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I have heard you and I agree.  You want more easy, few ingredient recipes.  So do I!!!

Last month I gave you 5 ingredient salads and this month I have my favorite Israeli foods that can be made with less than 5 ingredients, oil, salt and pepper are not included. 

But first, a peek into my work in progress memoir: 

The city emptied out in the summer - and the weekends were deadly. Deadly hot, deadly humid and deadly silent. Of course there were tourists but the locals were mostly gone, off to the Hamptons which really meant “let’s all get psyched to spend 10+ roundtrip hours in bumper to bumper traffic for 36-48 hours of relaxation.” I had never been to the Hamptons and had no interest. I liked the city quiet. It felt like it belonged to me.

I would run a laundry list of errands with little to no lines. Get my hair blown out for the week (this was before the trendy blow dry bars), grab dinner at (trendy) Whole Foods and even go to the movies, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone, I actually liked going to the movies, even dinner, alone.

My weeks were so hectic, I felt like a hamster on a wheel. Days turned into nights and turned back into days. My editing sessions sometimes ran 18-hours straight, my time on set even longer. There was never a moment for anything, anything at all, other than work. And so I cherished the weekends, my Saturdays and Sundays for errand time, for friend time and for me time.

But somehow, even though I loved it and looked forward to and filled this weekend of mine with plans, it felt lonely. Not lonely in the physical sense (as I just finished saying I liked being alone and had nice, good, true friends to be with when I wanted company) but somehow I was deeply lonely. My soul was lonely. I could feel it, I had a lonely soul, I decided.

They say (who are “they”? the Rabbis, the Kabbalists) that the Pintala Yid, the Jewish neshama cries out for connection. Connection to yiddishkeit, connection to shabbos (the source of bracha), connection to your soul mate, your children, the Jewish people and mostly, connection to Hashem. I deeply believed in G-d but starved my soul of any formal Jewish practice other than in the fall by fasting on Yom Kippur (while watching TV endlessly after shul to make the afternoon hours of the fast pass quicker) and attending the occasional High Holiday service. But, it wasn’t enough.

I like to think you come into this world with your spiritual battery fully charged. But we know a charged battery doesn’t last forever. And so if we don’t recharge our spirit, our soul, eventually it dies. And I wondered if I was walking around with an almost dead soul - with only 2% left on my battery.

Now I know Rabbi Krohn always talks about how you have to disconnect to reconnect and while I disconnected from my workday and my office I wasn’t reconnecting in the right way. It’s like plugging your phone into the wrong outlet - I wasn’t charging my soul battery.

We weren’t religious and so there was never a thought of let’s go to a shiur or pick up a sefer and get outta this spiritual slump. But we loved Eretz Yisroel and we knew intuitively that was a great place to recharge and reinvigorate. And so my parents planned a trip for the three of us to go visit my sister who was in seminary. How she found herself in Michlelet Esther is another excerpt for another day, but the Israeli inspired recipe mash-ups below were born from my love of Israel and the unique flavors of the land.

Read all my 5-Ingredient Recipes articles here.