New Year, New Tastes

Here are some new, fairly simple recipes to kick start your new year. Resolve to try something  different at least every few weeks. It’ll take some of the boredom away from that nightly menu planning and meal preparation.

Experimenting with new dishes will also expand a family’s palate by exposing kids to a variety of foods and seasonings.

I suggest reading through the entire recipe before you start cooking. There are hints for substitutions that might work better for you in your own kitchen.

The Lampert Library also has some family friendly cookbooks:

  • Jeff Nathan’s Family Suppers: more than 125 koshers recipes to bring family to the table
  • Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design: kids in the kitchen
  • Jane Breslin Zalben’s Beni’s Family Cookbook for the Jewish Holidays
  • Joan Nathan’s The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen : 70 ways to have fun with your kids and make your family’s celebrations special;

Surveys from respected institutions say that having family dinner is an important bonding activity and sharing news of the day’s activities will reap nothing but good for a family.

Greek Salmon (3-4 servings)

This dish was served at a recent kiddush. There was enough salmon for 50 people, but because of the weather and timing, there were fewer people than that but almost all the salmon was eaten. You can almost never go wrong with salmon. Its lovely color looks beautiful on a platter and its mild taste pairs well with many different kinds of seasonings. This recipe comes from aheadofthyme,com, a family friendly recipe site.

1 pound salmon, cut into servings sized pieces if you wish
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed, if possible
1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
tzatziki sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pat salmon fillets dry and place skin-side down on a lined quarter sheet baking pan.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir to combine olive oil, lemon juice, dill, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Brush or pour the marinade over the salmon and let it sit while the oven is preheating.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes; then serve with an extra squeeze of lemon juice on top or tzatziki sauce, if desired.


  • Can be made in an air fryer: air fry at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.
  • Will keep, covered tightly, for 3-4 days.
  • Reheat in microwave for about 1 minute or in oven or air fryer at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes.
  • Also delicious cold.

Skillet Chicken with Turmeric and Orange (4 servings)

If you prefer poultry but still want something a little different, try this New York Times chicken dish that subtlety highlights the flavors of Morocco with the use of turmeric and oranges. Just be careful because turmeric will turn cutting boards and wooden spoons yellow. The chicken pairs well with rice, enhanced by the recipe’s sauce.

1/2 medium onion, diced
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dried mint (if you don’t have dried mint, substitute 4 teaspoons fresh mint, basil or even mint herbal tea)
3 garlic cloves,crushed or finely chopped
Grated orange zest from about 2 large orange plus 1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (or substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs


  1. Marinate the chicken: put onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, mint, garlic, orange zest, orange juice, turmeric, salt and pepper in a large bowl or plastic freezer bag. Mix to combine. Add chicken and turn to coat with marinade. Leave in fridge covered until ready to cook or for up to 12 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, heat remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Do not add chicken until pan is very hot.
  3. Add the chicken and the marinade to the pan. Cook until the chicken is browned underneath and easily releases from the pan, 5-8 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally so that the onions cook evenly.
  4. If the pan looks dry, add a little water to prevent the juices from drying out.
  5. Turn the chicken over and cook until the chicken is cooked through, another 5-8 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately with the sauce.


  • Bone in chicken can be used. It will take longer to cook. Bone-in chicken can also be baked in the oven at about 350-375 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until done.
  • After zesting and juicing the oranges, cut them into pieces and add to the sauce for a more orange flavor.
  • The sauce can be doubled.

Broccoli Kugel (serves 8)

Jamie Geller ( is a kosher cook and recipe developer who now lives in Israeli. She’s energetic, perky like Rachel Ray and has embraced technology to grow her business. Her videos are slick, her shtick is energetic and enthusiastic. I find her recipes a little bland but they are often family friendly (she has lots of kids) and simple. Erin Berman made this kugel at last week’s kiddush and it was gobbled up. Erin said she added additional seasoning. Don’t cringe at the secret ingredient. It makes the recipe work.

1 (2 pound) bag frozen chopped broccoli cuts, thawed and drained
1 cup light mayonnaise
4 eggs
1&1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Liberally coat a 9 inch round baking dish, a 2 quart casserole dish, or a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, place broccoli, mayonnaise, eggs, salt, black and cayenne peppers and mix well.
  4. Pour broccoli mixture into prepared baking dish
  5. Bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until set with golden edges.


  • Can use fresh broccoli.
  • Can be doubled using a 9 x13 pan. Be sure to grease the pan well.
  • Can be frozen. Defrost before reheating.
  • Add cheese to make it quiche-like.
  • Substitute Egg beaters

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 12)

Lastly, who doesn’t like chocolate cupcakes? While I haven’t made these yet, this New York Times recipe received over 1000 5 star ratings- and not just from vegans.


1 cup soy, oat or rice milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of flour (or Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
3 tablespoons soy or rice milk
Chocolate or multicolored sprinkles (optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. These cupcakes are delicate so the liners are important to make it easier to remove the cupcakes from the muffin tins.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the soy or rice milk, vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, pausing , stirring two or three times, and keep stirring until all the large lumps are gone.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Then cool on a wire rack.
  7. When the cupcakes are totally cook, whisk the chocolate glaze ingredients until smooth and spread over the cupcakes. Decorate as desired.


  • Add 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips for more chocolate goodness.
  • Sugar can be reduced to 1/2 cup.
  • It’s important to store these in an air-tight container.
  • The original recipe is adapted from  from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World,” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
  • won’t want Costco’s anymore.

Want to share YOUR favorite recipes? Contact me at email hidden; JavaScript is required. People do read this column!

Latest posts by Aileen Grossberg (see all)

What do you think?