4 nutritious recipes to enjoy this Shavuot

    Photo: Dena Gershkovich

    Shavuot is approaching, which is perfect because it’s a great time to put the cooking skills you’ve worked on throughout quarantine to the test. Due to the traditional Jewish diet containing a lot of meat, many feel lost when it comes to cooking for Shavuot, since it’s customary to eat dairy foods over the holiday. However, with some planning and creativity, you can definitely put together dairy meals that are both delicious and balanced. Hopefully these recipes will provide some inspiration!

    Tomato and Feta Galette With Basil

    Photo: Dena Gershkovich

    A galette is similar to a pie, except it requires way less effort yet is still super visually appealing. Flaky, whole wheat pastry dough meets bubbling, juicy tomatoes, basil and feta to produce this gorgeous creation. It’s kind of like pizza, except fancier.

    Crust Ingredients:

    • 1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
    • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter or Earth Balance, chilled and cut into small cubes
    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (omit if using Earth Balance)
    • ⅓ cup cold water
    • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped
    Photo: Dena Gershkovich

    Filling Ingredients:

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes
    • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled


    Preheat oven to 400 F. In a food processor, process flour, butter and salt for a few seconds, until just combined. Add cold water and basil; process until dough comes together. 

    On a floured surface, pat dough into a disk. Store in refrigerator until ready to use (can be refrigerated overnight).

    Photo: Dena Gershkovich

    In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes. Gently mix until tomatoes are evenly coated. 

    Remove dough from fridge. On a floured surface, roll dough into a thin (about ¼-inch thick) rectangle (about 12 inches by 14 inches). Transfer rolled-out dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

    Place tomatoes in center of rectangle. Pour any excess oil or basil on top of tomatoes. To assemble galette, fold edges of rectangle inward and slightly to the right, moving in a circular direction. The folds should be overlapping one another and lay on top of some of the tomatoes. Continue folding until an oval shape forms.

    Bake galette for about 50 minutes to 1 hour total. Sprinkle feta cheese over tomatoes about 25 minutes into baking to prevent burning. Galette is ready when dough is crisp, tomato juices are bubbling and cheese is thoroughly melted. Serve warm. 

    Creamy Macaroni and Cheese With Broccoli

    Photo: Dena Gershkovich

    Many consider macaroni and cheese to be unhealthy; however, there are so many ways to make it more nutrient-dense! Here’s my take on how to improve the nutrient profile of a classic childhood favorite.

    Photo: Dena Gershkovich


    • One 16-ounce package of whole wheat macaroni, cooked
    • 2 to 3 cups broccoli, steamed and separated into small florets
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • ½ cup milk
    • ½ cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
    • 2 ½ to 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


    In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add milk, yogurt and cheese, stirring with a wooden spoon until even and smooth. Add macaroni and broccoli florets to the saucepan; mix until evenly coated with cheese mixture. Serve warm.

    Mini Frittatas With Sweet Potatoes and Mushrooms

    Photo: Dena Gershkovich

    I made these mini frittatas for our quarantined Mother’s Day brunch, and my whole family loved them. Chances are that yours will, too! These are a cute way to get your protein in and balance out a dairy meal. Since these can be made non-dairy as well, they’re also a great option for those with lactose intolerance.


    • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely chopped (1 ¼ cups)
    • Photo: Dena Gershkovich

      Coconut oil spray

    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 cups button or cremini mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
    • High heat oil, for sautéing
    • 4 large eggs, beaten
    • ¾ cup milk or almond milk
    • 2 tablespoons almond flour
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped


    Preheat oven to 415 F. Generously grease a 24-count mini muffin tray with coconut oil. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Arrange sweet potato pieces on baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until soft.

    While potatoes are baking, sauté mushrooms with salt and pepper until soft and cooked through. Set aside.

    Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk using a fork. Add almond flour, parsley, cooked sweet potatoes and mushrooms, salt and pepper. Mix until combined.

    Dispense egg mixture into muffin tin using a ladle. Bake frittatas at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set. Serve warm.

    No-Bake Cheesecake Mousse

    Photo: Dena Gershkovich

    Cheesecake, in my opinion, is one of those desserts that are best enjoyed in small doses due to its richness. I developed this cheesecake mousse recipe to bring you all the flavor of cheesecake in a lighter form. If you’re feeling fancy, portion mousse out in shot glasses and layer with berries and cookie crumbs. If you’re going for a more casual vibe, serve in a large bowl with a spoon, with the toppings sprinkled on top.


    Photo: Dena Gershkovich
    • One 8-ounce cream cheese package, softened
    • 1 ½ cups plain low-fat Greek yogurt
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • Zest from ¼ to ½ of a lemon
    • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
    • Crushed lotus cookies, for topping (optional)
    • Strawberries, finely sliced, for topping (optional)


    In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with yogurt, vanilla and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Add sugar; continue beating. Refrigerate mousse for at least 2 hours.

    Just before serving, portion out mousse into mini bowls or shot glasses and layer with strawberries and crushed lotus cookies.

    Happy Shavuot! If you have questions about ingredient substitutions, feel free to leave a comment on this article or email theartsypalate@gmail.com.

    Dena Gershkovich is a writer, recipe developer and future dietitian. She holds a BS in Dietetics and a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland. Follow Dena on her blog (The Artsy Palate) and on Instagram (@theartsypalate) to see more of her work!