Lemon Cake

½ pound unsalted margarine at room temperature
2½ cups granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
⅓ cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup pareve milk, or soymilk at room temperature
1½ tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease, flour, and line the bottom of two 8½ X 4½ X 2½-inch loaf pans with parchment paper.

Cream the margarine and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine ¼ cup lemon juice, the pareve milk, the vinegar, and vanilla. Add the flour and pareve milk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Combine ½ cup granulated sugar with ½ cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

Grilled Chicken and Peach Kebab Salad

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup pareve Tofutti sour cream
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ cup chopped chives
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1 pound boned, skinned chicken breast halves (4 to 6), cut into 1-inch chunks
3 large peeled peaches (about 2 lbs.), each cut into 8 wedges
10 ounces baby arugula (about 3 qts. Very loosely packed)
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

Make dressing; whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

Marinate chicken: put meat and ½ cup dressing in a medium bowl. Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature. If using bamboo skewers, soak in water 30 minutes. Add enough water (2 to 4 tablespoons) to the rest of the dressing to thin slightly, then chill. Prepare a grill for medium heat (350° to 450°).

Assemble kebabs: thread 1 peach wedge and 2 chicken chunks onto skewer. Repeat, then add a final peach wedge. Thread remaining skewers the same way.

Cook meat: Oil cooking grate, using tongs and a wad of oiled paper towels. Grill kebabs, covered, until browned and chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes, turning once with a spatula.

Make salad: arrange arugula on plates and sprinkle with onion and parsley. Lay a kebab next to each salad and serve with remaining dressing.

Creamy Lime Slaw

4 green onions
½ head napa cabbage, sliced thinly
½ cup cilantro leaves
2 limes
½ cup pareve Tofutti sour cream
1½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Slice green onions long and on the bias so you have pieces similar in shape to the cabbage. Toss together onions, cabbages, and cilantro in a large bowl.

Zest both limes and juice 1 lime. In a bowl, mix lime zest and juice, tofutti sour cream, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture; stir to combine.

Chopped Liver

I don’t care how good your local butcher or take-out shop is, there is nothing like homemade chopped liver. And I’m talking about the real thing, not the vegetarian substitute.

2 (1 pound) packages pre-broiled beef liver
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 onion, chopped and sautéed in 1 – 2 teaspoons oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ to ¾ cup mayonnaise

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process with metal blade until smooth. Refrigerate and serve with an assortment of crackers.

Mexican Chicken Stew

A nice change from the usual roast chicken.

4 tablespoons oil
2 chickens, cut into 1/8th’s
2 hot Italian sausages
½ pound smoked turkey, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¾ cup white wine
¼ cup capers

In a large Dutch oven, brown chicken in oil. Add sausages turkey and sauté. Add tomatoes, garlic, onion, cloves, cinnamon and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add wine, cover, and simmer an additional hour. Garnish with capers.

Baked Mushrooms

3 pounds mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
½ cup margarine, divided
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon pepper
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup tofutti sour cream
1 tablespoon ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté mushrooms and onion in ¼ cup margarine for 5 minutes. Pour into 2 quart casserole/baking dish. Melt remaining margarine and stir in flour, salt, garlic and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes – until thickened. Stir in tofutti sour cream and ketchup. Mix well. Pour over mushrooms. Cover and bake for ½ hour.

Moroccan Tuna

1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
6 (6 ounce) pieces of tuna
1 cup white wine

In a food processor, combine the first 8 ingredients. Rub this paste over the tuna, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place tuna in a single layer in a baking pan. Pour wine over tuna. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tuna from liquid and cool. Store in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature, garnished with a tomato-cilantro salsa.

Carrot Kugel Variation

The variations on carrot kugel are seemingly endless. Here’s another good one to try.

2 regular-sized jars baby food carrots
2 whole carrots, peeled and grated
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all ingredients and pour into 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for about 1 hour.

Coconut Balls Rolled in Chocolate Ganache

This is another use for coconut pound cake that doesn’t drop beautifully from the pan.

1 cup pareve whip
7 ounces semisweet chocolate
Coconut pound cake

Heat whip and chocolate in microwave and stir until smooth. Break off ¼ cup size pieces of cake and roll into balls. Stick with a wooden skewer and dip into melted chocolate covering all sides. Cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper and place chocolate-dipped coconut balls on the waxed paper. When all done, refrigerate until set and store in refrigerator when not serving. Makes about 2 dozen coconut balls.

Tuna Tapenade

1/2 cup jarred pitted green olives
4 tablespoons capers
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 garlic clove1/2 cup canned pitted black olives , minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (5 to 6-ounce) can tuna, in oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crostini, recipe follows

Blend all the ingredients, except the tuna, in a food processor until smooth but still chunky. Transfer to a medium serving bowl. Drain the tuna but do not rinse. Flake the tuna with a fork. Add to the olive mixture, blending gently with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with Crostini.

1 baguette
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the baguette, on the bias, into thin slices. In a small bowl, mix the oils and salt and pepper, to taste. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat 1 side of bread slices with the oil. Arrange on a sheet tray and bake until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Yield: about 24 slices

Veal Marsala

8 veal cutlets (about 3 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little flour to coat the veal
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted margarine
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 to 4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 ounces assorted mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
Leaves from 1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Sprinkle the veal with salt and pepper and a little flour. Melt 1 tablespoon of margarine and 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 veal cutlets and cook until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer the veal to a plate. Add another tablespoon of margarine and oil, if necessary. Repeat with the remaining 4 cutlets. Set the cutlets aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the shallots and garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add a tablespoon of the olive oil, if necessary. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and the juices evaporate, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Add the Marsala. Simmer until the Marsala reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, tomato paste and the rosemary leaves. Simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Return the veal to the skillet. Pour in all of the pan juices. Cook just until heated through, turning to coat, about 1 minute. Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon of margarine into the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.
Using tongs, transfer the veal to plates. Spoon the sauce over the veal and serve.

Asparagus with Sesame Citrus Sauce

1 bunch asparagus
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus a splash
3 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Prepare the asparagus. Snap off bases of spears and discard. Bring a small amount of salted water to boil in a saucepan, add a splash of lemon; add asparagus and cook until tender. Remove asparagus and shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking and to keep its bright green color.
Melt the 3 tablespoons of margarine in saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and cook, stirring 2 to 3 minutes over moderate heat, until lightly browned. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons orange juice, drizzle with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Whisk to make sure it's fully emulsified. Add salt, to taste. Add asparagus to sauce, and toss until coated. Serve hot and garnish with extra sesame seeds, if desired.

Crunchy Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

3 large Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean, cut in 1/2
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the potatoes and put on a baking sheet. Roughly tear the rosemary and scatter it over the potatoes; season them with garlic, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the potatoes well to mix all the flavors and put them in the oven. Remove them after 30 minutes and toss them again. Continue to roast them until they are browned and cooked through. Serve immediately.

Grilled Blueberry Almond Cobbler

For the fruit:
6 cups blueberries (about 2 pounds)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine

For the biscuits:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine, frozen
5 tablespoons pareve whipping cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Heat a well cleaned grill to 350 degrees F.
For the fruit: Combine all ingredients except margarine in a nonreactive bowl and toss to coat. Turn into an 8 by 8-inch disposable aluminum cake pan and dot with margarine; set aside.

For the biscuits:
Combine flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix until evenly combined. Grate the margarine into the bowl and toss to coat in flour mixture.
Add 1/4 cup of the pareve cream and almond extract and mix to moisten thoroughly. Knead until dough just comes together and is smooth. Divide into 8 pieces and place on top of fruit. Brush biscuits with remaining 1 tablespoon of the pareve whipping cream, sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon of the sugar on top, and scatter with almonds. Place on the grill, close cover, and grill until fruit is bubbling and biscuits are toasted and puffy and golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Chilled Cucumber Soup

4 cups sliced cucumbers
2 cups water
2 cups yogurt or sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
mint leaves
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ - 2 tablespoons salt
¼ teaspoon dill weed
Chopped scallions or chives for garnish

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor and chill overnight. To serve, ladle into bowls, serve chilled and garnish with scallions or chives.

Grilled Fish with Grilled Fruit Salsa

Fruit Salsa:
1 to 2 pieces watermelon (1 if large. 2 if small, sliced 1 1/2-inches thick, leave rind intact
2 pieces honeydew melon, sliced 1 1/2-inches thick, leave rind intact
1 thick lengthwise slice pineapple, peeled and cored
2 kiwi fruit, peeled, cut in 1/2
1 ripe mango, peeled, sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded if you do not like it spicy, minced
1 red pepper
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime, zested
1/8 cup lime juice (about 2)
1/8 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds firm white fish (halibut, sea bass, or other hearty firm white fish)
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Rub each piece lightly with canola oil.
Rub grates of the grill with a canola oiled paper towel. Place red pepper on grill and grill until blackened. Remove from grill and place in a paper or resealable plastic bag to rest. When pepper is cool enough to handle, peel off blackened skin. Remove the stem and scoop out the seeds. Chop and place in a large bowl.
Arrange fruit on grill and let cook 2 to 3 minutes, turn over, and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from grill to a cutting board and let cool. When fruit is cool, chop into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl with chopped red pepper.
In a medium bowl, combine the minced jalapeno pepper, cilantro, lime zest and juice, sugar, lemon juice, cayenne, cinnamon and salt. Mix well and pour over the grilled fruit. Gently stir to combine, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve on top of fish.
Fish: Preheat grill to medium-high. Rub the grill with a canola oiled paper towel. Salt and pepper both sides of fish. Gently place fish on grill, cook for 3 minutes, carefully turn over and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat to a cutting board, cover and let rest for 2 minutes. Cut into serving size pieces, if desired, and serve immediately with fruit salsa.

Mesclun Salad Maple Vinaigrette

5 cups mesclun lettuce leaves
2 cups frisee leaves
½ cup craisins
¼ toasted pine nuts
½ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup imitation bacon bits (optional)
½ cup cubed smoked turkey

Mix together. Add vinaigrette and serve.

Maple Vinaigrette
¼ cup shallots
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
4 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan. Cook the shallots until soft. Stir in champagne vinegar, maple syrup, the rest of the olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Corn and Black Bean Salad with Basil-Lime Vinaigrette

2 ears fresh corn or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad: Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Peel back the corn husks. Remove the silks and replace the husks. Soak the corn in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and place on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely and remove the husks. Using a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels. In a medium bowl (or steam corn and remove kernals), mix together the grilled corn, black beans, garbanzo beans, bell pepper, and mango.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the lime zest, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, basil, and cumin. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. Refrigerate for 1 hour, and toss again, before serving.

Healthy Chocolate Mousse Pie (non-dairy, tasty with a surprise ingredient)

This dessert is a great way to give everyone a sweet treat without all the calories or fat of a traditional mousse pie.

2 cups chocolate chips,
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
1 block silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1 prepared chocolate wafer crust
Chocolate shavings or whipped topping for garnish
Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and coffee liqueur in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.
Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey in the blender jar. Liquefy until smooth (use a blender not a food processor to get a smooth consistency and gently move the bottom mixture to the top with a spatula to get it all blended well).
Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling is set. *** This can be made in individual cups without the crust and served with a whipped topping.

Hot and Sour Fish Soup

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 pounds halibut of other white flesh fish (like cod or flounder), chopped
3 cups pareve chicken broth
2-1/2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
½ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup minced scallions, green part only
¼ cup chopped cilantro
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 packages ramen noodles (do not use the seasoning packets), cooked and drained

Gently mix fish with soy sauce and set aside. Combine broth, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, pepper and ginger and bring to a low boil. Add carrot and stir. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add fish and cook an additional 10 minutes. Stir in scallions and cilantro. Add ramen noodles and sesame seeds.

Greek Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup red wine
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup black olive rings

In a large Dutch oven, brown meat and onion in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 3 hours – until meat is soft and flavors have really blended.