A Sweet And Fruity Passover Treat

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - April 05, 2006
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Marc Machbitz is a man of many accomplishments. He founded an experimental high school in New York, co-owned and managed (with his wife, Suzanne) two art galleries and a piano store in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and is an authority on Steinway and Sons, and Yamaha pianos. He has also been the recipient of numerous sales awards, among which was special recognition for having sold a unique Yamaha grand piano for $330,000.

Marc has served on the boards of directors of synagogues in California and Florida, and was president of the congregations. Marc is currently a Realtor with Century 21 All Islands in Hawaii Kai, where he conveys his knowledge of real estate with enthusiasm and looks forward to helping his clients.

He and Suzanne reside in the deepest nook of Kalama Valley, where they enjoy the scent of the fragrant tree blossoms, and a sweeping view of the valley and ocean. Both are accomplished pianists, enjoy snorkeling and are avid art collectors.

I would like to dedicate this column to Marc and Suzanne.

Passover is a special time for Jews around the world. This year Passover and Easter are celebrated only days apart, so this week I will feature a Passover recipe and next week an Easter recipe.

Loosely translated from the Yiddish, tzimmes means “a fuss over something,” but in culinary terms, it’s commonly a casserole of various fruits, vegetables and/or meats.

This is a wonderful combination of fruits and vegetables that goes well with just about any main entrée, and is a powerhouse of good nutrients.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, and also a good source of potassium. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin, copper, pantothenic acid and folic acid; the deeper the color, the higher the vitamin A content.

Apples contain potassium and vitamin C, and also pectin, which has been shown to control cholesterol, blood sugar and cellulose levels as well as improving intestinal function. Most of the apple’s nutrients are found just under the skin; it is best to wash it well and eat unpeeled.

Carrots contain vitamin A, potassium, vitamin B6, thiamine, folic acid and magnesium.

Prunes are an excellent source of potassium, a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, magnesium, iron and copper. They also supply niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc and calcium. Prunes have a laxative effect particularly when they are eaten before bedtime. Prune juice also has a laxative effect.

Happy Passover!


* 6 cups raw sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
* 6 cups sliced, unpeeled Gala apples
* 2 cups peeled, sliced carrots
* 1 cup small pitted prunes
* 1/3 cup orange juice
* 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with pinch of allspice

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 9-by-13 baking pan with cooking spray. Layer half of the potatoes in bottom of pan, repeat with half of the apples, then half of the carrots and prunes. Repeat the layers with the remaining fruits and vegetables. Combine orange juice, orange peel, lemon peel, sugar and honey, and mix well. Pour over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture.

Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil, and pierce with fork to allow steam to escape. Bake for about 11/2 hours, or until cooked through and fork-tender.

Makes about six servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 250 Fat: 1.5 milligrams Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Sodium: 80 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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