April 23, 2024
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Levana Kirschenbaum Displays Newest Products at Kosherfest

At this year’s Kosherfest, Levana Kirschenbaum displayed her newest venture, all-natural meal replacement products. Levana has been a household name for many years. Born in Morocco, her cooking career began in Manhattan with her eponymous restaurant, Levana, a staple on the Upper West Side for 32 years. She was a pioneer in kosher fine dining, and many restaurants have since followed suit. Her career as a chef continued with four bestselling cookbooks, the most recent, “Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen.” Levana presently gives cooking demonstrations all over the country, for crowds as small as one or as large as 100.

In 2014, Levana’s husband was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer produced by malignant plasma cells. She had difficulty watching him suffer through treatment and the side effects that came along with it, such as nausea and lack of appetite. Regarding her struggle to find foods for her husband to eat, Levana stated, “There are very few natural offerings for people with cancer.” Through this experience, her meal replacements were born. Her products allow those suffering from cancer to ingest all the nutrients they need to remain strong during treatment, while maintaining their weight.

She spent two years consulting food scientists, doctors and a registered dietitian to develop the healthiest meal replacements. The end result was a variety of delicious products that are kosher, vegan and free of gluten, soy, dairy, nuts and added sugar. Levana noted, “My product is very valuable, a perfect replica of a meal made with natural ingredients. No allergens whatsoever, 100 percent natural, which is practically the holy grail.”

Levana’s currently available meal replacement products include two soups: garden vegetable and mushroom medley, and three cold blends: vanilla bean, mixed berry and cocoa-coffee. There are products currently in development as well, which will likely be available within the next year, including health bars, chocolate tehina spread and sundried tomato dip. All of these products are intended to provide everything one would get in a balanced meal, including protein, fat, fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Levana recently held a private cooking class in her home for a young woman suffering from cancer. She spent three hours teaching this young woman how to prepare whole foods in quick and easy ways, that would be tolerable for her. Levana used no additives, only seasoning, produce and various forms of protein. Her products were added to several of the meals to increase the calorie intake and maximize the nutrition in each meal. The end result was multiple, delicious, freezer meals the young woman will be able to eat for weeks to come.

Levana shares many meal replacement recipes on her website, www.levanamealreplacement.com. Two of her favorite recipes are included below.

Ingredients

Instructions

Preheat oven to 500°F. Mix all but last ingredient in a bowl. Place the salmon skin-side down in a baking pan just large enough to fit it snugly in one layer (no empty spaces, or the liquids will burn). Pour the sauce evenly over the fish. Bake 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter and pour the cooking juices over the fish. Serve hot, or at room temperature. Makes 4 main-course servings.

Ingredients

Instructions

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Pour the mixture into 8 dessert cups. Keep it chilled until serving time. If you pour it into small mason jars with lids, it will keep perfectly in the refrigerator a good few days. The mixture will thicken as it chills.

Use coupon code 30LEVANA to save 30% off her meal replacement products.

By Stephanie Greenspan

 Stephanie Greenspan, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian practicing in Bergen County, with a background in weight loss, endocrine disorders and bariatric surgery. She can be reached at [email protected].

 

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