Pascale’s Kitchen: Appetizing Purim projects

These recipes will help you make Purim – and the rest of the year as well – much more fun and tasty.

(photo credit: GALIT ORKAN)
Every parent knows how hard it is to convince our children to eat the food we’ve gone to great efforts to prepare for them. Many times, our sons and daughters resist trying certain dishes with the excuse that they don’t like the shape, texture or flavor of certain ingredients. And so it’s up to us to get creative and prepare healthy foods in fun ways that will make any kid want to try them.
In honor of Purim, I joined forces with food artist Gilat Orkin, who will show us how to have kids help us prepare fun art projects that are 100% edible (and healthy). Orkin loves to draw (she has a degree from WIZO School of Design) and design (and a degree in shoe design from The Guild). But she also loves to cook and bake.
When her daughter began first grade, Orkin noticed that the sandwiches she sent to school were coming home untouched. When she asked her daughter why, she would reply that it was much more fun to play outside with her friends. And so Orkin began preparing fun sandwiches that made eating much more exciting. She began designing her sandwiches according to historical events, which turned snack time into a fun history lesson.
Orkin made her sandwiches in the shape of sewing machines and a Sony PlayStation remote control, and soon her daugther’s friends began flocking to their home to see how her mom made such cool sandwiches. Even the teacher was impressed.
Soon enough, Orkin was making all of her meals in a creative fashion, and she created an Instagram page called “Year of the Sandwich.”
The recipes below will help you make Purim – and the rest of the year as well – much more fun and tasty.
A PIRATE LUNCH (Gilat Orkan)A PIRATE LUNCH (Gilat Orkan)
Queen Esther (Pascale)
Hair: flattened rye bread
Eyes: the white base and other colors are made from sugar dough, the black line is made from licorice
Face: pita bread
Mouth and teeth: sugar dough
Body: pita bread
Skirt: lettuce
Flowers: strawberries
Grass: chives
Shoes: strawberries
Ruffle skirt: leave-less sprouts
Ground: oats
Mask: red pepper
Walking cane: candy
Wand: pretzels and purple sprouts
Wand decoration: crown-shaped candies (Wilton brand)
Shirt and sleeves: strawberries
Earrings: silver sprinkles
Hula hoop dancer on an island breakfast
Base: homemade granola
Makes four to six servings.
½ kg. oats
4 Tbsp. sesame
200 gr. hazelnuts/almonds/pecans/or other nuts
¾ cup oil
¾ cup honey or silan
200 gr. dried fruits
5 Tbsp. ground coconut
Mix the oats with the sesame, nuts, oil and honey.
Transfer to a pan that is lined with baking paper and flatten mixture. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 160°C (320°F) for 15 minutes until golden brown. Each oven heats differently, so cooking time may vary.
Add the dried fruits and coconut and bake another 10 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container.
Hula hoop dancer on an island
Flower in her hair: petals are made from dried strawberries and stems from lemon peel
Tree branches: kiwi
Coconuts on the tree: hazelnuts
Tree trunk: pecan halves
Coconuts on the ground: roasted chestnuts with shells
Island: granola with nuts and dried fruits
Sea: yogurt mixed with blue food coloring
Hula hoop dancer: lotus cream dispensed with a pastry bag
Grass skirt: strips of green apple skin
Belly button: small chocolate ball
Bathing suit top: hazelnuts
Flower chain: dried strawberries
Cloud: yogurt
Sun: dried orange slice
Hair: strips of dried dates
Eyes: pine nuts with a dot of yogurt and a tiny ball of chocolate 
NEMO DINNER (Gilat Orkan)NEMO DINNER (Gilat Orkan)
A pirate lunch
Chicken legs roasted in the oven
Makes four to six servings.
4-6 chicken legs
2-3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Mix all the spices together and then rub onto the chicken legs. Place the chicken in the pan and bake for 40 minutes until they turn golden brown.
Mashed potatoes
Makes four to six servings.
4-6 medium potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Margarine or olive oil
Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Cook them in salted water until they’re soft.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Cook them until all of the liquid has evaporated.
Mash the potatoes and add the margarine or olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
To give them a little color, add a few drops of soy sauce, but note that soy sauce is extremely salty.
The pirate
Pirate’s head: mashed potatoes mixed with a little soy sauce
Pirate’s hair: pieces of chicken
Eye patch: cucumber
Mouth and teeth: cucumber
Belly: cucumber
Striped shirt: cucumber
Belt: strips of black olives and yellow pepper
Wooden leg: chicken
Shoes: black olives and yellow pepper
Snack owl
Head and body: banana slices
Base of eyes: kiwi
Eyeballs: strawberries
Pupils: dried cranberries
Beak: orange peel
Wings: sliced strawberries
Tree branch: chocolate candy
Legs: orange
Leaves: kiwi
SNACK OWL (Gilat Orkan)SNACK OWL (Gilat Orkan)
Nemo dinner
Black lentils and sweet potato salad
Makes four to six servings.
1 cup black lentils
3 sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
50 gr. butter
100 gr. feta or other salty cheese
1 cup fried pecan halves
½ package of chopped chives
Olive oil
Balsamic or citrus vinegar
Salt and pepper
Place the lentils in a pot and cover them with water. Cook over a medium flame for 20 minutes or until they’ve softened, but aren’t falling apart. Drain and let cool.
Fry the sweet potato cubes in a pan with the butter until they’ve softened.
In a bowl, combine the lentils, sweet potato, cheese, chives and pecans.
Drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Black line: cooked black lentils
Top fin: carrot slices
White line: cheese
Side fins and tail: carrot slices
Sea weed: chives
Rocks: pecan halves
Eye: first kohlrabi, then small carrot slice, then lentil for pupil, then tiny ball of cheese
Orange body: sweet potato pieces
Translated by Hannah Hochner.