No meat, No wheat

Archive for the ‘The Kosher Vegan on Cooking for Passover’ Category

The Latest and Greatest Seder Menus

 

Quinoa and Mushroom stuffed peppers

 

PASSOVER IS COMING!!!!!!!! In case you didn’t know, I LOVE THIS HOLIDAY.          We’re all in high gear and there’s still so much to be done. Even as I take a break from cleaning to write this blog post, (justified of course by my sore back and the need to sit down for a few minutes), my mind is preoccupied by the millions of small (some are really minuscule yet I always intend to do them all) interlocking tasks that must be accomplished before I can cook anything for yuntif.   My daughter Emily just reminded me to put on my list the two chores we’ve typically  forgotten and then scrambled to do at the last minute. (Just in case you’re dying of curiosity, they are clean out the vacuum canister and boil the scissors that we use to cut open food packages.)

My dear friend Susan recently asked what to make for her family member who is a vegan. Remember, questions such as this are why I have The Kosher Vegan blog, and I am so grateful I continue to get questions like this all the time. If case this is an issue for anyone else, the menu I am about to share with you is a totally non-gebrochts menu.

I know there are so many vegan and vegetarian Kosher for Passover recipes out there that attempt to dress up already perfect ingredients and I find they are just as likely to detract from the natural appeal of the wonderful fresh vegetables you’re workings with. You don’t have to work that hard to come up with amazing vegan food. After thinking of all the ways that I’ve seen vegetables and grains dressed up to look special, I have concluded that usually, the less done to enhance the perfection of what we eat, the better. And the Sedar menus are perfect examples.

Here then, are my latest and greatest Passover Menus. Feel free to use and pass them on. Please send me your ideas and feedback. Wishing everyone a happy and kosher Pesach, a joyous and meaningful Seder, a wonderful Passover Holiday. Betayavon!

Seder Menu for Friday and Saturday Night

Appetizer: Roasted Beets (just wash and roast medium sized beets in double wrapped tin foil in hot oven, cool, peel and slice) and combine with Sliced Roasted Mushrooms, dash of balsamic vinegar, optional but not necessary. Beets are sweeter when roasted in the oven.

Salad: Green lettuce and minced purple onion (optional) topped with roasted spicy  sweet potato wedges (black pepper and paprika makes them spicy); dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and freshly squeezed lemon juice that you prepare in a cruet in advance.

Soup:  Vegetable Soup (broth made from sautéed onions), with diced carrots and asparagus.

Pot, Zuc, Tom

Side Vegetable Dish: Zucchini, Tomato, and Potato Casserole ( Spray casserole dish, layer 2 large zucchini, cut into 1″ slices in bottom of pan. Top with a layer of potatoes, about 2 large cut into 1″ slices, and a layer of tomatoes, about 2 large, cut into 1″ slices. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, dried basil and oregano. Bake 350 about an hour until edges start to brown. Cut into squares).

Crunchy veggies: Marinated cucumbers and onions (thinly sliced in glass mason jar with  white vinegar, pinch of salt and sugar, pinch of dried dill-optional)                           Lettuce Wraps filled with mashed avocado, diced cucumber and mango, tiny squeeze of lime to moisten filling. Use the lettuce you like with this one.

Main Course Friday Night: Eggplant Cutlets with sautéed onions, garlic, mushrooms, and peppers.  Red sauce is optional here, but I personally don’t add any. Don’t bother to coat the eggplant, just use thick slices, peeled or unpeeled as you prefer,  as the “meat” (slice eggplant, salt, rinse, pat dry, bake approx 15 mins and top with sauce if you’re using, add a layer of sautéed veggies, season as desired-salt, pepper, oregano, basil, etc, bake additional 15 mins)

 

Main Course Saturday Night: Peppers stuffed with quinoa and mushrooms (don’t bother roasting the peppers first, just wash and clean their insides, stuff with cooked cold quinoa to which you’ve added some chopped and roasted mushrooms. Season as you like, top with sauce if you desire, but I don’t think it needs sauce since the peppers get soft and release liquid keeping it all moist. Bake 35 minutes til tender.)                       I love these quinoa stuffed peppers, and am always very happy with this main course.

Dessert: Fresh Melons Balls and Red Grapes topped with dollop of Mango Pudding,       recipe below, adapted from EAT TO LIVE, by Joel Fuhrman, M. D.   

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 4 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 2 banana
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Grind almonds in food processor. Add mangoes, banana, dates, coconut, and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer to bowl or container and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Chill for several hours before serving.

 

Have a great Pesach everybody.

 

Burgers for Passover

THE KOSHER VEGAN; “NO MEAT, NO WHEAT”

Mushroom Walnut Burgers

Mushroom-Nut Burgers

Mushrooms are one of my favorite foods, and I’ve wanted to adapt the wonderful mushroom-nut “burger” recipe my sister sent me from The Jazzy Vegetarian, Laura Theodore. (BenBella Books).

With just a few changes to the original recipe,  Emily and I made the best gluten free vegan burgers I’ve ever eaten. And they’re perfect for this holiday.  I’m happy to share these outstanding burgers.  They are delicious and filling; Isaac said they look just like the real thing.

It’s no secret that I love my food processor; luckily, I have a food processor that I use only for Passover. Fortunately, now I have another wonderful recipe that can be made very quickly and easily, thanks to my food processor!

These main course burgers are definitely worth making, now at Passover, and throughout the year. Bitayavon! (good appetite), and enjoy the end of your Passover holiday.

Mushroom Walnut Burgers

Ingredients 

  • 1½ cups lightly packed, almond flour. [Emily suggests that you spoon or scoop out the almond flour rather than pack it into your measuring cup.]
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Secret liquid aminos
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 teaspoon chopped rosemary. In fact, you can choose any single herb or combination of seasonings you prefer.  I obtained what is for me, perfect, using fresh sprigs of rosemary that I rinsed, checked, and chopped finely.

Supplies

  • Food Processor
  • Spatula
  • Two large bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking pan
  • Parchment paper

Mushroom Nut Burger Prep

  • Instructions
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a medium baking pan with parchment paper.
    Put the almond flour and the herbs and seasonings, along with the onion powder, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl.
    Put the walnuts in a food processor and process in pulses until they resemble coarsely ground flour. [I used ground walnuts, so I skipped this step.] Add the walnuts to the almond flour mixture and stir gently to incorporate.                                                                                                                           Put the mushrooms, onion and  ‘liquid aminos’ in the food processor, and process to a thick and chunky purée. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.  Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut-almond flour mixture and stir to incorporate all the ingredients.
    Place one quarter of the burger mixture packed firmly between your palms onto the parchment paper.
    Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are easy to turn. Flip each burger and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes, or until the burgers are slightly crisp and golden.
    I served these for Passover with Israeli salad (thanks, Isaac), potato salad (thanks, Eric), and slices of avocado.
  • With the end of the holiday quickly upon us, the burgers are perfected, while there is only one day left to create and perfect those vegan almond flour Passover rolls I’ve been meaning to work on. If I have any luck tomorrow,  we’ll be able to enjoy our burgers topped with lettuce, avocado, tomato, sweet onion, and ketchup.
  • If you’ve got a recipe for vegan gluten free kosher for Passover rolls, please send them to me. Thanks.

SEDER MENUS FOR PASSOVER

IT’S TIME TO COOK FOR PESACH.

Produce Shopping 2

Finally,  the work of kashering our kitchen is complete. I’ve had a kind of bittersweet feeling in the weeks leading up to Passover this year, as this will be the first Pesach without my mother, a”h. She will be sorely missed at the Seders, just as she is missed by all of us who loved her and were fortunate to be so well loved by her. I’m so glad we will honor her life and carry on her legacy and love of Pesach by continuing the amazing traditions she bought into our lives.  She took great pride and enjoyment from this holiday- both the meticulous care she took to render our home Kosher for Passover and the two amazing Seders she made every year.

It’s time for me to stop reminiscing and think about the naches it will bring her to know I’m busy with Pesach cooking after all that laborious cleaning.  So the question is, now that it’s time to cook, what will I be eating at my Seder meals?

I want to share all of this in case it can help someone else who is looking for ideas, recipes, encouragement, or inspiration. Good results in the kitchen at Passover requires  a lot of planning. Especially true  since I’ll be preparing both a vegan, gluten free kosher seder menu for me, and a traditional Yuntif meal for everyone else.

When I began exploring a vegan lifestyle five years ago, Passover was approaching, and I really had no clue what I’d eat during the Seder meal or during the rest of the holiday. Then, the emphasis of my time was firmly focused on the soup, fish, entrees, and desserts for everyone else.  I ate gluten then, but that didn’t give me many more options. I recall I felt mystified about how my festive meal would be special, and luckily, a friend suggested I speak to a Rebbetzin in Philadelphia who is also a vegan.

I got some great advice and ideas from the Rebbetzin, even though  I didn’t even know her personally. She understood my dilemma and encouraged me so much. With her help, I made it through the Seders and the holiday, and though my repertoire was very limited, it made me want to learn more about how I could improve both the variety and quality of what I’ll eat at this time of year.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been brainstorming and experimenting and hopefully you’ve seen some recent posts for entrees, side dishes, appetizers, and desserts that I’ve either created, revised, or repurposed, and found to be easy to prepare and delicious to eat. They’ll be great additions to our Seder meals, and most, if not all of our family and guests will enjoy them as much as the traditional foods they’ll consume.

Passover Items

Produce Shopping

I wanted to share a few great things that I learned from the wonderful and always helpful folks at Star K and The OU.  This year, two Coconut Secret items I use a lot are Kosher for Passover with just the Star K hechshur: Coconut Secret Sugar Crystals and the Liquid Aminos.  From the folks at The OU, I found I can use Spectrum Brand Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, just marked Kosher with the OU.  I’m happy about both of these findings. And, here’s another exciting item for someone like me who loves to cook and bake, and wants it all to be as nutritious as possible. While shopping in Lakewood, I picked up the five pound bag of WellBees Almond Flour, because it’s a healthier option when baking.

So here is the menu for The First Night’s Seder, which occurs this year, Friday, April 3rd, 2015.  Wishing everyone a Chag Kasher V’Sameach. Lori aka Princess Leah

Appetizers

mock chopped 3crunchy cabbage

When our guest arrive, an assortment of delicious appetizers will be waiting. Mock Chopped Liver (previously posted), will be surrounded by platters of fresh veggies and pesto (previously posted with two varieties).  A fruit platter will also be on hand. Crunchy sweet and tangy marinated cabbage (also previously posted), will round out this pre-seder munching, because it would be a shonda to ruin anyone’s appetite by overfeeding them at this early stage of the game.  Still, I want to give them something to tide them over til dinner.

Pesto, two ways

And now,  The Complete Menu for The First Seder……

While my family and our guests are eating their Gefilte, I’ll be eating Crispy Quinoa Cakes (with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms).

While they’re eating Lemon Sorbet as a palate cleanser, I’ll be eating Emily’s Lemon Sorbet, because it’s so good; and why shouldn’t I clean my palate while I’ve got the chance?!?

While everyone else enjoys c. soup with fluffy gluten free Kneidlach, I’ll be enjoying Vegetable Broth with delicious fluffy gluten free Kneidlach, because my son David makes the best Kneidlach for us for Passover and Rosh Hashanah.  By the way, the pre-main course items are really my favorite part of the meal.

Salad with slivered almonds and blueberry vinegrette will be had by all.

Mushroom Marbella, Marinating_0123My main entree at the first Seder will be Mushroom Marbella, (* the recipe and more pictures of the demo will follow at the bottom of this post). This is one of my favorite  do-overs, what my son Isaac calls, a creative repurposing of the classic dish that uses chicken. It requires marinating overnight, and is really delicious. My daughter Emily suggested poking holes in the mushrooms before marinating, to really soak up the special combination of tastes and seasoning. I used the large stuffing mushrooms that I found at Produce Junction.  I also created another version of this repurposed dish,  a do-over that uses chunks of eggplant, which I call Eggplant Marbella, but I didn’t want the menu to be too eggplant heavy.  There will also be fricassee, meatballs, wings, and chicken available for everyone who wants to partake.

Here are the side dishes, all gluten free and vegan:

Sautéed Onions and Zucchini

Quinoa with sun dried tomatoes, green onions, and mushrooms

Eggplant Caponata

Braised Cabbage, Onions, and Apples

Baked Butternut Squash

Spaghetti Squash Kugel

Caponata

Caponata, made with eggplant, peppers, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, vinegar, dash of sugar, and oregano. (Optional: chili pepper flakes, capers, and olives.) Serve with fresh veggies or gluten free matzo crackers.

cabbage, sauteed with onions

Braised Onions, Cabbage, and Apples  

quinoa tastes smoky and exotic

Quinoa with chopped Mushrooms, Green Onions, and Sun Dried Tomatoes.

* * *

Remember,  I don’t do all of this by myself. I couldn’t possibly. Most of the work gets done quietly behind the scenes by a few people who prefer no credit. But tough. It’s my blog, so I can embarrass them without their ever knowing. My husband Eric is so predictable, and so humble, too… he’ll help beyond belief and be glad to do the small stuff no one else wants to do- the tasks upon which all the delicious entrees and side dishes are built. Which means hours of peeling and chopping onions and garlic!  Seriously, it’s all about the veggies.  He could be washing, peeling, and chopping vegetables for hours.  If (when) I run out of organic potatoes or organic celery, he’ll be the first to offer to run back for the zillionth time to Shop Rite for more.  Isaac does a lot more than incite me to write on this blog. He loves to cook, and can do just about anything in the kitchen, and lucky for us, is a whiz with a chopping board, knife and sauté pan, as well.  David, when not making his light fluffy kneidlach, can be counted on to peel veggies, make mashed potatoes, or run to the store, yet again. And then there’s the dirty dishes. As often as possible, my husband will insist on washing the dishes when he sees them piling up. Our daughter Emily is an amazing baker and chef, and we are indeed fortunate to have her help, her energy, and her smiles to help us accomplish everything.  She keeps us on course and allows us to be ambitious and successful at the same time.  Who knows? If it weren’t for Emily, I might decide we’re only going to have soup, a nice salad, and then skip right to dessert.

Speaking of dessert, we will make my mother, obm,’s traditional Passover mandle bread. The gluten free desserts will include: macaroons, of course!, cinnamon cookies, Emily’s amazingly light and sweet key lime pie with chocolate date crust,  maybe a flourless chocolate torte if we get around to it, and definitely a beautiful fresh fruit salad. My in-laws always bring amazing fresh fruit for us.

 THE MENU for the SECOND SEDER on Saturday night, April 4th, after Shabbat….Everything will be the same for the meal at the second seder as the first night, except my main course on the second night will be Orange Peppers stuffed with Quinoa and Chopped Mushrooms- previously posted, and mashed potatoes. I love variety, and I say this half-heartedly,  because we often fight over the leftovers!

Quinoa and Mushroom stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers with quinoa and chopped mushrooms

* * *

WISHING YOU ALL A CHAG KASHER SAMEACH.

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM.

Mushroom Marbella

Ingredients

  • Large Mushrooms, about 18-20
  • Marinade:
  • 1/2  Cup  Olive Oil
  • 1/2  Cup Vinegar
  • 1/2  Cup Pitted Green Olives
  • 1/2 Cup Capers with some of the juice
  • 1 Cup Pitted Prunes, or more or less of this. I add more since my family likes them and the added sweetness they give
  • 1/8 Cup dried oregano (if you really like oregano, as I do, you can use the whole 1/4 cup)
  • 4  Large Bay Leaves
  • 6-8  Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely minced, use more or less depending if you like a lot of garlic as we do.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate mushrooms in above ingredients and allow to remain in refrigerator for hours, or better yet, overnight

Remove from refrigerator and sprinkle with:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white wine

Supplies

  • Large container for marinating mushrooms with a sealed lid
  • Baking dish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Soak, check, and thoroughly clean mushrooms. Trim ends. Dry them with paper towels. (Option: use cubes or chunks of eggplant instead, or combine mushrooms and eggplant. Just be sure to sprinkle salt on the cubed eggplant to extract the bitterness, rinse thoroughly in colander, and pat dry with paper towels before proceeding to the next step.)
  • In a large bowl combine the mushrooms, oil, vinegar, prunes, capers and juice, bay leaves,  oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, as long as possible, preferably, overnight.
  • Arrange mushrooms in a single layer in a shallow baking pan and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle mushrooms with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.Mushroom Marbella
  • Bake for 40 minutes or more, until desired, basting frequently with marinade.  Before serving, moisten with a few spoonfuls of marinade, and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro, if desired.  Delicious over mashed cauliflower, fluffy quinoa, or mashed potatoes.

Chag Kasher V’Sameach, and Bitayavon!

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