The fast of Tisha B’Av is a day of fasting and mourning for our loss of the the First and Second Temples, both which were destroyed on this day. I always find it difficult to remember why I am fasting if I am having a difficult fast. Here are a few tips and guidelines to have a more meaningful fast. Also the recipes and menus were created strategically to prepare your body for fasting.

Tips for a successful and meaningful fast:
1. Try to cut out caffeine the week before, but at least three days before.
2. Hydrate yourself for three days leading up to the fast with water and Gatorade
3. Eat power foods that will stay in your system longest; barley, fruits, potatoes, chicken and pasta
4. Don’t over eat! I know it’s a panicky-before-the-fast temptation but don’t do it – it will backfire!
5. Eat watermelon for dessert!

  1. Prepare tofu and get it in pan
  2. Make pasta and barley on stove top
  3. Chop all vegetables in all three recipes
  4. Get leeks, potatoes and beets in oven
  5. Make both salad dressings
  6. Assemble all three dishes
Whole wheat pasta bowties with tofu
Cooking the tofu directly in the white wine creates a deep flavor that is both comforting yet subtle. I enjoy the flavors of white wine more than red wine in cooking because they are deep flavors but are not heavy! Feel free to substitute chicken instead of tofu for an even deeper flavor!
Cuisine: Pasta, Poultry
Special Diet: Dairy Free, Sugar Free
Servings: people USA imperial/metric conversion:
Print Recipe
  1. Make pasta according to box instructions. Be sure to make al dente.
  2. Bring a wok or a large non-stick skillet to high heat. Pat the tofu dry and evenly sprinkle it with salt. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and when hot add the tofu, working in batches if have to. Sear for 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
  3. Add onions, tomatoes, garlic and ¼ cup of wine and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan, by scraping all the brown bits and flavor from bottom of pan. Let cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are golden, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the rest of the wine, tomato paste and the tofu back in. Turn down to medium heat and cover, letting the liquid reduce by half , about 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat.
  5. Add the pasta, spinach, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fresh basil and mix. Serve warm or room temperature.
Notes & Tips:

Feel free to use large tomatoes, just chop them first.

Potato beet salad
If you crave potatoes, this is a great way to get them in but surround them with healthy vegetable friends!
Servings: people USA imperial/metric conversion:
Print Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure beets, leeks and potatoes are all similar in size and place on parchment paper. Add olive oil and spices and mix well.
  3. Place in oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Add dressing ingredients to jar and shake well before serve.
Notes & Tips:

Potato, beets and leeks are such beautiful flavor pairings, you could even leave out the lettuce and make it into a more proper potato salad!

Kale mango barley salad
This is a great way to introduce dark greens into your eating habits. The kale is not overwhelming but pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the mango and the tartness of the fresh ginger.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Special Diet: Dairy Free, Sugar Free
Servings: people USA imperial/metric conversion:
Print Recipe
  1. Place barley in pot covered in water with an extra 4-6 inches of water on top. Cook on high for 30 minutes and drain.
  2. In the bottom of a serving bowl, add dressing ingredients and whisk well.
  3. Add kale, mango, peppers and barley and mix well. Make at least an hour in advance.
Notes & Tips:

I used fire roasted peppers (placing them on sheet pan on broil, turning every 6 minutes, until skin charred. Letting cool and peeling. But you can use raw, or roasted peppers from a jar too if you want to make this recipe quicker!)

Have a question about these recipes? Need a substitution for an ingredient? Chef Zissie is here to answer!

Simply use the comments box at the bottom of this page or click the button below. Please try and ask on Sunday to ensure you get your answer on time!

Leftover tips for tomorrow’s dinner:

Great addition to break fast meal: Barley and cheese salad 
  • Add Fresh Mozzarella cheese (or any other less salty cheese) to the barley salad and serve as an incredibly light yet filling side to a nice piece of fish (or a bagel and lox!)

What else is for dinner this week?