The Not-So-Skinny on Cholent

Lori Boxer
Weight★No★More℠ Diet Center

 

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Shabbat is famous for the vast amount of calorie dense foods packed into one sitting. Believe it or not, 3,000 calories is not the aberration but, in fact, the average consumption. And that includes everyone’s beloved cholent.

 

Cholent is a Jewish stew created to comply with the Jewish law that prohibits cooking on Shabbat. Cholent works for Shabbat because it has a long cook time; you start the stew Friday before the Sabbath and it will cook through the night to be ready the following day.

 

I’m often asked two questions:

 

“Do you have any cholent recipes up at your web site?”

“How do I count cholent?”

 

First question first.

 

As of this writing, a Google search of “low-fat cholent” comes up with 25,000 results. “Healthy cholent,” 63,800 results. “Cholent recipes,” 96,100 results.

 

Believe me when I tell you that I’ve done this search more than once over the last decade, and NONE of the recipes I’ve found – ZERO, NADA, ZILCH – provided a specific serving size for one portion: is a single serving 1 cup? 1/2 cup? 2/3 cup? Only the great Houdini knows. Also, very, VERY few cholent recipes provided ANY nutritional data at all.

 

So I have nothing to work with in those scenarios.

 

I can tell you, however, that while cholent may be delicious, the OVERWHELMING number of  recipes are too full of simple carbohydrates and animal fats to be healthy for the body.

 

Responding to the second question, recipes that I share at the web site facilitate a clients’ menu planning because the recipe, in addition to the ingredients, provided a specific single-serving size, as well as nutritional data for that single-serving, which helps me to break down that single serving into the food groups (Proteins, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk/Dairy, Grains, Fat). So, again, since NONE of the cholent recipes provide a single serving portion size, there are no cholent recipes at my web site.

 

Here are a few recipes that while not providing a single serving size do provide nutritional data “per serving.” Assuming, as with any stew, you’re having the cholent as a side dish, your best bet is to figure that ½ cup = 1 serving. One serving of “what” (Proteins, Veggies, Grains, Fats), I couldn’t tell you!

 

Cholent

Serves 12 – Calories 248 – Fat 9 gr – Carbohydrates 33 gr – Sodium 656 mg

 

Healthy Chicken Cholent

Serves 12 – Calories 510 – Fat 12 gr – Carbohydrates 56 gr – Sodium 1,218 mg

 

Low Fat Cholent: Israeli Chaminc Israeli Chamin

Serves 10 – Calorie 780 – Fat 16 gr – Carbohydrates 111 gr – Sodium 201 mg

 

Mom’s Authentic Kosher Cholent

Serves 8 – Calories 1,067 – Fat 49 gr – Carbohydrates 98 gr – Sodium 616 mg

 

Traditional Meat Cholent

Serves 12 – Calories 32 – Fat 8 gr – Carbohydrates 44 gr – Sodium 377 mg

 

Vegetarian Bean Cholent

Serves 12 – Calories 149 – Fat 3 gr – Carbohydrates 27 gr – Sodium 20 mg

 

Vegetarian Cholent

Serves 6 – Calories 305 – Fat 10 gr – Carbohydrates 2 gr – Sodium 111 mg

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