3 Spring Salads To Enjoy

Winter comfort food no more! Spring is finally here! The minute warmer weather arrives in NY, I’m motivated to create light and fresh recipes. I also enjoy the outdoors so I like spring recipes that are quick and easy and allow for more time to enjoy the sunshine. However, just like the lazy winter blues shouldn’t compromise your meals neither should spring fever. Try these simple, light, and super tasty salad recipes. Welcome Spring welcome ☺

Grilled Chicken and Romaine Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing
Asian Kale Salad
Mixed Green Salad with Coffee Vinaigrette

Good luck! Share your favorite spring salad recipes or any spring salad ideas in the comments below!

Three Cheese Calzone with Tomatoes and Balsamic Glaze


Makes 4 calzones

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Olive oil, for brushing
Homemade or store-bought pizza dough

1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
1 pint cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Tomato Sauce, for serving, recipe follows
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomato
2 cloves garlic, grated
Pinch sugar
Red pepper flakes, as needed
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Fresh basil leaves, torn

For the glaze: Add the balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire to a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes.

For the dough: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets with olive oil. 
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. 

On a floured work surface, using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a circle. Place the circles onto the prepared baking sheets.

For the toppings: Place 1/4 of the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella and tomatoes on the bottom half of each of the rounds. Season the filling with salt and pepper, tear some basil leaves over the cheese and tomatoes and drizzle with a spoonful of the balsamic glaze. 

Fold the dough rounds in half to resemble a half-moon shape, covering the filling with the dough. Starting at one end of the half-moon, begin to fold the dough over on itself pressing down as you go. Continue to fold the dough until you reach the end and then tuck the final end under and pinch it shut. 

Brush the calzones with some more olive oil and, with the tip of a knife, make 2 slits in each calzone so the steam can escape. 

Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and crisp.

For the tomato sauce: Heat a medium saucepan to medium-high. Add in the olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes on medium low. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the basil.

Cook's Note: Cutting slits in the top of the calzone will prevent the calzone from leaking and let the steam escape. You can fill this calzone with whatever you like.

Super Simple Lemony Roast Chicken

Serves 4

½ loaf stale challah, torn into pieces (for Passover use 2 lbs. baby red potatoes cut in half)
4 shallots, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 cloves garlic, each cut in half
¼ cup olive oil
1 chicken, cut in 1/8’s
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a baking sheet, toss bread, shallots, lemons, and garlic. Place chicken pieces on top. Drizzle everything with olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.

Roast in oven for 50 minutes. Serve warm with pan juices and lemons squeezed on top.

Buffalo Wing Popcorn


Why this spicy caramel popcorn didn’t already exist, we have no idea.

Makes 4 cups

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 cups popped plain popcorn (from ½ cup kernels)
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup Sriracha sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted margarine, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 300°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat parchment and a large bowl with nonstick spray; add popcorn to bowl. Set baking sheet aside. Bring sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, swirling pan occasionally, until caramel is a deep amber color, 10–12 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in hot sauce and margarine (mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to a boil and cook another 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt, baking soda, and cayenne. Working quickly (and carefully—caramel will be very hot), pour caramel mixture over popcorn and toss to coat.
Spread out popcorn on prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until dry, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

photo: gracessweetlife.com

photo by Grace of Grace's Sweet Life

Makes 8 muffins

GKC loves reader submitted recipes, especially the easy and delicious kind. This one was sent to us from our friend Elisheva who we just met at a Succos table. She loves to cook and is a fantastic preschool teacher, so if she says kids love them, then I believe her. She got this recipe from her friend Laura.

Laura's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

¼ cup of sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup of oil
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar, bananas, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
In another bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add banana mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour into 8 greased muffin tins (put water in remaining ones).
Bake 20-22 minutes.

Vanilla Milkshakes

photo: visualphotos.com

This is the basic building block of milkshakes. You can change the flavor of the ice cream or add your favorite fruit to create a completely different beverage.

3 cups ice cream
1-1/2 cups milk (it will definitely be richer with whole milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons sugar

Blend all ingredients on low to medium speed in blender and serve. Makes 2 servings - don’t forget to share!

Quick Blueberry Cheesecake (Pareve) Trifle

This trifle couldn’t be easier – you can substitute fresh fruit tossed with a little sugar or liqueur if you prefer.

1 (8-ounce) package tofutti cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups pareve whip, beaten to stiff peaks
2 packages lady fingers
1 (21-ounce) can blueberry pie filling

Cream together tofutti cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Gently fold into whip. Line a trifle bowl with lady fingers. Spread with ¼ of whip mixture. Add another layer of lady fingers and another layer of whip. Spread half of pie filling over this. Repeat. Chill completely before serving and keep stored in the refrigerator.

If you’re a trifle fan, you might also like this strawberry shortcake version.

Chickpea and Feta Salad

photo: marylandmeals.com


2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
1 tomato, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss together salad ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together all dressing ingredients except olive oil. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Pour over salad and mix well. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you’re a fan of chick peas, try this great side dish.

Chilled Corn and Coconut Soup


1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and membrane removed, chopped
3 cups fresh corn kernels, reserving ¼ cup
1 can (14 ounces) light coconut milk or regular
2 ½ cups water
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped mint, plus more for garnish
Tofutti sour cream for garnish

Bring jalapeno, corn kernels (excluding ¼ cup), coconut milk, and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until corn is tender, about 20 minutes. Filling a blender or food processor, puree soup in batches. Season with salt and pepper and chopped mint. Chill at least 3 hours. Before serving add lime juice. Garnish each with the additional corn kernels, a dollop of tofutti sour cream and a mint sprig.

Mango Chicken Salad

1/2 cup tofutti sour cream
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups shredded or chopped rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, poached chicken or any leftover chicken
2 mangos, diced
1-1/2 cups red seedless grapes
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 head Bibb lettuce

1. In a large bowl, whisk together tofutti sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder and salt. Fold in chicken, mango, grapes and half the almonds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Line a platter with lettuce leaves, place chicken salad on top of the lettuce leaves. Scatter remaining nuts on top of the chicken salad and garnish with additional red grape clusters.

Jell-O Fun!

photo: chocolateonmycranium.blogspot.com

Jell-O filled citrus cups are fun and adorable for kids.

2 oranges
4 lemons
5 limes
1 ½ cups boiling water for every 2 packages of Jell-O
2 (3 –ounce)boxes orange Jell-O
2 (3 –ounce) boxes lemon Jell-O
2 (3 –ounce) boxes red Jell-O, watermelon, raspberry or cherry

Cut oranges, lemons, and limes in half and scoop out the flesh. Then put the rinds in a muffin tin to keep them level. Boil 1 ½ cups boiling water and add 2 3 ounce packages of orange Jello mix and stir until the crystals are dissolved, about 3 minutes. Pour the mixture to the brim of each orange half. Repeat with lemon Jell-O packages, filling the lemon rinds and red Jell-O packages, filling the limes (they look like little watermelon slices). Refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Slice into wedges and serve.

Coffee Granita

photo: samsglobalmedia

This couldn’t be easier – but it tastes so good!

3 cups hot brewed coffee
¾ cup sugar
1 cup pareve whip
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir sugar into hot coffee until dissolved. Cool and pour into shallow glass pan. Freeze, scraping with fork every hour until icy and frozen – about 4 hours. In the meantime, beat pareve whip until fluffy. To serve, scrape granita into glass dessert dishes. Garnish with a dollop of whip and a sprinkling of cinnamon. This makes 4 to 6 servings and can easily be doubled for more people.

Easy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

photo: sucheela.net

Very little preparation but lots of taste.

1 (19.5-ounce) package brownie mix
2 cups quick-cooking oats
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, melted
3 eggs
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together brownie mix, oats, melted margarine and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by ¼-cupfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

My favorite easy cookie recipe based on a cake mix is this one calling for chocolate chips and coconut.

Grilled Chicken with Zaatar and Lemon

photo: myrecipes.com

This is it. I posted on facebook that I was trying a new recipe for grilled chicken that had zesty zaatar spice and lemon. It was easy and super tasty. Chicken with zaatar is not the most common combination but it works really well on the barbeque.
Serves 8

1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons zaatar spice
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 pieces of chicken
2 lemons, cut into 4 wedges
2 large Vidalia onions, cut into thick slices

Whisk together oil, zaatar, lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Heat grill to medium - 350 to 450 degrees. Grill chicken, skin side down, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes; watch for flare-ups and move chicken to a cooler spot if needed. Turn chicken and grill until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Grill lemon wedges and onion in last few minutes, turning once, until grill marks appear on the lemon and the onions are cooked through. Serve with chicken.

Enjoyed this recipe for grilled chicken? Try another kosher chicken recipes.

Papaya and Avocado Salad

Serves 6 – 8

Summer salads are fresh, fruity, and full of vibrant color and flavor. This one is commonly made with mango (and is really good that way) but we tried it with papaya, another summer seasonal fruit, and loved the results! Papaya is refreshing and available this time of year. It’s a summer salad that is easy, colorful, and a winner in our house.

2 avocados, semi-ripe
2 papayas, not too soft (or 1 extra large one)
3 limes
1 small red onion, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 scallions, white part only, cut thin on the bias
¼ cup cilantro or basil leaves, sliced thin
Salt and pepper

Peel and pit the avocados and slice the flesh into 10 wedges. Peel and seed the papaya and slice the flesh into 12 wedges.

Juice the limes into a bowl. Add the red onion and ginger and mix. Set it aside for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the remaining ingredients and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Kosher & Easy Chocolate Fudge Recipes for a Kosher Shavuot

Do you ever gaze at those displays of rich fudge at farmer’s markets and wish all of it was kosher? Do you fantasize about the plain chocolate fudge or the marshmallow or even the peanut butter flavors? Have you ever wondered how to make fudge yourself, or if it’s even a possibility? Shavuot is the perfect time to turn that fantasy into reality by making the fudge of your dreams in the privacy of your own kitchen. New and unique Shavuot recipes are always fun to introduce into your repertoire, and fudge is yet another dairy delight that helps you get in the spirit of the holiday. And one of the best things about this chocolate fudge recipe – other than the taste – is that it’s super easy. So indulge and enjoy.

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge


Not sure how to make fudge? Always wanted to try it for yourself? Try these easy chocolate fudge recipes with condensed milk.

18 ounces semisweet chocolate – either chips or coarsely chopped squares
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Line an 8-inch square pan with heavy-duty foil. Melt chocolate and sweetened condensed milk together – either in the microwave or in a small saucepan on top of the stove over low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour in prepared pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into squares.

Walnut or Pecan: When you stir in the vanilla, also add a cup of chopped nuts.
Coconut: Along with the vanilla, stir in 1 cup toasted coconut.
Peanut Butter: Drop ½ cup peanut butter by teaspoonfuls on top of fudge and swirl with knife to marbleize.
Marshmallow: When you stir in the vanilla, add 2 cups miniature marshmallows.
Rocky Road: Same as above, only also add 1 cup chopped nuts.

Enjoyed this chocolate fudge recipe? Try another of our delicious Shavuot recipes for dessert!

Easy Quesadillas

photo: wordpress.com

Easy quesadillas recipes are everywhere. But the best easy quesadillas recipe is always the one you already know by heart! This recipe is so easy, you'll know it after trying it one time, and your kids will love it so much, you may never stop making it.

1 (8 to 9-ounce) can chopped green chiles
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin

1 cup sour cream
½ cup salsa (I like it to be medium or hot but depends on your taste)
½ cup chopped cilantro

Spoon 2 tablespoons green chiles over ½ of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese, onion and cumin. Fold remaining half over to cover. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray or 1 tablespoon oil. Adding 2 quesadillas at a time, cook for 3 minutes per side. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream, salsa and cilantro.

Enjoyed this easy quesadillas recipe? Try another of our Shavuot recipes for sides.

Easy Dessert For Kids

This is a super easy dessert recipe to make and is in the dairy spirit of Shavuot recipes. But I promise you it won’t only be the kids eating it.

24 ice cream sandwiches
2 (8-ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Caramel sauce

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with ice cream sandwiches. Spread with 8 ounces (1 container’s worth) of whipped topping. Add another layer of sandwiches and the rest of the whipped topping. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and walnuts and drizzle with caramel sauce. Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars while frozen (this and the eating are the only adult part of this job!)

Like this easy dessert recipe? Try another of our Shavuot recipes that the kids can help with!

Pizza Dip

photo: showmethecurry.com

This pizza dip recipe with cream cheese is fun with different kinds of bread or crackers or with fresh vegetable sticks. Shavuot recipes like this are good to have around as snacks and appetizers.

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (14-ounce) can pizza sauce
1 small onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 (6-ounce) can black olives, chopped or black olive rings
2 ounces vegetarian pepperoni, finely chopped (optional)
Corn or tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press cream cheese into bottom of a 9-inch round pan. Spread pizza sauce over top and then layer remaining ingredients (except corn chips) in order listed. Top with vegetarian pepperoni, if using. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with chips.

Enjoyed this pizza dip recipe? Try another one of our Shavuot recipes for dips.

Chocolate-Glazed Shortbread

I always ignore shortbread recipes because of the butter in them (not to mention the calories!) but Shavuot is the perfect time to indulge! Here's a delicious and easy shortbread recipe for your to try this year.

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1-1/3 cups flour
4-1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar

½ cup (1 stick) butter
4-1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

7 ounces semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour and press into 9-inch square baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes- until golden brown. Cool on rack.

For topping, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes, still stirring. Stir in vanilla and pour over shortbread. Cool for at least 1 hour.

For glaze, melt chocolate in saucepan over low heat or in microwave. Pour over shortbread and spread evenly. Cool until set. Cut into bars.

Still hungry? Here's another of our delicious Shavuot recipes for dessert.

Grilled Balsamic Glazed Portobello Mushrooms

6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus 3/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 large Portobello mushrooms, wiped of any dirt, washed and quickly dried

Preheat the grill. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, toss the garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt. Wrap the garlic cloves in tinfoil and place on the tray in the center of the oven. Cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic with the 3/4 cup olive oil and mustard.

In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt. Place them, stem side up, on the hottest part of the grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, you may see liquid starting to emerge from the stem area. Turn on the other side and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Move to a cooler side of the grill and continue cooking until soft when pierced with a fork. Make sure to move them to an indirect heat part of the grill so that you do not burn the outside of the mushroom but still cook it through. Reseason them lightly with salt.

Remove the garlic from the oven. Squeeze the garlic pulp out from their skins and whisk it vigorously into the dressing. Arrange the mushrooms on a serving platter and top with the dressing. Serve immediately.