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Dinner Hour with Michal Soussan

Michal Soussan

Wife and Mother

Cooking for 5

Judaic Studies Teacher

Houstan Texas,


My husband and I are originally from Montreal. As we both grew up in French Moroccan homes, we appreciate the taste of different spices and flavors. For us, it’s not Shabbat without Moroccan salmon, matbucha, babaghanoush, and 10 other salads or dips at the table. We moved to Houston about six years ago when my husband was offered a position as an assistant rabbi in the Sephardic shul. We are still here three kids later,
and are both involved with lots of kiruv and community work. I spend a lot of time planning my supper menus each day because it’s important for me to know that everyone ate well before they go to sleep. To make my
life easier, I have a basic weekly menu that I know in my head. Monday night is chicken, Tuesday night is meat, Wednesday night is pareve, and Thursday night is dairy. That way I just have to think of what type of main to
make each night. I don’t stock up my freezer — I’m the type of person who goes food shopping two or three times a week. That makes it a bit challenging, because living out of town means that sometimes I have to go to five different stores to get all the ingredients I need for the week. On “good” weeks, I make a menu and shopping list on Sunday and go shopping on Monday and Tuesday. Then, before you know it, I’m back to making a Shabbos menu on Wednesday. Also, since we’re part of a small community, I often find myself making dinner for other people and have my go-to suppers that I like to send. I like trying different recipes each week, so I’m always
on the lookout for new ideas. Find me a quick, easy, and amazing dinner idea, and I’m on!

Do you do a pre-dinner snack, or an early dinner and a post-dinner snack?
I would always rather the kids eat well while they’re hungry, so I take the opportunity to feed them real dinner while I can, and I give a healthy snack before bedtime (celery sticks, cucumber, or grapes; sometimes pretzels, if they’re lucky).

Are neighbors allowed at your dinner table?
If that means it will give my kids positive peer pressure, then yes, they are!

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever made for supper that the kids loved?

Tuna steak! I’m guessing it’s because it didn’t taste fishy.

What’s the best new recipe you’ve made recently, and where did you get it from?
We enjoyed the Garlic-Mayo Skirt Steak and Veggies sheet pan dinner from Kosher.com.

How do you get your kids to eat veggies?
One trick that worked this winter was making a lot of blended soups because my kids eat them without knowing what’s inside. They also enjoy dipping hot rolls or garlic knots into the soup. Another trick is to ask them to eat the colors and shapes of diced vegetables, like, “Can you eat the orange rectangle (sweet potato)?” or “What about the green triangle (zucchini)?”

Any supper-time conversations or around-the-table rituals?
Phones are not allowed! We often have music playing in the background to calm the tantrums.

(Originally featured in FamilyTable 641)

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