“Healthy Jewish Kitchen” – sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? That cholesterol-laden fare you usually associate with Jewish cuisine didn’t stop Paula Shoyer, the undisputed queen of kosher baking, from tackling this challenge.
In December 2015, only one month after her mother had passed away, Shoyer’s publisher asked her to write a healthy kosher cookbook. The grieving process had taken its toll on her diet and stamina. “The healthy angle was particularly fortuitous,” she recalled. “I knew it was time for me to eat better.”
The result was her latest cookbook, “The Healthy Jewish Kitchen,” (Sterling Epicure, $24.95) with more than 60 recipes, including more healthful versions of American and international dishes like arroz con pollo, schnitzel, and Korean bibimbap as well as updated versions of Jewish classics like potato latkes, tsimmes and apple strudel.
With the holidays behind us, the New Year signals a determination to get healthy. Yet a commonly quoted statistic tells us that only eight percent of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. How to maintain that resolve? Shoyer doesn’t suggest foregoing your favorite foods completely. “This is a way for you to start eating better,” she explained, with an emphasis on “start.” “I am not standing here preaching. I go to Paris and Israel and eat my way through their best restaurants and bakeries. Good nutrition is about balance and finding a way to introduce into your diet more and more healthful food as often as possible. I am simply offering you a subtle shift towards better health without giving up your favorite foods.”
Here are recipes you don’t have to be kosher, or even Jewish, to enjoy. The typical American diet relies too heavily on processed ingredients, salt, fats and sugar, she noted, with not enough whole grains, fruits and vegetables. “My goal was to create recipes that use only natural ingredients. I banished margarine, processed stocks and powders and most jarred sauces – though I gave Dijon mustard a pardon,” she explained. “I gave up frying and created baked goods with as much…