Snowy weather inspires colourful recipes from Israel

Lachmajun spiced meat hummus (Barbara Silverstein photo)

Shabbat Shalom! The winter weather really hit Toronto hard this week. On Sunday, there was a snow storm overnight and more snow fell the next day. I did not leave the house.

I probably would have stayed inside the entire week, but on Tuesday, my husband shamed me into going for a walk. I actually enjoyed it, but not enough to go out on my own the next day.

The cold weather, though, was an opportunity for me to enjoy the sun vicariously through Adeena Sussman’s new cookbook, Sababa: Fresh Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen. I prepared two of her recipes: Lemony Cauliflower and Lachmajun Spiced Meat Hummus.

Carolyn Tanner Cohen, founder of the Delicious Dish Cooking School, specializes in whole food, home cooking. She will be doing a food demo at NoshFest on Dec. 1. Tanner Cohen has provided her recipe for Quinoa Crusted Chicken Schnitzel with Tomato Garlic Bruschetta.

I checked with the publisher (Whitecap) for an update on The Brain Boosting Diet: Feed Your Memory, by Norene Gilletz and Edward Wein. If you go on Amazon, you can pre-order the book, but it’s not yet back from the printer. Stay tuned!

Sababa: Fresh Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen

When I looked for The Brain Boosting Diet on Amazon, the site said people who bought this book also bought Sababa, Sussman’s latest book. I was really excited to get my copy because her recipes look amazing.

The two I tested, Lemony Cauliflower and Lachmajun Spiced Meat Hummus, were delicious.

The recipes I chose were based on the ingredients I had in the house because it was too cold to go out shopping.

I toasted sliced almonds instead of the pine nuts, which are called for in the cauliflower recipe. I don’t keep pine nuts on hand because they’re too expensive, so I omitted the pine nuts in the spiced meat recipe.

Sussman gives lots of options for the garnishes so I felt that I could substitute the almonds. It worked out well well because the lemon-oil and the spices in the dressing give the roasted cauliflower incredible flavour.

I scored some points with my husband when I served him the Lachmajun Spiced Meat Hummus. He loves dishes with ground beef and he eats hummus everyday. Sussman uses a variety of spices that come together beautifully in this dish.

There’s the option of canned or fresh tomatoes, but I happened to have fresh tomatoes on hand. I didn’t have flat parsley so I used the curly-leaf variety and I left out the pine nuts. It was still delicious. Serving this lovely spiced meat with hummus is a great combination.

Lemony cauliflower over Labaneh (Barbara Silverstein photo)


Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F)


1 medium head of cauliflower, leaves trimmed

60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

8 ml (1½ tsp) kosher salt

2½ ml (½ tsp) freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

5 ml (1 tsp) chopped fresh jalapenos or ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

60 ml (¼ cup) dried barberries, dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds

60 ml (¼ cup) toasted pine nuts

1 small garlic clove, very finely minced

125 ml (½ cup) Labaneh or Greek yogurt for serving

Chopped fresh chives, cilantro or parsley for serving


Halve the cauliflower through the core and stem. Using a sharp knife, cut the florets into varying sizes, making sure there are some small pieces. Slice any tender stem parts into tiny pieces too. In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, half the lemon juice and zest and add the salt, black pepper and jalapenos. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until the edges of the cauliflower begin to char, about 20 minutes.

Using a spatula, scrape the cauliflower to move it around and roast until the cauliflower is crispy and dark and golden, another 10 minutes. (It’s OK if the smaller pieces are really charred – that’s kind of the point!). Remove the cauliflower from the oven. Sprinkle the remaining lemon juice and zest over the cauliflower right on the pan. Add the barberries and pine nuts. Toss and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

To serve, stir the garlic and Labaneh in a medium bowl until the garlic is incorporated. Spread the mixture on a medium-sized plate and top with the cauliflower. Season with additional salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil and garnish with chives. Makes 4 servings.



30 ml (2 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil

500 g (1 lb) ground beef

15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

5 ml (1 tsp) kosher salt,

5 ml (1 tsp ) cayenne pepper

5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin

2½ ml (½ tsp) ground sumac

125 ml (½ cup) beef or chicken broth or water

30 ml (2 tbsp) tamarind paste

30 ml (2 tbsp) tomato paste

15 ml (1 tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 medium tomato, diced or 1 cup of canned, diced tomatoes

125 ml (½ cup) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

375 ml (1½ cup) hummus for serving

60 ml (¼ cup) lightly toasted pine nuts for serving.


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring until the meat is cooked through and has released its liquid, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl leaving 30 to 45 ml (2 to 3 tbsp) of liquid in the skillet. Add the onion, reduce the heat and cook until the onion is lightly golden and slightly softened, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Return the meat to the pan and stir in the salt, cayenne, cumin and sumac, and cook stirring for 1 minute.

In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, tamarind paste, tomato paste and lemon juice. Pour over the meat. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the meat has absorbed most of the liquid, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the parsley.

Mound the hummus in a large bowl and top with the meat mixture. Garnish with pine nuts and parsley.

Makes 4 servings



Carolyn Tanner Cohen may be an occupational therapist by training, but these days she spends most of her days in the kitchen.

Tanner Cohen is the founder of the Delicious Dish Cooking School. She specializes in whole-food, home cooking, meal planning, recipe development and healthy eating. People attending NoshFest on Dec. 1 will have the opportunity to see her in action at her cooking demo.

The mother of three said she started giving cooking lesson in 2002. “It really took off.”

She explained that her school is based out of a home kitchen. “There’s a high demand for good home cooking. That’s what we’re teaching.”

“My goal is to teach the home cook how to prepare creative, healthy and beautiful food in an efficient way…It’s about layering the dishes with lots of flavour.”

She’s now giving four to five classes a week. “We have unique recipes for each class.”

Tanner Cohen traces her love of cooking to the women in her family. “My grandmother was an amazing cook. We had these robust family dinners.” “I was inspired by our family gatherings. They centred around food. There was this pride in making the food.”

Tanner Cohen also gives classes in Israeli cooking that include the preparation of such dishes as Moroccan spicy fish, fried eggplant and kabobs.

“I was in Israel this summer. I was food touring in Tel Aviv. We ate and tasted and talked to a lot of people.”

In fact, Tanner Cohen will be leading a food tour in the fall through Via Sabra.

“I love cooking,” she said. “I’m inspired a lot…I don’t feel you need to be a professional chef to be a fabulous cook.”

QUINOA CRUSTED CHICKEN SCHNITZEL Quinoa crusted chicken schnitzel (Carolyn Tanner Cohen photo)


750 g (1½ lb) chicken scaloppini

125 ml (½ cup) flour of any sort

2 eggs, beaten

Coconut oil spray

Quinoa Coating

375 ml (1½ cup) quinoa flakes or breadcrumbs

7½ ml (1½ tsp) garlic powder

2½ ml (½ tsp) sea salt

1 ml (¼ tsp). pepper

5 ml (1 tsp) paprika

10 ml (2 tsp) lemon zest

30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh parsley

30 ml (2 tbsp) sesame seeds, white or black or a mix

Chopped Tomato Garlic Bruschetta Mixture (optional)

3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped in a 1 cm (¼- inch)-dice

Kosher salt

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

12 ml (2½ tsp) dried oregano

1 green onion, white and light green part, finely chopped

5 to 6 leaves of basil, finely chopped

60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to broil. Arrange the rack to the second from the top position. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with the coconut oil spray.

In a medium-size bowl, mix together the Quinoa Coating ingredients: quinoa flakes or breadcrumbs, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, paprika, lemon zest, fresh parsley and sesame seeds and place them in a shallow dish.

Place the eggs in another shallow dish. Place the flour in a third shallow dish. Arrange the dishes so that the flour is first, followed by the eggs, and then the quinoa coating.

Dip each piece of chicken in flour, shake off the excess. Dip the floured chicken piece in the eggs and then coat in the quinoa mixture. Lay the coated chicken piece on the oiled cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Lightly spray each piece of chicken with oil. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the pieces over and broil for an additional 3 to 5 more minutes. Serve the chicken with the bruschetta mixture.

Tomato Garlic Bruschetta: Season the diced tomatoes with salt and put them in a colander to drain for 5 to10 minutes (or longer). Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl and fold in the garlic, oregano, onion, basil and soil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.



Nov. 29 Let’s Do Brunch: Fundraiser to bring awareness to Crohn’s and Colitis

Dec. 1 NoshFest: Taking place at Artscape Wychwood Barns

Dec 1-2 Ezer Mizion Toronto: Shuk Machane Yehuda at the Promenade Mall