Healthy, Low-Glycemic Shabbat Dinner
Let’s face it: Jewish cooking, especially Ashkenazi (central and eastern European) food, is not always the healthiest fare. Step into any Jewish deli in the U.S., order a pastrami sandwich and you better have your cardiologist by your side.
The enormous slabs of meat, most often corn-fed and pro-inflammatory, are often stacked in between two slices of processed, blood-sugar spiking and belly-bloating flour bread.
To be fair, many Jewish delis serve sandwiches with small-batch, ‘Old World’ pumpernickel and rye bread [link to challah article], which is much healthier than conventional wheat- and white-flour breads. But Jewish ‘deli’ food on the whole is not always a healthy meal.
If you observe Shabbat, chances are your home-cooked meals are healthier than what you’d get in the deli.
But your Shabbat dinner could be even healthier, without sacrificing any taste. Here, then, are ways to create a healthy, low-sugar shabbat dinner….
Let’s start with a starter course must-have: Kosher Chicken Soup
Chicken noodle soup, aka Jewish penicillin, may indeed have curative powers (though the Miracle Noodle team is bummed we haven’t seen a peer-reviewed medical study confirming this yet) but when you’re healthy, a good way to stay so is to keep your blood sugar levels at a steady level.
Eating regular noodles can potentially raise your blood sugar levels quite fast. You know that sluggish feeling after eating meals with high-starch foods like pasta? You experience that crash in energy because what quickly goes up (i.e. your blood sugar) quickly comes down, and then some. Most noodles and pastas rank high on the glycemic index (GI). The higher the number on the GI scale, the higher the potential to experience the energy crash.
The easiest way to avoid a potential energetic pitfall is to substitute regular noodles with Miracle Noodle. Though it looks, feels and tastes like regular noodles, Miracle Noodle (known in Japan as ‘shirataki’ noodles) will not raise your blood sugar levels at all because it contains zero net carbohydrates.
‘Net zero’ means that the miniscule amount of carbohydrates (a gram or two at most) is negated by the fiber in Miracle Noodle. It’s called ‘Miracle’ because somehow, this noodle that’s 97% water and 3% fiber can remind you of the tastiest chicken noodle soup your zadie used to make. (Here’s one recipe for chicken noodle soup using Miracle Noodle, though we aren’t going to argue with you if it’s better than your zadie’s; it’s not our recipe. Use organic chopped carrots and onions to make sure your veggies weren’t sprayed with pesticides.)
Now that we’re done with the soup, let’s move on to the main course: Kosher Roast Chicken
First, a quick mini crash-course in nutrition is required. There are three macronutrients--protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Not all of each of the three macronutrients are created equally. For example, vegetable oils that have gone rancid are examples of bad fat while unrefined coconut oil is a healthy dietary fat. Vegetables and fruits are healthier examples of carbohydrates while most industrial breads and pastries--and noodles--are unhealthy carbs.
Which brings us to protein. Within the glatt kosher protein realm, not all meats are created equally. Though your beef, chicken or fish might be certified ‘glatt’, it does not mean your meat will, among other things:
contain healthy essential fatty acids
help reduce inflammation
protect against heart disease
Healthy meat is derived from grass-fed or pasture-raised farms, not from conventional, large-scale industrial meat-processing facilities. Cows and chickens were not meant to eat corn or soy feed, which is what most factory-farmed animals are fed. Grain-fed animals are particularly higher in Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids, which we need, but only in small amounts. The average American consumes far too many foods with Omega-6’s, which is thought to be a factor in systemic inflammation of the body.
Miracle Noodle recommends KOL Foods for its kosher meat. Its animals come from humanely raised operations, free of pesticides and fertilizers and energy-wasting transportation and watering methods. Until 2007, virtually all kosher meat came from animals raised in confinement. KOL stepped in to fill the void of kosher, grass-fed and pasture-raised meat.
So prepare a nice roast with KOL poultry and lightly-cooked low-starch vegetables. The Miracle Noodle Team isn’t a bunch of diet despots; we’ll occasionally eat some higher-starch vegetables such as herbed potatoes (but to make it healthier, opt for sweet potatoes).
We’ll even be more lenient: not one, but two dessert options: Noodle Kugel with Miracle Noodles and Miracle Rice Pudding
To celebrate the sweetness of shabbat, you get to pick from two healthy kosher desserts (or eat a smaller portion of each). First up is noodle kugel. Similar to chicken noodle soup, you can replace egg noodles in traditional kugel recipes with Miracle Noodle.
Check out a recipe submitted by one “Phyllis from Connecticut” on our Facebook page for a healthy yet tasty version of Miracle Noodle Kugel. Phyllis recommends using Splenda® instead of regular sugar. The Miracle Noodle team recommends raw stevia as an even healthier natural sugar alternative.
If you love rice pudding but don’t like the idea that all that sugar in the pudding will very likely be stored around your love-handles or tuchas, use Miracle Rice instead of regular rice. Just like Miracle Noodle, Miracle Rice is calorie- and carb-free. Sweeten and thicken with coconut milk and raisins, which are both pareve (neutral, non-dairy).
You can also read from our Facebook page, a recipe for Miracle Rice Pudding. Just make sure the ingredients are kosher and substitute the skim milk called for in the recipe with coconut milk, which is Pareve.
Save Almost 30% on Miracle Noodle!
As incentive to cook healthier Shabbat dinners, Miracle Noodle would like to save you money--and time. We can ship the noodles right to your front door with our Auto Ship program. Simply select which products you want, how often you’d like them delivered and you’ll save 15% on every order. Learn more about Miracle Noodle Auto Delivery.
Share the joys of eating all the kosher noodles you want without the guilt. As incentive, when you share Miracle Noodle on Facebook, Twitter or via email, and your friends click your share link, both you and your friend will receive 13% off your next order. Here’s the link: ?saopen=share