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BBQ Tempeh Kebabs

Mark Reinfeld

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, then president of the Union for Reform Judaism, once declared, "We need to think about how the food we eat advances the values we hold as Reform Jews.” In keeping with Rabbi Yoffie’s longstanding initiative urging Reform Jews to consider the ethical, environmental, and health aspects of what they eat, here’s a great vegan recipe.

1/4 cup barley malt syrup
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 teasoon stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
6-8 kebab skewers
8 ounces tempeh, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 medium bell pepper, 1 inch dice
1/2 medium red onion, quartered
6-8 medium cherry tomatoes
1 large portobello mushroom, 1 inch cubes
  1. Place the tempeh and vegetables in the BBQ Sauce bowl, mix well, and allow to marinate for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Decoratively arrange the tempeh and vegetables on the skewers, finishing each with a cherry tomato.
  3. Grill until char marks appear and the tempeh and vegetables are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Baste with some of the BBQ Sauce while grilling and top with the remaining BBQ sauce before serving.

Mark Reinfeld is a multi-award winning chef and author of seven books, including the best selling 30 Minute Vegan series and his latest book, Healing the Vegan Way. Mark has over 20 years of experience preparing creative vegan and raw cuisine. Since 2012, he has served as the Executive Chef for the North American Vegetarian Society's Summerfest. He has offered consulting services for clients such as Google, Whole Foods, and Bon Appetit Management. Mark was the founding chef of The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, voted "Best Restaurant on Kaua'i."

Vegan Mediterranean Grilled Tofu

Mark Reinfeld

This dish combines both cooked and raw vegan items, including some of the most flavorful ingredients in the Mediterranean cuisine. Be sure to use extra-firm tofu as it will hold up better on the grill. If a grill is not available, you can roast the tofu cutlets in the casserole dish, along with the marinade, in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes. 

7 teaspoons tamari
4 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons water
1 ⅓ (14-ounce) packages extra-firm tofu, well drained
4 (canned) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup seeded, drained and chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped raw spinach or arugula
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoon diced red onion
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoon basil, in chiffonade*
1 tablespoon fresh minced oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup shelled pistachio nuts
  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Make the marinade: place the tamari, 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, 4 teaspoons of olive oil and water in a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish and stir well. Slice one brick of the tofu lengthwise to form 3 cutlets. Slice off a similar-size piece from the second brick; reserve the remaining tofu for another use. Place the cutlets in the casserole dish for 10 minutes, flipping occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, make the topping: put the artichokes, tomatoes, spinach, olives, onion, capers, basil, oregano and thyme in a mixing bowl and mix gently but well.
  4. Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and black pepper. Add to the topping and mix gently but well.
  5. Grill the tofu, gently flipping a few times to make sure that char marks appear on both sides, about 4 minutes per side, depending upon the temperature of the grill.
  6. Return the cutlets to the casserole dish or serving platter. Top each cutlet with half a cup of the topping and garnish with pistachio nuts.

* To chiffonade is to cut into long thin strips. Stack the basil leaves, roll them tightly, and then slice into thin strips with a sharp knife.


  • Follow the basic recipe, but replace the tofu with two 8-ounce packages of tempeh. Tempeh, a fermented soy product, is available in either the refrigerated or frozen section of all natural foods stores and many larger supermarkets.
  • Follow the basic recipe, but replace the tofu with four large portobello mushrooms (stems removed).

Mark Reinfeld is a multi-award winning chef and author of seven books, including the best selling 30 Minute Vegan series and his latest book, Healing the Vegan Way. Mark has over 20 years of experience preparing creative vegan and raw cuisine. Since 2012, he has served as the Executive Chef for the North American Vegetarian Society's Summerfest. He has offered consulting services for clients such as Google, Whole Foods, and Bon Appetit Management. Mark was the founding chef of The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, voted "Best Restaurant on Kaua'i."

Israeli Fish Kebabs with Yellow Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Orly Ziv

Packed with fresh herbs, these fish kebabs are bursting with flavor. Since there are no binding ingredients, like eggs, the secret is to knead the mixture like dough to break down the proteins. The kebabs are good on their own, but even better with the creamy yellow tahini sauce.

I recommend that you use this recipe, and all of my recipes as inspiration, as  jumping-off points to make them your own. Change the ingredients or spices to create your own flavors, because there's no such thing as failure in the kitchen, only learning experiences.

2.2 pounds (1 kg) fish filet, finely chopped (tilapia, sea bass, mullet, red drum)
2 shallots or 1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 tablespoon ground tumeric
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 cup thick goat's milk yogurt or buttermilk (preferably drinking yogurt)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more to taste
1 clove garlic, minced

Fish Kebabs

  1. Mix together all the kebab ingredients in a large bowl and knead until you obtain a uniform mixture.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Shape into small round or oblong patties. Working in batches, cook on a hot grill or skillet for 3 to 4 minutes per side until cooked through and golden.
  4. Transfer to a plate or put in a pita and serve with  generous spoonful of the tahini yogurt sauce.

Yellow Tahini Yogurt Sauce

  1. Heat the oil and turmeric in a pan until just before boiling, or heat for 30 seconds in microwave. Strain and allow to cool fully before proceeding.
  2. Mix together the turmeric oil with the remiaing sauce ingredients until smooth and pale hyellow in color.

Reprinted with permission from Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration by Orly Ziv. 

Salmon with Pink Peppercorn Citrus Sauce

Tina Wasserman

Lots of ingredients, easy to make and a perfect example of the positive attributes of citrus fruit! I love serving this sauce with a side of salmon, poached or grilled. Everything can be made in advance. Just mix the fruits with the sauce at the last minute and you will wow your guests.

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
2 teaspoons finely julienned ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
4 salmon fillets, 5-6 oz. each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chiffonade of cilantro
1/2 medium lemon, sectioned and cut into medium dice
1/2 medium lime, sectioned and cut into medium dice
1 medium orange, sectioned and cut into medium dice
1 medium Texas ruby red grapefruit, sectioned and cut into medium dice
  1. To make the vinaigrette, mix the first 8 ingredients in a glass bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup oil in a slow, steady stream. Set aside, reserving 2 Tablespoons.
  2. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and brush with the reserved vinaigrette. Grill over hot coals until done (10 minutes per inch thickness).
  3. Stir the remaining 5 ingredients for the vinaigrette into the already combined mixture and spoon over each fillet. Serve immediately.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • To chiffonade an herb, lay the leaves on top of each other, roll then up tight like a cigarette and then slice very thin slices through the roll.The result will be thin wisps of herbs that float through the air like chiffon.
  • To section a citrus fruit, cut off the top and bottom peel so you can see the fruit inside. Cut one section of the peel completely off from top to bottom. There should be no white pith adhering to the fruit. Using that first cut as a guide continue to remove the remaining peel in five or six more vertical cuts down the side of the fruit. Now, place your knife parallel to the section membrane and cut to the center. Do the same thing on the other side of that section. It will remove easily. Repeat on the left and right side of each section until all the fruit is removed.

This technique works perfectly with all citrus fruit although it is somewhat easier with oranges and grapefruit because of their larger size.

Vegetarian Mushroom Barley Soup

Tina Wasserman

This recipe is featured in Tina Wasserman's newest book, Entrée to Judaism for Families, filled with tools to help children learn to cook with confidence, with clear, step-by-step instructions for every recipe and tips for adults to make the experience safe and rewarding.

How long have Jewish people been eating mushrooms? A long time! Mushrooms were mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud (N’darim 55B), and wild mushrooms were in such abundance in ancient Israel during the rainy season that discussions arose about putting a tax on them. In later generations, mushrooms were especially important to poor Ashkenazic Jews. They were easily found in the forests, and since spices were expensive, their flavor, especially when dried, was a boost to a relatively bland diet.

One favorite dish of the Ashkenazim that survived the move from the shtetl to North America was the hearty mushroom-potato-barley soup called krupnick. In Europe, krupnick was mostly starchy potatoes seasoned with a little meat and mushroom. Today, rich flanken meat is added in large strips, and mushrooms become the major flavoring ingredient. Potatoes are often replaced by lima beans as well.

Moving with the times, I have taken the delicious beef-based mushroom barley soup from my first book and created a vegetarian version that is just as rich and delicious, and probably more like the original krupnick!

The secret to the thickness of this soup is the lima beans. They are peeled and therefore disintegrate into the stock when fully cooked. Don’t panic—they peel very easily when properly soaked and children love to pop them out of their skins.

1¼ cups dried large lima beans
1 ounce (¾ cup loosely packed) dried imported mushrooms, preferably porcini
2 quarts water or packaged vegetable or mushroom broth
1 mushroom bouillon cube (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
8 ounces white mushrooms, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 carrot, diced
½ cup medium pearl barley
  1. Cover the lima beans in a 2-quart glass bowl with 1 inch of water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, and then let them soak for 1 or more hours or until the skins easily slide off.
  2. Place dried mushrooms in a 1-quart glass bowl and cover with water. Microwave for 2 minutes, and let them sit in the water while you peel the lima beans.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the skins from the lima beans by gently squeezing on one end; the bean will just slide out. Place beans in a 4-quart pot.
  4. Carefully lift the mushrooms out of the water, and gently squeeze them over the bowl. Save the juices. Chop the soaked mushrooms and set aside.
  5. Add the water or broth and the chopped, soaked mushrooms to the lima beans in the pot. Strain the mushroom liquid into the pot as well.
  6. Heat a 10-inch frying pan for 20 seconds. Add the oil and heat for 10 seconds. Add the diced onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the celery and fresh mushrooms to the pan and cook until wilted and translucent. Add this mixture to the soup pot along with the diced carrot, and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally so that the beans do not stick to the pot.
  9. Add the barley and cook for ½ hour to 1 hour longer or until the barley is tender and the lima beans disappear. Check the seasoning. Add more broth if the soup is too thick (it will thicken even more when cool).

Kitchen Conversations

Mushroom barley soup is a good example of making the most of simple, inexpensive ingredients. Such recipes are often our favorite comfort foods.

  • What’s your favorite comfort food?
  • Why?
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • To keep a child’s attention and for safety reasons, do steps 1 and 2 before you start the recipe with a young child. Older children can work a recipe in stages, but younger ones work in the present. This is where “soak overnight” is a good step to take!
  • If you own a pressure cooker, lima beans can be cooked for 15 minutes on low setting, and then they will be ready to peel.
  • Do not make the mistake of buying small lima beans. It will take you forever to peel them!
  • Olive oil mimics the taste of traditional goose fat, and sautéing the vegetables addsdepth to the flavor of this soup.

Bread Kugel with Dried Fruit and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Tina Wasserman

This recipe - perfect for using as a stuffing for your Thanksgiving meal  - is featured in Tina Wasserman's newest book, Entree to Judaism for Families filled with tools to help children learn to cook with confidence, with clear, step-by-step instructions for every recipe and tips for adults to make the experience safe and rewarding.

The first bread kugels made eight hundred years ago probably didn’t have more than a few raisins in them. They definitely didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes, since tomatoes were first brought to Europe from the Americas in the sixteenth century! This recipe combines many of the flavors and foods found in Spain and Portugal (the home of Sephardic Jews) with the classic technique for making a bread kugel.

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for greasing the pan
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
½ cup chopped mixed dried fruit (apples, prunes, pears, apricots, or any of your other favorites)
½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup apricot nectar
¼ cup Madeira (optional; add more apricot nectar if not using)
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
½ cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 loaf of white bread or challah with crust, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon crushed rosemary
½ teaspoon sage
¼ teaspoon marjoram
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Kosher salt and 10 grindings of pepper to taste
1½ cups chicken broth, warm or at room temperature
1 egg
  1. Sauté the onion in the olive oil until lightly golden. Add the celery and mushrooms, and sauté for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and have given up their juices. Set aside.
  2. Grease a 2-quart casserole or 11½ x 8-inch pan with some additional olive oil.
  3. Combine the chopped dried fruit, dried cranberries, apricot nectar, and Madeira in a small glass bowl, and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, and bread cubes in a 4-quart bowl.
  5. Mix the seasonings with the chicken broth and egg. Set aside.
  6. Add the onion mixture and the dried fruit/juice mixture to the bowl with the bread cubes and toss.
  7. Add the broth and egg mixture, and stir until the mixture is very moist and almost runny. If necessary, add a little more broth or nectar.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole, and bake at 350°F for 30–40 minutes.


The casserole can be baked for the first 25 minutes covered with foil, shiny side up. Then remove the foil for the remainder of the cooking time. This will give you a very soft stuffing.

Kitchen Conversations

  • Do you think the Jews of Eastern Europe would use apricots and other dried fruits or apples,pears, and raisins? Why? 
  • Using popular, modern ingredients such as Madeira and sun-dried tomatoes along with dried cranberries in this classic form of kugel shows how recipes change over time with access to new and/or different available ingredients. Are there any family recipes that your relatives have changed because they couldn’t find a certain ingredient or because they liked one food more than another?
  • How would you change this recipe to include ingredients you like that are available where you live?
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients. Each step can be worked on independently over the course of the day, covered, and then all combined before baking.
  • Cream sherry or additional apricot nectar can be substituted for the Madeira if you prefer.
  • Eliminating the sun-dried tomatoes reduces saltiness, so adjust the seasonings accordingly if you don’t include them.
  • You may substitute 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning mix for the individual herbs if you prefer.

Apple Latkes

Temple Sholom Sisterhood, Vancouver, British Columbia

Try this delicious recipe from the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) Centennial Cookbook Collection.

2 eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup water
3 cups chopped cooking apples
3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
oil for frying
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
  1. Beat eggs until foamy.  Add sugar, salt, cinnamon, and water and mix until well blended.
  2. Add apples, flour, and lemon peel and mix well.
  3. Heat enough oil in bottom of pan to cover. For each latke drop about 1/4 cup of batter into hot oil. Flatten slightly and fry on each side until golden brown. Add oil as needed.
  4. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Combine sugar and cinnamon topping and sprinkle over hot latkes.

Three Tone Latkes

Oheb Shalom Sisterhood, Baltimore, MD
2 large potatoes
1 large sweet potato
1 medium zucchini
1 medium onion
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 shake of pepper
1/4 cup matzah meal
  1. Peel potatoes. Grate potatoes and zucchini and set in colander to drain while you grate the onion.
  2. Press as much liquid out of potato mixture as you can and add to beaten eggs.
  3. Add salt, pepper and matzah meal (if needed, add a little more matzah meal until you have a good consistency).
  4. Mix well. Drop batter in hot oil. Brown on both sides and drain on absorbent paper.

Note: Make "Two Tone Latkes" without the zucchini.


Bet Chaverim Sisterhood, Kent, WA
5 medium potatoes, grated and squeezed dry
1 small onion, grated
5 eggs, slightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cooking oil
applesauce or sour cream
  1. Combine grated potato, onion, eggs, salt and pepper.
  2. Shape mixture into patties, about 3 inches in diameter.
  3. Fry patties in hot cooking oil until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Serve hot with applesauce or sour cream.


Famie's Classic Latkes

Temple Israel Sisterhood, West Bloomfield, MI
1 Idaho potato
1 egg
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup matzah meal or flour
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel potato and grate on large cut-box grater or grate in processor.
  2. Rinse grated potato in cold water and squeeze dry.
  3. Whisk egg in bowl. Mix egg, potato, onion, parsley, matzah meal or flour, salt and pepper.
  4. In sauce pan, heat oil and spoon in latkes to desired size.  Sauté until golden brown, turning once.
  5. Remove from pan, draining latkes on paper grocery bag covered with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Tina's Tidbits: 





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