Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.

Oil Alternatives

Posted: December 9, 2009 | Author: Rita | Filed under: Rita | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

It seems like every week there’s another Jewish holiday, right? Coming up starting the night of December 11th is one of my faves, Chanukah (or “Hanukkah”, whichever spelling works for you). I’m still a bit annoyed that my Thanksgiving was sadly pumpkin-less, so at some point I’m going to have to figure out a way to incorporate it into the festivities.

The big food deal for Chanukah is oil. It wouldn’t be a festival of lights if there wasn’t any oil in which to create the lights! Of course, since oil must be incorporated into what’s eaten, like all Jewish holidays this makes for a fattening time of year. Since I’m concerned about being healthy and not having a heart attack due to deep fried sufganiyot (jelly donuts) or deep fried latkes, it was with interest when I read recently somewhere that what some people are doing now are not necessarily deep frying potatoes or sugar, but splashing olive oil atop dishes, like a garnish. Hey, that counts!

I’m not much of a soup person, but one cool suggestion is creating a butternut squash soup or pureed veggie soup of choice and drizzling high quality olive oil just before serving. Or, an arugula, walnut, cider-soaked onion salad tossed lightly with olive oil and spices. Unless you like salads, though, this isn’t particularly exciting. But at least if someone asks why you’re not downing latkes like everyone else, you have an excuse, “I had my fill of oil already, thanks!” (Assuming you have enough willpower to turn that stuff down.)

Another thing you can do which I snack on at home sometimes, is, just like in a fancy restaurant, pouring a small plate of good quality olive oil and either shaking in tons of zahtar spice mix or balsamic vinegar and wiping it up with doughy slices of challah. This isn’t exactly healthy though… but you can tell yourself at least it’s not a donut.

What other oil alternatives can you come up with?

2 Comments on “Oil Alternatives”

  1. 1 Johanna said at 12:34 am on December 9, 2009:

    I definitely support drizzlings of walnut or hazlenut or avocado oil on top of grilled fish or roasted chicken… it makes it feel special, and you only need a tiny bit because the flavor is intense. And there’s always the pungent and amazing flavor of toasted sesame oil on tofu or noodles.
    What about pesto? Or chimichurri? They both have oil in them in smaller quantities and there’s no frying involved! :)

  2. 2 Bakezilla said at 3:20 pm on December 12, 2009:

    Hmmm… Well, the potatoes I made for Thanksgiving can be made with oil, and are slightly healthier than deep-fried latkes. And any sort of stir-fry uses oil, but a moderate amount, and lets you put in loads of veggies. And, spinach can be prepared with a bit of oil and toasted pine nuts…

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Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.