Vegetarian, kosher &mdash and funny This cookbook does it all

I never met Edith Rothschild, author of “Nutrilicious: Natural Whole Vegetarian Kosher Cuisine,” but I know that she must have a twinkle in her eye and a great sense of humor. She’s taken a rather somber subject — nutrition — and created a compendium of recipes served with satire, whimsical rhymes and up-to-date health information. Even the title brings a smile to my lips.

Rothschild, who suffered from debilitating arthritic back pain, decided to look into a plant-based diet, which changed her life. She shares her food experiences with 170 easy recipes for every day, plus upgraded ones for Shabbat, holidays and elegant entertaining.

Some of the recipes contains some names that omnivores like me are very unfamiliar with, like Nayonaise soy-based sandwich spread and Rice Dream non-dairy frozen dessert. I have chosen recipes that don’t list any of them as I am not sure where they are available.

Rothschild’s passion for eating healthy and vegetarian comes across loud and clear, and makes the cook and reader want to try at least a few of her dishes.

Green Lokshen Kugel | Serves 10-15

1 lb. broad whole-grain noodles
2 1/4 cups packed spinach
4 organic eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. black pepper or to taste
1/2 tsp. sea salt
pinch ground nutmeg
2 Tbs. oat bran
unhulled sesame seeds for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and reserve. Steam spinach for 30 seconds, squeeze out all liquid and chop coarsely.
Sauté onions and garlic in oil about 5 minutes and let cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl place the noodles, spinach, and sautéed onions and garlic and mix well. In a medium bowl combine the eggs with pepper, salt, nutmeg and oat bran. Add egg mixture to the noodle-spinach bowl, mix well and pour into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Garnish liberally with sesame seeds. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes and serve hot or room temperature.

Special Occasion Salad | Serves 4-6

4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/4 cup shredded Belgian endive
1/4 cup shredded radicchio
1/3 cup shredded arugula
1/3 cup finely diced purple onion
1 medium orange, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup dried organic cranberries
2-3 Tbs. brown rice vinegar
1/2 Tbs. vinegar
2-3 Tbs. flaxseed oil
1/8 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
In a large bowl combine greens with orange pieces and cranberries. Add the vinegars, oil and parsley and toss well. Serve immediately.

Yam Latkes | Serves 8-10

8 medium yams
1 1/2-2 cups cornmeal or matzah meal for dredging
sea salt to taste
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
extra virgin olive oil
Wash the yams and steam or boil them until soft. Cool and peel and refrigerate until cold. Slice carefully into 1/4-inch rounds and place on a large tray or platter.
In a suitable bowl, mix the corn meal or matzah meal with the salt, onion powder, garlic powder and ginger, and dredge the yam slices on both sides. Pan fry the latkes in a minimum amount of oil on medium heat on both sides until they are brown, and drain on paper towels.

Louise Fiszer is a Palo Alto cooking teacher, author and the co-author of “Jewish Holiday Cooking.” Her columns alternate with those of Rebecca Ets-Hokin. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to [email protected].