As Purim approaches we are all scrambling to create creative, fun mishloach manos packages and themed costumes. How can one stay healthy on Purim and make sure to eat properly? Often, we can find ourselves surrounded by food all day, but yet we forget to eat, or rather, we forget to eat properly. Our bodies crave nutritious, healthy foods and if we just push it off with junk food, or we forget to feed it at all until the late afternoon, we are not doing anyone good. Two things to remember on Purim are: (1) Eat a filling and nutritious breakfast. This can be a nice hearty omelet filled with veggies or a piece of whole-grain bread topped with avocado, egg, and tomato. Whatever your breakfast is, make sure you have protein to give you energy. It should have a healthy fat to fill you up, and lots of vegetables to fill you with nutrients and stamina. (2) The second important thing is to remember to eat lunch. While you are driving around delivering mishloach manos it’s very easy to forget to eat lunch. So, bring an easy grab-and-go lunch that you can eat in the car. It can be a bag of carrots and peanut butter, if that’s what you want; as long as you are filling your body with good stuff, you won’t want to eat the stuff that isn’t good for you.
For mishloach manos, I always appreciate getting real food – because at the end of the day, we are supposed to give something that can be used at the seudah. I always think of practical, fun, and delicious real food to give. Here are some cute ideas I have done in the past that people loved. They are all able to be served at the seudah. And extra brownie points if you make everything homemade.
You will need: 1 avocado, 1 lime, 1 lemon, 1 tomato, one red onion, a packet of salt, a packet of pepper, a cute utensil you can find on sale (a wooden spoon, a small serving spoon, a cute bowl), a bag of pita chips
Assembly: Wrap up the veggies in a nice bowl with the cute utensil and give a recipe for guacamole.
Guacamole Kit mishloach manos
Chicken Soup and Challah
You will need: 1-pint container of chicken soup, a roll of challah, two tea lights, a glass mirror tray
Assembly: On the mirrored tray place the pint of chicken soup, the challah roll on top of that, and the tea lights on the side. Wrap with cellophane.
You will need: a container of shakshuka sauce (I make my own, but you can buy the brand Mina – it’s delicious), a bag of pita, some Parmesan cheese in a small container, some fresh spinach leaves, and (optional) an iced coffee
Assembly: Place everything into cute disposable containers. Then create a recipe that lists how to make shakshuka, and you can say that this is the perfect morning-after breakfast to bring your diet back on track. All they have to do is add some eggs.
Here is a perfect recipe for an appetizer for the actual seudah:
Salmon-Dill Summer Rolls
- 12 rice paper wrappers
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 beet, peeled and julienned
- 8 ounces salmon, grilled and pulled apart
- 4 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
Dill dipping sauce:
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
For the salmon, sprinkle some lemon pepper on top. Broil in the oven for 10 minutes. Set aside for later and allow to cool.
Assemble the rolls in six simple steps:
Step 1: Fill a large, shallow, round dish with cold water. Submerge a rice paper wrapper in the water until very pliable, about 1 minute.
Step 2: Carefully remove the wrapper from the water, gently shaking off excess water. Lay it flat on the work surface and blot dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Step 3: On the lower third of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space along the side and bottom edges, layer the fillings in the following order: 3-5 spinach leaves, lengthwise; 6 julienned carrots; half a handful of julienned beets; 3-4 strips of salmon; 3 mushrooms, laid out flat.
Step 4: Wet your fingers to keep the wrapper from sticking to them. Starting with the edge closest to you, fold the wrapper up and over the fillings. Be sure the fillings are snugly compressed but not so tight that the wrapper is strained, or it may rip.
Step 5: Once the first turn is tight, fold the right and left sides of the wrapper in, closing off the ends as though making an envelope.
Step 6: Continue rolling the wrapper tightly all the way to the top, and press the seam closed. Set the roll seam-side down on the platter. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Don’t let the finished rolls touch one another or they’ll stick.
Cut in half on a diagonal and serve with a dipping sauce. These can be prepared two to three days in advance. Store in an airtight container with parchment paper in between each level.
Bracha Serle works as a private chef specializing in healthy cooking such as gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and other dietary restrictions or allergies. She also does end-product marketing for kosher food companies and supermarkets, teaching consumers how to use new food products on a daily basis. Bracha gives clean-eating healthy cooking classes and demonstrations. You can check out her work on Instagram @shesthechef and can be reached via email at email@example.com.