5 easy and healthy Shabbat recipes

    You rush into your apartment, dropping several shopping bags (and their contents) onto the floor as you catch your breath. There’s one hour until Shabbat, and you still have to clean your room and bathroom, make several pre-Shabbat phone calls, shower (and somehow make yourself look presentable), catch up on emails and cook several dishes to bring to meals.

    If this chaos sounds like your typical Friday afternoon, then you’re in need of some easy Shabbat recipes.

    Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

    All of the recipes listed below require little hands-on time and/or few ingredients. Some can even be assembled on Shabbat so that you can take advantage of every precious minute before sundown.

    Let’s get cooking!

    1Colorful Quinoa Salad

    quinoa
    Photo by Leora Gershkovich

    If this bright, fresh salad could smile, it would. In addition to this dish being a total crowd-pleaser, the quinoa adds texture and substance, making this salad substantial enough to bring to a meal.

    Photo by Leora Gershkovich

    Ingredients:

    Salad:

    • 1 cup cooked tricolor quinoa
    • 3 cups arugula, spinach or kale
    • 2 cups cucumber, diced
    • 1 ½ cups shelled edamame
    • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 cup shredded carrot
    • Half of a medium avocado, cubed

    Dressing:

    • ½ cup olive oil

      Photo by Leora Gershkovich
    • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
    • ¼ teaspoon chives
    • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
    • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon onion salt or garlic salt
    • Dash of black pepper

    Directions:

    Place salad greens in a large bowl. Place quinoa, cucumbers, edamame, tomatoes, carrot and avocado on top of greens in separate sections. In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients together. Pour dressing evenly over salad before serving.

    2Mediterranean Eggplant with Mushrooms and Tahini

    eggplant
    Photo by Leora Gershkovich

    This delicious dish tastes just like Israel! It also happens to be my go-to eggplant recipe. If you’re pressed for time, you can leave off the mushrooms, though they do add a nice flavor.

    Ingredients:

    Eggplant:

    • 2 medium eggplants, sliced into ¼-inch-thick circles
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
    • Black pepper to taste

    Mushrooms and onions:

    • 2 ½ cups baby bella mushrooms, cut into fourths
    • 2 cups onions, roughly chopped
    • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high-heat oil), for sautéing
    eggplant
    Photo by Leora Gershkovich

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    In a small mixing bowl, mix olive oil, salt, paprika, garlic powder, parsley and pepper with a pastry brush.

    Brush eggplant slices with oil mixture. Flip slices; brush other side.

    Bake eggplant for 20 to 25 minutes. Flip slices with a spatula. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached. Eggplant should be darker in color and soft when ready.

    While eggplant cooks, heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high flame. Add onions; sauté until soft. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Mix. Add mushrooms and thyme. Continue to sauté for several minutes. When ready, mushrooms should be soft, and onions should be light brown.

    Arrange eggplant on a large platter. Place mushroom mixture in the center of the platter. Drizzle with tahini if desired. Serve warm.

    3Citrus-Glazed Salmon

    A little sweet, a little savory and (almost) too easy, this protein is sure to satisfy you and your friends.

    Ingredients:

    • 12 to 15-ounce salmon fillet
    • 1 medium lemon, unpeeled, washed and sliced into several thick and several thin slices
    • 1 medium orange, unpeeled, washed and sliced into several thick and several thin slices
    • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice
    • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
    • ¼ teaspoon orange zest
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • Black pepper to taste
    • 4 green onions, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
    salmon
    Photo by Dena Gershkovich

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 415 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Place several thick lemon and orange slices on the parchment paper. Place fillet on top of slices.

    In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, syrup, orange juice, lemon zest, orange zest, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Pour mixture over salmon; massage mixture into fillet using the back of a spoon.

    Place thin lemon and orange slices on top of fillet. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.

    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut salmon with a fork to be sure center is cooked.

    4Lemon Za’atar Cauliflower with Roasted Pine Nuts

    cauliflower
    Photo by Dena Gershkovich

    I love how the pine nuts add extra flavor and crunch to this earthy cauliflower.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 small heads cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon za’atar (plus more for sprinkling)
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • Dash black pepper
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons pine nuts
    cauliflower
    Photo by Dena Gershkovich

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    In a large mixing bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, za’atar, salt and pepper with a spatula.

    Add cauliflower to bowl; mix until florets are evenly coated with oil mixture. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with pine nuts and additional za’atar.

    Bake cauliflower for about 35 minutes. Toss with a spatula; bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached.

    5Blueberry Squares

    blueberry squares
    Photo by Dena Gershkovich

    Your Shabbat meal wouldn’t be complete without dessert! These blueberry squares are made with oats, which will add whole grains (and extra fiber!) to your meal. Plus, this one-bowl recipe is a great way to reduce your cleanup time. I brought these squares to a recent Shabbat dinner, and they were a favorite, so hopefully, you will have the same success!

    Ingredients:

    For base and crumb topping:

    • 1 stick Earth Balance (½ cup), melted
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup instant oats

    For filling:

    • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • A few squirts fresh lemon juice

    Directions:

    blueberry squares
    Photo by Dena Gershkovich

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

    Base:

    In a large mixing bowl, mix Earth Balance with sugars using a spatula. Add the flour and oats; mix until combined. The mixture should feel like a dough.

    Set aside ½ cup of the mixture for the topping. Press the rest of the mixture into the baking dish to serve as a base for the squares.

    Filling:

    In the same bowl, mix blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. Pour mixture over base. Spread out evenly.

    Sprinkle reserved dough over blueberries.

    Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes. Cooking time will vary based on if blueberries are fresh or frozen (I used frozen). Blueberries will bleed into each other when ready, and topping will appear light brown. Let set for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

    Bon appetit and Shabbat Shalom!

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    Dena Gershkovich
    Dena Gershkovich is double majoring in dietetics and journalism at the University of Maryland. She hopes to become a registered dietitian and nutrition writer. Follow Dena on her blog (The Artsy Palate) and on Instagram (@theartsypalate) to see more of her work!