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Vegan

Beet Hummus

By: 
Tina Wasserman

Say "beets" in the Jewish community and people often think of borscht, that slightly sweet/tart, cold soup, whose bright magenta color morphs into pastel only when a dollop of sour cream is added. Beets were a cheap and plentiful tuber abundant in Eastern Europe and Ukraine (the word borsch refers to soup of any kind in Ukraine) and became a staple of the impoverished Jewish and Polish communities. In most temperate climates, beets were harvested in summer and early fall and stored all winter in root cellars.

Hummus, the mixture of chickpeas and sesame paste, originated in the Middle East and could probably be considered an Israeli national dish, because it is served at all meals and festive occasions. A few years ago I was served beet hummus at an upscale restaurant in Tel Aviv. The following is my interpretation of this delicious dish and a great way to introduce children to beets.

Ingredients: 
One 15-ounce can whole beets, rinsed and drained
One 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini (sesame butter)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon baharat, or cinnamon or allspice and a pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon kosher salt
10 grindings of black pepper or to taste
Directions: 
  1. Place drained beets and garbanzo beans in a food processor work bowl, and pulse the machine on and off until the two ingredients are blended into a coarse texture. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a rubber spatula.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and process until the ingredients form a fairly smooth paste.
  3. Place the mixture in a decorative bowl, and serve with pita bread or vegetables for dipping.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • As an alternative to canned beets, this recipe may be made with one large, fresh beet that has been oven roasted and peeled.
  • When pulsing the processor, incorporate counting skills. Count each time the child presses down on the button. A machine that is to be turned on for 5 seconds can be timed by calling out "one-100, two-100," and so on.
  • Baharat is a mixture of spices whose use originated in India but is widely used in the Middle East. Different mixtures of spices are found in different regions, but cinnamon, cumin, cloves, and sometimes pepper or lemony sumac are most often included as the basis for this mixture. Cinnamon or allspice can be substituted for this recipe.
  • Do not substitute peanut butter for the tahini in this recipe. Peanut butter and peanut oil are so distinctive in flavor that they rarely can be substituted for other butters or oils called for in a recipe.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples and Onions

By: 
Tina Wasserman

This recipe is featured in Tina Wasserman's 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.

This recipe may not be a traditional Jewish dish, but I created it in a way that my ancestors in Lithuania and Poland would have done. Shabbat, holidays, and weddings all inspired cooks to transform their basic food into something more elaborate. In Eastern Europe, squash, apples, and onions were stored all winter in cold home cellars. Adding an onion to a recipe was a normal occurrence. But adding an apple with its sweetness elevated the dish to something special.

Butternut squash is an ideal winter vegetable because it ripens in early fall, but its hard skin allows it to be stored and eaten all winter long. Here I combine sweet and savory produce and seasonings to make a great side dish or even a main course served with pasta or a grain.

Ingredients: 
1 large onion
2 Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Jonagold apples
20 ounces pre-cut butternut squash (about 4–5 cups of 1-inch cubes)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt to taste
20 grindings of black pepper or to taste
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup toasted almond slivers or sunflower seeds (optional)
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut the onion in half, and then slice each piece crosswise into ½-inch strips. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil (dull side up). Set aside.
  3. Using an apple corer/slicer, cut the apples into eighths, and then cut each wedge into 3 or 4 chunks. Add to the onions along with the squash cubes.
  4. Add the oil, thyme, vinegar, salt, and pepper to the baking sheet and toss well.
  5. Spread out in a single layer, and bake for 30 minutes or until the onions are golden and the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
  6. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, dried cranberries, and nuts (if using). Toss lightly and place in a serving dish.

Kitchen Conversations

  • How many colors are in this dish?
  • Which ingredients are fruits and which are vegetables?
  • Since you didn’t add sugar to the dish, what makes the onions and squash sweeter?
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Since some apples are very hard, placing your hands next to, or on top of the child’s hand while pressing down will be useful—but don’t press too hard on their little hands if the apple is very hard!
  • It is much safer to use an 8-inch chef’s knife with a child under six than a paring or utility knife. Standing behind the child and holding the knife with him or her instills confidence at the same time that you focus on safety.
  • Combining the cranberries and apples with the savory vegetables makes the dish more intriguing for young children and will promote eating a new, healthy vegetable.
  • This dish is perfect as a side dish for chicken or fish. However, serve this dish on top of quinoa or barley and you will have a nutritious vegetarian main dish.

Vegan Sweet Potato Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

A colorful variation on traditional Hanukkah latkes.

Ingredients: 
2 large sweet potatoes
1 onion
1 flax egg (1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax powder + 3 tablespoons water)
2 tablespoons brown rice or chickpea flour
pinch of salt
sunflower oil for frying
vegan sour cream (for topping)
homemade apple sauce (for topping)
Directions: 
  1. Whip up the flax egg. Set aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and grate them using a box grater. Place them in a dish towel and wring out as much of the water as possible.
  3. Cut the onion into chunks and chop in food processor. Mix the onions into the sweet potatoes, add the flax egg, flour and salt.
  4. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil on high setting. Use an ice cream scoop to drop small mounds of the mixture into the skillet. Press down gently with a spatula and cook until the first side is nicely done. Flip over and cook well on the other side. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. 

Vegan Loksen Kugel (Noodle Pudding) Just Like Mom's

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

My mother's lokshen kugel is probably the best thing she made for us every year on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. It took some trial and error to successfully make it vegan, but here it is! This recipe makes a big, casserole-dish-sized kugel.

Ingredients: 
16-ounce bag egg free wide ribbon noodles
3 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water)
16-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup vegan cane sugar
1 stick Earth Balance, melted
Tofu cream cheese:
1 pkg silken tofu
3 1/2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon agave
Cottage-style tofu:
1 package firm tofu
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon agave
Directions: 
  1. To make the tofu cream cheese, place the silken tofu in a clean towel, gather the ends up and twist and squeeze as much of the water out as possible. Crumble it into the food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. To make the tofu cottage style, press the tofu. When it is drained, crumble it and add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Boil the noodles and preheat the oven to 350°. 
  4. Make the flax eggs and set aside until they are really creamy. 
  5. Melt the Earth Balance. Drain the noodles. 
  6. In a big mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients well. Turn out into a baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to crisp up the noodles on top. Let the kugel cool and then slice. Note: This kugel is even better the next day right out of the refrigerator.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Vegan Sweet Noodle Kugel

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

To celebrate a sweet Rosh HaShanah, here is a great option for a soy-free noodle kugel.

Ingredients: 
8-ounce bag of egg free wide ribbon noodles
2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup vegan cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
4 ounces crushed pineapple
1/2 cup golden raisins
Directions: 
  1. Boil the noodles. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  3. Make the flax eggs and let them sit until they are nice and creamy. 
  4. Mix all the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl.
  5. When the noodles are ready, drain and pour into the mixture. Mix well. Turn out into a baking dish and bake for an hour until the top is nice and crispy.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Vegan Challah

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

Round challah symbolizes the cycle of the year and are traditional for Rosh HaShanah; challot are traditionally braided for Shabbat. Either way, the key to delicious challah is kneading the dough.

Ingredients: 
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water
4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan cane sugar + 1 teaspoon vegan cane sugar
1/3 cup safflower oil
Directions: 
  1. Mix yeast, water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl.  Let it sit until it bubbles.
  2. Combine flour, salt, and sugar.  Add oil and then the yeast mixture. 
  3. Mix together and knead for at least 10 minutes (by hand or with a bread mixer.)  You know when it is done when you can push your finger into it and the little indentation stays there.  Aha! 
  4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise for an hour and a half. 
  5. Take the dough out to shape into challahs. Then let the challahs rise again for fifteen minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Brush the challahs with cold water and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Vegan Purim Pasta with Cabbage, Poppy Seeds & Pepitas

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

Did you know that Queen Esther is thought to have been a vegan? Read more from the Los Angeles Times, then honor vegan Queen Esther by making this vegan pasta dish for Purim.

Ingredients: 
1 box quinoa spaghetti
1 medium onion
1/2 head green cabbage
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 heaping teaspoon dried parsley
3 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/4 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup chickpea cooking water
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
Directions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Spread the pepitas on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice the onion into semi-circles and sauté in olive oil and salt.
  4. Slice the cabbage into long slices and add to the onions when they are translucent. Season with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Prepare the pasta.
  6. Add the chickpeas, parsley and poppy seeds to the onion and cabbage mixture and mix to combine. Add the pepitas, reserving a handful for garnish.
  7. Scoop out 1/2 cup of pasta water and add it to the mixture, or add 1/2 cup chickpea cooking water.
  8. Add the pasta into the mix and toss well to combine.
  9. Garnish with pepitas and serve.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Matzah Squares

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

These make for an amazing Passover treat! If peanuts don't conform to your Passover minhag (custom), try using almond butter in this recipe instead.

Ingredients: 
1 1/4 cup organic natural peanut butter (room temperature)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance (1/2 stick, softened)
1 cup vegan powdered sugar
1 cup of matzah meal (approx 3 sheets processed)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Directions: 
  1. Sift the powdered sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to combine 1 cup peanut butter and the Earth Balance. (If too thick for mixer, use your hands).
  3. Add the powdered sugar in 1/2 a cup at a time. When thoroughly combined, add the matzah meal and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. Combine well.
  4. Lightly grease a 9x9 baking pan, and spoon in the mixture. Press it down firmly so it is even.
  5. Melt together the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter and the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour it over the top and spread it out evenly. Place in the refrigerator to set (at least an hour).
  6. Cut into squares and serve.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Vegan Walnut Lentil Pate

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

This Passover dish is simple to prepare. Serve as a hearty appetizer or use as side dish alongside the main course. Lentils are full of protein and the walnuts are full of Omega-3 fatty acids.

If lentils don't conform to your Passover minhag (custom), try using roasted, unsweetened chestnuts (not water chestnuts!), which can be found canned or frozen to create the desired consistency of this pâte.

Ingredients: 
2 large onions
1 cup of walnuts
1 cup brown lentils
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Directions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Place lentils in a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until the lentils are tender.
  4. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and carmelize the onions. Take your time to do this, leave on medium heat and stir occasionally to bring out the sweetness of the onions.
  5. Combine the onions, lentils, and walnuts in the bowl of food processor. Add salt and pepper. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Store in refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
  7. Serve with matzah and carrots for an appetizer or serve with your main course.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Vegan Sweet Potato Kugel

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

The walnuts in this sweet kugel give it great texture, and the quinoa flakes add just the right amount of moisture. Peel, process, mix, bake. Done!

Ingredients: 
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
3 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup matzah meal
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegan brown sugar
Salt
Directions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them for 5 to 7 minutes. When they are done, toss into the food processor and process until fine.
  3. Boil 1 cup of water and add it to the quinoa flakes. Let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Peel the sweet potatoes, carrots, and apples and place them in a food processor and process until fine.
  5. In a bowl, mix the sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, walnuts, raisins, matzah meal, quinoa flakes, brown sugar, and salt.
  6. Press into a baking dish (don't make it too thick) and crumble a pinch of brown sugar over the top.
  7. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes to an hour or until crisp on top and around the edges.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

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