Spaghetti Squash Apple Date Kugel

Happy New Year 5783! Rosh Hashanah is HERE, ya’ll!

This recipe, Spaghetti Squash Apple Date Kugel is such a great side dish to serve for your yom tov table. It combines apples of course to symbolize the Jewish New Year, dipping apples into honey as part of the Rosh Hashanah seder meal. “T’marim”, is the Hebrew word for dates, which uses the root word “tam” meaning “to end” – hoping that our enemies will “end” or be eliminated.  And dates are also one of the Seven Species of Israel.

I love using spaghetti squash as the base of this kugel/pudding because not only does it mimic noodles, but it’s a great low-carb and gluten-free option and so much easier than scrubbing, peeling and shredded a whole bunch of potatoes (or use your food processor for that). It’s easy to roast in the oven OR you can pop it in the microwave for 6-7 minutes for a quicker option. Even though I added the apples and dates, it’s a relatively small amount so it’s still lower in carbs, but feel free to omit the dates if you’re on keto or sub the apples for jicama (though apples do have a good amount of fiber, so a little apple here and there is good for you). 🙂

So there you have it! Another kugel recipe to add to your table – whether for Rosh Hashanah or on a fall Shabbat afternoon lunch.

Wishing you all a Kesiva V’Chasima Tova – Shana Tovah! See ya’ll next year!

0 from 0 votes
Spaghetti Squash Apple Date Kugel
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Holiday
Keyword: rosh hashanah
Author: Rachel Katzman
  • 1 Spaghetti Squash (halved and seeds removed)
  • 1/3 cup Sugar, or sugar substitute
  • 1 Large Apple, diced Or 2 small apples
  • 3 Eggs (large)
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Dates, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice, or apple pie spice
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F

  2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds

  3. Roast for 40 minutes, let cool and scoop out the squash into a large bowl

  4. Lower oven to 375F

  5. Mix in the eggs, sugar, diced apples, dates and spices

  6. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray

  7. Pour into baking dish and bake for 40-45 min until set and golden brown

  8. Serve at any temp - YUM!

Passover Seder Roast

Passover RoastLet’s talk about cheap meat and the traditional Passover Seder roast. There is a lot of meat being sold in the kosher market that is grass fed from South America, primarily Uruguay that tends to cost significantly less than domestic beef.  It tends to be very tough and lean. Some people think it has a metallic taste, while others think it tastes more “beefy”.  I personally think that grass fed beef does lack some texture and flavor due to its lack of inter-muscular fat caused by the cows diet and high activity level.

That being said, with all the costs associated with Passover I wanted to figure out a way to make this more affordable meat palatable. By cooking it low and slow with some strong flavors you can get a decent texture and infuse some flavor back in to the meat.  I figured, why not use some of the items already included in the Seder to help further keep costs down? There always seems to be an open bottle of wine and some extra apples from making Charoset,so I figured it would be both economical and tasty to incorporate them.

I include a lot of liquid to create a braise in this recipe, as many Ashkenazic Jews have a custom that we not to eat dry roasted meat at the seder. This recipe works well with any tough cut of meat. I used a french roast, but it would work the same for a top of the rib or a brisket.  You may want to adjust the cooking time down slightly for a top of the rib if it’s on the smaller side or up for a large brisket.

Making chicken instead of or in addition to your roast, check out my super simple Honey Roasted Chicken recipe. It is great for a smaller crowd.


Recipe: Seder Roast

3 from 5 votes
Passover Roast
Passover Seder Roast
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Resting Time
15 mins
Total Time
8 hrs 10 mins

A classic holiday dish.  This recipe works well with cheaper cuts of beef such as the grass fed meat from South America on the kosher market these day.  It works well with French roast, top of the rib, or brisket, but I wouldn't use this recipe with something like a rib roast. As for the wine, try to use something on the drier side.  I like Rioja for its natural spiciness, but a Cabernet or Merlot should work just fine.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Holiday, Jewish, Passover
Keyword: Passover
Servings: 6 Peoples
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 1 750 ml Bottle Semi Dry Red Wine
  • 1 Large Roast French roast, top of the rib, or brisket
  • 3 Large Onions Chopped
  • 1 Head Garlic Cloves peeled and smashed
  • 3 Large Apples Peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 tbsp Dried Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil No need for extra vrgin
  • 1 Large Pot or Dutch Oven A deep stove top safe roasting pan will do in a pinch
  1. Trim any large pieces of fat or silver skin from your roast.  Season liberally with salt and pepper. 

  2. Add the olive oil to the pot and place over high heat. Once the oil is hot add the roast and sear on all sides. Remove the roast, leaving the fat in the pot.

  3. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions start to brown. Add the apples and cook until the apples soften.

  4. Add wine and thyme. Roast at 275°F until tender about 4 hours. Allow the roast to rest until cool enough to handle, slice, and serve.  Alternatively, allow the roast to cool completely, and slice and rewarm it in the liquid.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s new Passover recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Jalapeño Scones For Passover

Check out all of our Passover recipes here!

Gingerbread Hamantashen With Pumpkin Pie Filling

Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie HamantashenThe holiday of Purim will be here soon and that means one thing around here, hamantashen.  Hamantashen are triangular cookies usually filled with jam or jelly. They are meant to resemble the ear or hat of the antagonist from the Purim story, Haman. As I have stated in the past, I am not a baker.  Ask me to roast a big honking piece of meat, no problem, saute some vegetables, I can do that, but cookies and cakes are just not my speed. I usually leave the baking to my lovely wife, Ronit. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating baked goods of all sorts, but making them is just not my thing. That being said Purim wouldn’t be the same without hamantashen, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a shot.

As much as I love a good sugar cookie style hamantashen with a jam filling, for this recipe I wanted a hamantashen that was a little different.  I also wanted something with contrast and a pop of color. It’s still pretty cold in Chicago, so I was drawn to the warmer flavors of ginger and cinnamon and winter squash. Gingerbread seemed like an obvious choice with its dark color and strong flavor.  A pumpkin pie filling gives these hamantashen textural and chromatic contrast. The idea was also inspired by the fact that my kids are going through a Harry Potter phase which is the theme for our costumes and mishloach manot. Pumpkin seems to a recurring culinary theme in the wizarding world so I figured why not. Let us know what your favorite flavor hamantashen is in the comment.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie Hamantashen Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie Hamantashen
Gingerbread Hamantashen With Pumpkin Pie Filling
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Resting Time
1 hr
Total Time
30 mins

A little something different than your average jelly filled hamantashen. The darker colored dough with the bright orange filling gives these some great visual appeal and the the warm flavor profile of the ginger and cinnamon really makes them pop in the flavor department.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Holiday, Jewish
Keyword: Hamantashen
Servings: 36 Pieces
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 5 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Molasses
  • 2 tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Ground Clove
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 Large Butternut Squash
  • 1/4 tbsp Real Maple Syrup Not pancake syrup
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
Special Equipment
  • 3" Round Pastry Ring or Cookie Cutter
  • Stand Mixer With whisk and dough hook attachments
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • Aluminum Foil
  1. Using your stand mixer with the whisk attached beat together the eggs, vanilla, molasses, oil, and brown sugar until thoroughly combined

  2. Switch to the dough hook and add the flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Mix on low until the dough starts to come together. It should look like small pebbles at this point.

  3. Slowly start adding the water a little bit at a time until the dough starts to come together. It should take about a 1/4 cup but you may need a little more or less. Once it comes together, stop adding water and let it mix a little longer until it forms a smooth ball.

  4. Wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Using a heavy serrated knife cut the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle on the maple syrup and then sprinkle on the salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

  2. Put the two halves back together and wrap in foil.  Bake until soft, about 90 minutes.

  3. Allow the squash to cool and the scoop out the flesh from the skin using a large metal spoon. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash until you achieve the desired consistency.  If the mixture seems a bit wet feel free to drain out some of the liquid.

Final Assembly and Baking
  1. Roll out your dough about 1/4" thick and cut 3" rounds. Place a 1 teaspoon of your filling in the middle and fold the edges up in to a triangle.

  2. Place the hamantashen on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until they start to brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. Allow the hamantashen to cool and serve or wrap and freeze.

Ok now that the baking is done I am going to go smoke a brisket.  While I do that don’t forget to check out Rachel’s latest hamantaschen recipe: Blackberry Cheesecake Hamantashen! or some of our other hamantaschen recipes:

Purim: Texas Chili With Cowboy Candy Hamantaschen

Not one, but TWO healthy Hamantaschen!

Barbecue Chicken Hamantaschen

Low carb lemon poppyseed coconut hamantaschen

Ruben Flat Bread

Ruben Flat BreadsRuben Flat Bread

Rachel recently posted a recipe for Smoked Salmon and Avocado Stacks. That motivated me to come up with an easy appetizer recipe of my own.  I have always loved making fun appetizers. On a Shabbat morning when I am expecting guests for lunch, I can often be found spending hours meticulously plating my appetizers. This drives my wife crazy.  She is always concerned that a guest may not like the appetizer, and often insists that appetizers be served family style on a large platter with any adornments such as sauces and garnishes on the side.

Flat breads seem to be all the rage today, and the meat pizza seems to be the king of it all. I wanted to take that concept and create something that was quick, approachable, and familiar. The Ruben sandwich is probably one of the most quintessential Jewish dishes. I decided to take those flavors and make a flat bread out of it.  This recipe is super quick and easy, with the exception of caramelizing the onions which can be done in advance.

I know caramelized onions are not traditional in a Ruben, but they add a richness that one often gets from the Swiss cheese used in many “kosher style” delis.  In a strictly kosher kitchen, mixing meat and dairy products is forbidden. The caramelized onions also act as an edible adhesive to help the other ingredients stick to the flat bread.

I was looking for a quick and easy recipe and therefore used a store bought flatbread or more specifically I used *Bistro Buns By Brooklyn Bred. They are nice and thin with a good texture and not too big.

2.5 from 4 votes
Ruben Flat Breads
Ruben Flat Breads
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Slow cooker time
12 hrs
Total Time
10 mins

 A quick, approachable, and familiar dish that works well as an hors d'oeuvre, appetizer, or even a small meal. This recipe takes the flavors of a Ruben sandwich, one of the most quintessential Jewish dishes, and makes a flat bread out of it. 

Course: Appetizer, Hor d'oeuvres
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: flat bread, ruben
Servings: 4 people
Author: Daniel Peikes
Flat Breads
  • 1 Cup Corned Beef Sliced and roughly chopped
  • 2 Flat Breads I used store bought, but you could make your own
  • 1/2 Cup Sauerkraut Thoroughly drained
Russian Dressing
  • 1/4 Cup Mayo
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup
Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Large Onions Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
  • Giardiniera Optional if you like some heat
Special Equipment
  • Small Slow Cooker AKA Crock-Pot
Caramelized Onions
  1. Add the onions, olive oil, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker and cook on high for 12 hours.

Russian Dressing
  1. Combine the mayo and ketchup in a mixing bowl.  Stir until thoroughly combined.

Flat Bread
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F

  2. Top the flatbread with the onions and then a layer of corned beef.  Bake until the corned beef begins to crisp up.

  3. Remove the flatbread from the oven and top with the sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and giardiniera. Slice in to strips or triangles and serve immediately.

Check out some of our other appetizers:
Deviled Eggs
Fried Pickles
Barbecue Chicken Hamantaschen

*This post and recipe contains affiliate links. We at MYV earn a small commission if you purchase an item through one of those links, which allows us to continue bringing you great tasting food.

My Mother’s Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed CabbageThe weather begins to cool off this time of year, which also coincides with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. On Sukkot, the tradition is to build a temporary dwelling outside (usually a hut without  heat or insulation), know as a sukkah. Many people eat all of their meals in the sukkah and some have the custom to sleep in the sukkah as well. This is when I often turn to hearty, long-cooked dishes.  These stick your ribs, soul warming dishes are some of my favorite comfort foods.  I have very fond memories of sitting in my parents sukkah on a chilly fall night and warming my bones with things like mushroom barley soup, roasted root vegetables (AKA tzimmis), and stuffed cabbage.  This time of year is particularly special for me as my lunar birthday falls out during sukkot, and my mother always tried to make some of my favorite dishes.

Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

The recipe for below is for my mothers stuffed cabbage.  While I do provide specific amounts, these are guesstimates as mother never really uses a recipe for it. Feel free to adjust the amount of the sweeteners (dark brown sugar, honey, and duck sauce) if you want it less sweet. Also, you can adjust the total amount of sauce if the pot you are cooking in is too small to handle it.  Note that I call I call for instant rice in this recipe, which I usually avoid, but here I use it as to ensure it cooks all the way through in the meat mixture.  Finally, do not skip the freezing and thawing step, believe me you will thank me later.

0 from 0 votes
Stuffed Cabbage
Stuffed Cabbage
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
4 d
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins

This is a great traditional recipe I learned from my mother.  It is very sweet though, so feel free to leave out some of the sugar or honey if you want to cut back on the sweetness.  If you get lazy the sauce is also great for unstuffed cabbage or meatballs.  I call for instant rice, which I usually shy away from, but is necessary here to make sure it cooks all the way through.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Eastern European, Jewish, Kosher, Polish, Russian
Keyword: cabbage
Servings: 12 Rolls
Author: Daniel Peikes
Cabbage Rolls
  • 3 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 Cup Instant Rice
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Large Head of Green Cabbage Frozen, and thawed
  • 87 oz Tomato Sauce 3 Large Cans
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Cup Duck Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
Special Equipement
  • Heavy Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen Scale
Cabbage Preparation
  1. About four days before you plan on making your stuffed cabbage, freeze the whole head for 3 days.  Then thaw for a day. This helps to break down the cell walls of the cabbage which softens it.

  1. Separate the leaves, trimming down any thick stalks.  If leaves are particularly large you can cut them in half, but I would wait and see how big you want to make your filling before doing this. 

  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the meat, eggs, rice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Use your hands, they are the best tools for the job.

  3. Grab a handful of the meat mixture.  Ideally use your kitchen scale and weight out a 1/4 lb of the mixture for each roll. Form a thick log and place it horizontally an inch or so from the the bottom of the cabbage leaf.

  4. Roll the cabbage leaf up, until the bottom of the leaf reaches the top of the meat.  The fold the sides over the ends of the meat and then continue to roll the cabbage leaf the rest of the way around the meat. Repeat until you have used all of the meat.  It should make about 12 rolls. Make sure they are rolled tight so they do not open when cooking.

  1. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, honey, and duck sauce to a large heavy pot or dutch oven.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Put the sauce over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir regularly to make sure the sauce does not burn.

  3. Carefully add the cabbage rolls to the sauce making sure the rolls stay intact.  Cook for about 2 hours, or until the leaves are tender.  Serve immediately, refrigerate for up to a week, or wrap tightly and freeze.  

What are some of your favorite recipes you learned from a parent or grandparent? Do you have any cold weather dishes you really enjoy? Let us know in the comments.

Passover Sweet Potato Knishes

Passover Sweet Potato KnishesWe are making our own Passover Seder for the first time this year, so I was looking for a side that would be traditional but have a bit of a wow factor at the same time.  What is more traditional than a Knish?  The problem is most knishes use a wheat flour dough which is chametz which we do not eat on Passover.  I started out by trying to make a potato starch dough and failed miserably, so I decided to go the “breading” route.  The problem is most breadings (bread crumbs, panko, cereal etc.) are also chametz.  To make my life even harder I wanted to keep this recipe gluten free (non-gebrochts) and nut free.  This ruled out using matzo meal or ground nuts, both commonly used as a Passover friendly breading.

I used an idea I learned from my father and went with potato flakes (AKA instant mashed potatoes). I used them straight out of the box, although in the future I would probably give them a quick whirl in the food processor to give them a finer texture and to hopefully help them adhere a little better.

For something a little healthier don’t forget to check out Rachel’s latest Passover recipe: Cauliflower Hummus and Tomato Herb Flaxseed Focaccia for Pesach!

5 from 1 vote
Passover Sweet Potato Knishes
Passover Sweet Potato Knishes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs

A great snack or side for your Passover Seder. This recipe is gluten free (GF), nut free, and vegetarian. You can easily double or triple this recipe or substitute the sweet potatoes for standard russet potatoes.  If you don't need your knishes to be gluten free or kosher for Passover you can substitute all-purpose flour for the potato starch. 

Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Jewish, Kosher, Passover, Pesach, vegetarian
Servings: 6 Knishes
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Potato Starch Divided in half. If you don't need your knishes to be gluten free or kosher for Passover you can substitute all-purpose flour for the potato starch.
  • 2 Large Eggs Beaten separately
  • 2 Cups Instant Potato Flakes Lightly blitz in your food processor with the "S" blade if you prefer a finer texture
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
  • Oil For Frying
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.  Poke the sweet potatoes all over with a fork.  Bake until soft.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

  2. Once cooled, remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and mash in a large mixing bowl.  Combine with half the 1/2 the potato starch (1/2 a cup), one of the beaten eggs, and the salt and pepper.  Use a fork to combine thoroughly.

  3. Take about a a golf ball sized amount of the sweet potato mixture and shape it in to a disc. Dust the disc in remaining potato starch, then dip in the other beaten egg, and finally coat in the potato flakes. Repeat until you use all of the sweet potato mixture.

  4. Put about a 1/2" of oil in a frying fan and put on the stove over medium heat. Fry on each side until golden brown.

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