It’s finally here. Chef Levana’s magnum opus. Her masterpiece. Levana has worked in the kosher food industry for over 30 years and has published four best-selling cookbooks. The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen includes more than 350 recipes, 250 of which are gluten free and 250 can be made for Passover. This cookbook has all the basics of healthy whole food cooking with tips and stories that make it a must have for every kosher home.
The book opens with a story about Rivka, a young woman who after years of health troubles, found a cure through whole foods. Levana hopes to help and inspire other men and women out there going through similar health challenges. Levana credits her whole foods approach to her Moroccan mother, whose mantra was “the cure is in the pot”. Levana knows many of America’s health problems can be solved in the kitchen instead of the doctor’s office.
I love the first chapter of this book, The Pantry: Edible Gifts to Yourself and Beyond. Levana talks about a well-stocked pantry made up of your own artisanal condiments. She helps us make our own preserved lemons, spice rubs, salad dressings, and even liqueurs. Having ready made pantry staples makes it easy to add great flavor to simple foods at mealtimes. There is no need to buy sodium and preservative filled salad dressings, when all you need are a few oils and vinegars to create diverse dressings for any salad and any occasion.
In addition to the recipes there are tons of fabulous tips all through the book, such as using soy or rice milk powder in non-dairy dishes to obtain a rich and dense texture similar to cream. I tried her own blend of Chai in my tea and as a self proclaimed Chai connoisseur I can tell you it was spot on. I also tried her versatile muffin recipe with rave reviews from all.
Levana shows how to use a hammer to make cutting large dense vegetables like winter squash a snap. She has tons of recipes of all kinds and even recommendations for gluten free baking. Whole foods doesn’t mean you have to skimp on dessert. Levana has creative recipes for brownies, biscotti and macaroons, even chocolate salami (I’ll have some of that). This book has it all!
Here are a few recipes to give a you a taste of what’s inside: