Thursday, July 23, 2009

The "Nine Days" Cooking

This is the time on the Jewish Calendar when vegetarians lord it over, not having to make any changes nor adjustments to their menus and ingredients. During the days leading up to Tisha B'Av, the 9th of the Jewish Month of Av, meat and poultry are eliminated from the menu as a sign of mourning for the destruction of our Holy Temples.

Shabbat is the exception, meaning that either we have to cook meat and poultry in exact quantities or foods which can be easily frozen. An additional tip would be to make sure that all the side dishes are totally parve, so the left-overs can be served with dairy meals during the days leading up to Tisha B'Av.

Considering that more and more people are discovering that they're allergic to dairy/milk and/or lactose intolerant, lots of cheese dishes aren't the solution to "what to serve during the nine days." Celiac, a wheat allergy, is also becoming more well-known, so not everyone can fill up on breads, pastas and dough-based recipes.

That leaves us with lentils, rice etc, unless you're on a low carb diet like I am. Don't forget the fish and tofu. But tofu, and other soy proteins, aren't recommended for all. They mimic female hormones, so males, especially young boys shouldn't eat it too often, and little girls shouldn't either, since it may contribute to early puberty. I find that I can only handle very small portions, or I get stomach pain.

Fish, vegetables and salad are looking better and better. So are eggs. Recently, I've come across more and more articles contradicting what has been popular diet/health theories of the last fifty years. Eggs and full-fat dairy are now recommended. Eggs are the perfect complete protein. They're filling, nutritious and have iron, too. Yes, you must eat the complete egg to enjoy its health benefits.

Experts are now realizing that low and zero fat dairy aren't really good for you. They leave an aching hunger causing binging, and if you don't eat enough cholesterol, your body will over-produce it. We're satisfied eating much less, when there's fat as an integral part of the food.

Fatty fish are credited with reducing the chances of dementia. A small portion is very filling.

There's plenty to eat during the Nine Days. There's no need to fill up on breads and other carbohydrates. Base your meals on fish, eggs and full-fat dairy. Full-fat dairy is less irritating to those who are sensitive to milk products.

Remember, there's nothing natural about skimmed milk and zero percent yogurt. Many of the fat reduced products have more sugars, like from corn syrup.

Read ingredients carefully. Most yogurts aren't just fermented milk. The fewer ingredients the better!


Leora said...

Good post. We were warned against soy milk, especially for my growing daughter. No more of that. For my boys, we now buy WHOLE organic milk. Fat isn't so bad, as long as it's not trans fat or fried vegetable oil. You actually need fat.

We'll be eating more fish this week (and trying to convince my kids to eat some). Luckily, vegetables are always good for you (unless they are massively sprayed with pesticides - see this article:
Veggies' kashrut may be revoked for over-spraying

Batya said...

It's great that you can get organic milk. When I was in NY I discovered, via my sil, that great yogurt, full fat and the vanilla isn't sweet. With the fat you don't need sugar. I was disappointed that I couldn't find plain yogurt, but I didn't gain any weight, so I was eating OK.

One woman is leaving my diet group, because what I say is too revolutionary for her.

There are lists of what's best to buy organic, and you'd be amazed at what's sprayed the most.

Enjoy the fish week!

Mrs. S. said...

Thanks for this informative post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the information. I'm eating a lot of fish at the moment.

Batya said...

Mrs s, ID, glad you liked it. I've been doing a lot of research since I have my support diet group.

Leora said...

Strawberries. It's always good to get organic strawberries, if you can. They are the top on the list of "don't buy these with pesticides."

My kids are already tired of my making fish. Well, tonight is Shabbat! Shabbat Shalom.

Batya said...

I don't see any labeled here as organic, Leora. I don't buy them. Last year I had lots of grapes, all organic, mine, but this year the vines are empty.

Good luck karmina whoever you are. I'm afraid to click your link, since I've seen this sort of message too often. It sounds commercial at best and could be worse.

Anonymous said...

I was so optimistic that now others can share my enthusiasm for grains, beans and vegetables - there really is alot out there to eat. For Shabbos I had a Crunchy Quinoa Salad, Dashi Soup (with shiitake mushrooms and kombu), lentil patties, sauteed cabbage, winter squash with carrots and onions, melon kanten (like jello, but better) - there's plenty out there to eat.


Batya said...

Sounds delicious. I was a vegetarian for 25 years, but now my body has different demands.