestic and Moist New Year’s Honey Cake” from “A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking.” I used gluten-free flour, subbed some applesauce and increased the orange juice to keep the cake moist and sweet. Buckwheat flour — a dark, strong gluten-free flour that’s high in protein, fiber and magnesium — works well here, complementing the complex flavors in the cake. Interestingly, buckwheat is not related to wheat but is a member of the rhubarb family.

Have a sweet new year!
Click for Gluten-Free Honey Cake recipe


Filed under desserts, Jewish holidays, Recipes

A is for Apple Cake

Jewish Apple Cake, gluten-free

A traditional Rosh Hashanah dessert: Jewish apple cake.
I love this photo, taken in my living room!

Shanah Tovah! Best wishes for a happy Rosh Hashanah and a sweet new year. We’re getting this new year off to a tasty start, with a gluten-free version of traditional Jewish apple cake.

My mother is famous for her Jewish apple cake, laced with apples that she plucks from the trees in her back yard. I’ve always wondered, though, what makes the apple cake “Jewish.” Really, I didn’t know that cakes could have a religion. The answer seems to be that the cake is made with vegetable oil and orange juice, instead of butter and milk, thus making it pareve (neither dairy nor meat). Apple cake is also a favorite dessert for Rosh Hashanah, when we eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize hopes for a sweet new year.

Mom’s recipe worked surprisingly well in its gluten-free version. I substituted gluten-free flours, added xanthan gum (a binder for GF baking) and left the rest of the recipe intact. The cake is moist and bursts with the flavors of apples and cinnamon.

Click for the recipe for Gluten-Free Jewish Apple Cake


Filed under desserts, Jewish holidays, Recipes