Feed­ing the fam­ily is easy chick­peasy

The Jewish Chronicle - - KOSHER - BY VIC­TO­RIA PREVER

ONCE, OUR op­tions for keep­ing kosher out­side the home were lim­ited and it was safest for ob­ser­vant way­far­ers to carry a home­made sand­wich. But now there is a much bet­ter choice of ready-to-eat prod­ucts. SouthAfricanRa­mon­aHazan,founder of Me Too!, makes healthy snacks that are per­fect for im­pa­tient eaters.

“We’re about to launch frozen falafels in a re­seal­able bag — they’re amaz­ing with our tahina sauce,” says Hazan, who has grown her busi­ness over 11 years.

Orig­i­nally she was sell­ing com­put­ers by day and pro­duc­ing hum­mus in her one-bed­room flat by night. “There were bowls of soak­ing chick­peas on ev­ery sur­face. My first few batches were aw­ful — my friends tasted it and said ‘stick with com­put­ers’,” she says. “I knew I’d got it right when they pol­ished it off with a whole chal­lah.”

Hazan now has a pur­pose-built unit where she and her team pro­duce a tonne of hum­mus each day, as well as sal­ads, sup­ply­ing Tesco, Sains­bury’s, Costco, Waitrose and Mor­risons.

The new falafel will fill a gap in the snack-food mar­ket. “As a mum I know you want to give your chil­dren some­thing healthy but don’t al­ways have time to cook from scratch. Falafel is a good way of giv­ing them legumes.

“You can also take a few out of the freezer to pop into a lunchtime sand­wich or salad. They’re even a healthy snack on their own.”

Me Too! hum­mus va­ri­eties in­clude orig­i­nal, pep­per, chilli, lemon and co­rian­der, beetroot, jalapeno and a ver­sion topped with Egyp­tian dukkah — a blend of seeds and spices, which was in­spired by her foodie father’s her­itage. Hazan keeps the flavours as close as she can to the orig­i­nal recipes: “We get some good tips from fam­ily and do our best to keep them as au­then­tic as pos­si­ble, even when mass-pro­duced.”

Sea­weed is a re­cent ad­di­tion to the range and has won Hazan and her com­pany a Qual­ity Food Award.

“Sea­weed is the new thing. Nu­tri­tion­ally it’s off the chart — a su­per­food. Even a lit­tle gives huge ben­e­fits. One gram pro­vides enough B12 for the whole day. When we saw Jamie Oliver talk­ing about it and how good it was for you, we went for it.”

There are plans to in­tro­duce a sea­weed falafel, as well as other new falafel flavours — spinach and kale, beetroot and sweet potato.

The Me Too! range em­braces other snack­friendly foods — new green cu­cum­bers, dips (baba ghanoush, tahina and aubergine with red pep­pers) and sal­ads (va­ri­eties are Peri Peri chick­pea; grilled pep­per; cur­ried lentil, Mex­i­can bean and cous­cous). All are ideal for a healthy lunch on the go.

In win­ter you may pre­fer a warm mid­day meal and Me Too! of­fers such soups as but­ter­nut squash, spinach and cour­gette, leek and potato, red lentil, tomato and basil and (parev) chicken noo­dle. There’s also a basil pesto — handy for a quick pasta salad or to mix into salad dress­ings or driz­zle into soups.

If you haven’t even got time to assem­ble your lunch from con­ve­nience prod­ucts, a tasty al­ter­na­tive is Fresh Whole­food’s mac­ro­bi­otic, ve­gan and veg­e­tar­ian home-de­liv­ery ser­vice. Hus­band and wife Julius and Devori Nuss­baum and their chefs make the meals in their Hen­don kitchen and trans­port them to your door in ecofriendly brown pa­per bags and boxes.

They can bring you break­fast, lunch, a snack and a drink in one bag. I tried the break­fast of detox lemon drink (wa­ter and fresh lemon juice), a seed­packed no-wheat bread roll and a fresh salad of pick­led car­rot, av­o­cado and rocket. This came with a su­per-tasty salsa dress­ing of co­rian­der, cashew nuts, chick­peas, olive oil and vine­gar.

Lunch was black bean salad with spar­lic (pars­ley and gar­lic) dress­ing, quinoa salad, roasted sweet pota­toes, blanched mixed veg­eta­bles and an Asian dress­ing made up of sesame oil, ginger, gar­lic, soy sauce and wa­ter. There was also a cheeky date and lemon square — a no-sugar treat, just enough to sat­isfy a sweet tooth.

“The truth is, in to­day’s world, peo­ple live such hec­tic and fast-paced lives and one of the first ca­su­al­ties is peo­ple’s health and specif­i­cally the way they eat that can have many con­se­quences,” says Julius.

Ev­ery­thing was de­li­cious, with the added plus of mak­ing me feel saintly. I didn’t even need to make din­ner, as the por­tions were so gen­er­ous that I spread them across my day.

Gold­ers Green’s Soyo is an­other boon for those eat­ing on the go — and as the menu is now avail­able via in­ter­net de­liv­ery ser­vice De­liv­eroo, if you’re too busy to go out to fetch your meal,

you can have it brought to your door. Try the salmon pri­mav­era pasta; quinoa salad; salsa tuna (seared tuna on a yummy base of mango and pineap­ple salsa) or one of the freshly cooked daily soups which come with a side or­der of bread. If all that healthy food leaves you need­ing a treat, the Oreo hot choco­late should do the trick.

Those close to Kosher King­dom, Gold­ers Green, can take ad­van­tage of its great Munch and Crunch range.

“We make high-qual­ity food to go that hap­pens to be kosher,” says Karen Staszewski, who started the line in 2012.

There are more than 400 foods in the range, from the very healthy cru­dités with rice cakes to more in­dul­gent treats such as pains au chocolat, bis­cuits, cakes, jel­lies and desserts.

“We’re con­stantly look­ing for new mod­ern ideas and lis­ten­ing to our cus­tomers,” says Staszewski. “If some­one asks for some­thing or gives me feed­back, I’ll al­ways look into it. We have just in­stalled a meaty kitchen, so we’ll soon be do­ing meat fill­ings in our sand­wiches.”

Munch and Crunch prod­ucts — avail­able only in Kosher King­dom — in­clude filled bagels and baguettes, cheese­cakes, fruit com­pôtes, soups, gou­jons and salad dress­ings, as well as smooth­ies, wraps, sal­ads and soups. All are beau­ti­fully pack­aged. For crowds, the com­pany also does plat­ters.

Bore­ham­wood lo­cals can swing by Flip­side Burger Bar (a part of the Mr Baker group) for a speedy burger. There are straight­for­ward beef ver­sions, or you could have grilled chicken or veg­e­tar­ian soya burg­ers. The no-carb brigade can take theirs with a mixed salad or go for a grilled chicken breast or chicken schnitzel served on an Is­raeli or green salad. With so many op­tions, keepi ng k o s her is no longer an ex­cuse to make do with a packet of crisps and a can of pop.

The clas­sic Middle East­ern dip from Me Too! comes in stacks of flavours

Broc­coli boost from Soyo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.