Susie Fishbein Speaks: Frugal Kosher by Design

interview with susie fishbein

No, the guru of kosher cookbooks isn’t launching another new cookbook, at least not quite yet. (Although don’t you think “frugal” would be an awesome theme for her next KBD book??)

Remember when I reviewed her newest title, KBD: Teens & 20-Somethings? Well, her lovely publicist said that I could email Susie a couple of questions and she’d answer them for my readers. Cool, huh?

Of course I had to ask Susie about kosher cooking on a budget, since hey — I am the KOAB blogger, right? So, here’s what the one and only Susie Fishbein has to say about frugal kosher cooking!


When brisket costs $12.99/lb or more, how can we make “mechubad” meals for Shabbat or chag without spending a small fortune?

Think like a healthy person. One of the tips I learned from writing KBD Lightens Up is to divide your plate.  Half should be filled with salad/ vegetables, 1/4 for protein and 1/4 for a grain.

Can you point out three or four of your recipes that you think are especially budget-friendly. Are there any easy substitutions you can endorse that will help lower the cost without compromising the taste?

[From my new cookbook, I recommend] Turkey Sliders or Tater Tot Casserole. Ground turkey and beef are all more reasonable than whole cuts of meat. Mushroom Baked Ziti, which uses mushrooms to act like beef. And Garlic Rosemary Filet Split– this one is especially good because filet split is a less expensive cut and you serve it sliced so it looks like a lot more meat than it is. Surround it with a nice grain or roasted vegeatbles and you have a gorgeous full platter.

Oooh, good tip! I am so checking out the filet split! Last question… When it comes to setting up a kosher kitchen, it can be expensive x2! What cost-cutting advice do you have for someone – and particularly a 20-something someone – who is setting up her first kitchen?

Your knife and cutting board are the absolute most important items.  Almost  every task can be accomplished with those two.   Often stores like Amazing  Savings or Odd Lot-kind of places will have a food processor or hand mixer.  Both of these are nice.

I totally agree with Susie on the knife and cutting board, by the way. We have very good pareve, dairy and meat knives that make cutting a pleasure!

Thanks so much for sharing your frugal kosher smarts with us, Susie!


  1. I love Susie’s cookbooks, and I think that they totally can work in a budget, as long as you are picking recipes wisely, and not doing what I did when I first got married, which is making a menu, and then buying all the unique ingredients, without paying attention to the costs (like buying hearts of palm, avocado, sunflower seeds, chunks of smoked turkey, stuff like that). Now I save the stuff with expensive ingredients for once in a while, and balance it with the stuff that is more basic. Also, you can substitute\skip stuff in a lot of recipes (like using regular sprinkles instead of special mail order ones!)
    But, I have been joking for YEARS, since KBD Short on Time came out, that there should be a KBD Short on Cash. Maybe you should work with Susie on it!!!

  2. nigel gordon says

    could anyone tell me what filet split is in england?

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