Jewish Foods: Traditional or Modern?

13 Aug

What is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Rosh Hashanah? For many of us, it’s food. Food brings people together, triggers amazing memories, and just plain makes us happy! So as we gear up for the Jewish New Year, we have to start thinking about what we will cook this year; however, the newest challenge is finding the perfect balance between traditional and modern Jewish cooking. Nowadays there are ways to alter our favorite holiday dishes to make them more suited to the world we live in. We are more focused on healthy eating than our grandparents may have been, have more concern for and obligation to protect the environment, along with the increasing popularity of animal-free diets.

Below are a few of our favorite Rosh Hashanah recipes that have been “updated.” How do they represent today’s societal values?

Carrot Tzimmes:

1 bag carrots

5-6 sweet potatoes

1/2 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup honey

1 cup orange juice

1/2-1 teaspoon salt

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Boil water in large pot. Then wash and peel carrots and sweet potatoes. Place carrots and potatoes in boiling water. Cover pot. Let cook until tender but firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a shallow baking dish. Drain carrots and potatoes. Place in baking dish with prunes. Mix gently. Mix orange juice, honey, salt, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Pour over casserole. Dot the top with margarine. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Stir gently and bake uncovered for 10 minutes.


Mock Chopped Liver

3 large onions, browned in 2 T vegetable oil

3 hard boiled eggs

1 8 oz can cut green beans, drained

1 8 oz can sweet peas, drained

1 cup chopped walnuts

Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend. Chill and serve with crackers or party rye squares. Best made a day ahead.


Fresh Apple Cake

4 cups apples (chopped)

2 cups white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsps baking soda

2 tsps ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

12 cup vegetable oil

2 beaten eggs

2 tsps vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and apples, set aside. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the apples and sugar, mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch.

What are some of your favorite traditional holiday dishes with a modern twist?  Share them with us in a comment below!


3 Responses to “Jewish Foods: Traditional or Modern?”

  1. Jessi August 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    YUM, these sound delish!

    • Fanny Goldberg August 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      I LOVE mock chopped liver!! It almost tastes exactly like real chopped liver, but without any guilt and much easier to make from scratch 🙂

  2. Rose August 22, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    I see that the dishes on your blog have a modern twist compared to the traditional way of cooking it. I would really love to see if it tastes as good as the original one.

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