Kosher By Design Teens and 20-Some­things: Cook­ing for the Next Generation

Susie Fish­bein
  • Review
By – September 1, 2011

If the teenagers and 20-some­things you know are any­thing like Susie Fishbein’s kids, you’ll want to add her lat­est cook­book, Kosher by Design: Teens and 20-Some­things, to your library. 

I have teens in the kitchen now,” says the author whose series of cook­books has sold more than 400,000 copies since 2003. Their tastes have changed; they and their friends are more sophis­ti­cat­ed. My recipes are designed for kids who sub­sist most­ly on fast food, as I want to widen their choic­es, and for the seg­ment that is real­ly into cook­ing and has a more devel­oped and health-con­scious approach to eating.” 

Fish­bein, whose six cook­books should be a sta­ple in the kitchen of any Jew­ish man or woman who loves to cook, released her lat­est cook­book in Octo­ber 2010. It is easy to go the piz­za or take­out’ route but that can be unhealthy, unin­spired and expen­sive,” she writes in the intro­duc­tion. If you can read, you can cook. And once you get into it and learn how flavours meld and how ingre­di­ents behave, you will devel­op your own per­son­al style.” 

I’m a good decade from the 20-some­thing crowd but found many a kid- and adult­pleas­ing recipe in Fishbein’s lat­est release. All the recipes are accom­pa­nied by Susie’s stan­dard bright, tan­ta­lis­ing pic­tures on the oppo­site page, with intro­duc­to­ry para­graphs about the par­tic­u­lar dish and where it came from and words of cau­tion where nec­es­sary. The recipes are eas­i­ly pre­pared in a half-hour and the ingre­di­ent list is sel­dom longer than eight-to-10 items. 

In her pro­logue to the Salmon Cae­sar sal­ad, for exam­ple, she ratio­nal­izes her use of anchovies in the dress­ing. Anchovies may not sound very teen-friend­ly but they are the secret ingre­di­ent in all the best Cae­sar sal­ad dress­ings,” Fish­bein writes. They may be yucky to look at but they add body and deep rich flavour to the dressing.” 

Kosher By Design for Teens & 20-Some­things con­tains the kinds of food that appeals to both kids and adults, such as fish tacos, French toast, falafel burg­ers and pita piz­zas. The recipes are writ­ten in a lan­guage and with an ingre­di­ent list that’s eas­i­ly com­pre­hen­si­ble and com­mu­ni­cates Fishbein’s friend­ly, upbeat per­son­al­i­ty. But the recipes also seek to expand the hori­zons of bud­ding chefs, with dish­es that are at once easy, deli­cious and inno­v­a­tive. Recipes include za’atar cau­li­flower, mush­room ziti, apri­cot sesame roast and onion-crust­ed chicken. 

Page through her book and you can’t help but start plan­ning your next meal with KBD by your side. By com­par­i­son, take-out piz­za cer­tain­ly los­es its appeal.

Lau­ren Kramer is a Van­cou­ver-based jour­nal­ist, wife, and moth­er with a life­long pas­sion for lit­er­a­ture. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, she has won awards for her writ­ing and report­ed from many cor­ners of the world. Read more of her work at www​.lau​renkramer​.net.

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