If you are one of those people who refers to the time between Rosh Chodesh Av and Tisha B’Av as the Nine-Day Fast, you are not alone. (Although, technically, there are probably only six dinners that need to be dealt with.) Thankfully, I am not one of those people, because I happen to enjoy dairy or meatless meals and I like vegetables. As a matter of fact, I prefer them. As do most of the members of my family. So, I don’t mind the Nine Days. At least, food-wise. Please don’t hate me.
For the rest of you, on the positive side, remember that chocolate chip cookies are soooo much better with real butter. There, I’ve said it.
To make life easier, I like to go out to eat during the summer. The long, endless evenings lend themselves to relaxing at a restaurant and letting someone else do the cooking. But the dairy restaurants are ridiculously crowded during the Nine Days and it becomes pretty stressful trying to find a table. So, don’t think that you can’t try going to meat restaurants this week. Most have “Nine Days” menus that include pasta and fish dishes. You will avoid the crowds and the long lines and probably get to try some cool new dishes.
But, if you are not planning on going out every night and are not making a siyum this week, you may just need some ideas for dinner. For you, I’ve listed some of my favorite dairy meals.
Frittata; shakshuka; quinoa burgers; pasta with ricotta, spinach and mushrooms; homemade pizza; glazed salmon; cheese quiche; lasagna; lentils and rice (medjedra); steamed vegetable and tofu dumplings; veggie chili
All these recipes have been previously published in my column, or are on my website, so you can do a search, or email me if you want a specific recipe!
C’mon people, we can do this! It’s only nine days!
(adapted from The Chew)
- 1/2 cup tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus additional to garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 cup mild or sharp shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 avocado, to serve
- Sour cream, to serve
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
In a small bowl, add the diced tomato, onion, cilantro, cumin and jalapeno and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add eggs, turmeric, season with salt and pepper and whisk until combined. Add the tomato mixture and cheese and stir to combine.
Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add egg mixture to the pan, and allow to cook, lifting the edges with a spatula to allow any uncooked egg to flow to the bottom of the pan. Allow the edges to set, then transfer to the oven to finish cooking for 10-15 minutes or until the center has just set and the top is fluffy and golden.
Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve immediately. Serve with more chopped cilantro, sliced avocado and sour cream.
For a cheesier frittata, sprinkle 1/4 cup more grated cheese on top and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
By Rachel Berger