Nana’s Matzah Balls

Of all of the dishes and meals that make Nana an amazing cook, her matzah ball soup stands out as undeniably one of the best. Each year, we look forward to the Jewish holidays so that we can have a big bowl and leftovers for weeks to come! As years have passed, we have found it easier to prepare some of the key ingredients for our Passover Seder in advance to offload some of the work day on the day of the holiday. One of those items are matzah balls. We worked with Nana to prepare, cook and ultimately freeze our matzah balls for dinner this Saturday. Even though we have the recipe written down, it is so different watching her cook them and seeing how the recipe and her preparation differ. She loves a good cooking moment in front of the camera, so be sure to check out her full video on our Instagram.

Nana's Matzah Balls

  • Servings: 12 matzah balls
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The recipe for Nana’s famous matzah balls.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup matzah meal
  • 4 tbs oil or chicken fat
  • 4 tbs soda water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 10 cups of water
  • chicken bouillon (enough to flavor 10 cups of water according to the bouillon directions)


  1. In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs using a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  2. Add the matzah meal, chicken fat, soda water, salt and pepper and mix well until all of the ingredients are fully blended together. Refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes.
  3. While the matzah ball dough is refrigerating, heat a large pot with 10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the chicken bullion and simmer with the lid on while the batter is cooling. You want to add in enough to flavor the water.
  4. Bring the broth back to boil. Remove the matzah ball batter from the fridge and form the matzo ball dough into golf ball sized balls. Place them in the broth, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the matzah balls for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the matzah balls with a slotted spoon and place on a cookie sheet to cool and drain. Serve immediately in chicken soup or cool completely and freeze until you are ready to use them. Freeze by placing them in a single layer in a large ziplock bag.

Sausage, White Bean & Greens Soup

If you follow us in Instagram, you know that we started getting produce deliveries from Misfits Market a few weeks ago. We love picking different produce and challenging ourselves to find inventive ways to use it. Insert this soup recipe. When in doubt, soup is the easiest way to use up a bunch of vegetables and call it a meal. Everyone has eaten some variation of this soup in their lifetime, but what we like about this recipe is that we were able to utilize the full vegetables, like the chard stems, so that we didn’t just discard them. This soup is pretty dang healthy and makes a great meal prep recipe. We like to make a big batch and have it to ready heat up for weekday lunches. If you have eaters with big stomachs in your family, serve this with lots of grated parmesan cheese and a big chunk of crusty garlic bread.

Sausage, White Bean, & Greens Soup

  • Servings: 4
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A healthy, weekday soup that is packed with veggies and tons of flavor.


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large bunch of green chard, stems separated from the leaves and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 stems thyme
  • 1 stem rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 14 oz turkey sausage kielbasa, diced (you can substitute with any other kielbasa you like)
  • 1 can white beans, drained
  • 1 large chunk of parmesan rind
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish, optional


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrot, and the diced stems from the chard to the pot. Stir to combine and let the vegetables start to caramelize. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until everything starts to brown… this is where a lot of flavor from the soup comes in, so don’t rush this part!
  2. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, red chili flakes, and kielbasa to the pot. Sauté another 3-4 minutes to brown the kielbasa.
  3. Add the white beans, parmesan rind, and chicken stock to the pot. Cover the soup and let it cook for 15 minutes on a steady simmer. While the soup is cooking, dice the chard leaves into small, bite-sized pieces. After the soup has cooked for the 15 minutes, remove the parmesan rind, thyme, and rosemary from the pot. Give the soup a taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the chard greens to the pot, cover, and cook another 5 minutes. Serve the soup hot out of the pot topped with a bit of grated parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Tortellini Minestrone

This recipe for minestrone soup has been in our winter rotation for almost a decade. Minestrone is something that we usually wouldn’t order at a restaurant because quite frankly, we are busy eating pasta and other Italian dishes we crave. We love to make this soup at home because we can pack it with vegetables and rich herby flavors. If we are watching our food choices, we usually make this soup with butternut squash. But to make it a little more kid friendly (and frankly more crowd pleasing for everyone) we have chosen to add tortellini. Who can say no to cheesy pasta being added to everything? The tortellini adds richness and decadence to the soup and makes it a favorite for everyone in the family.

Tortellini Minestrone

  • Servings: 4-6
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Our favorite recipe for minestrone, made kid friendly with cheesy tortellini!


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz chicken stock
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 package pre-made cheese tortellini (about 16 oz)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • sliced basil, for garnish


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven soup pot over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic to the pot; saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and fragrant. Add the rosemary, thyme, and cannellini beans; sauté another 3-4 minutes or until the rosemary and thyme are fragrant.
  2. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the tortellini. Cover and bring to a low simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the tortellini is cooked through. Uncover and add the spinach to the pot. Stir it around and cook a few minutes for it to wilt.
  3. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in large bowls with a bit of grated parmesan cheese and some fresh basil.

Potato and Leek Soup

We love soup pretty much all year round, but right after the holidays we have them on our menu regularly. Soup is great on a cold day, easy to make, and an ideal option for a healthy meal when we have our hearts set on January resolutions. The crunchiness of the leeks combined with the creaminess of the potato makes this soup taste indulgent without adding any dairy. You can have this soup as a full meal or pair it with a side salad or sandwich for a delicious lunch option during your workweek.

Potato and Leek Soup

  • Servings: 4 entree servings
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A healthy soup recipe to kick off January resolutions with easy substitutes for vegan and vegetarian food preferences.


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 5 leeks, chopped – whites and greens separated
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock (option to use vegan stock)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, shallot and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the whites of the leeks and sauté an additional 5-10 minutes or until the leeks start to soften.
  3. Add the potatoes, greens of the leeks, and 4 cups of the bouillon to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer with the soup covered for 15-20 minutes or until you are able to easily poke a fork through the potatoes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency. We like to have about 1/4 of the mixture remain whole and blend the remaining. The different textures of the whole potatoes and leeks bring a nice crunchiness to the soup. Once the soup is blended, add additional stock if you prefer your soup a little thinner. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the soup hot and top with cheddar cheese (if desired).

Butternut Squash Bisque

We are the first to raise our hands and admit that packing in the veggies in the wintertime isn’t easy. Salads in the snow are a tough sell. Soup, however, is on the menu many days of the week. This recipe for Butternut Squash Bisque is one of our favorite healthy recipes that we make over and over again. Unlike most butternut squash soups, this recipe drifts more towards the savory side than the sweet side. We love how the licorice flavors from the fennel brighten up the squash; honey crisp apples adds a touch of sweetness and ras el hanout packs a savory curry punch. For those unfamiliar, ras el hanout is a North African spice blend that can be found at most mainstream groceries or linked here for online ordering. The result is a rich soup loaded with flavor, but not loaded with calories. It’s very simple, clean, and healthy; a great recipe to start the new year.

Butternut Squash Bisque

  • Servings: 4 entree servings
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A simple, healthy soup to make clean eating easy as we start the new year.


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, stem removed and sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 32 oz butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
  • 2 honey crisp apples, core removed and sliced
  • 1 tbs ras el hanout + more for garnish (optional)
  • 32 oz chicken stock (you can sub vegetable stock to make this dish vegetarian)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and fennel to the pot. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are starting to become translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, butternut squash, apples, and ras al hanout to the pot. Saute for another 10 minutes, or until the butternut squash starts to brown. Brown = flavor, don’t skip out too early or you will lose the best part of this soup!
  3. Add the chicken stock to the pot. Give everything a good stir, season with salt and pepper, cover, and let the soup cook for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it is pureed and an even consistency. We like our soup on the thicker side, but if it is too thick for your liking you can thin it down with water, milk, or cream. Taste and season again with salt and pepper as necessary.
  4. Serve the soup in large bowls with an additional sliced apple and sprinkle of ras al hanout, if desired. A loaf of crusty bread will go a long way with this soup as well.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Servings: 6
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We love to have a good pot of soup on the stove in the fall as the weather starts to get chilly. This Chicken Tortilla Soup has been in our recipe repertoire for many years now- it’s a go-to recipe that is the perfect mix of savory and spicy. It’s also very healthy and an easy way to get our veggies in when it’s cold out. If we are having friends over to watch a football game, we can up the ante and have lots of fun toppings to add over top. What starts out as a simple cup of soup can easily turn into a hearty meal with just a few toppings! We love to serve this soup with a batch of cornbread or crusty bread to dip into all of that spicy soup left at the bottom of the bowl.

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs)
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed (we used a roasted corn from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1- 28 oz can roasted tomatoes
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional Topping Ingredients

  • shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • tortilla strips
  • sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced green onions
  • sliced avocado


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and let it get nice and hot. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper and the paprika. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until they are seared well. They will not be cooked through at this point, but remove from from the pan onto a plate.
  2. Add the yellow onion to the pan. If the pan is dry, go ahead and add an extra tbs of olive oil to prevent sticking. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion starts to caramelize. Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, and coriander to the pan, saute another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the black beans and corn to the pan. Toss to give it all a good coat. Add the roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, and chicken breasts back to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and remove the chicken breasts from the pot. Keep the liquid cooking on a low simmer while you shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken back to the pot, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the soup hot with any additional toppings.

Oktoberfest Pumpkin Chili

We love experimenting with pumpkin recipes in the fall, and surprisingly have ended up liking the renditions of savory dishes more than the sweet ones! We have been making versions of this pumpkin chili for years now, and this latest is our favorite yet. We have combined all things “October” in this hearty chili- Oktoberfest beer, a can of pumpkin, and lots of warming spices. The beer gives the chili a little punch and helps give it a rich taste. The pumpkin is a great way to add creaminess but keep everything healthy. We suggest buying an Oktoberfest beer versus a pumpkin beer, as sometimes pumpkin beers can be ultra sweet which doesn’t mix well with the rest of the recipe. Serve with any and all of your favorite chili toppings for an ultra-fall cozy night in!

Octoberfest Pumpkin Chili
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for the Chili

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, minced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can white beans, drained
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 12 oz Octoberfest beer (we used a Bavarian lager)
  • salt, to taste

Optional Chili Toppings and Accompaniments:

  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stems removed, minced
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
  • tortilla chips


  1. Heat a large cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic to the pan. Sauté 4-5 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent.
  2. Add the jalapeno, paprika, cumin, and red chili flakes to the pot. Toast the spices in the pan for about 3 minutes before adding the tomato paste. Mix in the tomato paste and let everything cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the both cans of beans and the pumpkin to the chili. Add the beer and stir well to combine, but not so rough that you start to break up the beans. Season the chili with salt. Bring the chili to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered, and then cover and cook another 20-30 minutes. If the chili seems too thick before you are ready to serve, you can add water or stock to bring it to the consistency of your liking. Season again with salt to taste.
  4. Serve the chili hot out of the pan with any of your favorite chili toppings.

Spicy Chickpea & Harissa Stew

We love soups and stews and get giddy when the temperature starts to get cooler and it is acceptable to eat soup most meals of the week. This recipe incorporates all of our favorite Middle Eastern ingredients into one hearty bowl. You can easily make this vegetarian or vegan by eliminating the shrimp and feta cheese without compromising the flavor. For those unfamiliar with harissa, harissa is a Moroccan pasta made with garlic, red pepper and oil. You can find this is most supermarkets or online through Thrive Market and Amazon.

Spicy Chickpea and Harissa Stew
Makes: 4 servings 
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 45 minutes 


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 cans chickpea, drained 
  • 3 tbs harissa paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 28 oz can of tomato sauce 
  • 28 oz water (reuse the can!)
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 

Optional Toppings:

  • feta
  • parsley or cilantro
  • pita


  1. In a soup pot, turn the heat to medium and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the shallot and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the chickpeas, harissa, cumin and salt and saute for 2-3 minutes until the chickpeas are coated with all of the spices. If you like your food extra spicy, you can bump up the harissa from 3 to 4 tablespoons. 
  3. Add the tomato sauce and use the same can to add the water. This will help ensure you get all of the tomato juice out! 
  4. Bring the stew up to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  5. Bring the heat back up to high and add the shrimp. Put the cover on the pot and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp are completely cooked through. 
  6. Serve hot in a bowl and top with feta cheese, parsley and a side of your favorite pita! 


Summer means it is time for seafood and there is no better way to get a seafood fix than making cioppino. Cioppino is a seafood stew that originates in San Francisco- it has an Italian flavored tomato broth and can be made with just about any seafood you like. We like to go to the grocery store and see what is fresh and looks the best and plan our meal from there. For this version we used shrimp, cod, mussels and clams. You can use any type of fish (halibut, sea bass, even salmon) and other seafood ingredients like scallops, crab, or langoustines. It’s a light and filling summer dinner best served with a thick slice of sour dough bread.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 12 clams
  • 12 mussels
  • 12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb white fish – halibut, sea bass, or cod- cut into large, bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil, for garnish


  1. Scrub the clams and mussels with a food brush to clean off any excess dirt or sea particles. Remove the beards from any mussels. Soak the clams and mussels in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. While the seafood is soaking, heat a large Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter, swirling until melted. Add the garlic, white onion, and chili flakes to the pot. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.
  3. Add the white wine to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the wine reduce by half. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Slice the lemon in half and add it to the sauce. Cover the pot and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. After the 30 minutes has passed, remove the lemon from the sauce, carefully squeezing out any extra lemon juice, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the clams to the pot, increase to medium-high heat, and cover to cook for 5-7 minutes. If you are using larger clams like little necks, go the full 7 minutes.
  5. While the clams are cooking, season the shrimp and fish with salt and pepper. After the 7 minutes has passed, add the mussels, fish, and shrimp to the pot. Do not stir, just layer everything in that order, and cover to cook for another 5-6 minutes. The dish is done when most of the clams and mussels are open and the fish is opaque and cooked through. When the fish is cooked through, give everything a gentle stir so that the shrimp and fish absorb some of the sauce.
  6. Serve each serving of cioppino with a few pieces of each type of fish and seafood and a generous helping of the sauce. Garnish with some fresh basil and serve with a slice of crusty sour dough toast.

Minestrone: Spring Edition

We love a good soup recipe just about anytime of the year, but particularly when it’s snowing and we are in quarantine. This soup comes together quickly and only gets better as it sits on the stove. We made this recipe last week and started it mid morning; it was perfect by the time we were ready to eat lunch. Making every meal at home during quarantine has been a challenge! We love recipes like these that are quick, easy, & healthy to help keep us on track during the week. 

Minestrone: Spring Edition 
Makes: 4 entree servings 
Prep Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 1 hour 


  • 2 tbs olive oil 
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced 
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (should be 2 large carrots, shredded) 
  • 4 stalks celery, diced 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 lemon, cut in half 
  • 2 cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 cup orzo 
  • 8 cups chicken stock 
  • 1 cup diced snap peas 
  • 3 cups shredded kale, stems removed 
  • 1/3 cup pesto 
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • salt and pepper to taste 


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan along with the leeks, carrots, and celery. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are starting to caramelize. Add the garlic and squeeze the lemon juice from the lemon into to the pan. Add the entire lemon and cook everything another 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the cannelini beans to the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes to give the beans a little color. If the vegetables start to stick to the bottom feel free to add another tablespoon or two of olive oil to the pot. At this point we like to season everything with salt and pepper to get the party started.  
  3. Add orzo to the pan. Saute for a few minutes to coat the orzo in all of the oil and aromatics. Add the 8 cups of chicken stock to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente.
  4. Remove the lid from the soup and add the snap peas and kale to the pot. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes to wilt the kale. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Remove the lemon from the pot. Serve each bowl with a spoonful of pesto and parmesan cheese.