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I may have started listening to Christmas music after Thanksgiving and decorated a mini tree (aka Hanukkah Bush), but I am a Jewish girl 100%! In fact, tonight I will be lighting my menorah, eating my low-fat version latkas, and indulging on dark chocolate gelt!

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I spotted my bush! The perfect size!

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Hanukkah Bush with blue and white lights and ornaments!

we light the candle from right to left just how you read/write hebrew. The middle candle (Shamash) is always lit. We light the middle candle first and then use the middle candle to light the rest of the candles. Every day, we had a candle to the right.

The menorah sits by the window for everyone to see. We light the candle from right to left just how you would read/write hebrew. The middle candle (Shamash) is lit every day on Hanukkah. We light the Shamash first and then use it to light the rest of the candles while we sing a prayer. Every day, we had a candle to the right!

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Tonight, at sunset, marks the first day of Hanukkah (or Chanukah), the Festival of Lights, as it is 25th day of the month of Kislev on the Jewish Calendar. Hanukkah is observed for 8 days to celebrate the renewed dedication, faith, hope and spiritual light.  This year, Hanukkah is celebrated from the 8th -16th of December, ending the day before my birthday (aren’t I special)!

Hanukkah reminds people to “Never Lose Hope” because MIRACLES can happen!

I found the perfect video to breakdown what really went down many many years ago in simple terms! 

It is a miracle that the oil that burned continuously for 8 nights when the Temple only had one day’s supply of oil!  You bet I will be lighting my menorah for the next 8 nights! If you don’t have access to a menorah due to traveling, dorm room regulations, or simply not owning a menorah, there are quite a few menorah smart phone apps you can download! Last year, I traveled to Chicago and brought this virtual menorah with me!

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A bit dorky, I know, but I was just trying to be a good Jew considering the circumstances!

As a kid, I received a present every night after we lit the manorah, but Hanukkah is not a big deal when you grow up and realize Hanukkah is not all about presents. Therefore, in honor of the 8 days of Hanukkah, every day I am going to either treat myself to small gifts to make me a healthier and better person and/or give faith and hope to others to make up 8 days of gifts! I will let you know what I did every day on the 8th night!

Low-Fat Potato Spaghetti Squash Latkas

The traditional treat to eat on Hanukkah is Potato Latkas! The oil they are fried in represents the miracle of the oil burning for 8 days. Latkas soaked and fried in oil are quite tasty and can be addicting! Unfortunately, they have a high fat content can make maintaining your weight over the holidays a bit difficult. Therefore, I wanted to create a modern low-fat version of latkas! The main differences between my latkas and traditional latkas are that they are made with half potatoes and half spaghetti squash and they contain a minimal amount of extra virgin olive oil. Check out my recipe below!

Recipe yields 15 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (additional tablespoons for every batch of latkas/every sauce pan)
  • 2 cups of spaghetti squash, cooked
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings: non-fat plain greek yogurt and unsweetened applesauce

Directions:

1. Cook your spaghetti squash (here are 3 ways you can cook your spaghetti squash).

2. In a sauce pan, cook the shallots and garlic in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil until the shallots are translucent, but not browned.

3. Grate your red potatoes and add them to the shallots and garlic in the sauce pan.

IMG_42064. Cook and stir the red potatoes for 5 minutes.

5. Add the cooked spaghetti squash to the sauce pan and cook for  5 minutes.

IMG_42086. Put the potato and spaghetti squash mixture into a large bowl.

7. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, salt, and pepper.

IMG_42108. Add the egg mixture to the potato and spaghetti squash mixture and stir well!

IMG_42129. In a sauce pan, heat  1 Tablespoon of your extra virgin olive oil on low.

10. Form your latka patties from the mixture (about half the size of your palm).

11. Place 4-5 latka patties on  sauce pan cook them until they are browned on both sides (approx 10 minutes on each side).

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IMG_421712. Place your browned latkas between two  paper towels and press down to soak up excess olive oil.

IMG_422313. Your Latkas are ready to eat with a dollop of greek yogurt and applesauce!

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Happy Hanukkah!

What do you like to dip your latkas in?!?!?