Don and I are still on a low-carb diet. During the week, we try to eliminate carbs almost completely. On Shabbos, we allow ourselves to enjoy a small amount of challah at each meal, but still try to adhere to the low-carb protocol as much as possible. Cholent is a challenge, because it is generally prepared using high-carb ingredients like potatoes and barley. Over the past few months, I have experimented with lots of different ingredients, until I finally have an option that tastes great and is mostly low-carb.
To satisfy the rest of the family, I often put in lentils, barley and some potatoes, but Don and I only choose the vegetables that conform to our diet. When I do that, I try to leave most of the low-carb vegetables whole or in large chunks, so that Don and I can easily find them.
I like to cook a well-marbled roast right in the cholent. The fat content is important, so that the meat stays moist and does not dry out during the long cooking process. I take the roast out right before serving and place it on a separate plate. I use two forks to shred the beef, putting them facing each other at the center of the roast and pulling toward the edges. I serve the meat on a separate platter from the cholent.
1 zucchini, scrubbed and cut into large slices
1 turnip or kohlrabi, cut into cubes
2 cups whole mushrooms
3 stalks of celery, scrubbed and cut into large slices
2-3 garlic garlic cloves, whole or minced
2 Potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and cut into large pieces (optional)
1-2 cups of cauliflower, riced in food processor (see kosher notes)
1 cup beans, soaked overnight or canned and drained (may omit for gluten-free)
2 small whole onions, peeled
1/2 cup barley (optional)
1/2 cup lentils (optional)
1 generous squirt ketchup (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
kishke, wrapped in parchment paper
small brisket, deckel or brick roast
Place vegetables in crockpot Friday morning. Add rest of ingredients and combine gently.
Fill crockpot with water until ingredients are completely covered plus 1 inch more of water. Make sure to leave at least one inch of space between top of water level and top of pot.
To create a gluten-free version, replace the barley with brown sushi rice
Add onion powder, zatar, garlic powder, or your favorite spice for a zestier alternative
Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore cauliflower require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, grinding. Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of cauliflower. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using cauliflower.