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Vegan Borscht

Lisa Dawn Angerame

This borscht recipe is really easy, and since it is served cold, you can make it ahead of time. The beets cook into a colorful soup for a festive addition to Jewish holiday meals.

8 small beets
1 large onion
1 lemon
3 tablespoons of vegan cane sugar
2 quarts of water
2 russet potatoes
Vegan sour cream (optional)
  1. Peel and chop the beets and the onion, and place them in a deep pot and cover with the water.
  2. Add the juice of 1/2 of the lemon, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a dash of salt.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour (or until the beets are soft).
  4. Add the remaining sugar and the juice of the other half of the lemon. Taste and adjust salt.
  5. Using an immersion blender, process it a bit to break up the beets (not too long).
  6. Place in an airtight container and store in refrigerator.
  7. Peel and chop the potatoes. Boil in a separate pot until they are soft. Place in airtight container and store in refrigerator.
  8. To serve, place the potatoes in the soup and top with vegan sour cream and dill.

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

Vegan Seven-Vegetable Soup with Matzah Balls

Lisa Dawn Angerame

This soup is easy and fantastic - and seven is a lucky number in Judaism! This colorful soup is nutrient-rich and is great on its own or served topped with vegan matzah balls during Passover.

2 large onions
6 large carrots
3 celery stalks
1 sweet potato
1 russet potato
2 small turnips
1 leek
2 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
  1. Start to peel and chop the vegetables to about the same size.
  2. Meanwhile, in a deep pot, sauté the onions in olive oil. As you finish chopping, gradually add the other vegetables, salting each layer.
  3. Cover vegetables with stock and water. Add as much dill and parsley as you like.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it cook for about an hour. When it is done, turn the stove off and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Using an immersion blender (you can use a regular blender, but I would not do this with piping hot soup), blend just enough soup to get a creamy consistency but with enough vegetables left intact for texture.

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

1654 Barley Salad

Tina Wasserman

I created this salad in 2005 in celebration of the 350th anniversary of Jews in America. The gardening technique practiced in Plymouth, Massachusetts, inspired this salad. 

Small squares of land were cultivated next to the colonists' houses to provide food for the families. The Native Americans taught the pilgrims how to commingle different crops in one square bed to enhance the growth of all. A fish head was buried in the center of a three-foot-square. Corn was planted directly on top to absorb the nitrogen from the decomposing head. Pole beans were planted around the corn to protect and and fertilize the corn as well. Cucumbers or squash were planted around the perimeter because their rough leaves kept animals and playful children away from the vegetation.

Tomatoes were native to the Americas but not necessarily used in salads until much later. I have included grape tomatoes for the modern palate.

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
24 red grape tomatoes cut in half horizontally
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 teaspoon minced (or 1/4 teaspoon dried) fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cloves
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups frozen yellow corn, defrosted
1 cup frozen cut green beans, defrosted
3 scallions, finely sliced
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, jarred or fresh, diced
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup barley
4 cups water
Additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Combine the first 11 ingredients in a large glass serving bowl. Let marinate for at least 1/2 hour at room temperature.
  2. Defrost the corn and the green beans. Discard any accumulated liquid. Have all of your remaining ingredients ready while you cook the barley.
  3. Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and then the barley. Stir to combine, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 40 minutes, until the barley is tender but not mushy.
  4. When the barley is done, quickly drain it (without rinsing) and pour it over the tomato mixture. Toss with the remaining ingredients. Add more salt and pepper as needed.



Tina's Tidbits: 
  • The easiest way to peel a clove of garlic is to lightly smash it under the flat side of a large knife. The peel will then easily pull away.
  • When working with hot peppers, place your hand in a plastic bag while slicing to prevent the pepper oils from burning your skin.




Italian Marinated Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Tina Wasserman

The following recipe is based on the technique described in Classic Italian Jewish Cooking by Edda Servi Machlin. My use of balsamic vinegar gives the peppers a sweet taste. Jewish cooks have been preparing peppers this way for centuries.

3 very large sweet red peppers
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 very large cloves of garlic, cut into quarters
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
About 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover
  1. Preheat the oven to 550°F.
  2. Place the whole peppers on a baking sheet and roast them for 15 minutes or until the peel is blackened in spots.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with water and 8 ice cubes.
  4. When the peppers are done, immediately plunge them into the bowl of ice water.
  5. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them under water. Remove the stem and seeds and any interior membrane.
  6. Cut the peppers lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. You may wish to cut the strips in half crosswise if the peppers are very long.
  7. Bring the vinegar and salt to a boil in a stainless steel or enameled pan. Add the sliced peppers and cook for 3 minutes, stirring with a soft spoon or spatula.
  8. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  9. Drain the peppers. Stir in the garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Place the mixture in a 1-quart wide-mouthed glass jar. Pour olive oil over the peppers to cover. Bang the uncovered jar on the counter to force any air bubbles to the surface--this will prevent mold from forming on the peppers.
  11. Close the lid tightly on the jar and refrigerate. The peppers may be eaten soon after, but for the best flavor wait 24 hours. Serve and enjoy.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Roasting peppers in a hot oven causes the peppers to blister but the "meat" of the vegetable does not burn. You'll preserve the flesh of your peppers far better this way than roasting them on a grill.
  • By far the easiest way to peel peppers is immediately after water submersion.
  • Any time you are boiling vinegar and salt, it must be in a non-reactive pan. Stainless steel, glass, or enamel are all okay. Copper, brass, and aluminum will react with the liquid and ruin your recipe.
  • Balsamic vinegar will turn the peppers a dark mahogany color. If you want them to look more natural, use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar instead.


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