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What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

To see amazing detail in any photo just click on it!
Don't forget to SIGN MY GUEST BOOK at the bottom of this page and/or LEAVE A COMMENT (be sure to leave your email address if you'd like a response)

Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Stuffed Zucchini

This simple recipe can turn an otherwise dull meal into something really special. It's perfect for company and looks as though you spent hours in the kitchen. It takes only a few minute to put together and your family will think you've been taking cooking classes. CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE AND SEE DETAIL.

Zucchini squash is very low in calories. In fact, 1/2 of a medium (5 oz) zucchini has only 20 calories and NO FAT. When you're picking out zucchini at the store, look for ones with the darkest skin. These have more nutrients (magnesium, vitamin A, copper, phosphorus, riboflavin, and folates).

The nutrients are in the skin so wash them well but DO NOT PEEL them.


  • Zucchini - if they are large then one will feed two people. If you're buying the mini zucchinis you'll want more per person.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded and/or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup additional grated Parmesan
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs
  • Optional: 1 teaspoons margarine (butter or butter substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon salt for boiling

Here's how you do it....

  1. Cut the light green stem end off the zucchini
  2. Simmer the zucchini in one inch of salted water in a covered pan for 7 minutes.
  3. While the zucchini is simmering, blend the chopped onion, parsley, grated Parmesan, bread crumbs, and beaten egg in a bowl.
  4. Using tongs, gently transfer the tender squash to your cutting board.
  5. Cut in half lengthwise.
  6. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the flesh.
  7. Chop the flesh and add it to the bowl with the other ingredients.
  8. Loosely fill the empty zucchini shells. Do not pack tightly.
  9. Dot with margarine.
  10. Sprinkle with the additional 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  11. Bake on foil or parchment lined pan in a 350F oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese turns a light golden brown.

Serve and enjoy the compliments! You're going to love this.


Anonymous said...

Dear The Balaboosta,
I just wanted to commend you on your stuffed zucchini recipe. I've never cooked w/zucchini before and I've only eaten it a few times. I tried this recipe and LOVED it: and my housemates loved it too!! I looked at so many recipes 4 stuffed zucchini but wanted something simple but elegant looking too, and your recipe is a perfect balance between the two. This is one of the few all vegetarian dishes that I didn't feel like I had to have some type of meat with, it's so good on its own! It tasted so wonderful, who would have known that breadcrumbs, egg, zucchini pulp and onion would be so good!! lol I didn't have parsley so I didn't use that, and I used red onion (I just went with what I had in my kitchen already). I also put a little cheddar cheese on top, and a little bit of grated zucchini as well (I made zucchini bread as well and had a little grated zucchini left over, and it made for a nice presentation.). I would like to send you a picture of it, if that's possible. I WILL be making this again, and recommending it to anyone I know who wants a stuffed zucchini recipe! Thanks so much for not keeping your great tips and dishes to yourself, and sharing them with other cooks around the world!!
Tha Dancin Chef
Colossians 3:17

email: sevelle06@hotmail.com

giz said...

Just found your blog today through foodbuzz...not sure how active you are but will check back. Love the name :)

Anonymous said...

I love this blog spot you have created! Oy vey would all three of those gorgeous woman in your life be proud of you! I know that Carly and myself are extremely proud. You inspire me Barbara and I am humbled by the experience of your spot in the internet world. Man I need to get off my "tuchas" and do something!

Anonymous said...

I just made 3 poached salmon halves for a baby naming. I have an entire side left over. Can this be frozen? The fish was extremely fresh when I bought it so it's never been frozen.

The Balaboosta said...

Dear Anonymous,
Yes, You can freeze the cooked salmon. To speed up defrosting time divide into portion sizes you are likely to use.
Thank you for you question and comments.

Chef E said...

You are the second person who blogs with music, and I love it! Look forward to reading your blog. -E

Unknown said...

Love your recipes-
Thank you especially for the sugar free recipes-
Do you know of a dish called "Rossel fleisch"(sp?)- which was a lima bean and flanken dish my grandmother used to make- however, I can't find a recipe for it anywhere, and I can't remeber exactly how she made it. Many Thanks!\


medigasarleen said...

I love all the sugarfree recipes. I havent tried them yet, but I will shortly. Im diabetic and I truly enjoy seeing recipes that are sugarfree. This is a site that I will visit frequently. thank you

helene said...

it's been a long time since i heard the word balaboosta, love it.
great recipes, good looking web page. i found your web by accident and now it is in my favorites; i will use your recipes to impress my family for passover dinner.

Anonymous said...

Hi. This website is so sad it almost made me cry. I, too, live in the modern world, and I continue to live my life according to the Torah, just as your bubbes and zeidies did. The Torah is as beautiful as it is ageless. I deeply hope that one day you will find the deeper meaning of Judaism, one that has nothing to do with matzohballs and the like. (My mother-in-law never made matzohballs in her life, being Libyan, but a better balabusta you never saw.) May G-d bless you and bring you home to your people.

Unknown said...

I love your blog. Made the sugar free banana cake. I didn't have a tube pan so I made half a recipe in a 13x9 and just added chopped walnuts. It was delicious! Do you have a sugar free mandel bread recipe?

The Balaboosta said...

Thank you so much for writing and thanks also for your compliments. I am so glad your Sugar Free Banana Cake turned out well for you. That is one of my daughter's favorites. I also like it with walnuts.
In answer to your question... Yes, I do make Sugar Free Mandel Bread (Broit) and I will make a point of posting it soon. Please make yourself a "follower" of Be A Balaboosta so you will get notification when I have posted something new.
Always cooking with love..The Balaboosta

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great recipes. I cannot wait to try the butter chicken!

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for recipes to cook with all the extra zucchini that are in season now, I mean, I can only bake sooo much bread! I searched the internet & found your website. My husband loved the stuffed zucchini recipe, and so did I; super easy and tasty to boot. I added sweet sausage & chopped apple to the mix & it was very hearty. Thank you for your yummy creativity :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the flanken recipe. My mother used to make sweet and sour flanken with sauerkraut. It probably sounds horrible, but it was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. We put flanken in split pea soup, and all the kids used to fight to get the meat. My mother used to make honeyed carrots that were out of this world. She died this year and her recipes went with her. I know we don't eat this way much anymore, but I would give anything to taste her incredible cooking just one more time and to have her recipes to make on my own...

Nice blog!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Amy Bergen said...

Hi Barbara

I love your Web site! I've been experimenting with dessert ideas for passover and yours have been a hit with my focus group, ie. my niece and nephews.

Do you sell any baked goods or do any catering or anything like that? It seems like a natural fit, and the site is so professional!

All the best,
Amy Bergen

The Balaboosta said...

Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. And thank you for your lovely compliments.

My mother died in September 2007 and within days I had started Be A Balaboosta. It gave, and still gives me comfort to share something that was so central to both my mom's and my life.

In answer to your questions about catering or selling baked good...
I make and give my baked goods as holiday gifts and I have supplied the baked goods for many parties. I have not yet packaged nor sold anything in a retail setting though I have given it much thought. I appreciate your question as it may serve to inspire me to revisit those possibilities.

Your input can help me identify areas of weakness. Which recipes have you tried? Which did your family enjoy most? Did you have any problems following my instructions and did you find any errors?

Thank you so much.


Anonymous said...

Just popped your rhubarb strawberry crisp in the oven and can't wait to try it. I'm diabetic so appreciate the sugar free and whole wheat twist on a classic. Is there any way to get the nutritional information on your recipes?

janeyc said...

Thank you for the BBQ butterflied pork loin - got rave reviews from friends last night. so moist. excellent. paired it with a spiced rhubarb chutney which is one of my 'hot' recipes. Magnificent. So glad I found your page. Just starting to get zucchini in the garden and it looks like you have good recipes to try for using them up.
Thank you

Unknown said...

Dear Balaboosta, I am also balaboosta, atleast when my father was alive he would call me his little balaboosta, at the age of 15 I took over the kitchen after my mother had passed away. I learned a lot of my grandmother Mollie Schwartz and my Aunt Bea & aunt Esther. I now live in California with my husband. I have one beautiful daughter and three beautiful grandchildren. I have past down a lot of family recipes to them. My grandmother came from a Hungarian background and she made this soup with pinto beans and dough. we used to refer to it as mud soup. well to make a long story short, I never learned how to make that soup and my brother has been nagging me for years to find a recipe. I was wondering if you have any idea as to what I am talking about. It was called chipla and bugla(I know I am not spelling it correctly). I was hoping that maybe you know what I am talking about. I have read several of your recipes and also made some and love whatever I have made. Especially Nana's Rice Pudding. I would love to hear from you or anyone that knows about this recipe.