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)
- 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
- Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish or casserole dish with cooking oil spray.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place drained carrots and sweet potatoes in prepared baking dish. Stir in prunes.
- 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.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Yields: 8 servings
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.
By Gluten-Free Nosh
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place brisket, fat side down, in baking pan. Add carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Add chili sauce and Coca-Cola. Meat should be surrounded by liquid, but not quite submerged.
- Flip brisket. (We want to cook the brisket fat side up; this gives it a nice coating.)
- Put a sheet of parchment paper over the baking pan and then cover with aluminum foil.
- Place in preheated oven and cook for 2.5 hours.
- 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.
- Put meat in the middle of a serving dish and flank with cooked carrots and potatoes.
Yield: 8 servings
Matzo Toffee — so addictive, it’s called Matzo Crack.
“Please, Mom, can I have another piece?” “Just one more piece.” “Really, just one more? Please!!” There’s a reason that this matzo toffee is nicknamed “Matzo Crack.” It is dangerously addictive.
Matzo toffee is made with my three favorite food groups: chocolate, butter and sugar. So right away, you know it’s going to be amazing. Plus, you can make it in minutes for an easy treat for Passover or any time of the year. And it’s simple to make gluten-free by using gluten-free matzo, which actually tastes better than regular matzo. (See my earlier post on gluten-free matzo.)
I first had this addictive treat when my sister-in-law Jonna brought it for Passover one year. (Thanks, Jonna!) We’ve been craving it ever since.
Matzo Toffee, aka “Matzo Crack”
(gluten-free, dairy or pareve, Passover)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
- 5 pieces gluten-free matzo
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter or Passover margarine
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed 18×13-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Arrange matzo pieces in a single layer in the pan, filling the entire pan and leaving as few gaps as possible.
- Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until mixture comes to a boil, whisking frequently. Continue cooking and whisking for another 3 minutes until foamy. Carefully, pour toffee over the matzo and evenly spread into a thin layer with a spatula.
- Put pan into preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbling. Remove pan and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Let the chocolate sit and melt for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to spread chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and salt. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Lift parchment paper with matzo onto a large cutting board. Cut or break into 2-inch pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Yield: 10-12 servings
Gluten-free matzo balls
Matzo balls are a favorite at Passover and any time of the year. But what to do if you are gluten-free and can’t have regular matzo or matzo meal, let alone matzo balls? While some gluten-free matzo ball mixes are available for Passover (my favorite is Lieber’s knaidel mix), they can be hard to find.
Inspired by German potato dumplings, this recipe uses potatoes, potato starch and almond meal to make fluffy matzo balls — without the matzo. The result is gluten-free, non-gebrokts knaidlach that are fluffy on the outside, while slightly dense on the inside.
Make sure to plan out this recipe in advance, as you’ll need to refrigerate the boiled potatoes ahead of time. A potato ricer works well here to finely shred the cooked potatoes, but you can mash them well by hand instead. When boiling the matzo balls, do so at a light boil, so vigorous bubbling won’t break up the delicate matzo balls. While you can make the batter ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator, the matzo balls are best cooked close to serving time.
This gluten-free matzo ball recipe is also featured on Joy of Kosher, a great resource for kosher recipes.
For more Passover recipes and products, check out these related Passover blogs from Gluten-Free Nosh:
Gluten-free Passover foods 2014
Gluten-free Passover meringues
Fudgy cream cheese Passover brownies
Strawberry vanilla tart in macaroon shell
Colorful quinoa salad
Chicken baked with babaganoush
Gluten-Free Matzo Balls
(gluten-free, dairy-free, pareve, Passover)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
- 2 medium potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup ground almond meal
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Boil potatoes in salted water until tender and a fork can pierce the potatoes easily, about 20 minutes. Drain, return to the warm pot (no longer on the heat) and steam off any extra moisture for about 5 minutes. Peel potatoes and refrigerate for at least two hours in an open bowl.
- Press potatoes through a potato ricer or mash them well, so there are no lumps. Measure 1 cup (packed) riced potatoes and place in a large bowl (save the remainder for another use). Add eggs, almond meal, potato starch, oil, dill, salt, baking soda, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Wet hands well with water to gently form walnut-sized balls of dough. Gently drop balls in water and cover the pot. Cook in lightly boiling water (not too vigorous, or it will break up the matzo balls) for about 35 minutes. Remove matzo balls with a slotted spoon.
Yield: About 16-20 matzo balls
Apple pie with gluten-free crumb topping — a cross between apple pie and apple crisp
Happy Pi Day! With a family of math enthusiasts (especially my husband and my older daughter) and food enthusiasts (pretty much all of us), Pi Day is a lot of fun, celebrated by eating pie, of course. Plus there’s a bonus: today is the ultimate Pi Day–because not only is it 3/14, it is 3/14/15, the first few digits of pi.
While my oldest daughter is into pie/pi, my youngest isn’t as thrilled with either. She just doesn’t love pie, so I make this apple pie with a gluten-free crumb coating — a cross between apple pie and apple crisp — in hopes of tempting her to eat some of it. If you are gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats, as regular oats have too much cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains.
If you prefer a traditional pie, feel free to make this apple pie without the crumble topping. Just make the apple filling as directed and dot with 1 tablespoon of butter or dairy-free alternative before placing in the oven. This apple crumb pie can be made gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan (just check the ingredients of your pie crust).
Apple Pie with Crumble Topping, Gluten-Free
(Gluten-free. Can be made dairy-free, vegan, pareve)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 large apples
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 (9-inch) unbaked gluten-free pie crust
- 3/4 cup certified gluten-free oats
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative, diced
- In a small bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Peel, core and thinly slice apples, place in a large bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Stir in tapioca starch and lemon juice. Fill pie crust with apples.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- To make the topping, place gluten-free oats, brown sugar, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl; stir to combine. Add diced butter, and work in with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Crumble topping over pie.
- Place in preheated oven and bake about 45 minutes until filling is bubbly.
Yield: 8 servings
Swirled chocolate peanut butter bark
My older daughter calls Valentine’s Day, “Chocolate Day,” because that’s mostly how we celebrate the day–with chocolate. Yesterday, I was looking for a easy, gluten-free chocolate treat that I could make as a quick after-school snack. In a matter of minutes, I whipped up this Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark.
I’ve made Dark and White Chocolate Pomegranate Bark before (actually, it was the first recipe on this blog) and ever-popular Peppermint Bark (similar thing, but with crushed candy canes instead of pomegranate seeds). So this recipe is a twist on those favorites.
You’ve got to love a recipe that has only two ingredients, comes together in minutes (other than the refrigeration time and clean-up time), looks fancy, tastes great and is naturally gluten-free.
Note: When you are melting chocolate, make sure the bowl and utensils are dry, without any drops of water. If water mixes with chocolate, the chocolate will seize and become a gunky mess when heated. Also, when using the microwave, heat the chocolate on half-power (not full-power) and remove the chocolate when it is mostly (but not all the way) melted, to prevent overheating. When you stir the chocolate, the residual heat will melt the rest of the chocolate (and if not, pop it back in the microwave briefly at half power).
What are some of your favorite chocolate treats?
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark
By Gluten-Free Nosh
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place chocolate chips in a large bowl and microwave on half power (such as 5 out of 10) for 1-1/2 minutes, or until mostly melted. Stir chocolate well to melt the remaining chocolate chips (if not melting, pop bowl back in the microwave briefly). Pour chocolate onto prepared baking sheet and spread thinly with a rubber spatula into a rough rectangle.
- Place peanut butter chips in a large bowl and microwave on half power (such as 5 out of 10) for 1-1/2 minutes, or until mostly melted. Stir well to melt the remaining peanut butter chips (if not melting, pop bowl back in the microwave briefly). Pour dollops of melted peanut buter chips on top of the chocolate. Drag the tip of a knife through the peanut butter to swirl it through the chocolate.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm. Cut into bite-sized bark with a large knife. Note that you won’t really be sawing/cutting the bark, but rather I take a large chef’s knife, put both hands on top of it and press down on the bark to break it up.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
I made these Halloween spider treats to send in my kids’ school lunch today, using Udi’s gluten-free brownie bites, Betty Crocker decorating icing, Clif Kid ZFruit ropes (cut up for the spider legs), with a couple of chocolate chips and white sprinkles. All gluten-free and easy as can be.