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Posts tagged ‘Kosher Vegan for Passover’

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.

 

CAPONATA

CAPONATA

Caponata 3

This sweet, spicy, mildly fiery eggplant dish is fabulous because it both delicious and versatile.  Made from fresh ingredients like eggplant, garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices, Caponata is a crowd pleaser that can be enjoyed either hot or cold, and therefore natural for Passover gatherings. I make this dish year round; it’s a favorite at barbecues, on Shabbos, and for snacks, and I always make a lot because if I’m lucky, we’ll have leftovers. People seem to love this one. This caponata is so good; you can spread onto gluten free matzo or gluten free crackers;  enjoy with cut up veggies; it’s great warm with a salad or as an appetizer course.  Because eggplant chunks are usually bursting with flavor,  Caponata is a wonderful choice as a main course or can serve as a side dish on your holiday table.  This always goes over well in my house.  Ingredients

  • One large, or two small eggplants, (peeled, if desired) cut into two-three inch chunks and salted
  • One large onion
  • One large pepper or two small peppers
  • Four-six garlic cloves, depending on your preference for garlic
  • Olive oil to sauté vegetables, 6 Tablespoons
  • One cup Pomi strained tomatoes (or any brand of strained tomatoes or small can of tomatato paste will do)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vinegar, 2 Tablespoons
  • Oregano, 2 Tablespoons
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, pinch
  • Brown Sugar, 2 Tablespoons
  • Olives, black or green ( optional )
  • Capers (optional)

Supplies

  • Colander
  • Cast iron pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions Cut eggplant into chunks and peel, if desired. The eggplant will become very soft as it cooks, but some people don’t like the skins left on, so whether or not you’ll peel your eggplant is a matter of personal preference. Begin by placing the cut up eggplant chunks in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. This step helps draw out any bitterness in the seeds. Leave the eggplant and salt for at least 20 minutes, and assemble the rest of your ingredients. Peel and chop your onion and garlic. De-seed and chop your pepper. None of the vegetables have to be minced or even chopped finely. Small chunks are fine. Get the oil hot in your cast iron pot and add the garlic, onion, and pepper and sauté for five minutes.  Rinse the eggplant thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel and add to the pot. Eggplant really soaks up oil, so don’t be surprised if you think you should add oil, just do it slowly, about 1-2 Tablespoons at a time. Stir and cook eggplant along with your other vegetables until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the strained tomatoes or paste, then  1/8 cup hot water and stir that in along with the vinegar, sugar, and oregano. Stir it all together with your wooden spoon.  Keeping the lid on, simmer gently for another 20 minutes, until the eggplant is extremely tender, and all of the flavors are combined. Remove the lid and check that the chunks of eggplant are soft enough to eat, and when they are, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and stir to distribute them evenly through your pot.  If using olives and capers, they can be added in when the rest of the vegetables are fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Enjoy and  Please write and tell me what you think!

THE HEART OF THE HOUSE

Passover Items

The Heart of the House

The countdown began weeks ago, while we were getting ready for Purim. Now, with only two weeks to go, the clock is ticking and the tension is building. I hate to sound negative, but every year at this time, I think there isn’t enough time for everything I have to do. I love Passover,  but it is such a deadline driven holiday, and one in which things must follow a specific sequence.  I have found that my yoga practice helps ease the stress, but only while I’m on the mat!

In the moments I’m not actually cleaning, I’m making endless lists.There is a method to my personal cleaning process, and ridding our house of chometz is a long and arduous task. It is the time of year I’m most inclined to feel I know what slavery is like. I long for the freedom the Seder will represent after the work is done. Not all the tasks to be done are necessarily difficult, and there are some that I enjoy:  I find polishing silver to be relaxing. However,  I dislike cleaning the oven and refrigerator. In that first wave that is now far behind me, our drawers and closets were under scrutiny. The house began to breathe easier with the clutter removed, the excess donated or discarded.Though I fall into bed exhausted each night from the work I’ve done, I go to sleep dreaming of what I’ll cook when the work is through.

Soon enough, the actual heart of our home- the kitchen- became the focus. The process that turns my kitchen inside out and upside down, will not only empty it entirely of chometz, but we will emerge cleaned and kashered. When the order has been restored and the goal is reached, the title won: Kosher for Passover, is a wonderful state to achieve! I’ll feel like I’ve left Egypt; and then, and only then, will I have the freedom to begin to cook. As a result, I am not someone who cooks and freezes weeks or even days in advance, I ignore people who talk about this, as I ignored people whose babies slept through the night since birth- I just can’t relate!

I was trained by my mother; therefore, I do not prepare one item of food until the kitchen is turned over. Though I wish it weren’t the case, this happens at most, two days before Pesach, and the fact that several large feasts will be assembled in record time is made possible only because my daughter Emily is herself an excellent cook and a phenomenal baker. Fortunately for me, she is my partner and my cheerleader in this labor intensive endeavor. The two day window gives the two of us just enough time to make all the food for both Seders, the day meals, and in some cases, for Shabbos, when they are conjoined. Somehow, it all gets done.

Shopping has to be completed before I start to cook. The shopping serves as a much needed break from the cleaning, and I divide the shopping into two distinct categories-food market and produce shopping. They are both equally important.

From now until Passover begins, I’m going to give you some of my favorites- delicious and easy recipes that are great year round, but particularly suitable for Passover. No reason to worry what you’ll eat or worry what to serve your company. Check back often for updates. You won’t get bored with these as your food choices. Being a vegan, I tend to rely on flax and chia seeds to act as egg substitutes. I have to be especially creative around Passover when I am even more restricted in what I can use. But we won’t let that stop us!

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