Go low-carb for Chanukah this year

How to throw the perfect fried and low-carb holiday

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Holiday season is upon us and I am prepping my frying pans with a good scrub and stocking my pantry with good quality extra virgin olive oil, cauliflower, and more. 

On a diet? Me too! I have been eating low-carb and loving it for all of 2018. The diet works -- and you would never even know the meals are low-carb. 

Not on a diet? These recipes are for you too. Who doesn't need their menu shaken up a bit? You can't keep pulling out the same old stuff year after year. These recipes are festive and delectable. 

Or, maybe you're feeling a bit "if it's not broke, don't change it?" That's okay too, but while traditions stay the same, food does not. Our palates grow and become more sophisticated and we expect more. Our food needs to change with us and a holiday that lasts eight days is a perfect time to change up your Chanukah game. Your holiday menu doesn't have to become complicated and more extensive, just more fun.

I hope you will be inspired to try some of my tips and tricks to change up your Chanukah menu this year. 

Cauliflower Latkes

These latkes are low-carb, but they're still crispy and delicious. They are a perfect main dish or scrumptious side that soak up gravies and sauces. 

  • 1 whole head cauliflower (fresh or frozen) trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal (or 3 tablespoons *psyllium husk powder for low-carb version)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

* Psyllium husk powder is a gluten-free and low carb plant fiber that is frequently used to bind ingredients. It is tasteless and perfect for low-carb baking.

  1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels .
  2. Steam cauliflower in a microwave for 5 minutes or simmer in boiling water for 3 minutes until soft and tender. Pulse in food processor with onion until very small pieces remain.
  3. Squeeze out as much water as possible.
  4. Add matzoh meal or *psyllium husk powder, egg whites, baking powder, vinegar, salt, and pepper and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir until mixture comes together.
  5. Heat a heavy gauge skillet, with about 1 inch of extra virgin olive oil, over medium heat.
  6. Once oil is hot, place a tablespoon of batter in the oil. Don't touch it for about 2 minutes until browned. Gently brown the other side. Transfer to lined baking sheet. Continue until all the batter is used. Keep latkes at room temperature for several hours before serving; or freeze for up to 1 month.
  7. Before serving, heat oven to 350 degrees F and place on parchment lined sheet. Heat for about 5 minutes from room temperature state or for 10 minutes per side from frozen. Serve with Low-Carb Onion Chutney or Homemade Apple Sauce.

Low-Carb Onion Chutney 

Low-carb doesn't mean low flavor! In fact, this chutney has all the good stuff and none of the carbs. 

Yields: scant 2 cups

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 heaping tablespoon freshly grated ginger or 2 teaspoons powdered
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • Pinch of crushed red chilis (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro, chopped flat leaf parsley, chopped fresh mint
  1. Heat a medium sauté pan, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium high heat. Caramelize onions, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes until dark brown and very soft. Add garlic and continue stirring for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add ginger, vinegar, scallions, crushed red chilies, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Store chutney covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; or freeze for up to 1 month.

Vegetable and Cheese Gratinée

Lay off the taters and go for cheese -- the holiday's other tradition. This healthy version of mac and cheese is a delicious, festive, and comforting crowd pleaser. 

Quick to throw together and low-carb, this g ratinée will become a winter family favorite. 

  • 2 leeks, white parts only (save the green tops for stock making), sliced thinly
  • Sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound mushrooms
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 red peppers, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • Several dashes of favorite hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (full fat and not processed low-fat, please!)
  • 1 cup favorite cheese-divided in half. (I use cheddar.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a large Dutch oven or sauté pan, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium heat. Sauté leeks, mushrooms, onion, peppers, squash, broccoli, cauliflower in batches until golden brown and caramelized. Be sure to season each batch with salt and pepper.
  2. Return veggies to pan and stir in pumpkin, hot sauce, yogurt, and ½ cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and the cheese has browned.

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