Heart Healthy for Heshvan

penne potato3pennepenne2 dressing

I’ve had several requests for the potato salad recipe served on a recent Shabbat. There’s no magic to it except that there is no mayonnaise (or if you wish, just a little bit).  I must confess that I didn’t use a recipe but combined items to get the taste I was looking for.  But here’s an equivalent with changes made in the Shomrei kitchen.

penne potato3No Mayo Potato Salad almost French style  (Serves 6-8)


2 pounds small new potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds or cubed.
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup olive oil
⅓ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
⅓ cup roughly chopped green onions, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, cider, white wine or rice vinegar (we used rice vinegar)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 stalks celery, chopped


  1. 1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine sliced potatoes and salt. Cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are easily pierced by a paring knife and pulled out with little resistance, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, ⅓ cup parsley, ⅓ cup green onions, lemon juice or vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Process until the herbs and garlic have been chopped into little pieces, then drizzle in the reserved cooking water and blend just until emulsified. (If you don’t have a food processor or blender, just finely chop the parsley and onions and whisk the dressing together until emulsified.)
  4. Drizzle the potatoes with the herbed olive oil mixture and mix well. (It will look like you’ve poured in too much dressing, but don’t worry; the potatoes will soak it up!) Let the potatoes rest for ten minutes, tossing every few minutes.
  5. Add the celery to the bowl, along with a couple of tablespoons each of chopped parsley and green onions. Toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This salad is best served within a few hours, but will keep well in the refrigerator for about two days.
  6. Garnish with additional fresh parsley if not serving immediately.

NOTES: This is both vegetarian and vegan friendly.  The potato salad also looks very nice if you use small multicolored potatoes including red and purple. You might add diced red onion, fresh chives or capers for additional piquancy. Recipe is from Cookie and Kate but is similar to many others.

MESH devoured this perfect for fall pasta dish and the leftovers disappeared at Kiddush. The colors and flavors yell fall. This hearty dish can be prepared vegan/ vegetarian. As written, the dish is not kosher. Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth to make it kosher.  The recipe is from the magazine put out by Atlantic Health System.

penneOne Pot Penne Pasta with Pumpkin and Chicken Sausage  (Serves 4)


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 package (12 ounces) chicken, apple sausage, sliced or vegan sausage
2 tablespoons honey or agave
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (for kosher version)
¾ cup skim milk
16 ounces fresh roasted pumpkin or a can of pure pumpkin
1 pound of whole wheat penne pasta
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped or left whole (use baby spinach)
4 ounces shredded white cheddar (about 1 cup)
Chopped pecans for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Once hot, add in olive oil and coat the pan.
  2. Add onion and sliced sausage. Sauté for 5 minutes; then add honey.
  3. Whisk in white wine, broth, milk and pumpkin.
  4. Stir in penne, garlic and spices. Stir to combine.
  5. Raise heat to high and bring to a simmer.
  6. Adjust heat if necessary and keep at a simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until the liquid has mostly absorbed and the pasta is al dente. Stir frequently.
  7. Once the noodles are al dente, remove from heat.
  8. Stir in Parmesan, spinach and white cheddar. Stir until the cheese has fully melted.
  9. Taste and season with sea salt, if necessary.
  10. Serve immediately with a garnish of chopped pecans.

Notes: It’s not a mistake. DO NOT PRECOOK PASTA. That’s part of the magic of this dish. Add additional liquid if leaving out wine. Trader Joe makes a good vegan sausage. Make sure it is browned well before adding other ingredients.

Serve the above with a nice salad, maybe with a different kind of dressing.  Be international; mix cuisines. This dressing with honey, lime and cilantro goes well with many foods, especially Mexican.

penne2 dressingHoney-Lime Dressing

¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or agave (for vegan version)
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno pepper (used canned for less heat)


Mix everything together. Use a mini food processor to get a fine chop on the cilantro and garlic.


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Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
Aileen Grossberg

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