High Holidays

Cheering the tummy after atoning: Breaking the Yom Kippur fast

The Smoked Salmon Omelet is a satisfying way to break the fast. (Ahuva Staum)

(JTA) — Yom Kippur, the most somber day of the Jewish year, is also called the Day of Atonement and reminds us that we are all accountable for our actions. The concept of New Year’s resolutions that mark our secular New Year’s Day comes from the Jewish idea of repentance at the start of a new year.

As we reflect on the mistakes we’ve made over the past year, we resolve to be better people. One element of repentance is fasting, so Jews are not permitted to eat or drink on Yom Kippur. But boy do we prepare ourselves for the fast! We serve full, balanced meals — light on the salt and thirst-inducing spices — just before the fast. When it’s over, we give thanks and dig in once again.

The post-Yom Kippur meal may not contain every dish you fantasized about during the fast, but it’s sure to be satisfying.


This recipe only makes one omelet because you really can’t make more than one at a time. If you are serving several for breakfast, make them all beforehand and keep them whole. Warm the prepared omelets on a greased sheet pan in the oven, warming drawer or on a hot plate. Then, cut in half just before serving.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

5 large eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 tablespoon capers

3 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon

1 everything bagel, cut in half

4 tablespoons cream cheese


Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until tender. Add eggs, salt and pepper, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until just set in the center, tilting the skillet and lifting the edges of omelet with a spatula to let uncooked portion run out to edges.

Sprinkle with chives and capers and lay salmon over half of the omelet. Using a spatula, fold the omelet half without the salmon over the half with salmon to enclose it, and slide the omelet onto a plate.

Cut in half crosswise and serve on an open faced bagel with cream cheese.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ready time: 55 minutes

Servings: 12


1 pound wide egg noodles

3/4 cup dried cherries

3/4 cup dried apricots, diced

2 cups plain soy milk

5 large eggs, beaten

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups cornflake cereal, crushed

3 tablespoons margarine, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine cherries, apricots, soy milk, eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla. Add noodles and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a greased 9- by-13-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine crushed cereal with margarine and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Scatter the mixture over the noodles. Bake 45 minutes or until set and the topping is golden.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6


1 medium loaf whole wheat rustic bread, crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup sliced cucumber

1/2 cup sliced red onion

1 roasted red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 roasted yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 large tomato on the vine, cut into wedges

1 ball fresh mozzarella, cubed (8-ounce)

12 large leaves basil, torn

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread out cubed bread on a large sheet pan in a single layer and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until dried out and crispy. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, onions, peppers, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and toss to combine. Add bread, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir to coat well. Serve immediatelor let sit up to 30 minutes so bread soaks up the dressing.


Poached pears are a great lighter alternative to a rich heavy dessert but still have loads of flavor to satisfy the most discerning sweet tooth. Serve with your favorite ice cream and experiment poaching different kinds of fruit.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4


2 cups orange juice

1 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 Anjou pears, peeled, halved and cored

2 cups vanilla ice cream

Preparation: In a saucepan, combine orange juice, water, sugar, ginger and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add pears. Simmer until just tender, about 8 minutes. Remove pears and set aside.

Bring mixture to a boil and reduce until a little thicker, about 10 minutes. Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve.

Serve each pear half with a scoop of ice cream and a few tablespoons of sauce.

(Jamie Geller is the author of the best-selling “Quick & Kosher” cookbook series, creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and host of the Quick & Kosher cooking show online at youtube.com/joyofkosher and on-air on JLTV.)