Enlitened Kosher Cooking

Nechama Cohen
  • Review
By – December 12, 2011

Liv­ing with dia­betes, food aller­gies, or oth­er diges­tive prob­lems is a chal­lenge. When one also observes kashrut, the chal­lenge is even greater, espe­cial­ly dur­ing Passover. Nechama Cohen, an obser­vant Jew, had to meet this chal­lenge when diag­nosed with type 1 dia­betes in 1985. She stud­ied nutri­tion and social work to learn more about her con­di­tion. She is the founder and CEO of the Jew­ish Dia­betes Asso­ci­a­tion. Her research showed her that mod­er­a­tion, por­tion con­trol, and basic nutri­tion­al infor­ma­tion about the car­bo­hy­drate and fat con­tent and the glycemic index of foods would allow her to enjoy many of her favorite dish­es. This cook­book is the result of her work. 

By tak­ing clas­sic dish­es and mak­ing them lighter, Ms. Cohen pro­vides read­ers with 250 recipes suit­able for both dai­ly and hol­i­day meals: 129 of them are suit­able for Passover. Among these are mock chopped liv­er, mock mat­zo balls, and light-as-air sponge cake. The book has recipes for soups, sal­ads, veg­etable, dairy, fish, and meat dish­es as well as snacks, bev­er­ages, and desserts. With obe­si­ty reach­ing epi­dem­ic pro­por­tions in the Unit­ed States, learn­ing how to cook light dish­es is a neces­si­ty. Any cook who wish­es to serve healthy dish­es will find this to be a very use­ful resource.

Recipe: Orange and Fen­nel Salad

Low Carb, Low Fat/​Yield: 8 servings

The tang of the oranges and the licorice fla­vor of the fen­nel are a unique and tasty com­bi­na­tion.

2 medi­um fen­nel
6 cups romaine let­tuce leaves, torn
into bite-sized pieces
1 cup radic­chio leaves, torn into
bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, peeled and thin­ly sliced
2 oranges, peeled and thin­ly sliced

1/4 cup sliced roast­ed almonds
3 table­spoons white wine vine­gar
2 table­spoons olive oil
2 table­spoons water
1 tea­spoon fen­nel leaves, fine­ly chopped
2 cloves gar­lic, minced
1/2 table­spoon grat­ed orange rind
sug­ar sub­sti­tute equal to 1 tea­spoon sug­ar
salt and pep­per to taste

Trim off flow­ery leaves and out­er lay­ers of the fen­nel. Cut off the bot­tom. Pull apart the rest of the lay­ers and rinse well. Pat dry and slice into thin half-rounds. Com­bine the pre­pared sal­ad greens, onions and oranges in a large bowl. Scat­ter fen­nel on top. Whisk togeth­er all ingre­di­ents for the dressing. 

Note: To make a creami­er dress­ing, add 1 table­spoon of light may­on­naise and whisk. 

Recipe From: Enlitened Kosher Cook­ing: More Than 250 Good-Carb, Healthy-Fat, Sug­ar-Free the Sim­ple to the Ele­gant by Nechama Cohen (Feld­heim Pub­lish­ers; 2006; Paper­back $39.95)

Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

Discussion Questions