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Vegan

Quinoa Tabbouleh (Gluten-Free)

By: 
Chef Katie Simmons

Traditional tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern salad combining cracked wheat with fresh parsley.  This gluten-free version uses healthy quinoa. My secret ingredient is the Sherry vinegar, which adds a pop of bright, acidic flavor. Sherry vinegar is fruitier than red wine vinegar and less sweet than balsamic. This tabbouleh calls for curly parsley, which has a milder, slightly sweeter flavor than flat-leaf parsley, and nicely complements the nutty flavor of the quinoa.

Ingredients: 
1 cup uncooked white quinoa
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar, or substitute with Champagne vinegar or lemon juice
1 bunch curly parsley
2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, diced
Directions: 
  • Place the quinoa, coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a dry pot. Cover and toast over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5-7 minutes. When the quinoa is toasted, add the shallot, garlic, and 2 cups of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until quinoa is done, about 10-12 minutes. When the quinoa is done, remove from heat and fluff to steam off any excess liquid.
  • Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl. Let cool for about 10 minutes.  (Note: You can speed this up by placing the bowl in the freezer.)
  • While the quinoa cools, chop the parsley and dice the tomatoes.When the quinoa has cooled, add the Sherry vinegar, parsley, and tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Taste to adjust seasoning. 
  • Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Classically-trained Chef Katie Simmons is a personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet. 

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Super Soup

By: 
Chef Katie Simmons

This healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free soup is perfect for Sukkot guests.

Before culinary school, I'd always assumed "creamed" soup meant adding dairy cream. However, creaming isn't an ingredent – it's a method. Creamed soup involves puréeing an ingredient (e.g., potatoes, corn, rice) in the soup, and rarely involves dairy. In fact, adding dairy cream will often thin and cool a hot soup.

For this cream of broccoli super soup, the vegetables are cooked quickly so as not to get brown; resulting in a more verdant, green soup. Hearty cannellini beans add plant-based protein and thick texture. A cheesy, umami flavor comes from nutritional yeast flakes.Once you’ve got this creamed soup technique in your cooking repertoire, you can use it on a variety of vegetables. Make cream of zucchini, sweet potato, carrot,parsnip, or roasted beet soup…the garden’s the limit.

Ingredients: 
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
2 stalks broccoli, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
2 cups water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: 
  1. In a medium pot, combine the carrot, celery, and thyme. Cover and sweat over medium heat until aromatic, 3-5 minutes. If vegetables start to brown, simply add a splash of water and reduce the heat. 
  2. Add the broccoli, cannellini beans, bay leaf, vegetable stock, and water to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaves. Add nutritional yeast.
  4. Use an immersion or a standard blender to purée the mixture until smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more broth or water.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Chef Katie Simmon's Tips

  • For a chilled version, don't add water during cooking. Instead, add 2 cups of ice when you purée the soup.
  • You can also use frozen broccoli. Use 2 pounds frozen broccoli and add as you do in the recipe above. It will take less time for the broccoli to become tender, about 3-5 minutes.

Classically-trained Chef Katie Simmons is a personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet. 

Tart Pomegranate and Cherry Tonic

By: 
Chef Mark Reinfeld

In some families, it’s customary to enjoy pomegranates during the High Holidays because, according to legend, the number of seeds in the pomegranate reflects the number of good deeds you will do in the coming year. Another interpretation suggests that pomegranates contain 613 seeds, the same number of mitzvot (commandments) as are in the Torah.

Behold the heart-healthy mojito mocktail. So brightly delicious and refreshing! In general we shy away from prepared juices, but these two powerhouses are the exception.  Pomegranate’s tiny seeds hold lots of vitamin C, with proven immune boosting, tissue repairing, and cell protecting qualities, as well as two other powerful antioxidants well known to prevent disease and reduce inflammation. Cherry juice is not only known for its ability to reduce pain by lowering uric acid in gout or muscle soreness, but also is one of the few known substantial sources of melatonin.

Ingredients: 
2 sprigs mint leaves
⅔ cup pomegranate juice
⅔ cup tart cherry juice
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
⅔ cup sparkling water
Sweetener to taste
Directions: 

Yield: 16 ounces
Prep time: 10 minutes

  1. Place mint sprigs in a pitcher or in two glasses. Crush with a cocktail muddler or with your hands.  
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well before serving.

Variation: Go crazy and add a scoop of vegan ice cream for the float of your dreams. 


Reprinted with permission from The Ultimate Age-Defying Plan: The Plant-Based Way to Stay Mentally Sharp and Physically Fit (Da Capo Press/Hachette Book Group, 2019).

Mark Reinfeld is the 2017 Inductee into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. He is a multi-award winning chef and author of eight books, including his latest, The Ultimate Age-Defying Plan. His last book, Healing the Vegan Way, was selected as the #1 book for Vegans in 2016 by Philly.com. Mark has over 25 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, Kroger, Danone, The Humane Society, Bon Appetit Management, Aramark, Sodexo, and more. Mark was the founding chef of The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, voted “Best Restaurant on Kaua’i.”

His first cookbook, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, has won 9 national awards including “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA.” Mark is the recipient of Vegan.com’s Recipe of the Year Award and Aspen Center for Integral Health’s Platinum Carrot Award. Through his Vegan Fusion company, he offers consulting services, vegan and raw cooking workshops, a plant-based chef certification program, and chef trainings internationally. His two-part online culinary course, offered in conjunction with the Vegetarian Times, is available. 

Moon and Stars Watermelon Calypso Bean Salad

By: 
Chef Katie Simmons

Did you know that Israel is home to about 100 watermelon growers who sell 100,000 tons of watermelon every year? This watermelon salad pays tribute to the popular Israeli crop that’s perfect for a hot day in Israel and beyond.

Watermelon and beans? Yes! The Moon and Stars Watermelon variety is named for its “celestial” rind, with a design that looks like a star-filled night. The sweet flavor and crisp texture of the melon balance the rich, hearty flavor of the heirloom calypso beans, and a spicy kick from jalapeño and fresh lime give the dish a bit of a Latin flair. 

Enjoy this healthy, gluten-free, oil-free salad as a side dish for any summer party, or use it as the filling for vegan tacos and lettuce cups.

Ingredients: 
3 cups Moon and Stars watermelon, diced, or any watermelon variety
1 ½ cups cooked Black Calypso Beans, or 1 (15-oz.) can black or pinto beans
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen, thawed
½ large red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 limes, zest and juice
Dash of salt, to taste
Directions: 
  • Combine the watermelon, calypso beans, corn, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.  
  • Zest and juice the limes and add to the mix.  Add a dash of salt.  
  • Toss well.  Taste to adjust seasoning, if needed.
  • Serve immediately.

Chef Katie Simmons' Tips

  • Make ahead: If you’re making this salad ahead of time, combine everything except the watermelon. If the watermelon sits too long with other ingredients, the salt can draw out too much moisture and make it mushy.
  • Use the rind:  Retain the beautiful rind of the Moon and Stars watermelon variety and use it as an elegant serving dish for this salad. When dicing the watermelon, try to cut around the seeds. If any sneak by, simply remove as best you can.
  • How to cook Calypso beans:  For 1 ½  cups of cooked beans, start with ½ cup dry beans. Soak overnight (or for at least 8 hours). Drain and rinse. Then cook in 3 cups fresh water, simmering until tender, about 60-90 minutes. You can also use 1 (15-oz.) can of black or pinto beans. 

Chef Katie Simmons is a classically-trained personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet. 

Cold Cucumber Dill Soup

By: 
Chef Katie Simmons

Light and refreshing, this vegan recipe swaps traditional milk and yogurt for plant-based coconut milk. This easy soup can be made in just minutes. It's perfect for a healthy summer Shabbat meal, using bright fresh herbs and a touch of lemon for natural, gluten-free, vegetarian flavor. 

Ingredients: 
3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoons fresh parsley
¼ cup fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh mint
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
1 (5-oz) can coconut milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: 
  • In a large blender, combine the cucumbers, parsley, dill, and mint. Add the lemon juice, almond milk, and coconut milk. Puree until smooth. 
  • Garnish with seedless cucumber slices and fresh dill. Serve chilled.

Chef Katie Simmons' Tips

  • Quicker chilling: Add a handful of ice cubes while pureeing the soup for quicker chilling.
  • Peeling and seeding cucumbers: Use a good vegetable peeler to peel the waxy skin off the cucumbers. Removing the skin makes for a smoother, creamier soup. Halve the cucumbers. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. These can be a bit rough on the tummy, so it’s best to remove. (No, you don’t need a fancy kitchen gadget to do this.)
  • Coconut milk alternatives: You can substitute 2 medium avocadoes or 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight.
  • Elegant presentation: For a fancy presentation, serve in a chilled wine glass.  You can serve as an appetizer at a dinner party by pouring the soup into small, chilled shot glasses.

Classically-trained Chef Katie Simmons is a personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet. 

Mango-Cardamom Sweet Brown Rice Pudding

By: 
Chef Katie Simmons

Many prefer dairy-free and gluten-free alternatives to the traditional dairy foods (e.g., noodle kugels, cheese blintzes, and cheesecake) served on Shavuot. This vegan recipe uses short grain sweet brown rice as the base for a rich pudding. Sweet brown rice takes on a creamy texture, yet keeps its chewy texture after simmering for awhile, ideal for a satisfying rice pudding. Serve this healthy, gluten-free recipe for Shavuot, or year 'round, even for breakfast.  A dash of cardamom and fresh mango take you to a far-off land.

Ingredients: 
3/4 cup sweet brown rice
1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen mango (thawed), plus more for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups unsweetened, plain almond milk
Directions: 
  • In a medium pot, combine the sweet brown rice, cardamom, banana, mango, almond milk, and water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer 30-35 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove the lid and cook another minute, just to “tighten up” the rice into a creamy pudding.
  • Serve the pudding into bowls. Top with extra diced mango.

Chef Katie Simmons' Tips

  • If you can’t find sweet brown rice, substitute with another short grain brown rice, purple sticky rice, or brown sushi rice.
  • Save over-ripe bananas in the freezer: Simply peel, break into pieces, and store in a plastic bag.  When ready to make this recipe, thaw out in your refrigerator overnight.
  • You can use leftover rice pudding for sticky rice balls. Once completely cooled, just portion off about 1 tablespoon, roll into ball, and chill until ready to snack.

Chef Katie Simmons is a classically-trained personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet. 

Nona's Sephardic Charoset

By: 
Lauren Phillips Fogelman

The Talmud offers a description of what charoset should look like, but it doesn’t specify the ingredients. As a result, different Jewish cultures have developed charoset recipes that relate to regional customs, tastes, and the type of produce that is most readily available. 

My maternal grandmother made this recipe, a thickly blended paste that includes finely chopped nuts with the addition of dates, making  the mixture, which has the consistency of peanut butter, especially delicious. 

Ingredients: 
1 cup pitted dates
½ cup walnuts
1 medium apple, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 or 4 tablespoons sweet Passover wine (Blackberry Manishewitz preferred)
1 teaspoon of unsweetened applesauce
Directions: 
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Process until finely chopped into a paste.

Sweet Matzah Brei with Cardamom Cashew Crème and Berries

By: 
Chef Mark Reinfeld

This vegan version of the Passover staple uses ground flax seeds to replace the eggs traditionally used in matzah brei. Ours is served with a decadent cardamom scented sweet vegan crème, using soaked raw cashews for the base.

Ingredients: 
CARDAMOM CASHEW CRÈME:
1 cup raw cashews
¾ cup water
¼ cup sugar or desired sweetener to taste
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch sea salt
..........................................................................
MATZAH BREI:
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds or chia seeds
¾ cup water
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil or vegan butter
5 matzahs
3 tablespoons sugar or desired sweetener to taste
Pinch sea salt
..........................................................................
GARNISH:
Fresh berries
Mint leaves
Directions: 

Prepare the Cashew Crème

  • Place the cashews in a bowl with ample water to cover. Allow to sit for 30 minutes up to a few hours. Drain, and rinse well.
  • Transfer to a blender with the remaining ingredients including the ¾ cup water and blend until creamy. Add more water if necessary to reach desired creaminess. While the cashews are soaking, prepare the matzah brei.

Prepare the Matzah Brei

  • Place the flax seeds, water, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small bowl and whisk well. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Run the matzah under warm water until just soft. Be careful not to over soak. Crumble into a bowl into small pieces (¼ to ½ inch is ok).  Add the sugar and pinch of salt, and mix well
  • Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the oil. Transfer the matzah mixture evenly to the pan. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the the soaked flax seed mixture and mix well so that it is evenly dispersed through the matzah. Flatten with a spatula so that one large ‘pancake’ is formed, approximately ¼ inch thick.
  • Allow to cook for 3 minutes.
  • Using a spatula, divide the pancake into four equal pieces, flip each piece and cook for 5 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Be careful not to burn. Flip once again and cook for an additional  2 minutes.

To serve

  • Top with cashew crème, fresh berries and garnish with a mint leaf. You can also create a double-layered matzah brei and place cashew crème inbetween the two layers (see photo). 

Mark Reinfeld is the 2017 Inductee into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. He is a multi-award winning chef and author of eight books, including his latest, The Ultimate Age-Defying Plan. His last book, Healing the Vegan Way, was selected as the #1 book for Vegans in 2016 by Philly.com. Mark has over 25 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, Kroger, Danone, The Humane Society, Bon Appetit Management, Aramark, Sodexo, and more. Mark was the founding chef of The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, voted “Best Restaurant on Kaua’i.”

His first cookbook, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, has won 9 national awards including “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA.” Mark is the recipient of Vegan.com’s Recipe of the Year Award and Aspen Center for Integral Health’s Platinum Carrot Award. Through his Vegan Fusion company, he offers consulting services, vegan and raw cooking workshops, a plant-based chef certification program, and chef trainings internationally. His two-part online culinary course, offered in conjunction with the Vegetarian Times, is available. 

Parsley Pesto

By: 
Chef Mark Reinfeld

Serve a dollop atop my vegan Passover entrée, Matzah Encrusted Portobello Mushrooms with Roasted Asparagus.

Ingredients: 
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, optional
½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, optional
2-4 tablespoons water
Directions: 
  1. Place all of the ingredients except the water in a blender or food processor and blend well.
  2. Add small amounts of water if necessary to reach a creamy consistency. The size and strength of your blender will determine how much water will be required.

Mark Reinfeld is the 2017 Inductee into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. He is a multi-award winning chef and author of eight books, including his latest, The Ultimate Age-Defying Plan. His last book, Healing the Vegan Way, was selected as the #1 book for Vegans in 2016 by Philly.com. Mark has over 25 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, Kroger, Danone, The Humane Society, Bon Appetit Management, Aramark, Sodexo, and more. Mark was the founding chef of The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, voted “Best Restaurant on Kaua’i.”

His first cookbook, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, has won 9 national awards including “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA.” Mark is the recipient of Vegan.com’s Recipe of the Year Award and Aspen Center for Integral Health’s Platinum Carrot Award. Through his Vegan Fusion company, he offers consulting services, vegan and raw cooking workshops, a plant-based chef certification program, and chef trainings internationally. His two-part online culinary course, offered in conjunction with the Vegetarian Times, is available. 

Roasted Asparagus

By: 
Chef Mark Reinfeld

Serve on top of my vegan Passover entrée, Matzah Encrusted Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients: 
1 bunch asparagus, tough bottoms trimmed
1 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch sea salt and ground black pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the asparagus on a small baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and top with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using, and mix well.
  2. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until just tender, depending on the size of the asparagus. Flip once or twice when cooking. Be sure not to overcook!

Mark Reinfeld is the 2017 Inductee into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. He is a multi-award winning chef and author of eight books, including his latest, The Ultimate Age-Defying Plan. His last book, Healing the Vegan Way, was selected as the #1 book for Vegans in 2016 by Philly.com. Mark has over 25 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, Kroger, Danone, The Humane Society, Bon Appetit Management, Aramark, Sodexo, and more. Mark was the founding chef of The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, voted “Best Restaurant on Kaua’i.”

His first cookbook, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, has won 9 national awards including “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA.” Mark is the recipient of Vegan.com’s Recipe of the Year Award and Aspen Center for Integral Health’s Platinum Carrot Award. Through his Vegan Fusion company, he offers consulting services, vegan and raw cooking workshops, a plant-based chef certification program, and chef trainings internationally. His two-part online culinary course, offered in conjunction with the Vegetarian Times, is available. 

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