Slow cooker tomato braised brisket

Tender, melt in your mouth brisket that will impress any crowd.

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A tender, melt-in-your-mouth brisket is a beautiful thing. Classy enough for a holiday (like Passover), yet simple enough for any night’s dinner. When you add the ease of the slow cooker to the equation life couldn’t get much better. The only hard part of it all is having to smell this amazingness hours before you can dive in!

The veggies end up perfectly tender and flavorful and you’re left with a delicious, thin tomato “jus” style gravy to pour over it all. Whether it’s the main event at a Passover seder or your favorite Wednesday night dinner, this tomato braised slow cooker brisket is a total winner!

Slow-Cooker Tomato Braised Brisket

Recipe by: Skylar Edberg in collaboration with The Eclectic Kitchen
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Serving Size: Brisket 8 - 10

Ingredients:

2 yellow onions, thinly sliced

4 large carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

4 Celery ribs, sliced crosswise

4 garlic cloves minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup sweet red wine (manischewitz)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup dried dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1 Bay leaf

5-6 lb. brisket

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 cups unsalted beef stock, divided

Method:

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomato paste, red wine, vinegar, tomatoes, brown sugar, dates bay leaf and beef stock. Season brisket with salt, pepper and paprika and place, fat side up, in slow cooker. Add broth. Cover and cook on high until brisket is fork-tender,about 6 hours,(flipping half-way through) . Remove brisket and refrigerate overnight for best results or thinly slice against the grain and serve with the vegetablesand cooking liquid over the top.


*I suggest making this brisket ahead of time and refrigerating it for 24 hours before slicing as you will get more flavor and even slices. Reheat the brisket at 300 degrees for about 1 hour.






Not your Bubbe’s Charoset

This Charoset is more than just a seder symbol.

Photograph by  The Eclectic Kitchen

Photograph by The Eclectic Kitchen

One of my absolute favorite recipes during passover happens to be Charoset. Charoset is typically a mixture of apples, cinnamon, walnuts and a ton of manischewitz wine, but most of the time it’s mushy, sticky and overly sweet in my opinion.

This sweet paste is symbolic during passover because it  is meant to remind people of the mortar used by the Israelites when they were slaves in Egypt. My modern spin on charoset is a lightened up version. I use crisp gala or fuji apples, almonds in place of walnuts, white wine in place of sweet red wine. This modern take on a seder symbol is perfect alongside your favorite passover dishes or can even be enjoyed throughout the year as a fruity addition to a charcuterie or cheese board.


Not Your Bubbe’s Charoset

Recipe developed by Skylar Edberg in collaboration with The Eclectic Kitchen.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup slivered almonds

  • 1 cup dried apricots, finely diced

  • ½  cup fresh squeezed orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • Zest and juice from one lemon

  • ¼  cup pinot grigio or dry white wine, or white grape juice for kids

  • ¼  cup honey

  • ½  teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 crisp apples, such as gala,cored and finely chopped

Method

In a large bowl combine the slivered almonds. Apricots. Orange juice, orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice, wine, honey, cinnamon, salt and apples. Allow mixture to sit for several hours or overnight for full flavor to develop.  Serve with your passover seder or with crackers and cheese at your next gathering.






Modern seder plate of tolerance

This is a modern take on the traditional Seder plate.

photograph by  The Eclectic Kitchen

photograph by The Eclectic Kitchen

As I start creating new traditions of my own, It’s so important to me to keep certain rituals alive. Passover is one of my favorite Jewish holidays and this year I decided to create a seder plate that represents tolerance, which during this time in history has become even more relevant. I want to especially thank my friend Crystal from The Eclectic Kitchen for capturing this special centerpiece of history.

Almost every Passover seder includes various symbolic foods and other items. Nothing on the seder table is selected randomly and each item has its purpose and often has a specific place on the table or seder plate. Just because the seder traditionally uses certain ritual foods,doesn’t mean you can’t add your own traditions and rituals to your dinner that are important and relevant to you.

Here are some of the items on a passover seder table:

Seder plate:

The seder plate holds at least six of the traditional items that are talked about during the seder or ritual.  The shankbone, karpas, chazeret, charoset, maror, and egg. Most of the time, ornate decorative seder plates are used, but you can use any plate in your home. If you have kids, they can decorate a paper plate and draw a place for each item.

  • Roasted lamb shankbone: One of the most striking symbols of Passover is the roasted lamb shankbone (called zeroah), which commemorates the paschal (lamb) sacrifice made the night the ancient Hebrews fled Egypt.

  • Roasted egg: The roasted egg (baytsah) is a symbol in many different cultures, usually signifying springtime and renewal. Here it stands in place of one of the sacrificial offerings which was performed in the days of the Second Temple.

  • Maror (“bitter herb”): Any bitter herb will work, though horseradish is the most common. Bitter herbs bring tears to the eyes and recall the bitterness of slavery. The seder refers to the slavery in Egypt, but people are called to look at their own bitter enslavements, whether addiction or habit.

  • Charoset: There’s nothing further from maror than charoset (“kha-ROH-set”), that sweet salad of apples, nuts, wine, and cinnamon that represents the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves to make bricks.

  • Karpas: Karpas is a green vegetable, usually parsley (though any spring green will do). While karpas may symbolize the freshness of spring, others say people eat it to make them feel like nobility or aristocracy. Some families still use boiled potatoes for karpas, continuing a tradition from Eastern Europe where it was difficult to obtain fresh green vegetables.

  • Chazeret: The chazeret (“khah-ZER-et”) is a second bitter herb, most often romaine lettuce, but people also use the leafy greens of a horseradish or carrot plant. The symbolism is the same as that of maror.

  • Salt water: Salt water symbolizes the tears and sweat of enslavement, though paradoxically, it’s also a symbol for purity, springtime, and the sea, the mother of all life. Often a single bowl of salt water sits on the table into which each person dips their karpas during the seder. Then, it’s traditional to begin the actual seder meal with each person eating a hardboiled egg (not the roasted egg!) dipped in the bowl of salt water.

  • Matzah: Perhaps the most important symbol on the seder table is a plate that has a stack of three pieces of matzah (unleavened bread) on it. The matzot (that’s plural for matzah) are typically covered with a cloth. People have come up with numerous interpretations for the three matzot. Some say they represent the Kohen class (the Jewish priests in ancient times), the Levis (who supported the priests), and the Israelites (the rest of the Jews). What symbolism you attribute to this trinity isn’t all that important, as long as you’re thinking about it.

  • Wine cups and wine (or grape juice): Everyone at the seder has a (usually very small) cup or glass from which they drink four cups of wine. Traditionally, the four cups represent the four biblical promises of redemption: “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you from their slavery, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments. And I will take you to me for a people . . .”

  • Orange: The seeds of the orange, like other items on the seder plate, symbolize rebirth and renewal. Some people have taken on the tradition of spitting the seeds to remind us to spit out the hatred experienced by all marginalized members of our communities.

Adapted from www.dummies.com

photograph by  The Eclectic Kitchen

photograph by The Eclectic Kitchen

photograph by  The Eclectic Kitchen

photograph by The Eclectic Kitchen


Green Shakshuka

This green twist on traditional tomato shakshuka will have your tastebuds doing a a little shimmy!

Photography by:  The Eclectic Kitchen

Photography by: The Eclectic Kitchen

One of my absolute favorite dishes I had while visiting Israel was the famous shakshuka from Dr. Shakshuka. Ever since then, I’ve been making shakshuka as a cheap and easy staple throughout our weekly meals. Its SO fast to throw together and its light because it doesn’t contain any meat. My friend Crystal of The eclectic kitchen found a photo of poached eggs in greens and really wanted to shoot something with these beautiful contrasting colors. This led me down the green shakshuka rabbit hole and now, here I am with an amazing, fresh take on the Israeli classic. Get ready to kick your tastebuds into over drive with this fresh new recipe!

  • I encourage you to be brave and let your kids try this recipe out too. Maybe involve them by letting them crack the eggs, if they are old enough. Just because something is green, doesn’t men he has to be scary or gross!

Photography by:  The Eclectic Kitchen

Photography by: The Eclectic Kitchen

Green Shakshuka

Recipe by: Skylar Edberg in collaboration with The Eclectic Kitchen

Yield: 2-3 servings  

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 shallot, minced  

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves

  • 4 cups flat kale or swiss chard, ribs removed and coarsely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • Juice and zest of one lemon

  • 1 cup salsa verde

  • 1 cup frozen english peas, thawed

  • 4 large eggs

  • ⅛ cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill

  • Middle eastern hot sauce for garnish if desired (zhough)

METHOD

In a large 14” rimmed skillet, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, shallot and garlic and saute about 2 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Add the spinach and kale to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted. Season the greens with salt, pepper, lemon juice, zest and salsa and gently stir in the thawed peas. Carefully turn the greens with tongs making sure to incorporate all ingredients. Cook for 2-3 minutes longer, reduce heat to low and create 4 wells in the greens using a ladle or large spoon. Crack the eggs over the top of the mixture, leaving some space between each egg. Cover the pan and allow eggs to cook, about 5-7 minutes, depending on how cooked you want the yolks. Serve topped with feta cheese, tomatoes, fresh parsley, dill, and hot sauce. Enjoy immediately.



Gluten-Free Strawberry Sunrise Bars

Bring a little sunshine into your life with these gluten-free/vegan strawberry sunrise bars.

Photography By  The Eclectic Kitchen

Photography By The Eclectic Kitchen

Breakfast is hands down my favorite meal of the day, but when The Eclectic Kitchen and I decided to come up with blog recipes, we knew we had to include a “make ahead” breakfast bar that could get ourselves and our families out the door in a hurry if we needed to. These bars are a guilt free way of telling your family how much you love them but “we are late!”. Great for breakfast, snack or even dessert topped with vanilla ice cream. This bright flavor combination of sunny berries and oranges, combined with the creamy, nuttiness of oats and coconut are the perfect way to send your tastebuds off to paradise. I hope you try these at home and enjoy them as much as we do!

Strawberry Sunrise Bars

Recipe By Skylar Edberg in collaboration with The Eclectic Kitchen

Yield: 16 servings

Prep time: 20 minute

Cook time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cups rolled oats, plus 2 tablespoons for topping

  • ½  cup oat flour*

  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 cup mashed banana, about 2 medium  

  • ⅛  cup maple syrup, plus 2 tablespoons for filling

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

  • 2 cups diced strawberries

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot

  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)


    METHOD

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.

    In a large mixing bowl combine rolled oats, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping, oat flour, salt, coconut and baking powder

    Using a rubber spatula, stir in the mashed banana, maple syrup, vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix until combined and a sticky dough is formed.

    Transfer ½ of the mixture into the prepared baking pan and use your fingers to press the dough into the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.

    In a small bowl combine the strawberries, cornstarch, orange juice and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Sprinkle the strawberries on the surface of the dough and top with remaining oat mixture, reserved rolled oats and slivered almonds.

    Bake for 20 minutes until the top becomes  light golden brown. Remove bars from the oven and cool completely in pan.

    Cut the cooled bars into 16 squares and store at room temperature or refrigerator for up to one week. Freeze up to one month.

    *If you don’t have oat flour, process 1 cup rolled oats in a food processor on high for about 1 minute until a fine flour forms

Copy of Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

All of the flavor take-out Chow Mein minus the carbs. You’re welcome.

Photography by  The Eclectic Kitchen

Photography by The Eclectic Kitchen

As you can probably tell by Tuesday’s post, The Eclectic Kitchen and I are huge fans of asian flavors and especially healthy recreations. I know that I can’t replace the deliciousness of starchy fried noodles, but I can tell you, this veggie based dish is perfect for meatless Monday, or meatless any day for that matter! Pair this dish with fried tofu or top with my baked orange chicken and you’ll happy you skipped grub hub tonight!

Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

Recipe by: Skylar Edberg in collaboration with The Eclectic Kitchen

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the chow mein:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves, grated

  • ½  tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar

  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

  • 2 tablespoons avocado or flavorless oil

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced

  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally

  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned

  • 2 cups thinly shredded green cabbage

  • 1 cup bean sprouts

  • Sliced green onion for garnish


METHOD

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and prepare a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Use a fork to poke several holes across the surface of the spaghetti squash. Place the quash in a microwave safe dish and cover with a wet paper towel. Microwave for 8-10 to help soften the skin.This allows for easier cutting. Once cool enough to handle, cut the spaghetti squash in half crosswise and scrape out the seeds. Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash to create long strands and set aside in a separate bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and sesame oil. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cabbage and bean sprouts and saute until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in spaghetti squash until well coated.  Serve plain or top with baked orange chicken. (See recipe)



Baked Orange Chicken

When the craving hits for your favorite fast-food Chinese dish, you’ll be ready.

Photography by:  The Eclectic Kitchen

Photography by: The Eclectic Kitchen

Every once in a while, when I’ve had a stressful day, a night out (like when does that happen?), or its that time of the month, I get a craving for greasy Chinese take-out. Being 15 months postpartum, I’m trying to make healthier choices and it would be nice if I didn’t have to sacrifice flavor while I’m at it! This easy weeknight meal is the ultimate comfort food and is super simple to put together. My friend The Eclectic Kitchen and I wanted to make something fast and yummy that our families would love! The chicken can be made ahead and frozen along with the sauce, so all you need to do it reheat it for a quick last minute meal! I hope you love this one as much as we do!

Baked Orange Chicken

Recipe by: Skylar Edberg in collaboration with The Eclectic Kitchen

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


For the Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, or gluten free AP

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • 3 cups whole wheat or gluten free panko breadcrumbs


    For the Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil or vegetable oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated

  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

  • ¼ cup gluten-free hoisin sauce

  • 2 tablespoons honey, agave syrup or maple syrup

  • ½  cup orange marmalade

  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice

  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari

    METHOD

    For the Chicken:
    Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease with non-stick cooking spray.
    Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper.
    Add the flour to a gallon size ziploc bag followed by the seasoned chicken. Shake the bag until the chicken is evenly coated.
    Add the eggs to a shallow dish or pie plate. Add the breadcrumbs to a second shallow dish or pie plate. Carefully remove each piece of chicken from the bag, shake off any excess flour, and dip it into the eggs first then the breadcrumbs. Repeat this process with all chicken pieces.

Place coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and bake the for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until golden brown and fully cooked. While the chicken bakes, prepare the sauce.

For the Sauce:
Preheat a small saucepan over medium low heat.
Add the sesame oil, avocado oil, garlic, ginger, plum sauce/hoisin sauce, honey or sweetener of choice, marmalade, orange zest, orange juice and soy sauce and simmer for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced. The mixture should become thick and coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and carefully toss to combine. Serve immediately over rice with a side of veggies!

Gluten-Free Strawberry Pop Tarts

Don't miss out on the deliciousness of pop tarts just because you can't have gluten!

Photograph by  TheEclecticKitchen

Photograph by TheEclecticKitchen

Who doesn’t remember coming home from school and eating pop-tarts directly out of the box for snack? I used to love the strawberry flavor, but always wished it would have more filling AND icing! Because my friend Crystal of The Eclectic Kitchen has a gluten intolerance. I decided to create a recipe that is not only delicious, but easy! I chose a boxed gluten free pie mix to make things simple and even used the lid of a mason jar to create mini pop tarts for the littles! I hope you enjoy one of my favorite nostalgic snacks!

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Gluten Free Pop-Tarts

Ingredients

Crust:

Filling:

  • 1 jar strawberry preserves

  • 2 tablespoons water for sealing pastry

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1-2 tablespoons whole or 2% milk (Almond milk would be fine)

  • Rainbow Sprinkles

  • Crushed dehydrated strawberries (optional but awesome)

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Crust:

  1. In food processor add your gluten-free pie mix, and butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse until crumbly dough forms. Dump the dough onto a clean surface dusted with gluten free flour or cornstarch and knead until dough comes together. Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, form into a disc and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

  2. Once chilled, roll the dough into a ¼ inch thick rectangle on a floured work surface.

  3. Cut the dough into 12 equal rectangles using a cookie cutter or stencil. You can also use the ring seal of a mason jar instead to make 12 equal circles.

  4. Place 6 rectangles evenly across the prepared baking sheet and add about 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam to the center of each pop-tart. Spread the jam evenly along the center of the rectangle making sure to leave about ¼ inch border around the sides. Using your finger, lightly coat the edges of each rectangle with a thin layer of water.

  5. Place the remaining 6 rectangles on top of each pop-tart and gently press the with a fork to seal.

  6. Make about 9 vent holes on each pop tart and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

  7. Allow the pop tarts to cool completely before icing.

Icing

  1. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired thickness is achieved.

  2. Spread icing onto cooled pop-tarts and decorate with sprinkles and crush strawberries before the icing sets.

  3. Store finished pop-tarts in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature.