Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking: Ordinary Ingredients Extraordinary Meals Delicious Recipes for Everyone to Enjoy

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International food writer Leah Schapira cooks up simple and delicious mealtime solutions for every kitchen in her new cookbook.

This cookbook is all about easy, uncomplicated recipes for every day or for any occasion.

A recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious, nor exclusive to certain kitchens. Such is the mantra of Leah Schapira, co-founder of the popular culinary website,, and author of the new book, Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking: Ordinary Ingredients, Extraordinary Meals (Artscroll; November 2011). Inspiring everyone from traditional kosher cooks to everyday working women and moms, Leah shows how to use simple, fresh ingredients to create time-sensitive, tasty meals for all to enjoy.

A busy wife and mother, Leah extends her recipes to a wide audience of people who don’t have much time to cook. She includes useful tips, minimal ingredients, and easy-to-follow steps. The book is organized into delicious chapters with sections containing time-saving tips such as menus, freezer-friendly meals and an index of food pairings for weeknight recipes. Her seasonal menus encourage home cooks to take advantage of market-fresh, simple ingredients for even easier recipe planning.

“Food preparation shouldn’t be a point of tension,” Leah says. “This cookbook is all about easy, uncomplicated recipes for every day or for any occasion. I like to use ingredients from my pantry, adding new twists and improving on techniques.”

Leah’s collection of culinary favorites transcends all food-lovers’ kitchens, non-Jewish and non-kosher alike. While certainly easing the challenges of strict kosher cooking, Leah’s recipes also provide options for even the pickiest of eaters. “You certainly don’t have to keep kosher to benefit from Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking,” she says. “But if you do happen to be a kosher cook, you’ll find a great deal of help — even relief — from all of the resources I provide in the book.”

Recipes are divided into chapters covering Soups, Salads, Dips & Sauces, Sides, Brunch & Lunch, Main Dishes, Traditional, and, of course, Desserts. There is something for everyone in Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking. Some of Leah’s tempting recipes include:

  •     Carrot and Cilantro Soup
  •     Mediterranean Tomato Salad
  •     Roasted Mushroom and Pepper Salad
  •     Chimichurri Skewered Steak
  •     Citrus Sea Bass
  •     Sweet Potato Fries
  •     Sriracha Thai Noodles
  •     Eggplant and Tomato Fettuccini
  •     Basil Chicken Wraps
  •     Overnight Potato Kugel
  •     Lazy Man’s Cholent
  •     Kreplach
  •     No-Mixer Brownies
  •     Square Donuts
  •     Watermelon Sorbet

All recipes are indicated as meat, dairy, or parve; those with dairy food sensitivities will appreciate the abundance of non-dairy parve recipes, particularly the desserts.

Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking addresses a need for different, helpful, and great-tasting recipes. In a world of expensive dining and elaborate meals, Leah keeps it simple by combining fresh ingredients and classic flavors. The result: familiar and satisfying food that everyone can enjoy.

“It is my hope that this cookbook will keep cooking from turning into a chore. If we are going to cook, we might as well enjoy it! Have fun with these recipes, get creative, add some spice to your everyday meals and let the cooking begin!”


Leah’s early history with food was anything but sanguine. She describes her childhood as that of the classically finicky eater. When Leah was eight years old, her creative mother invited her fussy daughter into the kitchen to discover for herself what she liked to eat. It worked. Soon Leah was whipping up tasty dishes the whole family enjoyed. Fast forward to age 21; newly-married, Leah co-edited a community fundraising cookbook which has sold over 12,000 copies and is now in its third printing. A self-taught cook and seasoned traveler, Leah Schapira has been the food editor for two popular international Jewish weekly magazines and shares her love of cooking through articles; the culinary website she co-founded, (a user-driven recipe exchange); through cooking demos and classes; and now through her latest creation — Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking. She resides in New Jersey with her husband and children.

Trina Kaye – The Trina Kaye Organization
310-915-0970 / [email protected]

Makes 4-5 Servings

A slightly tart dressing complements the sweet ingredients in this salad. It’s named after my sweetheart sister-in-law who shared this recipe with me.

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup pineapple, fresh, cubed
¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup roasted almonds
1 green apple

3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

1 In a large bowl, combine lettuce, pineapple, apricots, cranberries, and almonds.
2 Combine dressing ingredients.
3 Right before serving, core and slice the apple, with peel on, add to salad, and toss with dressing.

Makes 6-8 Servings
6 slices sea bass
½ cup lemon juice
Pinch salt and pepper

2 cups orange juice
1 cup apricot jam
1 tbsp onion soup mix

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 In a bowl or zip-top bag, marinate sea bass in lemon juice, salt and pepper for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Transfer fish to baking dish. Discard marinade.
3 Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine orange juice, jam, and onion soup mix. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
5 Pour glaze over sea bass. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

Recipes may be reprinted with the following credit:
Recipes from FRESH & EASY KOSHER COOKING: Ordinary Ingredients, Extraordinary Meals
By Leah Schapira/November 2011

Trina Kaye – The Trina Kaye Organization


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