Known as the "queen of kosher" and the "Kosher Rachael Ray," Jamie Geller is the founder of the Kosher Media Network. An energetic American from Philadelphia, Geller immigrated to Israel with her husband and five children two years ago and still had time to write a book and start a cooking show.
"Well, everyone's got to eat. The kids are hungry," Geller said.
CBN's Scott Ross and his wife, Nedra, met Geller in the City of David during a recent trip to Israel. She pointed out the nearby biblical sites and taught them how to make a special kosher recipe using what she calls "the seven super foods of the Bible."
The City of David is an 11-acre area just outside the southern walls of Jerusalem's Old City. It's believed to be the original site of King David's Jerusalem. From a lookout point there, it's possible to see Mount Moriah, the Mount of Olives and Mount Zion.
"The Old City Walls are 470 years old, but here at King David's palace we're talking about 3,000 years, so Mount Moriah is the site of the binding of Isaac, the site of the holy temple," Geller told CBN News, adding that "...the City of David, Jerusalem, Israel bring people together, much like food."
Seven Spices Salad
Standing on a porch with thousands of years of history all around, she told the Rosses about her recipe, the Seven Spices Salad.
"We're doing a recipe inspired by the seven species, the seven foods that are [the] super foods of the Bible and of the Land of Israel," Geller said.
"Super foods? Will this make me a super person?" Scott asked.
"It will make you strong like Popeye," she responded. "It will make you healthy. Your doctor will be happy, your wife will be happy, you'll be good."
"In Hebrew, [it's] shivat haminim, which translates [into] the seven species. So this is the shivat haminim salad," she explained.
The seven species are mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:7-8: "The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land ... a land of wheat and barley, of vines [grapes] and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey [dates]."
These foods are eaten particularly at three Jewish holidays, including the seven-day Feast of Sukkot, which Jewish people around the world are celebrating through Wednesday of this week.
"The way that I cook is quick and kosher," Geller continued. "So that means it's easy, anyone can do it and all I need are people that like to eat."
Kosher explains biblical and traditional Jewish dietary laws, which prohibit some foods like pork and shell fish and don't allow mixing meat and dairy products in the same meal. But the Rosses learned it's tasty all the same.
Date Honey, Pomegranates
Geller started with bulgur, which is cooked like rice, and whisked together a sauce of olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and date honey.
"Now what we have here is one of the special foods of the Land of Israel, date honey," Geller continued. "Silan they call it. Dates are one of the sweetest fruits in the world. It's tons of high in fiber. That's what we're talking about these super foods, and date honey has been used for thousands of years to sweeten things naturally."
The chopped dates and figs, sliced grapes and pomegranate seeds and sauce are added.
"Pomegranates are the 'superist,' right," Geller said.
"My husband just came back from the doctor. The doctor said he had cholesterol. So the doctor said one glass of 100 percent pomegranate juice a day," she said. "So that's what we're talking about, the super foods—right out of the Bible onto our beautiful salad."
Geller's book The Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh, Family Recipes, is full of Israeli and international recipes like hummus, falafel and lamb kebabs spiced with cinnamon and cumin. She's also included pictures of her children and family in the cookbook.
"I may end up going kosher, you never know," Nedra said after tasting the salad and seeing the book.
"Well you know what, you don't have to be kosher to love kosher," Geller said.
"I feel like food brings us together; we were saying that Israel brings us together; Jerusalem brings us together, and I thought that if people could see pictures of my family, they'll realize we're all more alike than we are different, you know," she said.
"And so don't be scared it's kosher, don't be scared it's Israel," she said.
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