Who doesn’t love a little latke? Or a giant latke? Or a mound of hot and crispy potato latkes piled high in the center of an oversized round wooden board encircled by small bowls filled with toppings that make your mouth water and your mind wonder. Sure, there is applesauce and sour cream, but have you met me? I love showing others how to be open to new things and culinary adventures. Have you ever tried latkes topped with blue cheese crumbles, chopped pecans and honey? Shredded BBQ brisket and caramelized onions? Pomegranate seeds sprinkled atop honey goat cheese spread? Or with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and caviar?
During the eight nights of Hanukkah we celebrate the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. One definition of rededication is a ceremony in which something is dedicated to a goal or purpose. When I was young, my goal and purpose of Hanukkah was begging for a turn to light the shamash and to see how fast I could tear open the blue and white ribbons to find my Easy Bake Oven and Tuesday Taylor Penthouse. As a Nutrition Health Coach, I now see how Hanukkah can also be a time for rededicating your personal goal of wellness. Rededicating yourself to health can, should and in my opinion, include latkes!!
It saddens me each year around this time to see the frustration of those who associate the time to start a new diet as a negative, difficult, and challenging experience. Why on earth would anyone want to start, let alone stick with anything they do that makes them feel stressed?
That’s why I think the word diet needs a rededication too. Diet is defined as the type of food a person habitually eats. If your diet is mainly fast food, drive thru, prepackaged and highly processed, then maybe it’s time to hold a diet ceremony that highlights the goal of enjoying what you eat, the purpose of receiving energy from whole foods, and the joy of celebrating tradition without guilt
Here are eight ways to rededicate your own wellness goals:
1. WATER: Understand how actually drinking a lot of water helps your brain function, improves body waste elimination, and improves skin tone
2. MOVEMENT: Stop thinking you have to get a gym membership. Just move your body. Walk around the block, dance in the kitchen or toss a frisbee with the grandkids.
3. INGREDIENTS: Read the labels and stop eating foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
4. GRATITUDE: Make it a habit to open your eyes in the morning and think of three things you are grateful for.
5. SLEEP: If you are having consistent trouble sleeping a solid 6-8 hours, it’s time to get some help.
6. SELF-IMAGE: Find ways to embrace your inner beauty.
7. COOKING: Start viewing cooking for yourself as self-care – it’s the ultimate way to gain control over your health and weight.
8. CROWDING OUT: Stop obsessing over what you can’t have. Start adding more healthy options in order to “crowd out” space for choices that don’t serve you.
May you be embraced in light as you rededicate your own journey to health.
Chag Hanukkah Sameach!
Recipe for giant cast iron latke with apple and pomegranate:
● 2 russet potato
● 3 TBS olive oil
● 2 egg
● ¼ cup parmesan or romano cheese, grated.
● 2 TBS green onion minced
● 1 TBS fresh dill, chopped
● black pepper (5-6 tuns of a pepper grinder)
1. Peel potatoes and shred on a coarse grater. Place shreds in a thin tea towel and twist to wring out the liquid. Get it all out!
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat and add olive oil.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, green onions, dill, and black pepper. Add potatoes and stir to incorporate.
4. When the oil is shimmering, add the potato pancake batter. Using a spatula, pat it into an even layer while leaving the top a little bit lumpy.
5. Cook on the stovetop for 5 to 6 minutes, until the bottom is starting to brown and set.
6. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
7. When the pancake seems cooked through, switch to the broiler and cook until the top is quite brown and crunchy.
8. Remove the pancake from the oven and let cool in the skillet for a few minutes. Once it's no longer piping hot, slide it onto a cutting board, cut into wedges or serve whole topped with thinly sliced apple, drizzle of honey and sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.