Norene Gilletz, an author of kosher cookbooks, lives in Toronto, Canada. She divides her time between work as a food writer, culinary consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, and editor. (www.gourmania.com.)

Low-fat matzah balls

“Healthy Helpings” by Norene Gilletz

Club soda is the secret ingredient to make these knaidlach (matzah balls) light and fluffy! This recipe can be doubled easily, but be sure to use a large pot and don’t peek during cooking!

1/2 cup matzah meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
2 tablespoons club soda (or ginger ale)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced dill
2 1/2 quarts salted water

Combine matzah meal, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Add egg, egg whites, club soda, oil and dill; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Wet your hands and shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Drop matzah balls into boiling water, cover tightly and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to chicken soup or vegetable broth.

Yield: 12 matzah balls. These may be frozen in soup, or on a cookie sheet, and then transferred to a plastic freezer bag. Reheat them right in the soup!

Chicken soup for the bowl

“Norene’s Healthy Kitchen”

3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken, cut up
10 cups cold water (approximately)
4 teaspoons salt
2 medium onions
4 to 6 medium carrots
3 to 4 stalks celery
1 parsnip (optional)
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Trim excess fat from chicken, but don’t remove the skin as it adds flavour. Place chicken in a large soup pot. Add water, covering chicken completely by at least 1 inch. Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove scum from the surface of the soup.

Add onions, carrots, celery, and parsnip to pot. Reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, for 1 1/4 hours. Add garlic and dill and simmer 15 minutes longer. Adjust salt to taste. Season with freshly ground pepper. Remove pot from heat and cool completely.

Strain soup, reserving carrots and chicken. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, discard hardened layer of fat from surface of soup. Remove skin from chicken and dice meat for soup. Reheat soup with diced chicken and carrots.

Serve with matzah balls.

Makes 8 generous servings. Freezes and reheats well.