matzo balls + divine intervention

There’s a kosher deli not far from our house that my family loves to go to. They’ve got killer pastrami, fantastic chopped liver, an open face turkey sandwich that makes my daughter swoon and some of the finest matzo ball soup around. Just thinking about it makes me what to jump in the car and head there…PRONTO!

As you know by now we eat a lot of soup in our house. Anything from Red Lentil, Homemade Wonton or Smoked Chicken & Corn Chowder to Curried Carrot & Parsnip, Creamy Broccoli & Kale or nothing fancy but always delicious Chicken Soup. When I make chicken soup I typically serve it with some sort of noodles and a healthy sprinkle of grated cheese on top (I guess that’s the Italian in me). One recent afternoon I returned home from the store with a meaty chicken destined for the pot, only to discover a package from Cooking Light sitting in my mailbox. It contained two copies of their latest cookbook “Lighten Up, America!”. One copy for me to add to my collection and perhaps try a few recipes from and one to offer to my readers as a giveaway. Nice right?

Lighten Up, America! is filled with all the classic down-home recipes you’ve come to love, tweaked up a smidge to make them less of a guilty indulgence and more of an everyday option. Bacon and Corn Chowder with Shrimp, thickened by pureeing some of the soup rather than with loads of cream. Pound Cake that replaces the butter in the batter with canola oil that’s been flavored with a vanilla bean and Green Goddess Dressing that substitutes Greek yogurt and canola mayonnaise for traditional mayo and sour cream. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Anyway back to the soup… As I was flipping through the book trying to decide which tasty recipe to try first I discovered a recipe for matzo balls. I don’t know about you, but it struck me as a bit of divine intervention that a cookbook with a matzo ball recipe should arrive on my doorstep the very same day that I intended to make chicken soup! Seriously, how could I possibly ignore that kind of direct message from the universe… And so I made matzo balls.

I may not have grown up eating my Grandmas matzo balls (she was a tiny meatballs and pastina in her soup kinda Grandma) but I have eaten enough matzo ball soup in my time to say that this recipe was pretty darn good. The matzo balls were light and fluffy, fresh and flavorful, easy to make and a lovely change from the typical noodles. My family may still prefer to go the noodle and grated cheese route, but I’m a girl who likes variety and is quite happy to now have a matzo ball card up her sleeve!

“Light As Air” Matzo Balls
This may not be the most traditional of recipes, but its a pretty tasty one all the same.

matza ball

1 tbsp. canola oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup club soda
2/3 cup matzo meal
2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the oil and eggs. Stir in the club soda, matzo meal, dill, salt, and pepper; chill 30 minutes.
  2. Wet your hands, gently scoop out a bit of the mixture and shape into 8 equal sized balls.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Gently drop the uncooked matzo balls into the simmering water, cover and allow to cook for 25-35 minutes or until matzo balls are tender and cooked through. (To test doneness insert a toothpick in the center of a ball, it should easily slide through.)
  4. Serve in a bowl of chicken soup or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*adapted from lighten up, america!

Now onto the giveaway… To enter to win your own copy of Lighten Up, America! please leave me a comment telling me what your favorite food indulgence is and if you’ve ever considered making/eating a lighter version of it.


What food do I find impossible to resist, that’s easy— potato chips. If there’s an open bag in the house I can’t keep my hands off them! I actually have considered trying to make a healthier baked version but honestly, I’d rather just eat a handful (or two) of real chips now and again rather than healthy ones all the time. So how about you, what food makes your resolve to eat healthy a distant memory? Is it a peanut butter and bacon sandwich? Pizza loaded with extra cheese and pepperoni? A triple scoop hot fudge sundae? Whatever it is I’d love to hear about it!

Please leave your comment between Monday, October 28, 2013 and midnight Monday, November 4, 2013. One comment per person please, US residents only. Entries must be left via the comment form at the bottom of this post. A winner will be selected using on Tuesday November 5th and will be promptly contacted.

So please leave a comment and then feel free to…

  • Follow @beetsbluecheese on Twitter.
  • Become a beets and blue cheese follower via e-mail
    (you’ll find the “follow me” button at the top of this page).
  • Like beets and blue cheese’s facebook page.
  • Share this giveaway with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Good luck!


6 thoughts on “matzo balls + divine intervention

  1. I love to indulge in delicious pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara or chicken franchise. I would love to try lighter more healthy versions.

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